From Tom Dooley, Managing and Fiction Editor
No doubt about it. This is a big, bright, doozie of an issue.
Even with an extra couple weeks planned in to compensate for a trip to Alaska (where the kids met their grandmother for the first time), I still had a heck of a time getting it all done. In the end, though, I'm happy to say that it came together beautifully—especially thanks to the hard work of our editors and the generous talents of our contributors, many of whom lent an eye to proofreading the issue before it was posted live to the web.
The "Fireworks" start with Spotlight author William Reese Hamilton (this is his second such honor) and his novella based on his childhood experiences in a WWII Japanese internment camp. Bill lives in a beautiful little coastal village in Venezuela, a locale that serves as grist for his many entries in our travel section. This issue, along with the spotlighted novella, he also takes us back to Choroni in Travel, where he deftly brings the topic of discussion back around to the Philippines in the 1940s, the setting of "Fireworks." The two pieces make for a nice companion read.
Fireworks are best with a splash of color to accompany their sound and fury, and our featured artist, Costel Iarca, provides color in abundance. His work is discussed in detail in Julia Ann Charpentier's interview, in which Mr. Iarca comes across as multi-dimensional and engaging as his art.
Eclectica is always blessed with a plethora of vivid and varied submissions for each issue, and this one was no exception. In the end, ten stories made it in, joining 25 poems, eight book reviews, seven nonfiction pieces, six travel pieces, three interviews, two Salon essays, and the aforementioned Spotlight novella, making this one of the biggest and best issues we've ever had. It's a fitting way to pass the midway point of our 14th year online.
Former contributors will often drop me a note to let me know what they're up to, publishing-wise. This time around, I'm happy to announce that Andie Miller's Slow Motion, a collection of stories about walking, is being published this month, as is Ilie Ruby's first novel, The Language of Trees. Through the Veil, a memoir by Lisa Ohlen Harris containing two essays that first appeared in Eclectica, was released earlier this summer from Canon Press. And Anne Leigh Parrish appeared last month in Pank Magazine with her short story, "Snow Angels." Kudos to all!
Along with those kudos, a big congratulations is in order for Svetlana Lavochkina, whose "Semolinian Equinox" was selected for the C4 Fiction Anthology and also short listed for the Million Writers Award by Jason Sanford. Speaking of the C4 Anthology, Roy Giles' "Black Night Ranch" was also selected for inclusion. It's great to see another attempt to capture the high quality work appearing across the web, and I'm very happy to see Eclectica represented.
Also in the announcement department, Alessio Zanelli would like us to know that the Winter 2010 issue of Private Photo Review will explore the theme of "Eroticism: bodies prone to fusion," and will therefore include pictures and poems concerning eroticism, sensuality, the human body, and bodily fusion. Sounds evocative.
On a less happy note, many of our contributors who have worked with our poetry editor, Jennifer Finstrom, will want to keep her in their thoughts as she deals with a serious family illness. She has turned in an impressive poetry section for this issue in spite of extremely stressful conditions.
That's all the news that's fit to print at the moment. I hope everyone is having a good summer. For my part, I'm looking forward to tackling some yardwork in the coming weeks. It's operation Destroy Weeds Once and For All. I'm thinking a blowtorch will do the trick.
Best wishes and happy reading,