Fecund is the best way I can describe my area of the world right now. If I have rediscovered anything in the last year, it’s a clear recognition of the seasonal cycles. Spring is at its peak as I write this. The trees all have their leaves, still bright green and fresh. The birdsong that fills the air throughout the day provides a soundtrack that’s counterpointed by the buzz of bees.
Maybe it was with this fertility and abundance in mind that I found myself accepting far more stories for this issue that I ever have before. I was truly swept away by the amazing talent and creativity on display in this bouquet of tales. Every issue the LSQ staff works hard to review and publish the best of our submissions, with some ephemeral line that appears, telling us where to make the cut.
It’s never an easy choice, which is a problem I will happily take on. Every story from our talented authors has something to recommend it. Still, we must choose at some point and I’m so pleased to say that this batch was so good that the line was pushed to the brink and this extra thick tome is now in your hands.
Personally, I continue to be amazed at how prolific our authors are. I admit that after finishing my own last novel, I’ve not really written anything. That book was published around the start of the pandemic so I’m unsure if it’s a post-book-euphoria trough or if it’s the stresses of the last year. Either way (and probably a fair bit of both) creative fiction, and any writing really, has been particularly challenging in the last year. Inspiration is there, though, so it’s not getting me down. I’m choosing patience.
With time, I’ll begin writing again. I’m less concerned about the permanence of who I am in my identity as an author anymore. I know I can write, but I may no longer be a writer in the same way I used to think of myself as such, churning out page after page with the same abandon. Other things in my life have become more satisfying than they used to be and my writing has yet to return to its position of priority. My transition into middle age may be having an influence, which by the way has been quite a blessing so far. It’s freeing to have the world pay less attention to you and what you do. Marketing no longer cares where I spend my money and I leave most social media to the next generation to figure out.
My boundaries are blurrier, my identity shifting, and I think now that maybe it is right and correct that I’m noticing the Spring so fully this year. I’ve watched Winter shift gently through the “brown” season and into Spring. The pine tree outside my window grew buds which became new growth and green pine cones. At some point it was clearly no longer Winter and had become something new, yet it was still the same world.
One day the bees were not there and the next they were. One day I knew who I was as a writer and the next I did not. While both of these things may currently be true, they won’t stay that way. In a few months, the bees will be there one day and the next they’ll be gone. One day I’ll pick up my pen again and a story will be there. While I wait I’m going to be grateful for the bees, and time to read and watch the cycle of the seasons carry us all along with it.