Perhaps you’ve already failed. You see now an end. Dreams you had, who you were and what you were supposed to be, that’s all gone, and now you’re existing in singular moments as space dust hitting light with the oddest, most unlikely chances to begin again. This work, what you’ve created so far, is the millstone around your neck and you must carry it from here on out. Until you vacate where you are, that absent space. Until you give yourself the smallest and most insignificant achievement. Only then can you ask yourself if it was worth it, but you must answer no.

Welcome to Fiddleblack #19: “Millstone.” In this issue, we attribute little significance to beating out the overwhelming struggle of the human condition. Instead, we look at the tiny moments of “Yes, I can” and recognize them as placations. This is art for lack of trying.

Enjoy work by Benjamin Drevlow (of BULL: Men’s Fiction) and Jeff Chon (of The East Bay Review), as well as brilliant work by authors Eric Notaro, Carter Meland and Ohio native John Woods, and continued bleakness comes from Gillian Morrison and Elias Marsten. Read, read, read.

Behind the scenes, we’re working on the finishing production for a new podcast episode highlighting the work of Mark Welborn. Dane Elcar is hard at work at the editing stage of Charles Dodd White’s A Shelter of Others audiobook, and one of our two large-scale print projects is coming to a clean and very cold close.

(edited 8/14/15) — F