by Stacy Wennstrom
Last month, my younger stepdaughter and I were playing in the Pacific Ocean off of Malibu. I was holding the ten-year-old’s hand, and a moment later, a giant wave knocked us both over, separating us. She was there, and then she was seemingly gone. Although I found her a few feet away, sprawled across wet sand, I had, for several panicked moments, thought she had been sucked into the ocean.

Disappearances are haunting. Whether you lose a loved one or your sense of purpose, you are left with the sense that nothing will be the same again. While this feels like an end, sometimes, this is where the best of stories begin. In fact, it may be where some of our best stories begin, as the editors have received many incredible poems, stories, and memoirs for this issue.

With the publication of Disappear, Halfway Down the Stairs celebrates its ninth anniversary. The editorial team is grateful to all of the authors and the readers who have made these last nine years possible. With each new issue, we discover amazing new authors and also happily publish authors we have known for years. Thank you to all of you. We literally cannot do it without you.

The theme of our December issue will be Puzzle, and the submission deadline is November 1st. Please visit our submissions page for detailed instructions.

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Stacy Wennstrom is a senior editor at Halfway Down the Stairs. For staff biographies, click here.

© 2014, Stacy Wennstrom