Room 38.4

A few years ago I was reading an agony aunt column. An older woman - retirement age or thereabouts - wrote in to say that she and her husband had met a younger couple at a party. The letter writer and her husband liked their new acquaintances so much they extended several invitations, all of which were accepted then broken at the last minute. Or they'd made calls that went unreturned. The particulars are fuzzy. What I do remember clearly is reading the column and thinking "huh. I wonder what's going on there."

This is sometimes how it begins. The initial spark. The tiny germ. The single cell, that with time (and words and tea and long walks and squares of milk chocolate dissolving on the tongue) divides and divides to eventually become a fully formed story.

Love you, bye was written and workshopped in 2012 and is now in print in Room 38.4: Fieldwork. If you don't know Room, it's a wonderful literary and arts journal dedicated to featuring prose, poetry, and visual art created by women. Based out of Vancouver, Room turned forty last year. And (little known fact), it was the very first print publication where I submitted work. That was back in 2010 and I still have the rejection email, which was thoughtful and kind and, strangely, made me feel bolstered. How's that for praise?

More than just enjoying the work they publish, I respect Room's mandate. It's 2016. Do women still need special spaces, rooms of our own?  Yes. Absolutely. What planet are you living on?