Greetings, friends and neighbors, and Happy Halloween! Today is the big day of my website launch! It’s not even 11:00 a.m. on a Saturday and I have already been out to get breakfast at Pal’s, do a little necessary card shopping at the Dollar General, and stopped by the mailbox to check yesterday’s mail. To my surprise and delight, I found my two contributor’s copies of the 2020 issue of Clinch Mountain Review. I’ve known for a while now that I had several pieces in this issue, but have been patiently sitting on that information until the magazine made its debut.

I have two poems in this issue. One is “Where I’m From,” a poem from a formula created by my friend and mentor, George Ella Lyon. I am especially proud of this poem, as it leads off the magazine, the editor (Russ Wood) told me back when he notified me of the placement, because he wanted it “to set the mood for the whole issue.” My second poem, “The Café,” was directly inspired by a post made on Facebook one night by Michael Des Barres, nearly four years ago, and I have worked on it during that time and submitted it several places, and finally it has a home, after lots of encouragement from Mr. Des Barres in its initial stages. 

The only fiction piece in the magazine is from me, too. It’s called “Control.” I’m thankful to my Muse for once again showing me the edges of something that I could fill in and hopefully create something to help someone going through trauma or pain know that she – or he – is not alone. 

The nonfiction piece included is called “Not Enough Hugs,” and is about a man we met last year in the Atlanta airport, on our way to Chicago. Mr. Carter’s story made such an impact on me that I could not help but write about him and what I learned about him in the hour or so that our paths crossed while waiting for our plane. He was an extraordinary man with a story worth sharing with everyone. 

You can send for a free copy, if you’d like to check out all the great work in this year’s issue of the Clinch Mountain Review. Or, you can check it out online, cover-to-cover, at Clinch Mountain Review 2020. Again, many thanks to Southwest Virginia Community College and the folks affiliated with the magazine for making it possible, and for giving folks like me the opportunity to contribute, year after year.