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“‘What’s the point of always wanting to do something more? It’s all going to disappear when we die, anyway. Why can’t I just be happy as I am?’” asks Simon, the main character in Phoebe Donovan’s story “Delay.”

Simon is an adult, but he doesn’t (much to his mother’s chagrin) have a career or a family; he is single and makes sandwiches at a deli. But he has friends, he’s part of a community, and he feels fulfilled in his life—and for him, that’s enough. As someone who has always had trouble being “happy as I am,” I needed to read those words—and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does. And as a writer, I admire Simon as a character; he is three dimensional, fully developed—I feel like I could bump into him at the grocery store.

For any of you attempting to write characters, I encourage you to read Phoebe’s story and to pay particular attention to the way she builds the characters of Simon and his mother. I have learned from her, and you will too!

I hope you enjoy all the rich characters and sentences and stories in this issue!