Tag Archives: inspiration

5 Best Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers by Lauren Sapala

Photo of pen writing in notebook
 

I get emails and messages from aspiring writers all the time asking me for the one thing they should know, or the one thing they should do, in order to be a successful writer. Well, there’s never just “one thing,” but I’ve taken all my very best writing advice and distilled it down into five things that will help any aspiring writer along on their way to success. Stop Trying to Control Everything This is a big one. Writers are anxious people and we like control. It makes us feel safe and like we can … Continue reading 5 Best Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers by Lauren Sapala

The Better is Yet to Come by Fred Wilbur

Photo of purple flowers on fence
 

Each year for the past eight or ten, I have been given The Best American Poetry by a member of my family at Christmas time. The adults of our family are assigned, on a rotating basis, their gifts recipient, thus every member of my family has given me a book of this ongoing series. Often our gifts are handmade goodies like quilts, knitted socks, woodcarvings or other recipient-specific presents. Among them, this book is an anomaly though its contents were in a sense handmade with the same patient labor as the others. Most years I … Continue reading The Better is Yet to Come by Fred Wilbur

The Habit of Walking by Sharon Ackerman

worn brown boots in leaves
 

Solvitur Ambulando—a Latin phrase meaning “it is solved by walking”—is credited to the philosopher Diogenes in the fourth century BCE. He uttered this phrase when presented with a difficult metaphysical question, though judging from the masses of people I’ve seen out walking over the past year, some of us are rediscovering the truth of that observation. Of course there are many different kinds of walking; fitness walking, pilgrimages, walks with mapped out ends and destinations. But the walking Diogenes refers to is aimless walking, purposeless walking and it is this type of walking that has … Continue reading The Habit of Walking by Sharon Ackerman

Turmoil and Languor: Messing Up the Quiet, Nancy Zafris Interviews Karin Cecile Davidson

Photo of glasses sitting on open book
 

The following is a conversation with Karin Cecile Davidson, whose first novel, Sybelia Drive, is being published this fall by Braddock Avenue Books (October 6th). Sybelia Drive is a Vietnam-era novel that tells the coming-of-age story of brother and sister Lulu and Saul, and their friend Rainey, who lives with them as a de facto sister while her absent mother seeks the dubious rewards of a Gypsy Rose Lee-type fame and fortune. In a lush but depressed lake town of Florida, family members and townsfolk take turns filling in their own stories, as well as … Continue reading Turmoil and Languor: Messing Up the Quiet, Nancy Zafris Interviews Karin Cecile Davidson

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

Capturing Clouds by Fred Wilbur

Photo of clouds in blue and orange sky
 

“I change, but cannot die.” Shelly “The Cloud” As my wife and I are on our morning walk, I often comment on the clouds above: the constant change they float themselves through, the subtlety of hues they dress in, the animal shapes and deities we conjure. And one day I must have said I’d like to paint clouds once too often—forget that I am not much more than an occasional house painter— because next birthday my kind and, no doubt, loving wife presented me with an online course simply titled Painting Clouds. With tabletop easel, … Continue reading Capturing Clouds by Fred Wilbur

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.

When Called, Say Yes

highway with streaming car lights
 

An essay on creative process by Rachel E. Diken The Open Road had long been a solace to me, until a highway crash many years ago where faulty brakes caused a high-speed tumbling wreck. I was moving from the Northeast to New Orleans, so the vehicle was packed with everything I owned: primarily, a dozen backpacks full of the poems, essays, and notebooks documenting my travels. As I was loaded into the ambulance, I saw my pages of writing floating through the air, carried away by the wind over the highway. The experience marked a … Continue reading When Called, Say Yes

Do They Think You’re Good Enough? How to Stop Giving a Rat’s Ass


 

By Janis Jaquith Is it pathetic that my gray roots are showing? What about wearing yoga pants to the grocery store – are people thinking I should know better? Women have always been subject to physical scrutiny and now there’s the added hell of being judged by our work/life balance. Lean into your career and neglect your family. Stay home with the kids and lose ground in your career. We’re zealots. We’re slackers. I feel like I’m tap-dancing for an unseen audience, hoping I’m good enough. Good enough for what, I’m not sure. To occupy … Continue reading Do They Think You’re Good Enough? How to Stop Giving a Rat’s Ass

The Best Sex I Never Had


 

When I was an adolescent, I read novels voraciously, and the genre of sword-and-sorcery fantasy appealed to me most. It combined supernatural magic, an element seeded into countless cultures and religions, with heroic warriors and monsters, and it allowed me to escape the doldrums of my unremarkable suburban environment. As I grew out of my teens into adulthood, a different type of fantasy fiction began to appeal to me: the horror genre. Writers like Stephen King and Clive Barker wrote engrossing novels that, on the surface, seemed like realism, but they typically possessed a paranormal … Continue reading The Best Sex I Never Had