Editor's Note

In the last few years, since the global financial crisis, many of us have come to understand the word crisis in a new way. We have watched our savings plummet in value, discovered that our financial institutions have been misbehaving on a previously unimagined scale, and seen the disastrous effects of collective greed coupled with deregulation.

Moments of crisis – whether in the form of global disasters or more personal catastrophes – change our lives. Following a crisis, we question our values, change our habits, reflect on the past, and rethink the future. What better way to do this than through story? Stories are built around crises: events big and small that transform those who live through them (real or fictional) and challenge the way we see the world.

In this issue of carte blanche, in addition to our usual literary fare on topics limited only by the author’s choice, we bring you a special feature on crisis. From Shannon Wheeler’s humorous take on the oil spill to Julie Morel’s moving portrait of a life with cystic fibrosis, our contributors share their stories of crises, and in doing so, help shed some light on our own critical experiences.

Also new in this issue is our first audio feature: Piano Camp read by Sarah Gilbert, from the storytelling series This Really Happened.

We hope you enjoy these new features. If you haven’t had a chance yet to fill out our Readers’ Survey, please do, and let us know what you think of what we’re doing here at carte blanche.

Maria Schamis Turner, Editor