BellaOnline's premiere issue of Mused penetrates life's wintry chill and brings warming inspiration. Drift past undulating fractals, spiraling metal and prickly saguaros. Draw in a somber raven and a... More > delicate butterfly. Poetry reminds us of the challenges of love, the beauty of blanketing snow, the power behind elderly hands, the delight in small gifts to a child.A midlife woman in India has her life turned upside down by pregnancy. An aging pair of sisters share their love. A woman grieves over the loss of her beloved dog. Reality draws us in further. A Texan woman becomes a powerful mentor. Wrinkles take on new meanings. A road trip across the US highlights the beauty of the world, while an introspective piece examins the journey of life. A daring young woman explores the Dominican Republic solo and survives.Whatever your path in life, make the most of each day. As "Mature Hands" muses,The priceless tools of my tradethese seasoned handsstill have much to do.< Less
Summer's sultry heat bakes our senses. Our artwork resonates with the shimmering yellow of the Valley of the Sun, the baked brick of the Canyon de chelly, the exotic pyramids of Egypt. Visions... More > reflect the layers of the Grand Canyon, the striped boats of Ventimiglia Italy, the pinholes of a vampire's kiss. Poems bring to life azaleas, tea leaves, lazy summer days and shellin' purple-hull peas. Stories draw in the drama with scrambled eggs and a camping trip by the Pacific.Real life stories add even more poignancy with kind stepmothers, the acceptance of mistakes, the love of flying. There is the trauma of a grandmother with Alzheimer's. A woman celebrates her 40th birthday with a fire circle while wives discuss what women want and deserve. We give equal time to menopause and PMS, two decidedly feminine situations.The power of summertime infuses us to the end, as evidenced by "Thunder" -The crash far away;a mild timpani remainsrumbling me to sleep.< Less
Spring is the eternal allure of fresh possibilities. Open your eyes with glowing photos - the beacon of a lighthouse on Nantucket's shore, the gentle orange sunrise over Cadillac Mountain. Rise up in... More > a patchwork hot-air balloon and drift by a fishing spot in Tennessee.Poems add another layer. Step into a sphagnum bog, spring-clean an attic of memory-rich toys, feel your heart awaken to a friend's care. Expand further with rich stories of fairy pageants and tropical goddesses. Ground your feet in non-fiction musings on a flower thriving in a grimy parking lot. Treasure the power of silence in a world of buzzing noise. Gain insight into living with Multiple Sclerosis. Feel the changing perceptions of the world as a woman goes from pert cheerleader to heavy older woman. Glimpse another culture with a 1959 letter about New Year's Eve in Ipanema, Brazil.An interview with author and musician Glynnis Campbell provides practical advice on achieving success - "Absolutely follow your heart."< Less
Winter encourages us to snuggle in and reflect on life. Draw inspiration from photos of snow-covered Mount Elden, from a junco clinging to an ice-coated branch, from the glowing blue chill of a... More > glacial waterfall. Head cross-country at Buffalo Park, then meander by a snowy Rhode Island vineyard.Poems wrap around us with rhythmic thoughts. A grandmother with Alzheimers slips between now and then. Snowflakes drift down while the tide ebbs and flows. A lonely woman shuffles along a plank floor. Stories expand the vision - a beloved aunt betrays a girl's trust. An ill woman faces traumatic surgery. A botanist retreats to a French monastery.The real world provides its own tales. A girl grows up tomboy-style in the 1920s. An elderly neighbor is forgotten by those around him. A book lover shares her obsession, a mom embraces her chaos.In the end, one person, one act, can make the difference. "Solace" ends thusly - "I had an awful day. It's great to find you here when I come home."< Less
Spring brings new life to a thawing world. Gaze on a lamb resting in Wales, a church doorway in Germany, a pair of Ibis in the Everglades. A deep crevice of layered rock becomes a birth canal.... More > Reflect on a placid pond and a conte swirl.Poetry draws you in further. A young sand goddess builds a beach castle. An older woman feels comfortable in her skin. Stories highlight misconceptions about saving money, the tug-of-war between mother and daughter, the slow awakening to romance.Non-fiction stories celebrate the small victories of getting older, the challenges of living in the tundra, the transition from tomboy to curvaceous woman. An Asian woman rides the metro bus through Los Angeles, an American woman breathes in cardamom in Iraq.We all deserve a shelter, a place of peace we can retreat to. "A Soul's Oasis" ends with this:Most vital is this quiet space, a refuge fromthe hectic day; I so do love this beautiful place where allmy cares just drift away.< Less
Summer's gentle breezes encourage us to slow down, look around, and drink in the beauty of nature. The smallest grasshopper can offer a warm chuckle. Dragonflies balance on thin branches. Roses and... More > marigolds are life's living jewels. Intermingled with these images are visions of a different dimension. One poem puzzles at the mystery of autism. Another immerses us in a summer thunderstorm. The stories accompany us on journeys - to a subterranean memorial in France, to an ancient church in Malta, to a quiet farm in rural India.
Become immersed in an account of attending Obama's inauguration in Washington DC. Then nestle in for more personal stories - the helpless sadness as a father's life fades, the nervous pride as a mother watches her child stretch his wings and fly.
End with the warm embrace of immense inspiration via singer Mary Travers, member of Peter, Paul and Mary. Mary touches millions with her social activism. Her final words in the interview: "Be kind to your neighbor."< Less
Autumn - glorious foliage, a cup of tea by a crackling fire. Photos embrace you. A dappled hacienda in Mexico, drifting clouds in Switzerland. A delicate jellyfish dances through the deep blue. Poems... More > echo with a longing for Prague and shattered fragments of loss.
Stories bring hope in a myriad of guises. One woman resists her 'doll house' prison. Another revels in an interracial love. A woman who had given up on finding a partner tries one more time. A play draws us into the loss of dreams - and the birth of hope - in a quiet nursing home.
Real life proves even more inspiring. The death of a beloved dog provides wings to set the owner free. A tragic car crash fills the victim with a fresh enthusiasm for life. Wide-open doors in Lebanon draw fresh breezes on a wedding day.
Jewelry artist Shahasp Valentine inspires: "Create what you love, love what you do. It’s hard work to be sure but there’s nothing more satisfying than creating something from nothing and watching it grow and blossom."< Less
Winter solstice. For one day we have the shortest amount of light, the most darkness. Then, slowly, resolutely, the sun returns. Mused Winter Solstice 2009 captures the hush as our world prepares... More > for a fresh start. Poetry begins the journey. In Winter Moments we glimpse perfection in a snowy day. Adieu poignantly paints the leaving of a cherished home. For fiction which reflects reality, Blackberry Winter muffles us with "three strikes" in rural Georgia - "a girl, colored, and ugly". Our real life stories are even more compelling. Epileptic Journey traces a family's struggle with seizures. Asylum peeks behind the bars of a psychiatric ward. The artwork of Mused illuminates. Path to Nowhere reveals a New York forest, Gloomy Day a Newfoundland harbor, Rutland State Park a Massachusetts lake. Nancy Dietrich reveals how writing was a life-saving escape from an abusive marriage. As she documented her life stories, "I finally started to gain some distance from each episode. And only then could I start to heal."< Less
Spring welcomes us with the freshness of a golden new day. Curl your toes in the warm sand of the New Jersey shore. Dip your fingers in the cool waters of an Italian waterfall fountain. Nuzzle the... More > soft fur of a shaggy Scottish Highland cow. Poetry adds in language to the visionary mix. Decorate your cheeks greenly with fingerpaints. Inhale fragrant lilacs. Savor the tangy-sweet juiciness of orange slices. Fiction stories expand the emotion. Enjoy a playful romp with a tumble of puppies, savoring the sunshine. Tag along at a western wedding in Albuquerque. Non-Fiction sprinkles in the spice of reality. A couple drifts peacefully down the Presumpscot, accompanied by dragonflies and red-winged blackbirds. A remembered childhood is redolent with scents of cinnamon and brown sugar. Featured poet Jody Zolli encourages us all. "Don’t give up, keep at it." The spotlight is yours. "I want the reader to follow the words wherever it takes them. Once a reader is involved, it’s no longer my poem, it’s their poem."< Less
Summer. Sprawl on the hammock and soak up the richness of Mused. A stroke-affected woman struggles to move on. A hospital patient finds strength to make a choice. Depression, loneliness, angst-filled... More > remembrances - and also hope, longing, spell binding beauty. Photos nestle you in the hills of Sicily, walk the Great Wall of China. Thunder with a horse in full gallop. Rest with a pelican by the water. Fiction recalls a childhood of boiling crabs and avocado-green appliances. It muses about angels and peers into overflowing inboxes. Non-fiction recovers from a breakup. Gallops full tilt across a Cairo desert. A play paints a world of southern seniors. Interviews expand our horizons. Kendra Tornheim provides a wealth of information for crafters. Learn from Lori Bernard how short stories are created. She sums up our world beautifully - "some are sadder and will make you think, some are happier and will make you cry; some have that 'ah-ha' moment, and some have an unexpected twist." Join us for the journey.< Less