A Light Touch by Jennifer Lothrigel

Photo of ostrich egg
 

  I grew up in Southern California with a darkroom in my garage. My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all photographers. As a child I didn’t spend much time with photography, even though I was around it. I saw how photography was a way for them to document their world and how much joy that brought them, something I realized for myself later in life. I became interested in photography in my early twenties. I am self-taught. Now in my early forties, I’m still learning. I am inspired by the work of Claude Cahun, Francesca … Continue reading A Light Touch by Jennifer Lothrigel

Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Woman writing at table
 

By and large, the biggest problem I run into with struggling authors is the challenge they have around marketing themselves. I hear a lot of different reasons for this: “I’m too introverted.” “I hate anything that has to do with sales.” “I don’t want to be fake or phony,” etc. I get those reasons, because way back in the day when I felt like I had an allergic reaction to anything that had to do with marketing, I told other writers I hated marketing because of those very same reasons. But, here’s the thing. That … Continue reading Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Writing Small by Ginger Moran

Fountain pen laying on paper
 

Writing Small When There Is No Time to Write Big: The Goldilocks Approach to Getting Writing Done I was back from the James River Writers Conference in Richmond when I realized I was dealing with an uncomfortable truth. I had been sitting at the conference, listening to agents and editors and the questions people were asking them. The conference is a good one—not too big and not too small. The keynote speaker was Padma Venkatraman, whose beautiful books I’ve seen before and who exhorted us to both dream and do. She should know—she is an … Continue reading Writing Small by Ginger Moran

Woe Be Gone by Priscilla Melchior

Photo of a ripe tomato with a knife beside it
 

Sometimes I wonder whether tomatoes feel the slice of my blade, whether carrots feel ignored as they languish in the fridge. I plan a pot roast to make them feel useful, then wonder whether they fear the slow simmer beside meat and potatoes. I worry that castoff jackets and sweaters feel abandoned. Do they long to reach out with their empty arms, ask mine to return? Are old shirts and sheets insulted when I turn them into rags, or do they feel as though they have new reason to serve? Perhaps I ought to fret … Continue reading Woe Be Gone by Priscilla Melchior

Piano Lessons by Miles Fowler

Close up of Story and Clark piano
 

The Story & Clark piano with its warm, reddish brown finish looked nice in the living room and probably improved the appearance of our home. The problem was that none of us played the piano. So my parents decided that their middle child—me—should take lessons. My older brother already had plenty of activities. My younger sister was not considered. At nine, and without a lot of extracurricular activities, I was apparently the perfect candidate. Except that I had no interest in studying the piano, or any other instrument. My grandmother, a kind and generous person, … Continue reading Piano Lessons by Miles Fowler

First Responder by Joan Mazza

Back of brown envelope
 

Tired of bars and discos where I met men who drank and were in search of easy women, horrified by the scary men I met at church singles groups, I decided to be bold and placed a personal ad in the newspaper. “Are you out there?” the headline read. It was 1979, before the Internet, before Herpes and HIV were in the lexicon. I didn’t tell anyone but my shrink. I made my case: I could specify the kind of guy I wanted: smart, kind, solvent. He had to love books and dogs. Surely, I … Continue reading First Responder by Joan Mazza

CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT and PINE TALE by Charles Springer

Pine floor
 

CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT Friday is library day for Ray who picked Friday because it kinda rhymes with library and other days don’t so much and becoming well-read and new worldly is high up on the list in Ray’s lunch pail. Anyway Ray arrives and says hello to the girl at the desk and beelines over to periodicals where he selects an issue of People and in no time remembers having read this very issue last year, the issue about Brad and his sorrowful breakup and as Ray gets up to make another selection, … Continue reading CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT and PINE TALE by Charles Springer

Book Art Featured at Virginia Festival of the Book by Lyall Harris

Book cover and pages folded into structure
 

Shoes is the story of the artist’s aging father who needed to give up a good pair of shoes because they no longer offered enough support. Harris inked the soles of these shoes and walked in them to make prints on the paper. This book is one of 52 weekly books Harris made in 2013 in a project entitled A Year In Books. I found book art (or it found me) in 1995 in Florence, Italy, when, instead of painting on paper, I folded it into sculptural forms. I didn’t know the term “book art,” … Continue reading Book Art Featured at Virginia Festival of the Book by Lyall Harris

Still Life with Unrequited Love by Hannah Yoest

Photo of a clock with broken glass on face . Time: 5:12.
 

The oranges are all shaved. Rind showing—not undressed or peeled open, mind you, just stripped for garnish. This is another way of saying you threw a cocktail party—which is another way of saying you got your self wasted while playing hostess—which is another way of saying you tried too hard—which is another way of saying cleverness isn’t a virtue—which is another way of saying the cheese smells worse than when you bought it—which is another way of saying you’re insecure—which is another way of saying the clock is broken—which is another way of saying you’ll … Continue reading Still Life with Unrequited Love by Hannah Yoest

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