Yes, that's my computer, undergoing cardiac surgery without benefit of anesthetic. The little screws holding it together were swiftly removed, the faulty power supply pulled out, a new motherboard whisked out of its protective plastic wrapping and inserted into the old case. All the while, the genial Romanian technician, making a house call, talked with us: J. picked his brain for obscure information, I held my breath and tried not to be shocked at the volume of dust and hairballs he pulled out of the old assembly. "Yeah, that's what kills power supplies, 9 times out of 10," he said, laying the offending balls of brownish-grey fluff on the table top. "But you're still on warranty." He smiled at me; I grimaced and told him I thought surely my keyboard would go first, from all my banging. "Nah," he said, "they're pretty durable unless you use a lot of cream and stuff on your hands." I'm not so sure - on my old desktop machine I went through two keyboards and was well on my way to destroying a third when J. bought me this laptop, which feels now like an extension of my body. No wonder it was traumatic to watch the operation!
That was a few days ago; actually Cassandra was only out of commission for a couple of days, and we had a backup, old laptop in the wings, ready to do understudy-duty. One of my first tasks after the busy-ness of last week was to work on the summer edition of qarrtsiluni, which I'm editing with Dave Bonta. We'll still be reviewing submissions for a couple more weeks, so please send us your "short shorts" - prose or poetry of 100 words or less. We're very pleased with the quality of the pieces that have been published, and I'm especially happy to note that there are currently eight or nine excellent pieces, either published or in the queue, by writers who have never before appeared in the journal. This is exactly what we have hoped for - it's good for the writers, good for the readers, and good for the journal and an expanding readership. I hope you'll go over there and take a look at the remarkably varied collection of work thus far - and be inspired to write something yourself.