Notes on the Fiction Selections

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December 21, 2018 by The Citron Review

I am not a big fan of winter, to be completely honest. The days are short and cold and dark, and my body does not agree with any of those attributes. The saving grace of winter, for me, is the holiday season, especially as I gather with friends and family. My family is close, and I realize how special that is, and how lucky I am. I want to instill that closeness in my boys as we foster our own traditions, while teaching them about the important traditions from my childhood: hot chocolate on Christmas Eve, lots of nerdy fandoms, horror movies, and of course, what the holidays are really about. While the holidays often come with a commercialized sense of whimsy, I also like to keep my boys rooted in reality. We flesh out the good with the ugly, the birth and the death, and always point out that life and our world can be messy.

It should not be a surprise by now, if you look over previous issues, that while I am first and foremost attracted to the quality of writing, I am also attracted to the darkness in fiction. When I taught my creative writing students about fiction, I always reminded them that tidy stories with everyone’s lives going exactly as planned were boring, but the struggle and raw emotion was more riveting. Give me a flawed character with the difficult mountain to climb, and I am in.

This Winter Issue’s fiction and micro selections are filled with a lot of messiness. While death, loss, homelessness, and blood do not quite fit a holiday theme, they are exactly what we need a good dose of to remember our humanity and frailty and to remember to be hopeful, even when the uncle we see once a year is spouting off political nonsense, or the children forget their manners. So, I leave you to devour these six selections to feel the cold and look forward to the spring.


Elizabeth De Arcos
Senior Fiction Editor
The Citron Review


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