Issue #6 ~ Winter 2022
So far, winter here in Nebraska has fluctuated between terribly cold \ and warmer-than-usual weeks; it mirrors the world’s peripatetic surge and lulls in Covid, international conflicts, and climate crisis events. Last year at this time, there was a fair measure of hope that 2021 would be the antithesis of 2020, and we’d be lifted out of its vortex of uncertainty and unrest. But here we are, one year later, and that hope has been blotted out. Nothing seems predictable or particularly comfortable anymore. In these times, we find ourselves retreating further into our safe spaces, with the people and activities that bring us comfort and stability. For us, these activities include art-making–through writing, crafting, and pouring effort into projects like this journal. We know we are not alone in this because of the constant stream of submissions received through the long weeks and months.
In this issue, we celebrate those artists who have made writing and art their commitment and their constant; who have dared to share the fruits of their labor with us so that we can share it with others. We’re entertained by the absurdist and magical realist flash fiction by Jiahui Wu and left with a sense of outrage by the unfair nature of the scene that unfolds in Joe Capello’s play, Sell Bots.
The poems in this issue are vulnerable, complex, and take risks. Ellen June Wright grabs us with these opening lines: “They carried everything one can bring | when one can bring nothing.” And the poem does not let go even after the last line. Jack Phillips’ poem, Felis Ellipses, makes us contemplate humanity and our place in the natural world, and Christina Legarda’s poem, Imelda, provides an eerie and evocative character profile.
In Cassie Burkheart’s nonfiction essay she writes “… art is born when opposing feelings collide, rub up against each other, start a dialogue. Loneliness can be celebrated, or at least renamed “solitude,” which sounds more romantic. Anger is really fear and my worst fear is losing myself.”
We feel that, and we believe that her struggle to exist and create despite all the “triggers” around us is a common one.
There is much to explore in this winter issue, and in the coming weeks, we will be revealing more about these pieces and the people who wrote them through our author Q & A segments.
At this time, we also want to express thanks to three respected and admired editors who have been with us since our first issue: MA Boswell, Michelle Kimberly, and Trelana Daniel. All three have chosen to step away from the fiction editor role. However, Michelle and Tre will remain on the team to help support our mission and vision with their respective talents in design editing and social media promotions. We’re extremely grateful to these three wonderful humans for believing in this effort and for their willingness to spend their time making our little lit mag the best it can be.
This change leaves quite a gap to fill, but we’re pleased to announce the three fellow MFA graduates/candidates who have agreed to join us on an all-new fiction team: Pamela Brodman, Emily Marvin, and Carina Faz. Be on the lookout for more in-depth introductions for each shortly. Welcome, ladies. We are excited to have you!!
Before closing, we’d also like to share a bright milestone we achieved near the end of 2021. The Good Life Review is now officially recognized as a nonprofit entity by Nebraska and the federal government, which opens the opportunity for us to apply for funds to help achieve our goals. We have hope that 2022 will be better than 2021, and to show that, our first order of business this year is to become a paying market. Beginning with our next issue, authors will receive $25 for each published piece. We recognize that it is not much, but it’s a start and a springboard for all that is to come.
Thank you for reading. That’s it for Issue #6 ~ Winter 2022.
With Peace, Love, and Amaretto Sours,
~Shyla and Ed
Good stuff from Issue #6…