The Fieldstone Review

Editor's Desk: Plastic Identities and Escapisms

by Ian Moy and Shane Farris

Any string of ideas related to the state of the world at this point will doubtless sound like conversations being had by all of us in our everyday lives. The past few years have been a struggle for all and more than that for a great number of us. We would like to thank you for your patience as we bring you two issues that suffered from delays and wish you all care and safety as we begin a new year.

When we first met to discuss themes, Plastic Identities seemed like a reasonable topic considering our place in relation to climate change and the struggles of the planet, and perhaps the proliferation of non-renewable materials. As time went on and submissions piled up, we realized how important that theme was becoming to our daily lives; lives many of us had to live virtually as an avatar on someone else’s screen instead of in person as flesh and blood.

Plastic Identities brings stories and poems about belonging, reflecting on a life lived from multiple perspectives, sharing stories through generations, the challenges of being known by a fading name on a credit card, stories and poems with a depth and resonance we have failed to capture in this brief and terribly general summary. The words in this issue are confronting and to look beyond is to see more of them and yourself in a world that teeters precariously. A challenge, certainly, but a rebirth upon reflection swathed in our personal truths.

With thanks to our various editors: Megan Solberg, Kai Monk-McKenzie, Richelle Gaudet, Michelle Kent, and Dara Gerbrandt, their dedication and commitment in an uncertain time allowed us to compile a fantastic collection of writing.

Though it has taken far longer than we anticipated, Escapisms began as an exercise in finding points of light in a dark time but became a more natural successor to the previous issue than we could have imagined, and we've combined what would have been two issues into one issue with two parts as a result. Where once we considered our place in a manufactured world, we now begin to see the impact of that world on its people and the desires of those who search for meaning and ways through. We wondered at the outset if this might be a heavier, more sombre issue than we’ve had in the past and thank goodness for our authors to realize that reality in ways that encourage us to keep reading and rediscover our passions.

In Escapisms we find literal escapes of couples running away for a weekend armed with disinfectant wipes, poems that demand our attention and consider what we are (and what we have) and what we are not (and what we do not), a drive through Portland that changes with each reading, and a list of ways to follow local guidelines while understanding the importance of subversion for survival in silence. The vulnerability and openness with which these writers engage with their subjects in times like these provides for us readers those escapes that they themselves might be searching for.

Our editing team of Delane Just, Amanda Burrows, Jillian Baker, Nicole Jacobson, and Dara Gerbrandt brought to light a collection shaded in tones of darkness, poems and stories that give voice to those emotions we’ve been struggling with in the face of a global pandemic.

To our readers in both issues, without you this never would have been completed. For your time, effort, and your discerning taste, thank you.

There are two pieces to highlight in these issues, and those are “Prelude and Fugue” by Diane Callahan and “SURVIVAL MANUAL FOR A MEMEBR OF THE ECCLESIA BILLINGS, MONTANA, 1969-71” by Melanie Reitzel, the winners of the Fieldstone Review’s $100 literary prize! Congratulations to you both, and thank you for your superb contributions.

We could not be more grateful to those who helped us reach this conclusion. It is with pride and joy we bring to you Plastic Identities and Escapisms.

Shane and Ian,