The issue introduction inevitably arrives at our party long after the guests have assembled at the table. Carolyn stands there, ready to launch our new wild feast, and I pretend not to be nervous when she raises her eyebrows and points at her watch for the umpteenth time.
I grimace, because I know what to expect: the new issue introduction always enters with a stumble, its tie askew and a different color shoe on each foot. It weaves haphazardly with stutters and stops, and it mumbles a vague, unprintable anecdote that has little to do with travel or writing. I hustle it off to the kitchen and try not to catch anyone’s eye.
Outside I hear the small talk begin. We are ever-blessed with fantastic and surprising guests at these parties. Many are new faces, and some of them brand new: Steven Borzynski, Benjamin Bouvet-Bosclair, Alex Greenberg, Sachi Cote Kozel, Liz Lyon, and Sonny Z. All walk in happy and wide-eyed, saying, This is it – our first time in print. One enters with a falcon, another with his off-Broadway play. They come from California, Oklahoma, Hong Kong, and Ireland, and they bring everything: their children, their pets, their roads, their temples and their dreams.
And in the end, every beginning starts the same way. Out in the kitchen I wrestle the introduction into submission, brush it off and wave it over to the head of the table. It looks almost respectable as it stands there. A hush descends on the room, and all heads turn as we finally hear:
Dear authors and readers, new friends and old – we are so happy you could make it. Welcome to Issue 17.