Curated by Tara Lynn Masih
Riding the Dangerous Wind
I’m so very glad I was finally able to take up Marjorie’s standing invitation to edit a flash fiction portfolio for the Mom Egg. Marjorie is one of those rare editors whose commitment to writers has only grown over the many years I’ve known her. She’s created a special space and has outlasted many lit journals because of the relationship she builds with her writers and her community.
Back in January, I solicited 10 writers whose work I admire for the portfolio. I asked them to create a flash story around 1,000 words or less that tackles global warming, incorporating one of the four earthly elements: fire, earth, air, or water. All accepted; we went our separate ways. The deadline was 3 long months away.
When I checked back in near the deadline, they were floundering. Struggling to concentrate and process what was going on. The news changing daily, chronicling our worst collective disaster since 9/11. Sherrie Flick named it best: pandemic brain. Here we were, writers who normally function in quiet, who always complain about not having enough time and space in which to write, with time forced on us—and our brains were mush. And several of us, including myself, were grieving the sudden loss of close relatives. Our exchanges turned to condolences.
So, I must profusely thank these women who didn’t decline, but instead pulled themselves out of their stupor (and grief) and took on a grim topic that was now made grimmer due to the pandemic. Several authors in fact wove it in. The reality is, global warming and pandemics are intertwined. Because civilizations are encroaching on wildlife territory, we’re being exposed to animal viruses we’re not accustomed to. Everything is connected. Protect the wild, we protect ourselves.
I hope you read these poetic, dreamy, sometimes magical flashes that are packed with vibrant images and that explore women’s issues with skill, sensitivity, depth, and even humor . . . slowly. Savor their words and wisdom, and I hope you’ll find the stories reflective and healing. These women are “Riding the Dangerous Wind,” an allusion to a JFK quote that morphed into an anonymous one: “A crisis is an opportunity to ride the dangerous wind.”
Find your opportunity in all this turmoil to ride in some way.
Tara Lynn Masih
Riding the Dangerous Wind
Muriel’s Cyclone – Kathy Fish
The Return – Tara Laskowski
Sparrow – Mary McLaughlin Slechta
Giving Up on the Professor – Julia Strayer
When Words Clung to Paper – Dawn Raffel
Honesty – Sherrie Flick
Feral Things – Rosie Forrest
My Mother in Corners – Claudia Smith
What the River Knows – Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello
Assumption – Emma Bolden