This issue of Minerva Rising is full of stories of hope and of that elucidating point of turning to the deep intuition at the core of one’s self. “Learning to Let Go” chronicles the journey of a woman who rediscovers life after the death of her long-time partner. “Decoy” celebrates aging when one couple thought all was lost. And in “Wendy Returns,” Wendy from Peter Pan decides she’s had enough.
We are proud to feature the following amazing contributors in this issue of Minerva Rising. Thank you for being a part of the Minerva community.
I was an actress for over 20 years. I am now a poet. My book deals with, concurrently, fear of and feeling at home in, the ocean.
Turning points in relationships offer us possibility, and if we are lucky, a chance to laugh when our deepest longings override our silent grief around aging. What inspired my short story, “Decoy”? An eight word challenge from my critique group, “Pen and Fork.” Here are three of those luscious words: dang, antelope and hodgepodge.
Wendy Darwin Wakeman
Wendy Darwin Wakeman writes from North Andover, Massachusetts. She says of her story’s relationship to this issue’s theme, “Hadley Morris is the kind of woman who knows what she wants and works hard to realize it. When the path to motherhood is blocked, she finds she can wrest matters from the hands of fate, if she chooses. She’s at a turning point.”
When I lived on a farm in Virginia, I tried unsuccessfully to raise guinea fowl. Many women I met during that time managed their own farms, their own lives. My heroine figures out before it’s too late that she, too, can manage her life. Now I live in San Francisco where I am completing a novel. This will be my third published story.
I’m a writer, photographer, traveler, retired computer analyst, and lifetime art student. After losing Bob, my life partner of over 20 years, I had a lot to learn about turning points and letting go. Left with a house full of his collections (yes, he was a hoarder), I’m still working on sorting through Bob’s things and keep myself focused by blogging about it. See my blog at hoardercomesclean.wordpress.com.
“To everything there is a season. . .” What a glorious mixed-up heyday it was! What more glories lie in store? One perk to being a “woman of a certain age” is that I have lots of material to draw on. I’m hoping to be done with work in the next few years and to assume my real identity: Writer! By then I will have used up all my excuses not to write.
Jane Ellen Glasser’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, such as Hudson Review, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Georgia Review. In the past she reviewed poetry books for the Virginian-Pilot, edited poetry for the Ghent Quarterly and Lady Jane’s Miscellany, and co-founded the nonprofit arts organization and journal New Virginia Review. Her poetry books include Naming the Darkness, Light Persists (awarded the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2005), On the Corner of Yesterday, The Long Life (winner of the Poetica Publishing Company Chapbook Contest 2011), and The Red Coat (FutureCycle Press 2013).
“After selling her lakeside cottage to developers who plan to tear it down, Nancy quits her job and takes off on the road trip she’s been dreaming about for so long. I wrote Nancy’s story because I would like to be in her shoes: unencumbered and at the beginning of a great adventure.”
Sometimes life events shatter us and transitional moments are unquestionable. Other times they are invisible until we see them happening through another person’s eyes and the moment of understanding becomes a doorway into a new phase in our lives. I have an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College. I write essays and fiction and have completed a post-apocalyptic YA novel. I’m now finishing an adult paranormal novel.
Colleen Kearney Rich
One of the founding editors of the literary magazine So To Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, Colleen Kearney Rich is currently a reviews editor for Literary Mama. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, Phoebe, and the anthology Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women, among others. She lives in Virginia and is at work on a novel.
Jen Marshall Lagedrost
Jen Marshall Lagedrost is a poet, writer, and runner in San Diego, California. She is cofounder of The Verge: Live Arts & Salon Series and a founding editor for HINGED: Journal of Converging Arts. Her work appears in Pleiades, Stone Highway Review, Flyway, Midwestern Gothic, Drafthorse, Bearers of Distance, and Poetry International, among others.
According to Middle Ages doctrine, women went soulless for centuries, and Carolyn Moore explores why Eve was blamed. Her four chapbooks won their respective competitions, and her book, What Euclid’s Third Axiom Neglects to Mention about Circles (2013) won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize. She taught at Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA) until able to make a living as a freelance writer and researcher working from the last vestige of the family farm in Tigard, Oregon.
Mary Pacifico Curtis
My poetry and prose have been published by LOST Magazine, The Rumpus, The Boston Literary Magazine, the Naugatuck River Review, the Pitkin Review, Calyx and The Crab Orchard Review. My work is also included in the Las Positas Literary Anthology, The Times They Were A’Changin’ and The Widows Handbook.
When not writing, I lead a Silicon Valley life as CEO of Pacifico Inc, a PR and branding firm and an angel to startups.
The two poems are all turning points. The first poem, “Hook & Life” speaks to the acceptance of self and the second poem, “Without a Field Guide” is a moment of letting go, turning toward the unknown and saying yes to life even without answers. These poems capture life moments that led to “everything changing.”
“Happy Hour” explores the thoughts and emotions arising from a reunion between ex-lovers. One woman has grown in unexpected ways; the other has stayed more or less the same. Over the course of their brief visit, the narrator comes to understand the differences that define them, and why they are both where they need to be. Jean Ryan lives in Napa, California. Her story collection, SURVIVAL SKILLS, was published in April 2013 by Ashland Creek Press.
What little I know about being a woman I’ve learned through trial and error. I have been surrounded by wise women all of my life though and had I observed them more, asked more questions and maybe even been a better eavesdropper, I think even my stumbling would have more grace. My grandmothers knew that there has to be a day, time, space, way to tend to the soul. “Sunday” is an homage to that wisdom.
Jodie Noel Vinson received her MFA from Emerson College, where she developed a book about her literary travels. Excerpted from her book manuscript, “Sleeping in on Sundays” captures an essential turning point, a vital step in the author’s initiation into adulthood as she follows Holden Caulfield around New York City. Holden’s story, she discovers, is the journey we all make, across the open field of the imagination that stretches between our child and adult selves.