We welcome the first month of an arbitrarily fixed decade, and the first Lunar New Year of that same decade with the seventh issue of Truancy. Numbers are their own folklore and mythic structure, as are the ways in which we arbitrarily fix dates. But folklore and mythology are interred in so many things we take for granted about the world, our lives, everything that is around us.
I feel these mythologems will never lack relevance, and I welcome more stories that deal with family, with autonomy and with how we construct our personal destinies. The stories in Truancy 7 therefore reflect the myriad ways in which we grapple with our choices in life and with our place in the Universe. This issue features the dark woods, creation mythology, the underworld and a whole lot of music. Sam Muller’s “Music of the World” weaves in Buddhist imagery with the story of Rumpelstiltskin, while Sarah Jinee Park visits the Korean Kumiho in a story of magic and of family in “The Kumiho’s Song”. Following this musical theme, Dawn Vogel’s thrilling “Follow My Lead” features the Norwegian Stormkarlen in a beguiling tale of mastery and of music-making.
A return author, Jennifer R. Donohue asks what happens with the princesses who never wake up, in a wonderfully lyrical and evocative “For Thine Is The Kingdom”. We also have two delectable reprints, one from the magical Princess Alethea Kontis with a rare Arilland reprint that advises against the dangers of “Hero Worship” in heartbreaking epistolary tale. Tlotlo Tsamaase on the other hand, takes us into the depths of sleep paralysis and folk horror with a story that visits a figure of Folk Horror from Botswana, “Sebeteledi Holds The Dead”. I am honoured to have two illustrious authors to cap this issue.
The trio of poetry we have from Lorraine Schein, Lynne Sargent and Margaret Wack run the gamut from creation myth and astrophysics, to a present-day Gorgon, to an enigmatic poetic reworking of the Myth of Pasiphae. These lyrical poems again connect to the greater themes present in this issue and are linked to mythic themes that have always enchanted me. Furthermore, they are poems that I greatly enjoyed reading!
The gorgeous cover art, “Rustic Temple Ritual” is by the artist and illustrator Kirsty Greenwood who has worked with me before, providing art for Delinquent’s Spice and the first issue of Truancy magazine. A warm welcome back to Kirsty!
Acknowledgements and Accountability
I’d like to thank: Hamilton Kohl, Jonathan Laidlow, Vanessa Fogg and Maria Haskins for their ko-fi contributions. Their generosity means that this issue received USD41.82 which goes toward the payment of an author and a partial payment of a poet. Please remember that you can also help fund this magazine which is provided free of charge by contributing to our ko-fi tipjar.
Thanks is also owed to Associate Editor Eileen Gunnell Lee for the hard work she did in copy-editing three of the stories. Her presence on what used to be a one-woman editorial show has been a most welcome one, and she will soon be joined from Issue 8 onwards by two editorial assistants, Nik Maisarah Abdul Rahman and Rebekah Siah. Along with these two PhD and MA supervisees of mine who are also my creative writing students, I will be transferring the content from the Truancy archives over to this domain soon. A warm welcome to these new additions to the Truancy family! I hope to include a selected number of future creative writing alumni as interns for this magazine in the future, to give them the training they require.
Note: Starting from Truancy 7, I’m using page divider flourishes and decorative line art which are on public domain website, but if any of you know if they are not in fact public domain, please let me know! I do my homework before I post these things but one can never be too careful!
My thanks especially goes out to all of the authors and poets of Truancy who have given us their powerful, lyrical work.
Nin Harris, PhD.
Editor in Chief,
The illustration on this page is from “Eros and Psyche: A Fairy-Tale of Ancient Greece”, Retold After Apuleius by Paul Carus, 1900. Source: Open Clip Art.