We craft and tell stories because we’ve stood on the uncertain edge between the waking world and our imagination, between enchantment and fear. And we remember other stories that help us build our own stories, scraps of lumber and fragments of narrative we gather together to make stories for ourselves.

Lost Weekend

light-637506_640I wonder whether, as you went through the rolling year, you paused now and then to ask, “Whatever happened to Unsettling Wonder? Looked like they had some pretty cool stuff planned, and then suddenly there was nothing—zip, zilch, zero, nada.”

And I admit, I’ve sometimes stopped and wondered the same thing myself.

Because, let’s face it—2014 was UW’s lost weekend. You can blame it on the stars, or coincidence, or just time and chance happening to us all, but is the truth. Life spun us on an unplanned hiatus, without even a chance to grab a pocket handkerchief. Here’s what happened:

One of our editors got accepted into the college of her choice, and plunged happily into a challenging course of study. Another editor became embroiled in the final stages and closing pages of her doctoral dissertation. A third editor had to devote more and more care to an aging parent. Our publisher’s mother sadly passed away in June. And the two remaining editors up and moved to China (I’m not even kidding).

So as much as we love this project, and as much as we love all of you patient, enthusiastic readers—life got in the way again.

That’s why we think Unsettling Wonder matters. Why we’ve promised ourselves when we get back from all this madness, the craziness and sadness and weirdness of life, that Unsettling Wonder will continue, and will be better and richer than ever.

Life, after all, isn’t tidy or predictable. It’s a mess—sometimes exhilarating, often heart-breaking, seldom making any bloody sense. And it’s the stories we tell ourselves, and the stories we give to each other, that help us pick our way through it. The old image, and perhaps the truest and wisest, is the dark forest, the lost place where we struggle to see the path, to keep on the way we’ve chosen or been given, to remember the stories…

If you’ve ever wondered why so many semipro zines vanish after an issue or two—economics aside, this is probably the reason.

But if you’re wondering about Unsettling Wonder—we’re still here. We’re moving forward, even in the dark, because we think these are stories worth finding, and telling, and holding on to. We’re going to fulfil our And the stories we’ve got ahead are going to be even stranger, richer, and more marvellous than anything we’ve seen yet.

Sure, the woods are still dark—no sense pretending they aren’t. But we’re moving forward. The lost weekend is over.

Welcome back to Unsettling Wonder.


Reader Comments

  1. Wonderful! I’ve glanced over regularly, hoping for some movement in the corner of my eye. Can you say if the next theme will still be Changelings?

  2. Well, I did wonder. And it is lovely to see a little glimmer of a path appearing in your dark forest to lead you on further adventures. I wish you all well and I am so glad you are picking up the trail again. I look forward to seeing where Unsettling Wonder will go next.

  3. Into the dark, down to the deep,
    the fools and dare-the-devils,
    onward creep.

    Into the dark, down to the deep,
    a harvest of shadows and stories
    to reap.

    With a tally of tales, a treasure to keep,
    The fools and the dare-the-devils
    return with a leap.

    Now the secret’s revealed, the veil’s asunder,
    as we listen in and tremble in
    unsettling wonder.

    Who dares the dark, will see the light,
    Who wrestles the devil, will win the fight.
    Who dances with demons, with angels may fly,
    Who descends in the earth, shall reach for the sky.

    Welcome back.

  4. I knew about China but the rest was a deep mystery and like all deep mysteries, when demystified, not such a big deal: life happens! Yep.

    Welcome back.

    Jane (you, too, Austin.)

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