Some days, to quote Emo Philips, it’s simply not worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

Sunday morning at the Lyon Street Cafe, just east of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. We are in a small break between waves of storms rolling through the region. The first hit around three o’clock this morning. I know this because I was awake at the time thanks to a barking (okay, more like “howling”) dog just across the way. The air is warm and quite humid and smells of green things. The chestnut trees are covered with potent flowers and the bakery next door smells like heaven.

At this moment, as the city wakes up, I could imagine myself in New Orleans.

Time is ticking down for several writing-related projects. The selection process for the contents of the next volume of Brewed Awakenings begins today. We have scores of stories to vet in an excitingly short amount of time. Next, we have roughly two weeks until the submission deadline for the inaugural issue of The 3288 Review. We have already had several excellent submissions, but we have room for many more.

I have never before been involved with a startup company. The work is plentiful and exhausting, and sometimes borders on overwhelming. At the same time, the energy, vision and optimism more than makes up for any feelings of overwork or intimidation at the size of what we are trying to accomplish. I love doing what I do.

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