ISSUE.26

Winter, 2008

We are Running Hot and Cold

 

 

VIETNAM: FOUR WAYS
By Anne Panning

A shaved ice vendor beckons to us. He says he will make my son a bird. And does so, shaving ice into his palms—wings, beak and all.

THE SLOTH
By Jill Christman

I remember a morning swim on a black sand beach in Costa Rica four months after my fiancé was killed in a car accident.

THE SLED
By Ashley Seitz Kramer

My grandfather told me the story only once, and I knew that his story was my story, too, long before I ever heard it, before I knew he was a child with a sled and that an older friend from down the street could make him do anything.

OATMEAL
By Patricia Twomey Ryan

Chilled and shivering, I sat on the cracked vinyl chair and huddled against the small radiator. My stomach rumbled as I stole a few forbidden sucks on my six-year-old thumb. In the dim light, I watched my mother pour oats into a black pot.

HUNTING THE MOON
By Mary Sojourner

In a wet May, spring peepers sing from a little ephemeral wetland. In a generous monsoon summer, Sego Lilies lie in the deep grass like fallen stars. In October, grasses have gone gold and silver; evening is the heart of a tourmaline.

NOT A GOOD DAY FOR PLANTING ROOT CROPS
By Marcia Aldrich

We huddle in shivering groups. Is there anything so desolate as a fountain turned off in winter, a fountain whose water has been drained away?

THE WIDOW'S TRAILER
By Aaron Teel

Ryan stole twelve Shiners from dad’s stash in the shed. We drank them warm in the ditch behind the park, sitting on skateboards and smoking discarded cigarette butts without fear.

I CANNOT EXPLAIN MY FEAR
By A. Papatya Bucak

People sometimes boast of solitary journeys: months in a tent alone. I am not afraid of being alone. I am afraid of months in a tent with another person.

CRAFT ESSAY: THE FACT BEHIND THE FACTS, or How You Can Get It All Right and Still Get It All Wrong
By Philip Gerard

I interviewed the fire fighters, the boy who had saved his girlfriend, the girlfriend herself, the guidance counselor. I got the license number of the car, wrote down its make a model and described the damage. I noted the shadow of the gym slanting across the tarmac, the temperature and clouds and the size of the crowd. My notes were copious and thorough. I typed up an account of the incident and it ran on the front page with a photo and a headline about boy-hero saving girl—my first front-page byline. My career was launched.

Bill Milligan's REVIEW of Robert Root's The Nonfictionist’s Guide: On Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction

Root's very philosophy about reading and writing nonfiction makes his book the perfect read for me right now. I received my copy of the book just a few short weeks after my father's death this past fall, during a time of sorting physical records and deeds, boxes of pictures and cards. In other words, during a fertile time of reading about, writing about, and grappling with the loss of my father.