Sunday, September 20, 2020

Just thinking

 

AFTER A SLEEPLESS NIGHT

 

I’ve been in a funk lately. Maybe it’s the ending of summer, which is always disappointing to me. But I’m teary for no good reason. I think one reason is that I’ve put too much value on things. Not just my home, clothes, car, etc., but on my relationships. On my work. When you think you can’t live without something or someone, you know you’re going to worry. And probably worry needlessly.

 

I have to remind myself that I can live without the things I’ve accumulated. I don’t need a house as nice as the one I have. I can survive in a barn. I only need one coat to keep me warm in winter. I can walk if I don’t have a car.

 

Can I live without my writing? What would I do with my hours if I didn’t have stories to write? The very thought frightens me.

 

But the thought that really frightens me—can I survive without my husband? Without one of my sons? Or one of my daughters-in-law or a grandchild. I don’t think I can. But YES, I can. I have to believe this.

 

Everybody has health issues, and if we’re lucky, they’re minor and/or treatable. I should know that I’m caring too much when I think of losing a husband because of his hip problem, or losing a son who has a back problem. Or when one has a weight problem and I think it’s leading to a heart attack or mental breakdown.

 

I have to believe that my life is not an exercise in accumulating things. The more I value my home or clothes, the harder it is to separate myself from them. As with my writing. I have to separate myself from my work. There is a ME here who is not my writing. And the hardest and the one that causes tears is my family. I have to separate myself from my family in a way that allows me to be me. To have my life, apart from theirs. They are not mine and I am not theirs.

 

I have to be able to get back to me, the person who has purpose and meaning and will live, hopefully with courage, whatever the circumstances.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Facebook Book Launch

 

 

 

I appreciate your click-in comments and “likes” Tuesday at the Facebook launch of Lizard Brew.

 

It was a new experience for me. And judging from your questions, new to many of you. For those of you still wondering what it was all about, it was a day of my exchanging ideas with my readers (or anybody else who happened to click-in) on Facebook. I welcomed questions and if there weren’t any, I sent out notes and photos about myself and my writing. Rather like scripting a visit.

 

Thanks to Lisa Cole at Vestra Lingua for making the launch possible.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Lizard Brew Book Launch

 

LIZARD BREW

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 

On Facebook 

Click the link

Bonnie's Book Launch

 

ALL DAY

By Vestra Lingua Publishing

Children’s book

Ages 4-7 

By Bonnie Stanard

Click the link 

Bonnie's Book Launch 

and leave me a note...

I want to hear from you!

 

Or copy and paste the link:

https://facebook.com/events/s/lizard-brew-by-bonnie-stanard-/312991743362501/?ti=icl

 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Columbia Writers Workshop guest blogger



LOVE & FEAR & AMAZON

I love Amazon. At the same time, I’m annoyed with myself for buying so much from it. I just ordered a CD (Queen at Wembley Stadium), a handbag just like the one I have but in a different color, and the book Devils, Demons, and Witchcraft.

But in my defense, where will I shop for CDs? A particular handbag? An obscure book? Maybe there are alternatives, but do they deliver, and do they provide customer comments? I could shop in Columbia (SC) for a day and maybe I’d find the CD, or a similar handbag, but do I want to spend a day shopping? And what about a book that’s not a best seller, not on any favorites list? By the time I get my car out of the garage, I can key in the title on Amazon and find the book, as well as almost any book except hard-to-find, out of print ones.

I am afraid of my love of Amazon. It’s turning into the only love of my life. Total commitment of our emotions to one person or thing is a formula for self-induced slavery. This goes to the idea of the freedom to make a choice. If you’re committed to one person (or Amazon) with all your heart, you think you don’t care about anything else. But what happens when the person (or Amazon) chooses to take advantage of you? To use you? To abuse you? And in the passion of the moment, you’ve given up your access to alternatives?

My blog on the subject of Amazon is featured this week by the Columbia II Writers Workshop. I hope you’ll take a look.

http://columbiawritersworkshop.blogspot.com/

Supper in Silence


MY TACITURN FAMILY

Some of us grew up in quiet families. I can remember sitting at the table with my family eating supper in silence. Or riding in the car with my father without saying a word. While in college, I commuted 25 miles to a summer job with my uncle. Those were long silent rides, especially at night, for we both worked the second shift, from 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM. I also remember nights when he woke up when the car bumped off the road. It still puzzles me why I didn’t wake him as he was falling asleep at the wheel. I knew what was happening.

As a youngster, nobody asked me (or my brothers and sister) about my day at school. And my parents didn’t talk about what they did. If a classmate made fun of me, I kept it to myself. I understood that it was due to a deficiency of mine.

In my poetry chapbook, Time Carries All Things Away, I write about a lifesyle of native understandings without benefit of words. Here’s from the poem “My Sister and Me.”

It wasn’t necessary to learn names
of things like weeds.
We knew such as dandelion, spurge,
and clover by their preference
for sun or shade;
by their predilection
for parking or creeping

The poem ends with my going to school and meeting conversations as I had never experienced before. And what a dramatic difference that made.

Time Carries All Things Away is available from MainStreet Rag publishing for $12 plus shipping.

https://mainstreetragbookstore.com/product/time-carries-all-things-away-bonnie-stanard/


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Kent Ambler Woodcuts

 

AMBLER’S WOODCUTS


 

Kent Ambler’s “Into the Wood” show of woodcuts is on display at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC. 

My friend Carole and I took in the show yesterday.

Carole and one of the first woodcuts we saw.
 

I don't especially like round pictures of any kind, but Kent Ambler does a good job with the one above and below.

My mask is not as artistic as Carole's.

 

 

 

 Some of the best in the show are woodcuts of dogs and birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trees, birds, and orange sky is my show favorite.


Kent Ambler has other interesting woodcuts which were not on display at the 701 Center. You can see them on his website.  http://www.kentambler.net/woodcuts

 

 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

plum tree tavern publishes poem



TWILIGHT

A short poem of mine "Twilight" has just been published by Plum Tree Tavern, which features poetry about nature. I hope you'll take a look. 



Sunday, July 12, 2020

Cola Writers II blog posted


DON’T WRITE ABOUT PRETTY FLOWERS

Beginning today my blog is featured for a week on the Columbia Writers Workshop II. “Subjecting Nature” is about our relationship to the natural world. We know we should respect other people and respect ourselves, but what about respect for nature? It’s not something I’ve thought much about, not until I read the submission guidelines to The Plum Tree Tavern.

Editor Russell Streur warns against writing glorified descriptions of our view of nature. According to him, “The river makes its own sounds. So does the mountain. Don't interrupt.

Interruptions are everywhere in poetry. The wind is a frequent metaphor, especially for the passing of time. Storms describe depression or turmoil. Does this have anything to do with the character of nature? Nature’s worth isn’t dependent on us or what we see in it or get from it. Nature doesn't need us. We need nature. Take a look at the blog.

Photo by Matthew Stanard

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Plum Tree Tavern



Sunset in Fairview, SC
TWILIGHT POEM

Plum Tree Tavern has accepted for publication my poem “Twilight,” which describes a moment at the end of the day. Editor Russell Streur wrote that it will appear a month or so down the road,” so I’m not sure when. Plum Tree is a journal publishing poetry about nature with an interest in ecology.


The guidelines read “The editor...cautions the writer to carefully consider the placement of the ego into work.” This inspired me to think about our ego and the way it affects nature. When we do things that result in the extinction of one species and then another, we’re working our way down a list of species that includes ourselves. I’ve written a blog on the subject. It is scheduled to appear July 12, 2020 on the Columbia Writers Workshop II website. 


Edisto Beach, SC

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Writing Poetry



THE UNEASY WORLD OF POETRY

I’ll have three poems published in the Fall 2020 issue of Muddy River Review. Despite my intention to spend more time on prose, lately most of my efforts have been in writing poetry.

The limitations of our language are a source of my ongoing sense of frustration. I try to put into words my ideas that don’t have words. Poetry is the medium that allows me to question meanings, not just of words but of my experiences and concepts.

The older I get the more I realize my knowledge is very limited and not just because of words. In addition to the confines of intellect, lack of experiences has put me into a little box. This has become painfully apparent on many occasions, but especially recently as I’ve watched “The Silk Road” on Prime TV. I come away from every episode realizing what a tiny speck of the world I call my home.

I’ll post a reminder when the three poems will be published in Muddy River. “Uneasy Most of the Time” is about our life style and how it makes me feel. In “Yellow Pears” I wonder if I’ve made a good decision. “Clouds By Degree” is a reminder that bad moods are a part of being human.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Trying Too Hard


COLUMBIA II Website
I'm the Featured Blogger

Fear of failure can be motivating. I know, I’ve been there. As a consequence, I have a history of not only doing my best but of trying too hard, which is the subject of my blog appearing tomorrow (May 17) on the Columbia II SCWA blog site. It will be posted for one week.

When I try too hard and still don’t accomplish my goal (particularly with respect to getting work published), that’s when I depend on my friends and supporters to get going again.

Doing my part to support local restaurants.
Patreon, a Mexican restaurant, recently opened on Columbiana Drive near the Mall.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020






Two of My Poems Appear in Going Off-Grid

Scars Publications has reprinted a couple of my poems in its March 2020 collection titled Going Off-Grid. The poems and short stories that appear in this edition are taken from Down in the Dirt, an imprint of Scars.

There could hardly be two poems more different. “Computer Hacker and the Common Brain” is a comment on our unawareness of the digital invasion of our innermost thoughts. “Fairview Farmhouse” describes a farmhouse that has outlived the era of its usefulness.

Going Off-Grid is edited by Janet Kuypers and is available on Amazon for $10.99. 

Next up will be info about my poetry chapbook Time Carries All Things Away. Advance copies can be reserved now at a discount with delivery in August when the chapbook will be released. I'll come back to this.



Saturday, April 25, 2020



OUR PANDAMIC OF FEAR

With our fixation on the present, it may not come to mind that the COVID-19 Virus is not the last pandemic we’ll encounter. There will be others. Which raises the question of whether our response to this one has been wise.

The pandemic has turned out to be more one of fear than of Coronavirus. In the first days when the infection was unknown, our response was to jump to the worst case scenario. The media reported every death without acknowledging the number of survivors. As the number of survivors has proliferated, the media continues to focus on the deaths.

More evidence is available about the impact of the virus. The Hill reported on a recent Stanford University antibody study which estimates the fatality rate if infected is 0.1 to 0.2 percent. According to it:

— If infected, young adults and children in normal health have almost no risk of serious illness
— Half of all people testing positive for infection have no symptoms at all
— Of fatal cases in New York state, 99.2 percent had underlying illness

And our schools are still closed. Stores. Restaurants. Salons. Churches. Synagogues. Clubs.

We think this response will keep us safe from a minuscule chance of dying from the Coronavirus. Will this keep us safe from our own fear of dying?

Many people now face a fear of losing their homes, of having no money to buy groceries. Our nation faces the possibility of a generation of poorly educated students.

And we think that we are providing for our safety.




Tuesday, April 14, 2020



  
TRUMPETS AND APPLAUSE!!

Main Street Rag Publishing Company will publish my poetry chapbook “Time Carries All Things Away.” The poems bring to mind things that are no longer a part of the South. I write about my family, church, the weather, things I love but, with the passing of time, I’ve lost.

“Time Carries All Things Away” is due to be released in August and will sell for $12, but the advance sale price is $7.50, available from the Online Bookstore for the time being. It doesn’t mean the book will be shipped early, only that you are receiving a discount for ordering before it goes to press.

Here’s a link directly to my author’s page:

http://mainstreetragbookstore.com/product/time-carries-all-things-away-bonnie-stanard/


If you don’t like buying online, Main Street Rag will take checks, but the price is $10.50/book.

I’m more of a writer and less of a sales person, so I appreciate your support. And if you know a poetry-loving person, I’d be grateful if you’d pass along the news. Thanks!



Saturday, April 4, 2020

Zoom Workshop



Virtual is not something I do

You never outgrow fear of failure. I just got an invitation from the Columbia II Writers for a virtual workshop Monday.

KasieWhitener, who will host the meeting, is a savvy techy who is undaunted by anything. I, on the other hand, am unsavvy about computers and daunted by lots of things. In fact, my computer brings out my best efforts at bad language.

Anyway, in the back of my mind is a voice saying, “You won’t be able to connect for the meeting. Or you’ll click the wrong button and trash the meeting.” It may be even worse. I’ll join the meeting, put my nostrils on view, interrupt everybody, black-out, bawl out, blink out, and otherwise show my ignorance.

There are a thousand and one online how-tos for Zoom (the video conferencing app). What’s wrong with my computer? On Google, the Zoom homepages don’t look like mine. And the advice makes no sense. “Turn on mute when you’re not talking; Test screen sharing.” Huh?

This is one of those occasions when I will be going outside my “comfort zone.” A good idea, they say. Will expand my world view. But at what cost? Making a fool of myself? 



Monday, March 30, 2020

Covid 19



HERMIT TERRITORY

Staying home for me is not the crisis it is for some people. I usually spend my time at my computer, even when there’s no corona virus. I can still take my dog Ginger for a daily walk, my usual way of getting fresh air and exercise.
It’s disappointing but understandable that the festivals I had planned to be attending this spring have been cancelled. And I bought a pink sparkly top just for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Conyers, Georgia. I don't especially like pink, but the organizers played on that color for promotional purposes.
NO VISITS DURING SPRING BREAK
Doug and I had planned to have the grandkids here during their spring break, but our two sons thought it was too much of a risk. Davis and his family live in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Matt and his family in Rome, Georgia. We don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. We have two granddaughters living in London, England, but their school breaks don’t coincide with ours in the States and the cost of their coming here is a pot of money. Their schools have also suspended classes.
LASTING SIDE EFFECT OF VIRUS
We’re focused on the impact this crisis is having on the economy and business, but the closing of schools may have the longest lasting effect. Kids who have computers will naturally gravitate to the screen and mindless games. Let’s face it, there’s not much else for them to do. Youth is a critical time for getting a foundation in facts and thinking that a person uses for the rest of their life. Even if everybody went to home schooling, it doesn’t have the systematic discipline to replace public schools, nor the academic depth.
AT-HOME PROJECTS FOR KIDS
I would hope that parents who are out of work are teaching kids things to do with their time. Some ideas:
1) Sewing: Buy a cheap sewing machine. Assignment: make a shirt
2) Woodwork. Buy a jigsaw. Project: make a footstool or birdhouse
3) Cooking: Download recipes. Project: make a dish at supper
4) Reading & writing: Buy a kid's novel: write a movie script made from the book
5) Music: Buy a harmonica or ukulele. Project: learn one song

These involve small investments of money but will pay off in better spent time for the kids.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

coronavirus


OVERWHELMED BY A MEDIA VIRUS?

I have never admired C.S. Lewis more. I hope you’ll read the following essay he wrote in 1948.

Replace “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus.” This is not to say that COVID-19 isn’t a threat nor to suggest that we shouldn’t take reasonable precautions. However...read ahead.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Authors for Literacy



Couldn't Blame the Weather
 
The sun was shining and it was in the 60s Saturday for Authors for Literacy at the Lexington Main Library. However, the event drew little traffic. I wasn’t the only writer who sold very few books. Too bad. It was for a worthy cause. Donations from the event were given to Turning Pages, a Columbia based organization that offers free instruction to adults in reading and math. South Carolina barely misses being in the list of top ten highest illiteracy rates in the USA.

We authors visited one another and talked the talk of writing and publishing. I sat beside Johnny Bloodworth, a friend who writes Southern fiction. His novel Gift is set in a small town in Georgia in 1946.
 
Ready and waiting, but where were the people?
Thanks to the Lexington Library, which provided the venue where we writers might meet readers. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Authors for Literacy 2019


Authors for Literacy

A book is a Christmas gift that keeps on giving, especially if it’s one that speaks to you. I’ve changed my mind about life in general after reading some books. Shop at the library Saturday. Maybe you’ll see a story that must be read.

Authors for Literacy Christmas
Saturday, December 7
11 AM – 2 PM
Lexington County Main Library

I’ll be there with several of my novels and my children’s book Cat’s Fur, which is about a witch who discovers she’s allergic to cats. How can a witch be a witch without cats? I had to solve that problem. The sequel to Cat’s Fur is nearing completion and should be out in January. Lizard Brew brings the cats back into the house.

Jerry Bellune of the Lexington Chronicle has assembled a number of local writers for the event. All books are either $10 or $20. The library is located on US 1 a mile from I-20.

Come by and say “hello” and meet a group of dedicated writers.
 
At 2018 Authors for Literacy Christmas (photo courtesy of John Starino).

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

harvest festivals





INMAN and AYNOR

Two back-to-back weekends of harvest festivals. Last weekend was the Inman Harvest Festival. I met readers and book buyers. Over a hundred vendors selling novelties, such as cameras turned into lamps, perfumed oils, watch art, and elderberry syrup. There were even orange, paw-print door wreaths for Clemson fans (I had to wonder who would buy them). The bandstand drew crowds all day as various entertainers performed.

It's gratifying to meet young readers.
Several aspiring writers stopped by, and we chatted about life as a writer. I was especially pleased to talk to a couple of high school students. Also teachers were interested in me and my work. Old and young visitors to my booth...gave Doug a chance to tell his jokes.

Aynor 
Aynor's Harvest Festival, held September 21, was another story. Plenty of vendors and traffic, very few readers. The parade of people quickly walked by. Hardly anybody stopped to look at my books or talk with me. 
 
Yes, I write, yes, I have books...
I should have taken a hint in the morning when a woman’s dog pooped in front of my booth. She picked most of it up (somebody gave her a plastic bag) after I growled at her. 
Sidewalk scene, Inman
Photos thanks to Douglas Stanard.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Moon Magazine poem


"she’s bad another Saturday"


My poem “The Payoff” is published by The Moon magazine in its current issue on addiction. I'm not an addict but my imagination was.

There’s another poem in the same issue that will lift your spirits. It makes language the butt of a comedy routine. It’s “Lars the Cereal Killer” by Jim George. So clever!

I hope you’ll take a look.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Jewish Community Center, Columbia, SC


Local Author Book Fair 
 Wednesday (Sept. 4)

 
Cat's Fur, Page 7 © Bonnie Stanard
Cat’s Fur is a Halloween book with a story and pictures kids ages 4-7 will love. Get your copy at the Local Author Book Fair on Wednesday at the Jewish Community Center of Columbia (JCC). From 10 AM till 6 PM I’ll be there with Cat’s Fur as well as my historical fiction novels.

Numerous other local writers representing a variety of genres (Southern fiction, westerns, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, travel) will be there. We'll chat with you, sign books, give you personal information about writing and publishing.

The JCC is open to persons of all religious faiths or ethnic background. It’s a modern facility with heated pool, health and fitness center, and programs like yoga and dance. 

Located at 306 Flora Drive, Columbia, SC 29223. PH: 803-787-2023.

I hope to see you there.