What are you noticing? Prompt #495

No matter where you live, you most likely are experiencing Shelter in Place, or SIP. Where I live, Northern California, it looks like we’ll have another month of SIP. Our first day of SIP was March 17, 2020. Today is Day 44 of Shelter in Place. It’s an interesting time, isn’t it? Weird. Surreal. You probably have many adjectives you can use to describe this experience. Writing Prompt: What are you noticing?

Guest Bloggers

Surviving SIP

Guest Blogger Karen Handyside Ely writes about life while sheltering in place. 2020 has been the longest year of my life, and it’s only April. I really can’t complain (although that has never stopped me before). My adult children, who live in New York City, are healthy and still employed. My husband and I are well, and since I started hoarding toilet paper back in the ‘80s (that is an OCD story for another day) we are literally “good to go.” I’ve noticed as the days drag by, that I’m slowly getting used to this new reality. Getting used to it, and getting fat. In the very beginning, back in “aught March,” I decided that this was an opportunity to actively pursue FINALLY becoming skinny. I’ve now failed four diets in four weeks. It doesn’t help to have a husband who loves to bake. In the best of times, his sourdough…

Guest Bloggers

Write during stressful times.

“We need people who are taking the stress of this time and turning it into art, even if it’s solely for the effect it has on the artist.” — Nathan Bransford Guest Blogger Nathan Bransford shares tips about how to write during stressful times. Writing  is one of the best ways we have to turn darkness into light. Here are some tips that have worked for me [Nathan] when I needed to write and life circumstances were interfering in a big way: ~If you have the means and ability to write during this time, you have it really good. Recognize your luck. Let that privilege sink in. Let it guide you toward being a better and more generous person. ~Self-quarantining and working from home might free up time, which could feel like a huge opportunity that you don’t want to pass up. But paradoxically, having a lot of time to write can actually…

Guest Bloggers

Uneasy? You’re not alone.

Today’s Guest Blogger Lara Zielin:       I often have the feeling I’m in trouble.        It’s this pervasive unease, like I’m doing something wrong.       The problem is, I don’t know WHAT I’m doing wrong. Which means that if or when I get in trouble, it’s going to be a terrible surprise.        Because of this, I have my antennae up all day, scanning, looking, wondering what I could be doing that’s awful. I mind my P’s and Q’s and I try so hard to do everything right. I try to stay busy.       I try to be so, so good.        But some part of me knows it won’t be enough. Trouble is still a-comin’.        Which means by the time I get to the end of the day, there is this exhausted part of me that is BEYOND…

Places to submit

River Teeth

River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative was co-founded in 1999 by Joe Mackall and Dan Lehman, professors at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. The journal is recognized as a national leader in publishing quality essays, memoir, and literary journalism.  River Teeth has grown from a biennial journal edited by two professors with stacks of envelopes in their offices to a burgeoning organization that continues to publish, without bias, the best of today’s nonfiction.  From the very beginning, River Teeth has been dedicated to the simple premise that good writing counts and that facts matter. River Teeth invites submissions of creative nonfiction, including narrative reportage, essays, and memoirs, as well as critical essays that examine the emerging genre and that explore the impact of nonfiction narrative on the lives of its writers, subjects, and readers.

Guest Bloggers

Fertile Ground

Guest Blogger Brenda Bellinger offers inspiration to write: In these quiet days of sheltering at home, I’m grateful to be able to sink my ungloved hands into the moist soil of our vegetable garden and ready it for planting. I welcome the dirt under my fingernails and even the resistance of the weeds. There is so much uncertainty right now about what will happen in the next few months when, I’m hoping, our vegetables will be ready to harvest. There is fertile ground here, too, for us as writers. We are the ones who will be compelled to document what is happening all around us right now in response to the Covid-19 virus and its global effects. Some of us will craft poems to capture the historical significance of this pandemic, its devastation and how it already has, and will likely forever, change some of our behaviors. Others may write…

Places to submit

Bluestem Online Journal

Bluestem produces three online editions per year. Please submit no more than 5 poems at one time, or one short story (or 1-3 flash pieces in the same file), or one creative nonfiction essay. Fiction / prose / essays should be no longer than 5,000 words. We are currently accepting submissions for our Summer 2020 issue. No previously published work is accepted. Simultaneous submissions are fine. As part of our paid market pilot project, contributors in 2020 will receive $20/poem and $75/prose piece. Sample back issues of Bluestem are available for $5.00 for each issue you would like. The 2019 print issue is $10.00. Click here for purchase information. “For writers at home who are feeling the squeeze: in celebration of our relaunch, we’ve opened up free submissions for the remainder of April.“