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August Author of the Month, Dianna Sinovic

August 7, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

Author of the Month: Dianna Sinovic

picture of dianna sinovic

Dianna is a contributing author in the recent Bethlehem Writers Group anthology, Untethered, Sweet, Funny & Strange Tales of the Paranormal. A man buys a painting of a jungle scene that is so realistic it seems to change in “Point of View.” She has also contributed stories for the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable ezine, including “In the Delivery.”

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dianna has also lived in three other quadrants of the U.S. She writes short stories and poetry, and is working on a full-length novel about a young woman in search of her long-lost brother.

Dianna also has a regular column, Quill and Moss, here on A Slice of Orange.


Other books by Dianna Sinovic

Dianna Sinovic

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dianna Sinovic has also lived in three other quadrants of the U.S. She writes short stories and poetry, and is working on a full-length novel about a young woman in search of her long-lost brother.


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One Small Sign

July 30, 2020 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , , ,

One Small Sign





The house was still—so quiet and somber after Gran’s passing—but Kiri refused to turn on the TV or crank up her earbuds just to fill the silence with trivial sounds. She wanted to catch the memory of Gran’s voice, to hear that mischievous laugh again. Within that nothingness, the faintest of snuffles echoed in the hallway outside Gran’s study, where Kiri was reviewing for a test.

            Putting her Econ book face down on the desk, she stepped close to the hall doorway and listened. 

            There it was again. Snuffle, snort

            Unnerved—she was alone in the house—Kiri poked her head cautiously around the door frame to look down the hall. Empty.

            With a small sigh of relief, she walked down the hall and into the dining room to check there. The room was cramped not only with the eight-foot dining table, but also a sideboard, a corner cabinet and a large breakfront. She’d eaten many a meal in this room, with her Gran and, in the years before his death, Gramps presiding. Now both were gone. Despite the bulky furniture, the room felt empty, lifeless.

Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

            Scanning the area, Kiri noticed a small figurine on the otherwise cleared table. She picked it up. About six inches long and four inches high: An antelope with its feet tucked neatly beneath it, two short, thin horns, and large deer-like ears. It seemed to gaze at her with dark glistening eyes. 

            “Where did you come from?” Kiri addressed the object, turning it over. 

            Oribi, a small African antelope, the label affixed to the bottom said.

            Kiri’s gaze wandered to the breakfront. In addition to Gran’s delicate china pieces with their faint blue cloud pattern, the shelves held a few other figurines: an impala and a gazelle, their horns much longer and more curved than the oribi’s.

            Gran had a thing for antelopes even though she’d never seen one outside of the Philadelphia Zoo. “To be able to run with that grace and speed,” she told Kiri. “It must be an incredible sight on the savanna.”

            Africa had been on Gran’s bucket list, but the Fates had another idea: cancer.

            Kiri put the oribi back in its place, with the others, and closed the breakfront section. It had been a month since the memorial service and her parents’ decision that Kiri could live at the house, but how she missed Gran. 

            As evening came on, she cooked herself dinner, washed up, and went back to studying. Her class final was in two days.

            Deep in thought on volume discount pricing theory, she was startled by another noise from the hallway. 

Snuffle, snort.

Once again, Kiri followed the noise to the dining room, and there sat the oribi figurine, back on the table.

            She picked it up, but this time, she carried it with her to the study. Clearing away a few papers and notebooks, she put the figurine under the desk lamp. How odd. Its head was turned now, instead of looking straight ahead. She ran her fingers along the antelope’s ceramic neck but could feel no place where it could swivel.

            Two hours later, Kiri yawned and stretched. She had finished her review. She closed her laptop and textbook, and reached to switch off the lamp. The figurine had vanished from the desktop.

This time, Kiri jumped to her feet. What the—?

In the pool of light from the lamp stood the quavering image of an oribi—at about two feet high, it was the size of a medium dog, but with thin legs, small hooves, and no horns. Ethereal, the doe nuzzled Kiri’s thigh. 

Then the realization hit her.

“Gran, is that you?” Kiri knelt and put her hands on either side of the creature’s face. It made no move to pull away, only looked at her with those same dark glistening eyes. Was that a hint of a smile? A moment later, Kiri was once again holding the figurine.

That night, she nestled the ceramic piece next to her pillow and dreamed of running fleet-foot across a sea of grasses under an equatorial sun.

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Back Seat Drivers by Dianna Sinovic

January 30, 2020 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , , ,

“In half a mile, turn right onto Oak Avenue,” GM said.

            “No, no,” Tom T. cut in. “That’s incorrect. He’ll want to turn right on Elm.”

            “Absolutely not,” GM countered. “Oak Avenue is the fastest way to get to the destination.”

            “In one thousand feet, turn right on Elm Avenue,” Tom said.

            “Oak.”

            “Elm!”

            “Never mind.” GM sighed. “The idiot missed the turn anyway. How many times does that make on this trip? Six?”

            “I’m not sure he’s even listening,” Tom said. “Let me recalculate the next step.”

Traffic signs that say One Way in an urban setting
Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

            “Got it!” GM crowed. “Continue on this road for four miles.”

            Tom stayed silent for a few moments. “Five miles, and then merge onto Route 492.”

            “That route will put him there three minutes later than mine,” GM said.

            “And there’s a gaper delay,” Waze piped up. “It will add thirteen minutes to the total travel time.”

            “Know-it-all,” Tom said, then continued with a hint of smugness, “But he complains about you sending him on squirrely routes. Let’s go with GM’s suggestion of four miles.”

            “We’re down to three miles,” GM said. “Continue on this road.”

            “You already said that,” Tom said. “But I suppose you can’t be too careful. Knowing him, he’ll make the turn too early.”

            “Or not at all—again,” GM said. “If he never pays attention, why bother activating all three of us?”

            “In a quarter mile, turn left onto Ardor Lane,” Waze said.

            “Where the hell did you come up with that?” GM said. “He’s not interested in the scenic route.”

            “Ardor Lane,” Tom mused. “Isn’t that where Sabrina lives? We went there often enough.”

            “Attention.” GM raised her volume slightly. “In one mile, turn right onto Church Street. The destination will be on your left.”

            “Maybe he’s changed his mind,” Waze said. “What time is the wedding?”

            “I think it’s twelve-thirty,” Tom said.

            “And we’ll get him there with a half hour to spare,” GM said. “Nothing like cutting it close.”

            “He’s making a U-turn,” Waze said. “Watch for slow traffic at the next intersection.”

            “Don’t turn, don’t turn,” Tom shouted. “You’ll regret it.”

            “Done,” Waze said. “Your new destination is Ardor Lane.” There was pride in his voice. “Sabrina, here we come!”

            GM sniffed. “And I so wanted to see them throw the rice.”

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Out of Thin Air by Dianna Sinovic

April 13, 2019 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , ,

This month we are please to have Dianna Sinovic as our BWG featured author.

Picture of Dianna Sinovic

Dianna is a contributing author in the recent Bethlehem Writers Group anthology, Untethered. A man buys a painting of a jungle scene that is so realistic it seems to change in “Point of View.” She has also contributed stories for the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable magazine, including “In the Delivery.”

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dianna has also lived in three other quadrants of the U.S. She writes short stories and poetry, and is working on a full-length novel about a young woman in search of her long-lost brother.

Out of Thin Air

I listened to an oldie album by CCR last week that included a favorite: Lookin’ Out My Back Door. If you don’t know the tune, songwriter John Fogerty describes a fantastical scene he imagines in his backyard—elephants, dinosaurs, a flying spoon. You might laugh about what John was imbibing at that moment, but the lyrics made me think about the concept of imagination.

It’s what we as fiction writers do every day we sit down at our keyboard or put a pen to a notepad. We imagine. We pose what ifs, and then we run with them. It’s the core of our craft. We write about things that never really happened while trying to persuade the reader that they really did.

Hats off to those who write fantasy, because they create worlds whole cloth, weaving in just enough detail that we accept those worlds and embrace them. Harry Potter, anyone? But even the most true-to-life fiction demands imagination in order to engage the reader. The precise description of a character that make him/her jump off the page and into our lives. The carefully scripted, rising tension that has us looking over our shoulder at that odd noise from downstairs…

I recently finished reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. In 1996, Russell imagined a future that’s pretty damn believable. (OK, the future is already here, with the second chapter set in February 2019, but I was slow to pick up this classic.) She dreamt up a crew that travels across the cosmos using an asteroid as their vehicle. Why didn’t I think of that?

And that’s the marvel of imagination: We each have our own mental stewpot where new ideas are always bubbling. I’ve participated in a number of writing-prompt sessions led by author Kathryn Craft, in her living room, and each time we share what we’ve written from exactly the same prompt, I am amazed, astonished by the breadth of variations on a theme.

Beyond fiction, it’s imagination that fuels new inventions and creative ways to rethink old problems in order to solve them. “Imagination is everything,” said Albert Einstein. “It is the preview for life’s coming attractions.”


Read Dianna’s short story “Point of View” in BWG’s latest anthology.

UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL
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The Deadline for Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2019 Short Story Award IS April 15, 2019

Just two days to get your story polished and submitted.

The winner will receive $200 and may be offered publication in BWG’s upcoming anthology, Fur, Feather, & Scales: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales. Here’s the LINK for more information or to enter.


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