women. writers.

Editor's Notes: December 2016

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

As we approach the end of what has been a tumultuous and—at times—heartbreaking 2016, I want to reflect on some of the changes I've made personally...and invite you to do the same.

Never before this year have I read as widely as I do today. I like routine. I like what I like. But in 2016, as our nation and world faced repeated episodes of gun violence, xenophobia, bigotry, racism, and sheer hatred, I found myself searching for information in unexpected places. I sought after voices that were different than mine. I watched documentaries I didn't necessarily have the stomach for in order to acknowledge someone else's pain. I turned off my Top 40 radio stations and turned on NPR and a dozen different podcasts. I listened to stories and read personal accounts and asked questions.

I also stepped away from the noise and tried to remind myself that sometimes it's okay to not know everything.

But I kept coming back to stories. I always come back to those.

The point of this magazine is to connect you—the reader—to another person, even if it's only for a moment. Our purpose here goes beyond entertainment or even understanding. If I were feeling a little...well, pompous...I might say our purpose here is enlightenment. But even if that's not always possible, storytelling is certainly where enlightenment begins. How else do we change? We either experience a thing on our own, or we see it through someone else's eyes. Those eyes could be the eyes of a loved one or a stranger; it doesn't matter. What matters is that we see.

I certainly hope that 2017 is a better year than 2016 was for so many. And I hope the rest of your year is filled with laughter and light. But, most of all, I hope you'll continue to find something meaningful in the stories you tell, the stories you write, and the stories you read.

We need them. Don't ever forget that.

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