Dearest readers and brilliant contributors of Menda City Review,
It's been a pleasure to see this little literary project I started more than five years ago grow to the mature collection of letters that it is today. But, well, my fire for this project is burning out. Upon completion of this issue, number eighteen, I'll be taking an indefinite break from the publication of MCR. The site itself and all its contents will remain intact - I care far too much for our contributors to allow their creations to vanish, and the cost of publication has been paid for this year. There is a chance that I'll catch my breath and resume afresh in 2012 - I am allowing for that possibility. At this point, however, I'm leaning more toward finding a suitable and reasonably-competent publisher (or college) to whom I can relinquish complete ownership and control. If you have any sincere ideas for me, please share them in an email, and I'll certainly consider them.
One way or another, I expect that MCR's engines will begin to rumble again in 2012. When a change in our status is expected, not only will an update be placed on this site, but I'll also send a note to Duotrope.com, as well as to all our past contributors in hopes that they will pass the word to others.
As some of you know, at various times over the past few years I've contemplated giving up ownership of MCR - either by sale or by donation - but my desire to continue learning from talented writers, and to include alongside their stories a collection of socio-political commentaries that I felt pertinent to our time and society, kept bringing me back. I was grateful to have assistance, for much of the first four years, from Daniel Bachleda and Andrew S. Taylor. They're both genuinely good blokes, and the voluntary work they did here was tremendously helpful and generous.
Mr Bachleda put up with my incessant badgering and grumbling, and was quite gracious when I finally decided to go without any assistance in story editing. I have no problem whatsoever with admitting honestly that he is far more adept as a proofreader than this here buffoon. He deserves much success in his literary escapades, and much happiness in life. As for Mr Taylor: not only did he do far more scouring than I did of the numbingly vast field of socio-political magazines and web-blogs, but he also offered several of his own supremely logical commentaries to be included in our pages. Compared to him, I am and will always be an intellectual moron. If I ever need an attorney, I sure hope I can afford him. Doubtful.
I think that many of the societal concerns I wanted to share in MCR have been illustrated plenty, as some of the essays I've selected lately seem to be re-iterating the same messages previously stated here. My own personal opinions and conclusions often lie very far to the left (or sometimes right) of center in our current Western political spectrum. Some of my opinions are hopelessly romantic and far-fetched, some are seemingly hypocritical or at the very least ironic, and some have flip-flopped with the passage of time and experience. But the bulk of the essays we chose for MCR were purposely geared more toward what we felt would be interesting to the mainstream-intellectual citizen, although one of the things we have not kept secret is our disdain for the corporate-backed duopoly which globally reigns supreme. Above all, our published essays - like the majority of our stories - were chosen because they are based on sincere compassion and empathy, simple layman's logic, and a desire for societal fairness and veracity. At the very least, I hope our essays and stories made some of you feel that, in regards to your own hopes, concerns, and frustrations, you're certainly not alone in this world.
The original stories I've been so fortunate to publish here - some 120 crafty tales thus far - are my pride and joy. My babies! In ways, I'm far more proud of those stories than of anything I myself have scribbled, not only because the great majority of our contributors are far better writers than I am, but also because they chose me - trusted me - to edit their work and present it to the public through the very vehicle which I created. And in so doing, the whole entity named Menda City Review is indeed a group-creation. I think we've all done pretty damn good.
Please keep an eye on issue eighteen over the coming months for additional content; we have two more full moons promising to bring us updates. Aside from this here note, issue eighteen will contain only stories - good ones. We have room for just a couple more - I still have a stack to read through, but I'll allow two more weeks for submissions. The last day to submit your story will be MARCH 6. Anything accepted after then will be added in the last update, in late-April. Give it a shot!
I thank you all, sincerely, for helping me feel relevant, and for helping me feel like I've made a positive difference in a few lives. Most of all, thank you for making such a positive difference in my life.