A Playwright’s Inspiration


 

Creative writing can come from many sources, and personal experiences and stories from friends can provide inspiration for your next writing project. Some people argue that you can’t tell a story with anecdotes alone, and that writing someone else’s life is biography and not creative writing, but I contend that “true stories” and even tall tales can pepper your writing with humor and local color. As a playwright, I am forever taking mental notes of my friends and family’s behavior to help me build realistic characters. We’ve all taken the role of observer when seeking … Continue reading A Playwright’s Inspiration

Molly Haskell to Speak


 

Molly Haskell, feminist film critic and author of My Brother My Sister: A Transformation, will lecture on Gender, Films and Feminism at 8 p.m. Thursday, November 7 at Sweet Briar College’s Conference Center, Wailes Room. Haskell’s free lecture will include discussion of her thoughtful, outspoken memoir about transgender and family. https://streetlightmag.com/2013/10/14/my-brother-my-sister/ Follow us!

A Foot in Two Worlds


 

As a young girl growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution, Anchee Min was taught to write statements proclaiming the glory of Chairman Mao almost before she learned to write her own name.  She was also told to denounce Nobel-winning author Pearl S. Buck as an “American cultural imperialist,” for her depictions of  peasant life in China.  Min had never actually read a word that Buck had written, but she didn’t have a real choice – she dutifully mouthed the denouncement. It was 25 years later that Min, now a successful author herself, was handed a … Continue reading A Foot in Two Worlds

The Missing Sugar of 1981 by Rich Ives


 

The Missing Sugar of 1981   The footloose villages of her own probable Argentina have been meadowed now and pastured. She’s a gutter-cat licking the bakery window. The storage space her brain built flooded. If you didn’t know the river, you might think it doesn’t bite. I’m speaking of intentions now in an old suit worn like moss. I can’t wave goodbye in Spanish or collect branches, water roots, prune envy. Gratitude doesn’t live here. The cat’s still pretending to be just a cat. The yellow wolf of uncertainty comes calling. You don’t even trust … Continue reading The Missing Sugar of 1981 by Rich Ives

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

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