Apr/May 2008

From the Editors

Photo by Tom Dooley

Photo by Tom Dooley

From Tom Dooley, Editor

I'm happy and humbled to report that the sweetheart smiling at the camera is the presumptive future Managing Editor of Eclectica Magazine. Julie and I got back from Haiti a few weeks ago, and we can't wait to return as soon as it's safe to do so. It'll be about a year until we can bring our girl home. As I've mentioned to many of our friends and family, the agonizingly long wait and frightening circumstances are more than overshadowed by the love we feel for this extraordinary little person. Not to mention the joy of knowing that, barring the many disasters that could befall us, we will be bringing her home.

We do have a long way to go, though, and in the meantime, it's on me to do some editing! I apologize to our readers and contributors for the two week delay of this issue, but I hope the results will prove worth the wait.

One of the cool things in this issue can be found in the Travel section, where William Reese Hamilton and his Zoetrope associates have collaborated on some flashes titled "America, America: Snapshots from a Continent." Among those associates, former contributors A. Ray Norsworthy and Fernando Morro Emerson. A piece by Mona-Lia Ventress also happens to be constructed of three shorter pieces. Hamilton, whose work has appeared regularly in this section, had the following to say about Mona Lia's "Strangers in a Strange Land":

What I liked about these pieces was the desperate attempt by these visitors to reach out and touch another culture. There is a kind of sweet success with the young boys in Luang Prabang, a surreal disconnect with the family in Ventienne, and then terrible shock on the bus into Cambodia. Naive travelers passing through a strange land they will never quite understand.

Speaking of flashes, former contributor Vanessa Gebbie has an online writers collaborative called The Fiction Workhouse, and she was kind enough to ask me to consider the results of a recent exercise. In the exercise, participants responded to Beverly Jackson's collage art piece, "Buddha." I blindly selected three flashes, one of which also happened to have been written by Ms. Jackson, the other two by Michelle Tandoc-Pichereau and Anna Britten. We also have a couple flashes from Carla Lopez de Azua and Brandi Wells that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, except that I thought they ought to go together in what I've titled "Two Flashes on Isolation."

So, we've got flash travel and flash fiction. One could make the argument that some of my Salon essays are getting dangerously close to flash commentary. And Scott Malby has been doing flash reviews of literary websites for a long time now. He's back with five more of what we call "Quick and Dirty" reviews. But we haven't been completely taken over by the pithy and succinct. Case in point, I'm proud to present our second novella in as many years, Nancy McKelvy's "Camp Sycamore: at Home in Nature."

For those of you who have some time to kill and/or an interest in this issue, I hope you'll check back over the next week or so, as I'll be adding to this Editor Note periodically until I've done justice to the great content we're presenting this time around. I confess that tonight, on the eve of my already two-week-delayed deadline, I'm scrambling to get everything ready to go for the morning.

Before I sign off, though, here is some quick news on former contributors and members of the Eclectica "family."

Interview Editor Elizabeth Glixman's poetry chapbook, A White Girl Lynching, was published by Pudding Hill Publications this month. Grzegorz Wroblewski saw his one-act play "Turning Point," translated by Adam Zdrodowski, published in North Carolina University's The Mercurian. David Bulley started a new project, still in its infancy, at http://wiki-fiction.wikidot.com/start. Tim Horvath has a story upcoming in Fiction magazine. David Taylor's short story collection, Success: Stories, was named the 2008 fiction winner by the Washington Writers' Publishing House. The collection will be released in October, and it contains four stories that first appeared in Eclectica: "Errand," "Strange Cabbages," "Success" and "Pelagro." Corey Mitchell will be blogging for the Discovery Channel starting in February. It is a new blog called the Hollywood True Crime Blog that is part of the new Investigation Discovery Channel. Corey's other blog, In Cold Blog, is up for nomination for best True Crime Blog of 2007. And finally, Christopher Watkins, AKA Preacher Boy, has a book of poetry coming out from Shady Lane Press called Short Houses with Wide Porches. It's the third title in Shady Lane's Kerouac Writers Series.

Congrats and best wishes to all of these folks, and to the many others I didn't hear from who, I'm sure, are doing great things. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this issue.