2014 - Free Mused Literary Review Ebooks
The BellaOnline Mused Literary Review offers poetry, short stories, artwork, non-fiction works, plays, and interviews each quarter. The magazine is offered in ebook format for free! This gorgeous, formatted PDF is a delightful way to enjoy each season of the year. Mused is published on each solstice and equinox.
F E A T U R E D I S S U E
Winter Solstice 2014 -
Volume 8, Issue 4
The holiday seasons can often seem full of stress and angst, of crass commercialism and outright greed. But if you take the time to slow down, breathe in deeply, and listen, you can often hear the underlying messages of love, support, and peace. We are all on this blue ball of a planet together. We are all drifting in a vast blackness of space. We should treasure each other and the brief blink of time we have available to us.
Mark Berkery astounds us, as always, with his glimpses into a tiny, often forgotten world of fragile, beautiful creatures. Christine Catalano expands our view to the delicate plants which keep us breathing.
Poetry twines us in its rich language. Martha Landman sucks us into a world of pomegranates and goat’s milk, where herdsmen interlace with IEDs and hand grenades. John Grey reminds us to release worry about broken windows and mangled gardens – it’s the childen’s laughter that matters.
Fiction creates fantasy worlds which call to our hearts. Lucy Gregg Muir takes us back to World War II where sick women huddled together on frigid porches, worried about their troops. Isobel Blackthorn brings us into a battered women’s shelter where “inmates” are petrified of each creak of the floor.
The Non-Fiction gives us powerful glimpses into the burdens those around us shoulder. Lucy Gregg Muir again touches us – this time with her real-life admission of how she broke her thirteen-year-old daughter’s heart by revealing there is no Santa.
Through it all we are reminded of how close we are to each other, how much we are all going through, and why love can be the most powerful force on Earth.
Be at peace.
Free Ebook Version of Winter Solstice 2014
Autumn Equinox 2014 -
Volume 8, Issue 3
Autumn is a season of powerful transition. It brings devastating hurricanes and stunning alterations in landscape. It reminds us to treasure what we have for surely everything can change in an instant.
Our photographers challenge us to look closer - to see the beauty and meaning in each moment. A bright-eyed owl is blind in one eye. A dragonfly seems dipped in gold. A landscape takes on new meaning when seen from a fresh angle. A bird's feathers take on shimmering color and symmetry when viewed from above.
Our poets bring distant worlds to powerful life. We tremble in the powerful aftermath of a destructive thunderstorm. We weep at the tragedy of a Guatemalan village, ruthlessly mown down. We shiver in the frigid distance between a newlywed couple who has begun to split like a withered tree. We wrap ourselves in emotion as a patient grapples with a harsh diagnosis.
Our fiction writers bring to life vibrant worlds which seem all-too-real. A woman hides within herself, fearing her partner and praying for the day she is free of him. A single mother struggles to make ends meet after the untimely death of her husband. A Jewish woman, despite years of rough experiences, risks her heart in a connection with a Polish gentleman.
Our non-fiction writers bare their souls and share their lives. A woman in love with an Indian man discovers how strict their culture's rules can be. A mother nearly loses her young son to the tumultuous sea. A woman struggles to come to terms with her miscarriage. Another finds solace in the vineyards of Italy.
Our playwright explores the complex landscape of dissolving relationships and intertwined connections in a community of artisans and collectors.
Mused itself has experienced a heart-wrenching change. Vannie Ryanes, our beloved team member who had been with us for over ten years, has passed away at 73. Vannie's insight into our selections, and her care for the artists who entrusted us with their creations, was always wonderful to see. She would hold long discussions about the meanings of stories and would invest time even if she was feeling poorly. Mused meant a great deal to Vannie, and Vannie's efforts meant the world to us and to our artist community.
We will miss you, Vannie.
Free Ebook Version of Autumn Equinox 2014
Summer Solstice 2014 -
Volume 8, Issue 2
"For everything there is a season" and I felt this to be so true as I worked on the Summer Edition of Mused. I found myself in step with the season; this season of warmth, bright sunshine, brief rain showers, and powerful thunderstorms. It struck me how much we are connected to each season and the elements it brings; therefore drawing us ever closer in the circle of life.
This connection of life is a reflection of the many artists who contributed to this issue of Mused. I marvel as I look upon photography such as "Dragonfly Love" by Ellen Erlanger, so delicate and fragile. But I look again and there is the towering magnificence of "Mystic Arm, Antelope Canyon" by Albert Rollins, as it stands strong and ageless. As "Mama Mockingbird," also by Ellen Erlanger, seeks to care for her young, I am again reminded of the circle of life.
Many of our poetry entries dealt with life and aging, such as "Still Life" by Marchell Dyon Jefferson, showing us the little girl in pigtails and how she becomes a shadow of herself. But there are lively poems too, such as "That Summer She Lived in a Shoe" by Kathleen Serocki, reminding us to be playful and fun.
The story "A Perfect Day" by Vanessa Horn stirred me deeply as it demonstrated the power of love: when we are weak, when we are strong, and when we need to lean on each other. The story "Going Home" by Ronnie Sue Ellis brings us once again full circle as it shows the beginning of a life together and asks us "can we ever really go home again?" This story shows us that in some ways we can go back and in other ways we never left.
As you read the Summer Edition of Mused I hope you will be amazed, as I was, by the imaginative, creative, and inspirational gifts that are offered by the contributors.
Free Ebook Version of Summer Solstice 2014
Spring Equinox 2014 -
Volume 8, Issue 1
It's been a long, cold, lonely winter, with heavy news stories and brutal cold in many places. But nature reminds us each spring that the world runs in cycles, that after every darkest night comes a fresh, new dawn. There is hope in the world. Cures are found. Progress is made. Relationships that seemed distant can, with attention, draw closer again.
Our Spring issue of Mused lifts our spirits and shares with us stories of hope.
A tiny bee, so critical for life, is rescued and flourishes. A child delights in simple play. A daughter remembers her father, while a mother tends to her son. A wife reconnects with her husband.
These are the actions which go on around us every day - actions which might not make the front page news, but which, to one family, to one person, mean the world. These are the connections which form the foundation of our world. It's the small connections, one by one, which form the web which supports us all.
Free Ebook Version of Spring Equinox 2014
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