Member Monday: Rain Says by Linda Boyden

Welcome back to Member Monday.  It’s a pleasure to feature a poem by poet, storyteller and children’s author, Linda Boyden.  Linda crafted this piece at the January Writers Forum meeting with Susan Wooldridge.  You can purchase a hardback copy of Linda’s newest picture book Boy and Poi Poi Puppy at All About Books.

Rain Says

by Linda Boyden

Rain says:I will snarl thunder at you
nibble the nectar of your roots
crave the caverns of your flesh
tattoo your skin in mosaics
tether your heart and
river you with my love
but when the planet sways
and bitters my song
then will I leave you only the shards
for I am your Persephone.

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: Aunt Shirlee’s Angel by Deborah Gilson

Welcome back to Member Monday!  Today we feature a piece by Writers Forum member Deborah Gilson.

Aunt Shirlee’s Angel

by Deborah Gilson

Cats are said to have nine lives. Humans have one, however, there’s one exception: my aunt Shirlee. She’s seen more lives in her near-85 years than any cat on GOD’s green earth.

The other night, I called at her resident’s home to catch up. She pleaded to have, “The good Lord take me home.” I said I honor her wish. She apologized she couldn’t wait any longer for my dreams to come true. She said it was taking too long for my loving man to enter my life. She said she was sorry my writing career didn’t happen while she was still alive. I told her I understood.

Aunt Shirlee fell a few days ago and ended up in the hospital again. This morning in honor of Valentine’s Day, I went to the hospital to see about cheering her up. The moment I walked into her hospital room she said, “Listen, Debbie. This hospital stuff is getting to be old news.”

We talked an hour and a half when she said with a glimmer in her eyes, “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. The nicest nurse visited me this morning at ten past four. She turned on a light, just bright enough for me to see her and that clock on the wall. It wasn’t glaring, it was just right. When I asked if she was here to give me more medication, she said she was only here to visit.” I let Aunt Shirlee know that was an odd time for anyone to just pop in for a visit.

Aunt Shirlee explained this was no ordinary nurse. I said, “Oh? Tell me about her.” Aunt Shirlee began describing her special nurse saying, “Well, she had blonde, crinkly, wavy hair to her shoulders. I asked what hours she worked and the nurse explained, she’s here for me 24/7. Whenever I need her, she’ll know. She told me her workplace is immediately outside my door on the right. She said there’s a group of offices and hers is the closest to my room.”

My antenna was on high by now. I let Aunt Shirlee know there were no offices outside her hospital door, only more hospital rooms. She asked me to double-check. I poked my head outside the door, looked down the long corridor and saw only what I’d seen walking to her room upon my visit. Aunt Shirlee’s face was visibly perplexed.

At that moment, a male Hispanic janitor walked in to mop the floor and empty the waste basket. I thanked him for coming in and Aunt Shirlee asked him, “Excuse me, could you please tell me if there are any offices outside my room?” He said, “No, ma’am. There are only more hospital rooms.”

Aunt Shirlee asked with a curious look, “Debbie, who came to my room this morning?” I gently said, “Aunt Shirlee, that was an angel.” Aunt Shirlee paused a moment and then asked, “Why did she come see me?” I explained, “The angel knew you’d been feeling alone and she’s here to let you know whenever you need a friend, she will be here.” Aunt Shirlee replied, “Well, she sure was pretty.”

At that moment, my aunt Audrey called on Aunt Shirlee’s hospital phone. I knew it was time for me to leave. When Aunt Shirlee’s time is finished on earth, I’ll be at peace, knowing she has an angel guiding her home.

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!

Slate for March Elections

It is that time of year when the general membership decides who will crew the ship for another year. The Nominating Committee, chaired by Deborah Gilson, has done their work, and at the March 8th meeting will present the slate of Officers for approval. On that day, nominations from the floor will also be accepted. If there are no nominations, the membership will vote to approve the proposed slate. If there are nominations, the contested positions will be voted on, with the remainder as a slate. Then the behind the scenes process of seeking various chairs will be conducted. 

Election Slate for March

President, Larry Watters, incumbent
Vice President, Troy Racki, incumbent
Secretary, Vickie Linnet, incumbent
Treasurer, Jennifer Levens, incumbent
Membership, Jennifer Higley, incumbent
Program Director, Sharon Owen, incumbent
Newsletter Editor, Ed Sulpice, incumbent
Director at Large, Laura Hernandez, incumbent
Director at Large, Lindy Jones, incumbent
Director at Large, Alicia McCauley, incumbent

Writers Wanted: Poetry Contest

Famous Poets announces that $5,000.00 in cash and prizes will be awarded this year to amateur poets. Poets, especially beginners, are encouraged to enter for their chance to win.

To enter send one poem of 21 lines or less: Free Poetry Contest, PO Box 21, Talent, OR 97540. Or enter online at www.famouspoets.com. A winner’s list will be sent to all entrants. The deadline for entering is March 1, 2014.

“Any poet, whether published or not, can be a winner,” says Executive Director Mark Schramm. “When people learn about our free poetry contest, they suddenly realize that their own poetic talent can win cash prizes, as well as garner national recognition.” Famous Poets has awarded over $400,000.00 in cash to amateur poets over the years, more than any other poetry society. We are helping Poetry, the Cinderella of the Arts, find her glass slipper.

Member Monday: Adopted Love by Ed Sulpice

Welcome back to Member Monday!  Today it’s a pleasure to feature a piece by Writer’s Forum Newsletter Editor, Ed Sulpice.  Welcome, Ed.

Adopted Love

by Ed Sulpice

Entering the store, a fragrant invitation of transcendence wafts deliciously around my being. This lingering presence forces all other thoughts in my mind to evacuate the cerebral arena in a dazzling display of mental superiority and acquiescence. Slightly dizzy. Expectant.  The divine scent intoxicates. Chocolate is present.

I should have anticipated this. It’s near February, Valentine’s Day.  I’m sure I came to this retail establishment to buy something or complete some task, but what?  All spiritual and neurological triggers have become fully engaged and focused…salivation, the promise of dopamine (which I hear does good stuff) and the emotional edges that I am willing to let be assuaged by this confectionary treasure…just  the anticipation of the taste causes me to celebrate fully. I smack my lips. I rub the moistening palms of my hands together. An Everest-like mountain of heart-shaped, red and pink boxes ascends before me. Dark chocolate, truffles, bordeaux, nuts, not nuts, cremes…..mmmmmm!!! I channel my inner George Mallory with the only rationale I can muster to defend my desires for consumption against the logical, sugar-free antagonist of all that is gooey and coco…because it’s there. Because it’s there. “BECAUSE IT’S THERE,” I accidentally speak the phrase out loud. A nearby clerk smiles knowingly. Smiling back, I detect a minuscule smudge of Nestles’ goodness adorning her uniform, just above the name badge. I sense empathy sojourning between the clerk and I.

Because it’s February, it’s there. Because it’s Valentines’ Day, it’s there. Because of love, it’s there. Yes, you read correctly, “because of love.”  I totally defend the symbolic nature of love being partially defined by chocolate…flowers? meh Chocolate, definitely. And just like Christmas and Easter and Mother’s Day and 4th of July, I offer an aside to all of those who would like to argue about the corporate influence and commercialization of all holidays…

Yeah, I get it. Now go away!

I say this because I have chosen a perspective that says there are two sides to every story. A yin and a yang. A day and a night. A love and a fear. I have winnowed out of the culture, and now possess for myself,  the notion that it’s the intention of gestures that either adds or subtracts from core behavioral value…you know, “it’s the thought that counts”…even it means plunking down a few bucks for an overly-adorned box of candy. I have engaged the courageous expression of affection. I have adopted love. Or more accurately, love has adopted me.

You see, besides the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, I celebrate two additional holidays in February. On the eighth, I celebrate my biological birth to a loving, unwed, teenage girl who was willing to let me go. Like the mother of Moses, she took a chance.

And on the fourteenth, Valentine’s Day, I honor the day that my adoption by two amazing people became legal.  My adopted parents, my mom and my dad, embodied care, compassion and love. They adopted me. They took a chance.

What’s cool about adoption is the inherent choice involved in the act. A decision to step into the unknown. Whether you adopt a cause, a perspective or a person, your story expands and your life complicates. Kinda cool.

So while I”m standing here in front of this mound of chocolate joy, I smile. I embrace the appearance of that whimsical narcotic, memory, and it’s  sacred array of people, places and things that I hold dear. I have chosen to address life in this manner…not a naive foray into the reality of cynicism and bitterness…but a deliberate attempt to share my adoptions.

I have adopted “Do unto others…”

I have adopted faith, forgiveness and mercy.

I have adopted love.

…and  I purchase chocolate!

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!

A Message From the President: February, 2014

January and February mark the annual Crab Feeds as Fundraisers season. Scattered around the North State, most use the Shasta District Fairground. Ranging from small community events, like benefiting the Cottonwood Community Library, to all-out shows like One Safe Place (nee Shasta Women’s Refuge) and various Service Organizations, these raise the sense of supporting local groups; the money raised stays here! So grab your bibs and fav Crab Cracker and chow down. Oh, and a hint: Anderson Rotary has the best Chowder; they contribute it to other fundraisers!

And typing of Crabs (segue here); did you hear the one about a crab walking into a bar? Yep, didn’t get served; barkeep refused cuz it couldn’t walk straight. Now imagine this leading to crabs that live in mangroves, how mangroves look like they have legs, and plants that walk. True dat, plants walking, er, moving.

Beyond Tolkien’s imaginative Ents, there are plants that literally move, seeking a better location. “Nomadic vines” never grow in length, but send thin stems with small leaves to move quickly, and when sun is found, develop thicker and larger to stay there, but leave their trailing parts to wither and die. I have “read” that certain fig trees can “walk” on their stilt roots to escape from a tree that has fallen on them. But Googling has revealed nothing.

Until next month, keep your pen to the paper or your fingers on the keyboard; more importantly, don’t stay rooted in one place.