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          Research Notes

          Meadowlark by Melanie Abrams

          I started incubating Meadowlark twenty years ago when I happened upon Sally Mann’s photography book, Immediate Family, a series of provocative photographs mostly of her children.



          Nine Months Since Forever by Rémy Ngamije

          The one thing marriage gives you is someone to blame. James was always late for work but, a week after his nuptials, he blamed his tardiness on his wife.


          Research Notes

          Sarah Harris Wallman on Senseless Women

          I write in coffee shops. Cliché, right? Not to mention easy pickins for chatty types who see a girl (even a middle-aged one) slouching over a notebook and want her attention for themselves.



          A Good Leg Is Hard to Find by Terena Elizabeth Bell

          The day after the babysitter left was the same day Janie found the prosthetic leg.


          Research Notes

          Ann Lewinson on Still Life with Meredith

          Research for me is generally a haphazard process of taking things in, filing them away and revisiting them years later.



          How Life Is After Death by JL Bogenschneider

          Someone must have slandered K., for one Tuesday morning, without having done anything, he found himself deceased.



          Shopgirl by Joel Fishbane

          At the hat store, the clerks knew her name and reputation. She was Selena, the girl who liked hats.



          The Space Explorer Ponders His Break Up from the Outer Reaches of the Galaxy by Sarah Carson

          You want him to say all of the obvious things, how here among the stars, the Earth shrinking like a lost balloon beneath him, it’s hard to believe what we all take so seriously…


          Research Notes

          Joyce Hinnefeld on The Beauty of Their Youth

          Two of the stories are old enough for me to struggle to recall the seed of where they came from, or the research I did in writing them. But there are a few details that I can recall with certainty.



          Portraiture by Adam Falk

          He wants his wife’s portrait painted. He knows nothing of art, doesn’t even have an interest, but a slew of recent police brutality lawsuits against the city, his firm’s biggest client, has accrued him the sort of money that’s got him thinking about lineage.


          Book Reviews

          Parade: A Folktale by Hiromi Kawakami, tr Allison Markin Powell

          Either it’s supposed to be totally true or totally made up, but thinking too much about which it is will make your brain hurt and suck the joy out of a lovely story.