From the Fiction
Melic XVIII marks
the beginning of my third year as fiction editor, a good time to indulge,
thought I, in a moment of reflection. When our esteemed Editor-in-Chief,
Dr. Chaffin, suggested that I might take on Melic's fiction, I thought,
not particularly seriously, "well, isn't that nice." After he convinced
me that his offer was genuine and that Melic and I were made for each
other, a little voice in the back of my head began chanting "what
are you getting yourself into, honey, this Chaffin fellow speaks with
a hummingbird's tongue."
As it turned
out, I drove myself only a little nuts with my compulsive approach
to submissions -- reading and re-reading, backups of backups, etc.
Let no story be overlooked, let no author suffer in limbo, and while
I'm at it, let there be light. But that was only one tiny aspect of
the adventure. I immediately found myself working with extremely talented
and responsive writers much to our mutual benefit, I believe.
As long as I continue to have the urge, each time I read a story that
I know will make the cut, to rub my hands together in delight and
exhale with utter satisfaction, filled up with all that a good story
has to offer, you'll find me here.
This issue does
just that. If I were looking for the inadvertent thread that connects
the three stories, it would be the stages of man: childhood, young
adulthood and old age. Beyond that, the stories are utterly different,
from the straightforward unfolding of Mercedes Lawry's "All My Life"
to the string of metaphoric pearls that comprise Tobias Seamon's "The
Emperor's Toy Chest" and on to Helen Gordon's edgy, frenetic "Driving."
There is a knowing, a somber acceptance in these stories. Read them,
because my words cannot do them justice.
thanks to poetry editor Sherry Saye who put so much time and consideration
into this issue and to my unsung hero, Mark Melton, our webmaster,
who has the patience of Job's wife. Thanks also to all the readers
and contributors and hopefuls who make my job such a pleasure.