I created Sarah Lea Stories in October 2013, and 1200+ posts later, I’ve decided not to publish any more long-form posts on it. Since homeschooling (where I create A LOT of the curriculum to accommodate my daughter’s special needs), having a baby, and deciding to return to university this fall, I no longer have the time to write lengthy posts for free. That time is better spent on writing short stories for paying publications. I now consider my Instagram account (where posts can be much shorter) my new blog. I like that Instagram is free and beautifully formatted, and I can spend far less time creating content for it. Blogging all this time has helped with that—not just with “canned” posts but with writing practice.
I’m also tired of being in front of a screen. Now that I have an editing career that requires me to always be in front of a screen, I need more time away from the glow of the computer monitor.
However, I’ll still be posting my groups of “Post-It poems” on Mondays, my Fiction Friday pieces (which I will eventually format into a novel in verse), and my “Positively Marvelous” things on Saturday.
If you wish to follow me on Instagram (I don’t promise to follow back, but if you’re truly interested in my content), here is the link: https://www.instagram.com/sarahleastories/
that last semester,
was spent in a sleepless blur.
Like a shimmer above hot asphalt
was the filter through which she saw
the endlessness of her life as it was—
as if God Himself had slowed down time
to make it last,
fortifying her to make her last.
She relished the days,
having passed the exhaustion stage,
by knowing that if she could do this much
for so long,
she could do almost as much
for the rest of her life.
She was 30 when she began her teaching ministry—
of life after infertility & divorce with
18 undocumented years “about her mother’s business”—
finding herself resurrected through the youthful hope
of her student disciples.
She was a woman of 20-dollar dresses
& 5-dollar lipstick,
who loved fried chicken & cheap wine.
She checked out novels & rented movies,
her ideal date night a shared pizza
& fresh breath.
Her favorite painter was Norman Rockwell,
her favorite book, Confessions of a Chocoholic.
She was more fiddle than violin,
more Encyclopedia Brown than Murphy Brown.
To her, any meat below well done
was positively revolting—
no matter what the TV chefs said.
(They ate bull balls, after all, so
though they had the latter,
they were still full of the former.)
She didn’t need a big house—
just a bit enough house.
Even if she won the jack of all pots,
she would still come stamped
with a certificate of authenticity.
My epistolary poem, “Miss Amelia Skye” (“Dear Amelia”) was just published in Bella Grace magazine. Amy Krause Rosenthal’s book, Dear Girl, was the inspiration behind the format. I have since created a Mixbook of this poem for my daughter (who will be turning 5 months in a few days); this book will go into a time capsule for her to open at the stroke of midnight in the year 2042 (which will make her 21, if my math is correct). 🙂
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The Shutterfly Edition
He was pulp fiction with expletives & explosions,
she, Harlequin Christian romance
with exaltation & exclamations of everlasting love.
They gave their fans what they wanted,
& though their work only endured
till the next author came around,
they made a good side income
freelancing for the local newspaper—
he, covering the grit & gristle of hard news,
& she, the cream & fluff of soft news.
When Comma sailed on a scholarship to Oxford College—
in nothing but a pinafore & saddle shoes—
having unearthed her earthly purpose at Harvard,
she discovered her divine purpose through her thesis on clarity,
& thus became
the Oxford Comma.
They Couldn’t Take it With Them
When Miss Grammarly & Miss Writerly—
2 spinsters who unraveled yarns
& whose punctuation rained
on a mathematician’s parade
like music notes in a sour serenade—
passed on to that great Writing Lab in the sky,
they found that their favorite mark,
the non-committal Semicolon,
had not made it past the mother-of-pearly gates,
for when S.C. had reached the end
of its life sentence,
it hadn’t known whether to pause
or stop altogether,
& so it chose to continue
to haunt English majors
& thus remain,
of their earthly existence.
For she’d rather forsake her child
than face rejection from the father of that child,
even as God had seemingly forsaken His Son
to the world that had rejected Him.
For Tony’s sake,
Kath, being the vessel,
would let the world mark her the sinner
to save the sainted one who had filled that vessel.
She would bear the scars of his sin
in the form of stretch marks
& a giving away of the one whose heart had beaten
in tandem with hers.
Tony had used her to relieve something other than his bladder,
but he was empty,
& he filled Kath with that emptiness,
for what he gave her,
took from her.
I had to believe that he should want to do everything in his power
to protect her & the part of him she carried,
for how could a man create an existence
& not be responsible for that existence—
just as if he had taken a life,
he would be accountable for those that life had left behind.
I believed we should be held accountable for our creations,
just as we were for that which we destroyed,
& when they were one & the same,
such was the most grievous sin of all.
To love a child as a child of God was one thing,
but to love a child as one’s grandchild—
to be included in the inner circle
of the second most sacred space,
to add them to their list of descendants
& will them an inheritance from their ancestors—
was something else.
Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley: An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.
Tippi was a blond out of the bottle,
Dagny, a blond with brunette roots.
When they decided to fleece a couple of black sheep,
these fun girls realized that
with a drop of a hanky
& just the promise of panky,
blondes may have had more fun,
but brunettes got away with it.
He was all that was wrong with men
when it came to women,
for he felt entitled to take
whatever one he wanted,
only for Bubba Edmonds in Cell #9
to feel even more entitled to pick him
as his newest Turkish delight.
When Comb met Brush,
they encountered a hairy situation,
making Brush bristle
& Comb lose all her teeth.
The Shutterfly edition
Her lawyer read over every email,
& every employee handbook,
looking for loopholes she could fall through.
When she found the humdinger of them all,
slipping through it like a cheaply-wrapped stick of hot butter,
she spent her way through America,
redistributing her wealth by patronizing restaurants
so that all her fat was not redistributed but freshly-distributed
in what was now known as “Corporation Up Front.”
He practiced law
but didn’t follow it.
She practiced Christianity
but didn’t preach it.
They practiced medicine
but wouldn’t take it.
When they found each other,
they found the one thing
they could take—
each other’s inability
to do themselves
what they told others
He was a playboy,
she, a working girl.
Though they were in the biz,
they were also camera shy,
but what they believed
would be their undoing
would have been their alibi.