from our writers

Tell Me a Story

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker, based upon the prompt, The Roles We Play.

“Why can’t a woman be more,
More like a man?” he said.
“Because then you wouldn’t be here,” says I.

Would I trade having kids,
Watching them grow,
Laugh, learn,
For the hard labor of a
Construction site?
Or sitting in an office all day?
No.

Would I trade the warm scent
Filling my kitchen
As I take loaves of fresh bread
Out of the oven,
For the oil and grease
Of a mechanic, a factory,
Or the dry sterile atmosphere
Of a skyscraper downtown?
No.

Would I like to be an astronaut,
Like Peggy Whitson,
Out there, exploring the stars?
Yes!

But the time is not,
Nor ever was,
For me to fly to the moon,
Discovery electricity,
Romance in Paris,
Dance across the Great Wall,
Or pet a tiger.
But I can.

I can do whatever anyone
Throughout time has ever done,
Feel what they’ve felt,
See what they’ve seen.

So, show me, storyteller.
Where have you been?
What have you done?
What have you seen?
Tell me a story
So I can go, too.

8 May 2017

Broadening Travel? Well, Depends.

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker.

I’d be much skinnier if I lived in Germany.
Cabbage, sauerkraut and beer are not my thing.
I know why Brits are such avid tea drinkers,
There isn’t a decent cup of coffee in the whole island.
I’m addicted to cheese.
I’d have to find a substitute if I lived in Scandinavia,
(Not that there is such a thing)
Their’s smells like sewage.
But how all those French stay so slim is beyond me.
Chocolate, creams, and pastries!
I gain ten pounds just looking in a bakery window.
Open the door, get a whiff, another ten.
Dare to go inside?
You’re a goner.

Determination

The following is by Writers in the Grove member Patti Bond.

Determination is pressing on when you feel like you can’t go on.
Determination is persevering through life.
Determination is not giving up on your dreams and goal.
Determination is a sense of success when you achieve something you want to do.
Determination is a sense of power.
Determination is reaching for the prize that is from above.
Determination is joy that overflows your heart to others around you.

Our Holiday Disaster

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Debby White. She is an active member of the Vernonia Library group in Vernonia, Oregon.

Gertrude blew a strand of hair from her face as she peeled the small mountain of potatoes destined for mashing. She gave a quick glance to the clock on the oven. Ten a.m. The day’s agenda ran through her mind as the peeler continued to work it’s way through the mound. The turkey will be ready in an hour, kids and grandkids should arrive any minute. Dinner rolls should go in the oven in about forty five minutes. Harry, her husband of 30 years, was watching a loud Thanksgiving day football game in the living room, making an appearance in the kitchen only when he needed a warm up for his coffee.

Outside the wind whipped the rain around frequently throwing it against the windows, tree branches swaying as if throwing a tantrum.

“Quite a storm out there.” Gertrude jumped. Harry chuckled behind her. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” he said, reaching for the coffee pot to fill his cup for the fifth or sixth time.

Gertrude sighed, “I hope we don’t lose power. The turkey still needs almost another hour in the oven, then there’s the dinner rolls. Lots of food in the fridge that could go bad if the electricity’s out for a long time.”

“Don’t panic, honey,” Harry patted her shoulder. “Remember that’s why we spent all that money on the generator. Out here in the boondocks we lose power at the drop of a hat. With the generator life goes on as usual.”

They both turned at the sound of voices in the entryway. Seconds later they had little grandchildren arms wrapped around their legs. Sadie, their oldest daughter, planted a kiss first on Gertrude’s cheek then Harry’s. “Jack and Nikki drove up behind us,” Sadie said of her brother and his wife. “Nate is helping them carry stuff in.” Nate being Sadie’s husband.

Minutes later the women and children were gathered in the kitchen and the guys convened in the living room to finish watching the football game. Gertrude finished peeling the potatoes and Sadie and Nikki set the table while dodging little Nate and Jillian. Suddenly, everything went black. From the living room a chorus of “Hey, what happened?” was heard as the TV went blank. Gertrude raced into the living room, with a panicked look on her face. “We’ve lost power!” she exclaimed. (more…)

Deadline for Wintersong 2017 Submissions

The deadline for Wintersong submissions is December 15, 2016.

If you have a written piece that can be read out loud in four minutes or less, you are welcome to submit it for consideration, but it must be received or postmarked by December 15 to be considered.

We’re looking for prose, poetry, or songs that are family-friendly.

Get your submission in by December 15 to be considered for the January 21, 2017, reading event presented by Writers in the Grove and held at the Forest Grove United Methodist Church at 10:30AM in Forest Grove, Oregon. The event is open to the general public and free, as are the submission entries. Even if you do not submit an entry, we’d love to have you join us, so mark January 21 on your calendar.

For more information and the entry form, see our announcement and submission form.

Wintersong Reading Event 2017

Wintersong reading presentation featuring Paula Adams of Writers in the Grove.Writers in the Grove has been invited to be a part of the Forest Grove United Methodist Church’s Cultural Events Series with our Wintersong annual reading. The event is Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 10:30AM to about noon.

The location is:

Forest Grove United Methodist Church
1726 Cedar Street
Forest Grove, Oregon

The event is open to all ages. It is free to enter and attend.

Wintersong is one of two annual readings presented by Writers in the Grove. Wintersong happens in January, and Lend an Ear is in July. It features local writers reading their works.

The event’s guest moderator will be Ron Field, keeping the show flowing smoothly.

Wintersong Submissions

If you would like to join us and share one or more of your written pieces, you must have your submission entry mailed in and postmarked by December 15, 2016. Submissions are limited to one or more pieces of prose, poetry, or songs that can be read out loud within four minutes. Entries must be original, written by the applicant, and must not infringe any copyright or other proprietary rights.

Entries will be selected on the basis of originality, writing style, and quality of the work. Decisions of the Selection Committee are final.

All genres are welcome, subject to the following filter: This is a family-friendly event. Submissions must reflect content suitable for a mixed-age audience. Content and submissions deemed inappropriate will not be considered.

If your entry is chosen, you will be notified no later than January 8, 2017, and you will read your entry at the event on January 21, 2017.

For the submission guidelines and entry form, please download the form (PDF). There is no entry fee for submission.

The Garden

The following is inspired by our Prompt-a-Month program. The prompt for this past month was “garden.” This deadline for this month’s prompt, “dance,” is July 31, 2016.

This is contributed by our Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer.

Garden Vegetables out of focus.Allie groaned as she rolled over to shut off the alarm. Through her slitted eyes the gray light of early dawn filtered in. “Why did the alarm go off so early?” she wondered. This was too early for a summer morning. Yet there was something about today….

As she stretched and tried to open her eyes more fully, she heard movement in the kitchen; then the back door closed. “Grandmom.” Allie jumped out of bed. Today was the day she was supposed to help Grandmom take her produce to the farmers’ market. The vegetables had been packed last night, but Grandmom wanted to pick the flowers fresh this morning. Hastily pulling her shorts, shirt and sandals on, Allie hurried out to the garden.

Grandmom greeted her with a warm smile. “Good morning. I’m glad you could join me today. Isn’t it a lovely morning!”

Allie wondered how Grandmom could know this was a lovely morning when the day hadn’t even begun yet. Grandmom was always cheerful, which was one of the special things about Grandmom that Allie liked so much. Yawning, she took the scissors Grandmom offered and tried to pay attention to her instructions. Pick the blooms that are just opening, cut the stems at an angle and put them directly into the ready bucket of water. As they worked, Grandmom hummed familiar tunes or told Allie interesting facts about some of the flowers. Occasionally she would remind Allie to cut the stems a bit longer, so people could arrange the flowers as they wanted to, or to leave some of a particular plant for the bees, which were already starting to buzz around the fragrant blossom. (more…)