M

Snowman – McMurdo Station, Antarctica

by Justin Herrmann

Helen had spent the day cutting blue foam into toilet seats for field camps, places she’d fly to. When she was on Station, we’d nap together during lunch on her bottom bunk, sometimes her roommate above. She’d let my hands up her shirt, but wouldn’t go further. I’d thought about her skin all morning while labor allocating in the office. Outside, snow whitened the dark volcanic landscape.

At lunch, instead of napping, we tried building a snowman, but the snow was the wrong kind. It was too dry, wouldn’t stick. My daughter would’ve liked trying, but she was years away.

Justin Herrmann is the author of the short fiction collection Highway One, Antarctica (MadHat Press 2014). He is the winner of the 2016 River Styx Micro-Fiction Contest. His stories most recently appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Meridian, The Tishman Review, and Flash Frontier.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Snowman – McMurdo Station, Antarctica “?

This past winter I built snowmen for the first time with my daughter. We had snowfall of good, wet, snowman-building snow here in Alaska. I grew up in Buffalo, New York where we also were blessed with good snow for making snowmen. I spent four austral summer seasons at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. While brutally cold, it doesn’t get much snowfall. On one occasion when snow was falling, a few of us janitors took a break from work and attempted to build a snowman. It didn’t work. It was too powdery, too dry. It wouldn’t stick. I started this story with the idea of a failed Antarctic snowman, and the goal of telling it in 100 words.

News

Congrats to the Best Small Fictions nominations from Matter Press for Compressed Creative Arts: Sara Backer’s “Oh, What a Night”; Dan Crawley’s “Powers”; Jill Talbot’s “Malahat Highway on Boxing Day”; Christopher Allen’s “Falling Man;” and Kathy Fish’s “Five Micros.” Congrats to Christopher Allen for being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now open. Check out our new category triptychs! The submission period closes June 15, 2019; submit here.

Upcoming

05/23 • Nance Van Winckel (1 of 8)
05/30 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
06/05 • Rachel Rodman
06/06 • Nance Van Winckel (3 of 8)
06/10 • Erica Soon Olsen
06/12 • Beverly Jackson
06/13 • Nance Van Winckel (4 of 8)
06/17 • Avra Margariti
06/19 • Tommy Dean
06/20 • Nance Van Winckel (5 of 8)
06/24 • Stephen Reaugh
06/26 • Hege Lepri
06/27 • Nance Van Winckel (6 of 8)
07/01 • Danielle Hark
07/03 • Shirley Harshenin
07/04 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
07/08 • Matthew Barrett
07/10 • Andrew Stevens
07/11 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
07/15 • Peter Cherches
07/17 • Christopher Ryan
07/18 • Alex Durham
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • Jillian Pretzel
07/25 • Danielle Hark (1 of 6)
07/29 • Theresa Senato Edwards
07/31 • Stephanie Dickinson
08/01 • Danielle Hark (2 of 6)
08/05 • Callista Buchen
08/07 • Sara Elkamel
08/08 • Danielle Hark (3 of 6)
08/12 • Steven Ostrowski
08/14 • Karie Luidens
08/15 • Danielle Hark (4 of 6)
08/19 • Nick Ackerson
08/21 • Tyler Friend
08/22 • Danielle Hark (5 of 6)
08/26 • Suzanne Verrall
08/28 • Amelia Wright
08/29 • Danielle Hark (6 of 6)
09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
12/23 • Tara Campbell