Table of Contents
Editor's Notes
Submission Guidelines

Stories & Essays
By Alison Baumy
Contemporary Cultural Differences...
_ By Ninni Siurua
Eclipsed Yesterdays
_ By Clyde Windjammer
Healthy Guy
_ By David J. LeMaster
Immortalis Letum
_ By Sophie Davis
Last Call For Salvation
_ By Angela P. Markham
My Fault
_ By Ro Thorton
Pacific Northwest
_ By Aaron Hellem
Q-Q Ca Choo
_ By Billy Pilgrim
The Best Laid Plans
_ By John A. Ward
The Ecstasy of Cooking
_ By Sam Nolting
The Girl With the Green Umbrella
_ By J.R. Earlebeck
The Gods of Houston
_ By Rebekah Frumkin

Athena's Owl
_ By Amberly Mason
But I Have Never Known This
_ By Kaleen Love
Clouds On Your Floor
_ By Savannah Bobo
Crowded Lobby
_ By M. Blair Spiva
Ever After
_ By Bennie Johnson
Important Questions
_ By P.T. Bell
_ By Sarah Wassberg
Moon Goddess
_ By Kristina Diane Smith
Oldest Profession
_ By Ashley Polker
On Visiting Hay-on-Wye
_ By M. Blair Spiva
Sodom and Gomorrah
_ By Jessica Fannin
_ By P.T. Bell

Art & Photography
Jeremy Harker
_ Paintings
Douglas C. Knight
_ Photography
Jed Knox
_ Paintings and Drawings
May Ann Licudine
_ Paintings
Danny Malboeuf
_ Paintings
Alex Stanbury
_ Photography

Editor's Notes
By Sharon Hadrian

We welcome any and all comments related to the magazine, our contributors, or the issues raised in the stories and art that we feature. If you have something to say, please feel free to drop us an email here. We may publish your letter in our next issue.

Just like last quarter, the editorial was the final piece lovingly placed into this little puzzle. Although it's often hard to keep us quiet about "issues du jour", eventually we settled on letting our wonderful contributing writers and artists speak for us.

Reading the "fan mail" that came in after we published our Autumn 2005 issue was a wonderful experience; whether our readers were naming their favorite stories, poems, and artworks, or just praising the overall look and message of the magazine, their emails made all of the hard work feel "right."

I dipped my finger in
the thought-dormant bright colors
of my permeating oil paints
even their containers were lovely.
-Savannah Bobo

I'm particularly proud of this issue, and not just for the obvious reasons. Certainly it has proven that people really are reading our magazine, and that the debut issue was not just a tiny, fizzling moment in Internet history. But I also think that this issue is more diverse, and let's face it, when that's your goal then it's always a good thing. I love that I disagree with some of the views in the magazine; I also love that I love others, and I hope our readers will feel the same way.

Our Winter 2005 submissions cycle, like our debut issue, was a huge success. In total we received 71 pieces of writing and 33 artworks, all sent by 33 contributors from around the world. This quarter we're bringing you an android love story, a hotel-owning dog, love, autism, Frank Zappa, goddesses, philosophy, asteroids, mirrors on the ceiling, a heavenly cookbook, mythology, discount superstores, a sandwich lover, and much more.

As will become our habit, we have chosen six entries (three poems and three stories) as our Editor's Picks for this quarter. Because of the incredible amount of diversity in our pages, it was especially hard to pick only six pieces this time around. But we did, and our selections are denoted on the Table of Contents page by small light bulb icons.

Black is not a color. Black is the absence of the spectrum—light—making it something less frivolous and more sinister than the rainbow could ever hope to be.
-J.R. Earlebeck

Main Course
After releasing our very successful debut issue, there was hardly any time to celebrate before planning began for the next issue. Interestingly, one of the things that gave me the most trouble was the magazine's color scheme. I envisioned a new, blustery theme for the Winter 2005 issue, then perhaps something related to cool autumnal colors, and finally an ever-evolving spectrum of colors after that. As you can see, eventually we settled on green and a dark red-purple, which immediately made me think, "Christmas."

Why? We're a secular magazine, and Christmas is just as special as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, any other holiday celebration, or none at all (unless you ask certain Christians who are trying to boycott stores like Target because those places prefer the religious-neutral term "Happy Holidays", but I digress). But there's just something about red and green in the wintertime that made me feel uncomfortable, like we were releasing the "Christmas issue." I didn't want to be so exclusionary, even if it just looked that way.

This is not the only color complex in the world today, or even the most famous. Colors are hard to deal with, because they almost always come with labels, and even using all of the colors at once eventually stirs up controversy. The rainbow, which happens to be incorporated into our magazine logo, has been all but ostracized from mainstream society lately for being "too gay." Never mind that, to most circles of people throughout history, it has signified diversity in general; now, if you like the look of these colors or what they used to stand for, you're gay.

The problem is not that we're not a GLBT magazine, but that the assumption of labels, definitions, and meanings (in other words, judging a book by its cover) is so frustrating. It's not limited to a paint box either; whether you're talking about clothing choices or skin tones, color matters in this world. Do you live in a red state or a blue state? Are you wearing black because you're a Goth? Heard any good blonde jokes lately?

…And so it will probably continue for the foreseeable, regrettable future. But in the meantime, we’ll keep insisting that without color and diversity, we’d have blackness. Nothing. And really, in that case we’d rather have purple-reds and greens than boringly dichotomized black and white anyway, even if someone does inevitably call it the “gay magazine’s Christmas issue.”

So we’ll keep trying as long as you keep reading.

Happy Holidays.