Sparks

Reverberations

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Reverberations By Brenda Bellinger I suppose another title for this post could be “Echoes.” Some are gentle, quiet, reminiscent of the fading ring of a bell. Others are loud, persistent—drumbeats, almost—like the hourly news headlines of the brutal slaughters in Ukraine, occasionally punctuated by stories of defiance, strength and resilience. It’s Monday morning, the day before I’ll upload this post. I’m sitting at the dining room table in the family home that will soon be listed for sale, waiting for the painter and landscaper to arrive. Traffic noise is more noticeable now in the hollow silence of this near-empty space. All but a handful of the original furnishings are gone, replaced with artsy pieces and decor selected by our real estate agent to stage the home. Gone is the Tuscan-inspired color scheme that ran throughout the…

Sparks

Inspiration

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Inspiration By Brenda Bellinger Toward the end of his life, my father, who used to enjoy painting, would often say he couldn’t “get in the mood” or “just lost interest.” His easel stood waiting, a blank canvas in place and a table of brushes and paints nearby. Sometimes, writing can feel that way, as though you’re engaged in a stare down with a blank screen. Which of you is going to win? You can wait to be inspired (it might be a while), you can use a writing prompt or you can just let your thoughts spill onto the page in a stream-of-consciousness fashion and see what shape they take. The thing about inspiration is that it’s bound to strike at an inopportune moment like when you’re in the shower or you’re driving or you’re in…

Sparks

Dust to Dust

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Dust to Dust By Brenda Bellinger This post happens to fall on what would have been my mother’s 86th birthday if she were still with us. She passed away thirteen years ago, yet I often feel her presence. Recently, I was dusting a small antique genie lamp that belonged to her mother, my grandmother. Made of white china, its glaze bears the spiderwebbing of many tiny cracks. Miraculously, the hurricane glass and original brown paper shade, though faded, are both still intact. As I carefully pushed a corner of the dust cloth through the curled handle, I thought of all the times this had been done before. Both my mother and grandmother were fastidious housekeepers. Myself? Not so much. I wonder at what point this lamp will cease to hold its significance. A time will come when…

Sparks

Rinse Cycle

Rinse Cycle By Brenda Bellinger Remember when we used to rely on weather forecasts that were broadcast with our nightly news? We’d get a good-enough sense of when to expect rain from the fuzzy satellite image. Many years ago, I used to ride the bus to work. At one of the stops along the way, a cheerful woman named Marilyn would board. She had Down Syndrome and would always greet everyone before settling herself into a seat toward the front. Occasionally, she would bring her umbrella. If Marilyn was carrying her umbrella on a bright sunny day, you could be assured it would rain, even if it hadn’t been predicted by the weatherman the night before. Who could have imagined that one day we’d have phones that would tell us precisely when rainfall would begin and end based on our location? Yes, it’s convenient and often very helpful but I…

Book Reviews

Taking Root by Brenda Bellinger

Brenda Bellinger’s Taking Root is an engaging story with believable characters that drew me in, welcoming me to join them. Taking up residence in this community is like biting into a warm blueberry muffin and sipping a hot mocha . . . warm, endearing, and nurturing. I look forward to reading more of Brenda’s books. — Marlene Cullen, Editor, The Write Spot Books “From the very first page I was drawn into Delaney’s unfortunate life of coping with panic attacks while trying to become independent at the tender age of seventeen. With no family support and a relentless elderly woman and young music store owner who befriend her, she is determined to change the course of her life but a startling discovery from her past threatens to destroy her success.  I found myself cheering for Delaney on every page!”  — Janet Pierce, Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the…