Ornaments of Yore

By Misty Posey

The rocker creaked, interrupting the distant carols.  She held tight to her sleeping baby on his first Christmas Eve.  Her husband slumped outside the nursery door, shotgun in hand, nodding asleep.

Pop!  Pop, pop!

Startled, he grappled for the gun.  Continue reading

Author Profile: Gay Degani


How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I loved to read and with the Whitman adapted versions of Five Little Peppers and How They Grew and Little Women rolling around in my fourth grade imagination, I knew I wanted to write books just like them. By fifth grade, I was penning a book about the Twellington triplets who loved to ice skate (the skating from Hans Brinker). Continue reading


By Gay Degani

Little brother Trev died at the clinic. Mom sprawled over his still-warm body. I know who did it. She told me no, but I run home, dig under the mattress for Dad’s nine and rage over to the avenue.

Hate this neighborhood. Hate gangstas. Living round the corner from poor black don’t work. Breathing hard. Bulge in my waistband digs ribs. Young Russell not on his corner. Continue reading

Author Profile: Barbara Ruth


How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

My parents were very competitive: my father was a musician, my mother was an athlete. I figured out young that I needed to have something besides sports or music as my field of expertise. I began making poems when I was two. I was the first born child of class climbing teachers. I was read to a lot. Mom and Dad encouraged and praised my creativity with words, but they eventually tired of writing down my poems and stories. They thought I could read (actually I was very good at memorizing), so at the age of four they taught me to write, and this is also when and how I learned to read. Continue reading

Fair Trade

By Barbara Ruth

For the sex date she said we should eat crackers and fruit. Nothing heavy. She changed the crackers to lavash as she was French Algerian, this woman who decreed what we should eat for the sex date. We discussed avocados, but in the end, rejected.

All this was before pot was legal; it would have helped. Persimmons, yes, we cut up a persimmon. I liked the idea of pomegranate, but she vetoed it as too messy. Sensuous, oui, messy, non. Tangerines and bananas, those were the other fruit. Not exotic, well, yes exotic, but here in California we have become accustomed to so much. Continue reading

Author Profile: Richard Holinger


How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

On a cold, wintry night in January, 1971, in Oneonta, New York. With mere months left before graduating from college, I took my skates and walked to the darkened, deserted, downtown public rink. Doing figure eights, I voiced my options: Vietnam, graduate school, a suit-and-tie job, or…wait…writing? I’d taken some English courses by then, and had discovered my love for writing, but never had considered pursuing it as a career of some sort. The blinders fell, and the world lit up. I’d get a menial job to support my writing, and go from there. Six months later, I was a night security guard and writing fictions in the morning. Continue reading

Left to Ponder

By Richard Holinger

We walk the gravel road that edges the bog where unfamiliar, slithery animals reside. No one sees these creatures, but we imagine them, and then we ponder them. What do they look like? Could they, if they left the bog, hurt us? We ponder this possibility a lot.

However, we do not fear them as much as we respect them. That is what we tell ourselves when we ponder different outcomes—should they enter our community. Continue reading