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Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Summer Solstice 2014 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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"For everything there is a season" and I felt this to be so true as I worked on the Summer Edition of Mused. I found myself in step with the season; this season of warmth, bright sunshine,... More > brief rain showers, and powerful thunderstorms. It struck me how much we are connected to each season and the elements it brings; therefore drawing us ever closer in the circle of life. This connection of life is a reflection of the many artists who contributed to this issue of Mused. I marvel as I look upon photography such as "Dragonfly Love" by Ellen Erlanger, so delicate and fragile. But I look again and there is the towering magnificence of "Mystic Arm, Antelope Canyon" by Albert Rollins, as it stands strong and ageless. As "Mama Mockingbird," also by Ellen Erlanger, seeks to care for her young, I am again reminded of the circle of life.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Autumn Equinox 2014 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Autumn is a season of powerful transition. It brings devastating hurricanes and stunning alterations in landscape. It reminds us to treasure what we have for surely everything can change in an... More > instant. Our photographers challenge us to look closer - to see the beauty and meaning in each moment. A bright-eyed owl is blind in one eye. A dragonfly seems dipped in gold. A landscape takes on new meaning when seen from a fresh angle. A bird's feathers take on shimmering color and symmetry when viewed from above. Our poets bring distant worlds to powerful life. We tremble in the powerful aftermath of a destructive thunderstorm. We weep at the tragedy of a Guatemalan village, ruthlessly mown down. We shiver in the frigid distance between a newlywed couple who has begun to split like a withered tree. We wrap ourselves in emotion as a patient grapples with a harsh diagnosis. Our fiction writers bring to life vibrant worlds which seem all-too-real.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Autumn Equinox 2011 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Autumn with its rich, vibrant hues inspires us to breathe in the richness of life. There are the exuberant images of whales waving hello against the mountains of Antarctica. Then there are the tiny,... More > 8mm beauties which radiate an ethereal glow. Poetry paints the air with its mosaic of sounds. We are seduced by the wail of a saxophone and haunted by the images of a woman struggling against cancer. A sister comes to term with her fractious relationship with her sibling. Fiction twists our emotions as an expectant mother fears the worst. A lonely woman craves the grace of dancers' delicate movements. Non-Fiction aims the spotlight on the experiences of our community. A grandmother struggles with the loss of her beloved mother. A tour guide in Alaska enriches visitors with knowledge of the Tlingit culture. Life is not a effortless sail from one coast to another. It is often stormy with fierce squalls and periods of dead calm. Every moment has something to teach us, if we would but stop and listen.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Winter Solstice 2009 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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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
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Spring Equinox 2012 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Spring opens our minds to the promise of a fresh beginning. A mossy path lures us into a quiet forest. The mists of sunrise shroud a serene landscape. A jeweled wasp reminds us that beauty comes in... More > all sizes and shapes. Poetry brings out the beauty in a fog-shrouded bay; it encourages us to breathe in deeply from the lilac dawn. Fiction draws us to treasure each day and appreciate what we have. A poor coal miner's wife struggles to make do with the few coins she has. Non-Fiction brings us into the complex world our fellow artists share. A woman strives for natural childbirth despite her fears. A daughter regains treasures from a war-torn past. A breast cancer survivor shows us the power of inner strength. Come share in the amazing stories and creations our artists have shared. Give thanks that our community is composed of such stunning talents, opening their hearts and minds with us to celebrate this new spring together.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Spring Equinox 2011 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Spring is a season of contrasts. The bleak edges of winter are gentling into a softer welcome. The crisp monochromatic spirals of a staircase become mirrored by the peach petals of a flower. A... More > resting duck is reflected in the still waters of its pond. Life begins anew. Poems echo the swift, darting nature of a hummingbird and catch vainly at fading memories scattering like crickets. Red geraniums and purple fragrance encourage us to drink deeply. Fiction walks with a jilted bride constructing a new start and a widow releasing the relics of the past. A young woman contemplates being responsible for another woman's children. Non-Fiction illuminates. A nicotine addict reveals her painful struggles. A visitor to Ghana discovers just how much there is to share with others. A young girl realizes the insidious power of a lie. Dyan deNapoli shares the heartache and redemption of saving 40,000 penguins from a devastating oil spill. Learn what you can do to make a difference.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Winter Solstice 2012 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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At exactly 6:14am on Friday, December 21st, 2012, we had both the Winter Solstice, which happens every year, and the Mayan End of the World, which happens less frequently. Of course, the world... More > continued turning as usual, and mankind had the same joy and discord, serenity and stress, love and jealousy that it always seems to have. These milestones serve as reminders to us that nature cycles within its patterns and that we strive to learn and grow with each new dawn. A sunset in Boston glows in tangerine and gold. A lost love echoes with poignancy after twelve long years. A trekker struggles to the top of Kilimanjaro and soaks in the beauty. An auction bidder struggles to rein in her compulsions. There are oriole chicks crying for their mother, a wife crying for help, an elderly woman remembering the ravages of World War II. A car dissolves into the wilderness of weeds, and a moon rises high over Zion. Welcome to winter, and breathe in the blessing that comes with every new morn.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Winter Solstice 2011 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Winter infuses our world with magical beauty. Trees become glistening creations of white, frosted with snow and gilded with ice. Misty landscapes remind us of the serenity of solitude. Drops of water... More > become shimmering jewels. Poetry wraps us in the sensations. Blue holiday lights reflect merrily off of car hoods. Cozy fires blaze to warm frosty toes. Weary shoppers in line lose track of the true meaning of Christmas. Fiction gives us garlands of glowing lights in Delhi, India along with a Christmas celebration embraced by mist and ancient cedars. Non-fiction looks back at relationships. A woman muses about what type of cake her absent father might have wanted. A man remembers fond moments in a life with an alcoholic father. Winter is a season of nature's essence. We gaze at the bare bones of trees, rocks, and landscapes, and glimpse the ethereal harmony which has always been there. It is a time to offer gratitude for all that we have, and all we can dream of becoming.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Spring Equinox 2010 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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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
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Autumn Equinox 2013 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Autumn is a time of beauty and gratitude, of soaking in the serenity of our world around us. Medieval folk would refer to this simply as "harvest season" - for to them that was the key... More > function of this time of year. Artwork explores nature's glory in this harvest season. A sunflower glows with gold and brown. A single drop on a leaf glistens with shimmering color. A skilled banjo player shares his love of music. Poetry brings us in further. Sage smoke rises from the center of a labyrinth. Henna and fuchsia leaves delight the eye. The vanilla fragrance of an orchid warms the heart. Non-fiction lets us step into another's shoes. A young girl stands up to bullies. A young woman finds her path in life. A daughter struggles with her father's aging. Fiction explores the realms of growth. A teen girl balances between childhood and adult issues. An adoptive mother experiences a mix of emotions. Photographer Joann Vitali demonstrates how beauty is all around us. Come savor the moment with us.< Less