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The problem, if anything, was precisely the opposite.  I had too much to write: too many fine and miserable buildings to construct and streets to name and clock towers to set chiming, too many characters to raise up from the dirt like flowers whose petals I peeled down to the intricate frail organs within, too many terrible genetic and fiduciary secrets to dig up and bury and dig up again, too many divorces to grant, heirs to disinherit, trysts to arrange, letters to misdirect into evil hands, innocent children to slay with rheumatic fever, women to leave unfulfilled and hopeless, men to drive to adultery and theft, fires to ignite at the hearts of ancient houses. […] I was nowhere near the end.

 

~ Michael Chabon, Wonder Boys

 

Janez Šubic, 1878

Janez Šubic, 1878

 

The Oven Bird

There is a singer everyone has heard,

Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,

Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.

He says that leaves are old and that for flowers

Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.

He says the early petal-fall is past

When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers

On sunny days a moment overcast;

And comes that other fall we name the fall.

He says the highway dust is over all.

The bird would cease and be as other birds

But that he knows in singing not to sing.

The question that he frames in all but words

Is what to make of a diminished thing.

 

                               ~ Robert Frost

 

"Oven-bird" by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“Oven-bird” by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Ebb

I know what my heart is like

     Since your love died:

It is like a hollow ledge

Holding a little pool

     Left there by the tide,

     A little tepid pool,

Drying inward from the edge.

 

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1884

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1884

RUMINATE Magazine is accepting entries up to 5,500 words for the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize through the deadline of midnight on October 15.  A prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the winner, and both the winning and first runner-up stories will be published in the Spring 2015 issue in March.  The entry fee is $20 and includes a copy of the March issue.  There is no limit on the number of entries per person.  All entrants will be notified about their submission status in early January.

Past winners from RUMINATE Magazine writing contests have been recognized by Poets & Writers magazine and have received notable mention awards in The Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays anthologies.

RUMINATE is a quarterly Christian literary and arts journal of short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual art that “speaks to the existence of our daily lives while nudging us toward a greater hope.”  For more information or to submit, visit the website at http://www.ruminatemagazine.com/submit/contests/fiction.

 

ruminate_magazine_christian_faith_poetry_arts_magazine

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were – I have not seen

As others saw – I could not bring

My passions from a common spring –

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow – I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone –

And all I lov’d – I lov’d alone –

Then – in my childhood – in the dawn

Of a most stormy life – was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still –

From the torrent, or the fountain –

From the red cliff of the mountain –

From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold –

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass’d me flying by –

From the thunder, and the storm –

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view –

 

~ Edgar Allan Poe

 

"A Passing Storm" by James Tissot, circa 1876

“A Passing Storm” by James Tissot, circa 1876

The Moon, how definite its orb!

Yet gaze again, and with a steady gaze –

’Tis there indeed, – but where is it not? –

It is suffused o’er all the sapphire Heaven,

Trees, herbage, snake-like stream, unwrinkled Lake,

Whose very murmur does of it partake

And low and close the broad smooth mountain

Is more a thing of Heaven than when

Distinct by one dim shade and yet undivided from the universal cloud  

In which it towers, finite in height.

 

                                  ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Johann Peter Hasenclever, circa 1846

Johann Peter Hasenclever, circa 1846

Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest is currently accepting fiction submissions up to 3,000 words until midnight (PST) on July 31.  This opportunity is open to all writers and all themes.  As always, submissions must be original, unpublished fiction.  Glimmer Train does not publish poetry, fiction for children, or novel excerpts unless they read like complete stories.  Multiple submissions are accepted.

The first place winner will receive $1,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and twenty copies of that issue.  The second and third place winners will receive $500 and $300, respectively.  Results will be announced in the October 1 bulletin.  For more information or to submit your work, visit the website at http://www.glimmertrain.com/veryshort.html.

Good luck!

 

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