Category Archives: Blog

Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery

tiny red boat in blue water with dark cloud and full moon
 

Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery Linda Verdery, a Bremo Bluff, Va. resident, is a career educator with graduate degrees in English and Humanities. As an undergraduate she studied Art History and Painting. Both painter and writer, she is affiliated with the Annie Gould gallery in Gordonsville and a poetry study group in Charlottesville. Say a few words about your connection with poetry and art. Writing poems and making paintings are complementary. I frequently dream in both images and words. I see landscapes as portraits and portraits as landscape. And a still life … Continue reading Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery

Just Speak by Ann E. Michael

Photo of marchers holding Stop Racist Killer Cops sign
 

Much has been going on in the blogger’s back-of-the-blog life, compounded with news of the nation. And frankly, I have been mulling for well over a week on how to say what I want to say; or how to say anything, for that matter. There are times in the life of a writer when said writer recognizes the limitations of words. Also: words can be dangerous—inflammatory, distracting, powerful, persuasive, false, painful, hurtful. People get defensive at words they feel are “aimed” at them. Aimed, a weaponized word. I have had people (okay, white people) tell … Continue reading Just Speak by Ann E. Michael

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

New Work by Edward Michael Supranowicz


 

    Sometimes I am asked to compare current artwork to pieces of the last few years. I can only do so in the most general terms: the images of my newer digital paintings may be a little sharper and colors dance a bit more. But such changes are not magic or part of a grand scheme, simply more experience and better insight, i.e, diligence and luck. I consider my paintings as “emotional landscapes.” I have a penchant to use color and shapes as atmospheric perspective. I want the viewer to be surrounded by them, then … Continue reading New Work by Edward Michael Supranowicz

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

Dispatches From The Couch by Erika Raskin

Photo of roses on trellis
 

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.  L.P. Hartley That quote knocks me out so much I wanted to use it to launch into a safari through my own history. Perform a little dispassionate examination. No judgey-ness about (most) things, just a backwards look. But, you know, pandemic. There is no yesterday. Or tomorrow. Only now. I do not allow myself to actually think about what the lock-down represents. The deaths. The crushing losses. The wasted economy. The lurking dangers to those I love. So, I don’t. Instead, I just am. … Continue reading Dispatches From The Couch by Erika Raskin

On A Cappella Lane by Fred Wilbur


 

At university, I lived on A Cappella Lane, which dead-ended at the railroad tracks. Elm cool, the house had ivy as a front ‘lawn’ chaperoned by a short picket fence. The landlady had a walk-in basement apartment and lived between hot-water heater and oil furnace so that her children’s rooms could be rented out. My first night the trains woke me in a nightmarish sweat, bed shaking, books falling out of alphabetical order, coat hangers chiming in the closet. Soon enough I slept unawares. On occasions thereafter I would wake in the middle of the … Continue reading On A Cappella Lane by Fred Wilbur

A Plague Tale by Trudy Hale

Profile view of woman wearing plague mask
 

I run a writers’ retreat in a nineteenth-century farmhouse on the James River in Norwood, Virgina.  My quarters are at  the rear of the three-story house and consist of a large country kitchen with a woodstove, a mudroom, and a staircase leading up to my bedroom and small office. On the morning of February 7th I pick up my sixteen-year-old nephew at the Charlottesville airport. I spot him waiting at the baggage. He has grown taller since I saw him last. A lean boyish body and freckled nose, his light brown hair in a Westside … Continue reading A Plague Tale by Trudy Hale

What “Pantsing” Really Means, and Why Most Writers Have it All Wrong by Lauren Sapala

large sculpture of chair and table
 

If you’re a writer with even minimal involvement in the online writing community, chances are that you’re familiar with the terms, “plotter,” and “pantser.” And if you’re a plotter who manages to successfully finish books—and by “successfully” I mean get out a sloppy first draft with a rough approximation of a beginning, a middle, and an end—then you probably don’t have much angst about being a plotter. You get an idea for a story, you work on an outline and sort out your story arc, you might even plot scene breakdowns, and then you write … Continue reading What “Pantsing” Really Means, and Why Most Writers Have it All Wrong by Lauren Sapala

Maps: Surviving Social Distancing by David Roach

Old map of the world
 

Right now, sitting in my armchair, I’m imagining myself at the Camilla House bed and breakfast in Penzance, listening to Fiona, the charming proprietor, as she tells me about her favorite local restaurants and pubs. How can I be two places at once? I’m recalling my visit to Cornwall three years ago by looking at my Ordnance Survey Motoring Atlas of Britain. I love maps, especially road maps. Studying a map, I can see where I am, where I’m going, or where I’ve been. In my imagination, I convert its two dimensions into three, and … Continue reading Maps: Surviving Social Distancing by David Roach