Welcome to the Good Life Review

Issue 2, Winter 2020

2 Inside: Jim Peterson, Kendall Klym, Caleb Nichols, Stelios Mormoris, Tyler Jacobs, Kerby Caudill, Megan Saunders, Lynn Magill, Clare Bercot Zwerling, Gabriella Bedetti, and Don Boes

The cherub watched from its spot on the lawn. A sprinkler coughed to life, draping it in mist. I imagined a child’s mitten reflected in its resin eye.

– What the Cherub Saw

You’re lucky, he says. To have three. Three kids he means, of course. Their fleshy thighs press against you, their sopping hair and wrinkled suits graze your arms. Know they worship you. Know the weight of their expectations. Heavy as a stream.

– Blinding

The dog and I return with the rescue van, which is parked close by on the road, and we pull it beneath the tree. I boost both boys up on top of the van. They’re not only lighter than me and easier on the roof, they’re also thrilled to be standing there.

– Into the Stratosphere

in that last school schooling
on the 10 o’clock news it was a magnet
high school where you just do not expect
that sort of thing like you might at a regular
school or a massage parlor in a strip mall
or at the mall so the big they call it The Galleria

– April is the Cruelest Month

twin streams of birdsong ripple
rows of wheat
teasing apart the meaning
from the music

– From the Stem

My mother tells me of men
measuring the land with their
teeth, mistaking the earth for
bread. Hunger will make every man
into resilience. Or at least, into everything
we weren’t meant to be.

– American Diorama

Yes, you’ve uncovered my diabolical scheme. I kidnapped Curious George in there so I could seduce you into taking me back. Curses! Foiled again! And I’d have gotten away with it if not for you pesky kids and your dog… Is that really what you think?

– Caged

One thing about the thing on the other side of composing is this: the mossy stone leads to the bird, and the bird gives way to the crunch and the chirp. The clearing leads, once again, to the woods. The thing we’ve found–precious and specific–keeps moving, slipping away, becoming something else.

– Here, Gone, Again

We each build up our grievances, like an osprey building its protective nest. Stick after stick. It’s easier to hate than love. Jeff tells me that he despises opera. I leave them an expensive bottle of wine to apologize. They never say thank you.

– Fences for Neighbours

A more common urge was the need to break things, an impulse to smash a vase of dried flowers, to drop a glass lamp, or to hurl dinner plates at the wall. I never acted on it, but the desire was strong and lingered.

– Everything in the Middle

The baby likes to roll on this carpet. I think it reminds her of grass. She ignores me when I tell her that it is haunted. Maybe when she is older, she will start to feel how scratchy the carpet really is. At least the cat understands–she is reluctant to come into this room.

– Inspection Checklist

news & updates:

02.04.21: Check out the lineup of great conversations and food celebrating Black History Month hosted by UNO. Details here.

01.09.21: Submissions are now open for the 2021 Honeybee Prize. Winners in 4 categories will be awarded $200 and publication in our Summer 2021 Issue. More about the contest and judges is available on our contest page and also in Submittable.

12.31.20: Issue #2 is live. View the full issue here or peruse by genre: translation, nonfiction, flash nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, or fiction.

12.12.20: The Good Life Review is nominating for the Pushcart Prize! 2020 Nominees include Clif Mason, Tomas Baiza, Mary Duquette, and Jamie Wendt.

12.01.20: Interested in connecting with other readers and writers? Check out our new community board, a curated list of events, readings, and workshops to inspire and motivate.

11.10.20: GLR is pleased to offer a new submission category: Stage & Screen. Send editors Jake Lawson and Joe Atkinson your scripts. Read what they’re looking for here.

9.15.20: It’s such a difficult time in the world, and your art is important! If for any reason you find our submission process inaccessible, please contact us. In addition, submission fees are now waived for BIPOC.

The Good Life Review is a literary journal made with ♥ from Omaha, Nebraska. We are committed to exploring the overlooked and are taking active steps toward a more diverse and equitable publishing platform. | About us

GLR publishes four online issues a year. We’re interested in fiction, nonfiction, flash, poetry, translations, scripts, and anything amazing that doesn’t fit into a tidy genre. We have published first-time, emerging, and established writers. We read submissions blindly and let the work speak for itself. | Past issues


Rounding out our second series, episode 2.6 includes highlights of the interview where Fiction Editor Trelana Daniel talks with Tyler Jacobs about his poem, “Standing Water in Central Nebraska.” Tyler is a student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he studies English and Creative Writing. He recommends taking classes with Brad Modlin and Jessica Hollander, but says that any class with the English department there is bound to be enjoyable. You can read his poem which appears in Issue #2 here.

Soundbites is a weekly podcast with contributors of The Good Life ReviewFollow us for additional gems and interview highlights.

The 2021 Honeybee Prize

Submissions for the 2021 Honeybee Prizes will be open until April 15th. The 3-5 finalists in each of 4 categories, Poetry, Nonfiction, Script Writing, and Fiction, will be sent to our guest contest judges who will select a winner and runner-up. This year’s judges are as follows:

Poetry: Douglas Manuel
Nonfiction: Marco Wilkinson
Fiction: Kate Gale
Scriptwriting: Michael Oatman

The winning entry will receive $200 prize, publication in the Summer 2021 issue of The Good Life Review that will include an endorsement from the respective judge for that category, and a jar of honey from a Midwest apiary.

Visit our contest page for more info about the judges and submission details.

featured from the archives:

“Flash” by Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason

3am, naked man in Nebraska
drives his truck through a church,
sideswipes a school,
ends up spinning on the State Capitol’s lawn; | Read more

“Alice and Juno in Hell” by Mary Duquette

The first call came on Thursday over the landline. It rang ten minutes after Alice got home from her new job as Kitchen Assistant at Jacque’s. She sat in her apartment in front of the television set with her coat on and her feet stretched out over the ottoman and picked up the phone on the second ring. | Read more

“Rabelais” by Tim Tomlinson

I once had a writing teacher who told me you can’t write about shit and piss and farts and vomit and I said oh yeah, why not? Didn’t Rabelais’s Gargantua let loose a torrent of piss over the city of Paris? | Read more

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2021 Honeybee Prize. More details about the contest can be found here. Please read our submission guidelines before submitting. Send us your wild and wonderful work through Submittable.

Does your original photography or artwork tell a story? Send us an email to be featured in an upcoming issue. Photo cred: Zac Bunch

Keep up with the good stuff at The Good Life Review. Subscribe to receive magic in your inbox. (Only magic. And you can unsubscribe at any time.)

Success! You're on the list.