Fall 2018 ♦ Volume 3, Number 2

Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal

 There are 20 contributions to this Fall issue of the 2018 Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal. The theme of this issue is Transformation. Submissions include essays, memoirs, poems, short stories, and an excerpt from a novel.

Our thanks to authors Dr. Anne K. Kaler, Sandra Carey Cody, David H. Werrett, Jane Bleam, Paul Teese, Joseph A. Vitella, John McCabe, Susan E. Wagner, Joel Mendez, Kat Cerruti, Meredith Betz, Linda Wisniewski, Archana Kokroo, and Bob McCrillis.

Anne K. Kaler, PhD
Professor of English Emerita
Gwynedd Mercy University

(Click title to read selection. Author’s biography at end of contribution)

Transformation

An Essay by Anne K. Kaler, PSBVA

Shadows

A Short Story by Sandra Carey Cody

Sunflowers

A Poem by David H. Werrett

The Baby Squirrels

A Memoir by Jane Bleam

The Naming Project

A Short Story by Paul Teese

Jake Meets Nick Rossi

An Excerpt from a Novel
by Joseph A. Vitella

Sidewalk Sanctification

A Short Story by John McCabe

The Woman Who Bound Pain to Her Bones

A Poem by Susan E. Wagner

An Hour and Forty Minutes

A Short Story by Joel Mendez

From Walking Under Trees

A Poem by John McCabe

Father and Daughter

A Short Story by Susan E. Wagner

Mary Gertrude and the Alligator

A Short Story by Anne K. Kaler

Daddy’s Little Princess

A Memoir by Jane Bleam

A Lesson Learned

A Memoir by Kat CerRuti

White Gloves

A Memoir by Meredith Betz

Lake in the Woods

A Short Story by Linda Wisniewski

Transformations

A Short Story by Archana Kokroo

# Me Too?

A Short Story by Bob McCrillis

Swimming Lessons

A Short Story by David H. Werrett

Other People’s Shoes

A Short Story by Meredith Betz

Advertisements

October Guild Meeting Notes Plus Sneak Peek

By Linda Donaldson

Nearly every attendee to our October Writers Guild meeting brought writing selections to share. All told there were 11 different authors’ works read aloud, and some brought two works. Such a rich array of literary work kept us well past the two hour mark.

We welcomed a new member Archana Kokroo whose first poems proved conclusively that she has much to offer. Other member who contributed were: Melissa Triol, Jane Bleam, Dave Werrett, John McCabe, Bob McCrillis, Paul Teese, Meredith Betz, Kat Cerutti, Joe Vitella and Linda Donaldson. Continue reading “October Guild Meeting Notes Plus Sneak Peek”

September Guild Meeting Notes

By Linda Donaldson

Our September Guild meeting began with Anne Kaler welcoming a new member, Shelley Craig. The group then began a short round-robin with each of us introducing ourselves and our writing genres.

There are short story authors, poets, essayists, memoir and non-fiction writers, news magazine feature writers, academic writers, and all sorts of novelists – historical romance, mystery, psychological thrillers, fantasy/adventure, and dystopian novels. Something for everyone! Continue reading “September Guild Meeting Notes”

Writing Rules – Part II

(Yes, I’m thinking of making this a series)

By Bob McCrillis

Who knew?

While poking around on the internet to find some of Ray Bradbury’s earliest short stories, I discovered his twelve rules for writing. Elmore Leonard wasn’t the only one – imagine. A celebrated author, presumably with a busy schedule, took the time to codify his rules and tips.  His willingness to share them with the world was, to me, even more shocking – why encourage competitors?

My much-boasted-about short story per week for a year effort came from the first of Mr. Bradbury’s twelve rules:

  • Don’t start out writing novels. They take too long. Begin your writing life instead by cranking out “a hell of a lot of short stories,” as many as one per week. Take a year to do it; he claims that it simply isn’t possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row. He waited until the age of 30 to write his first novel, Fahrenheit 451. “Worth waiting for, huh?”

Continue reading “Writing Rules – Part II”

Upcoming Meeting and Calls for Submissions

By  Linda Donaldson

Happy Summer to all you Writers Guild members and followers! We meet this Sunday, August 19th from 1pm to 3pm at the Cultural Center at Pearl S. Buck’s scenic Green Hills Farm in Perkasie. The gardens are blooming and the setting is inspiring. Come join us!

Here’s a list Anne Kaler has shared of upcoming submission deadlines for several publications with links to their details. First up is the ubiquitous Chicken Soup for the Soul series. We show links for their overall guidelines as well as a list of quite a few upcoming deadlines. Continue reading “Upcoming Meeting and Calls for Submissions”

Writers Guild Meeting Notes

Sunday, July 15 was not just another day.

Once again, the writers of Pearl Buck Writing Center gathered to share, compare and contribute in an exchange of thoughts seldom exhibited in today’s atmospheric angling over petty tiffs.

Aspiring novelists and future masters of the short story seem to magically rise above the tawdry, and so, that Sunday was no exception.

A voice reads. The group listens. Near magic in the air, but also a kind suggestion offered now and then. A visitor would have felt amazed at the exchange of constructive thoughts, never sardonic or dubious comments, were the rule of the day.

The Writers Guild members come as one each month in surroundings of bucolic nature, and perhaps that lends to the success of the session, and  its excitement for intonation, rhyme, the written, yet heard voice, always rising above mere grammar and tired technicality.

We listened as Jane Bleam told of her struggles as a new widow dealing with a rebellious child – balancing hard choices with real love. Suggestions encouraged more dialogue and clarification of the timeline.

The continuing saga of Melissa Triol’s heroine was praised for its pacing and dialogue. Listeners wanted more inclusion of setting in the scene.

On the light side, David Werrett shared a laugh-out-loud recollection of his attempts at flying in his school playground. Commenters wanted to see in print the “sounds” he used to accompany his reading of the adventure.

Jennifer Klepsch brought a chapter that showcased her feisty young heroine Jesse’s experience at an archery range, competing with her more accomplished parents. Several listeners loved Jesse’s self-reliant, yet imaginative personality.

If you are a writer, you missed much. But we missed more. We missed you.

Our next session is August 19th at 1 pm. Try to be there!

Goldilocks and the Impossible Bed

By Anne K. Kaler

My favorite childhood story of Goldilocks seeking the “just right” bed must have impressed me more deeply than I ever imagined

Only recently did I realize that the blond-headed child was guilty of trespassing, breaking-and-entering, and theft in her search for a comfortable night’s sleep. Look at the facts. Probably homeless, possibly a runaway, certainly an unwelcomed intruder, the blond female perpetrator broke into the Bear house with the intent to use it as a shelter for the night. Why she was wandering in the woods in the first place is another story involving parental neglect.

A recent trip to the Midwest reminded me of Goldilocks’ homeless story. After twelve hours of driving, I was ready for a good night’s sleep. My reservation at my favorite roadside national chain was for three nights’ stay.  I should have been warned when the attendant proudly announced, “We’re completely renovated now. Enjoy your stay.” Continue reading “Goldilocks and the Impossible Bed”