Firedamp by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Photo looking up at birds in the sky
 

The canary was still. It was too late to run. Too late to escape. Too late to pray for God’s mercy.   Matt had been one of the lucky ones, one of sixteen coal miners chosen to work on a Saturday morning. His boy Luke brought the count to seventeen. Matt expected him to be excited for his first day of work, but Luke had been dawdling all morning. When they finally stepped inside the mine, the other men were already gathered a hundred feet ahead. Their carbide headlamps shone on the uneven, rough-cut earth … Continue reading Firedamp by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Talisman by E.H. Jacobs

Abstract painting
 

Morning hunkered over the house, gray and unyielding, pressing through the spaces between the drawn shade and the window frame. Wes sat on the edge of the bed in underwear and socks, next to a newly cleaned and pressed suit, still in dry-cleaner’s plastic. The only other furniture a three-drawer dresser and two nightstands of unfinished pine. His closet door stood half-open, exposing the dimly lit shelves and the t-shirts, sweaters and pants piled upon them. In searching for a belt, he had noticed a bright blue fold of fabric slumping over the shelf at … Continue reading Talisman by E.H. Jacobs

Gemini by Charlotte Morgan

Photo of stars on sky avove a tree
 

When that technician pointed out two heartbeats and two precious teensy penises on the screen, I was over the moon. Buddy leaned over and kissed me and cried real quiet-like, like he wasn’t actually crying, but I knew he was. Right away the names Elvis and Jesse popped into my head—Mama raised me on Elvis—but I didn’t say that out loud. Buddy would’ve immediately made frying egg sounds and said in a high sissy voice, “This is your brain on baby.” I’d been a total ditz when I was pregnant with Kayla, but so far … Continue reading Gemini by Charlotte Morgan

Garbage Pails by Terry Barr


 

“Haze opened the extra door, expecting it to be a closet. It opened out onto a drop of about thirty feet and looked down into a narrow bare back yard where the garbage was collected. There was a plank nailed across the door frame at knee level to keep anyone from falling out.” ( Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood, 61)   In our family album there is a picture of me taken by my Dad using his Brownie camera. The date is March 1959. I am standing in our back yard, about twenty feet from a … Continue reading Garbage Pails by Terry Barr

A Doctor Finds Her Way by Cynthia Yancey

photo of structures in mountains
 

The sun was warm and bright as we pedaled our way along the new Ring Road encircling the city. On its outskirts we saw many families working there in the Kathmandu valley, women weaving mats, others rhythmically washing their clothes by hand, beating them on the rocks and stretching them over the banks and stones to dry. Little children were everywhere. There were children carrying children, neatly tied onto their backs with brightly colored cloaks, some babies naked, crawling alongside their mothers who, though busily working, were not too busy to look up in amusement … Continue reading A Doctor Finds Her Way by Cynthia Yancey

Portraits by Mark Edward Atkinson

Man with face obscured by smoke
 

  Body painted women. Haitian orphans. Black Elvis. Models for hip-hop and Votre Nom. The homeless. A budding coquette in the summer sun. These are but a few of the fascinating faces caught in telling moments by photographer Mark Edward Atkinson. A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Atkinson now lives in Virginia Beach where he is creative director of Otto Design and Marketing. A writer and documentarian whose portfolio includes films, landscapes and still lifes, his portraits of people from near and far are especially arresting. “I love the unexpectedness of people,” he says. “The … Continue reading Portraits by Mark Edward Atkinson

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

Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing by Rich H. Kenney, Jr.

White horse head morpihing into flowers
 

If a piece of artwork could express itself in words, what would it say? This was the question I pondered while visiting Time Lapse, an art faculty show at Chadron State College (CSC) in Chadron, Nebraska several semesters ago. Here’s the beginning of what Black and White Crease, a painting by adjunct faculty member, DeWayne Gimeson, seemed to say to me: I believe in creases like the ones that form on balls of paper we too often throw away. We rarely see their peaks, their crevices, their unscripted shadows save for the quiet exhale—the curious … Continue reading Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing by Rich H. Kenney, Jr.

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

Of Cars, Lucille Ball and Dogged Determination by Erika Raskin


 

The quarterly meeting of Streetlight’s editorial staff had just ended. It was a particularly uplifting one. It’s incredibly gratifying to be part of a team that is committed to ushering art into the world. We tackled tech concerns, mapped out the spring issue and welcomed the gifted Deborah Kelly as the new associate editor. Assignments in hand, I’d said my goodbyes and left Elizabeth Meade Howard’s beautiful home. Filled with light, paintings and photography (including an autographed black and white of Lucille Ball, my soul-sister), just being in the art editor’s house is kind of … Continue reading Of Cars, Lucille Ball and Dogged Determination by Erika Raskin