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This is the start of our third year of publication. A year ago, we called our first anniversary a "Coming of Age". In our third Winter, we liken MYTHOLOG to a glade populated by many trees, both young and old. Immensely grateful for our readership, the contributors, and our staff, we have brought forth equal portions of fiction and poetry. Far from a barren Winter, among the branches of this tree are both the fruit and the seeds of a mythic forest. We hope you'll find unseasonable warmth in its branches.
"Cedar" cover by Teresa Tunaley
Wow! We publish a lot of retellings of fairytales, and we're always looking for work that illustrates the point of that enterprise. We want stories that don't rehash the same twist but find in the old myth something new. Scott reaches into a familiar bag and pulls out something pulsing with contemporary interest. This is why we call stories, and myth in particular, the timeless, ubiquitous language.
As a psychedelic journey into the self, metaphorically indicated by its title, this tale is an example of mythmaking in the modern sense. Like Amanda Lam's piece from the last issue, Davis' story doesn't provide all of the answers, but leaves room for the reader to fill in the details.
Caught between two seasons and torn between wishing and history is the speaker in Hogarth's poem. Who hasn't felt what this writer feels? This piece offers the sense of life as survival -- not the savage or heroic struggle to exist, but the mere fact of continuing in the face of loss. Deprived of savagery or heroism, the universality of this poet's story is held up while still beating. Perhaps that's how we define our ghosts. Thump. Thump. Thump.
Piracy is sweet in our renegade imaginations. The imposed status, the type-cast roles we all experience -- woman, husband, worker, citizen -- beckons us to find not just release in our myths, but a mirror for our other selves. So, along with Eric Marin, hijack a moment to be true to whatever vagabond lurks within.
Stories are, as John Grey knows, indeed like strangers that one willingly invites into the security of the mind. While no one knows when we raise the window to hear the sound of sirens and distant laughter, or just to feel the draft, we all share the experience. We all, on occasion, welcome the unknown, the alien, the outside; we do not always desire the warmth and safety of the inner fire.
Perhaps the ultimate myth is the futile yet essential struggle to know that which must be beyond knowing, which must be beyond being. When we speak of it, we reduce it to words, so that it cannot be it. When we think of it, we reduce it to concepts, and so falsely imprison it within our intellects. We look into our brimming hands and find them empty. Likewise, the story is one of all the failures of those who offer easy answers -- who sift and simplify, or else multiply the solutions. In the latest of the Soliloquies, it is in the furnace of this failure that Pope St. Leo the Great tries the Carolingian scholars, and accuses the Frankish monks of self-immolation. While this is subtitled 'Leo's final oration', it is by no means the end. We have an installment in The Mosaic Soliloquies planned for each issue until the series conclusion. Next issue, Vardas is back.
Last anniversary we offered a retrospective of past issues. This year we're doing it again. In the inaugural issue, the myth of safety was exploded with a sensitive poem entitled Twin Towers by Michelle Erica Green. Possibly the best piece of flash we've seen, Appearances by Maria Cecile, offered a tantalizing treatment of a familiar heroine in our second issue. Kelly's Searsmith described Eva's Inspiration with a poem of transformation in issue three. Author Brian Ames just plain creeped us out in issue four with Feeding Time, a story since reprinted in his anthology, Head Full of Traffic. In the winter of our second year, we served up a Wild Goose Harvest by Kelly Searsmith. This poet's take on relationships is no lame duck. Spring of the new year brought a creation myth by Terry Dartnall, called The Rundle. Elizabeth Barrette's poem, My Lover, Boreas, from this Summer, is still a chilly turn-on. Our Autumn issue included Useful Visions, a searching story about uncertainty, from J.P. Moore.
If you're appetite is only whetted by our anniversary issue and retrospective, feel free to go poking around in our indexed archives.
At first glance, one might suspect Lamb of writing a propaganda piece. Instead, this tale is more of a cross between "Office Space" and "The Twilight Zone". Rather than glittering social commentary, Lamb gives us a gleeful look yet grim and ironic look at surviving the soulless corporate plotline.
Black Asher stories are unusual, as character-based serials go. While most examples of the medium are hero-driven, Asher's work is psychological. The protagonist, a skeptic of the unnatural, is not the main character of the stories. Rather, he yields that role to the reader.
Our editor's column, this issue, exhorts writers to be honest with the reader and outlines ways in which writers avoid telling the truth.
If you would like to illustrate a piece for us or even join the cadre of illustrators, please feel free to contact our Chief Editor for an audition. To date, we've had a variety of different styles and directions in illustration. The goal is to interpret a literary piece in visual form, making the two creations mutually interactive.
If there were one thing we could use more of, besides excellent submissions, it would be feedback from our readership. We know you're there. After all, we see the thousands of hits our publication receives, and even have a good idea of which parts are being frequently read. What we could use (yes, this means YOU), is your comments. So, how about it?
For the thaw, we're looking to get submissions in by February 12th. The magazine should be out the first week in March. Writers: We'd like more short fiction. Keep the poetry coming. Be aware that we also accept essays and reviews. Be sure to read the guidelines.
If you'd like to be reminded when a new quarterly issue of MYTHOLOG is out, be sure to let us know via our announcements page. This way, you'll never miss another issue.