Welcome to the Winter 2010 issue of the Winterwind Papers.

December 21st, 2009, marked Winterwind's six year anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, we upgraded the forums (well, Jan upgraded the forums) and we were working towards having this issue online for the winter solstice as well.

But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men...

A week before the December 7th submission deadline, an intended new columnist had to pull out.

On the day of the deadline, another contributor emailed saying they'd be late. Sadly, late became not coming.

In one week we went from five pieces to three. It happens. Hi ho.

Jez, Lina and I felt rushing out two filler pieces, or putting up a smaller issue, would be a diservice so we decided to hold off until the new year.

And it was well worth it.

Over the holidays, Jez penned a second piece, which debuts his new column, Camera Obscura. I went out in the snowy rain on New Year's Eve taking pictures and Lina and I spent New Year's day working on the edits and images for the entire issue.

In his article "The Mirror Too Close", Jez examines our fears of self-exploration and human flaws. "Living in the Goblin Universe", the first piece in his new column, looks at naturalist and journalist Frederick William Holiday's explorations of the unexplained.

For our Artist's Profile, Lina brought us Swedish illustrator, Karl Allander, who presents four of his fantastic pieces and shares with us some of the inspiration behind them.

And in her short story, "Irreversibly Lost", Lina gives us another of her brilliantly deep, dark looks at those, on the surface, bright and warm holiday sentiments.

For my own part, initially I wasn't supposed to be writing anything for this issue (beyond the editorial). Though I have notes for several serious articles, I've simply had no time to write them. And I had no desire to rush out another semi-inspired humour column.

So, what to do?

With several stories planned for the Winterwind Doctor Who webcomics (but none yet ready for production) I decided to do some "teasers", promotional pictures for some of the Doctor's upcoming adventures.

All in all, I think 2009 showed some great growth in both quantity and quality for Winterwind and 2010 looks to be even better.

We've managed to put together a pretty tight team that always seems to go above and beyond... seriously, working over the holidays on an unpaid labour of love is something pretty damned special.

Peace,

Joseph Avery-North