Category Archives: Blog

Forgive and Forget—Or something Like That

Small American flag in front of Veitnam War Memorial
 

Of course it’s only a coincidence that Armistice Day, the conclusion of World War I, falls (or used to) in November, that month which begins with All Hallows Eve and proceeds briskly to the Day of the Dead. It just happened that way. Armistice Day, has evolved into Veteran’s Day, still in November and it’s possibly not a coincidence at all that the Vietnam Memorial, that other reminder of war and its heroes, was dedicated in November of 1982. Dedicated, in fact, on November 13, the date on which I am posting these comments. In … Continue reading Forgive and Forget—Or something Like That

That Sketchy Area Known as Writer’s Block by Erika Raskin

Boarded up brick building
 

Sometimes trying to write is like playing Scrabble (old school—not virtual) and reaching into the bag for more letters only to have your fingers come up empty-handed. In fact, I’ve been racking my brain for blog topics for so long even my Facebook page has taken to castigating me. I’m pretty sure my disappointing search for ideas may have crossed over into Writer’s Block territory. For those who have never visited this particular geographical area, think ghost town in the middle of a super fund site—with a large population of large rodents. Recognizing the landmarks … Continue reading That Sketchy Area Known as Writer’s Block by Erika Raskin

The First Chapter by Charles J. Shields

Dirt blowing and darkening the sky
 

I wrote an entirely new Chapter 1 for the new edition of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (Holt 2006; rev. 2016). The idea to open the biography at a low point in the her life, instead of during childhood was suggested by Garrison Keillor in a review of the first edition appearing in the New York Times ‘Sunday Book’ section: ‘If you were going to draw a movie from this book, you’d start on York Avenue in Manhattan on a cold winter night in the late 1950’s. Pages of manuscript fluttering out of an … Continue reading The First Chapter by Charles J. Shields

New World Order Blues by Allen Forrest


 

  By Allen Forrest The New World Order Blues is inspired by the late conspiracy researcher and radio personality Mae Brussell, updated for today’s concerns and presented in one of the greatest music styles ever created by Americans—Black Americans: The Blues. Listening to Mae’s weekly radio show, World Watchers was like getting a re-education in history of the 20th Century. She uncovered many well-kept secrets we were not supposed to know. The Military Intelligence Industrial Complex was her turf and each week, from a radio station in Carmel, California, she took the lid off the … Continue reading New World Order Blues by Allen Forrest

Texture of a Passing World

sunlight coming through windows
 

The Remains of Quanah Parker & Eagle Park Follow Wayne Gipson down through the gate behind the trading post, past the concrete pad of the old amphitheater where Reba McIntire once appeared, and just behind the rusted ruins of the roller coaster and you’ll see one of the most legendary houses in America – Quanah Parker’s Star House. Schoolchildren of the southern Great Plains grow up learning the legend of Parker, son of an Anglo settler captured in a Comanche raid and the chief who took her for a wife. Quanah became a Comanche leader … Continue reading Texture of a Passing World

What’s So Great About October 9?


 

In addition to being the second Monday in October—a month with, yikes, five Mondays in 2017—October 9 this year (and every so often) commemorates Columbus Day. Are you planning to celebrate? Or use the time off to go shopping? Forget the bank, the library, the Post Office and the DMV. But, if you have the day off, have a good time anyway. The airlines will be flying. The stores will be open. October 9 wasn’t (and isn’t) always a holiday, of course. Columbus Day originally was assigned to October 12, the generally agreed-upon birthdate of … Continue reading What’s So Great About October 9?

An Interview with author Sharon Harrigan


 

I met Sharon one Saturday morning in late September at Writer House in Charlottesville, Virginia after dropping a writer off at the train station who had been at Porches writing retreat. We talked about Playing With Dynamite, a memoir about her father who died in a mysterious and bizarre accident when she was seven. Sharon: It’s cool to be talking to you because I was at Porches when I made the final edits on the book. It was my last opportunity to make any changes so it felt like it was high stakes and I … Continue reading An Interview with author Sharon Harrigan

When Called, Say Yes

highway with streaming car lights
 

An essay on creative process by Rachel E. Diken The Open Road had long been a solace to me, until a highway crash many years ago where faulty brakes caused a high-speed tumbling wreck. I was moving from the Northeast to New Orleans, so the vehicle was packed with everything I owned: primarily, a dozen backpacks full of the poems, essays, and notebooks documenting my travels. As I was loaded into the ambulance, I saw my pages of writing floating through the air, carried away by the wind over the highway. The experience marked a … Continue reading When Called, Say Yes

Poetry of Place by Roselyn Elliott

Ocean
 

Poets and writers of fiction and nonfiction write with a sense of specific place in all languages. Once place is introduced in the piece, emotions are evoked, and a lot of things can happen in that place. In poetry, place provides an outer structure and a vehicle to contain and carry a poem into memory, reflection and ideas. Description of place not only offers knowledge of a geographical space, it allows readers into the poet’s intimate experience. Various theories exist as to why writers use place, including that the poet may seek to write about … Continue reading Poetry of Place by Roselyn Elliott

Streetlight Art Editor Elizabeth Howard Publishes New Book


 

Streetlight art editor, Elizabeth Meade Howard, had her book Aging Famously: Follow Those You Admire to Living Long and Well published by Jefferson Park Press on September 10thth. Jane Barnes, author of Falling in Love with Joseph Smith, talks to Howard about her recent publication. Barnes: Why did you write Aging Famously? Howard: It was initially a mourning project, sparked by my father’s death. He lived to 90 and had long been my mentor and role model. He had a young spirit to the end. I felt suddenly elevated to family elder and wanted guidance … Continue reading Streetlight Art Editor Elizabeth Howard Publishes New Book