And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
Bee Gees — Stayin’ Alive (1977)
Now you have that song in your head. Forever. If not — hop over to YouTube and turn it up, and embrace one of disco’s finest.
Regular readers might notice how Twisted Sister’s fallen off the wayside for a bit, and for that, we give you our standard Canadian apology; but, we’ve been working on basic survival around here. And survival, and perseverance is the theme of this issue.
From the inside operations of Twisted Sister (and looking from our pile of contributions) we love that we get to reach inside your twisted little minds. We feel you, dear writers, we see your thoughts, and hear your voice. And we love you for it.
For, as F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, in order to write, “you’ve got to sell your heart,” and that’s what good fiction does – it gives us the writer’s heart, often still raw and bleeding – oozing across the page. It might be wrapped up in pretty prose, dressed in fantastic imagery and ideas, or screaming red hot – but it’s there.
In the course of running things at Twisted Sister we get to know our contributors pretty well – and we appreciate your own efforts at survival. Some of the things folks deal with are big ticket items – cancer, kidney transplants, illness in loved ones, trauma and mental health issues, while others are smaller in scale, but, like the death by a thousand paper cuts, they creep up on you.
And for so many of our contributors, writing is one way of dealing with those challenges – whether to escape through fiction or let it all hang out. So, to try to get back into the swing of things around here, we’re focussing on survival – the good, the bad, and the very ugly – and if we don’t overcome obstacles, heck, at least we’re putting up a damned good fight.
Zombies, plague, terrorist attacks, and certain US presidents – life presents many real horrors, and fiction is a way of coping with them. Step into a post-apocalyptic landscape in Allison Luther’s Genesis and embrace the silence and isolation, or fend off zombies in T.S.J. Harling’s Lovesickness; but, you might soon realize that living might not be what you wanted after all – Libby Heily’s And Then I’ll Live Forever offers an twisted look at immortality.
We also tackle personal demons, for the monsters inside your own head are the worst ones out there, and in some cases, impossible to escape. Light and Scales by Sara Dobie Bauer and Ruth Deming’s Nonfiction piece, Katya the Impossible, offer a glimpse into life with mental illness and the challenges one can face.
For those who prefer their monsters to be external creatures, Blow Job by Liz McAdams is a harsh take on high school cliques and bullying. And we’re thrilled to share this reprint of How Deep Will The Darkness Be! from Cindy Rosmus, darling editor and owner over at Yellow Mama; Cindy gives us a dark look into growing up in the 60s, bullies, and Catholic school.
By now you’re saying, ‘Enough already — something has to get me through all of this.’ Stay with us, we got you covered. In terms of enduring challenges, we’re thrilled to have Rob Dominelli’s Genny Walks With Jesus, and Salt of the Earth, a sweet piece that gives you permission to let go.
Until next time, keep surviving,
Got a serious case of the weirds — or a wonderful world that you’re just dying to share? Drop it our way — your horror, scifi, fantasy and just strange and spooky wanted, loved, and truly appreciated around Twisted Sister. We always want YOU!