Editor’s Notes—Labor of Love
Blood Orange Review 6.4

This new issue has a special place in my heart. It’s not just that I’m excited about the writing we’ve compiled on the theme of “labor,” but because the entire time I’ve been working on this issue I’ve been experiencing false labor pains. My second child is due in a few weeks, and while I’ve been editing and contacting contributors and making final changes to the pages, my laptop has been jostled about by contractions. (So if you find a typo, just blame it on Mr. Braxton Hicks.)

With the delivery of this issue and my second baby, I’ll be taking a short leave from Blood Orange Review. It will be the first break I’ve taken since Heather and I founded the journal in 2006. In the six years since we started this true (and unpaid) labor of love, we’ve seen the project grow into something neither of us could have expected. We’ve published the work of over 230 writers, some for the very first time. We’ve added an editor, Bryan Fry, who initiated our internship program with Washington State University that brings a handful of enthusiastic and talented interns each year into the discussion of what Blood Orange Review will become.

I feel very lucky to be involved in the work of creating a space where new and established voices can be shared. I’ve read submissions from hospital beds, on trains and planes, while bouncing a baby on my lap, over holidays and between feverish naps on sick days. Because I’ve chosen to work on Blood Orange Review, the dishes haven’t always gotten done, soggy laundry was left in the washer, dust and cat hair and unanswered emails accumulated. I do it in spite of all these things for that moment when the submission I’m reading speaks louder than my to-do list and cuts through the racket of competing obligations. Somehow this has happened over and over for six straight years.

I think Bryan and Heather will agree that the writing we find not only has to capture our (often split) attention but has to hold the interest of an audience with equally busy lives. The pieces we’ve accepted work overtime to do just that. Please read them all at your leisure; you’ll be duly rewarded. But rather than direct you to one or two pieces from this issue, I’d like to recommend that you enter this issue in a slightly different way, through the bio of Anthony Frame in which he answers our question about why he writes:

The obvious reason why I write is because I love to write and therefore I have to write. Perhaps the real reason why I write is because my job makes me scramble through crawlspaces, looking for mice and rats; or I have to intentionally get cockroaches out of their hiding spots, which means they try to use me as a hiding spot; or I have to climb onto very steep roofs to remove a large hornet’s nest. I need something to distract me or else I likely will start screaming. I’ve found the customers don’t like it when I scream.

We sincerely hope this issue will provide you with enough distraction to keep you from screaming and scaring off the customers. Onward …

Stephanie Lenox, editor
Blood Orange Review







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