Editor's Note

The word obsessions often comes with negative connotations. It’s not healthy to have obsessions (think OCD, hoarders, or stalkers). But where would we be without them? The things that can drive us to the brink of madness (or at least folly) are also the things that shape our lives, influence the decisions we make, and drive us to spend many solitary hours shaping words, images, or sounds into a story.

For this issue’s special feature, we asked our contributors to tell us about the people, ideas, and objects that haunt their thoughts. Judging by the submissions we received, women are more obsessed than men, or at least more willing to write explicitly about their (and others’) obsessions, from Star Trek, to menopause, to a dog with no bark. We may not share their particular obsessions, but their stories reveal the power of our preoccupations, for better or for worse.

Maria Schamis Turner, Editor