Month: May 2014

Thank you!

Forum Magazine would just like to take a moment to thank the fabulous Kristen Philipkoski, Thomas Sayers Ellis, and Julia Scheeres for their wonderful talk last night on the writing and publishing process!  We would also like to thank everyone who came and made the event such a great, informative event.  Thank you, everyone!  Such a wonderful night!  Pictures from the event can be found by clicking below:


Editors Write: Craving IV

Forum Magazine is proud to present to you our fourth installment of “Editors Write,” this time Forum’s Non-Fiction Editor and Visual Arts Co-Editor, the wonderful Elise Stewart.

This piece was inspired by the prompt “craving.”  Please take a look, and always feel free to post your own work in the comments section below, or send it to, subject heading “Writing Prompt Wednesday.”  Thanks, and enjoy!


“Craving and aversion are the source of your misery. Remain perfectly equanimous.”
I took a 10-day silent meditation course and hoped it would answer all my questions and solve all my woes.
“Scan the body,” asserted the teacher. “You may feel unpleasant, gross sensations; do not react with aversion. You may feel pleasant, subtle sensations; do not react with craving. You will only multiply your misery.”
One night I woke up tapping my knuckles against the wall in my dorm. I wondered if I’d woken anyone else up. I wanted to hug the girl in the dorm next to mine, who I had met right before we entered silence: “Le Chaim,” she said, as we walked up to the meditation hall for the first time. “Le Chaim,” I repeated back, realizing that Chaim now not only came at the end of the course, but book-ended it.
I wanted desperately to hug her when I woke up knocking on the wall. I wanted to hug my mom, and the guy who I had gone on two dates with before I left. I chided myself for craving these hugs. I developed an aversion to the craving. “Do not react. You will only multiply the misery. Do not react.”
I left the night before the end of the course. I told them I needed to be with my family, and that I could not be late. They said they would not allow it–that I was rebelling. I thanked them for the free food, and showed them my keys.
At the cemetery the next morning, I craved my uncle’s presence, and felt an aversion to his absence. Only, I welcomed this misery as a compliment to the joy that also existed within me, in remembering my time with him. “You are allowed to react,” I thought to myself, as they unveiled Chaim’s headstone.

Editors Write: Craving III

Forum Magazine is proud to present to you our third installment of “Editors Write,” this time from our very own Gary Baker, who wears a lot of hats at our publication; he’s currently Forum’s Business and Fundraising Manager, Events Coordinator, Visual Arts Reader and Forum Literary Club President.

This piece was inspired by the prompt “craving.”  Please take a look, and always feel free to post your own work in the comments section below, or send it to, subject heading “Writing Prompt Wednesday.”  Thanks, and enjoy!

Strong Black Coffee

There are very few mornings when my parents didn’t have coffee. My mother would sip her’s while she made breakfast. My dad would generally take his in a thermos to go. I was always mesmerized by coffee. This dark brown liquid that started every day.  It wasn’t as dangerous or as adult as alcohol, but it had its own mysterious allure.

I was drawn to it from a very young and it started to replace my hot chocolate around the age of eight or nine.  For me it was love at first sip.  I did not need excessive amounts of cream and sugar.  Black was fine and I wasn’t put off by its bitterness.  To me it was pure bliss.

Coffee is not food and Coffee is not something you drink when you’re thirsty. Coffee is not made, coffee is brewed. Coffee is an aroma, it’s the buzz, it’s the experience.

Coffee is a first date. Coffee is a study partner.  Coffee is a business meeting.

Now it’s really become a physical addiction, if for some reason I don’t have coffee in the morning, I go through mild caffeine withdrawals and headaches ensue.  But Coffee is all around me.  So prevalent and pervasive that I very rarely find myself desperate for a cup.

However on mornings where I’ve had the foresight the night before to set my coffee machine on automatic brew,  as the smell waifs through my apartment and into my bedroom. It’s on those mornings,  just as I begin to wake up, that aroma reminds me, even if just for those few brief moments before my first cup, there is nothing for which I have a more passionate or intense craving.


Writing Prompt Wednesday

Each week, a winner from our Writing Prompt Wednesday submissions will be chosen by Forum staff and featured on the blog.  All winners will receive a free Forum Spring 2014 edition upon its release, and will automatically be considered for publication in the Fall 2014 edition of Forum Magazine!

Whenever you write a poem, story, take a picture, or create a piece of artwork based on these prompts, you can submit it to  In the subject, make sure to write “Writing Prompt Wednesday,” and in the body of the email, please include the writing prompt you used for your piece.

This week’s prompt is:


Editors Write: Craving II

Forum Magazine is proud to present to you our second installment of “Editors Write,” this time from our very own Virginia Carrillo, Assistant Managing Editor and Poetry Reader!

This piece was inspired by the prompt “craving.”  Please take a look, and always feel free to post your own work in the comments section below, or send it to, subject heading “Writing Prompt Wednesday.”  Thanks, and enjoy!

You know, I can’t help it. When I see them, I say to myself, “Well, shit. Here’s another one.”

It’s sort of a burden, but not really. They’ll stroll on their merry way with a regal disposition. It’s no joke when people say they reign the household, but again, I can’t help it. A few will drift the streets like vagabonds, their bodies fragile and delicate.

You almost feel sorry for them, not almost, you do feel sorry for them. It’s a sympathy that you can’t wash away. You look them in the eyes and it’s a done deal. It’s like a contract, like bidding your soul to darkness and devils. But again, I can’t help it.

They’ll raise their chin to you, full exposure of that charming visage. Those eyes, how they reveal a world of vulnerability and need. It’s a spell, I’m bewitched, I’m spellbound, but again I can’t help it. You’ll assist them once and oops, they come back for more. Sometimes, they’ll even bring a second, a third!

It’s sort of a business, I guess. You provide your lodgings and oops, they spread around the word. It’s okay though, even if my paycheck goes down the drain for these vagrant souls, I’ll continue my work. No doubt, they’ll thank me. It’s sort of nice, this alternating relationship. They’ll say their thanks, and do a favor or two. It’s convenient at times.

Of course, there’s a price to pay. Money-wise, yes, however, once they feel comfortable it’s a done deal. They become regnant landlords. Isn’t this my home? Don’t I pay rent? Think again.

They gradually take parts of the household. First, it’s the bed. Yes, they’re vagrants, I gotta share what’s mine, but they’ll say hello and politely ask if we could share a bed. I only got one, so I gotta share what’s mine. We’ll sleep pleasantly, but then they’ll stretch and ram their palm into my face.  Don’t you kick them out at this point? You can’t.

It’s a craving, it’s a hex—a curse, but I can’t help it when it comes to cats.