Joseph Lapin and the Creative Journey: Updates on Publications and Media

Over the last month or so, I have had some excited opportunities come my way, and I wanted to take a minute to update my readers. As you all know, I’m constantly on the hunt to publish stories, essays, and novels, and I’m extremely passionate about the creative journey in whatever form that takes. My updates relate to both of these aspects.

Publication News

Over the course of the last six months, I have been working on a new type of memoir piece that was inspired by a short story by Lettie Prell. Her story made “The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018,” and it was called Justice Systems in Quantum Parallel. I loved this story because it’s form was extraordinary. It imagines a person in prison and what that same prison would be like in different parallel universes. Brilliant story. Def recommend reading.

Basically, I was inspired by that structural technique applied to the justice system, and I began to explore how that technique could apply to how our country treats mental health. As you may know, I have written many times about growing up with a mother with a severe mental illness, and I have helped her many times get in and out of mental hospitals.

I have seen what it’s like to confront a system that has good intentions but terrible policies. So, I took a parallel universe theme and applied that to a nonfiction piece about trying to create a treatment plan for my mother while she was in the hospital.

After a good amount of trial and error, I’m pleased to report that The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review will be publishing the piece in their next issue. They’re a great publication, housed at Johns Hopkins University, and they have published authors like Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis. Very excited to share this piece when it’s published.

The Creative Journey

As you may also know, I have a professional life that revolves around advertising and marketing, and I’m lucky enough to have built a career around my core passions: storytelling, strategy, marketing, education, and consumer behavior. Many of the skills I have as a writer and creative directly apply to my life as an advertising professional.

In the last week, I was featured in an Ad Age article that talked about how universities are evolving their approaches during COVID. I was quoted throughout the article, and I even had a chance to rhyme. Here is the quote from the article that my company began circling around internally:

“If universities don’t change the way they think and put their focus on being distinct, then they will go extinct.”

I loved this quote mainly because it rhymed. After this was shared internally, my colleagued memed me into one of my favorite memes of all time.

It was hilarious, and I thought Connor did a good job on the design. Seriously, these “Thug Life” memes make me laugh so hard. If you’re not familiar with the meme, here is an interesting compilation.

Other than the Ad Age article, I was also featured in a podcast from the Up&Up. I loved talking to the crew over there, and we were able to discuss my favorite subject: storytelling and personas. Give it a listen if you’re interested.

I was also recently published in the San Diego Union Tribune. All because of a good friend. The work my good friend Mike Semanchik does at the California Innocence Project (CIP) never ceases to amaze me. CIP secures the release of dozens of innocent people who otherwise may have spent the rest of their lives wrongfully incarcerated. Just this week, they announced another victory for Kim Long. A recent State Supreme Court ruling announced the unanimous ruling that ended Kimberly Long’s battle to get her murder conviction reversed in Riverside County.

Kim’s story was something I was able to see firsthand. When she received the news that she would be released from prison, I was there in the press box, snapping a photo. This week, the San Diego Union Tribune took my photo and posted in their article. Read more here:

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