Calls for submission, emerging writers and Three by Five

Thanks for surfing by and visiting. I’ve been on a bit of a break and am gearing back up writing. Please note the calls for submission and if one or more speak to you, I hope you will send in some work for consideration. Three by Five, the author and other interesting people interview series is looking for the next interviewee – so do get in contact if you’d like to be the featured interviewee during an upcoming month. The San Francisco Writers Conference is approaching in about 6 months – and this year I’ll be sponsoring the 8th annual emerging writer prize that provides one emerging writer with registration to attend the conference. If you qualify, please enter between September 8 and December 1.

More to follow -



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Review of Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet, A Portable Workshop

crafty poet coverDiane Lockward has published a writing conference masquerading as a book. The Crafty Poet, A Portable Workshop is a comprehensive collection of craft tips with

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accompanying poem and writing prompts for immediate application of what was presented in the craft tip. With 27 craft tips and and fifty-six poets contributing, this is a treasure trove of inspiration, challenge, and tutoring in the craft of creating poetry.

From an individual trying to improve through self-guidance and exploration, community workshops and writing groups, to class room instructors – poets and emerging writers alike will find worth and value in use of Lockward’s book as a resource or text.

The book is divided into ten poetic concepts covering the gamut from what generates material to revision  to recycling from the dregs and overcoming writers block. There is discussion of diction, sound, voice, imagery, layers, syntax, and lines. The Crafty Poet assumes a basic understanding of poetics, and is not for the beginner. A well-motivated and confident beginner would find this book useful though as an impetus for self-instruction. Unfamiliar terms and assumed knowledge serve as bread crumbs for deeper exploration into the craft of poetry creation. For the intended audience of the knowledgeable reader, each chapter is a delight on specific practice, review, or re-introduction on a poetic concept and application of craft.

An added jewel in each section is “The Poet on the Poem” which puts the reader in the room with Diane Lockward discussing with a poet a specific poem by that poet. Diane’s observances and the poet’s discussion loosely reflects the craft discussion for the preceding section in the book. More so, the reader hears from the poet’s own perspective what was driving that poem, what influences or experiences impact not only the poem but the work of the poet.

Sample poems (of which there are forty-five) are suggestions not end all be all answers for the prompts provided. This reflects the prompt as an entry not a destination in the creation of a poem. Consider the prompt for a particular craft tip as strategy for implementation not instructions for a particular “product” of poetic creation.

There are many formal programs for poetic instruction from community education, community college, graduate programs and writing conference workshops and retreats that immerse one into the writing community. Diane Lockward has gathered together a cornucopia of information that will educate, motivate, and inspire poets seeking rejuvenation, review and perhaps reminder on poetic concepts as well as provide the poetry student with digestible bites of craft education in a format that goes with the writer instead of the writer going to the class room or conference.

The Crafty Poet, A Portable Workshop is THE book, if I knew I’d be somewhere in isolation from the writing community, unable for whatever reason to take a class or attend a conference, stuck on a deserted island or a long train, plane, or other journey – this is the book I’d keep with me so I’d learn, be inspired and most importantly hone my own tools of the craft. You don’t need an environment of isolation to benefit from this book though – this is a resource the individual or a writing group will return to again and again.


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Poet Diane Lockward – Part III

Three by Five presents Part III and the conclusion to an interview with Poet Diane Lockward.

VAH: The blank page stares back at you, what gets you over writers block?

diane 1DL: I don’t wait for inspiration—I pursue it. That means showing up at the desk and being willing to write badly. Of course, there are days when I don’t feel like doing that, but I know that if I’m willing to do it anyhow eventually a poem will show up. I write on yellow legal pads, churning out pages and pages of garbage. Every few weeks I go over those pages and invariably find something worth saving and working on. I should probably mention that I’m not an everyday kind of writer. I know myself and my particular writing process well enough to know that I’m just not going to do that. I regard the non-writing days as gathering time. I do, however, spend a good deal of time each day doing something related to poetry.

VAH:  Brass tacks of the writing life – how do you keep up with what you send out and results of your submissions?

DL: I have a form where I list journals, poem titles, and dates as I send out submissions. As responses come in, I indicate the results on the form, circling the Acceptances, crossing out the Rejections. It’s a primitive system, but it works. I also indicate the length of time it took a journal to respond.

VAH: Diane, Do you have a favorite, inspiring quote and why it works for you?

DL: Anton Chekov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” That’s an important craft tip, beautifully said. It’s the old “show, don’t tell” advice, but in giving it, Chekov demonstrates what he means. Although Chekov was a prose writer, I keep his words in my head when I’m writing poems.

VAH: What does the typical Diane Lockward writing day include?

DL: I read poetry with breakfast—journals, books, anthologies. Then I check my email. I do some non-taxing exercises in front of the TV and watch the news. I get dressed. If it’s a writing day, I sit at my kitchen table with another cup of ginger tea, and I read some poems, steal an idea, an image, or a line and run away with it, free writing for 10-20 minutes. Then I devote some time to revising poems in progress. If there’s time, I run a few errands. Late afternoon I spend reading a novel or memoir. After dinner reading is usually a literary biography or a craft book.

VAH: I like the balance and informal structure to your work day. Writers are often working in isolation. What are your thoughts on the writing community – writing or author organizations you belong to or where online you frequent for community, online conversing, networking or commiserating? Do you have any favorite online sites?

DL: I strongly believe that we poets need to support each other’s work. We make up the majority of the audience for each other’s work. If we want people to buy and read our books, we need to do that for other poets. As the Poet Laureate of my town, I feel a responsibility to bring poetry into the community. Thus I run the two events I mentioned before—Girl Talk and the Poetry Festival. Both of these events give poets an opportunity to read in front of a packed room and to sell some books. These events also give area residents an opportunity to listen to some poetry.

I have also worked as a poet-in-the-schools and am on the roster of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. I have worked at every Dodge Poetry Festival since 2002 and I read at the one in 2006. Both my blog and my Poetry Newsletter are efforts to spread the word about poetry. I also put out a weekly Gazette for the women poets’ listserv I belong to—Wompos.

Right now I’m reading manuscripts for a book contest. And for the second time I’m a guest editor for Adanna, a literary journal which is putting out a special issue on Women and Food, so I’m reading submissions for that.

Although I know that social media gobbles up time, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. I don’t spend much time on either Twitter or Google +, but I like the poetry community that has become part of Facebook and have made good contacts there.

VAH: Social media can seem like a consuming job all by itself. Now for a couple bonus questions – what are three random non-writing related facts about you?

DL: My favorite dessert is Boccone Dolce. And I can make it. Three layers of meringue, each topped with melted chocolate, a layer of whipped cream, and sliced strawberries.

My favorite exercise is walking which I do with an iPod.

I feed goldfinches all summer. They have occasionally flown into a poem, for example, “April at the Arboretum.”

VAH: Boccone Dolce sounds tasty! How about a little known fact about you that will amaze or amuse?

DL: When I was a child, I would routinely eat an entire jar of dill pickles in one sitting. Then I drank the juice. A pickle juice cocktail.

VAH: Thank you Diane Lockward for taking some time with Three by Five. Coming on the 30th, a review of Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop (Wind Publications, 2013). diane 3

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Diane Lockward Part II on Three by Five

diane 4VAH: Diane, when did you begin to think of yourself as a writer and how did you come to this awareness?

DL: Years ago I wanted to write novels. I had what seemed like good ideas; what I lacked was the patience to sit at the desk for hours and hours pounding out the words. I then tried short stories and had a few published, but I finally admitted that I wasn’t crazy about the genre so it didn’t make sense to want to pursue it. When I volunteered to write poems for Stafford’s textbook-in-progress, I knew I’d found my genre. I made a conscious decision that I would pursue poetry and not give up. I began taking workshops and courses. I went to summer conferences. I read all kinds of craft books and poetry anthologies and books of poems by individual poets. I learned the craft, began submitting, and just kept on going.

VAH: Imagine you’re striking up a conversation with someone who wants to be a writer, or someone just starting out. What is your best advice for emerging writers?

DL: Learn the craft. It’s essential to have a heart and a brain, but you must also learn the craft and know what you’re doing and why. Be patient and persistent; it won’t happen overnight. Learning the craft takes years. Writing the poems takes weeks, months, even years. Sending them out is time-consuming and the responses are slow in coming back. Here’s my daily mantra: Go forth boldly.

VAH: How have you gone about studying writing? Did you consider the MFA?

DL: I do not have an MFA. I came late to the party. By the time I found poetry, I had three children in school and was teaching full-time. I did manage over a period of four years to get an MA in English Literature and then Supervisor’s certification. But I was tapped out at that point and an MFA seemed impossible. Nevertheless, I very much wanted to devour poetry, to learn the craft, and to become part of the poetry world, so I studied independently. I read books, journals, and craft books. I took local courses and workshops. In the summers I went away to conferences for a week or two while my husband took over the household.

VAH: Those conferences were opportunities to immerse yourself in writing. Do you have a favorite conference, writing retreat or seminar and why?

DL: The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire, was hugely important to me. It was the first week-long conference I attended shortly after I began writing poetry. I went there nervous as a cat, but soon realized that I’d found my right place, that I fit in, and that, yes, I belonged there among other aspiring poets. I learned how to critique and be critiqued. I met other poets. I became part of a community of poets. I went back for seven summers. Two of those summers I also attended the Advanced Poetry Seminar there, run by Baron Wormser. One of the high points of my life occurred in 2005 when I was invited back to The Frost Place as a guest poet for the Conference on Poetry and Teaching. A perfect circle.

VAH: That must have been very validating. Diane, what is your writing life like currently?

DL: I am doing exactly what I want to be doing right now. After teaching high school English for twenty-five years, I decided to leave so I could spend more time with writing, so I could live as a writer, a poet. I now get to spend my days immersed in poetry. While I don’t write many more poems now than I did when I was teaching, I have time for other poetry-related activities. I keep a website. I also keep a blog, “Blogalicious,” where I post about once a week. I put out a monthly Poetry Newsletter that I started three years ago. Much of the material in my new craft book, The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop, came from my blog and my newsletter. I’m sure that this book would not exist if I were still teaching. Nor, most likely, would my three poetry books, all of them published after I left teaching.

I also run two local events. One is a poetry festival that I began ten years ago. It’s called “Poetry Festival: A Celebration of Literary Journals.” It brings together a dozen journals and their editors for a day of poetry. Each editor invites two poets to read for his or her journal. While the journals are on display and the editors are talking with visitors—around 200—readings take place in another area of the library. The second event I run is called “Girl Talk: A Celebration of Women’s History Month.” For that, I invite 24-30 women poets to each read a poem on a woman-related subject. I’ve been doing this event for six years.

VAH: Later this month a review of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop will post here on the site. The twitter size review would be simply Get this book! Be a better Poet! More with Diane Lockward on the 23rd. You’ll find links to a sampling of your work below:

Original Sin,” first place winner of the 2012 Naugatuck River Review contest.

The Third Egg” in Waccamaw: A Journal of Contemporary Literature.

Sinkholes” in Valparaiso Poetry Review .

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Poet Diane Lockward Part I

VAH: Diane, welcome to Three by Five. The first question is always why do you write?
DL: I write poetry because it makes me happier than anything else I do. If I get a poem going in the morning, I feel exhilarated all day long. I carry that draft around in my head and am alert to images and words that might be useful in the poem. I become more vigilant. I write poetry because it’s the place where I live my life most intensely.

VAH: Talk a little about when you wrote your first poem…
DL: I never had a single teacher in elementary, middle, or high school who taught poetry or asked me to write a poem. In college I studied some poetry and liked it, but the only creative writing I did was fiction. In graduate school I took several poetry courses and loved them, but they were academic courses, not creative ones; I still wasn’t doing any writing of poetry. Then one year when I was teaching high school English, I saw a call in the English Journal for teachers to test poetry-writing assignments for a textbook William Stafford was writing for high school students. I volunteered. Every few weeks for the next six months I received one or two poetry prompts. From the very first one, I was hooked. Something lit up inside me. As requested, I sent back all of my poems. From the poems sent in by the volunteers, Stafford selected sample poems to use in his book. One of mine, “Serendipity,” an acrostic poem, was selected. That became my first published poem. It appears in Getting the Knack: 20 Poetry Writing Exercises, published in 1994 by NCTE and still in print. I haven’t stopped writing since then.

VAH: Do you have a favorite literary character?
DL: Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. I love the fierceness of his passion, his darkness, his loyalty. He is such a mysterious character, one we can never fully know. He is a romantic character and a complex one, having both heroic and villainous traits. I admire him and am terrified by him.

VAH: Imagine you are stranded on a deserted island. What book or series of books would you want and why?
DL: I’d want Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels, Wendell Berry’s novels, and Fannie Flagg’s novels. All three authors give us delightful characters, have charming dashes of humor in their stories, touch our hearts, and lift our spirits. Ordinarily, I go for darker, more complex characters and plots, but if I were stranded on a deserted island, I’d want books that provided happy endings and offered hope that I might someday be rescued. Of course, I’d need some poetry, too. I’d want several issues of my long-time favorite journal, Poet Lore, and several issues of a recent favorite, The Cincinnati Review.

VAH: Is there someone you’d identify as the biggest influence on your development as a writer?
DL: My mother, not because she encouraged me to write but because without even trying she instilled in me a love of language. I remember her reading me the entire Wizard of Oz and books of fairy tales. Later, she gave me, one by one, all the Nancy Drew books. She used “big” words and when I asked, she told me what they meant. She had wanted to be a journalist, but her parents wouldn’t allow that. They said it wasn’t a profession for a woman. Instead of allowing her to attend the college she wanted to attend for journalism, they sent her to Duke where she majored in French, a language she never spoke thereafter. Before she died, I’d had my first article published in the English Journal, an article about poetry. She was very proud of that. But she died before I’d begun writing poetry so never saw any of my poems. I like to think I’m writing for the two of us.
VAH: That’s a terrific story Diane. It reminds me of my own mom, who sent me a note in college I treasure to this day that simply said, “Are you still writing?” I think your mother would be proud of the poet you’ve become.

For a sampling of Diane’s work, visit: Sunday Poem feature at Gwarlingo, (includes 4 poems). “Linguini” on The Writer’s Almanac . “Blueberry” on The Writer’s Almanac

Diane Lockward is the author of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop (Wind Publications, 2013) and three poetry books, most recently Temptation by Water. Her previous books are What Feeds Us, which received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and Eve’s Red Dress. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Against Perfection and Greatest Hits: 1997-2010. Her poems have been included in such anthologies as Poetry Daily: 360 Poems from the World’s Most Popular Poetry Website and Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times, and in such journals as Harvard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac.

Find Diane Lockward via: websiteBlogFacebook Twitter.

Join us on the 13th for more with Diane Lockward.


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Introducing Diane Lockward

diane 2Three by Five will host Diane Lockward in March. Diane Lockward is the author of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop (Wind Publications, 2013) and three poetry books, most recently Temptation by Water. Her previous books are What Feeds Us, which received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and Eve’s Red Dress. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Against Perfection and Greatest Hits: 1997-2010. Her poems have been included in such anthologies as Poetry Daily: 360 Poems from the World’s Most Popular Poetry Website and Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times, and in such journals as Harvard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac.

Find Diane Lockward via: websiteBlogFacebook Twitter.

Here is her poem “Prunis Persica,” read by Julie L. Moore:


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Campaign to Support the Emerging Writer Prize

This year was the 7th Victoria A. Hudson Emerging Writer Prize. This program started in 2008 as a scholarship for Master of Fine Arts students and was broadened to any emerging writer in 2011. Originally, one writer from each genre of poetry, fiction and nonfiction was selected. In 2012, the scholarship transitioned to recognizing one writer, regardless of genre. In 2013, the competition became completely electronic with all submissions via submittable. Also in 2013, the competition was listed on Duotrope as a means to widen the availability of information about the Victoria A. Hudson Emerging Writer Prize. The average number of entries over the past few years has been approximately 30 each year. This makes the odds of winning very good.

I’ve personally funded the scholarship every year, committed to a no fee competition. My commitment to that remains, however, I’m reaching out to the indie publishing and writing community at large to help fund this scholarship. My goal is to raise enough funds to support the emerging writer prize over the next ten years. I pledge that no more than 12% will go to the administrative costs for the scholarship. These include costs associated with the electronic submission process, competition promotional advertisements, recognition items for the winners, etc..

Help me keep the Emerging Writer Prize going strong. Over the course of this year, I’ll check back in on some of the previous winners to find out how they’re doing and what they are writing now. Stay tuned.

Please visit the Emerging Writer Go Fund Me site, your contribution is appreciated and please, share this site throughout your social media networks. Thank you very much.

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Sarah Blum Part III

sarah 4VAH: If you had a super power, what would it be and why that one?

SB: I would fly because I have always dreamed of doing that and was in love with superman/superboy.

VAH: Are you a finish the book once you’ve started kind of reader or leave it for another if don’t like the book sort of reader?

SB: More finish but if it is really bad I will leave it.

VAH: The blank page stares back at you, what gets you over writers block?

SB:I have never had it.

VAH: How keep up with what you send out and results of your submissions?

SB: I make a list of what I sent and to whom and dates and if I don’t get a response or get a no, I move on and keep moving on. I hold a deep faith that I am doing what I am being asked to do and will have the support of the universe even when it doesn’t look or feel like I do.

VAH: What little known fact about you will amaze and/or amuse?

SB: I was afraid of everything when I was a child.

VAH: What about now?

SB: When I am fearful of anything I have many options to deal with it. I use EFT, emotional freedom technique (tapping) or I consciously release it. This summer I suddenly became fearful of going out into the world to talk about the culture of abuse toward women in the military. I saw the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing with three full rows of the highest level of military men from all the services staring at the two lone women survivors who came to testify and I realized I would be facing them as well. Fortunately for me I had my women’s community retreat in July and we do many different types of lodges/ceremonies and I chose to do a specific one led by two women I trust and value and in that ceremony I literally and actually released all the fear I had and sent it into a fire and into the earth. I have not been afraid since.

Sarah is the author of the book Women Under Fire: Abuse in the Military.

Visit here for a compilation of resources for women veterans Sarah has put together.

Three by Five interviews Sarah Blum Part I, Part II.

And that concludes this month’s Three by Five interview with author Sarah Blum.

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Sarah Blum Part II

sarah 3VAH: Welcome back to Three by Five and Sarah Blum, a story teller and story listener. Sarah - When did you know you were a writer and what brought this about for you?

SB: I did not know until I became aware of my mission to write about the need for justice for women in the military. I heard the call from inside and said, “OK then show me I can write.” I sat down at the computer and asked to write an introduction and within seconds my fingers were flying across the keyboard and I produced in introduction that was so powerful it blew me away, figuratively and I said, “OK let’s do this!” and the rest is history because my first book, Women Under Fire: Abuse in the Military was released January 2014.

VAH: Do you have any advice for emerging writers?

SB: Don’t give up. Write what is in your heart.

VAH: Do you have a favorite conference or writing retreat/seminar and why?

SB: I like going to Barbara Turner Vessalago’s writing workshops because not only do I get to write for three hours at a time whatever comes up, but I get to listen to it read aloud and see others responses. I also get to hear fabulous writing by others and enjoy myself with them and nature at the same time.

VAH: Are you a full time writer?

SB: I am a nurse psychotherapist.

VAH: You must use stories then in your practice.

SB: I use stories a lot in my psychotherapy to illustrate concepts, ideas, and as examples. One such story that comes up a lot is the one about the  Zen monks who are walking back to their monastery together when they come to the river. There is a woman looking at the river and in distress about crossing it. One young monk takes off his cloak and wraps it around the woman from behind and then picks her up and carries her across the river. He then puts her down and continues his journey back to the monastery. When he catches up to the other two monks they are in heated discussion about him and the woman.  As they reach the top, the young monk says to the other two, “I left the woman on the other side of the river and you two are still carrying her.”

VAH: Wow, that’s powerful and illustrates well how we hang onto stories we experience. Sarah, what would you be reading late into the night? Perhaps give an example?

SB: Either science fiction or spiritual books. The Faithful Gardener by Clarissa Pincola Estes. I found it very healing and go back to if whenever I need to. She weaves  many stories through it and brings the reader/listener through the worst of devastation to new growth.   “To bring new growth you leave the land bare and hospitable. First you put out water -God has already done that for us-God calls this rain-what a great host is God. Next you put out sun and some shade-oh clouds and sun-God has taken care of this also-what a great host is God. Lastly you leave the ground fallow-turned but unsown, it means you send it through the fire to prepare it for it’s new life. This is the part God does not do alone-God likes a partnership. It is up to us to help what God has begun. No one wants this kind of burning-we want the field as it once was in its pristine beauty, just as we want life to remain as it once was. But believe me fire comes though we are afraid, it come anyway. Sometimes by accident, sometimes with purpose and sometimes for reasons no one can understand, reasons that are God’s business. But the fire can also turn everything to a new direction a new and different life one that has its own strength and ways to shape the world.”

“In every fallow place a new life is waiting to be born-I am certain, I am positive. And more astonishing than that, new life comes whether one wills it or not. New seed flies in on the wind and it will keep arriving, giving many chances for change of heart, mending of heart,  and for choosing life again at long last. Of all of this I am certain. What is that which can never die, it is that Faithful Force that is born into us, that One that is greater than us, that calls new seed to the open and barren places, so that we can be resown.  It is this Force in its most often mysterious ways that are far greater, far more majestic, and far more ancient than any heretofore ever known. Remember new seed is faithful, it roots deepest in the places that are most empty.”

Sarah Blum is the author of Women Under Fire: Abuse in the MilitaryWomenUnderFireForWebFolks-200x300

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Three by Five and Sarah Blum

sarah 2This month Three by Five introduces Sarah Blum, author and Viet Nam veteran.

“I’m interested in the truth,” Sarah Blum said of helping to treat the emotional wounds of others. “I’m a clear thinker, a problem solver. I’m a very strong person. I am someone who heals.”

Sarah Blum knows something about wounds and about healing. Once she was a 26 year old Army Captain and operating nurse with the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Cu Chi Viet Nam. Today she is a nurse psychotherapist. Sarah believes her drive to tell the stories of women veterans is a spiritual mission. With her tools as a psychotherapist and experience as a women veteran, she is a compassionate listener supports other women veterans having their voices heard. Her recent book, Women Under Fire: Abuse in the Military was published in January 2014.

War stories are often about firsts. Sarah has a story about her first mortar attack:

“The first time we were mortared I was in the shower. Our shower is a wooden stall with only three sides. The front is wide open. The water comes from a tank above the hooch where we live so it is not very forceful or wide, more like the width of a finger coming down.

I started to hear a sound like a whoosh with a whistle and then a thud and an explosion. I turned off the noisy sound of the spigot to hear it more clearly and wondered what it was as I turned the spigot again to rinse off the soap I was covered in. At that point a soldier showed up right in front of me. He was in full battle gear with uniform, helmet, rifle and flak jacket. He looked at me very intensely and said: ‘Ma’am we are being mortared-you need to go to the bunker immediately!’

I said OK and continued to try and rinse off the soap. He stepped up his intensity and shouted, “If you don’t leave now and go to the bunker I will have to carry you!” I could tell he meant business so I put on my shorty robe that barely covered my butt and of course the soap on my wet skin went right through the material of the robe and I went slip sliding through the hooch in my flip flops with soapy water running down my legs.

When I got to the bunker I could not see anything because I had come from the blazing sun into a darkened dug out covered with sandbags. Someone grabbed my arm and guided me to a bench to sit down. My eyes gradually adjusted to the darkness and I saw my chief nurse in her helmet and flak jacket and she told all of us nurses, ‘We will wait until the all clear and then return to what we were doing.’ The next moment a soldier appeared at the opening and said, ‘We need Lieutenant Blum in the OR right now!’ I looked at my chief nurse and she nodded for me to go. I went right back to the shower to rinse off the soap and now mud all over my legs and feet. Then I dried off and scrambled into my fatigues and boots and ran zig zag across the compound to the OR. I did not wear my flak jacket or my helmet because they added about 30 more pounds of weight to my small 5 foot 100 pound body and I could run faster without them on.

From that day on when I heard the mortars I went right to the OR because that was where I was needed and I never went to the bunker again.”

Stories are a good tool for a psychotherapist.

VAH: Sarah, why do you write?

SB:  I write because I feel the passion and urgency to get the message of justice and healing out on behalf of women serving in our military and our women veterans.

VAH: What was your first story about?

SB: My own experiences as a nurse in Vietnam.

VAH: Do you have a favorite literary character?

SB:  Aslan the Lion in Lion, Witch and Wardrobe.

VAH: What book or series of books would you want if stranded on a deserted island and why?

SB: Books by Mercedes Lackey because I enjoy them and they are inspirational.

VAH: What would you say was your biggest influence on your development as a writer?

SB:  Barbara Turner Vessalago my writing teacher and my writing group.

Find out more about Sarah Blum here.



Return on the 13th and 23rd for more.


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