Category Archives: Blog

The Puzzle Club by Fred Wilbur

Photo of leaves and sticks on ground
 

  In this time of social distancing, I have opened the box as Pandora must have done; 1500 pieces dumped like a pestilence onto the table, but like school children, all begging to know their place. During my working life there were business conundrums enough, but now in seclusion (which is a more positive word than quarantine), I have turned to picture puzzles. 3-D puzzles don’t have the same attraction to me because once you figure out the ‘trick’ you tend to remember it, the fun is gone. And besides they seem head-splittingly mathematical. Same … Continue reading The Puzzle Club by Fred Wilbur

What to Do in the Days of Corona Virus? by Elizabeth Meade Howard

Photo of orchard with pink buds
 

    March 19. It was the first day of spring. Cardinals trilled at dawn. Trees were starting to smudge pink, white and green. I smelled mulch, and fresh, overturned earth. Beauty and hope were in the air. And there too was the invisible dread, the dark underside, the quietly, stealthily spreading Covid-19. I wondered if it was safe to have contact with friends across the street, across town, those recently returned from other states and foreign ports? President Trump had recently declared a national emergency. My husband, John, and I qualify as “elders,” however … Continue reading What to Do in the Days of Corona Virus? by Elizabeth Meade Howard

We Have Winners, We Do

Close up photo of sparklers
 

Just as we were hunkering down in the midst of this global emergency, we received the last dozen or so entries for the 2020 Streetlight Essay/Memoir contest. That was a happy distraction! And this is too. None of the many, many wonderful essays we’ve been reading for the past three months has been about the virus and I’m kind of glad about that. It’s good to acknowledge there is a world outside this present catastrophe. I’m happy to be able to invite you to look at these examples of strong writing, acute vision, and a … Continue reading We Have Winners, We Do

Writing Kid Characters by Erika Raskin

Photo of group of kids from chest height down
 

One time I was on a literary panel and the interviewer asked why I chose to have three kid characters in Best Intentions. I sat there thinking (all eyes on me), ‘Eek, is he saying that was too many? Should I have practiced authorial birth control?’ But I pulled myself together and admitted I didn’t really understand the question. The moderator said that in his experience writers find children so difficult to craft and differentiate they generally stick to two juveniles per adult tome. I was surprised by this, because a. I’d never noticed and … Continue reading Writing Kid Characters by Erika Raskin

Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Mary McCue

Poet mary McCue
 

Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Mary McCue Ivy resident poet Mary McCue is originally from Norfolk, Virginia. For many years she focused on her beloved violin and played in chamber ensembles. When hand surgery took her ability to play professionally, she moved to Charlottesville and studied poetry through coursework by teachers such as Charles Wright and Gregory Orr. Q: Tell us how you began writing poetry. Mary:  I wrote poems in the beginning to describe pleasure or gratitude. I remember writing one to my dentist as thanks for never hurting me. My family loved … Continue reading Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Mary McCue

Insouciance by Laura Marello

Photo of royal penguin with its chick
 

I just wrote a new book of poems called Celestial Navigation. One of my favorite stanzas says: Penguins man the caps, huddle against the wind, sheltering downy chicks flaunting their deep insouciance their paradoxical grittiness. For a while now, revising the book, I have thought I should look up “insouciance” because I am not really sure I know what it means. So, I look it up: definition: casual lack of concern; indifference. synonyms: nonchalance, unconcern, lack of concern, indifference, heedlessness, relaxedness, calm, calmness, equanimity, coolness, composure, casualness, ease, easygoing attitude, airiness, carefreeness, frivolousness, carelessness; informal, … Continue reading Insouciance by Laura Marello

“Minimalist” Photos of Ricardo Elisiário


 

  Photography for me started as a hobbyist’s yearning for perfectionism and how to depict it using one of the simplest formats—the photograph—rather than any real try at becoming a professional. Over five years ago, Instagram and an inexpensive smartphone paved my way into this realm of scenes, colors and shapes. Mostly my most private bliss when capturing the moments led me to continue and eventually get my first and only DSLR, the beginner’s Nikon D3300 and its standard kit lens. And although as a photographer it’s difficult to rely exclusively on the art in … Continue reading “Minimalist” Photos of Ricardo Elisiário

Learning to Limit Deathbed Regrets by Susan Kille

Cross-stitched pair of lungs
 

Have you heard what dying people are said to regret? Working too much. Spending too little time with family and friends. Not speaking up when someone is out of line. Postponing joy. These are real regrets. I know this. In late August four summers ago, I was preparing to die. I was in an ICU where the force of high-flow oxygen reminded me of standing on a cliff in Ireland being firehosed by wind that travels unimpeded across the Atlantic. Pulmonary fibrosis triggered by mold secretly lurking behind the drywall of our Brooklyn brownstone caused … Continue reading Learning to Limit Deathbed Regrets by Susan Kille

A Challenge is a Challenge is a Challenge by Martha Woodroof

Child staring up tall staircase
 

  To me, being alive means dealing with one challenge after another—some glorious, others not so much. My current, decidedly inglorious challenge is having chemotherapy for metastatic cancer. I think of chemo as Paleolithic, micro-inch cavepeople marching around my cancerous body, brandishing clubs and whacking every cell in sight. There’s one! Healthy? Malignant? Who cares? Whack! Among the whacked healthy cells were the ones that hold onto hair. After the first chemo session, I went from having what one friend described as “long hippy hair” to being all-but-bald. So being who I am—a determined realist—I … Continue reading A Challenge is a Challenge is a Challenge by Martha Woodroof

The Sacred Delirium of Love: Collages by Bill Wolak


 

               I’m drawn to the wild juxtapositions that collage creates. I love the idea that anyone armed only with scissors and glue can construct an image that’s as fresh as a dream and just as startling. Also, I’m attracted to those images that are hypnotic and hallucinatory; the ones that are striking, irresistible, kinky, and unforgettable. One aspect of nature that is especially interesting to me is sexuality in all its complexity and manifestations. Therefore, many of my collages deal with the embodiments of desire, the markers of attraction, and the sacred … Continue reading The Sacred Delirium of Love: Collages by Bill Wolak