Photo by Mars.

Photo by Mars.

Hi, Rooks!

This month’s theme is “Cult of Personality,” in which we will discuss falling in love with an idol and/or killing them. One way to do both at once is to mimic the stuff you like about someone else, make it your own, and leave the rest behind, until you have frankensteined your ideal self and become your own role model. You might’ve needed to glimpse these qualities in other people before constructing this hodgepodge, but in the words of a male rom-com character realizing he has feelings for his finicky female friend: It was you all along.

This month is about our fixation with and devotion to artists, celebrities, friends, parents, older siblings, teachers, local legends, or anyone we perceive as powerful or Greater Than. It’s about how good it feels to be approved of by someone who seems important, and how quickly that sparkle can expire. It’s about the difference between validation and connection, and how natural it is to confuse the two. Being seen is flattering, but being understood, and understanding that person right back, is love.

This theme is about relationships that are intoxicating or toxic or both. The alchemy that takes place when you experience a strong reaction—positive or negative—to a person/persona/personality. The ways in which resenting someone can distract us from looking at ourselves, or how worshipping someone can distract us from contending with our own powers. This month will also have just flat-out appreciation for those who, in acting larger-than-life, illuminate truths about our more conventional existences. The Great Gatsby, Willy Wonka, the Wizard of Oz. DOLLY PARTON.

Over on our Submit page you’ll find more information on this theme, and other work we’re looking for!

Flashing a smile behind a cape and a feather boa and also a curtain,