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Journal of Ordinary Thought - Winter 2007

Test the weight of your best thoughts. If they are turgid with inspiration, and quotes like “To be or not to be,” then you are beyond the ordinary good writer. The Journal of Ordinary Thought (JOT) is for those writers who realize that editing is half the writing, and to get to the level of an everyday Shakespeare, there are many thoughts that need to be discarded or reshaped. JOT imagines the landscape of thought as one where no words should be culled. All the ordinariness of language is settled here like the surface of a sea of jetsam and flotsam. Sounds bad, right? But the effect is quite the opposite. In her short essay “Me and Time,” Pennie Holmes-Brinson begins: “Time and I don't get along well.” She continues the personification of time with sentences like “Then it stands there with one hand on its hip, pointing at its wristwatch with another hand, and reaching out at me with yet another hand!” JOT is littered with such gems, and they all lie on the surface.

This issue is focused on “Borders and Boundaries”, and most writers attack the idea very directly. Titles such as “Who Set the Boundaries?” and “Crossing Borders” are plenty, in addition to “Invisibility,” and these never pretend to transcend simple concerns. JOT is ordinary magic at its best. Only in simple sentences could the most effective combinations of language be brought out. “Starting drugs in the first place was breaking a dictatorial boundary, but stopping I found was also crossing the line.” This line from Charlie Clements's essay, “Addiction University” belongs in JOT, and others like it find a home here. The writers and editors of JOT believe “that every person is a philosopher,” and very appropriately, there are no contributors' notes. These writers don't need introductions or stage exit directions, just old pen and paper, to write what they want to capture their given moment. []

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Review Posted on June 30, 2007

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