Monday, November 9, 2020

Words & Wine and "Small Boxes"


I'll be in the Zoom Room 

Next Tuesday 


If you’re a reader or a writer

I hope you’ll join me

Tuesday, Nov. 17

6:00 – 7:00 PM 

when I'll give a talk 

at the next meeting of


Words & Wine

Via Zoom


I have a lot to say about

“Small Boxes”


Register with Zoom to see, listen, and participate.

Chris Maw came up with Words & Wine to promote local authors. It features a different writer the third Tuesday of each month. She also supports local artists and small businesses with newsletters. You can keep up with what’s going on in the Columbia area by emailing Chris at


I hope you'll be on my computer screen with me next Tuesday.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Historic Savannah Theatre

I'm with Richard at the riverboat



Last weekend was perfect. And it wasn’t my birthday, it was the birthday of my brother-in-law Richard. We went to Savannah, which proves the Spanish-moss-on-every-tree cliché. Beautiful city for a driving or walking tour. But the city had something special. Where else will you find a live musical show worth driving two hours?


The Historic Savannah Theatre performed its “Cabaret,” and the music was even better than I hoped it would be. Owner and performer Matthew Meece is a natural for the stage, engaging the audience with light-hearted introductions and commentary. His wife and co-owner Michelle Meece comes in as a strong second. The choice of music is classic pop with songs many of us remember, all delivered with a cabaret interpretation. The cost of The show was well worth the $45 ticket.


I have attended their Christmas show in the past and will go again this year. There’s nothing like an inspiring show to give you the Christmas spirit. Years ago our family made “A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theater in Chicago a Christmas tradition. The Savannah Theater’s “A Christmas Tradition” is becoming our Southern replacement for that wonderful Chicago show.

Nila in the Savannah candy store
After the show we had lunch and a cruise on the Savannah Riverboat. In-depth history lesson about the river from an on-board tour guide. At the end of the day I returned to Lexington, very happy even if it wasn’t my birthday. 

Approaching a tanker on the river

Monday, October 12, 2020

Words & Wine Halloween


It’s not a contest, but six of us authors are going to regale you with our scariest stories via Zoom. It starts at 6 PM on Tuesday, October 20. "Words and Wine" is the perfect event for setting the mood for Halloween. 


Scary authors with scary stories: Scott Sharpe, Bonnie Stanard, John Starino, Paula Benson, A.J. Brown, Raegan Teller


Register at Zoom and you'll get by email the links to follow. 


To register (free, of course):


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Marlaena's 2021 Calendar


Calendar Cover


Marlaena Shannon, who illustrated Cat’s Fur and Lizard Brew, has created a 2021 monthly calendar featuring her work. The cover is from one of the pictures in my book Lizard Brew.

Marlaena's drawings interpret animals in unique and irresistible ways. Cats especially. Each cat in my two books is unique. If you look closely at pages in my books, tucked away in unexpected places you'll find mice, owls, birds, lizards, and bats. 


The calendar is not yet listed on her website. Will let you know when it is. Cat's Fur and Lizard Brew are available at online venues such as Vestra Lingua, Amazon, Target, and Ebay.



Cola II Guest Blogger




My blog is featured this week (Oct. 4-10) by the Columbia II Writers Workshop. Workshops have personalities. And writers may need to visit several before finding the one that works for them. The worst kind of workshop is one in which a renowned author is present. It degenerates into a competition for the attention for that one person. With that said, workshops have been a great help to me in improving my writing. My blog is about good and bad criticisms—and no criticism, which is the worst of all. Take a look –


Saturday, October 3, 2020

Book Signing The Warehouse



Thanks to those of you who came by for my book signing last night. It was great fun being in the midst of all sorts of vintage furniture and objects d’art at The Warehouse. The traffic was continuous, sales good.


Thanks also to Jay White who provided this opportunity. Several copies of Cat’s Fur and Lizard Dream will be available at The Warehouse until Halloween. Stop by and buy a copy or just browse. Lots of interesting stuff there. Located at 312 State St, West Columbia, SC. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

To the Warehouse




Friday, October 2, 2020

The Warehouse

312 State Street, West Columbia SC

PH 803-834-7557

4-7:00 PM


Cat’s Fur

Lizard Brew


Great Halloween books

Kids 4-8


I hope you’ll come to The Warehouse, shop for shabby-chic stuff and get your copy of my children’s books. I’ll be happy to sign yours and talk about the next Halloween book, scheduled out in 2021. The witch is Carmina and she has problems and solutions from her pack of feral cats.


Pack of cats? According to the internet (never any mistakes there...) the word for a pack of cats is clowder, but would you know what a clowder of cats is? And if it’s a gang of wild cats, the word is destruction. Huh? Who came up with these words? I like what I found on Quora for cats -- “trouble brewing” or “inevitable flying fur situation.”


Lizard Brew and Cat's Fur are available at Vestra Lingua Press and Amazon

3312 State Street, West Columbia, SC


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Just thinking




I'm editing this blog after my husband Doug's reaction--he said it sounded like I wanted to get rid of him and my family. And I thought I was saying that I care so much about them that I worry about losing them to the point of despondency. Anyway, my negative side sometimes gets the better of me.

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 believe that my life is not an exercise in accumulating things. The more I value my home, clothes, etc., 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. Given the culture I live in with the media's intrusive values, it's easy to forget that life is not about ownership. 


I admire the Buddhist philosophy that's centered on living apart from the seductiveness of our world of things. I'm reminding myself 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




Tuesday, September 8, 2020 

On Facebook 

Click the link

Bonnie's Book Launch



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:


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Columbia Writers Workshop guest blogger


I love Amazon. At the same time, I’m annoyed with myself for buying so much from it. I just ordered a CD (Queen), 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.

Supper in Silence


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.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Kent Ambler 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.



Sunday, July 19, 2020

plum tree tavern publishes poem


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


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

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


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

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


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.