All posts by Paula Boyland

Why Not Now? by Maya Lear Brewer

Photo of book with dried flowers inside
 

She beats her fist on the secretary desk. Its ancient wooden arms bear her blows. This is the place where her great uncle sat writing his weekly sermons, the place where her grandfather, the professor, sat drafting his letters and lesson plans, and the place where her father sat recording his daughters’ accomplishments on his calendar. This desk is the place of performance, yet not for this writer. Not now . . . Now as she sits, the pen drips ink, the ink bleeds upon the page; but there are no words, just smudges among … Continue reading Why Not Now? by Maya Lear Brewer

COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

An old brass key dropped in the woods.
 

I’ve been having some strange dreams lately, probably most of us have. A cooked salmon lies in the middle of the highway, missing half his body, yet alive and showing no signs of distress. We all get out of our cars to gape, wondering how he can survive, cooked, headless. The salmon seems sentient, yet placid, accepting. A woman is sawing the legs off a live fox. Witnesses don’t protest; the fox seems fine. Someone is removing a variety of my organs — heart, liver, intestines — as I watch from a distance. I don’t think I’ll miss them. … Continue reading COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

Four Backstory Traps and How to Escape Them by Lisa Ellison

Typed word Backstory on paper in typewriter
 

I remember the exact moment when I decided to become a writer. It was the winter of 1987. I was in sixth-period study hall, gripping Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. The book catapulted me into the world of Louis Creed and Jud Crandall, making the rowdy seventh graders around me disappear. Every day that week, I stayed up well past midnight, unable to put Pet Sematary down. I spent the next few years in various states of terror as I devoured King’s most famous works including It, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers. Stephen King is a … Continue reading Four Backstory Traps and How to Escape Them by Lisa Ellison

Mornings by Pamela Potter

Sunrise
 

I love mornings. For me, this time is full of promise and magic and possibility. Anything could happen today. Nothing negative has marred the perfection of the peace and quiet. No one has made any demands. The quiet is only broken by the sighs of my cats and the hum of my space heater, because it’s January. Well, no demands isn’t quite accurate. First thing every morning when my cat realizes I’m awake, she gets on my bed and we have quiet, thoughtful cuddle time. It’s a mindfulness time for me. I try to stay … Continue reading Mornings by Pamela Potter