Category Archives: Blog

Vena Amoris by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Photo of hand with wedding rings on ring finger
 

When he put this ring on my finger, my skin was smoother, and more supple. My hand was thinner, and less freckled than it is now. When he asked me to marry him, he got down on one knee in front of the London flat where he had once lived, and where our love had blossomed—when we were both study-abroad college students living on Dunhills and half-pints of lager and takeaway curry fries, and falling outrageously in love with each other. On the night we got engaged, we lay in a hotel bed after too … Continue reading Vena Amoris by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Hooligans and Lunatics by Alex Joyner

Paper plate with a tiny spot of light on it
 

“We’re walking to the midnight service?” my daughter asked. “With all the hooligans out there.” It was Christmas Eve. I looked out the window onto the streets of our Eastern Shore town. A mostly full moon moved in and out of backlit clouds. The Chinese were landing a rocket on its dark side and I kept singing a line in my head from Mulan—“mysterious as the dark side of the moon.” “Parksley doesn’t have hooligans,” I replied, smiling at her faux foreboding. “Come on.” We added layers of coats and hats and headed out into … Continue reading Hooligans and Lunatics by Alex Joyner

Inhabiting Your Character by Deborah Prum

woman wearing Virtual Reality glasses
 

Have you ever used virtual reality goggles to watch a movie? Imagine that the film starts off in an African village. Ahead of you, you see a hut and can almost smell the smoke rising from a campfire. You hear laughter. On the left, two small boys run past. Behind you, mist rises from the river. On the right, men start arguing loudly. Within a few seconds, you are dropped into the middle of the story, exactly where the screenwriter wants you to be. Watching a movie this way reminds me of how I feel … Continue reading Inhabiting Your Character by Deborah Prum

A Cottage by the Lake by Miles Fowler

Photo of a pond reflecting the sky
 

Most of the year while I was growing up, my family lived in a seven-room house in Worcester, Massachusetts. It had three bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, and a two-car garage, although we didn’t have two cars yet. Every June, after school was out for the summer, we would pack the car and drive to our cottage by a lake in Rutland, Massachusetts, where we stayed until Labor Day. The drive seemed long when I was little, but it could not have been more than forty minutes. My father’s parents had given this cottage … Continue reading A Cottage by the Lake by Miles Fowler

Digital Art by Edward Michael Supranowicz


 

  Both the Irish and Ukrainian/Russian sides of my family settled in Allegheny County, and the men worked in the steel mills and coal mines. My mother got on a bus one day and moved to central Ohio. She remarried and we moved to a farm on the edge of Appalachian Ohio with no running water, an outhouse, coal stove, and three acres of gardens for me to plow and hoe by hand. I believe the long days working outside allowed me to merge with and absorb the quiet rhythms of nature, so that the … Continue reading Digital Art by Edward Michael Supranowicz

Photo of My Street by Katie Davis

BLack and white photo of brick row houses
 

A few years back, a new neighbor called. “Katie, there’s an old man leaning against my front wall, should I call the police?” I pulled my window up and leaned out to look, just two houses over. There was Paul, a retired carpenter who’s lived on my street for thirty-five years. (My mom paid him to build me a loft bed when I was 16.) Paul. How can she not know who Paul is? He spends every day outside, walking a few hundred yards, resting, walking, and smoking, always in pressed white carpenter pants. I … Continue reading Photo of My Street by Katie Davis

Idea or Memory by Ann E. Michael

Color photo of slice of blueberry pie with ice cream on side
 

National Poetry Month Daily Blog with Poem Revising a draft, for me, means returning to the poem from several perspectives. I might change the speaker from first person to second or third person, or change the poem so that there is not a clear speaker at all–no longer “lyric.” I may alter specifics, such as place names or seasonal references. Or fictionalize with invented crises, persons, time periods, or events. Take on a persona, for example. Add or delete dialogue. These are interpretive and point-of-view considerations: How can I broaden the poem’s reach? I might … Continue reading Idea or Memory by Ann E. Michael

A Light Touch by Jennifer Lothrigel

Photo of ostrich egg
 

  I grew up in Southern California with a darkroom in my garage. My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all photographers. As a child I didn’t spend much time with photography, even though I was around it. I saw how photography was a way for them to document their world and how much joy that brought them, something I realized for myself later in life. I became interested in photography in my early twenties. I am self-taught. Now in my early forties, I’m still learning. I am inspired by the work of Claude Cahun, Francesca … Continue reading A Light Touch by Jennifer Lothrigel

Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Woman writing at table
 

By and large, the biggest problem I run into with struggling authors is the challenge they have around marketing themselves. I hear a lot of different reasons for this: “I’m too introverted.” “I hate anything that has to do with sales.” “I don’t want to be fake or phony,” etc. I get those reasons, because way back in the day when I felt like I had an allergic reaction to anything that had to do with marketing, I told other writers I hated marketing because of those very same reasons. But, here’s the thing. That … Continue reading Yes, Writers, It Is Possible to Get Past Your Fear of Marketing Yourself as an Author by Lauren Sapala

Writing Small by Ginger Moran

Fountain pen laying on paper
 

Writing Small When There Is No Time to Write Big: The Goldilocks Approach to Getting Writing Done I was back from the James River Writers Conference in Richmond when I realized I was dealing with an uncomfortable truth. I had been sitting at the conference, listening to agents and editors and the questions people were asking them. The conference is a good one—not too big and not too small. The keynote speaker was Padma Venkatraman, whose beautiful books I’ve seen before and who exhorted us to both dream and do. She should know—she is an … Continue reading Writing Small by Ginger Moran