Category Archives: reflection

ANNOUNCING. . .my inclusion of “Giving Life and Taking It”

ANNOUNCING…Giving Life and Taking It, my personal story, has been published in Writing Menopause, editors Jane Cawthorne and E. D. Morin. It is now available on Amazon at $22.89 (I think in Canadian money.) I’m honored to be published among such notable writers and groundbreaking editors.
From Amazon: The Writing Menopause literary anthology is a diverse and robust collection about menopause: a highly charged and often undervalued transformation. It includes over fifty works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, interviews and cross-genre pieces from contributors across Canada and the United States that break new ground in portraying menopause in literature. The collection includes literary work from award-winning writers such as Roberta Rees, Margaret Macpherson, Lisa Couturier and Rona Altrows. Emerging voices such as Rea Tarvydas, Leanna McLennan, Steve Passey and Gemma Meharchand, and an original interview with trans educator and pioneering filmmaker Buck Angel, are also featured. This anthology fills a sizable gap, finding the ground between punchline and pathology, between saccharine inspiration and existential gloom. The authors neither celebrate nor demonize menopause. These are diverse depictions, sometimes lighthearted, but just as often dark and scary. Some voices embrace the prospect of change, others dread it. Together, this unique offering reflects the varied experience of menopause and shatters common stereotypes.

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Filed under anthology, books, Bordentown, family, Memoir, New book release, reflection, women, women's stories, wormen writing

LOOKING FOR ‘CUDA BROWN by Thomas Park- book review

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This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.

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Filed under American History, book review, New book release, poetic narrative, Poetry, reflection, The South, warren county nc

SNAPSHOTS: Memories and Recipes by Sandra Martin -book review

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These SNAPSHOTS are indeed as varied as the photos that lay in your own drawer at home. Martin’s snaps are words from the life she lived growing up on a Bracey, Virginia farm to Virginia Beach to Manhattan, New York to time spent across country, around the world, and back to holding events in the Dairy Barn on the farm. Her adventures in the big cities as a literary agent and executive producer for television are balanced between recipes from her passion of cooking for friends.
As her spirituality grows, so does her intensity of life. Dreams play a major role as she executive produces the series of The Power of Dreams for the Discovery Channel, interviewing names that every household recognizes.
Martin is a woman who has lived a fascinating life by making things happen, by following her intuition, listening to her dreams, and doesn’t mind talking about it. This is a fabulous read that will inspire others to go ahead, step out, and take a chance on life. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

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Filed under book review, cookbooks, dreams, Memoir, New book release, paranormal, reflection, women, women's stories

A LONELY LEAF IN SNOW

DSCF4089 Arlene Sandra Bice 2016.1.26

How is it, when I step out the day after
when everything is still covered by 6 inches
of snow
this solitary leaf
dressed in autumn colors
lays above it all

How does that happen on this day
it sinks into the wet stuff uncovered
by snow
where has it come from
this lonely leaf
bold to be alone

How is it making a mark in this life
leaving an imprint when I pick it up
the snow
doesn’t touch the veins or the tips
yet lays everywhere else
I cannot put it down

the leaf comes inside with me.

 

 

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Filed under Poetry, reflection, snow, Uncategorized

SNOW, NO HYPE, JUST BEAUTY

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It’s been a few days now, that we have been snowed in. Isn’t it lovely? Once you know you can’t get to the workplace, you can relax and enjoy it. I hope you have. Here is a little poem that reflects how I learned to accept what Mother Nature sends to us, since I moved to the forests of North Carolina.

Arlene S. Bice © 2016.1.22.

It was only last year
the nine years previous, too
when I looked at the sky to know
that it was going to snow

and when I woke
the ground covered in white
peace blanketed the entire day
lovely to spend it this way

no need to run out
for eggs, bacon, and bread
the fridge is full, pantry, too
no emergencies to do

so I can use the day
with music thru the house
making biscuits, lots of butter
writing words to softly mutter

a day of staying in
enjoying it without the stress
just gazing out the window
reading, singing, about snow

without the TV hype
the day shows up different
positive, homey, no employ
a day of beauty to enjoy.

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Filed under Poetry, reflection, snow, Uncategorized, writing prompt

ATTENTION ALL WRITERS

DSCF3180 DSCF3983WARREN ARTISTS’ MARKET
2014 & 2015 ANTHOLOGY

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS FOR 2016 ANTHOLOGY
The Warren County Anthology (working title) submissions considered are: poetry, and personal impression. Only one prose piece will be accepted per writer; the maximum is 1500 words per piece. You may submit up to 3 poems; maximum-30 lines per poem. Include a bio up to 75 words. Submissions must meet our guidelines to be accepted, include a bio.

Write about anything relating to Warren County, North Carolina i.e. about your living here, having family here, visited here, been impressed by reading about it, or seeing it through the eyes of another.

The anthology is open to all writers. Place your contact information in the upper left hand corner of each page submitted. Name, address, and email.

Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2016. You will be notified of acceptance by June 30. The anthology will be available for purchase by Nov. 15, 2016.

Mail your submissions and inquiries to: haywoodpark@yahoo.com or arlenebice1633@gmail.com

The Warren Artists’ Market; Arlene Bice, Thomas Park, Sterling Cheston, Vernita (Nana Vee) Terry.

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Filed under anthology, Poetry, reflection, Warren Artists' Market, warren county nc, writing

WRITING IN BOOKS

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DSCF3335Were you taught to not write or mark your books when you were growing up? Teachers especially stressed that the books loaned to us for class had to be reused the next year and the year after that. Strong words were spoken about the love and care of books.

That love and care of books remains with me today and the memories of those teachers. Yet after decades of keeping my books pristine has changed drastically.

In the 90s I came to appreciate and to buy mostly used books. Often I would open a book to see a personal note written on the flyleaf by someone gifting the book. This brought me into the scene of the giver and receiver. A privilege; almost like being invited to share a confidence.

Pictured here, the John Woolman, American Quaker by Janet Whitney book, a first edition published in May 1942, is inscribed, To Cousin Gertrude, a Direct Descendent of John Woolman, with love and best wishes, from H…. Hutchinson Cook. The dots replace the writing I could not read. The first initial could be an H or a TH. I wonder about the relationship between these two cousins. I imagine the delight she felt with receiving this gift. He sounds happy to have found this book for her to read.
The original price in the book is $3.75. It is listed online for $33.00 to $85.00. For serious book collectors the inscription would lower the value of the book. I think of it as adding value.

More on this subject in the near future.

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Filed under American History, books, general, opinion, reflection, writing

Writing Memoir

I gave up a chance to paint with friends one day last month because I knew I’d been postponing writing the next chapter in a memoir, written strictly for healing purposes. The Past kept burning me to get out of the place I had buried it so many years ago. Like the characters in my Major Fraser book that would not let me sleep at night until I told their story.
So I gave up the beautiful day for painting and stayed inside, on my PC, and wrote, and wrote, and wrote; only taking time out for nibbles and water from the kitchen. These trips to the kitchen help keep my lower back from protesting the hours at the PC. Lizzie came after me, pawing at my elbow at 3 o’clock. She wanted me to join her in our loosely scheduled reading time.
“Not today, Lizzie” I told her. “My muse is hot and my fingers nimble. I’m cranking.” She looked properly disappointed but understood. She’s a witness to me on a writing hailstorm.
It’s a half hour before midnight and I’ve completed the chapter. I’ve wept, dried the tears, and kept writing. I feel great now. A good cleansing made me feel lighter. The memoir is near completion and I’d like to get back to some kind of normal life, for a while anyway. Maybe do some planting if the season has not passed me by . . . cut the grass… clean the house… all waiting for me while my memories were unloading onto the paper.

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Filed under Cats, reflection, writing

Looking for a Lost Relative

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Looking for a Lost Relative
The trouble women face, not as often today as in the past, is the name thing. When we get married and take our husband’s name as our own, we lose our identity. This makes genealogy searches on women extremely difficult. And when we marry a second time, it makes it twice as difficult.
It also makes it hard when cleaning out old files and boxes full of photos that the next generation will know nothing about. Which brings me to my dilemma; I have photos of a first cousin, who I only remember meeting once or twice in a lifetime that spans two centuries. (The last one and this one-I’m not over 100 years old.)
The photo posted was Janet Bice at her Holy Communion, born in Trenton, New Jersey area, I think. in the late 1930s. Daughter of William Bice. Not sure, but I think her mother’s name was Helen. The last I heard, she lived to Texas. This would have been in the 1970s. If anyone has an idea of who she or her family is, please let me know. I know someone out there would love to have these pictures.

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Filed under general, lost relative, opinion, reflection, women, writing

Sitting in the Garden

The last two months have been consumed with meeting a deadline on a manuscript for Arcadia Publishing. More of that as we move along. For now, now that we’ve had a taste of what spring will bring to us this year, I offer a poem to you, inspired by the late and great Joseph W. Dawley. The photo is taken from a note card. Dawley’s work just sings to me. Please enjoy.

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Sitting in the Garden
(inspired by the painting “Garden Chat” by Joseph Dawley)

Sitting in the garden on a Sunday morning
a friend shares the beauty of being surrounded
by flowers perfuming the air; color to the eye,
a feeling of peace in the world sets quietly
at least in our world; on our shoulders

A laden tea tray rests on the round table
covered with a colorful scarf, napkins folded
the china teapot, etcetera, shining to a squeak
silver gleaming, a thimble of perky violets
bring a smile; biscuits, scones, potted cream

Our words, spoken softly in hushed tones
as if someone were listening to secrets spoken
joyful in the company of friendship we share,
in this moment of beauty that will never come again
we know it, finding this morning all the more precious

Hollyhocks, roses, poppies, snapdragons, forget-me-nots
comfort us like teddy bears sleeping on a childhood bed
statuary sprinkled gracefully along the white brick pathway
beckons us to sit on the bench, the one ‘in memory of’
recalling a love once treasured and always remembered

Enchanting notes of music float from the copse of trees,
trees casting lacy sunlight patterns across our cotton dresses,
could that be “Illumination”? Impossible, no one is there
yet anything is possible and we both hear the music
surely, dusk will bring faeries dancing among the flowers

Sunday mornings are different from the rest of the week
regardless of the sky, be it blue or lavender or yellow
whether the season is spring, summer, fall, or winter
sometimes I carry my garden in my heart, in my mind
knowing the faeries will dance there every dawn & dusk. Arlene S. Bice

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Filed under Poetry, reflection