Sparks

Magnificent Hydrangea from Safeway

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page Magnificent Hydrangea from Safeway By Elizabeth Kirkpatrick-Vrenios Just like clockwork – this gorgeous flower wilts two hours after I place her in the vase. I carefully fill the water with the little food packet that comes with the flowers, cut the stems, arrange her perfectly, arrange her hair, fix her makeup, and convince her she will be the star at our dining table. “What do you need?” I ask. “Just some loving care – and oh, yes, will you feed me some sugar and trim my nails? And while you are at it, fluff up my gown.”  Dutifully I oblige, but just as the guests sit down, the flower drops her head to her chest, her leaves droop and she gives up the ghost with just a single petal dropping theatrically to the tablecloth. There she…

Guest Bloggers

Rescue Your Stories

Guest Blogger Nancy Cullen writes: “I am a rescuer of stories hidden among the ordinary.  I give these stories voice as a template to inspire others with untold stories so that they will know the satisfaction of rescuing their own stories.”  – Nancy Cullen My BLOG, THE STONEBRIDGE, began as a place I could record and share stories.  Stories stemming from four areas outlined on the BLOG’s “About” page. It is my version of a Sacred Bundle, a practice began by my father. Capturing, or as I like to say, rescuing, stories from our thoughts, memories, and obscurity is a learned skill. There are processes, template frameworks, and yes, a bit of discipline involved. These are not apparent as one reads a particular post but run in the background like a good operating system in a computer. Although, not complex, nonetheless they must be identified and adapted to your own style. Once in…

Sparks

Know Your Colors

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Know Your Colors – An Introduction to the Plant Mood Chart By M.A. Dooley Luckily, my face turns colors when I feel emotions. Whether I am sad or happy or embarrassed, angry, jealous, afraid, confident, guilty, content, confused, giddy, flirtatious, thoughtful, nostalgic, hesitant, determined, focused, agitated, brazen –or if I feel a song coming on–I can consult the Plant Mood Chart. Rather than grasping at some external label that’s not quite accurate, I hold up the chart at the mirror, or sometimes with a friend, to make sense of the inside of me. It’s quite convenient, saving me lots of time and effort. Much like the little cannister with the PH and alkaline hues used to test hot tub water, but far more complex, the color chart corresponds to feelings and can even suggest a backstory…

Just Write

“Tis the season . . . NaNoWriMo

‘Tis the season for NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is held during the month of November. Have you ever done it? Have you thought about it and wondered if you could or should do it? I say: Go for it! What do you have to lose? And, you might gain some excellent writing. “National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days.”  Sharon Oard Warner says “A work of fiction that logs in at 50,000 words is actually a novella . . .” So, if the idea of writing a novel is overwhelming, consider writing a novella. Prepare for NaNoWriMo Julie Artz writes about her NaNoWriMo experience on Jane Friedman’s blog, “Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret is Preparation.” Learn from her mistakes to get “that coveted NaNoWriMo win.” Prolific author Bella Andre wrote about her struggles…

Book Reviews

Queen Mary’s Daughter

Queen Mary’s Daughter by Emily-Jane Hills Orford  Emily-Jane Hills Orford’s new novel, “Queen Mary’s Daughter” is a highly original, fast-paced, skillfully written alternate history set in the sixteenth, seventeenth and twenty-first centuries. The central character, a young Canadian editor named Mary Elizabeth, journeys to Kinross, home of Loch Leven Castle, to trace her roots. Raised by her grandmother after her parents’ accidental death, she has grown up on stories about Scotland, and is fulfilling her grandma’s last wish in making this journey.    The first hint of time travel in “Queen Mary’s Daughter” occurs when Mary Elizabeth feels strangely drawn toward the loch. Just as someone is pulling her back to dry land, she hears, from far away and from within herself, a scream. Then she blacks out. A scream occurs in the next chapter, which flashes back to Loch Leven Castle in 1567 where a woman has just given birth to twins. When one…

Sparks

The Way Through

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. The Way Through By Rebecca Olivia Jones Fears change over the years Never being good enough The youthful drive for perfection   The impossible   Competition and proving myself The best daughter The best dancer The best singer The best at all attempts   Not possible   Time has mellowed anxieties into a soft pillow of joy Fear now is the walk toward unknowing A loss of self The fading memories of life’s struggles   I witnessed Mother’s decline into helplessness The night wanderings The frightening hallucinations Her ultimate vanishing   Will I vanish, too?   The slow breaking of synapses Unable to make decisions Thoughts like ghosts The fear of losing control over choices Existing in a continuum of uselessness   I also watched my father’s vanishing But he held on Giving until his music…