It’s Been a Long Time by Lawrence F. Farrar


 

Wisps of early evening fog had begun to push in by the time Rachel parked her Volvo in the hotel parking lot. She switched off the ignition, leaned back in the seat, and sighed. A dark eyed woman with an almost pretty face, she checked her makeup in the rear view mirror and touched her hair with her hands. Her brown hair had been longer then; now she wore it short. Would he notice? Since taking the university job at Irvine, she had driven to San Diego perhaps a half dozen times—but had set foot … Continue reading It’s Been a Long Time by Lawrence F. Farrar

Stranger Among Other Phantoms by Chester Johnson


 

Stranger Among Other Phantoms   Someone invisibly disturbs several finished Cigarette butts and barely gathers a nod At the acceleration of a crowd. The ticket Line’s for impatient aches – there’s no wit to dissuade The routine. Stalked by clumsy bags and instruments, Commuters and distance travelers, the rich and Penny-counters, four handsome students and a fat, Unscrubbed sort—all defended by miscellany— Compete for angles and rewards. Mostly, They fidget and don’t quite ask a question, while glares Perform the reproof of an agent, who slowly counts Light change or lengthy tickets and who replies … Continue reading Stranger Among Other Phantoms by Chester Johnson

Home Sick by Erika Raskin


 

The room was humid with the scent of pine cleanser and Tierney, already sick with nerves, nearly gagged. She dropped her purse on the bed and went to the window that hadn’t budged since she checked in. Putting all of her weight into it she strained so hard a grunt escaped, leaving her feeling stupid with effort. The admonishment to try, try again was neatly countered by the definition of insanity. Another dueling dictum. The acrid stench triggered a particularly nasty childhood memory. She’d used the disinfectant to clean the dining room rug as a … Continue reading Home Sick by Erika Raskin

Nature Revealed: Art by Fred Nichols

Rapidan Summer by Fred Nichols
 

Virginia landscape artist Frederick Nichols remembers photographing the moon from a Brooklyn rooftop years ago, surprised with the photos’ good quality. It was 1970 and Nichols was a graduate MFA student at the Pratt Institute. The year before he’d graduated from UVA, majoring in studio art under the tutelage of realist painter Robert Barbee, an academic traditionalist wary of photography. “I didn’t want to be a photographer,” says Nichols, “but I began experimenting with photography as a way to capture something to work with in my paintings.”     For starters, Nichols decided for his … Continue reading Nature Revealed: Art by Fred Nichols

Her Apron Full of Crinkle Root by Roselyn Elliot

crinkle root leaf and root
 

Make yourself useful! Rock the baby, feed the baby. Move away from that radio, before I pull both your ears and unplug the thing forever. Today, I’ll teach you how to make pickles. First, go to the garden and pick enough cucumbers to fill this pan. Then I’ll show you how to wash them and make the pickling juice. Go, before your mother comes back. Do this for me. My father supported his widowed mother. Dad was Grandma’s baby, her youngest of seven, and he brought her to live with him and my mother on … Continue reading Her Apron Full of Crinkle Root by Roselyn Elliot

No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

man reading at laptop
 

Writers, or those who want to write but don’t, like to say they have Writer’s Block, Capitalized, as if to makes it real, an explanation for why they’re stuck. They can’t get started or get back to the project they’re sure would be a bestseller. Ideas come only when they’re falling asleep or driving, never when they sit down to write. They often smile when they talk about the Block, as if there’s a certain satisfaction in having one, like a treasure or a talent to display.   I think saying you have Writer’s Block is … Continue reading No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

My Brother My Sister


 

Feminist film critic and author Molly Haskell, a Richmond, Va. native, can justly claim fame for her thought-provoking analysis of gender roles, especially as women have been portrayed over time on the silver screen. From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies    (1973; revised in 1987) examines the treatment of women from timid innocents and brazen flappers to the sex kittens of the 60s and 70s. Holding My Own in No Man’s Land: Women and Men and Films and Feminists (1997) takes a serious — and witty — look back at Hollywood female … Continue reading My Brother My Sister

Are You Going This Year?


 

Call them festivals, retreats, or extended workshops. They all have many  things in common: the well known faces, the intensive sessions, the performances, the camaraderie. As Chaucer noted so long ago, folk like to go on pilrimage and we don’t seem to have discarded the idea. All this comes to mind for me right now because it’s time to sign up the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, the one actual writing workshop I’ve ever been to. I won’t be going this year, but I wish I could. Sigh. The Palm Beach Poetry Festival, besides being representative … Continue reading Are You Going This Year?

Flowers, Fruits and Frames: Art of Bob Kulicke


 

New York artist Bob Kulicke always said he didn’t want to be the biggest collector of his own work. Whether as a direct result of this attitude or not, he painted the most refined, nuanced, exquisite pictures, kept the prices tantalizingly low and sold at least 95% of everything he painted. An absurdly generous man, he gave most of the rest away. He was in no danger of becoming his own biggest collector. Owning a painting of his routinely led buyers to become obsessed with owning more, and many of his collectors owned 20, 30 … Continue reading Flowers, Fruits and Frames: Art of Bob Kulicke

Embracing Constraints


 

Is graphic design art? The debate, for me, started in art school and now lives on in the offices of Journey Group, the creative agency where I work. Although there are convincing arguments for both sides, the argument for me revolves around the idea of constraints. As design director at Journey Group, I have had the good fortune of designing a wide variety of projects for many clients — websites for international relief agencies, wine bottle labels for wineries, books for the U.S. Postal Service. One reason I love design is that, unlike art, constraints … Continue reading Embracing Constraints

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