Sparks

Wait.What?

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Wait. What? By Brenda Bellinger Mindlessly scrolling through Yahoo News (a time suck, I know), I came across a headline titled “Caroline Kennedy’s first grandchild’s name revealed.” It stopped me cold and aged me a lifetime all at once. I still picture Caroline as that sweet little girl at her father’s grave site in 1963, two days before her seventh birthday. A moment that precipitated that image is forever etched into my memory. I was sitting in my third-grade classroom at McKinley School in San Francisco. Our teacher, Mrs. Johnson, whom I recall being about the same age I am now, was in front of the class at the blackboard when we heard a soft knock at the classroom door. The door opened and our principal motioned for Mrs. Johnson to step out into the hallway….

Sparks

You Think You Know Me

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. You Think You Know Me By Karen Handyside Ely  You think you know me, but you don’t know… that I am struggling with a powerful bout of depression. I’ve battled it before. I’ve been in deeper, darker, more dangerous pits. This current episode has rolled over me slowly. Not a storm, but more a dense, thick, cloud cover, wrapping me in the heavy humidity of numbness and ennui, pinning me to the ground with a listless, languid, low-grade despair that makes me want to sleep all day. I’m suffocating one breath at a time… in slow motion. This time around, my depression isn’t a raging sea, which has been my usual experience, but an ebbing tide that creeps back over the sand as the fog rolls in to smother the beach. I could cry, just writing…

Sparks

My Secret Cottage

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. My Secret Cottage By Kathy Guthormsen I open the back door to dew sparkling in the morning sun and hints of rainbows shimmering in the lingering mist. They let me catch a fleeting glimpse before their magic fades. Goosebumps raise along my bare arms as I race through the grass and turn to look at my wet footprints. The sun will soon erase this evidence of my footsteps. I won’t be followed as I skip through an imaginary forest to my secret cottage at the far end of an enchanted glade. Rabbit hops along next to me hoping for the reward of a carrot. Cat slinks across the trail, hunting. She’d like to catch Rabbit, but he’s bigger than she is. And wilier. I raise my hand to shade my eyes and turn in a circle….

Book Reviews

Shaman Heart, Turning Pain Into Passion and Purpose

“Shaman Heart, Turning Pain Into Passion and Purpose”, a Brave Healer Production, invites readers to develop a shaman heart — one that can only be obtained by coming through our darkest moments more healed and whole and then lighting the way for others. As the anthology’s lead author, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and teacher Stephanie Urbina Jones writes, “Whether it’s a death of a loved one, divorce, illness or depression, we can turn our pain into an initiation and be a sacred witness or messenger in these bittersweet, crossroad moments in life. From this place of humbled, broken-open wisdom and grace, we can then walk with others and assist them as they journey through their own darkness to the dawn of a new beginning.” The genesis for Shaman Heart occurred on January 5, 2022, when Urbina Jones and 25 other leading spiritual teachers, preachers, and healers spent a week together at the Dreaming House in the heart of Mexico. “Each author…

Sparks

Fortunes I Did Not Get In Cookies

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Fortunes I Did Not Get In Cookies By DSBriggs A wise man marries a wiser woman. You will get good news; and you will recognize it. If you miss your bus, start walking. A book returned is a friendship kept. Get a dog, it will save you. Blood is thicker than water but only Vampires should care. Delight in today; for tomorrow is no guarantee. Buy a car for its usefulness; not for its beauty. The One that got away is not the One for You. A blind man cannot see beyond his fingers. Asking for help is a sign of strength but ignoring it can be a weakness. A half full glass can be emptied and refilled. A wise animal is better than a noisy friend. Luck is knowing when to walk away. Keep a…

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…