Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

It’s a shiny new year, full of hope, and our theme this month is Utopia. We will be exploring so many aspects of what ‘utopia’ means and leads to, and normally because I am a dark and twisty/imaginative person, I would go straight to the dark side and think about how utopias become dystopias, but since I am still feeling bright and shiny, let’s create some paradises!

What is your personal paradise? If you were to build it, what would it look like? Where would it be? Who would live there? Different things have meant “paradise” to me at different points in my life. There’s a Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough at Last,” where a man realizes he is the last person on earth and he’s going to finally be able to read all the books. Of course there is a devastating twist, but sans that twist, a huge library where I am all alone could be a utopia for me. Or an island (specifically Kauai) where I do nothing but relax with my loved ones. Or I’ve even talked with friends about creating some sort of artsy commune in the wilderness of Oregon–hello, dream life! I’ve also had moments of utopia in my life, like the zine-building Rookie reader hang that I was a part of in Seattle a couple years back. There was ice cream, glitter, and good people–what more could I ask for?

Please share a fantasy utopia or a real moment of paradise with us in whatever form suits you. You can take or paint a picture, draw a comic, tell a story, write a poem. Send it along with your first name, last initial, age, and city/state to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Tuesday, January 16 at 6 PM EST.

Last month, we asked you to play with omens. Here’s what you prophecized…