Issue 12 – Autumn/Winter 2022

The Literary Issue

Is getting by in life the same as finding meaning in life? It may sound like a strange question, but once you’ve read the stories and essays in this issue we hope you’ll see a connection. Some of the people you’ll meet are dealing with family, birdwatching, and interpreting dreams. There are also stories about less traditional lives, such as people making lives out of discards, engaging in prostitution, pursuing murder for money, and enduring the long-term effects of gun violence.

The value of literature, and often its attraction for readers, is that it allows us to see meaning in the decisions characters make—big or small. Sometimes they work out, other times they result in an existence that has them questioning how they got there. Ultimately, literature reminds us that meaning lies in the life you lead, not in how you spin it for the public forum. We may go viral and be famous for fifteen minutes, but when that moment passes, then what? Who are you really?

As we head into another holiday season we hope this issue offers an opportunity to reflect on how we spend our time, and where we find that meaning.

Wishing you a happy and thoughtful holiday,

– Joe, Zac, Renee, and the Orca staff

Table of Contents (click the links for stories and excerpts)

About the Cover Artist
Found Love, Brendan McLaughlin
Angel, Michele Suzann
Double Cleanser, Maria S. Picone
Turned Eye, Pavle Radonic
To the Newly Wounded by Gunshot, Stephanie E. Dickinson
Landline, Erica Edwards
Museum of Extinction, Bill Capossere
His Own Cool World of Toads, 1947, John Brantingham
Willpower, Erica Henry
Gastromythology; In the Mothers’ Room, Jessica Manack
Marrow, Stephanie Sushko
Smart Girls Die Fast, Joanne Rush
Doreen Dreams of Cars, Cadence Mandybura
Seeing Starlings, Chris Arthur
Hard Boiled, Heather Bartos
El Paso, Anisa Marmura

Please consider purchasing a copy of the full issue. A pdf is a mere $4, and is available in our bookstore. A print copy is $11.99 on Amazon.

Editor’s Note: We have not Americanized spellings and grammar native to other English-speaking countries, but have left them in their original form in order to fully convey the voices of our authors.