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…

Guest Bloggers

Create a Hygge Calendar or List

We hear a lot about being grateful, giving thanks, gratitude lists, and silver linings. But what if you just aren’t feeling it? How about creating a hygge calendar? I read about this in a Facebook group. Make a list of things to be mindful about, a way to help get out of the doldrums and into a feeling of calm, care, and positivity. Pay attention to one item each day. Personalize your calendar and use it as advent calendar, or as a way of looking at old things in a new way. Hygge: A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being, regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture. Hygge Advent Calendar ideas, or a list of how to create a feeling of coziness: 1. Light a candle during meals. 2. Chalk a friendly greeting on a sidewalk. 3. Share an uplifting poem or…

Book Reviews

Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences

“The title of my poetry collection comes from the last line in my poem ‘Open Range’ which explores my drive from Boise to the Duck Valley Reservation to work on a mine reclamation project. I experienced that part of the Western United States with all the complications of disappearing culture, including among the last stretches of unfenced or ‘open’ range, and the ascendant culture of hard rock mining and appetite for copper.” —Dave Seter, Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences Reviews of “Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences“ “The title of Seter’s captivating collection may remind you of Whitman’s ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ from Leaves of Grass, but where Whitman celebrates the human physical body, Seter’s poems, in party, decry the effect humans have had on nature and revel in nature itself. Electricity runs throughout the pages, from ‘Open Range,’ where the speaker meets a free-range steer…

Sparks

Barbara’s Braid

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Today’s Sparks is a pantoum. Barbara’s Braid By Karen Ely Weaving strands of amber honey Over, under, around and through Silky locks of shimmer sunlight Plaited patterns, three by two   Over, under, around, and through Brush strokes cultivate the threads Plaited patterns three by two A tapestry of golds and reds   Brush strokes cultivate the threads Silky locks of shimmer sunlight Plaited patterns, three by two Weaving strands of amber honey   Karen Handyside Ely was born and raised in Petaluma, California. She delights in difficult crossword puzzles, the Santa Rosa Symphony, and traveling with her husband, James. Karen has been published in The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing: Discoveries, The Write Spot: Reflections, The Write Spot: Possibilities, The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing, and The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a…

Sparks

Chuckstable

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Chuckstable By Lynn Levy Dana cracked her gum and then smoothed it against the roof of her mouth. She pushed her tongue through, making that all-important thin membrane that would become the bubble, and Bobby watched, thinking that the gum made her tongue look as pink as the boa she was wearing. Which was saying a lot. There was no explaining, really, why Dana was wearing a boa at all, but Bobby knew her better than to ask. Dana had on a boy’s tank top, cut-off jeans, and Goodwill Kiva sandals with one of the straps broken. She also had a scab on her left knee that grossed out the toughest kid in the neighborhood, and a thin white scar on her right arm from the time she’d fallen out of the big old oak on a dare that…

Sparks

One Wish Now, or Three In Ten?

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. One Wish Now, or Three In Ten? By Patricia Morris Patricia’s response to the writing prompt: Would you rather have one wish granted today, or three wishes granted ten years from now? Given that my dear friend of forty years died last week after a fast and furious 6-week illness, I will take my one wish today, please. No waiting for ten years for anything anymore. There are no ten years guaranteed, especially when, in ten years, I will be six months shy of 70 years old. That is a shocking thing to write, but that is my reality. Having only one wish, the pressure is on. To make it the “right” wish, the “best” wish, the “greatest good for the greatest number” wish. I could game it. I could make my one wish be to…

Book Reviews

The Most Fun We Ever Had

“The Most Fun We Ever Had” by Claire Lombardo is one of a handful of books I read a second time, right after the first reading. I read quickly the first time to find out what would happen. I read carefully the second time to savor passages and to try to understand the structure. The second reading also helped to understand the characters and their actions. This book is complex with traveling back and forth in time, and switching point of view, making it hard to know who “she” and “he” are referring to. I think, with some editing, the pronouns could be made clearer and there could be consistent ellipses and em-dash usage. I grew to like this family, like comfortable slippers. They took some getting used to. I didn’t really like the parents until trouble, in the name of Gillian, surfaced. Reading this during the Covid-19 pandemic, the…