July Call for Submissions: Summer

Thanks to all of the members who responded to the June Call for Submissions surrounding the theme “Fathers”.

We are now accepting submissions from Writers Forum members in good standing to be published in July.  The theme is “Summer”.  Poems, essays and fictional pieces are welcome.  Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free.  Feel free to include a short bio, a headshot and links to your website, blog, etc.  Submissions may be posted on the Writers Forum website and/or the Writers Forum Newsletter.  Please email submissions to:

writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com

Thank you!

Member Monday: The Smell of Ripe Tomatoes by Esther Auerbach

Welcome back to Member Monday.  We continue with our June theme “fathers” and I’m happy to welcome Writers Forum member, Esther Auerbach.

The Smell of Ripe Tomatoes

by Esther Auerbach

As one of eight children I rarely got to spend time by myself with either of my parents, so when I did it was very special, even if it involved nothing more than accompanying them on an errand.  Such was the time when, on a beautiful late afternoon when I was about eight years old, my father took me on a short trip on horseback to pick tomatoes in a nearby town.

I do not recall the reason why he took me instead of my sister Rosa, just two years older than me, or my brother Manuel, two years my junior.  Because we were so close in age it usually took some negotiating and even some arguing among us kids to determine who’d get to do what, especially the most coveted tasks; but for whatever reason on this particular day there was none of that.  Perhaps Rosa and Manuel were not home; or maybe my parents, in their infinite wisdom gained after all their years of practice, knew just how to time my father and my exit without creating a fuss.  All I know is that as dad and I rode our horse on that lazy afternoon, he on the saddle and I behind him holding on to the back of the saddle, I felt very special listening to the childhood stories that he loved to tell.

Just as the sun was setting dad led our horse into a large field of tomatoes in varying sizes and hues of green and red, and all at once we were greeted by the sweetest fragrance emanating from the field.  As we filled the two huge baskets that the owner of the farm talked my dad into taking so we could resell them in town, we savored the delicious fruit with no regard for the mess that the juice was making as it spilled down to our elbows.

Night had fallen by the time we made our way home through the back roads.  The trails were so narrow that the horse had a hard time getting through some of the gates as he carried the two enormous baskets on either side; and all along dad and I followed behind, guided by the moonlight that shone through the branches of the trees.

I never told my father how meaningful that short little outing was for me, and for all I know he had forgotten it by the time he died.  I’m sure that, from his point of view, there was nothing particularly remarkable about it; but as a middle child in a large family, having my dad’s complete attention for several hours turned that experience into one of the nicest memories of my childhood.  Even today, several decades later, I feel a special closeness to my dad every time I smell a freshly picked tomato, and I immediately think back to that very ordinary, yet very special afternoon so long ago.

EstherAbout the Author: Esther Auerbach has been writing mostly for herself for many years, though she wrote a weekly column about real estate issues for a small newspaper in Central California for several years.  These days she enjoys writing short stories and poetry.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Member Monday: Father the Controller by Aaron Steinmetz

Welcome back to Member Monday.  We’re kicking off June and our month of submissions around the theme “fathers” with a piece from Writers Forum member Aaron Steinmetz.  Join Aaron for a book reading and signing Saturday, June 15th from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm at Lisa’s Book Nook located at 4030 Railroad Avenue.  

Father the Controller

by Aaron Steinmetz

That inexplicable video game controller, the one with symbols that seemed to be lifted from Egyptian hieroglyphics, it taunted him.  Teased him.  Sure, his son with his mere eight years on this planet had mastered the damnable thing, but he was light-years behind the boy.

He had physical strength on the kid, that was for sure; he challenged his son to arm wrestle with him all the time, ably beating him within seconds knowing full well the boy would beat him someday, but he wouldn’t let the boy win.  No, the boy had to earn it.  And the controller the boy held as he played those enigmatic games?  The father would earn that too.

In the dark of the night, the television muted to save his pride, the father had turned on the gaming console and attempted to guide the…thing into the other thing, the mysterious goal that only seemed possible if you kept your eyes glued to the screen, a feat he’d seen the boy perform a hundred times over without looking at the controller once.

The father couldn’t take his eyes off the controller, and as such, the thing didn’t go into the other thing, but instead struck the ground with enough force to make it explode in a geyser of blood.  Far more blood than any “thing” should be able to carry.  He flung the controller at the wall with a curse.

And when the boy awoke and found the gaming console locked in the closet until the boy was old enough to look at the gruesome video game with an adult’s emotional distance, the boy was so upset he challenged his father to an arm wrestling match.

The father merely smiled and sighed.

aaron-steinmetz1Author’s Note: Aaron Steinmetz is the ‘word-renowned’ author of Sleepy P.I. and Highland High, two quirky comedies about a private investigator who doesn’t sleep until he closes his case. He also has a book of short stories out called Anomalous Confessions which, despite the pretentious title, is actually quite wacky. He is currently working on a third book in the Sandy Mantle Series, and a little something about a cat.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!