Category Archives: Blog

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

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

Ear to the Ground by Erika Raskin

Mold of Arthur Ashe's ear
 

The ascent of the Black Lives Matter movement and the overthrow of apartheid symbols in the Capital of the Confederacy made me think of some of the things I heard when we lived there: –The South will rise again., –The Belly-button is where the Yankee shot you., –Robert E. Lee was a gentleman.*, –The Confederate flag is heritage not hate., –Private clubs (schools, businesses etc.) can exclude whoever they want—because they’re private. The observations worked their way into my novel, Best Intentions, which was set in Richmond, Virginia. Started way back when my husband was … Continue reading Ear to the Ground by Erika Raskin

Walking Beatitudes by Fred Wilbur

Photo of Fringe Tree
 

During the months of our restricted movements, my wife and I have continued our nearly daily walking. Although we had developed the habit pre-Covid for the health of our bodies and minds, the pandemic has added an ironic value to the endeavor. We circumnavigate our village of several hundred souls, masks at the ready, seeing other residents sweeping their porches, watering their flowers and we pause to spend a moment or two commiserating over the hedge or across the yard, a nearly extinct activity now in most larger cities. This is one advantage of country … Continue reading Walking Beatitudes by Fred Wilbur

Altered State by Trudy Hale

Photo of wheat fields
 

It all started when a friend in California sent me three used paperbacks that someone donated to her sidewalk library. My friend and I hoped that my nephew who is stranded here during the pandemic without school or camp might pick up a book and read. One of the books was The Prairie, by James Fenimore Cooper. I admit I had never been able to read past the first chapter in the author’s The Last of the Mohicans. It was a sweltering July day and I sat at my kitchen table, possibly waiting for a phone call. … Continue reading Altered State by Trudy Hale

Why Not Now? by Maya Lear Brewer

Photo of book with dried flowers inside
 

She beats her fist on the secretary desk. Its ancient wooden arms bear her blows. This is the place where her great uncle sat writing his weekly sermons, the place where her grandfather, the professor, sat drafting his letters and lesson plans, and the place where her father sat recording his daughters’ accomplishments on his calendar. This desk is the place of performance, yet not for this writer. Not now . . . Now as she sits, the pen drips ink, the ink bleeds upon the page; but there are no words, just smudges among … Continue reading Why Not Now? by Maya Lear Brewer

Time for Change: Juneteenth Photos by Mark Atkinson


 

I went to see the Juneteenth rally in Richmond because I’ve always been drawn to stories, to seeing things unfold. Beneath the grand statue of Robert E. Lee, a large crowd gathered. Songs were sung and words were said, stories told. People spoke of hope and change and the wish for better lives for their children going forward.                         There were no riots, only a gathering of what seemed to be good people trying to push change. There were plenty of kids dancing and playing, … Continue reading Time for Change: Juneteenth Photos by Mark Atkinson

The Writer’s Life Is Not an Easy One by Lauren Sapala

Writer spelled out on 6 balls
 

When I first started writing, I couldn’t even call myself a writer. I had been NOT writing for seven years before I joined a silent writing program that I went to once a week to sit down and scrawl out a mess of pages that seemed to be all over the place, and which I had no hope of ever turning into anything good. The other people there, in my eyes, were real writers. They had plans. They were finishing their memoirs, looking for agents, querying, seeking critique and feedback, swapping manuscripts. Me . . … Continue reading The Writer’s Life Is Not an Easy One by Lauren Sapala

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