Author Spotlight
Mused Literary Review
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Autumn Equinox 2015 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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With this autumn issue we have completed eight full cycles of Mused. The number eight is considered quite lucky in both the Japanese and Chinese cultures. Christians praise the eight blessings of the... More > beatitudes. Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days. I wanted to take this fortuitous moment to thank each and every artist who entrusts us with their works – both the ones we publish and the ones we don’t. It is a leap of faith to send in an artistic creation to any magazine and we applaud your courage. Thank you to the thousands of readers who eagerly await to each issue. It is your appreciation and enthusiasm which makes this all worthwhile. We have readers in Alaska and Hawaii, in South Africa and in China. We love hearing feedback from each and every one of you. A warm thank you to the team at Mused. Every person here is a volunteer who invests hours and hours of attentive effort. Diane Cipollo deserves extra mention. She singlehandedly creates the beautiful layout of every issue.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Winter Solstice 2015 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Few things in life are straight up-and-down. Our Earth tilted toward the sun makes summer; away makes winter. But did you know orbit-wise we’re actually closest to the sun on January 4th? So... More > the poor Aussies get a hotter summer with their double-whammy. The exact moment that the tilt gets most extreme, which in 2015 is Tue, Dec 22nd at 4:49am, is one thing, but that closest-point ups the ante. For us Northerners we get a warmish darkest, shortest day. The Southerners are broiling in the close heat of their longest. Our Mused entries help us explore this multi-layered, overlapping-rippled world we live in. In poetry, a beloved friend can be five, ten, twenty, or sixty. Fiction entries explore divorce through the eyes of a young girl and a ground-down artist. Non-fiction. A young woman in 1931 moves to the big city and is swept away in the love of a lifetime. And then we have images which can speak a thousand words. Mark Berkerey turns Aussie insects into miniature works of art.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Summer Solstice 2015 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Summertime presents a wealth of faces and opportunities. It is the warmth of racing across a meadow, full of life. It is the lazy languor of relaxing in a hammock, watching the bees buzz. Our... More > visual artists share the joys of summertime. Mark Berkerey looks to the bees, as they quietly go about their floral duties. Christine Catalano gives us a graceful moth who treasures its wings for a brief two weeks. In poetry, we soak in moonlight on an untouched pillow. We take the hand of a salt-wet child of the sea. We feel the sticky sweat of a hot summer's day. We feel the power of a phoenix rising from its ashes. Fiction takes us on journeys of the heart. An artist finds her new path. A man doesn't understand the hunger of unrequited love. As always, it's non-fiction that truly takes one's breath away. A woman who left her family behind to be with her true love contemplates the forks in life's paths. A woman's mother grew up in true poverty in El Salvador.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Spring Equinox 2015 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Throughout the long history of mankind, many cultures counted their year as beginning in the spring. Spring was about rebirth. A fresh start. A new beginning at growing a garden, making plans, and... More > exploring this beautiful world that we share. Spring is when possibilities come to life. Mark Berkery stuns us, as usual, with his heart-achingly-beautiful photos of the tiny creatures which keep our world growing. The Orange Tail Rein Bee is tiny - delicate - and we know how fragile the bee population is right now. Lee Evans bring us this same powerful insight with his poem On the Beaten Path. His encounter with an injured bird causes him to take stock of just how much he has to be grateful for. In fiction, Lucille Margaret Robinson creates an emotionally gripping story of a young girl striving to make sense of her tangle of a world. And in non-fiction, Aileen bravely shares with us what it was like to grow up with trauma which led to "voices" in her head.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Winter Solstice 2014 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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The holiday seasons can often seem full of stress and angst, of crass commercialism and outright greed. But if you take the time to slow down, breathe in deeply, and listen, you can often hear the... More > underlying messages of love, support, and peace. Mark Berkery astounds us, as always, with his glimpses into a tiny, often forgotten world of fragile, beautiful creatures. Christine Catalano expands our view to the delicate plants which keep us breathing. Poetry twines us in its rich language. Martha Landman sucks us into a world of pomegranates and goat’s milk, where herdsmen interlace with IEDs and hand grenades. Fiction creates fantasy worlds which call to our hearts. Lucy Gregg Muir takes us back to World War II where sick women huddled together on frigid porches, worried about their troops. The Non-Fiction gives us powerful glimpses into the burdens those around us shoulder. Lucy Gregg Muir touches us with her real-life admission of how she broke her thirteen-year-old daughter’s heart.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Spring Equinox 2016 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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The spring equinox is a moment of balance. A time of celebrating the renewal that nature offers us. In China one tradition is to put out fresh seed for the birds, to thank them for their part in the... More > cycle of life. The Great Sphinx, built a staggering 4500+ years ago, was aligned to face directly into the sun on the Spring Equinox. Mused offers a wealth of springly rebirths for your heart and soul. Beautiful flowers curl and open. Shore birds explore the sand and water. Poetry reminds us to treasure what is precious. The touch of a loved one's hand. The poignant memories of those who have passed. The tenacity in a tiny seed. Fiction takes us into fresh outlooks on life. A struggling writer seeking that first break. A lonely woman hoping her ex might at last return to her. A man who knows he was meant for the bright lights of acting. Non-Fiction lets us walk, for a few moments, in another's shoes. A sixties-era student's school assignment haunts her until this very day.< Less
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 - Spring Equinox 2014 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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It's been a long, cold, lonely winter, with heavy news stories and brutal cold in many places. But nature reminds us each spring that the world runs in cycles, that after every darkest night comes a... More > fresh, new dawn. There is hope in the world. Cures are found. Progress is made. Relationships that seemed distant can, with attention, draw closer again. Our Spring issue of Mused lifts our spirits and shares with us stories of hope. A tiny bee, so critical for life, is rescued and flourishes. A child delights in simple play. A daughter remembers her father, while a mother tends to her son. A wife reconnects with her husband. These are the actions which go on around us every day - actions which might not make the front page news, but which, to one family, to one person, mean the world. These are the connections which form the foundation of our world. It's the small connections, one by one, which form the web which supports us all.< Less
Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review - Winter Solstice 2013 By BellaOnline The Voice of Women
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Winter lets us soak in the beauty of dark, relish the serenity of stillness, and find that moment to connect with what really matters in life. A drop of rainwater poises, shimmering, with all the... More > time in the world. A carved spiral of a morning glory bud holds still, fragrant with promise. Poems awaken the imagination. An elderly, bed-ridden patient soars. A man living off the land compassionately cares for the wildlife which shares his world. Non-fiction gives us powerful glimpses into the tensions our world can hold. A ten year old boy in the deep south comes face to face with the brutality of the Klan. A shy Iranian bride learns that marriage can be lonely. Fiction brings emotions rich with depth. A mother struggles with the loss of her son. A woman pushes to move on with her life after a rough break-up. Another sorts through a relationship, wondering if it's worth hanging onto. Take time to breathe. Curl up in a blanket, pour a glass of tea, and let it in.< Less