“The Journey Continues” with Issue 77 of Kaleidoscope. The significance of this choice is twofold. First, beginning with Issue 78 Kaleidoscope will be under new editorial leadership. Second, this will be my last issue as editor since I am retiring, I will have to see where my own personal journey will take me now. In this issue though, readers will find what I believe is our usual assortment of powerful and thought-provoking essays, fiction, and poetry.

The featured essay, “Pane” by Mark Osteendescribes the inherent challenges involved in understanding and communicating with his son who has autism and is essentially nonverbal.

“Journeying through Depression” by Tom Stapleton is a personal essay in which he shows readers a period of sadness, emptiness, and indifference toward otherwise normally important areas of his life, until, with medication, he begins to care once again.

Artist Rora Blue expresses the impact of her chronic illness (Lyme disease) through her art. Her largest artistic endeavor, “The Unsent Project,” is online and ongoing. It gives people the opportunity to post text messages (unsent) to important people in their lives, either past or present.

“OooWee” by Katrina Byrd is the story of a woman who is blind and earns her living by running a house of prostitution in a small town where the narrow-minded church ladies object to OooWee’s work and want her out of town. OooWee and the town minister strike up an unlikely partnership and try to hide it from everyone.

Set in a small village in Mexico, J. D. Chaney’s “Hotel in the Desert” is the story of Eduardo Tavarez, once a great and beloved bullfighter. Tavarez, now a broken man, rents a room in the hotel where an unexpected series of events unfold.

There are twelve poems in Issue 77. Some favorites are “Hummingbird” by Carol Barrett, “A Sun Salutation Prayer” by Kira Compton, “Daughter of Distraction” by Jennifer L. Freed, “Social Story” by Tony Gloeggler, “Last Performance” and “Roadside Serenade” by Lola Neff Merritt, “The PTSD Student” by Philip Kolin and “Uninvited” by Julia Anne Miller.

Issue 77 concludes with a book review by Sandra J. Lindow of MaryAnn L. Miller’s poetry collection titled Cures for Hysteria.

Endings can be bittersweet as this one surely is for me. It will be difficult to leave Kaleidoscope and the supportive colleagues with whom I have enjoyed working. I have also enjoyed getting to know many of our contributors over the years and I will miss that opportunity. Being on the staff of Kaleidoscope has been the most fulfilling part of my life for just over half of my life. What job could be better for someone who loves literature and art? I wish every success to the new editor as The Journey Continues.

Read issue 77 of Kaleidoscope here!