Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Some Good News





























I'm so honored that my poem "Columbine" has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Shawn Aveningo Sanders and Robert Sanders of The Poetry Box. The poem originally appeared in their journal The Poeming Pigeon: In the News this year. 

To read "Columbine," click here.

To purchase a copy of the anthology, click here

Monday, November 26, 2018

A New Story


I was so happy to get this beauty in the mail the other day! Inside is my short story, "A True Gift" a satirical piece involving smoke, a roomful of wigs and one inflated ego. Thank you Gold Man Review!

You can order a copy at here.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

No Place Like It



In an old photo taken of our house, a woman wearing a long black dress and a white apron is standing on the porch. Did the first owners of this place have a maid? Hard to imagine, although when I'm scrubbing the toilet, I do sometimes mutter that I feel like Cinderella.

We inherited an album of such photos when we bought the house. Also in the album is a crumbling German newspaper from 1891 (apparently, a previous owner found it in the wall) and a Union Pacific map from the same year.

And what of the indigenous peoples who lived here before that? What is left of them on this patch of land where our house sits? 

In a short lyric essay that was just published by Inquietudes Literary Journal, I ask myself these questions and many more. You can read "No Place Like It" at https://inquietudeslitjournal.weebly.com/issue-2.html.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Creative Memoir by Tetyana Bondarchuk




If spring stirs up thoughts of love, autumn with its falling leaves, long nights and approaching holidays tends to stir up memories.

Here’s a poignant memoir by Tetyana Bondarchuk about how a scent can evoke a yearning for the past and the need to embrace the here and now. 



The Smell From Childhood

by Tetyana Bondarchuk



It’s the fragrance of wet, fresh conifer tree wood chips that pulled me out of my meditative morning run through the park and made me slow down on the track, then stop. I looked around. The low morning sun was tangled in the crowns of centuries old giant trees, its weak October rays struggled to get to the ground to dry up the morning dew.

The picnic area of the park was fenced off and contained a few pieces of heavy equipment. One looked like a wood chipper. Suddenly, that wet pile revealed itself as a small hill of freshly chopped wood camouflaged by brown and yellow oak and maple tree leaves. The smell was strong enough to trigger a flashback of a day in the woods with my father in the Ukrainian Polissia, his birthplace.

I saw a 5-foot tall stump and had an urge to go and touch it, run my fingers on its bark, count its rings, but the makeshift stump-and-log fence said “No.” No, you can’t come here, no, you can’t touch us, no, it’s too late for love and sentiments. Just stop and watch us for a minute. And smell. Stop and smell the trees.

The aroma of ether oil, wet moss, grass and ferns, and autumn leaves, floated through the air like an invisible bride’s veil in a breeze and trailed with me as I ran along the path, circling the park, catching my breath and holding it in like I hold on to the memories of my childhood.


About the author: 
Tanya Bondarchuk is Ukrainian. She holds a degree in English and German Languages and Literature. A former translator/interpreter, she has been exploring creative writing since 2012.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ready, Set, Go!



Many thanks to the editors of Sad Girl Review - not for accepting my recent submission (they didn't) - but for putting the call out there in the first place.

Their fall issue will be all handwritten material: to-do lists, diary entries, rough sketches, drafts of poems, doodles. In other words, it will be FUN, as writing and drawing should be.

I love this invitation to play, to leave our advice books on the shelf and to turn the volume down (way down) on the voices in our heads (a teacher's? a relative's? our own?) - the voices that say we're not REAL artists, so why bother.

Four-year-olds don't sit and analyze their brush strokes; they just stick their fingers in the paint and go to town.

What if you do that, too? What if you pick up a pencil, a crayon, a pen, whatever and let words and images flow out? Maybe others will be amazed by your brilliance. (What fun! Go you!) Maybe not. Who cares? The main thing is to have a good time creating something new. To rev up your creative engine. To feel your voice grow stronger with time and lots of practice.



The image above was part of my rejected manuscript (a piece I called "The Hive"), which I adapted from a journal entry. Yes, I'm blushing as I share it. And yes, I prefer acceptances. But hey, I had a blast giving this handwritten stuff a whirl. I have zero training in visual arts (surprise!), but for this challenge, I let the kid in me out of her box, and she had a great run. Good thing, because rumor has it life is fleeting. As long as we're not kicking someone else in the shins, we might as well have some freewheeling times while we're here.

So go for broke, artist/friend - let fly with your creativity. And while you're at it, take a peek at the pieces that were accepted for the Sad Girl Review's issue when it comes out. And enjoy! Why not?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Still Life, with Fruit


Many thanks to The New Verse News for publishing my "Love Song for a Word" today. You can find it at https://newversenews.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Winds of Change


I'm honored that Jack Walker Press included a reprint of my lyric essay "Baila Conmigo" (not to be confused with my chapbook of the same title!) in their new anthology Corners: Voices on Change

To order a copy of the book, click https://www.powells.com/book/-9781945378034 or https://jackwalkerpress.com/corners-voices-on-change/. Profits will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Earth Justice.