First Issue Out Now!

The first issue of The Ottawa Object is now available! It features the work of Christine Brandel, L. C. Fiore, Brandon French, Marilyn Horn-Fahey, Daniel Lalley, Robert Lunday, Eddie Malone, Dan Nielsen, and Courtney Walsh. Cover photo by Kylee Rasmussen.

More information is available on the Issues page.

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Contributor copies will be in the mail shortly. Thanks to all the talented people who made this issue possible!

The Jumble of Ideas: Margaret Atwood

The following is from an old interview with Margaret Atwood in The Paris Review:

Interviewer: Yet you write as if you’ve lived through violence.

Atwood: But I write as if I’ve lived a lot of things I haven’t lived. I’ve never lived with cancer. I’ve never been fat. I have different sensibilities. In my critical work I’m an eighteenth-century rationalist of some kind. In my poetry I’m not at all. There’s no way of knowing in advance what will get into your work. One collects all the shiny objects that catch the fancy—a great array of them. Some of them you think are utterly useless. I have a large collection of curios of that kind, and every once in a while I need one of them. They’re in my head, but who knows where! It’s such a jumble in there. It’s hard to find anything. (italics added)

The italicized part seems so exceptionally wise to me, delivered with such a dash of humor, that I feel woozy. The writer’s mind is filled with snatches of remembered images, occurrences, and overheard statements, and sometimes the task of writing is to pull them out, consider them, rearrange them, test their edges, see if they come to life.

You can read the entire interview here.

Introducing The Ottawa Object

In 1924, images were taken at an observatory in Ottawa that appeared to reveal a wandering point of light in the night sky. Despite exhaustive searching for what was believed to be a trans-Neptunian planet, nothing was ever found. It seems to me that this hopeful searching — the yearning to know more about our surroundings — is one of the fundamental impulses of human beings. Just as fundamental, however, is the sense that this search must remain unfulfilled. The Ottawa Object is a new literary journal that will attempt to capture the feeling of this yearning. It will publish short speculative fiction and audacious literary fiction. It will contain stories that explore human striving from shifting perspectives. It’s a print journal slated to come out twice per year.