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Home to Roost by Dianna Sinovic

June 1, 2020 by in category A Bit of Magic by Meriam Wilhelm, Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic

Home to Roost

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Four minutes before the alarm, and Trina was already awake, eyes open. Even in the dim light of pre-dawn she could trace the intricate lines of the cracked plaster on the ceiling. Some mornings, the lines coalesced into starbursts; other days, they reminded her of a detailed pirate’s map, the marked footsteps meandering here and there.

She threw back the covers and remembered—as she had every morning for the last three months. Any pirate treasure would stay buried for now. Amber, the 9-year-old lump in the bed, face buried in her pillow, was the daily reminder that the contours of her world had changed. 

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Pulling on leggings and an old T-shirt, Trina tiptoed out of the bedroom, down the stairs and out into the steamy July morning. Her niece could stay asleep. Trina hadn’t wanted to be a parent or a fill-in parent, but late on a chilly spring afternoon, sun glare masked the tractor trailer on the bend and her sister, Leigh, pulled out from a side road when she should have waited. For the first month afterward, Amber spoke gibberish, panicking Trina and puzzling the school counselor. And just as suddenly, the girl slipped back into normal speech, announcing at dinner one night, “Can we raise chickens?”

What could Trina say but yes? She knew Leigh would have expected no less of her.

So Trina was now also a farmer of sorts, with five hens in her rural back yard. She opened the coop door and emptied pellets into the feeder. Clucking softly, the Rhode Island reds clustered around her, already pecking at the food. Hallie, Hannah, Harriet, Hazel and Heidi—Amber had named the chicks the day they’d brought them home. 

“How can I tell them apart?” Trina had protested.

“You will,” Amber said. “When they grow up.” She had chewed on a strand of hair, pondering. “I think.”

And so they had a pact, she and Amber. Trina would feed and water the flock and tend to the coop, and her niece would check for eggs, waiting for the first one to be laid.

There was no rooster—maybe later, they agreed. 

After the round of pellets, Trina emptied and refilled the coop’s water receptacle. She checked that the mesh over the outdoor pen was secure, protection against the neighborhood red tail hawk.

“Any eggs yet?” Amber called from the back porch steps. She was still in her pajamas.

Trina shrugged. “I didn’t check.” 

 “I’ll do it,” her niece said, sprinting barefoot until she stood next to Trina. “Maybe today’s the day.” She was grinning with excitement.

Amber disappeared into the coop’s interior and was gone several long minutes. When she finally re-emerged, Trina was startled to see her eyes brimming with tears. 

“What is it?” Trina said.

Amber held up both hands to her, palms out. There was not one egg, but two.

“At last!” Trina smiled in relief. Who needed buried treasure? “They are the first of many, I’ll bet.”

Amber, still somber, said softly, “The hens wanted to send a message from Mommy and Daddy, so they made two first eggs instead of just one.”

Trina gently hugged her niece. “I miss them, too.”

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Kitty Bucholtz, May Featured Author

May 28, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

May featured author, Kitty Bucholtz combined her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. She loves to teach and offer advice to writers through her WRITE NOW! Workshop courses and the WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast.

http://kittybucholtz.com/

Besides Kitty’s website and WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast, you will find her here on the 9th of each month writing It’s Worth It.


Books by Kitty Bucholtz

ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

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Sunflowers by Neetu

May 26, 2020 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as ,
Sunflowers
 
I will plant sunflowers
in the hollows we have dug
with a rusty spade

it is time to pull old roots
rotten with dead habit
in this neglected garden
long-choked
by winter’s breath

it is time to till the soil
let it soak in fresh April rain
steam in this year’s sun

and exhale pungent fumes
until its pores are free
to seed new grass
and soft beds for my flowers.
 
© Neetu Malik
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Memorable Mothers by Veronica Jorge

May 22, 2020 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge

This Mother’s day my brother and I traveled back, in our memory, to the first time our mother took us to her native island home of the Dominican Republic. My brother was 12 and I was 10. We spent the summer at a relative’s country home in Manzanillo, located in the province of Monte Cristi, in the northwest region of the tropical island. One day while exploring the grounds, my brother and I discovered a nesting chicken hidden in some shrubs. My brother peered closer for a better look. Bad move. But what did we know? We were city kids: Brooklyn, New York. The hen zoomed out after my brother. With the wing span of a Learjet and her neck stretched taut trying to peck him, she chased him around the yard. My brother ran, hands straight out in front of him, just like in the cartoons, frantically calling, “Mommeee!” Mom banged aside the screen door and flew out of the house, a straw broom in her hand, and shooed the mama bird back to her place.


My brother never went back to the Dominican Republic.


That event made me reflect on how much mothers do to protect their children. Whether human or animal, they are fierce defenders of their little ones. What’s more, human mothers ignore age. In her eyes, you’re always her baby . . . and she can still cut you down to size if need be.


I continued my thoughtful journey recalling some of my favorite books and films that celebrate mothers. As the character Sophia from the television sitcom The Golden Girls would say, “Picture it. Sicily. 1868.” But for this first title, it’s not Sicily. It’s America.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, 1868. The star might be the character Jo, but Marmee is the real hero raising four daughters while her husband is away serving in the Civil War. And just as relevant today with spouses in military service.


I Remember Mama was a 1948 film about a Norwegian family, but the matriarch embodies mothers of all cultures: the tireless, resourceful heart of the family.


A widow and a mother with very little money during the Great Depression, actress Sally Field in the 1984 film, Places in the Heart, struggles to keep her children with her and the Ku Klux Klan at bay.

Then there are those brave enough to stand up against the status-quo. In The Blind Side, 2009, Sandra Bullock portrays the Caucasian mother who opens her heart and her home to a homeless black youth.


And who wouldn’t want a mom who takes on bullies, like Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver in the 1986 film, Aliens?!

Honor goes also to the many grandmothers, aunts, and sisters, who often champion the grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and siblings in their care.
Perhaps the most heart-rending examples of motherhood are those who, in order to save their child, must give them away.


The Broadway musical, Miss Saigon, was inspired by the decision a Vietnamese woman made during the fall of Saigon to send her child away for the chance at a better life. Reminiscent of that other self-less mother, Jochebed, who in order to save her son from the Pharaoh’s decree to kill all male newborns, set her infant adrift on the Nile entrusting her baby Moses into the hands of a greater King.


We have a sorrowful saying in Spanish, “Una madre puede criar doce hijos, pero doce hijos no pueden cuidar una madre,” which translated means that while one mother is able to raise and care for twelve children, those twelve children, when grown into adulthood, can’t find the time to care for their one mother.


May it never be!

See you next time on June 22nd.
Veronica Jorge

I’ll Always Love My Mama

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Kitty Bucholtz, May Featured Author

May 21, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

Kitty Bucholtz combined her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. She loves to teach and offer advice to writers through her WRITE NOW! Workshop courses and the WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast.

http://kittybucholtz.com/

Besides Kitty’s website and WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast, you will find her here on the 9th of each month writing It’s Worth It.


Books by Kitty Bucholtz

ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

0 0 Read more

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