Welcome to the 19th issue of
the Winterwind Papers.

As you can tell by my photos on the cover, this page and the staff page, this issue was originally intended to be released as a spring/summer issue. Something that clearly didn't happen (but more on that in a bit).

Interestingly, when Jez sent me the photos for his "Nationalist Sentiments" article, photos taken in winter, I wondered briefly about their "feel" alongside the rest of the issue considering the intended season of its release. Now, ironically, his photos are fitting and the rest are just a wee bit out of season. Of course while most of our readers are in the northern hemisphere, we do have some in the southern hemisphere so we could always consider this the "Summer Down Under" issue.

So, what do we have for you in this issue?

Well, we open with Jez Strickley's "Nationalist Sentiments", an article examining lingering, and in my opinion, antiquated, social and ethnic views in Europe, particularly the Tyrol region.

Next is Joseph Cousineau's "Brotherhood" which is a look at the friendship and family found outside of your own blood, through shared values and common interests, in his particular case via the BMX community.

That brings us to "'Pop' Culture", a playful little set of three captioned photos from yours truly. Initially, the photos were to be placed between each of the four articles, my way of adding to the visual look of this issue to compensate for my rather rudimentary graphic skills. Instead, I decided to put them together as a "piece" so we could hit the elusive five pieces per issue benchmark and because nothing has gone into the arts section for two years.

Next up is "Puppy Love", also by yours truly. It's an article about the best puppy in the world, and animal welfare in general. And it was quite difficult to pen, but again, more on that in a bit.

This brings us to Jez's postscript to "A Selfish Morality?", a follow-up he was motivated to write based on feedback from the original article.

Now, why was this issue delayed?

Well, there are two reasons. One is personal and the other is related to Winterwind itself. And of course, there is a degree of interconnectedness.

Starting with the latter first, Winterwind was always supposed to be a team effort. Always. All too often however it's been anything but. Two people in the past that were supposed to be an integral part of the team both showed themselves to be... rather lacking in courtesy towards the rest of us. Other, more minor players were all talk with no action and, despite the always valued and reliable efforts from others, overall it wore me down to the point of thinking "Why bother?"

And of course there are the personal factors. I am not a graphic designer. Ideas are one thing. The execution of them something else entirely. My skills are basic and not up to the task of giving this ezine the visual impact it needs. That weighs on me. Also, other than contributing questions to the interview with Duncan Lunan, I haven't written anything in over two years. My motivation and self-confidence has been, for a variety of reasons, utterly absent. I have, in short, lost myself.

Having survived the December 21st, 2012 doomsday prophecies (as I knew we would) I hope this issue will be the first step to finding myself again, to regaining the things I've lost, the things that are important to me.

And so, in the spirit of the season, I wish you all well and dedicate this long delayed issue to the two most important people in my life (whose absence is felt all too deeply), one woman and one puppy.

Peace,

Joseph Avery-North