45th Writing Awards – November 30 Deadline

Archives: essay

“Folie Á Deux” by Laura Rose (Musepapers 2017)

“Folie Á Deux” by Laura Rose (Musepapers 2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Laura Rose’s essay, “Folie Á Deux,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on Childhood/Parenthood. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Folie Á Deux

by Laura Rose

 

It’s a still, sweet July evening. The air is cool, the sky cloudless. The birds are chattering away in the hedgerow outside of our cabin where my family spends the summer. We’re isolated from the world. Mile after square mile of dense Pennsylvania forest stretches out beyond the hedgerow, a four-mile dirt road separates us from the nearest town. My father is on the front porch staring into the woods.

“Perfection” by Molly Seale (Musepapers 2017)

“Perfection” by Molly Seale (Musepapers 2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Molly Seale’s essay, “Perfection,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on Childhood/Parenthood. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Perfection

by Molly Seale

 

My aunt sits across from me. I have settled in the one rocking chair in her home and my eighteen-month old toddler is climbing onto my lap. “Nurse, Mommy! Nurse!” he demands. He’s weary, always so after a car trip. His eyes are heavy, he longs for the comfort of my breast. “Do you mind?” I ask. “Oh not at all,” she smiles as I lift my shirt and he, my baby, latches on greedily, sleepily, gratefully.

My aunt – Golda is her name – smiles gently, watching me, watching him. She is silky and soft, fragrant and old, so old. Yet she curiously observes the two of us and I venture, “What was your son like at this age?

“Taking Our Time” by Jonathan Segol (Musepapers 2017)

“Taking Our Time” by Jonathan Segol (Musepapers 2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Jonathan Segol’s essay, “Taking Our Time,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on In Memoriam. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Taking Our Time

by Jonathan Segol

 

“Attention: it is now 11:30.  The park will close at midnight.  You have thirty minutes to leave the park.”

The three of us–Roger, Billy and me—could leave this park in two minutes, in any direction.  It’s a small neighborhood park.  But after those instructions blare from the loudspeaker on the golfcart-sized vehicle with its headlight pointed at us, we agree it might take us longer leave to the park.  Thirty-one minutes at least.

“Ice Lessons” by M.K. Sturdevant (Musepapers 2017)

“Ice Lessons” by M.K. Sturdevant (Musepapers 2017)

The MUSE has spoken! M.K. Sturdevant’s essay, “Ice Lessons,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on In Memoriam. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


“Ice Lessons”

by M.K. Sturdevant

 

I’m running next to the lake, leaping and punching through the fog. It’s spring, freezing cold. Heart pounding, I gasp it, I spit it out once more, to let him know that now is a good time. There’s nobody around. Now, Dad. Come now! There are merely millions of shadows, flickers in high-rise windows to the west. I pause on my path, and not even a gull flaps. I can only hear the lake breaking, shifting ice all around, and I hear the plates rolling slicing and shattering little by little: his steady crackle. He is the line being drawn, from here to Benton Harbor, a noise drawn deep under Sister Bay, a shift in the light over Milwaukee.

I’m walking home later, trying to figure out what he was up to, what he wanted to say. I worry I didn’t get the message.

Dad and I go grocery shopping sometimes. He’s so funny about cereal. He mixes up about four different kinds in his bowl. So I ask him,

“From the Garden” by Michele Flynn (Musepapers 2017)

“From the Garden” by Michele Flynn (Musepapers 2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Michele Flynn’s essay, “From the Garden,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on Parenthood/Childhood. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


From the Garden

by Michele Flynn

 

We live in a small city, and tend a shady backyard the size of two Ford Explorers. Half of the yard is covered in paving stones, and the other half is grass.  We buy sod each year, roll it out and water it. It lasts through mid-September and inexplicably dies. My five year old thinks that grass is an annual that comes in rolls like toilet paper. But he also knows that peas come in pods and potatoes must be dug out of the ground.  At least once a week, I pull our tools and Jake in a red radio flyer wagon to a sunny community garden plot one block from home. We don’t grow prize winning tea roses. We play in the dirt, and bury seeds, wait for them to sprout and ask questions: “Will it grow to the sky like in Jack and the Beanstalk?” “Will it be red?” and most importantly, “How does it taste?”

Jake and I live a parallel life in the garden, one with