How apropos that our fall issue launches during Thanksgiving week. I am so grateful to the writers, artists, and photographers who entrusted their work to us during an extraordinarily difficult time. Thank you to all the creative people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. I know so many who, while the world around us has shrunk, have enlarged our opportunity for engagement through their work.
I’m particularly fond of this issue. We have a new look (as well as a new website address). I hope you find it refreshing. The issue itself has a nice balance between work that takes a hard look at reality and pieces that signal hope. Several of our writers were able to include recordings of themselves reading their stories. I’m always grateful for their voices, more so now that I’m socially isolated and rarely hear a voice outside my bubble. We have a new member on our editorial team, Randy Quiroz, who joins our fiction editors. We’ve included his story “The Burden and the Blessing” in this issue. While he largely writes science fiction and fantasy, this work of historical fiction highlights inland Southern California.
My own pandemic journey has been difficult. My father passed away at the end of April. My sisters and I cared for him, not wanting him to be alone in a nursing home. As visitors were not allowed in our parents’ assisted care residence, this required us to register there as self-employed caretakers. Since then, we have worked through many difficult decisions about our mother. She has dementia and is under hospice care. We decided to keep her at home and facilitate her care because nursing facilities were still under lockdown, and we couldn’t imagine her life without visits from family.
During what has been a pretty dark time, I’ve also had the joy of seeing my first book, a collection of short fiction entitled Acts of Contrition, move toward publication. Originally scheduled for December 2020, we decided to move it back to February 2021, at the time believing that the worst of the pandemic would be over by then. While this hasn’t proven to be true, I’m happy with the prospect of a launch. One of the stories in the collection, “Therapy,” was published in Inlandia before I had any involvement with the journal.
I’m deeply grateful for literary journals and their role in launching authors. I’m particularly grateful for Inlandia and the institute behind it which consistently works to enrich the literary scene in inland Southern California in so many ways.
Happy Thanksgiving. Wishing you good health and prosperity in the new year.