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Letter from the Editor

Vallie Lynn Watson


On a Monday morning last May, I had my final interview with McNeese State University, and my afternoon and evening were restless; I wanted the job, very much. The restlessness was compounded by having skipped my usual morning routine of getting to Wrightsville Beach, NC, to watch the sun rise, walk for a few hours, and search for seaglass, fossils, and shark teeth, a pastime that began early in the pandemic.

Teeth aren’t plentiful at Wrightsville Beach, and it took a couple of years, and a visit to a beach where they surface by the handful due to a dredging, to train my eyes to spot the tiny black triangle and “T” shapes. But after time, I was finding about one a week, always the more common fossilized, black ones. Small. I coveted a rare white one, what’s called a Carolina Cream, of any size.

The Tuesday morning after the interview, I’d walked for miles, had found a cool, decent-sized tiger shark tooth, black, had a pocketful of teal, green, and white seaglass, and was heading south on the shoreline, ankle-deep, fulfilled and following my footsteps back to Beach Access Four, when something caught my eye through the moving water. I thought it was a neatly broken shell fragment, a perfect triangle, but then time slowed and my mind went nah, but…maybe? and plunged my hand in the water and grabbed a sizable, great white shark’s tooth in perfect condition, with defined, serrated edges, and not a Carolina Cream, but a beautiful honey color that I couldn’t have imagined was possible.

Fast-forward three months, and I meet my MFA fiction third-year student Abbie Skinner, not just long-time managing editor of Boudin but its true heart-and-soul, to discuss plans for the future of the journal. You can imagine my delight when she told me about the theme for the annual Halloween issue of Boudin (aka Boo-din): teeth. I held up the wire-wrapped honey-colored tooth I now wear on a chain, and told her the story about the cool timing of its find.

2024 is going to bring in a lot of exciting changes for Boudin, but I’ll save most of those details for later. One thing won’t ever change, and that is the annual Boo-din Halloween issue, which will from hereon feature The Skinner Prize, themed and judged by Abbie Skinner, who will have graduated, but who will always have a home at McNeese.