Editorial: Strength, Determination, & Persistence

I am thrilled to announce that Anna Yeatts will be my Co-Editor-in-Chief. I can’t think of anyone who loves the art and craft of flash more than Anna, nor someone more dedicated to Flash Fiction Online. Anna has published Flash Fiction Online since 2013, through whatever life, pandemics, and the universe threw her way—because that is what she does, and will continue to do.  She is indomitable. She is a friend. She is an awesome editor.

This month, our stories scale from the vast reaches of the imaginary to the domestic & familial, and yet, they all have in common strength, determination and persistence in the face of challenging times. The Finnish have a term for it, ‘sisu,’ which can be loosely interpreted, as what must be done will be done. Other cultures have comparable concepts, the Japanese have ‘ganbaru’ (tenacity in the face of rough times); the British have ‘stiff upper lip’ (uncomplaining stoicism), and the Chinese have 吃苦 or ‘eating bitterness,’ (endurance during hardship) which you will read about in Lucy Zhang’s story.

Our first story, Moon Eater & Housekeeping by Adam Piñon Kerkman, parallels the survival of an ancient myth, Bakunawa, with the survival of marginalized workers. Available 8/5/2022

In No one sleeps on an empty stomachLucy Zhang captures the idea of 吃苦 or ‘eating bitterness’ where one is expected to endure hardship without complaint.  This concept is shown through the heartfelt journey of a family’s grief while adjusting to their new home and culture. Available 8/12/22.

A unique mother and child bond survives, if not thrives, through tragedy and tornadoes in Instructions for Bottling Tornadoes: Please Read Before You Leave by Marie Croke. Available 8/19/22.

In our final story, a reprint, intertwining timelines and chronic illness reveal family dynamics in Scarlet Fever by Stephanie Freele. Available 8/26/22.