Our February Issue Jake Freivald
Welcome to February!
You may have noticed that we skipped the January issue. For a variety of reasons, that month has always been difficult for me to manage, and this year was the worst in a long time. Next year I’ll bake a double issue into December (Merry Christmas!) and have a planned skip in January.
This month is a great return, however. Our first story, “Banshee Lullabies” by Chazley Dotson, is a modern-day fantasy. It has a wonderful opening line: The night my daughter sings my death, I am sitting in the living room floor, sifting through old pictures. It gets better from there, too. Check it out.
Our second story, “Clock-In” by Vanessa Blakeslee, uses an interesting technique — it immediately puts you in someone’s situation, being instructed by the narrator, which leads to a very natural use of imperative and second-person, better than the vast majority of second-person we get. In fact, I only thought about its use of this unusual voice well after accepting it. So, on second thought, ignore the technique (since it’s easy to do) and just enjoy the story.
Our third story, “Repair” by Steven Mathes, is a darkish view of the not-too-distant future. I get the feeling one of my kids will be the subject of a similar situation someday.
Speaking of kids, our Classic Flash this month is from Anton Chekhov. Its title is “A Living Calendar,” and it’s possible that it speaks to me mostly because this is the way I keep track of my life: I had my oldest (now 16) while I was in the Marine Corps; we moved to New Jersey when my third (now 12) was still in utero; my brother was living with us the year before my youngest (almost 2) was born. (There are eight total. A friend has taken to say “I haven’t seen you in two or three Freivalds,” where one Freivald is an indeterminate amount of time between 18 months and two-and-a-half years.) Looking at a photo of Anton and his family, it wouldn’t surprise me if the conversation this story contains is mostly autobiographical.
This month also marks the second installment of Bruce Holland Rogers’s Technically Speaking column. This is the first of two parts describing “Naming the Baby,” or creating titles. This month he talks through the issues, and next month he’ll discuss nuts-and-bolts and give examples.
Thanks for joining us! We’ll see you in March!
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