The US Represented Weekly Update

Hi USR readers,

Thank you for spending another lively week with us. Several, not all, of our writings focused on holiday themes in keeping with the season. In Lindsay Deen’s “Dave Gardner: Interview with an Activist, Part II,” Gardner notes, “You know, if you buy something at Wal-Mart, that dollar is sucked out of town straight to Bentonville, Arkansas. A little bit of that dollar goes halfway around the world to China where the product was made, very little of it stays in town, and there’s this huge carbon footprint of getting the product here. Isn’t there someone in town who could be making that product? Isn’t there someone in town who could be repairing some of the things that right now, we’re throwing away and filling up the landfill with.” In Sandra Knauf’s Zera and the Green Man: Chapter Thirteen, “Brigette departed, and Langston walked over to a wall where a huge, holographic cubist painting hung. Even with all the geometric forms and wild colors, Theodore could see the painting was a rendering of Crystal in a skimpy bikini.”

Eric Stephenson’s “Ten Reasons to Study Your Dreams” asks, “What could be more interesting than listening to an otherwise taciturn neighbor describe how she dreamed she was an electrical impulse rocketing through her own brain? Or a child describing how, for no apparent reason, he began bouncing like a giant rabbit across an open field until he finally began soaring through the air, only to return to earth at the sound of the alarm clock?” Janele Johnson’s poem “First-Born” correlates the birth of her son to the winter season and reflects on emotional changes that occur along the way. Cheryl Conklin’s “Celebrating in the Dark” describes how will and imagination can transform one’s perspective of winter into something richly productive and meaningful. Jerome Parent’s “The Reality of Santa” rethinks a traditional archetypal figure, and his “Stuck in the Middle” describes why a soldier in Vietnam chose to remain sober, for the most part, throughout the duration of his tour.

DeLyn Martineau’s “Squirrel Hockey” recounts an unusual interaction with a squirrel that took up residence in her home, and Jeff Cleek completes his tetralogy of the War on Christmas in his comic strip Dick & Rosie. Finally, at the start of the year, USR publisher, editor-in-chief, and contributor Eric Stephenson decided to write and publish a short story every week throughout 2014. He accomplished this task. In fact, he slightly exceeded this expectation, writing and publishing 54 short stories in 52 weeks.

Fittingly, his final story of the year, “The Ones You Love,” follows up on his first one, “PB Waves.” You can read both pieces by clicking on the links below.

The following link will take you to Eric’s entire short story collection of 2014.

The USR Staff