down for recent stories
Copyright 2018 by David Njuguna
long been plagued by the mosquitoes that reside in my backyard, I
decided to write about the life of just a single one of them. I can’t
be completely sure her name was Maya, but for the sake of the story,
I assumed it was. Some bit and pieces might be a work of my
imagination (the meeting with her suitor for example). . . . More..
Copyright 2018 by Razel Suansing
in my hair droop alongside my silky majestic gown. Dazzling
chandeliers hover above me, crowning me with their enchanting
illuminations. My father kisses me good night. I see him still
wearing the bracelet I crafted for him when I was six. The tangled
twigs tied along his wrist where his lifeline lies. . . .
Not Just Another History Lesson
Copyright 2018 by Anne Organista
teacher has his or her moments of glory; those moments when students
rise above their expectations or when lesson plans go awry only to be
salvaged by a completely unexpected situation. I say this with much
candor. In all my years of teaching, many little things made me
happy, feel appreciated and loved. Nevertheless, it was this one
event in 2001 back in the Philippines, when I felt especially proud. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Mercy Godwin
4am my alarm sounded and I opened my eyes reluctantly unwilling to
move and still wanting to steal a few more hours of sleep but I
resisted the urge and put off the alarm. I had only slept for four
hours though I went to bed by 10pm it took about two hours before
sleep finally came. I walked to the bath room after putting on a
sweater since it was a cold morning, brushed my teeth and washed my
face before going to the children's room to wake them up. . . .
The Edible Bird Farm
Copyright 2018 by Ru Otto
I was eight years old, my father decided to start an edible bird farm
and he invested in an assortment of ducks, geese, chickens and
turkeys. One early spring day, we came home from school to a living
room transformed into a brooder factory. He had cordoned off the
entire room and had divided it into islands of boxes sitting on
tables made of plywood and saw horses. Each box had a clutch of eggs
under a lamp. After a few days, the sounds of chicks pecking their
way out of their shells filled the room, which was by now about 100
degrees Fahrenheit and quite stuffy from the heat lamps. Soon, tiny
yellow entities filled each box, and as the sound of their joyous
cheeping and the pungent aroma of their continuous defecations filled
the air, our home began to sound and smell like a chicken stockyard. . . .
Love: The Real Story
Copyright 2018 by Melody DawnE
hummed and sang. Spinning, twirling, dancing. Imagining and
pretending. I was Cinderella. I was in love with prince charming. I
hoped he would find me. Sometimes I was the princess other times it
was my Barbie. I must have watched and reenacted Walt Disney’s
Cinderella over a hundred times, dreaming of the day I would
fall in love, get married, (wear a beautiful gown), and live happily
ever after. . . .
Fabric of Family
Copyright 2018 by Lane Dooling
back, I have always been aware of how special family traditions are -
as a child, teenager, young adult and now full circle as a parent. I
remain a bit amazed at the power of simple family traditions - how
the smallest practices seem sometimes defines the backdrop of family
life. Like myself, I have known many people who to have a special
meaning to be long remembered. Even more amazing is that they can be
interwoven into the fabric of dysfunction that did not have easy
childhoods but were able to come through them possibly clinging to
the happiness and familiarity their family traditions brought, even
if limited. I can't help but conclude that these reoccurring events
or customs offer hope, comfort and optimism - golden sparkles amidst
cloudy days. . . .
Of Sukkahs and Muezzins
Copyright 2018 by DeVonna R. Allison
|. . . .“Allahu
akbar, allahu akbar…” the voice intoned and I realized,
I was hearing the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer.
issuing the adhan is called the muezzin. It was the
five such calls that would issue forth that day and probably the one
easiest to hear from my distance due to the quiet early morning. . . .
Lands of Corn
Maria Sanchez Martinez
Copyright 2018 by Maria Sanchez Martinez
ancestors were the people of the corn. My hometown is surrounded by
corn. So much of my family’s early life revolved around corn.
This is the main subject of my story, a telling of a journey with
corn as the epicenter. All that remains now in our lives are the few
stalks of corn we plant in the backyard, a long ways away from what
once such an important part of our everyday life.
. . . More...
Hidden Passion Found A Home in Love
Copyright 2018 by Marvelous
story, as the name implies, tells of how love can change the
course of a person’s belief, to
what they like but are denying its reality. Its central focus was on
the love of cooking, but it is relatable to other areas of life where
we tend to numb but need attention. It’s a story that will bring
its readers fun and a need to search deep into themselves to find
that hidden passion. . . .
Kind Hearted Woman
Copyright 2018 by Bryant Ross
only remember ever seeing my father drunk once.
was six or seven years old and all I really remember about it was
being scared of this big angry man who I suddenly didn’t
recognize. Then pain and ringing in my ears, the taste of blood as he
backhanded me across the face, dizziness as I lay on the floor, and
terror as I saw him coming for me again. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Alex JasinskiP
is a piece based on my travel experiences in mainland
China (and influenced by three years spent living there) and focuses
on the theme of authenticity and cultural heritage. While the
original idea sprung out of a very specific trip I took a couple of
summers ago, the idea behind this piece has since grown in size and
scope. I hope readers will be able to relate to the issues described
therein, as I feel that the questions and challenges addressed here
remain pertinent wherever we go. . . .
This is not the
story of the descent into Grand Canyon, which merits its own tale,
but of the long road there as we drove through Nevada and Arizona
with fear in our hearts. Faced with the unknown, we often lent
meaning to signs. A series of curious occurrences, strange,
terrifying, and beautiful, made the drive to the Canyon's rim an
American odyssey of its own. . . .
Signs of the Road
Aube Rey Lescure
Copyright 2018 by Aube Rey Lescure
Copyright 2018 by Janet Campbell
seen humans for quite some time. Until this morning. When a fisherman
had returned to his shack to find us there. Chagrinned wouldn’t
even begin to describe how we felt, but it had been a necessity.
terribly sorry to intrude. We paddled that boat from the mainland,”
Angus said pointing to our kayak. The man raised his eyebrows in
it got a motor?” he asked in a thick accent.
laughed. “Just these,” I said and held up my arms,
bronzed and taut from a couple of weeks on the water. . . .
Life in the Gulf
Copyright 2018 by Val Vassay
|I landed in Bahrain for
the first time in September 1978, one month before my
The minute the doors of the British Airways plane were opened the
heat and humidity surged in. I’d expected it to be hot but
nothing can prepare you for the fierce, bone-melting heat of the
After the seven-hour
flight through the night from Heathrow, it was a relief to get off
the plane and into the air-conditioned corridors of Bahrain airport.
After planning this move from the United Kingdom for months, I was
thrilled to have finally arrived on the tiny island that was to be
home to my husband Jim and me for the next two years. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Sayantan Basu
love for the wild has always drawn him to stories of encounters with
wild animals, their sightings and captures. Predator is the narration
of one such true story he fetched from the villages of Bengal.
tiger sighting in the forests of Lalgarh after 107 years had left
authorities and villagers clueless. A two-month long operation
followed in its pursuit with the tragic ending of the majestic
creature being caught and put to death by the locals. The author ends
up in a chance meeting with a survivor of that dreaded encounter only
to realise the brutality of a predator. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Polly Alfano
running joke my best friends have said about me is that I have
Alzheimer’s. It’s not something that would usually cause
laughter in people but if I told my friends now that I’m
writing a memoir, they’d sure laugh at the irony. I have
terrible memory—short-term, long-term, any term. If it wasn’t
for diary entries I have my eleven-year-old self to thank for and
retellings from my family and friends that spark the darkest corners
of my brain, this memoir would be one page long—today’s
activities. . . .
A Painful Introduction to Real Life
Copyright 2018 by John Sayles
greenhouse nursery staff, before arrival of displaced people. L to R:
Mark, wartime rear gunner, Jean, wartime army veteran, John, Fran,
expert flower packer, Norman, veteran of RAF in India, and Les.
This story represents a short, painful introduction
for a young sixteen year old lad working in a small glasshouse
nursery and meeting men who had suffered and taught me much about
human spirit. My first real step in to manhood.
all started dear
reader with a little part-time school holiday job helping to pick
tomatoes. Have you ever picked lots of tomatoes, especially in a hot,
humid greenhouse. The lovely tangy smell given off as one brushes
against the swaying greenery of the plants attached to string above
ones head. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Ridley Walsh
story is about the time I got to ride horses in the mountains through
a trail. . . .
A Mother's Love
Copyright 2018 by Stephanie Guzman
|. . . .Every
single night I
dreamt of the day, that I would finally be able to leave my mother’s
house. The day I would finally be free to be myself without being
judged or ridiculed. The years went by painfully slow; my infancy
felt like an eternity. My childhood felt like a prison sentence. My
mother was the prison warden, and I lived in her somber shadows of
Copyright 2018 by Susan Grant
essay is about the free spirit we have during our childhood that
sometimes goes amuck. Visit the crime scene and have a laugh or two
with the Young Criminals.
“Most Wanted” posters existed for kids of middle school
age and younger, my three siblings and I would have been plastered up
in post offices around the country. My parents realized early in our
lives that they were raising a bunch of young criminals. . . .
Close Encounters of the Squirrel Kind
Copyright 2018 by Michelle Staloff
has always been an important part of my life, but I have mostly
experienced it at a distance. I am pleased to share this story of an
encounter I had with a wild animal. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Dorcas Iliya Itse
in a country
and hearing on a daily basis the kidnapping and killings of commuters
on the road and the road crash accidents that claims so many lives is
enough reason for one not to have any interest in travelling.
Consequently, denying one the opportunity to explore, learn and
create new things in his or her environment. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Samantha Scrivens
never meant to become a vagabond. While reading Rolf Pott’s
guide to the rolling stone lifestyle, I romanticized the notion of
long term travel and seeing the world without agenda like one might
fantasize a Roman holiday with a rainbow array of gelatos and Vespas.
But only to find the Trevi Fountain swarming like a big box store on
Black Friday with tourists clutching cameras, elbowing each other for
the best Instagram angle, there was an unexpected dark side to
vagabonding. . . .
Heather J. Kirk
© Copyright 2018 by Heather J.
(c) Heather J. Kirk
. . . .Celtic
Christians called them “Thin Places,” locations where the
membrane between heaven and earth was thinner than other places. I
found mine speeding across the Caribbean Sea, looking at waves
reflecting the most amazing blue, against alternating sandy and rocky
shores, edged with the protected, lush green forest of the Dominican
Republic. Suddenly a combination of joy and peace touched the top of
my head, filled me up, then with a whoosh, pushed out through sandy
toes. It was as if the Breath of Life had just passed through me. Or,
I had passed through it. The thought paired with this joy was, "I
need to live here.”. . .
Song of Love
Copyright 2018 by Anisha Dutta
story based on my own emotional involvement.
Love flows forever
was enjoying short stay in Uncle’s house. In afternoon, while
chatting, crackling sound at garden gate distracted me. I cast a
glance, time made a pause.
Bright was entering. Under sudden intense
restless turbulence of mind, my heart beats accelerated. . . .
Fables and Fertility: Pobiti Kamani
Koji A. Dae
Copyright 2018 by Koji A. Dae
|Pobiti Kamani is my favorite place in Bulgaria. As
a tiny desert, it
feels like home to me. When I feel lonesome and miss Arizona, I
return to Pobiti Kamani to help ground myself. The amazing tales I've
heard about the geological formation since my first visit have only
increased my appreciation for this land formation. . . .
Eileen W. Fisher
Copyright 2018 by Eileen W. Fisher
of one’s friendship hurts at any age, but it was especially
painful to me as a lonely fifth-grader trying to extend a school
friendship beyond the confines of the schoolyard. I want to share
this story in the belief that others have experienced similar
situations as myself when I was struggling to understand how others
perceived me. I have come to perceive of myself as a worthy person. . . .
A Global View on the Concept of Immigration
Copyright 2018 by Chika Obi
is a piece buttressing the point of the universality of
the concept of immigration. It also details the various angles to it
– with relevant statistics and extrapolations.
In the contemporary
world, the concept of globalization is so tangible, that it cannot be
dismissed. In fact, all other issues appear to revolve around it.
According to Pedro Nicola da Costa, “Humankind has been
globalizing at one pace or another, ever since it first walked the
planet". This goes on to support the notion that
globalization, is not anything close to a new concept. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Evelyn Hootman
|This story is when I just started high
school and one (history) class
changed me immensely as a person.
Is it the constant success on any subject or being free from error
and flaw? Does it pertain to each individual or can it be grasped as
one ultimate end goal for all? . . . More...
Copyright 2018 by Diane Martin
tribute to his fortitude, perseverance, and compassion, this
biographical essay references events in my late father's life covering fifty years. This piece was first
published in New
London Writers in
McCloud had discovered two
discarded, dead babies in his life, one close to its beginning, the
second near its end. The first of the unbearably tiny creatures had
been drowned, the other smothered. Each granted only the slightest
breath of brief beginning. . . .
The Place We Now Live
Copyright 2018 by Chika Obi
|My siblings and I
were born into an environment that made us bother less about the
exuberant side of life. We were born and bred in a town called
Ihioma; located in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State –
one of the five eastern states in Nigeria. Such an apparently
low-class town, with far-fetched signs of development. The streams
were the main sources of water supply and the power supply then was
obviously epileptic. But that was the haven of activities, we came to
know. . . . More..
Notes from Old Nevsky Prospect
Copyright 2018 by Diane Martin
my life long dream of moving to St. Petersburg, Russia, I learned
first hand that Dostoyevsky was as pertinent as ever. This piece of creative
nonfiction pays homage to his story, Notes
From the Underground. It
first published in 2017 in Open:
Journal of Arts and Letters. . . .
Resting Place of Anton Sviridenko
Copyright 2018 by Diane Martin
this account of a rather unorthodox trip, my young Russian friend and
I, in loco maternis, journey to discover the site of his
war grave in Germany to fulfill a promise to his grandmother. We find
that in war, as in other traumatic
disruptions, nothing is straightforward. . . .
Pets of the Humanoid Kind
Copyright 2018 by Glad McGough
want to tell you about our pet varmints. We live in a hills suburb of
the capital city of Western Australia – nothing too exclusive
about that – except for us, we love it. Although we have houses
next door and both ways along a highly used road, opposite and around
various corners, and behind us is another conclave of houses –
so I guess you could say we live in a built-up area where dogs live
next door and behind us, a stray cat meows past occasionally sussing
out a free meal; but actually, I think she lives over the road, and
at times the bird twittering’s are joined by a rooster’s
crow, so we live in a quiet un-intrusive community, where you would
only know your immediate neighbours, but, yes, we love it and so do
our family of varmints. . . .
Making History - Ciao Italia
Copyright 2018 by Desiree Kendrick
is a snapshot of three generations of women traveling
in Italy. A contemporary journey initially planned to experience our
ancestral roots. It remains one of my favorite holidays. The aromas,
the tastes, the architectural wonders jotted in my travel journal.
However, it was the shared laughter and unexpected mishaps that made
the trip memorable.
called it our trip of a lifetime. Four women and one girl headed to
Italy. Mother had recently turned eighty. Daughter Ana was barely
twelve years old. My two sisters and I lay somewhere in between.
Suitcases packed we unzipped our sense of adventure. . . . More...
An Episode for Myself
Copyright 2018 by Maryam Iftikhar
|I am a citizen of Pakistan. I am a twenty years old
engineering student doing undergraduate degree from International
Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI). I am a student of Software
Engineering. I am the only sibling, my father is a school principal
whereas my mother was a house wife. I come from a separated family
that is why I live with my maternal aunt. Moreover, I aim to render
services for my country and I am interested in philanthropy.
Additionally my hobbies include, writing and watching movies. I also
read a bit and like to spend time with my family. . . . More...
The Dog, The Desert, and Me
Copyright 2018 by Doug Sherr
was early morning in the Mojave Desert as my girlfriend Judy and I
were in her truck heading to California after a season of skiing.
Just over a gentle rise, the road was painted with a long
black arcing skid mark. Bits of torn aluminum around the dented
guardrail spoke of a shredded motor home. In the middle of this scene
sat a tiny, white poodle. This Life Magazine image
came in a
passing flash at sixty miles an hour. In that instant, Judy and I
exchanged glances and knew we had to help the poodle. I braked and
then backed up near the poodle. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Doug Sherr
was the third, maybe the forth night up on the hill—ten
thousand four hundred-feet up the backside of Ajax, called Aspen
Mountain on maps. I had finished my late evening brandy and Swiss
Miss, doused the fire, and crawled into the pup tent and the warm
nest of my sleeping bag. Snug in the tent, I felt that smugness of
right place—right time. Just as sleep was easing up the sound
of a dozen banshees screaming exploded around the tent. The wailing,
screaming seemed to be inside my skull. It went on and on—the
gates of hell had opened. I think I levitated. Actually, it was
coyotes. I yelled out. Off they went down the hill yipping all the
way. I’m not being anthropomorphic, they were laughing. Welcome
to the neighborhood. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Minh Vu
was born in my family’s nail salon. It was in the waxing room,
and my first swaddle was made up of giant waxing strips. Normally,
they’re used to tear the hair off people’s pubes. For me,
they were warmth and protection.
was raised within glass doors kept shiny with diluted Windex, among
towering boxes of acetone, and atop giant pedicure thrones. Such was
my childhood kingdom. Alphabet blocks were replaced by white Arial
stickers I used to spell out “JEL MANICURE” and “BIKIKNEE
WAX” on the price board. Instead of bicycles I rode bumper cars
with the pedicure stools. And the rest of my time I spent trying to
fit my toddler toes into the pastel foot separators that looked like
mini combs. . . . More...
Copyright 2018 by Doug Sherr
|. . . .The Choco called the
Cuna, “The Silent Ones.” While we talked I felt that we
were characters in a Joseph Conrad short story. I bought him a beer
and we talked of his childhood in the jungle. He was in his late
fifties and had been raised in the old ways. He was rich by tribal
standards, but he was thinking of retiring and didn’t know what
to do. He really didn’t belong in either world. I bought him
another beer and left him thinking about his future and maybe whether
he would look silly if he started wearing a loincloth again. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Don Shook
story is based on an ongoing relationship between father and son which
fairly typical of small-town North Texas during the 1950's.
Affection was expressed by a silent bond, assumed rather than
expressed. But it was strong and stable...carrying over into
adulthood. One that would seem unrecognizable by today's
standards. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Minh Vu
memories of my father are hazy. They remind me of the cigarette smoke
that filled the car every morning on the way to school. These swirls
would always dance to my finger’s conducting, then slowly
evacuate through the tiny window crack. I thought these swirls were
what wind would look like if it weren’t invisible. . . .
Life on the Road without any Brakes
Copyright 2018 by Don Carter
reliably than anything else on earth, the road will force you to live
in the present.” Gloria Steinem
not like I thought I was going to die.
canteen had run dry the previous day, the last of my granola two days
before that. I desperately missed the water, the granola not so much.
Sure, I was in a desert without food and water, dehydrated,
exhausted, a Barry Manilow tune stuck in my head, but I didn’t
think it would kill me. By the thirtieth chorus I only hoped it
would. . . .
Into the Stormtroopers
Copyright 2018 by Don Carter
was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking
George Orwell, 1984
a younger man I seldom gave thought to motivation or consequence. I
felt compelled to take risks – to seek out the dark
places and walk with the beasts – but the nearest I got to
reflection was when I inevitably picked myself up, checked for
injuries and wondered, “What the hell was I thinking?”. . .
Love, Religion, and Douglas Firs
Copyright 2018 by Kathleen Bustamante
heart as a young child, and as a teen I determined that one day I
would make a home near the craggy coast and among the douglas
firs of this magical corner of the Pacific Northwest. This
narrative recounts my journey between continents, into and out of
love, and around two religions that eventually brought me
admit it. I'm not
an Oregon native, but I should have been. Physically I've lived here
for 14 years, but my heart took up residence when I was a small
child. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Lauren Stein
my grandmother's unusual and lucky (in terms of both
good and bad) life and experiences.
of the few
surviving historical photos of my family depicts my grandmother as a
little girl, crowned with a bow the size of her head, posing with her
parents and three of her elder siblings. This was only half the
family – the older four children were elsewhere. The photo is
in black and white and their expressions are all very solemn, as if
they are already aware of the grim destiny awaiting them. Only one of
those four children died a natural, age related death. Sometimes I
look at that photo and I wonder, how was it decided which one got to
live? . . .
Silent Night in Vermont
Copyright 2018 by Mackenzy Phillips
the city early proved to be the right decision. The traffic on the
way up on I-87 was very heavy, I suppose everyone else in New York
had had the same idea. It was early March and we thought we’d
get some late skiing in. As we listened to country music in the SUV,
the automated traffic reports kept breaking in; “Weather
Advisory Alert for Wyndham County, and Windsor County. Nor’easter
due to reach the greater Boston area, New Hampshire and Southern
Vermont. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary”. . . .
Walk on the Wild Side
Copyright 2018 by Mackenzy Phillips
had left England behind and moved to the beautiful region of the
Dordogne in Southwest France in October 2015. After days of unpacking
clothes and kitchenware and artwork, I decided as it was a beautiful
October sunny afternoon I would take myself and my soulmate; Doodles
out for a walk to enjoy our new surroundings. It seemed a good idea
to immediately start familiarizing myself to the local villages with
a long term view to finding the perfect renovation project to buy as
our home. . . . More...
Copyright 2018 by Mikaela Law
am not me. It takes a
long time to find yourself, sometimes I wonder if some people ever
find themselves. For a while, I had thought I knew exactly who I was,
who I wanted to be, and I thought it was easily attainable. That's
not how it goes at all. One day I thought I knew who I was, and the
next I realized there wasn't one true thing I could tell you about
me. I had become who I thought I was, who I thought I needed to be. I
was not me. I am still not me. But I'm trying to find her. I think if
I want to find myself, I first would have to figure out who I was,
who I’m becoming. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Valerie Marcley
Lou with residents of Morning Star Ranch.
Made may have made the World, but Can He Own It? The Joke was on the
Almighty when Folk-singer and Guru Lou Gottlieb Deeded Him his Hippie
Commune and the State of California Ruled that God
Not a Responsible Party.
some California state officials, the
quip, “loved the sixties, but can’t remember them,”
might be rephrased, “loathed the sixties and don’t want
to remember them”. . . .
The Ghosts of Yesteryear
Copyright 2018 by Sarah Howard
While I have never been
a ghost hunter and usually do not entertain the idea of such elusive
beings as ghosts whisking through the air, there are times, such as
this, that almost tempt me to do so. In a strange and
completely real turn of events, a hundred-year-old building came to
life in more ways than one.
Some old buildings
are drenched in mystery, regardless of their intended purpose or how
many times they have been remodeled. I have often considered that the
grand, century-old, empty building down the street was no exception,
and furthermore, I stick to the opinion that I have been proven
right. . . .
The Picture in the Pink Purse
Copyright 2018 by Sarah Howard
This narrative is one
of many opportunities I've had to hear peoples' stories –
simple, quick interactions with ordinary people whose lives have
deeply touched mine.
A conversation I
remember as one of the most memorable of my retail career involved
myself, an elderly lady, and the mutually beloved color pink, during
the month when the frozen greyness of winter finally gives way to the
fresh bloom of the new season. The woman, who looked about 75 years
old, arrived at my register, clad in pinks of different shades, busy
but stylish, and asked to purchase a shirt. Used to making small
talk with my customers, I commented on her pink purse and wallet,
explaining that I loved pink and had just purchased pink mixing bowls
and spatulas. . . .
Beyond the Binary
Copyright 2018 by Sapphire Cianfriglia
is a story of personal discovery. Sometimes we go through life
wondering things about ourselves, but never bother searching for the
answers to those questions. For those of us who do go looking,
surprising things can be found. These things not only reveal profound
truths about ourselves, but of all of humanity. If you've only ever
thought that a person could be a man or a woman, you're in for a
shock. This and more you can discover if you read on. This is my
life. . . .
Walking The Cat
Copyright 2018 by Tamzin Whelan
moved to South Korea to teach English in my mid twenties. The people
I met and worked with were warm and kind, but I was lonely
nonetheless, living by myself at the foot of a mountain on the
outskirts of a small city. This encounter in the capital changed my
life in Korea and helped me feel at home in the land around me. . . .
The Cat, The Car, and The Cousins
Copyright 2018 by Douglas Courtney
my wife I don’t care for cats. Not that I don’t like
them. I just don’t care for them. My wife thinks they are
cuddly, cute, smart, and playful. Me? Well they are cats. They crawl
on you, claw you, and bite you if given the chance. And those are the
ones that like you. Cats are tricky, stealthy and not to be trusted.
They demand to be treated on their own terms, including when and how
they get petted or fed. Reminds me sometimes of dealing with women.
Guess that’s why cats are so associated with the female gender. . . .
from yet-to-be-published Ebook “Whistle-Stops” by Husna
Copyright 2018 by Husna Kassim
Photo of the Alhambra grounds from the Palacio del Generalife.
Al-Andalus” is about a short journey the Author undertook
to the long-gone era of Moorish Spain in the spring of 2016. Travelling
through Spain presented opportunities to discover fine
architecture & lyric poetry, a Moorish legacy, which, looking
back, triggered a sense of melancholy & a longing for time
past. The Alhambra is one of Islamic World’s most beautiful
creations, a result of intricate blend of the elements of Islamic art
& architecture in combination with enchanting gardens and
fountains. Deciding to watch a bullfight in Madrid and soaking up
flamenco music in the gypsy caves of Sacromonte, all on a whim, was
truly liberating. Caught in a myriad of colours of Sunday’s
congregation at Cordoba’s Mezquita-Cathedral was
unforgetable. . . .
The Sun Will Come Out
Copyright 2018 by Caitlyn Martin
isn’t lived without challenges, difficult times, or disaster.
These could be losing a loved one, failing grades, relationship
problems, economic strife, or a lack of faith in oneself or their
future. These are just natural occurrences that must be endured as we
go through our existence just as we experience things like happiness,
contentment, and peace. That doesn’t mean that they are easy to
deal with, however, and all too often the stress from them are too
much for people to handle. . . .
The Seeds of My Family Tree
Copyright 2018 by Elyse Kallen
always been fascinated by genealogy, but it’s the family
stories that bring the names on dusty pages to life. In this piece, I
recount some of my relatives’ more interesting love stories and
take a closer look at how romance has changed—or stayed the
same—in the decades between us.
is a truth universally acknowledged...that in many cases, you can’t
choose your family, and once you have them, you’re stuck with
them, warts, high cholesterol and all. But as Jane Austen knew better
than most, the one exception for many of us is when we choose a
partner with whom to start our own family tree. . . .
Judith D. Galleros
Copyright 2018 by Judith D. Galleros
“You've got a friend in me...”
joyfully sings those lines from the Michael Jackson song while busy
brushing his tattered denim.
Between lines he pauses and occasionally makes sighs though not long
but a number of times. Somewhat, there are questions he wants to ask
but can’t figure them out verbally. . . .
I want is to settle and live happily and prosperously in my country,
but why can’t I?
H. Sabado Jr.
Copyright 2018 by Baltazar
H. Sabado Jr.
is a story of our family of four of whom were all born in
and have one way or another experienced living in a country
other than our birth
place except for our youngest who was born in the country where
we are currently living; Japan. This story is about how
we transitioned to a
new life in Japan and the major challenges our family faced
during our moved to Japan, our first year in Japan, our day to
day living in Japan
and how we assimilated to the Japanese society. . . .
River of Turquoise
Copyright 2018 by Deon Matzen
stand in a river of turquoise, turquoise as bright and beautiful as
the roofs of old temples in Tibet. I am in a mountain valley,
narrow, quiet, and surrounded by azure mountains soaring behind the
village which lines the banks of this blue-green river. There is the
babble of people talking on the banks and the slapping sound of
washing being beating against rocks. . . .
Mars: Dreams, Predictions, and Reality
Copyright 2018 by Svetlana Zernes
people created their ideas and visions about Mars. Some predictions
finally came true, even more did not.
Let’s take a look at the
accuracy of famous (and infamous) historical ideas about the Red
Planet. . . .
Tupa's Indian Stories and Me
Copyright 2018 by Shelley Marichal
Francois Suprenault and Sophie Stinweskit., Shelley's great grandparents.
. . . .My
grandmother was a product of Okanagan and Blackfoot Indian and French
background. The wisdom passed on to her from her parents and
grandparents transcends time and brings new meaning to my life as I
continue to grow and experience the world around me with my own
a child, I used to love to sit and listen to the stories of the past
that my grandmother would pass on to me. To my knowledge they have
never been written down and have been stored away in my memory of
treasures. Whether they are 100% truth, I don’t know and it
isn’t important to me. I often reflect back and realize that
sometimes she had a glint in her eye with a smile breaking through
under her story telling. I am sure that she elaborated on certain
details just to see me squirm. . . . More...
Fluorosis the Mystery Disease
Copyright 2018 by Kavitha Yarlagadda
quiet village, people going around their daily chores in a mundane
way, all seems well, but as you go further into the village, we come
across young children limping around, a crippled man dragging himself
on the ground to move around and a stooped woman going about her
work, this is the sight that greets us, as we enter Cherlapally, in
Nalgonda District, a small village hardly 100 km from the famous city
of Hyderabad, with around 1050 families. Around 50% of the people of
this village are suffering from Fluorosis of both types dental and
skeletal fluorosis. . . .
When Round Trip Becomes One Way
Copyright 2018 by Victoria Blakey
|I was so excited but
wondered how I’d fare on the long flight and road trip to my
destination in Gambia, West Africa. My right leg still ached from a
torn hamstring and sitting for such a long time surely would irritate
it I thought. I planned this six-week vacation for a time to relax,
explore and heal. What I wasn’t excited about was the tedious
journey to get to my destination. My route included a two-hour flight
to New York, a seven and one-half hour flight to Dakar, Senegal, West
Africa, and over an eight-hour road trip to reach Gambia. . . .
Your Roots Are Showing
Copyright 2018 by Amie McGraham
story goes beyond a typical cross-country road trip travelogue; it’s
a deep exploration into the soul of a family caregiver. I wrote
snippets of the trip as I drove across country, eventually ending up
at my childhood home to care for my mother with Alzheimer’s. It
took time and courage to piece it together, and like most of my
writing lately, the words are woven together by the inescapable
thread of dementia. . . .
A Delicate Balance
Copyright 2018 by Sara Etgen-Baker
is a true account of the move my husband and I made
from my native North Texas to the Chihuahan Desert near El Paso,
Texas. Although I agreed to support my husband in relocating, I was
bitter and resentful and wanted to turn back. But within hours of
our arrival, the dusty terrain and simple landscape of the Chihuahan
Desert taught me an invaluable lesson. . . .
The Stranger in the Box
Copyright 2018 by Sara Etgen-Baker
a true account of my experience years ago
when I was given the key to my grandmother’s attic. I set about
exploring her attic, curious about my family. I was not disappointed
for her attic was a treasure trove waiting to be explored.
door leading into my grandmother’s attic. Using her skeleton
key, I turned the lock; opened the door; and stepped inside, the
floor creaking beneath my feet. I fumbled my way across the dimly-lit
attic toward a nearby dormer window and wiped the grime from it,
letting the morning light stream in. . . .
The Phone Call
Cheryl Ferguson Bernini
Copyright 2018 by Cheryl
mom, Anne, was diagnosed with a rare heart condition when I was 15
and a sophomore in high school. Due to this illness, she was always
speaking with a doctor or laboratory. What you are about to
experience is one of those conversations. As you can see from the
picture, my mom was a genuinely fun-loving woman, and we had a great
time together while she was here. . . .
An Evening of Unfortunate Events
Copyright 2018 by Karina Kamran
|In a big white house on a quiet
street, a pen furiously attacks each blank page. Wielded by a magician
on the rampage, her stories must be told and their magic needs to be
spread. Smiling as she weaves another tale, her desire for caffeine is
real and her stomach’s demands for pizza ought to be met. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Bill Cox
was born in
Aberdeen, a busy Scottish city that sits on the coast of the North
Sea. After some youthful travels I returned there and now live with
my partner Hilary in a cottage on the edge of the city. Our home is
surrounded by crop fields where wheat is grown for the whisky
industry, but on the edge of our small horizon we can see the housing
estates of the city’s Bridge of Don suburb. In reality there
are only three fields between us and suburbia and I have no doubt
that one day the housing estates will come out to meet us. There’s
a certain inevitability to it, like a rising tide.
now though, we live in the countryside and not the city. Our
surroundings are given over to farming, but five minutes walk from my
front door is a small hill that has, over the years, become our own
little nature reserve. We call it the hill, but it barely registers
on an Ordinance Survey map. However, its contours are such that
putting it to crop is more trouble than its worth, so it is left as a
small piece of wild land surrounded by industrially farmed fields. . . . More...
The Eagle Lesson
Copyright 2018 by Judith Nakken
did I know from bald eagles? The national bird, right? Had I ever
seen one? Geez. While Nancy stood there waiting for my answer, I
searched my mind through a whole disastrous train trip from Whittier
to the San Diego Zoo during the mid-60’s with another woman,
five kids under ten, and a hellacious hangover. (And the bus ride
back, straight through the Watts Riot, thanks to my bleary-eyed
reading of the train schedule. But, that’s a story for another
time.) Monkeys, giraffes, foxes, snakes bounced to and fro in my
memory banks … no eagles. . . . More...
Roaring Into Bulawayo's Royal Treat
Copyright 2018 by Ndaba Sibanda
was an inspiringly cool August afternoon when the Boeing 767 carrying
Ahmed landed majestically in the center of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo
International Airport runway, 25 km to the north of Bulawayo. That
Friday I was glad that Ahmed, my former student from Kuwait, had
finally arrived in Bulawayo. After exchanging some warm and excited
greetings, he remarked,” “Beautiful airport. I like it!”
I smiled, “Though small in size, it is our gateway to such
amazing world heritage sites as the Khami Ruins and the Matobo
Hills”. . . .
Goodbyes, Anticipated and
Copyright 2018 by Paul Dominic
|. . .“Is
your mother alive?” The question invariably came up when an
individual or group interacted with me personally. For years it
brought me certain pain. So I would answer simply yes, though with
an obvious reluctance. As years passed I learnt to give another
answer, more comfortably. I remember one occasion in the opening
exchange with 30-odd retreatants at Shillong, India. A British
Sister, the Principal of their College, asked me, “Are your
parents alive?” I answered, “Yes, alive, fully alive.” I noticed that
she looked puzzled, as also many others! So I
repeated, “They’re alive… yes, fully alive in
Heaven!” That was more than satisfactory, if surprising, to my
audience; it elicited their spontaneous smile! . . .
Copyright 2018 by
became enraptured with raptors such as Red Tail Hawks, Great Horned
Owls, Peregrine Falcons, and Bald Eagles when I started working at
the veterinary clinic at the University of Minnesota.
and I met through Maggie, the first year Red-Tail
sat proudly on his wrist at the Midwest Falconer’s Meeting held
at The Raptor Center. A dark morph, red plumage
with gold, she flapped her wings and stamped her talons impatiently
on Henry’s fist. . . .
The Hatchet Man Cometh
Copyright 2018 by Joe DiMiceli
read or heard a gazillion first person stories by alcoholics or their
families describing the heartbreak of addiction. But have you ever
seen a narrative from the employer’s (or his agent’s)
point of view? I worked for the New York office of the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from 1978 to 1985. My title was
Administrative Officer, but my work was closer to Human Resources
Officer, hiring, firing, discipline and training and I want to relate
my experiences counselling alcoholics, but first we need some
background. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Virginia Strickland
|A shadow began dancing
towards my bench. Every night I sit on this bench and wait for
someone to show up. Well, two people to show up. They are different
every night. There is no way that the same people could be reused.
The shadow seemed to be swaying back and forth with its arms moving
to and fro. Its owner came shortly after, walking away from the
streetlight. There was my second person. . . .
Claire Frances Maley
Copyright 2018 by Claire Frances Maley
ripped from her Mother’s womb, Pol entered the world one snowy
November morning. She nearly killed her Mother. “What a
bruiser! She’ll play Hockey for England.” The nurse said.
soon as Pol could stand, she pulled open the net curtain and waved
Dad off to work. He’d laugh, wave and blow kisses back. She
continued to wave until long after he’d driven out of sight.
Upon returning home, Pol waited on him, cooking him an imaginary
feast in her plastic, toy kitchen.
three and a half, Pol craned her neck and stepped on the hospital
wall pipes beside the glass crib to meet her newly born brother. Why
was Mother speaking to this white, wriggling, strange creature with
unusual tenderness? Why did he have an orange cast where hair was
meant to be? “Your brother is going to have red hair like your
great grandfather,” said Dad ruffling Pol’s blond curls.
With his face scrunched, her brother let out an almighty squeal. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Carolina Williams
ever there was something easier said than done, it was being a kid.
Adults wearing stiff blazers recline in their brown leather office
chairs and welcome any wave of nostalgia that takes them back to
childhood, when they were carefree and overflowing with enthusiasm
for weeds that resembled flowers and dreams that were mistaken for
reality. But, unknowingly, they now view childhood through a lens of
an excessive fondness and tenderness that masks the physical
struggles and emotional pitfalls that frequently explode in the day
to day life of a kid. . . .
The Snowdon Panther
Copyright 2018 by Rachael Bates
many people grow up with a pet bison. We called ours Burt. The locals
were always telling us about bison aggression towards humans, but
Burt, enormous-hairy-Burt, seemed content to watch us from the forest
behind the backyard fence. He visited us a few times a week and we
grew rather fond of him, learning to recognize him by a chunk of
flesh missing from one of his ears. On occasion he snuck into my
mother’s vegetable garden and created havoc with his hooves, or
tore up our lawn with his eager grazing. Other than that, he was a
welcome addition to our bevy of animals, which included horses and
ponies, dogs and cats, chickens, and the occasional baby bird. In all
my time living in Ooty, a town perched high in the mountains of South
India, Burt was perhaps the largest bison I ever saw. . . . More...
Copyright 2018 by Chris Smith
of the meanings of peace is, freedom from turmoil and war. One of the
definitions of turmoil is, a confused or agitated state. Furthermore,
peace is freedom, which is to be released and set free from turmoil,
confusion, agitation, hostility, and conflict. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Laura Labno
was sitting on a park bench. It was a warm and pleasant day. It was
early in the evening and the setting sun was still gently hitting my
back. I could smell all the good things one could smell during such a
day; the fresh evening air, green grass and spring flowers. Yes, it
was a good day, a beautiful day indeed but I wasn't able to apprecite
it. My head was filled with thoughts that were dark and gloomy and
even the brigteness of the sun wasn't able to overcome their depth. I
was holding my notebook in my hands and all I wanted was to express
all these things. . . .
The Best Word
Copyright 2018 by Sharon Hodson
I’ve worn many
hats in my almost 58 years on this earth. I’ve been a daughter
and a granddaughter. I’m still a niece and a cousin. I’m
a sister, an aunt, a great-aunt. I’m a friend and a
co-worker. I’m a mom. I’m a
has always been fall. Fall is beautiful and colourful. Where I live
here in Edmonton, Canada, the weather in September, even
October, can be wonderfully warm. Sometimes it’s
even hot (well, hot for Edmonton, Canada - in fall) in early to
58 years old
- could be considered the ‘fall’ of life, or at least
late summer. It feels like it to me - beautiful,
and warm. This is the story of how I came to cherish this part of my
life. . . .
The Illusion of Inspiration
Copyright 2018 by Erin Darby Gesell
|I am a
runner. In the physical sense—I train for and compete in ultra
distance races on the regular, and I wish it were socially acceptable
to run everywhere I go rather than walk—and in a less literal
sense in that I need to skip town as frequently as possible.
emotionally complex chain of events that I am only just now beginning
to realize, contradictory to everything I am, I bought a house five
years ago. I think that this decision was an attempt to anchor
myself. I did it in my way—white girl from small town Nebraska
buys a beautiful old house in North Omaha, a predominately black
neighborhood, alone. In committing myself to that house, to Omaha, to
Nebraska, places I was so desperately escaping each weekend, I lived
in total rebellion with myself. . . .
Travel with my Father
Copyright 2018 by Winston C. Pagador
wanted to see travels through my father’s perspective, and
perhaps to discover something new.
in the window, I found him staring the vast Malay Peninsula that lay
spread beneath us, his eyes taking in the small dotted islands that
seemed swimming against the blue ocean and then buildings, roads and
houses visible as the aircraft decreased altitude, readying its final
descent. ‘How is it possible that at six in the evening, the
sky is still bright enough here?’ said my father. His face
beamed with excitement and disbelief. . . .
Too Close to a Rhinoceros
Copyright 2018 by Josephine Jones
|Georgina had asked me, while we were
sunbathing on the beach, if I would make
a foursome, with Bob a friend of Frank's and herself for a weekend in
a game park. It was soon after Frank and Georgina had met, at a hotel
dance. He joked that he had picked her up. Then he
her out for a day trip. As a good friend, she replied that she had
arranged to meet me, he suggested I went along and he would bring his
friend. He and Frank were working as electricians in the Matchbox
Company. The outing had gone very well. Frank was tall, dark and good
looking but Bob was shorter than Georgina who was shorter than me.
I was five foot five and a half. . . .
In The Steps Of Ernest Hemingway
Copyright 2018 by Josephine Jones
wanted to go to Cuba because it has an interesting history, from the
overthrow of Spanish rule and slavery to a communist state which
allowed Catholicism and now permits private enterprise and encourages
I tried to get books written by Ernest Hemingway from the Library.
The only one I could find was Islands
in the Sea,
islands off Cuba.
I looked on the net and found several of his books for £8 inclusive,
from the Book People. I had already read The Sun
about Italy in the Second World War. I also enjoyed For
whom the Bell Tolls,
about the Spanish Civil War. Both had been made into films which I
a trip to his house and the bars where he drank was a must for things
to do in Cuba. And now I was thrilled to be actually in Cuba after I
had read so much about it. . . .
Gay Young Couple In Alice Springs
Copyright 2018 by Josephine Jones
|That was the
headline in The Centralian Advocate on Thursday 28th August 1969.
course, Gay did not mean then what it does now. Earlier that year July
Neil Armstrong had set foot on the moon. Television had not yet
reached the outback of Australia so we had seen a film of the
landing in the Memorial Hall. This film had been provided by the
Americans from the nearby secret Space Base which everyone knew
The week before there was great excitement
in Alice Springs, Australia. The Duke and
Duchess of Kent were coming on an official visit from England. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Rod Martinez
is the true story about my mother-in-law. It follows the story of a shy
teenager from a small town in Cuba who defected to the USA via
missionary work. Should this timid island native never have had the
guts to make such a brave move, I would have never met my wife. . . .
Create it Away
Copyright 2018 by Katie Danis
it Away" explores my lifelong experience with Tourette Syndrome.
It focuses on how the condition intertwines with my memories of
childhood, approaching a frequently misunderstood topic with humor
first time I got my leg stuck in a broken drainpipe, I was naked. As
my preschool teacher dismantled the pipe to free my entrapped (and
freshly nude) limb, a new crease crept from her cheek to her chin.
She was twenty-five and had eight wrinkles. When school began she had
zero. (In my defense, I held direct responsibility for only seven,
and I contest the validity of the evidence that charged me with
three.). . .
Copyright 2018 by Ellen Gunnarsdottir
the early eighties, when I was a teen, my grandfather gave me a
summer job as a receptionist at his Reykjavik eye clinic. The clinic
was on a street that runs from the pond to the harbour below the hill
where ugly timber houses built by Danish merchants cast an oppressive
pall over this wide space continually swept by the north wind from
the Esja mountain. My grandfather’s clinic consisted of four
rooms that ran along the length of a dark building, a lonely place
where I never saw any other inhabitants on the staircase. The rooms
were carpeted and the window openings were broken. They had their
particular smell of disinfectant mixed with old textiles, dirty shoes
and sweaty bodies wrapped in coats. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Dina Toyoda
The street was endless.
It seemed like it's been hours since we boarded a Paratransit taxi in
front of the hospital in San Francisco, where my mom, finally, heard
All along we suspected
the worst, but it didn't stop me dragging her from one doctor to
another. It took them months to come up with the verdict.
Afterwards, as we
waited for our ride, a small group of would be passengers gathered at
the curb. Paratransit cost almost nothing, but it was a shared
ride, and we'll have to wait for the driver to drop everyone off
at different locations. When the taxi arrived, it was a smallish sedan, and all four of us had to fit in. . . .
I Write This For You
Copyright 2018 by Krystal Song
so many words she will never say to him.
sixteen years old when she met Zhao Heng. Her roommate Cao Jie
twisted her ankle, so Ziyin went alone to the classical music concert
they had planned to attend together.
It was her
first time stepping foot in Jiao Tong University. The campus was much
larger than her own, and Ziyin soon found herself lost. She paused,
then approached the security guard by the gate. . . .
Rainy Days, Library School, Guide Dogs, and Police Cars
Copyright 2018 by David Faucheux
July 31, 2014
Café Des Amis
a friend, came to pick me up for lunch. We met our friend Sarah at
Café Des Amis in Breaux Bridge. En route, I gave Janet the
book China Dolls, by Lisa See. She may read it quickly or return it
to the library and check it out under her own name. As noted earlier,
Ms. Lydia brought it to me last week. I thought that Janet, who is of
part Asian extraction, would enjoy this story of three Asian girls in
San Francisco just before and during World War II. She has mentioned
enjoying books by this author.
enjoyed my alligator sausage and savory cheesecake with crawfish
cream sauce. I even shared it out and got to taste Janet’s
fried eggplant with crawfish topping and Sarah’s grilled crab
cakes. The white chocolate bread pudding was good. The outing was
sort of a pre–birthday lunch for me. It was so thoughtful of
them to ask me where I’d like to go. . . . More...
Copyright 2018 by Margaret Valenta
|. . . .When it
comes to my sense of direction I’m at a loss. When I should
turn right, I am positive I should turn left. Noticing the houses
were getting scarce, and little or no traffic, I soon realized I was
lost. (In 1955 we had no cell phones so we had no way of contacting
anyone in an emergency.) Coming upon a car stopped in the road, with
the driver standing outside his car, I pulled up behind him, got out,
told him I was lost, and asked for directions.
smiled and said, “I’m Bill Potter. I need a push to get
my car started. My battery won’t turn the engine over. If you
will give me a push, then you can follow me to where you need to go.”. . .