Archive for July, 2009

July 31, 2009

Poetry Postcard – First Postcard!

by thiszine

I received my first postcard in the mail today as part of the August 2009 Poetry Postcard! And then I re-read the instructions for participating and realized I was a bit late to send out my own postcard, which prompted the theme for my poem.


(No title)
lonely dirt road
postal code
junk county cemetery.


firecracker smoke wavering
over mind fields,
mingling annual reunion


storied explosion
we can make it if
we want to.
~Talia Reed



And here’s my poem with text below. The front of the postcard is the front cover art from a recently published book Gravity Dancers , edited by Richard Peabody and featuring fiction by women from the Greater Washington, DC area. They were free, so I’ll probably be using them more than once to send out my poetry postcards.













On Being Late
Procrastination is my blood.
Those letters floating like
alphabet soup, thick
with accusations on my silver spoon.
I try and spit them out
but find I swallow them whole.


July 31, 2009

Write Away #13

by thiszine



What is Write Away?

July 30, 2009

Poetry Postcard

by thiszine

So I recently sighed up to take part in something called the August 2009 Poetry Postcard. It’s a cool chain mail exercise and–oh boy!–you get something in the mail other than bills!


Here’s the blip from the website:


    Get yourself at least 31 postcards. These can be found at book stores, thrift shops, online, drug stores, antique shops, museums, gift shops. (You’ll be amazed at how quickly you become a postcard addict.)

    On or about July 27th, write an original poem right on a postcard and mail it to the person on the list below your name. (If you are at the very bottom, send a card to the name at the top.) And please WRITE LEGIBLY!

    Starting on August 1st, ideally in response to a card YOU receive, keep writing a poem a day on a postcard and mailing it to successive folks on the list until you’ve sent out 31 postcards. Of course you can keep going and send as many as you like but we ask you to commit to at least 31 (a month’s worth).

    What to write? Something that relates to your sense of “place” however you interpret that, something about how you relate to the postcard image, what you see out the window, what you’re reading, using a phrase/topic/or image from a card that you got, a dream you had that morning, or an image from it, etc. Like “real” postcards, get to something of the “here and now” when you write.

    Do write original poems for the project. Taking old poems and using them is not what we have in mind. These cards are going to an eager audience of one, so there’s no need to agonize. That’s what’s unique about this experience. Rather than submitting poems for possible rejection, you are sending your words to a ready-made and excited audience awaiting your poems in their mailboxes. Everyone loves getting postcards. And postcards with poems, all the better.

    Once you start receiving postcard poems in the mail, you’ll be able to respond to the poems and imagery with postcard poems or your own. That will keep your poems fresh and flowing. Be sure to check postage for cards going abroad. The Postcard Graveyard is a very sad place.

    That’s all there it to it. It’s that fun and that easy.


Even though I don’t write poetry and don’t consider myself a poet (I’m more a fiction/nonfiction person) I’m super excited. I like the idea of writing purposefully but organically everyday and not feeling overwhelmed with the need to edit, edit, edit. I’m looking forward to the goal of simply writing something everyday.


I’ll add postcards to the blog as I receive them. I will also add my own submissions for folks to read.


July 30, 2009

Review of Britten and Brulightly by Rachel Heston Davis

by thiszine

Britten and Brulightly
by Hannah Berry


The world of comic books and graphic novels is sadly lacking in female contributors, but new voices are beginning to appear on the scene. One such writer is Hannah Berry with her debut graphic novel Britten and Brulightly, published first in Britain but recently released in the United States by Metropolitan Books. With a confident artistic style and a unique take on the PI/murder mystery angle, it establishes Berry as a woman cartoonist able to think for herself. She neither crafts a female-centric story nor imitates a male style just to fit in.


Private investigator Fernandez Britten became a detective to uncover truth and help people. But after sixteen years he’s uncovered nothing but pain and infidelity in the lives of his clients. Now middle-aged, Britten feels the despair of a powerless man who’s seen too much ugliness. He sports purple bags at his eyes and a weary demeanor.


But when young Charlotte Maughton asks him to investigate the death of her fiancé, Britten feels a long-lost spark of enthusiasm. The case will take him to the publishing office of Charlotte’s father Maurice, to the home of a cheating spouse from a previous case, and to a popular restaurant where the waiters have ears like sponges—and shaky loyalties.


Right from the start, Britten and Brulightly demands to be taken on its own terms. Far from the hard-edged, chain smoking private eye of comic books past, Britten empathizes with his clients to the point of depression. He moves this literary genre beyond just fitting puzzle pieces together, to a place of philosophical musing about truth and emotional well-being. He comes to believe that some mysteries deserve to stay buried, turning black-and-white notions of justice into a gray area.


Berry’s unique art matches the tone of the story. Shades of gray and washed-out colors emphasize Britten’s depressed state, along with bleak building interiors and rainy days outside. The confident drawing manages stark realism and a cartoonish flavor at the same time, with each character given exaggerated features (Britten’s nose rivals that of Cyrano de Bergerac, and Charlotte Maughton could cut a block of cheese with the hard lines of her cheeks).


Perhaps the most striking of Berry’s inventions is Stewart Brulightly, a talking teabag who resides in Britten’s pocket. Brulightly serves as comic relief, making quips on the action and gazing after pretty women, much to Britten’s chagrin. But he’s also a mirror, reflecting a side of Britten that was lost long ago—enthusiasm, humor, a zest for love and life.


To Hannah Berry’s credit, the authenticity of this talking tea bag is never questioned by the reader. There’s no hint that Britten is imagining him for fun, or going mad and hearing voices; Brulightly is just another character. The story takes him for granted, and so does the audience.


The novel has only one weak point: side characters who function as stereotypes. Maurice Maughton is the powerful-but-blackmailed man trying to threaten the investigator away. His rich wife oozes frigidity and contempt. Charlotte is the grieving lover desperate for answers. Britten’s religious neighbor spews unbelievably self-righteous lectures.


But apart from that, Britten and Brulightly is a handsome first work for Berry. Fans of old-school detective mysteries will find a fresh voice here, art-lovers will spend time examining every page, and other women cartoonists will be inspired by the high quality of the work. Readers’ reactions to the storyline will vary depending on their views of truth, human suffering, and the possibility of redeeming a broken life.
~ review by Rachel Heston Davis



Rachel Heston Davis lives in southern Illinois with her husband and two pet rats. An aspiring YA author and graphic novelist, Rachel spends her days having adventures on the page with her favorite invented protagonists. Check out her blog Up and Writing.

July 30, 2009

Write Away #12

by thiszine

Use the following as the title for your piece. Write for ten minutes without self-editing.


This Can Be Your Room


What is Write Away?

July 29, 2009

Write Away #11

by thiszine

Take a newspaper article and cut out individual words from the article. Put them in a bowl and shake them around. Pull them out one by one and arrange them, in the order they were pulled, onto a piece of paper. Glue them down in this order. Add the necessary words (such as articles or adverb modifications) to make a complete poem.


The surrealists often used this spontaneous, writing by chance technique in their work. Take a photograph of your newspaper poem and send it to us. We’d love to see what chance dropped on your doorstep!


What is Write Away?

July 29, 2009


by thiszine

At The Renegade Writer, read a recent post from a writer’s agent on how to pitch your book to an agent. It’s a helpful little bit of advice.


Jennifer Lawler, the same agent who maintains The Renegade Writer blog also keeps a personal blog. She talks about how writers don’t need to have crazy experiences to write. They just need, like anyone else with a job, to practice their craft. So if you’re not a wild adventurer taking notes as you bungee jump from the Golden Gate, don’t worry!


Over at Reality Check’s blog, there’s a nice little write up about the Harry Potter sex obsession as the little wizard meister grows up and, naturally, begins to take a fancy to something other than casting spells.


Finally, Daily Kos writes up a list of the 15 Must Haves for Third Wave Feminism. It’s worth taking a look at.


That’s it for this round. Want to pass a link along? Send it to us at Be sure to put “Link-o-Rama” in the subject line (spammers like to send naughty links filled with all kinds of things and this is a measure of protection for us. Think of your subject line as a kind of prophylactic for our inbox.)


July 28, 2009

Write Away #11

by thiszine

Velma uncrossed her legs…


What is Write Away?

July 28, 2009

Man Booker Longlist 2009 Announced

by thiszine

The Man Booker Prize announced its longlist for the 2009 prize.


Below is the complete longlist. We’d love to hear your comments and opinions on the books below!


Chaired by broadcaster and author James Naughtie, the 2009 judges are Lucasta Miller, biographer and critic; Michael Prodger, Literary Editor of The Sunday Telegraph; Professor John Mullan, academic, journalist and broadcaster and Sue Perkins, comedian, journalist and broadcaster.


Man Booker Prize Longlist 2009

A.S. Byatt, The Children’s Book
J.M. Coetzee, Summertime
Adam Foulds, The Quickening Maze
Sarah Hall, How to paint a dead man
Samantha Harvey, The Wilderness
James Lever, Me Cheeta
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Simon Mawer, The Glass Room
Ed O’Loughlin, Not Untrue & Not Unkind
James Scudamore, Heliopolis
Colm Toibin, Brooklyn
William Trevor, Love and Summer
Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger


July 25, 2009

You’re Fired! (from the Canon), Pt. 2

by thiszine

this zine’s 8 Books to Drop-kick from the Canon

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Natural by Bernard Malamud
-Anything written by Christopher Marlowe
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
-Anything written by Ayn Rand


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Twain’s novel meanders carelessly through the various characters in a “plot” that some critics have compared to the winding Mississippi River down which Huck and Jim travel. I find this a pretty sorry excuse for a novel that wanders aimlessly and inconclusively and, ultimately, asks far too much of the reader. Huck’s shenanigans aren’t amazing to grown-ups and are presented in a way more appropriate to a young adult novel. Twain’s novel is often sited for bringing awareness to the plight and troubles of African-Americans. If that’s so, then he does it in a narrow and Huck-obsessed way.


The Natural by Bernard Malamud
I’m not a huge fan of most sports, baseball included. I find little stimulation in watching a slow moving, non-intellectual game played by overgrown schoolboys pumped up on steroids. (My home state team growing up were the Detroit Tigers, which might have had something to do with my baseball lethargy as well.) Going into The Natural, I was determined to remain open-minded and enjoy the novel, despite the baseball premise. Wrong. Malamud’s story is sentimental and overly-romantic, both about baseball and love. There’s little for the reader to sink her teeth into unless she’s David Halberstrom and, even then, I found this book about as thrilling as watching my cats sleep, which is to say, skip it. Skip the movie Robert Redford/Glenn Close movie too.


Anything written by Christopher Marlowe
Oh Christopher Marlowe, where to begin? A contemporary of Shakespeare’s, Marlowe is half as a talented and four times as grating as watching even Shakespeare’s dullest plays (in my opinion, the histories). To both read and watch a Marlowe play is to feel oneself trapped inside a horribly repetitive fun house mirror where everything is terribly distorted. Characters who shouldn’t matter do. Characters we want to learn more about are never brought to light. The narrative starts at the beginning and loops back again and again and again without adding anything each successive pass except the increasingly annoyance of the reader/audience. The only play I’ve ever walked out of was Marlowe’s Edward II and the ticket was free. Walking out of a play I’ve paid nothing to see? Yes, it was that bad.


The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
Philip Roth has written a lot of good books. The Plot Against America is not one of them. The book is written from a historical imagining that the anti-Semite and isolationist Charles Lindbergh won the 1940 presidential election (instead of FDR) and, as a result, 1940s America starts to look increasingly like 1940s Germany. The premise is wonderful and Roth an expert novelist. The problem with The Plot Against America is that in the political and coming-of-age confusion felt by the characters in the novel is transferred too well to the reader. The wonderful premise disintegrates and the novel suddenly feels like a propaganda piece of a very different kind.


A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
I enjoy novels with unusual, even despicable protagonists so long as one redeeming quality exists to hang my sympathies on. In A Confederacy of Dunces, that’s exactly what I’m missing: Ignatius J. Reilly gives me so little to sympathize with that I can’t enjoy the novel. He’s rude and abusive to his mother, he’s lazy and self-indulgent, and his egotistical whimperings when he’s forced to find a job are beyond pitiful. Reilly is such an obnoxious and grating character that I couldn’t see past his bloated figure to the humor the novel is generally much beloved for.


A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Speaking of self-indulgent and egotistical masturbatory tales, Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius beats them all. Widely considered “postmodern” (because he draws a stapler in the intro? because he’s meta? because he settles in San Francisco and uses sarcasm?), Eggers’ memoir is self-congratulatory while also being precious and self-deprecating. I don’t know if Eggers founded the whole hipster movement in fashion and movies but he’s certainly one of its leading spokespersons. An acquaintance once told me the reason she loved this book so much is because he acknowledges in the intro that certain sections are boring and should be skipped and, when reading the sections, she found she agreed with him. Does this acknowledgement make him a genius? Or just a verbose and self-involved wanker whose editor was paid-off to leave in things better left out? Unfortunately, I believe I’m in the minority with my conclusions.


Tender is the Night
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night was Fitzgerald’s last novel and was written while his wife, Zelda, was committed to a psychiatric hospital for schizophrenia and he was continually in need of money. As a result, the novel is darker and more brooding than his earlier works which, although critical of the characters’ upper-class snobbery, still manage to let a bit of sunshine through the commentary. I think it shows that Tender is the Night was Fitzgerald’s last; it lacks the clear prose and moving story of The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise. Fitzgerald’s distress over his wife’s physic state as well as his own dwindling literary reputation is too evident. Reading Tender is the Night is like watching Britney Spears fall fast and hard until, in a final act of desperation, she reaches her breaking point.


Anything written by Ayn Rand
I’ll probably get tons of hate mail from the various Objectivists (aka followers of Ayn Rand) for this one, but it’s true: Rand novels are unbearable propaganda pieces that are all propaganda and no style. (Yes, I’ve actually read all of Rand’s novels after my dentist recommended them to me. Never, ever trust your dentist’s book recommendations.) Objectivism is a sort of Reagan-style economics mashed together with a Horatio Alger “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mythology blended with a Bush/Cheney doublespeak that, on its face might sound good but upon deeper reflection turns out to be more horrifying than the Golem. Rand used her novels, chiefly Atlas Shurgged and The Fountainhead, as a platform to disseminate her philosophy and recruit others. Both novels lack style and content. Think of that guy in the park espousing his ill-founded beliefs. And then picture him writing a 1200 page novel. And publishing this novel. Yeah, that’s pretty much Ayn Rand.


(P.S. Rand was buddies with President Gerald Ford and a mentor to former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan – who managed to “overlook” the flaws in banking regulation that ultimately contributed to the housing market implosion and the present economic recession. Need I say more about her or her works?)


Now that you’ve heard our picks for what has to go, we want to hear yours. Submit a comment with your own list – and don’t forget to include one or two reasons why!


Why did we write
this zine’s 8 Books to Drop-kick from the Canon


Later: Books we’d like to see included in the canon….


July 25, 2009

Write Away #10

by thiszine

An old man wakes up on a Sunday morning just after his son has died. Write what the old man does on this morning without specifically stating that his son is dead.


What is Write Away?

July 24, 2009

New Story by Hannah Oberman-Breindel

by thiszine

by Hannah Oberman-Breindel


Photo: Brandon Remler

Photo: Brandon Remler


It was the first warm day of spring. Annie and I had taken a long rambling walk, ending at a bench on a path close to the 110th street entrance of Central Park. It’s quieter uptown in the park than it is in midtown. Even our friends rarely venture above 96th street. Annie and I called it our part of the park. “Let’s go to our part of the park,” Annie had said that morning as she sat at the kitchen table in my extra large Brown sweatshirt and white boxer briefs, picking at her English muffin. She was perched on a chair, one foot under her, the other dangling off to the side. Her brown hair was still mussed from sleep, and she had clipped it back so that it wouldn’t get in her face as she read the paper. “I want to walk with you and chat,” she said, looking up only at the end of the phrase to give me a brief smile. So we went.


Continue reading Hannah Oberman-Breindel’s story “April.”


July 24, 2009

Write Away #9

by thiszine
Photo: Robin Barcus Slonina

Photo: Robin Barcus Slonina

What is Write Away?

July 24, 2009

You’re Fired! (from the Canon)

by thiszine

Earlier this month, Second Pass published a list of 10 books they want fired from the canon.


Yikes! This list is no joke! While I haven’t read all of the books included, I have read a book by almost all of the authors on it and strongly disagree with at least two of the selections.


Below is the list. To find detailed (though occasionally maddening) reasons behind why these particular books should be “fired” you’ll have to read the article.


First, I’m going to defend two of the books on this list. Second, I’m going to create my own. Finally, I invite you to create your own list of books you think should be drop-kicked from the canon… and maybe a reason or two why.


The Second Pass “Fired From the Canon” List

-White Noise by Don DeLillo
-Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
-One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
-The Road by Cormac McCarthy
-The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence
-On the Road by Jack Kerouac
-The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
-The USA Trilogy by John Dos Passos
-Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
-A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


Photo: Barnes & Noble

Photo: Barnes & Noble

In Defense of White Noise and Absalom, Absalom
While White Noise may not be DeLillo’s best work (that honor, in my opinion, goes to either The Names or Underworld), it is a post-modern warning bell about the path our suburbanized, commodified culture is headed down, at least in the world of white, educated affluence. White Noise is a fast-paced indoctrination of our culture but it is not a “protest piece” the way one might consider an August Wilson play. It’s also a moving story about a family’s decline in a world of faceless technology and minimal interactions. There are very few novelists whose work I read in near entirety and DeLillo is one of them. It’s been at least seven years since I first read White Noise and I’m thinking now might be a good time to return to it.




William Faulkner can be a challenge to read, yes, and Absalom, Absalom especially so, but this prequel to The Sound and the Fury was hot long before the idea of prequels was conceived by Lucasfilms as a lucrative money making venture. In Absalom, Absalom the reader is granted knowledge of the basic premise of the story from the very beginning. The joy of continuing to read is both to discover how the story unravels and how it is told and re-told by various characters. For close readers of Faulkner’s work, the familiarity with many of the lives adds the tension of dramatic irony to a story about family, birthright, heritage, and blood lines. Faulkner himself thought Absalom, Absalom was his masterpiece.


Tomorrow: What 10 books would we fire from the canon? (Ha! Pun intended!)


July 23, 2009

Write Away #8

by thiszine
Photo: Trek Earth

Photo: Trek Earth


What is Write Away?

July 22, 2009

The Lack of Imagination

by thiszine

by Lacey N. Dunham

In the recent fiction issue of The Atlantic, Tim O’Brien discusses what is, in his opinion, the absolute necessity in fiction: imagination.


Photo: Interactive Angle

Photo: Interactive Angle

In O’Brien’s mind, imagination is more important than description, than clearly seeing the character as a red head or as someone with baby blue eyes. O’Brien says in the essay, “the more dangerous problem with unsuccessful stories is usually…: I am bored. And I would remain bored even if the story were packed with pages of detail aimed at establishing verisimilitude. I would believe the story, perhaps, but I would still hate it.”


Description is great, sure, but the reader needs something to happen.


I think of a writing workshop I participated in as an undergraduate. One of the women in the class, Jenny, submitted to workshop the first chapter of her science-fiction novel. Although I can’t quite remember the exact words she used or the name of the fictional setting of the piece, the opening of the story went something like this:

      Thalia was a far away land. It was a tiny speck in the Yama Galaxy. The Yama Galaxy was filled with red and purple planets mostly and they were very large, like monsters. Thalia was a tiny planet and looked blue from far away. It was half as large as the next nearest planet, Bimpton and definitely smaller than the largest planet in the Yama Galaxy, Brutth. Upon closer inspection the planet wasn’t really blue at all but was really a green-blue and brightly shining. The Yama Galaxy hadn’t been around that long yet and that meant that Thalia was a very new planet. Despite that, it was a thriving planet and had two kingdoms on it, one small and one large. Prana was one small kindgom on the planet. Dupet was a large kingdom on the planet. Prana and Dupet were enemies and would end up in a war very soon.

This went on and on for the entire first chapter with nothing much happening. Even the promising final line of the first paragraph “Prana and Dupet were enemies and would end up in a war very soon” was lost to the description of Thalia and the Yama Galaxy that followed. I knew precisely what Prana and Dupet look liked, sure, but I didn’t know why I should give a damn.


During workshop, I remember telling Jenny that I needed to see more in her piece. I said it just like that, “I need to see more.” She was very quick to say, “Well, there’s lots of description. It’s not my fault if you can’t see it.” (To her defense, Jenny and I were sworn enemies due to allegiances forced upon us following an argument between our roommates.)


Had I been more articulate, had O’Brien written his piece a few years earlier, I would know precisely what I meant to say. I wanted to tell Jenny, your piece is creative and full of description. You’ve created a whole world and described it to us in great detail. But, to cop a line from O’Brien, “the research might be a resounding success but the drama is a dismal failure.” (Since Jenny and I were sworn enemies, I don’t think I would have hesitated at all to use such a heavy phrase as “dismal failure” even though she would have certainly torn my hair out in a dining room brawl later that day.)


Writing is anything but organic work, at least for me. I don’t sit down at my computer and magically weave an entire tapestry as if I was Penelope. Sometimes I write entire pages of description and exposition only to strike all of it later except, maybe, a few precious words that captured what I wanted to share about a character. This practice really use to bother me. I thought, why am I sitting here for three hours typing away only to erase it all the next day? Eventually I realized that what I viewed as wasted time was really my unconscious preparing me for the larger story. I needed to write all of that description and exposition so when I finally sat down with what I really wanted to say, the character was firmly there, the story had action and drama, and I was saying something more than a lot of pretty adjectives and adverbs. I had been running training laps around the gym.


It’s definitely important to have imagination as an author. Imagination is what gets us going, what sets ideas into motion. Imagination is terrific but it can’t be buried beneath so much other junk that the reader loses track of–or worse yet, interest in–the story. So let your imagination soar, sure, but be sure to take a long, hard look with your editing pen later.


July 22, 2009

Write Away #7

by thiszine

Outside History


There are outsiders, always. These stars—
these iron inklings of an Irish January,
whose light happened


thousands of years before
our pain did: they are, they have always been
outside history.


They keep their distance. Under them remains
a place where you found
you were human, and


a landscape in which you know you are mortal.
And a time to choose between them.
I have chosen:


Out of myth into history I move to be
part of that ordeal
whose darkness is


only now reaching me from those fields,
those rivers, those roads clotted as
firmaments with the dead.


How slowly they die
as we kneel beside them, whisper in their ear.
And we are too late. We are always too late.


–Eavan Boland


from the collection
Outside History. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1990.


What is Write Away?

July 21, 2009

New Poetry by Michelle Dominique

by thiszine

by Michelle Dominique


Before the confession—
Before the sun bowed in recession
to the lethargic black clouds spreading
like melting ice
between the tall oak trees.


Before the room was reflected
against the glass pane
and through the imprint of the figure
on the window
and before you explained
that its origin was unknown.


Before softly
I blew the dust from the books
on the shelf
and held the stone heart–heavy in my hand–
cold against my chest.


Before I discovered the scent of the red pillow
where I could feel you linger
curled in the corner like a small child.


Before the surrender—


The nervous movement toward the truth.
The acknowledgment of reality,


Before the pulling close and
the synchronized breathing.


Before the wetness of your rough cheek
against my neck.
Before your tears that trailed and teased my collar bone
and cooled my hands.


Before the connection


Michelle Dominique divides her time between Chicago and Northern Virginia. She lives to write.



published by this zine
July 21, 2009

July 21, 2009

Two new great links!

by thiszine

Sorry folks, no Link-o-Rama for this week! We had a busy weekend at this zine managing e-mails and reading submissions. Oh yes, and formatting submissions. Always a good time.


In lieu of Link-o-Rama this week we are giving you two great links to check out.


Pursuing Balance is a nutrition and healthy eating blog which gives yummy ideas for nutritious meals, complete with drool-inducing photographs. Pursuing Balance is 100% vegan focused for compassionate living, so for any vegans and vegetarians out there, this is a great blog to check out. We’re adding it to our link list under “Delicious & Nutritious.”


On a completely different note, we’ve also added Girl w/Pen! to our link list under “Feminist, Etc.” Girl w/Pen!’s mission statement says that they “publicly and passionately dispel modern myths concerning gender, encouraging other feminist scholars, writers, and thinkers to do the same.”


July 21, 2009

Write Away #6

by thiszine

“The purpose of education is to learn to die satiated with life.”
~Oscar Kwageley
Yupik Eskimo scientist


What is Write Away?

July 20, 2009

Write Away #5

by thiszine



What is Write Away?

July 20, 2009


by thiszine

What’s better than cute kids? Helping out cute kids!



As a former educator of urban youth, I know that summers are often a difficult time for children from disadvantaged communities. They often face long, hot days at home alone or in neighborhoods without resources to support and engage youth. Many of my students were anxious about being away from the familiar school year routine and missing their friends and teachers. Some students from particularly challenging environments expressed fear at having to spend their summer at home or in their neighborhoods.


Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town Program or attend Fresh Air Fund camps.


As a not-for-profit agency, The Fresh Air Fund needs volunteers to support the children with whom they work. If you live in the New York City region, you can support The Fresh Air Fund by running in this year’s New York City Half-Marathon on August 16th.


Fresh Air Fund Racers

Fresh Air Fund Racers

Join our Fresh Air Fund-Racers team today! If you would like to register just click here! If you have additional questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Kate at or call (800) 367-0003 ext. 8890.


Last summer’s NYC Half-Marathon Presented by NIKE was a huge success for The Fresh Air Fund, raising more than $125,000 to directly support free programs for NYC children.


And hey, you can even write or blog about your experience supporting The Fresh Air Fund for this zine!


July 19, 2009

Write Away #4

by thiszine

I heard an author say this at a recent book reading and thought it made a great prompt.


“Yes, spies do have a lot of paperwork to do.”


About Write Away

July 18, 2009

Write Away #3

by thiszine

Incorporate the following words into your piece:


lily, cookbook, road trip, vase


About Write Away


July 17, 2009

New Digital Art by Christine Stoddard

by thiszine

Check out a cool piece of digital art in beauties by the very talented Christine Stoddard.


Fragiles As a.... by Christine Stoddard

Fragiles As a.... by Christine Stoddard


Christine Stoddard is a writer and interdisciplinary artist from the Washington, D.C. area. Currently she is studying Cinema and Creative Writing at VCU Arts in Richmond, VA. Her work has appeared in a variety of ‘zines, newpapers, magazines, blogs, and art/literary journals. To learn more about Christine Stoddard, visit