Even the Same Stories Never Get Old
Letter from the Editor
It’s mid-November as I write this editor’s letter. We just announced the winners of our second annual essay contest and we just wrapped up another month of open no-fee submissions in October to celebrate our six year anniversary. But by the time you read this, those events will be even more distant in the rearview mirror and we’ll all be looking ahead to what 2018 has in store.
In my personal world, I just returned home from a week-long vacation in Florida where the Santoros, my dad’s side of the family, had a reunion. It was long overdue; the last time we all gathered together happened in 2004. At that time, the youngest of the fifteen grandkids was just a year old. Living in California, my immediate family is the farthest from most everyone else on the east coast in Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Florida. When you’re that spread out, it’s hard to get everyone in one location very often. My gramps turned ninety this year and my gram turned eighty-five. Although they have been divorced for more than twenty years now, these milestone birthdays were reason enough to get everyone together and to bring out the family stories. One night after dinner we sat around my aunt’s living room reminiscing and singing songs. Some of the stories I’ve heard over and over again.
Like the time my dad set a booby trap to catch my aunt sneaking in after curfew, so that when she turned the light on in the bathroom the electric toothbrush also turned on tumbling a bunch of plastic cups with it giving my aunt such a scare that she screamed. Or the time that my gram went to get something in the attic while she was eight months pregnant with my dad and lost her footing on the rafter beams, fell between the beams, kicked a hole in the ceiling, but didn’t fall all the way through because her belly caught her between the beams.
So many good stories that I’ve heard a thousand times and yet I never tire of hearing them. Every story, every time it’s told, lets me glimpse an unfamiliar part of someone I love. It’s how we make meaningful connections with each other. And the same can be said about the stories we publish in these pages.
Maybe we’ve read other stories about feeling inadequate, navigating tumultuous relationships between child and parent, struggling with and defining sexual identity. But we have never read these particular stories. And even though themes may be similar to others we’ve read before, each writer offers a unique perspective on the experience, and we as readers and observers of the experience can learn something new about ourselves and about the world when we listen, share, affirm, and validate the stories others have to tell.
As we embark on a new year, may yours be filled with endless opportunity to share your story and to listen to stories of others.
Here's to telling stories without shame,
Janna Marlies Maron
Editor & Publisher