I’m very happy to be a guest blogger because I can write about two things that are very important to me, Virginia Writers Club (VWC) and our annual VWC Symposium at Piedmont Virginia Community College on Saturday, August 3. I have the honor of being the president of VWC this year. This state-wide writers club has been around since 1915 and has ten chapters from Northern Virginia to Abingdon, from Charlottesville to Hampton Roads, from Manassas to Roanoke. Chapter members share their work, learn about writing and publishing, do book readings and signings, and listen … Continue reading Virginia Writers Club Sponsors Symposium by Betsy Ashton
This summer I planned to finish a manuscript, but a vacation to L.A (to see family) and later a trip to northwest Spain and Portugal (I don’t expect sympathy) disrupted the writing and since my return to Virginia, I’ve experienced a persistent numb resistance to putting pen to paper, fingers to keys. I wonder can it be summer’s slow siren, distracting me from the habit and pleasure of writing? Does summer trigger something in me that makes me want to get nothing done? Back home in the heat and haze of long days, after my … Continue reading Am I Still Writing In Summer?
My grandmother was a card shark. Not that she would have appreciated being called one. In her day, that usually meant someone who cheats at cards. But usages change and words evolve. Today, according to grammarist.com, among other sources, “card shark” (as opposed to “card sharp”) is generally understood to mean someone who’s skilled at playing cards and it no longer has a negative connotation. I’m pretty sure my grandmother would appreciate the whole idea of words and phrases evolving over time, because, in that same positive sense of the term, she was a word … Continue reading The Last Word
My first trip to California was when I was a kid. I loved the long car ride. Janie and I sat in the backseat and drank Kool-Aid from paper cups. We were in the belly of a lion. The cars we passed were hunted game. Mustangs and elk fell beneath our giant paws. If we were passed it was a wound, never fatal. Incantations and chants. We vowed revenge. When I left Chicago for Los Angeles I pretended I remembered the route in detail. Motel rooms and roadside tables and certain stretches of highway disappearing … Continue reading Hypnotized by Barbara Nishimoto
Invitation to an Empty Church In the rafters: hungry, silent mice. Down below: the civilized ask light to forgive them mediocrity. The light they seek is a cage in the rafters above glass stained in saviors, where holes fall from holes in the ceiling. The women pass coins onto plates like brooches to grandchildren who will never wear them. Someone knocks at the sealed door but won’t be let in. Nobody remembers how they entered or if light ever completes. A great voice asks the windows mirror-questions, and we pretend we haven’t lost our … Continue reading Invitation to an Empty Church by John Sibley Williams
A Meal in Honor of Someone Once Beautiful My God. Preacher, pass the silence. Stop talking. The whir of desperate voices cloud thick air, fill our glasses to the brim, shocking one empty chair before flowers, china & shroud. Enough is enough. For heaven’s sake. We squeeze as twisted thread. Passing through the eye of sorrow’s needle making our way to the far side of this dread meal of death, bread & wine. Bent fetal. Enough is too much. Susan Cunningham is a therapist and poet. She holds master’s degrees in education as well … Continue reading A Meal in Honor of Someone Once Beautiful by Susan Cunningham
Born in Brussels, Belgium in 1934, Anne Slaughter grew up in the shadow of World War II. As a seven year old in 1942, Anne and her younger brother escaped with their mother to safety in England, there joining their father, Dr. Jean Limbosch. She would return and be educated at the University Libre de Bruxelles. Those early dark days of war however, would leave their permanent imprint. In 1957, Slaughter came to live in Charlottesville, Virginia, her husband’s hometown. They’d met while he was studying in Belgium. She worked as a sociologist … Continue reading 50 Years of Fine Work: Art by Anne Slaughter
WRITERS SYMPOSIUM SET FOR AUGUST AT PVCC Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House, will be the keynote speaker at a symposium, “Navigating Your Writing Life,” on August 3rd at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Grissom will share lessons she found helpful in becoming a writer. Symposium sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Dickinson Fine & Performing Arts Center. A resident of Forest, Virginia, Kathleen Grissom was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. She and her husband now live in a plantation tavern which they renovated … Continue reading Get ready to write…