Book Reviews

The Secret Life of Mrs. London

Reviewed by Marlene Cullen “The Secret Life of Mrs. London,” by Rebecca Rosenberg, is an entertaining and lively story, illustrating life in the early stages of Sonoma County and the developing freedom for women. We travel with Mrs. London, her husband, and his cohorts through escapades, both serious and humorous. Rebecca’s excellent writing and exquisite details indicate her expert research, keeping true to the times in an authentic voice. Recommend reading this timeless novel. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is available in paperback, as an ereader, and audio on Amazon.

Guest Bloggers

Surrender to Creativity

  Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray encourages creativity by surrendering.   SURRENDER IS CRITICAL TO CREATIVITY We can’t force creativity. We know this intuitively. If we told a painter that we wanted a masterpiece by five o’clock tomorrow, they would look at us like we were crazy; that we clearly didn’t understand what being creative was all about. An important part of being creative is learning to surrender to the flow of the universe, allowing something greater than our everyday self to move through us. It’s not something we can figure out with our linear mind. Of course, if we want to paint we need to learn how to work with our chosen medium and studying the work of the masters can help. If we want to write it’s really valuable to read widely and deeply, to show up daily to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and perhaps…


Complimented Complement

By Kathleen Haynie Yes, it drives me nuts. They take an English word that has some nuanced meaning for them personally, and they use it to name some untouchable gadget they have invented. And then someone else makes the gadget anew and puts a new name on it. Then it becomes daily language usage. She was complaining that her boyfriend didn’t understand her feelings. “He doesn’t have enough bandwidth, I guess.” That word no longer belongs in Techieville. Complement with an “e” gets merged into compliment with an “I” because spell check doesn’t check it. Someone must think highly of me because I am always getting complimentary “one-month free” offers. My e-mail gadget is called a program, a file, or a client. My clients usually pay me for my services, but this one does a service for me for free! I went to copy some text on my computer to…

Book Reviews

The Oasis This Time

Review: The Oasis This Time, Living and Dying With Water in the West written by Rebecca Lawton. Review by Marlene Cullen. Rebecca Lawton writes in such a personal and friendly manner, it feels as though we’re old friends sitting across from one another on a comfortable sofa and chatting. Her humble and unassuming manner is refreshing. It’s clear she is knowledgeable about waterways as well as bird identification. There are so many gems in this exquisite book. Lawton’s vocabulary and extensive knowledge on a variety of subjects is astounding. Her descriptions are visceral and breathtaking. “Fortynine Palms strings before me, a green necklace. The oasis has a narrow hydric zone in a long, arid arroyo. Fresh water tickles among horsetails, maidenhair fern, willow, and cottonwood where a small bit of flow is enough to fill tiny, clear pools. Glassy surfaces are topped by gaggles of water striders. A buzz fills…

Places to submit

The Paterson Literary Review

The Paterson Literary Review International magazine features fiction, poetry, interviews, and essays. Submission Guidelines Praise For the Paterson Literary Review “A great poet once said that art is not life because ‘Art has its own dynamic. It is a runaway train which society either boards, or does not board.’ Editor Maria Mazziotti Gillan decided from the beginning that the Paterson Literary Review would board that train and bring with it all voices, all people, not just a few—not only the dominant cultures, but each writer who has a genuine story to tell. We thank her for an all-inclusive literary magazine with a high degree of excellence—a journal that is global as well as deeply personal. “—Grace Cavalieri, Producer & Host: “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”


Brain Space

By Camille Sherman I’d like to write something charming or insightful or brilliant but the mind is as blank as the page. I scavenge the corners of consciousness, deftly sidestepping the errands and faint reminders threatening to blossom into worry. I search for a road less traveled by, a path in the crevices of my frontal cortex that could lead to my creative promised land. All that comes is the Law & Order theme song. Camille Sherman is a professional opera singer from the Bay Area. She trained at The Boston Conservatory and the San Francisco Conservatory of music, and served as an Artist in Residence at Pensacola Opera and Portland Opera. She currently lives in Portland, where she continues to sing and develop projects with local artists.

Guest Bloggers

Writing Family Stories

Guest Blogger Nancy Julien Kopp encourages writing family stories as a gift to family members. When stories are only told around the holiday dinner table, they eventually get lost. Writing the stories ensures that they will live on, that those stories will be a continuing gift to other family members. Many people want to write their family stories, but don’t know how to begin. There is no set place or time to begin. It’s not necessary to start with the first ancestor you remember. The starting spot is anywhere, about anyone, or anyplace. Begin with the most vivid memory you have. Type your family stories, put them in a binder, and assemble them any way you like: By the person, by the era, by the ones you like best. It does not matter how you put your book of family stories together. What is important is that you do it….


Shopping at the A & P

By Jonah Raskin My mother always shopped at the A & P in the small town where I grew up. Going there with her was almost as wonderful as going to the Planetarium with its stars and planets in its make-believe night sky, and the Museum of Natural History with its reconstructed dinosaurs. At the A & P I liked the rows and rows of canned goods, and packaged cereals, the smell of the wood floor and the man in the green apron who always helped my mother. I thought of him and the A & P the other day when I went shopping in my own local food market. Like the A & P of my boyhood, my local market is small, clean, and tidy. Some of the smells are nearly the same. Walking the aisles, I’m reminded of the smells in the A & P. Before I know…


Time . . . Too Much, Too Little

By Cheryl Moore In the many years of a working life, time is too little.           Too little to be with family and friends           Too little to pursue creative activities           Too little to just sit back and enjoy its passage. Since retirement there has been time. What have I done with this time?           Walk to the river           Scribble in a journal           Mix up paint on a canvas           Invent a story from memories           Settle on the porch with a book and watch the birds at the feeder,                     crows chasing a hawk high in the sky           Watch the sun rise and set as it slowly arcs across the sky           Watch the tide’s ebb and flow pulled by the distant moon           Watch the blooming and fading of the garden’s flowers           And the creatures who visit Too much time or too…