Welcome to the refreshed edition of Popcorn! So glad you could stop by. First let me probably be the last person to tell you Happy New Year. My name is Hannah, and I’m new at this, so please humor me and while I employ a predictable if not cliché theme for this issue. This is a resurrected Popcorn with a first-time editor in a not-that-new year, and this newness refuses to be ignored in my mind.
Every story has three main parts: beginning, middle, and end. There’s a story in 2015 that lasted 365 days, culminating on New Year’s Eve. As a society we cherish the notion of starting fresh and second chances, so even the last day of the year is a day devoted to looking forward to the new one a few hours away.
On the other hand we tend to be annoyed by stories that end without clear endings. We don’t like stories to be so much like our lives: irresolute, ongoing, ever-changing. But most authors don’t aim to write stories that make us feel comfortable and safe. They are revealing truths and parallels in life, extrapolating on feelings we didn’t realize could be put into words.
It’s crucial for a story to have a gripping lead-in. If the first sentence doesn’t pique your imagination, there’s little hope the story will be read. But there’s something equally intriguing about stories that leave you feeling there’s more to unfold where the words stop. Many of our Sense Writers are working on larger projects, and what is submitted is only a fragment of a large piece, so it’s natural for some of these stories to leave you with questions. But that doesn’t make its occurrence any less interesting.
Donnaldson Brown’s “The Bamboo Bike” is a story about a father and son building a bike, but more so an reflection of the father Mike. Somewhere in there is a sense of acceptance, but also a feeling that the narrator has discovered a new understanding of the father and their relationship.
“Floor Man” by Megan Heise is an account of a morning invaded by a contractor doing work on her floors. The narrator must decide whether or not to open the door, or else be locked-in. While she knows her responsibilities are on the other side, there is an urge to resist it and stay trapped inside.
Along with Deborah Kaetz’s “Coming to Nova Scotia” and Mateo Lynch Gil's “October Third,” this issue is called Endings with Beginnings, featuring stories that end with an anticipation of a whole new story to come. Because everyone loves a redemption story.