Sparks

Vigil

By Kathy Guthormsen Vigil I hold vigil by the campfire Watching dry logs send sparks dancing into the twilight, the west coast version of fireflies My prayers winging their way to you No more hot tubs under palm trees No more drinks with paper umbrellas These are distant memories wrapped in protective quilts I ask the fire to transform me into smoke that drifts upward Tendrils reaching, searching for you Forever just out of reach I had to let your body go But I hold your essence in my still beating heart where I will keep you safe and warm As long as I am here “Vigil” was created using Prompt #580 on The Write Spot Blog. Kathy Guthormsen Growing up in Skagit Valley, Washington with its verdant farmland gave Kathy an appreciation for the promise and beauty of nature’s bounty. The Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges and old growth…

Book Reviews

Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?

Positive, encouraging, inspiring. “Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?” by Bella Mahaya Carter is rich with inspiration to write and encouragement to share writing. I devoured this book and found the material mesmerizing. “Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book” is the perfect companion when writing. Carter helps readers get past the hurdles and uncertainties of writing and publishing your writing. The highlighted sections at the end of every chapter inspire writing ideas for deep exploration. Carter uses extensive quotes and reference material that enrich the experiential component of “Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?” The important message of “Believe in yourself and allow yourself to dream” encourages and supports your writing and your writing dreams. There are several sections that could be used as mantras, or reminders to go easy on yourself. “. . . we can stop…

Places to submit

Pilgrimage Magazine

Pilgrimage Magazine, founded in 1976, is published twice a year and is based in Pueblo, Colorado. The magazine is dedicated to exploring story, spirit, witness, and place. Artist/Writer Guidelines Pilgrimage welcomes previously unpublished creative nonfiction, fiction, translation, and poetry year-round via Submittable during our open calls. We also feature one visual artist per issue, with full color artwork on the covers and black and white artwork in the interior. Send what you think might fit, regardless of whether or not it matches an upcoming themed issue.

Sparks

Morning Sign

By Camille Sherman I glided a knife through an avocado this morning and thought, if I open this avocado and it turns out to be perfect, it’s going to be a great day. I opened my little fortune to see the happiest unblemished green smiling up at me. I ate in front of a vase of peony tulips that have opened so wide they look like lotus flowers, weighty enough to bend the top of the pond, but not enough to break it. I consider the crumbs, dust, and flower petals faintly mapping my floor and relish the open day ahead with which to sweep and wash. A fresh to do list will be poured with a second cup of coffee and the prophecy of my lovely day will continue to unfold its sweet pink petals. Camille Sherman is a professional opera singer from the Bay Area. She trained at…

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…

Sparks

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…