I’m still trying to figure out this editorial. I’ve been at it for over a week and I’ve nothing earth-shattering that I need to say, nothing that is burning a hole in me wanting to get out and be said. Well, that is not true, not entirely anyway. Recently I sat down to read two memoirs from two of my favourite authors, Stephen King and his excellent On Writing, and John Irving and his collection of short stories Trying to Save Piggy Sneed. What struck me were the amazing differences between both men and their opinions on how to write and what makes a good writer. Stephen King believes that all writers, to be more than just a good writer, need a really strong memory, the ability to recall moments and emotions vividly and work them into the fabric of their own little fictions. John Irving on the other hand believes that a writer’s fiction is far stronger than any memory, that his/her ability to embellish a fact makes it a richer fiction. Anyone who has read either King or Irving cannot help but be struck by the honest clarity of their work, the very clear lines and imagery they create. Both are fantastic writers yet both come from different angles, polar opposites some might say. How though? Because we are all different, that is how, and the more things change the more they stay the same.
What I’d like to believe is that writing is different for everyone; there’s no right or wrong, no rulebook on how to write and be a good writer. We are all different and I hope those differences are evident in the following ten stories. They explore, in their own unique ways, how to cope with loss and guilt, with love and the absence of love and how people deal with each other, moments of brevity and harsh seriousness. It is up to us, as readers, to take these stories into ourselves, be they fact or fiction, and to make sense of them. There are also two fabulous artists included in this issue, creators of some beautiful, complex and challenging imagery that, like all of the stories in Issue Three, will hopefully linger long after you’re finished. In the end isn’t that what any/every writer and artist wants? They hope their stories and artwork find a home, not only among the digital or physical pages of a journal but in the heart, mind and soul of the reader. I can’t promise the writers and artists’ featured here immortality – that trick lies within you.
And now the closing statement – if this were a Westlife song you’d probably call it the ‘key change’, but I think I have waxed lyrical and taken up enough of your time. All that is left for me to say now is how happy I am to introduce you to Issue Three of Number Eleven, to twelve amazingly talented individuals whom I hope give you as much pleasure in the reading and viewing as they gave me.