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A Letter to my Rapist


Aubrey Grace


© Copyright 2018 by Aubrey Grace


Photo of a girl's hand writing a letter.

My high school English teacher gave us an assignment, and the assignment was to write about a time that changed my life forever. Keep in mind the assignment was supposed to be two paragraphs. Two paragraphs turned into two pages and suddenly I found myself pouring my heart out about the moment that defined the rest of my life; the night I was raped. After my rape I wanted to make a difference, and the perfect way to do that was call attention to it and let people know the real aftermath and healing. Without further ado, A Letter to my Rapist. . . .


Self Doubt

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2018 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of John Steinbeck.

Most writers, even the best of them, experience periods of self-doubt about their writing skills and work.  John Steinbeck, author of "The Grapes of Wrath" and many other novels, was one of the most successful authors of the 20th century.  But even he did not escape self-doubt.

I tried to write this book the way lives are being lived not the way books are written.

John Steinbeck

I’m willing to bet that all writers have experienced a moment, somewhere along the way, when they doubted whether the work they were doing was any good. That seems to happen even to writers who have been successful in the past. No one knows why – it seems to be a hazard of the trade. . . .

Sarojini - A Window to the World
of the Unseen People


Shiny Kesavan


© Copyright 2018 by Shiny Kesavan


Photo of the author.

Let me tell you a story today... a real story... a story that hit me so hard that it took me months to put it down on paper. A story that changed the way I looked at life. A story that showed me the different shades of courage, self-respect, sacrifice and dignity.

The story of a person - unseen, unknown, always present among us but never acknowledged. . . .


The Heir


Sreya Sarkar


© Copyright 2018 by Sreya Sarkar


Photo of a man with headset..

The Heir is a story about a young man’s aspiration to make it big in the music World and how that makes him take a complex emotional route to connect to the aging owner of a music company, who is desperate to find a successor. . . .


Serenity Now


Penelope Laurence


© Copyright 2018 by Penelope Laurence


Photo of Spa Eastman.

We all know the type. Those of a particularly hysterical nature whose friends regularly murmur to each other “that one’s got premature heart attack written all over her.” I know this person very well because most of the time it’s me. And I’ve done all the things the experts say to do; the breathing, the yoga, and more calming visualisation exercises than you can poke a chakra stick at, and not much changed. 

This is why I was more than a little sceptical when a friend suggested I spend a weekend at Spa Eastman (895 chemin des Diligences, Eastman), just a few hours east of Montreal nestled in Québec’s Eastern Townships. A place where, according to their literature, I was to “learn how to regain my feeling of well-being and to get back in touch with my inner self.”. . .





Ofelia Torres


© Copyright 2018 by Ofelia Torres


Photo of a woman's hands through jail bars.

What does it mean to be happy? To me happiness is an illusion. The happiness we see in movies, and on social media is nothing more than a front. I mean come on, nothing is that perfect. To be that perfectly happy must be fake. Even if they are happy for the moment, for how long will it last? I guess I will never be happy until I can make myself happy. The problem is that I don’t know what happiness is. I guess most of my life I am fake happy. . . .


Woman by the Wayside

Akber Ayub 

© Copyright 2018 by Akber Ayub 

Photo of a sunrise.

A few years ago, I was traversing interior Kerala, Southern India, gathering material for a coffee-table travel book. I was in Thirunelly, a green hilly outpost in Wayanad, Kerala, known for its ancient temples and fabulous trekking trails. On a cool Sunday morning, dawn was just breaking over the hills when I stepped out of my hotel room. The air was filled with the trills and cries of dulcet birds. And gnarled old trees whispered under a steady cool breeze. While I tramped over a long-winding track, a pariah dog from the slumbering village tagged along and kept pace.

Coming out of a bend in the rutted track I nearly bumped into the woman by the wayside. Her eyes bored into mine; holding my gaze until I looked away. I blinked, even as my mind registered her doleful eyes. Intrigued, I broke my stride, regarding her warily. Her eyes promptly welled with tears and a thin streak rolled down her cheeks. . . .


Ghostly Figures


Margie Hofman 


© Copyright 2018 by Margie Hofman

Photo of a British tank crewman smiling.

. . . .Since I was a young child, I think I was five, I always had a vivid imagination.  I would hear people talking about someone, and the next day it was mentioned in conversation. . . .

My father was in the army and we used to mention him in our prayers every night. My mother said “Now your father is in Germany “ One evening at about 7pm I stared at the wall and saw a vision of my father driving his tank, but he turned to me and smiled. I knew he would be all right. I did not know where Germany was . I told my mother that I had seen a picture of my Dad in a tin box (I had never seen a tank) and she said “Don’t ever tell me if you see anything like that again” and I never did. . . .


The Nostalgia of Durga Puja 

Festival of Chakradharpur


Shivaji K. Moitra 


© Copyright 2018 by Shivaji K. Moitra 


Image of the Godess Durga.

The Upanishads mention that the cosmos resonated with the all pervading sound ‘OM’ at the beginning of Time. But Time cannot be perceived without awareness. So God created the human beings to perceive Time and also to wonder at His grand creations.

Ever since, our religious beliefs, sweet and sour memories and our nostalgia have been our companions until death because time never pauses for anybody.

Quite a few of my cherished childhood memories revolve around the DURGA PUJA Festival at the Bengali Association of Chakradharpur. . . .


Adventures in Pet Sitting

Terri Rimmer

© Copyright 2018 by Terri Rimmer


Photo of a woman giving a cat a pill.

After pet sitting for years on my own for friends and family I decided to officially try my hand through a local pet service in Sept. 2003. 

I have since gone on to work for two other pet sitting services since that time but these are just some of the interesting things that I experienced before that.

As if I hadn't had enough adventures on my own, I had no idea my new job would involve skinned knees, leash rope burn, jogging after wayward animals, coordinating alarm codes to match my walk around a house, matching personalities to duties, and coaxing jealous furry siblings to at least tolerate one another while the other one ate. . . .


Things Are Never As They Seem

Robert Flournoy


© Copyright 2017 by Robert Flournoy   


Photo of Irving by a plane in 1944.

As a young boy, sitting quietly around the dinner table at our family's old farmhouse, my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents shared a wealth of folk and family lore during dinner—and in the idle time after, in front of the fire. With no TV, and unreliable radio reception in rural Alabama of the 1950s, we practiced the age old but now fading art of just plain talking. As a result of those moments, I can appreciate the passing down of stories in ancient cultures that did not have the written word. I also understand how, over time, younger generations, completely spellbound and enthralled by these stories, could and did slowly change the tone and content of what they had heard. I have never retold the story of Irving Reedy, but it has festered in my mind over the years, growing from the seeds of conversations around that old dinner table so many years ago. . . .


The Train

Karen Osborn

© Copyright 2018 by Karen Osborn


Photo of a light at the end of a tunnel.
We lay in bed that night, just as we did every night at promptly 9pm, and we talked about our days. I was only four or five at the time,completely unbiased of the world still surprisingly. We talked about daycare and about the upcoming months, we talked about if I wanted to get married or if boys were still gross, we talked about everything under the sun. Except we never talked about my father. In fact, my mother never said two words about him after he left.

But I remember one night when she told me it would all be okay, and I didn’t have to worry as there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when I turned to her and asked a very loaded question for a child, one that I didn’t think was anything to think about. It was child’s logic to me, but yet that question has stuck with my mother everyday. With little tears in my eyes and a heavy heart in my chest, I turned to her and asked very quietly, “mama, is the light at the end of the tunnel another train?”. . .


Learning to Appreciate the Sport of Curling

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of a game of curling.

A few years ago in the small town of Naseby, New Zealand, we developed an appreciation for the sport of curling. Prior to this, curling had been one of those sports (like fencing and water aerobics) we saw only on TV during the Olympics. And while we assumed that participants were skilled at what they did, we had little understanding of why grown-ups would chase a chunk of stone down the ice with brooms. . . .


I Can't Believe I Almost Didn't Go to Oaxaca

Lorenza Seldner

© Copyright 2018 by Lorenza Seldner


Photo of Lorenza at Santiago Apoala.

While I was working in a Manufacturing Plant at my hometown, a close friend and I decided to utilize our upcoming holiday to take a trip to Oaxaca. Although neither the companionship nor the trip itself turned out to be what I'd expected (especially since Oaxaca was considered a violent place at the time), I cannot help to smile each time I reminisce about the short period of time spent down there. . . .


Befriending The Lizard Man

Lauren Buss

© Copyright 2018 by Lauren Buss


Photo of a bearded dragon lizard.

A day in mid-February sees beautiful weather here in Houston. Pleasant temperatures are more common than they are made out to be in this strange place where winter feels like spring, spring feels like summer, and summer feels like the belly of the devil. The mildness of this particular Friday morning coaxes me out of hiding and onto the porch. I am armed with a cup of coffee and my busily annotated copy of Donleavy’s The Ginger Man, a personal recipe for relaxation. . . .


Franco and Billy

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of three old guys.

The first week after we moved to Southwest Florida, Kenny joined Marco Island Fitness Club. The

owner, Bob, introduced him to Franco, another retired cop from Chicago. Franco was the head of the

Homicide Division in Chicago. They hit it off immediately. Another friend he met was Billy from New

Jersey, a sweetheart of a man, with a crazy sense of humor, a real character, and totally uninhibited. A

funny guy, who makes everybody in the room laugh. The three of them together started being great

friends and buddies. They had a lot of fun together, with a great camaraderie between them. . . .


The Pursuit of Unity in Time of Destruction

Elias Gebru 

© Copyright 2018 by Elias Gebru


Photo of a world surrounded by many hands.
Currently our population is facing many worldwide challenges such as global warming causing ironical swiping flood for some and a blazing wildfire for others.  Eminent devastating nuclear war threats terrorize humanity. Nature and evil nurture; unveiling the worst out of them! . . .


It's You

Chessica Luckett

© Copyright 2018 by Chessica Luckett


Photo from The Graduate where Dustin spoils wedding.
It's You is a romance story about a man that finally realizes that the one he was meant to become one with, was right in front of him
And just like that it was over. Christian Smith, like so many other men here in Austin, Texas, was a fool. A fool because he let the only woman that ever set his soul on fire, get away. He splashed water on his face to wash away the truth, to wash away what was so clearly being shown in front of him. Christian ran out of the restroom and into the chapel.

"Stoppp!" He yelled out. . . .



The Little Red Schoolhouse 

Karen Radford Treanor 


© Copyright 2018  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo of the little red schoolhouse.

Not long ago, the last one room school house in my home town closed forever, and a page in local history was irrevocably turned. Looking back on the experience of attending classes at the Little Red Schoolhouse, I sometimes wonder if I lived it or have a false memory from some old TV family drama. In my mind’s eye I walk through the back fields, go down the small road past the large new elementary school, and stand once more in the tiny cleared space before the front door, worn down by many busy little feet over the years. The grass is beginning to encroach, the long tough witch grass that springs up rapidly once a clearing is not often used. . . .


The Lazarus Effect

Carol Arvo 


© Copyright 2018 by Carol Arvo

Photo of aold movie therater.

It was dark, cold, and empty, a lifeless emptiness that seeped into every cell in our bodies, an emptiness that forbade talking. It demanded fearful whispers that vibrated against the walls and crept back at us with eerie boding. Hesitation slowed our steps and looming shadows surrounded us, as if soldiers were incorporating us into their ranks.

We discerned a slight, barely detectable odor of nonexistence around us, but continued to bravely make our way into the pit, down, further, until we were in the center of the lifeless cavity. We sat on stiff leather seats made hard by the cold. We huddled close together and pulled our collars up, hoping for protection from the damp blackness. Due to a fluke of traffic, or rather the lack of it, we arrived before life itself had entered the great hall and now we must wait in its belly. . . .


Cloaks of Uncertainty

Diwa Shaw

© Copyright 2018 by Diwa Shaw


Photo of a girl in a mortar board.
The squeaking of the asymmetrical fan had settled in the earlobe as indifferently as the dust who had been the local occupant of the fan since the cleaning break, last summer. The mirror in the center, and our impetuous young lifestyle, required a modest frame and some scrubbing. The disheveled room was a transient set from a movie. . . .

Rising Above Negative Circumstances

Allison McClurg

© Copyright 2018 by Allison McClurg


Photo of Kent Julian.

Elizabeth Smart was a 14 year old girl in Utah who had woken up to a strangers hand over her mouth and was abducted. A few months before this happened you could describe her family as the “perfect family”. The kind of family that you would see in the movies. One day her family was walking down the street and they saw a homeless guy. He did not ask for money, but instead asked for work. Being that type of family, her dad said that he could come work on their roof. . . .



James Cowles

© Copyright 2018 by James Cowles


Photo of a Jolie.

It was February when our fifteen-year-old cock-a-poo, Missy passed away and we of course were devastated. She was barely seven-weeks old when we got her and she had quickly become a treasured member of our family. After she died, one of the most difficult things for us was to come home and see an empty window where she used to sit; the one she always watched from, waiting for our return. . . .


Brave Knight

Cattibrie Chapin

© Copyright 2018 by Cattibrie Chapin


Painting of St. George and the dragon.
Once upon a time, in a land filled with magic, a brave knight traveled about to lend his services to those in need. He belonged to no kingdom, and had long since left his family and friends behind in pursuit of his own happiness. The knight knew from a very young age that he was only good at one thing: protecting people.

His life dream was to help the defenseless and save as many good people as possible. He roamed the land freely, well loved and respected by most kingdoms. His reputation as a kind and generous protector grew as he assisted elderly people, stopped bandits, and even fought monsters. Indeed, he was a mighty and noble knight. However, as he saved villages and defeated villains, he became sadder and sadder. . . .


Together Again for the First Time

Rosi Hollinbeck

© Copyright 2018 by Rosi Hollinbeck


Photo of sisters.

For over sixty years, my mother knew she had siblings who had been given up for adoption. It wasn't until she was in her seventies that she was able to meet her long-lost sister.

They moved around each other in a tight circle, like two aged, heavy fighters looking for the first punch. Then they went into a clinch. A groan came from Helen, the shorter of the two elderly women. Stunned and nearly speechless, she finally croaked out a few words. "I don't know where to begin. I have so much to ask. So much I want to know. Where have you been? How have you been? Who are we? How can we look so much alike and not have found each other before now?" . . .


16 Lake Avenue, Ocean Park, NJ


Matthew Conte


© Copyright 2018 by Matthew Conte


It would be easy to act jaded in a place like the dining room of the Rainforest Cafe on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It's at the bottom of a neon hill, a miniature Vegas strip so bright from the wax museum, the arcade, the miniature golf, the hulking, decaying dinosaur models, that it could never fully be night, and in fact, we did act a little jaded. Less than a week after the fire that took our apartment and our belongings, we stopped in the Amazon-themed gimmick as the last of an all-out tourist blitz of the connection between lakes Erie and Ontario, confronted with the cheeriest of Canadian waitresses. . . .


Cows of a Lesser Hue

Bob Dunlap


© Copyright 2018 by Bob Dunlap

Photo of a cow.

This story is true, for the most part.  Embellishment is part and parcel of the nature of this beast. Even though the general synopsis is the simple act of riding a motorcycle through a bunch of cows and the aftermath, it makes sort of a story with a little imagination.
Early one summer morning, while heading to work down a country road on my beloved scoot, upon cresting a hill, I saw that the road ahead was, alas, covered with cows.  They were big cows with big horns, and I slowed down in a big hurry.  Weaving through them, I yelled over to the nearby House of Booger People, “Hey!!!  Your cows are loose!” . . .



Ladies of the Skies

Caroline Jensen

© Copyright 2018 by Caroline Jensen

Photo of Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie.

          Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie

An aviatrix is a woman aviator, a woman pilot, or a woman flyer. Another term, although not commonly used, is aviatress.

In the 20th century (the 1900s) women progressed significantly in the area of aviation. The first pilot’s license issued to a woman was in France in 1910. The United States first issued a pilot’s license a year later. In Canada, Ontario did not have a licensed female pilot until 1928. Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie became the first female Transport Pilot in 1927 and was also the first woman to become a licensed aircraft mechanic. . . .


Alone at New Year 

Aditi Srivastava

© Copyright 2018 by Aditi Srivastava


Photo of a sad girl from India.

It was 22:00 when I was done dressing up for New Year’s Eve party. I started dressing up at 21:56 and was done by 22:00. This was the exact time my new year started to screw up. So, the situation was that that our hostel’s owner collected 100 Rupees from every girl who couldn’t make it to their home this New Year’s Eve. I also contributed for the pity party. At that time I thought something is better than nothing.

Well, I was dressed up, I put on a sweet looking beanie, not only because it matched with my clothes but also because I didn’t wanted to comb my hair. My roommate and I went downstairs (at the party venue) and were asked to have dinner, which they shouldn’t have prepared, even for a person dying from hunger (because it definitely not good to be cursed by dying person). . . .


Como Se Llama, Bonita 

Reagan Brownell

© Copyright 2018 by Reagan Brownell

Photo of Shakira album cover.

Hips Don’t Lie” plays all the time in my house. I am seven years old, and I know all the words. I especially like the singer, but I wish he let the girl sing more. I don’t think I’ve heard any other voice like hers before. When my family listens to the song, Mom won’t let us play it too loudly because she is trying to work, but we all dance anyway, and sometimes we even convince her to join us. But the best is when I’m in the car with Dad and we can listen to it as loud as we want and sing as loud as we want. . . .


Z. J. Loussac

Steven C. Levi

© Copyright 2018 by Steven C. Levi


Photo of Z. J. Loussac.

Zachery Joshua Loussac. But usually it’s Z. J. Loussac; a name synonymous with Anchorage, Alaska. He was the city’s most colorful mayor, most notable rags-to-riches personal success story and a philanthropist who shocked the city with his largess: $500,000 by the time of his death in 1965, half his personal wealth – about $7 million in today’s dollars. The city library is named in his honor and his personal art collection – donated to the public – is as close to an artistic fingerprint of Alaska as one can find.

But Loussac was more than a local hero. His life was symbolic of the last century. He was an Horatio Alger character in the flesh. . . .


The Trustworthy 

Shirin Mulla

© Copyright 2018 by Shirin Mulla

Photo of a sleeping crocodile.

I hear thunder!!

I hear thunder!!

Oh, don’t you?

Pitter patter raindrops pitter patter raindrops….

I am wet through..... !!

Sang little Diana as cloud spelled raindrops on her pinkish cheeks. Today the road seemed to be unusual than the other days. Thunder echoed in the valley. She enjoyed the changing weather although it carried a dark air. Soon she heard something in the bushes to the roadside. A small white-brownish, hairy puppy wailed at her as she looked at him pettily. He had bright, sparkling ambitious eyes. But they were urging for help! It might have met with an accident it seemed…!


Sometime In October

Richard Wall

© Copyright 2018 by Richard Wall

Photo of school children during a atomic bomb drill.

Sometime in October of 1962, my 12 year old self was huddled down in a somewhat muddy, newly dug trench in the cold, clear weather outside my school in East Point, Ga. That part of Georgia is known for its red clay, and I faced a wall of red dirt with the occasional root sticking out. I was not alone. My classmates and teacher were there too.

Somewhere between Florida and Cuba, military men were coming close to a decision which could render the area near that town and school a radioactive cinder. The warning sirens had sounded, my teacher’s face going white with fear, and we students were rushed to the trenches, where it was believed we would be “safe”. Whatever that meant....


Movie Buff

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of James Dean.
In 1951, when I was eight years old, dad started taking my twin sister and me with him to the movies. He was quite a movie buff, and enjoyed them immensely. Most weeks in the 50’s, after their work week was over on Fridays,our family would drive to Springfield on RT 66 Highway from Conway. Mom  would go shopping.

Dad always got himself a large popcorn and coke. He’d buy me a Mound’s candy bar, my favorite, with a Coke, and Connie a 7-Up candy bar and Coke.   It was usually either the Fox or Gillioz Theaters. The Fox was next to the J.C. Penney Store on the square in downtown Springfield, Missouri....


Old Gray 

Odelia Chan

© Copyright 2018 by Odelia Chan

Photo of Ernest and his twin girls.

Odelia Chan is an undergraduate currently studying for her English degree. Passionate about the way words chase themselves across the pages of books, she has decided only a year ago to pursue the lonely and often disappointing path of being a writer. Living in the country side of Canada has inspired her to pick up the pen and explore the brave new world of writing. She lives with her seven boisterous siblings and two wonderful parents.

Hunger tears through me, as painful as the jagged gash on my leg. I can barely lift my head an inch above the gritty forsaken ground. Something pants ahead: I know what it is.

It is a dog gone wild. 

We are fellow sufferers. Enemies. . . .


The Wallaby Wars

Karen Radford Treanor 


© Copyright 2017  by Karen Radford Treanor


Photo of a wallaby.

Ignoring almost all the major points on the list of things our new home
must have, we made an offer on an outsize country cottage in rural Tasmania. We were entranced by the sunshine, flowers, swooping swallows, soaring eagles and the view of the nearby d’Entrecasteaux Channel. The cottage sat on the outskirts of Gordon, a town so small it isn’t really there at all—but oh! the views; the crystal air; the balmy temperatures and frisky breezes!

It was a day that any real estate agent would be proud to have ordered in specially: warm but not too warm; Marshmallow Fluff clouds floating over the nearby Channel, everything in the garden looking its best. There were even bumblebees, big story-book bumblebees, something I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years of living on the other side of the big brown island continent of Australia.

It was only much later we discovered our New Found Land was inhabited by monsters....


Antique World

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of a booth in an antique mall.

My dad started dabbling in antiques in the 70’s, buying living room and bedroom pieces that were beautiful. When he died in 1981, they were left  to my mom.

I’ve liked arts and crafts since the 60’s, being a creative woman, who loves to make things. In 2003, after my mom died, I got the antique bug myself. I loved going to all the antique stores in Branson and Ozark, Missouri. It’s a very popular business in that area. I loved browsing in  them, sorting out the quality from the junk. . . .


Angel and Thunder

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema


Photo of Angel.
Photo of Thurder

My husband’s a retired cop, and when we met he was living in Missouri, out in the boonies on his forty two acre place that he’d bought in 1998. He lived one hundred miles from my home in Springfield, Missouri. While he was a cop in Chicago, he took three vacations a year to drive down to his place, and work.

When we met in 2008, in Springfield, he drove me down there to see his place, and what he’d done with it. He’d mowed a large portion of lush green grass in the front and back to make a beautiful lawn, and bush hogged all the fields with his tractor. He also got the driveway paved, and had him a three car garage built.  In it he kept his red Ford Bronco, riding lawn mower, tractor, and his many tools he’d accumulated over the years, hanging on the back wall over his work bench.

When we drove up in the back drive by the garage and back porch, I spotted two horses. Thunder was a male Appaloosa, and a real match for Kenny. He’d tried to ride him twice. Thunder bucked him off both times. He had a personality all his own. He took to me as soon as I walked up to the fence. His two very large, shiny eyes full of mischief, were warming up to me. I’d lived in Springfield most of my life, and wasn’t familiar with horses. . . .


London through the Eyes of a Cabbie

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of Dominic Shannon.

There is much to see in London and taxi driver, Dominic Shannon, will help you take it in – from a unique perspective. From the moment you enter his cab you embark on an adventure; not just moving around the city, but observing it. Shannon has been photographing London for years, capturing thousands of moments in time, from vistas to vagrants, and he gladly shares his views with his customers....


They Will Always Be His Kids

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of Lee Roberson.

There are many kids that need help finding their way in the world, and there are many ways to help them. Lee Roberson spent a large chunk of his life working with disadvantaged children, and he found it rewarding in a special way. Lee saw a lot of kids go through Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center (Tel-Hi) in San Francisco, and he saw a lot of change during his nearly 20 years there, but one thing always stayed the same: "To be successful," he said, "You have to put your heart and soul into the job."...



Barry Carver
© Copyright 2017 by Barry Carver

Photo of a border collie.

On the occasion of visiting Hadrian’s Wall (The ancient Roman dividing point between Scotland and England) I have this day met a fine border collie. I thought her name was “Lucy” but I have since been informed that it is “Loo-See.”

Being a guard dog of the highest order, the name fits her. For I am told, whenever there is a curious noise or action, it’s this lovely black and white canine who is the first to go and have a look see....


The Sinking Ship


Author Unknown...


Translation by Hamza Balol


Photo of an abandoned rowboat.

The teacher was telling his students the story of a sinking ship in the middle of the sea. On board, there was a couple and a lifeboat for only one person. All of a sudden, the man pushed his wife aside, jumped into the boat, and sailed away from the sinking ship, leaving his wife to face her impending death alone. As the ship began to sink in the sea, the woman shouted at her husband..... At this moment, the teacher stopped telling the story and asked the students, "What in your opinion did she say to him?..."


Glen's Bakery and Restaurant


Leslie Soule


© Copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule


Photo of Stagebusters Domain cover.

Crescent City lies on the California coast, just before the Oregon border. It is by the ocean and also features mountainous regions, and redwoods. For natural beauty, it is one of California’s best-kept secrets. But for all the city’s scenic charm, it also contains that staple of small towns that serves as a gathering place, a location for the acquisition of gustatory pleasures – the diner. This particular diner is called Glen’s Bakery and Restaurant, and its story is unique and inspiring....


A Teddy Bear Named Timmy         

David Winnie

© Copyright 2017 by  David Winnie


Photo of Timmy.

When I hear Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas,” I give a tiny shudder. We had white Christmases growing up in the late 1960’s in Everett, Washington. Decidedly not as romantic as Mr. Crosby’s songs. Our house was old and uninsulated, with a small oil heater in the living room huffing out a halo of heat that rarely would find its way around the corner and up the staircase to the unfinished attic my four older brothers and I slept in....


Angels Among Us

Linda Davis Biggs

© Copyright 2017 by Linda Davis Biggs

Photo of heavy rain coming off a roof.

Most residents of Middle Tennessee will not forget May 1, 2010. We received around fifteen inches of rain in a little over two days. The ground quickly became saturated. Most rivers began to overflow. Our property is approximately 40 feet from the banks of Mill Creek. Mill Creek is affected by the condition of Cumberland River. The Cumberland River levels are regulated by the authorities employed at the Corps of Engineers....



Norma Tekell

© Copyright 2017 by Norma Tekell


Photo of Grandmother and Edith.
     Grandmother           Edith

It was the summer between my second and third grades of school. I sat on the steps and watched as daddy finished attaching his homemade camper to the back of his old blue pickup. Momma and my brothers hurriedly began packing our belongings in the back of the truck. I called out to daddy “Why do we have to move to Kansas?” He responded, “It is our gypsy blood calling us” As I sat there I began to think of all the thing I would miss about this place; all my kitties, our pet pig Onkie, the daily seafood platter, the sunsets over the Inland Water Way, the daily trips to the outhouse, the sounds from Paris Island, the smell of marsh grass, pine trees, and the wide open spaces....


Silence Is Not Always Golden

My Selective Mutism Story

Nicole Van Zyl

© Copyright 2017 by Nicole Van Zyl
Photo of a worried child.

One day in class when I was in grade 3, we had to read to our teacher. When it was my turn to read, I stood next to her and read from the book we were given, very softly. Everyone in class couldn't believe it. "Wow, she's talking!" they said. Now you might ask, whats the big deal with that? Well, what if I told you that I had Selective Mutism?

Selective Mutism is a severe form of anxiety disorder when the person finds it difficult to talk in certain social settings. It was once thought to be rare but now it is believed to be more common than previously thought....


Single Mom 

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of Bonnie's Grandmother, Mabel.

In 1968 my husband’s job changed him from the day shift to the night shift. The guys that worked nights were mostly single or divorced. He started heading to the bars with some of them when his shift ended at 1:30 p.m., and coming home about daylight. Women started calling the house.

In 1971 tragedy struck. A twenty one year old drunk driver from Kansas City, going over one hundred miles an hour, with a horse trailer behind his truck hit us on the left side of our car. Our little middle son, Chris was killed instantly from a head injury. Neither me, my husband, David or Crystal had a scratch on us....


Country Cafe

Robert Flournoy


© Copyright 2017 by Robert Flournoy

 Drove down to a little country cafe this morning with a friend 10 years my senior, a gentle soul who set a needed mood. A cool sunny blustery Autumn morning with leaves swirling,wild eyed horses running in pastures with rolls of fresh hay snuggled between split rail fences and clear running brooks and rills. 10 miles later we arrived in a dirt parking lot which was full of old trucks, and a couple of tractors....


Reflectons on Snow 

Norma Tekell

© Copyright 2017 by Norma Tekell


Photo of a cat looking at a snow scent.

Sitting here in the den, in my comfy blue recliner, dressed in my blue fleecy lounging pants that are adorned with snowflakes, my old navy blue tee-shirt, and leopard print slippers, I can see the snow falling. Those big fluffy looking snowflakes that Daddy called “goose down flakes.” In my memories, I remember this type of flakes as the ones that stayed around for awhile. As a child I thought snow was on the ground from late November to early March. However, as an adult I feel there were days, in that span of time, the ground was clear of that white covering. I hear the weatherman from Channel 4 in the background saying we may get up to six inches of snow. As I continue to watch the big fluffy flakes dancing to the ground, memories of snow in my childhood years fills my mind....


Tony Bennett

Part of San Francisco

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Drawing of Tony Bennett

It would be hard to find people in San Francisco who haven’t heard of Tony Bennett and can’t sing along with at least part of I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Anthony Benedetto, or Tony Bennett as the world knows him, has sung the ballad thousands of times: At the Fairmont Hotel (where a statue of him now stands), at the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, when the Bay Bridge reopened after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, at the San Francisco Symphony Hall, and at championship games for the 49ers and Giants. It plays at AT&T Park after every Giants victory, and it’s heard in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs all over the city....



Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of Bonnie's Grandmother, Mabel.

My grandma Mabel was quite a woman. She was born in 1902. She married grandpa Luther in 1920, at age eighteen. He was five years older than her. He was born in 1898, and he’d been a cowboy out west before they married.

Her dad was Will, and her mom was Bertie. She called them Pa Pa and Momma. They farmed west of Conway, Missouri. They had eight children, five sons and three daughters. Grandma Mabel was their middle daughter. Grandpa Luther farmed, too, as did many in the midwest in the 1920’s 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. He was good at it, and made them a good living with it. Grandma Mabel helped him....


Autumn Leaves          


Judith Nakken 


© Copyright 2017 by Judith Nakken   


Photo of Autumn leaves in the water.

Roger Williams’ most impressive piano solo haunted my mid-1950’s days. It was all over the radio and I tortured myself with the 50 cent sheet music at whatever old piano I happened to be near at the time. Rogerette Williams I was never going to be, and it has only recently occurred to me that that piano music might have been the impetus for my obsession with leaves - gold, red, brown leaves. Autumn leaves.

Although, my stepmother was enamored of the much touted New England leaves. Each late October in those years she wheedled and cajoled until Daddy Bud fired up the old ’39 Ford and drove her round trip from D.C. to Vermont or some such place over a weekend. A whole roll of Kodak Brownie film would be devoted to trees, its output forced upon co-workers and apartment neighbors who didn’t escape in time. And me, when I was in residence. I rather liked the pictures, up to a point....


Remember to Breathe 

Robin Y. Myers

© Copyright 2017 by Robin Y. Myers


Woman sitting near window blinds.

I didn’t think that I was going to get out alive. Not just once but numerous times throughout my life. I thought that life itself would kill me, some crazy person who simply hated me would kill me, or I would have killed myself.

Two events occurred early on in my life, when I was too young to remember them.

First, my father was in the Air Force and was stationed in Germany during the Viet Nam War.

Second, when I was just three or four years old, I’m told that my mother left the keys in the ignition of my stepfathers blue Pontiac convertible. The car was parked at the top of the small hill in our driveway. Somehow the car was started and put in reverse. It backed down the hill and across the street—into our neighbor’s beauty shop adjacent to their house....


Long Goodby 

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of Bonnie's mother.
Mom had been a plucky, strong, independent woman her entire adult life.

But all of a sudden we started noticing changes in her. She had a stroke at age sixty seven. The whole left side of her body was shaking, out of control.

An ambulance brought her to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Her face was jaundiced and yellow. After a few days in the hospital, they released her. She was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV). The doctors said she had too many red blood cells, and her platelets, (blood clotting cells) were starting  to multiply....

Read on...


Clay Chesney

© Copyright 2017 by Clay Chesney

Photo of mother and baby.

Surfing the channels one night  I came across a documentary about infant birth defects.  I usually avoid those stories set in sterile, white, metallic  hospital rooms where the doctor describes symptoms and treatments and possibilities to new parents who wait intently with desperation in their eyes.  It is the place where innocence meets hard reality, and it can be difficult to watch.  But in this case the story centered on some interesting research in the area of brain disabilities among the newborn and I followed it for a while.  What I found there was unexpected, a revelation for me, and it had nothing to do with medicine or treatment or science.  It was the first meeting between a young mother and her newborn daughter who was severely disabled....

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Saturday with Frederick Ransom Gray


Leslie Soule


© Copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule


Photo of Stagebusters Domain cover.

It was Saturday afternoon, around one o’ clock that I arrived at Book Lovers bookstore in Sacramento, California, off of Madison Avenue and Manzanita. I knew that there would be a couple of writers there, and hoped that at some point I might be able to pull one of them aside and speak to them about the process of writing and what techniques they used personally in the process of writing their novels. Upon entering the bookstore, I found that there was a small group of people milling about near the front of the store. That’s where a couple of tables had been set up, with authors sitting behind them, waiting for someone to take an interest or strike up a conversation....

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The Unforgettable Christmas 

Carol Rotta

© Copyright 2017 by Carol Rotta


Photo of smoke inside the house from a smoking fireplace.

Don and I were married in March 1966 and this would be our first Christmas together. I counted the days with the eagerness of a child awaiting Santa Claus. The kids in our blended family, Hal 16, Vicki 13, Donette 10 and Deanne 7 would be spending the holiday with their other parent, but Don’s dad and mom had accepted our invitation to celebrate the holiday with us. I looked forward to becoming better acquainted with them—and frankly, I hoped to impress them. I wanted them to see that Don had chosen a praiseworthy wife....


Smaller Dreams

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of an older lady with a teacup.

 Many of us are faced with challenges as our loved ones age.  Sometimes, there is a way around those problems.

Gina knew there was something wrong as soon as she walked through the door.  Her mother hadn’t put away the breakfast dishes, and the coffee pot was still turned on. That wasn’t usual. And her mother was sitting in the living room, by herself, instead of bustling around the house, as was her usual behavior.

Mom, are you OK?”  she asked....


Scottish Terrier

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of a scotch terrier.

Temperament: Playful,Self-Assured, Alert, Fiesty, Quick, Independent.

In the nineties, I was the proud owner of two Scottish Terriers. We got them as tiny puppies when they were six weeks old. The first puppy that caught my eye was an adorable little female. We named her Joy. We found her at an expert Scottie breeder who knew her stuff, and loved dogs. This was in the spring of 1993. She lived on a farm near to Strafford,


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