Issue 73, Summer 2023

Editor’s note

Jerome McFadden
Jerome McFadden

Hello, readers!

Summer is (finally) with us and that brings a myriad of activities such as swimming, biking, picnics, playing in the yard or going to the beach—as well as gardening and doing all those chores outside the house that we have been thinking about all winter, turning us into jacks-of-all-trades, which is defined in the dictionary as “one who can do any kind of work or business.”

Writers, too, can fit this definition. Many talented writers can excel at poetry, short stories, and novels, as well as journalism and magazine articles. In other words, they are jacks-of-all-trades. Which brings us to our theme for this issue: A Jack-of-All-Trades: Everyman’s Tales.

Our featured story is Peter J. Barbour’s “Henry Smith’s Seasonings,” but Peter is also doing this edition’s Literary Learnings, about The Wizard of Oz. Our author interview in this issue is with Emily P.W. Murphy, who has just published a children’s book.

We also have three outstanding poems. “Extravagance” by Bruce Parker is a look at the future that has already arrived. “From the Tech Table at the Ritz Carlton” by Morgan Driscoll offers sardonic insight into today’s commerce. “My Mother’s Umbrella Stand” by Claudia M. Reder gives an emotional insight to a mother’s sickness.

But not to be left out, “Ogglemate” by Margaret Kelliher is a fun story about going to a summer carnival and winning a goldfish.

Enjoy your summer and our creative jacks-of-all-trades writers. And maybe you, too, can show us your ability to cross the lines in your writing efforts.

Featured story

Henry Smith’s Seasonings

The first time I met Henry Smith was outside an old factory in the summer of 1965, right before I entered my senior year of high school. I was there because Hap Phillips, our baseball team’s coach, had offered me a job helping a client of his move into a new location.  I think Coach Phillips was taking pity on me. He’d probably noticed I wasn’t playing with much enthusiasm, even when I made a good play.

I was too worried about my future to enjoy almost anything, even sports. My sister, mother, and I occupied a small apartment, and we didn’t have much money. Whatever happened after my senior year of high school would be a huge transition for me.

Read more . . .

Also in this issue

Interview with author Emily P.W. Murphy

Short story by Margaret Kelliher

Poem by Bruce Parker

Poem by Claudia M. Reder

Poem by Morgan Driscoll

Literary Learnings by Peter J. Barbour

Betty’s Tips and Mixed-Up Words

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