All Creatures Strange and Fantastical

Good heavens, Tristan, do these look like tentacles to you?

Good heavens, Tristan, do these look like tentacles to you?

There’s been a great response to our call for submissions for the upcoming Legendary Creatures issue, but we still have plenty of room for more stories and poems, so if it has fur, feathers, scales, slime, and/or a shiny exoskeleton, send it our way! Check out the full guidelines, then submit.

For inspiration and a sense of our peculiar tastes, see one or more of our previous special issues (e.g., the Lovecraft Issue, the Novella Issue, the Poetry Issue.)

We Got Your Lilacs Right Here

What an interesting smell you've discovered!

What an interesting smell you’ve discovered!

“Spring,” as an insipid marquee announced to me this morning, “has sprung.” Also, “Our Sk8ing Classes Are Wheelie Gr8,” according to a different local sign composed by a more imaginative poet.

Speaking of good imaginations, we’re pleased to cram the cruelest month with random acts of creativity from four talented writers. Betsy Streeter—whom you may remember as the artist behind the March issue’s scary-elegant cover illustration—kicks things off with a laugh-out-loud-then-wonder-if-you’re-a-bad-person story, “Del, We’re Sorry, Please Stop.” After that, Charlie Fiset’s “Natural Birth” will change the way you look at eggs forever. You may want to enjoy “Them Oranges,” a heart-pounding tale of hunger by Nicole Wolverton, with a glass of fresh-squeezed juice. Last up is Ben Pullar’s “The Stangler Fig Slide,” a fanciful tale with as many twists as its eponymous attraction. (Notice I didn’t say “titular,” because that sounds like a word frat guys would use on Spring Break.) Read, ponder, share with friends. And definitely check out this month’s cover art, Isabella Petty’s starkly evocative “Anguish.”

Read it online or download the pdf.

Urgent update: Kickstarter of a Lifetime

Our friend needs your help

4/11/14 Update: So . . . Eirik’s still waiting on those lungs, guys. And he could definitely still use your help. If you can donate; that would be amazing; if not, Eirik and Monica would still appreciate your good wishes, as well as any hilarious youtube videos, photos, notes, or other bits of miscellaneous entertainment to help them pass the time and let them know you’re thinking of them.

1/29/14 Update: It’s happening, guys—Eirik was officially listed for a lung transplant yesterday; you can get more details on Monica’s blog. This is good news, but he and Monica still need your help, so please spread the word and make a donation if you can. Thank you so much to those who have already contributed, re-tweeted, etc. Every little bit helps, but there’s still quite a ways to go.

1/26/14 Update: Eirik and Monica have been able to update their respective blogs on his condition. Read Eirik’s here (with profanity) and Monica’s here (without profanity.)

Here’s the rest of our original post from a few months ago, including information about how to make a donation:

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Let’s get this out of the way: we make shit up. Like most writers, it’s sort of our raison d’etre and all. You have no idea how much we wish we were making this up.

But we’re not.

Our friend and JDP’s founder, Eirik Gumeny, needs an organ transplant. Lungs, to be specific.

As some of you may know Eirik’s lived with cystic fibrosis his whole life. He’s now in his thirties which isn’t always the best time for folks with CF. Hence, the plan to get new lungs. You can read the specifics over at the page set up for Eirik by COTA.

The good news is we’re not asking you for your actual organs.

But transplants are immensely expensive, like in the neighborhood of a half million dollars on average. Insurance will cover some of that, but there are at least $65,000 in uncovered costs that are anticipated and that’s what we’re trying to get people to help with.

Simply put, Eirik is a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, and a writer. He deserves to keep being all of those things.

So if you can help at all, please do so. Not to go all Wikipedia on you guys, but if everyone who visited this site gave five bucks, well, we’d certainly be on our way to making a dent in the $65K.

On top of everything else, Eirik is the dude who thought up the idea for this place where a lot of wayward stories (and writers) have found a home that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Again, if that means anything to you, please help if you can.

Also, let’s spread the word. If you can get the message out on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or whatever, that’s important too.

A lot of life is ambiguity. But every once in a while it throws you a chance to make a real difference in an actual person’s life, who needs and deserves to be helped. This is one of them. We’re counting on you.

– Mike Sweeney