April 13, 2015

The 13th Anniversary Issue
by Sand Pilarski (op_ed, G)
Cover image.
Image credit: Sand Pilarski. More info.

How many computers have I used up in the past 13 years?


More than 5900 articles: essays, images, fiction, non-fiction, poems, cartoons ... how is it that I can choose a handful of petals from the bounty of blossoms that comprise the Piker Press?

I could pin printed copies of everything and throw darts randomly, but that would wreck my printer in no time, and I wouldn't have enough wall space in my house anyway.

In the studio is a notebook that has hand-written schedules back to mid-2005. This past week I picked it up and began looking through it, keeping my computer open to the Press Archives. There were stories in there that I didn't even remember, one of them notably "Kara, Kali, and the Wind." Whoa! That beautifully-drawn story needed to see the light of day again, definitely.

"The Message" is the only story that Ron Mulhollen has sent me, but I had to smile when I saw it again. And of course, I wanted something from Dan Mulhollen -- yes, they're related -- but how to choose? Once again, when I ran across "Two Parakeets," I hadn't remembered it in a while, so here it is.

Bernie insisted on Ralph Bland and "Not Dead Again," as we love all his writing, and KK Brown and "His Lordship's Bicycle," because what retrospective of the Press would be complete without KK?

Finding Lydia Manx's story "Gold in Those Yukon Hills" made me itch to re-do the illustration, and got me lost once again in her link to the Gold Rush.

Jerry Seeger's bio is not up-to-date, as he no longer resides in Prague, but all of his writing contains food for thought; a bit of humor in "The Importance of Being Paranoid" won out over his excellent "Moonlight Sonata" -- which you should probably look up on his author page.

"Flailing in Love's Vast Ocean" caught my eye as I began looking back through the schedules from before 2011. Vivian Rinaldo captured the essence of choosing the wrong lover in that poem.

Last but not least, Bernie Pilarski is always a treat for me to read, and he hoped I would include his essay, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer, WWII, and WWJD" -- in a current world being torn apart in so many ways.

I hope that readers enjoy this look back at the Piker Press. I know I did, and feel so very honored to know the authors and read the many fine stories we've presented. Regular serials and features will appear again next week, by the way.

Thanks, writers! Thanks, readers! Cheers!

[ Pikers love feedback! Comment on this article here. ]

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.

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Don't forget that April is Poetry Month!

In This Week's Press:

His Lordship's Bicycle -- KK Brown
~ Lord Patu? In the hospital? Is he seriously injured? How did it happen? Will he be all right? Did he shoot anyone? Is his home-made beer safe?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, WWII, and WWJD -- Bernie Pilarski
~ Pilarski examines the response of Dietrich Bonhoeffer during WWII, when he not only helped Jews escape from death in Germany but also helped plot an assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler.

The 13th Anniversary Issue -- Sand Pilarski
~ How many computers have I used up in the past 13 years?

Kara, Kali and the Wind -- Michael Cohen
~ A graphic short story, illustrated and told in classic style. This charming fantasy story originally appeared in volume 1 of "The Forbidden Book" published by Renaissance Press in 2001.

Gold in Those Yukon Hills -- Lydia Manx
~ It was gold that drew them all, by the hundreds. Death met them, and cold and emptiness were their constant companions. But some learned that there was more to the land than ice and snow and gold ...

The Message -- Ron Mulhollen
~ I came up with the idea for The Message many years ago but I was unable to write it until recently. It's a simple story but in a way it encapsulates my philosophy for life. I hope you enjoy it. -- Ron Mulhollen

The Importance of Being Paranoid -- Jerry Seeger

When you know that there's some Mulligan out there just waiting to take you down, you have to keep your eye on the ball and your hand ready for the quick draw. And dammit, you KNOW those suckers are nearby, watching, ready to take you out ... they're just not always everything you think. But some of them -- are!

A Couple Parakeets -- Dan Mulhollen
~ A poetic thought about cage birds.

Not Dead Again -- Ralph Bland
~ Ralph Bland is a Manager/ Bookkeeper for one of the last remaining small independent grocery stores in Nashville. A graduate of Belmont University, he is married with a daughter and three very spoiled dogs, and on some occasions he likes to disguise himself as a normal person. He is the author of three novels (Once In Love With Amy, Where Or When, Past Perfect), all of the comic Southern Fiction genre. "Not Dead Again" is his first novella, and a fourth novel has just been completed.

Flailing in Love's Vast Ocean -- Vivian Rinaldo
~ I had no idea that I was being groomed for servitude ... That I would become both the altar and the acolyte ...