All posts by Susan Shafarzek

A Sign by Carol Jeffers

Photo of blue butterfly
 

Carol Jeffers is an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2020 Essay/Memoir Contest “Stephanie wanted you to have her eyes,” her sister Susie said. “Please say you’ll take them.” That was in 2018, the second time she died. *** Seven years earlier, the blips on the monitor flat-lined, the alarm went off. The ICU team flew into action. Gloved hands thumped her chest, injected epinephrine, jolted her silent heart. Seconds ticked by. Minutes. Stephanie’s soul was suspended, a chrysalis dormant among the milkweeds. She languished between the light and the dark. That was the first time my … Continue reading A Sign by Carol Jeffers

Turmoil and Languor: Messing Up the Quiet, Nancy Zafris Interviews Karin Cecile Davidson

Photo of glasses sitting on open book
 

The following is a conversation with Karin Cecile Davidson, whose first novel, Sybelia Drive, is being published this fall by Braddock Avenue Books (October 6th). Sybelia Drive is a Vietnam-era novel that tells the coming-of-age story of brother and sister Lulu and Saul, and their friend Rainey, who lives with them as a de facto sister while her absent mother seeks the dubious rewards of a Gypsy Rose Lee-type fame and fortune. In a lush but depressed lake town of Florida, family members and townsfolk take turns filling in their own stories, as well as … Continue reading Turmoil and Languor: Messing Up the Quiet, Nancy Zafris Interviews Karin Cecile Davidson

Another Day by Cheryl Aubin

Photo of wilting rose
 

Toward the evening of the night I thought my mother was dying, the aide, who stayed with mom during the day, told me mom had been asleep for twenty-four hours and would not wake up. She sent me a picture of my mom, smiling and looking peaceful. The aide put the phone up to my mother’s ear so I could talk to her. It felt as if my lungs had closed and no breath would come, a drowning in sorrow and grief, as in the barest choking whisper I told my mother I loved her. … Continue reading Another Day by Cheryl Aubin

Troubling the Fields by Mary Alice Hostetter

Photo of large white tent
 

Mary Alice Hostetter is an Honorable Mention in Streetlight Magazine‘s 2020 Essay/Memoir Contest The first thing I noticed was the sign. My mother and I were driving back from getting corn meal at the mill, and we saw it on Leroy’s fence, “Brunk Tent Revival Coming August 15-22.” Leroy’s farm bordered ours. “Well, I guess that’ll take care of the peace and quiet for a while,” my mother said. “Looks like the show is coming.” The next week Leroy mowed his hayfield as close as he could cut it, pulling the hay mower back and … Continue reading Troubling the Fields by Mary Alice Hostetter

More News of Good Writing—Essay Honorable Mentions 2020

Photo of balloons and candle
 

When we held our essay/memoir contest last spring, we had such a wealth of wonderful entries, it was very hard to pick the winners. I think we did a good job—certainly the best we could—but in the process we knew there were entrants, beside those we chose for the prizes, whose work we could not overlook. We therefore asked a number of those whose work we could not pick—since we had only three prizes to award—if they would be willing accept the status of Honorable Mention. Five really excellent memoirists graciously acceded to this request. … Continue reading More News of Good Writing—Essay Honorable Mentions 2020

Stealing Light by Billie Hinton

Closeup photo of broken glass under window
 

Billie Hinton is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight Magazine‘s 2020 Essay/Memoir Contest I’m holding the reins of a twelve-hand half-Shetland pony when I get the call. My daughter hops into the saddle, I release my grip, and off she goes to the riding arena for her Pony Club lesson. Hello, I say into the cell phone. My office, a quirky second floor space I rent in a large historic house divided into small offices, has been broken into overnight. The photographer who rents space across the hall from me went in to work and … Continue reading Stealing Light by Billie Hinton

Beautiful Monster by Amy Stonestrom

Photo of inside of hot air balloon
 

Amy Stonestrom is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight Magazine‘s 2020 Essay/Memoir Contest A strange February morning, gray sky lined with tangerine. Ten degrees. From my spot in the front seat, bursts of flame appear to shoot from piles of snow, tall as the houses across the street. Well-insulated children perch on the jagged banks as they wait for technicolor giants to emerge from the earth. Babies bundled in strollers, old men in blaze orange and camouflage. Women in long puffy coats, fur rimming their faces. No place to park. The entire population of the … Continue reading Beautiful Monster by Amy Stonestrom

Plight of the Humble Bee by Richard Key

Closeup photo of honeycomb
 

Richard Key is the 1st place winner of Streetlight Magazine‘s 2020 Essay/Memoir Contest Honeybees are swarming outside my home office under the eaves of the roofline. I would say they are hovering like tiny drones, except they probably are tiny drones. They seem very interested in a certain corner of the house. I’m afraid I’ll get stung if I investigate too much, but I know exactly what they’re up to. Six years ago we had a similar problem and called in a “bee man” who opened up that same space, vacuumed them out with a … Continue reading Plight of the Humble Bee by Richard Key

The Silence is Deafening by Benjamin Rempel


 

When self-isolation measures were first enacted, five-year-old Vivian seemed excited about the whole thing. A new experience, unique to this time and place. She was playing with her mom, she yelled from her porch, so all was good. She rode her scooter up and down the driveway when the sun was out; hung drawings across her wide front window when it was time to come in. Not everyone was as excited though. “Why shut down the entire country?” my Toronto neighbor lamented. “You can’t stop everyone from working! Our economy will be in the toilet!” … Continue reading The Silence is Deafening by Benjamin Rempel

The Stairway by Thomas Laver

Photo of stairway leading up
 

The visit was long overdue. At my wife Margie’s suggestion, I decided to do something about it. So, on a summer day that was forehead-dripping hot with a steely blue sky, the two of us strolled in shorts and sandals up the Toronto street where I first lived. The cicadas sang lustily. Did they remember me? We walked past Charlie Haskin’s house. It hadn’t changed as far as I could tell. I recalled sitting in the back seat of his big gray Ford Tudor sedan in 1946 while waiting for my mother to emerge from … Continue reading The Stairway by Thomas Laver