WHIPTAIL UTOPIA BY CHASE EDWARDS 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 26
Before the hike one of my students ran her fingers through her tangled, blonde California-girl hair, looked at the rock formation ahead of us, batted her eyelashes at me and announced, “I’m from Malibu. I don’t walk!” Then, she stuck out her bottom lip looking for sympathy—a splotch of marshmallow from last night’s campfire caked her tan cheeks, and dirt and mustard coated her designer jeans.
She survived the hike. At the top of the rock formation I circled the students around a jojoba plant and explained that jojoba is an ingredient in many beauty products. Immediately, the girl from Malibu recognized the name from her conditioner bottle. “You’re a delight! Such a delight,” she said to the plant and plopped down on the ground beneath it. She looked content after that, lying on her stomach with her chin in her hands and thinking about the well-deserved shower she would take in several days. The other students sprawled on boulders and gazed past her, past the jojoba plant, to the ground 200 feet below, where the yucca trees and tents looked like green dots and the world appeared flat for miles....
I’ve written two novels for kids, which you can find out more about at my website alicekaltman.com. And then there’s my grown-up writing. This year, I’ve had two stories published in Across the Margin , and a memoir piece in The Rose and Chestnut. @AliceKaltman; facebook.com/pages/Alice-KaltmanAuthor; alicekaltman.tumblr.com
ROBERT MORGAN FISHER
Even back then, all I wanted to do was write fiction. I devoured books, still do. At any one time I’ve got at least three books going: one on the nightstand, one in the bathroom, one in my car. My office at home is floor-to-ceiling books—mostly short story collections. I’ve taught screenwriting, fiction-writing, songwriting and I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch. My fiction has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Spry Literary Journal , The Snake Nation Review, The Seattle Review, Spindrift, Bluerailroad, and other publications.
My work has been published in Fence, New Letters, Indiana Review, New Delta Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories anthology, Gargoyle, and Painted Bride Quarterly , among others.
Seven Distractions While Floating is a poem that looks like, and is, a flotation device of distracting thoughts. When swimming or surfing I think about things, other than the proximity to my mortality, my watery demise. Distractions are good for poets!! I highly recommend them, as a writer’s tool. My poems have appeared in Café Review, Barrow Street, Finery (on-line), WSQ, and Minerva Rising , where I was also a finalist in their 2013 Chapbook Contest
JOHN M EDWARDS
I have written for such magazines as CNN Traveler, Salon.com , Islands, and North American Review.
I teach writing at Northern Arizona University (it’s a boring composition class, but my pedagogy brings the social and political into the classroom to keep it interesting), and I have an MFA from NAU as well. I spend way too much of my life rock climbing. Someday I would like to do a better job of sitting down and writing.
I’ve always had a passion for writing, and I’ve done it ever since I can remember. I used to write little short stories all the time and share them with others.The reason why I write is because writing is my escape. I’ve gotten into a group of people that write stories together. Whenever I am writing I feel all my stress and all my cares melt away. My personal website is a YouTube Channel—I talk about my days, talk about stories that have happened in my life, and things along those lines. It’s very fun for me to get out there and tell my stories, so check it out! http://www.youtube.com/user/Nickibuscus; email@example.com
I imagine I will keep on writing my way through life. Writing helps me find some balance, peace, some laughter, and fantasy. I wrote my first poem when I was 10 years old and never stopped writing.
I write because there is a melody to things and people and life, in general, that I feel needs to be felt and expressed. In addition to my writing life, I teach composition and literature as an adjunct professor at CW Post and Suffolk Community College, as well as lecturer at CW Post-Hutton House and for Professors on Wheels. Also, I am a freelance editor, assisting writers with publishing/submitting novels, screenplays, biographies, and dissertations. firstname.lastname@example.org
A friend of mine asked me if I would rather never read again or never write again. I didn’t even have to think before responding that I would rather never read again than never write another line. I don't know how I would process thoughts and emotions and just being alive if I couldn’t write about it. I’m an eighth grader at Lakeside Middle School in Seattle, Washington. I have been published in my school’s literary magazine, but otherwise, this is my first published work.