Ekaterina Panikanova



ONE OF MY FAVORITE PIECES in this issue I found, like so many of my favorite things in life, on Craigslist.

The author did not intend it for Slush Pile. Indeed, I have let my imagination run away with itself trying to devise what the author did intend it for. It was posted to Missed Connections but, as you will see, it doesn’t seem to be trying to reach anyone; it seems simply to be a beautiful meditation on the passing of time and fleeting nature of human lives and relationships. Was it, in fact, inspired by the author’s inability to work up the nerve to talk to a girl on the Manhattan-bound Q train? You decide.

I think this piece sets exactly the right tone for this pared-down, fiction-only issue. And might I just begin by saying: this issue definitely ranks among my favorites.

In it, we have a lovely story from Catherine Shukle about love, marriage, miscalcul- ations and regret; one from James Pate about love, addiction, betrayal and regret; and one from Marion Bright about love, backyard bird feeders, prison and — you guessed it — regret.

Chris O’Brien takes us to Ireland, where a man wrestles with his impulse to save his family’s homestead at the cost of breaking his aged aunt’s heart; Kimberlee Smith introduces us to a mother, struggling to relate to her teenage daughter, in the aftermath of her husband’s death; and Douglas Hill introduces us to another mother-daughter pair in a sort of coming of age story about friendship and witchcraft (I can just see all of your thumbs involuntarily going up about that). Laura Hitt takes us inside the life of a young model, as she figures out motherhood, her career, and her sexuality; and Wendell Mayo brings us into the far less glamorous, but certainly entertaining, world of senior swim therapy. I don’t know about you, but personally, I love the senior citizens.

Meanwhile, we have Facebook to thank for the beautiful art featured in this issue. Someone posted a piece — Paris Review, perhaps? — by Ekaterina Panikanova, so I immediately hunted him down and begged him (in broken Italian) to be our featured artist. Amazingly, he agreed. You will find his pieces throughout, and some additional information in the Art section.

There’s a few other things that I think you should know that are only peripherally related to Slush Pile Magazine. The first is that Christina Thompson wrote this piece about writing, that I FULLY condone. If you do any writing yourself, I strongly recommend reading it. And, I think it is incredibly important that you know that Paul Harding has written a new novel, called Enon. If you have not already read Tinkers, please do.

Also, Joseph Gordon Levitt wrote, directed, and starred in a movie, called Don Jon, that is really wonderful. (This is my inexcusably lazy substitution for a movie review, but you trust my taste in fiction, so I am just telling you). This is a movie with both entertainment value and substance.

Lastly, I am thinking about a collaborative project. I want to know why and how you ended up with your life partner. Tell me a story: slushpilemag [at] gmail [dot] com. And perhaps we’ll do something interesting with it for the next issue.

Meantime, coupled or otherwise, I hope you know how much I appreciate you, readers! I appreciate you to the moon and Craigslist and back.


— Mister Branwen


back to Issue Fifteen