Issue #5 went online in late October. Need some great reading? Catch up here with the moody photography of Christopher Woods (Texas), as well as outstanding essays from an array of talented creative nonfiction writers. For this round up we are trying something new, blogging the essays via their original Facebook and Twitter posts. Links to each essay are in the tweets. We hope you enjoy!
NOTE: Our mission results in our publishing uniquely sensitive narratives. Childhood experiences are formative, and tend to land in emotionally — and sometimes psychologically — difficult territory. As editor, I use my discretion to give readers a heads up on work that may resurrect trauma. In my experience, that is the ethical thing to do. While I cannot know what may do that in every case for every person, this issue includes an obvious “heads up” essay: Time Stops details the fall out of a sexual assault on a child. It is also one of the most powerful pieces of writing I have ever read. We have nominated it for a Pushcart Prize. Thank you. — EDG
Nancy Wick (Washington)
“I wish I could walk faster. Stupid suitcase is slowing me down. But it’s quiet now. The kids must have gotten tired of following me and gone on home. I need to go home, too, but then I stop. What if Miss Exley called my mother to tell her she caught me in a lie? I swallow hard.”
Nancy Wick Class skit. Wanting 2 B picked 4 a bigger role. Telling your mother you R in that role. Trouble.
Therése Halscheid (New Jersey)
“This is exactly what happened. During our walks that season, I gave in to dementia until my own eyes dulled. Whatever life force they carried just left, minus the soul. Even so there were moments I grew alert enough to see with clarity. This happened especially when you entered another time frame or could not recognize me. I could never accept I was Chotsie, the sister you often insisted I was. The one with golden locks who skipped about the dining room table, her dress swirling, a satin sash wrapped to the back, tied in a bow.”
Losing her identity as a daughter, struggles for control thru her father’s
Nadia Greasley (New York)
“The first time my mother slapped me in the face, it felt like she had abandoned me in deep, dark woods. I was calling her but she was moving on without me. For each mistake a slap, and with each slap, a betrayal. In between each sob, I would try to utter an answer. If it was the right one, my mother would give me a few words of encouragement, and I trusted she would not slap me anymore. But for every wrong answer, my mother was disappointed and I fell behind.”
Heartbreaker. confronts her mother’s mysterious violence at the tender age of 5.
Jan Charone-Sossin (New York)
“I caressed her blond curls as I stared out the window, watching the Chicago landscape. It seemed ginormous to me, shrinking as the pilot steered us up and away from the world I knew best. My doll had talked on the ground. Every time I had pulled out her cord, she had talked to me. And when I didn’t pull the cord, she was silent. I wished I had this kind of power over adults, who seemed to talk at me relentlessly, pounding at my ears with the pressure of their speech. Chatty Cathy knew better. She spoke in a kind, gentle tone, and she knew when to be quiet. At least, her being quiet was in my hands.”
Jan Charone-Sossin explores via her Chatty Cathy doll & the results dig deep.
Emma Bolden (Alabama)
“Michael and Meghan kept smiling their U smiles and looking from side to side until Mrs. Smitherman finally opened the thin line of her mouth to say, mostly to me, that she’d leave us alone as long as we promised to be good. Michael and Meghan promised in musical harmony and I promised, too. I watched the back of her sweater, which had a green series of leaves stitched onto it, as she left the room, and by the time she and her sweater were gone, Michael’s finger was in his nose and both Barbie and Ken were naked.”
. on lusting 4 Ken, undressing Barbie, praying 2 Mary, & dodging the neighbor’s salvation
Melinda Renken (Washington)
“Do you remember that house, Daddy? It was the one with the tree house in the back yard. Do you remember that day? I do. It was spring. The sky was a vivid blue, so bright that it hurt my eyes to look at it. I wore the yellow dress that Mama had made for me, you told me I looked pretty. You were in a good mood that day. Your giant hand engulfed mine as we walked up the front path to the door. You smiled at me. And then you weren’t smiling anymore.” @Melynn1104
Angela Lush (South Australia)
“Nobody cares. Nobody loves me. I could die and nobody would notice, whispered my inner voice. It sounded strong and loud despite its timbre being eclipsed by both wind and waves. I don’t think I understood what dying was when I was nine years old, but I was sure that I would become invisible and obsolete like the skills I’d been learning. I was certain of this, despite the legacy I’d been creating with my hands that day, despite the knowledge that my tightly sewn bags of feed would nourish our sheep in the years ahead. What if I hurt myself? What would happen then? Would the world stop? Would I be loved? Would I be missed?”
9 y.o. asks What would happen if I hurt myself? Poignant that lingers.
Mary Gustafson (Illinois)
Proud 2 make ‘s essay “Time Stops” our 1st ever nominee
Our readers can’t say enough about Mary Gustafson’s “Time Stops.” Read for yourself: https://longridgereview.com/…/…/21/time-stops-readers-speak/
“Time Stops” — Readers Speak about