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Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Strokes Bodin Publishing Inc


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Content Letter from the Editor…………………………………………………………………………………….pg 3 Seasoned Poetry……………………………….………………………………………………..………………pg 4 Heart Beat by Rachel Harris Mother and Child by Jess Atkinson A Story in Rhyme by Jess Atkinson Carter's Walk- Andrew Bleke Covered Leaves- Amanda Nelson Short Stories ……………………………………………………………………………………………………pg 11 I Didn’t Go There by Suzanne Lahan Crossed Wires- Elise Boyce Innovative Masterpieces………………………………………………..…………………….………..pg 19 Tears by Rebecca Bodin Pieces of Fall by Mark Moore Accommodating Intimations ………………………………………………………………...………pg 20 Bodin Publishing Inc. Update…………………………………………….…………………………pg 20


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Letter from the Editor Hello Readers! As fall slowly changes the color of the leaves and the temperature outside, many of us are inspired to write about these alterations to our scenery. Here at Bodin Publishing we are finding that with each season change the company is growing, bringing you more opportunities. The reasoning behind the cover having question marks is simple‌ we are looking for the Artist, Writer, or Musician who wants to have either a photo of their work or a photo of themselves on the cover next month. This person will be the Artist, Writer, or Musician whose work sales the most. These sales can be encouraged by the Artist, Writer, or Musician through various networking sites and word of mouth. Adding the link to your site for your work can help encourage this as well. This work can be an eBook, mp3, image, or painting. This magazine symbolizes the beginning of a long running magazine to promote and encourage art in all forms. We are excited about the amount of emails we have received for this issue to be created, and the writers and artists who have participate. Thank you to everyone involved. Have A Fantastic Fall Ya’ll! -Victoria Alvarenga


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Seasoned Poetry


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Heart Beat Through my veil of skin, Upon my imprisoned chest, Lies a blossom of red, Fragrant as the rhythm presses out, Pantomiming a song once remembered, In a place long forgotten, Though it was the midst of December, I felt quite warm, Covered in your walls of flesh, And though this flower beats, With such amazing speed, I could feel beneath your veil, My love mimics very well. -Rachel Harris


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Mother and Child Little eyes peer up at me Little hearts search for me Little hands reach up to find me Little cries call out all around me My arms reach out, picking them up from their bed My hands feel their touch My lips meet their forehead My heart fills up with love, how could I ever love something so much? A mother’s kiss will ease all fears A mother’s kiss will erase the pain A mother’s kiss will chase away the rain A mother’s kiss will lull a little one off to sleep Whispers of song fill their ears Whispers of the night bring promises of sweet dreams Whispers of love remove all tears Whispers from a mother to her child make everything seem to drift away. -Jess Atkinson


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 A Story in Rhyme Darkness falls all around I hear a sound in the distance I feel there is no resistance He comes for me in the dark of the night When there isn’t anyone in sight I crave for some sort of light No one else is around I fall helpless to the ground Pulling my legs up against me, I try to muffle out the sound His breath is hot and ragged His scent fills the room, pungent and jagged He makes his way to me; I know it will be soon I close my eyes and I drift away My body may be here but my soul will not stay My hand reaches behind me and finds something there My fingers wrap around it; grasping on for dear life Who would have ever thought this man called me his wife? Reactions are quick; I feel the object prick his flesh My eyes open slowly, for fear of something unholy My hands retract at the horrible act My Body shutters at the fact I close my eyes once again and for a moment it seems This is all but a dream…… Is it fact or is it fiction? This man was once my addiction My thoughts race as my heart regains its normal pace. A tear streams down my pale face


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Leaving me to wonder As the storm gives way to thunder Is this real or a memory? Hours pass in the night Suddenly there is a light I push my way into a conscious state, not knowing what fate awaits me. Eyes flutter open I hear feet scatter about the floor I pull myself out of bed; sleep still swimming in my head My hand reaches for the door I hear the sound even more What is this I implore? My heart races I see their smiling faces All that happened, were but mere traces Traces of a life, long since gone A memory to haunt me when I am alone Though through that memory I found my home Laughter quickly fills the air Lifting all of my despair Little fingers run through my hair Smiles are directed at me Kisses brighten up the light around me And a joy has finally found me The past melts into the distance I still have no resistance, though this time.. The choice is mine. -Jess Atkinson


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 Carter’s Walk A stick fell. Carter was on a walk. His surroundings were no less intimidating than always. Trees held no threat, and the blue sky channeled sun beams to brighten his mood. None could get to Carter before he locked himself off. Off and away from their questions. This walk was for him. This walk was his decision. This walk would end, but it had only just begun. A car would drive by, or a bird maybe. No one stopped and took Carter home. He had made good pace by now. The sky was still blue, and a scent of spring thrust Winter's end to his current thought. Carter wondered if it would be alright for winter to go. He knew that spring always consistently brings new life. This walk was for Carter. Anyone attempting to force Carter home before his walk was over would not succeed. Anyone was allowed to join his personal walk, but he knew it would be alone. Birds made sounds. Even a tree dropped a leaf. He would be back home; after his walk had ended. Carter thought of where he would go. Thought he could plan a route, or put together a path, and then follow it. His walk had reached conclusion, and he knew what he will do. Though it had not ended, and Carter was getting tired. All that concerned Carter was the walk he put together for his sanity, his health, his day, his contentment, and his road. When he got lost he re-assured himself he would get home, Running would not make his current distance, any less on his mind. Carter decided to walk. He started on a steady pace, and the trees shook. A final winter breeze to bring spring along before summer. Anyone who could see Carter, while driving by or passing, knew his activity was pleasant. After he reached the top of the hill, Carter coasted. His walk would end once he got home.


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 He walked alone. While surrounded by trees, plants, stop signs, Carter kept walking. He usually followed his decided direction, and he always made it back. There was some water puddling on the road, forming a puddle right outside the drain pipe. It must have rained recently. Carter turned into the driveway. Walking was easier once a walk is over. A walk complete; he felt a little better. Carter got his key, and unlocked the door, just as always. The walk was over, and he was back home.

-Andrew Bleke

Covered Leaves Covered in leaves, I can't breathe. Surrounded by the past, how long will this last. Fighting my inner demons, looking for something to believe in. Fighting and praying for that day. The day you return to me. -Amanda Nelson


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Short Stories


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 I Didn’t Go There by Suzanne Lahan “You were supposed to just banish him, Eve.” Azazel and I were back at my offcampus apartment, covered in gore from head to toe. His dark hair was a mess with it, stuck up at odd angles in sharp contrast from its usual flawless styling. My own black hair was

fortunately, no real harm done. But what about next time? I went to the bathroom sink to wash my hands, determined to get the goop off before I touched anything, when I realized Azazel might want to wash up too. And seeing as it was my fault, I kind of owed him. “Did you want first shower?” I asked,

slicked back from my own stupidity when I ran a

turning around to see what he was up to now,

blood-riddled hand through it earlier, now a

and what I saw stopped my breath. Azazel’s

crusted, disgusting, mess. We looked like a

usual tailored-wool coat and turtleneck were

murder scene, which, I suppose we were, but

on the floor in a heap, and he stood there,

was it really murder if it was already dead? The

inspecting himself, naked from the waist up.

blood was already congealed when it exploded all over us, thick brown-black goop that smelled like death and rot and the fact that I had yet to vomit amazed me. “I didn’t mean it!” and I hadn’t. But my

“Azazel?” Again, he didn’t answer me. Shit. I was going to have to go over to him. Deep breaths, deep, calming breaths. The closer I got, the harder it became. Was it even possible to look like this? His waist was slimmer

powers were increasing and volatile since

than my own; shoulder’s broad enough that I

Azazel had me Marked, which was illegal, and

now understood how he could easily throw

the mostly-dead, demon, thing, had royally

someone through a wall, rather than into one.

pissed me off. Before I could barely banish

And the dim lighting of my apartment lamps

Azazel out my bedroom door. Now it was

just gave the lines a greater shadow, the ever-

questionable whether I would exorcise a

encroaching darkness. His eyes were dark

demon, or, as we had just discovered, blow

when I looked at him, and I knew he wasn’t

them to tiny bits.

kidding, he was furious.

In my defense, it wasn’t actually a

“Do you have any idea how hard it is

demon. It was a wandering corpse bent on

to get a coat tailored to this form in Hell?” he

devouring human flesh in search of a soul. So,

glowered, and I flinched, almost bowing to him. The only mark on him that I could see was the


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 one over his heart, a symbol not-unlike my

I didn’t go there, couldn’t go there, and

tattoos, but this looked more organic, more

wouldn’t go there. I took a step back, and he

natural. Deep breaths, always deep breaths, I

let me.

looked over his back to make sure he wasn’t wounded. No sense in putting on clean clothes if he was only going to bleed all over them. Somehow, he was unharmed. I was never more

“And yet you haven’t. Go. Shower. I can wait. I’ll take forever anyhow.” He looked like he wanted to say

grateful, I did not want to pull shrapnel out of

something more, as if he were biting back the

him, didn’t want to touch him, was terrified of

words. But he didn’t go there either. He just

doing so for a whole multitude of reasons.

nodded, and went to wash up. And when he

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, like a child being lectured. I hated it, but I didn’t want him snapping me in two either. One of my hands reached out on its own accord, wondering if wings could come out of the hulking mass of his shoulder blades, but he turned around before it could make contact, furious, gripping my wrist tight enough to bruise. But something about the look of sheer terror on my face made him soften, ease up just a touch. The anger was gone from his eyes, and his expression visibly relaxed, though it was still pensive. “You have no need to be frightened of me,” he assured me, voice low and just above a whisper. “I beg to differ. You could tear me apart; incinerate my soul with a look. You have power like I’ll never know. And yet,” “And yet?”

closed the bathroom door, it felt like all of the heat had gone with him.


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 Crossed Wires by Elise Boyce Loretta listened to his voice, thinking

“I mean about the fifteen times. I never called you fifteen times.”

how odd it was that they were even talking at

“When you were obsessing over me.”

all after so much time, but he hadn’t called her, she had called him. “You’re drunk, aren’t you?”

“What!!” The car swerved. She decided to pull over onto the side of the road. This was going to take some concentration.

“No, of course not,” she said and popped a mint into her mouth.

“Didn’t you go into the bar looking for me?”

“You just put a mint in your mouth, didn’t you?” “No, I did not.”

“That was by accident. How was I to know that the bartender was your new roommate? When he said California, I asked is all.”

“Are you on the car phone?”

“So...why are you calling?”

“Yes,” she said and blinked her eyes to stay awake. Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea, but the damn cell phone was like

“I thought I’d get the recording not you.”

money burning a hole in someone’s pocket, it had to be used no matter how bad, or cheap, the result. “You always call me, when you are drunk.” “I haven’t called you at all, what are you talking about?” “The fifteen times you’ve called me and hung up - caller ID. Are you doing any writing?” He asked. “What makes you say that?” “Because you’re a writer even though you are the only one who doesn’t believe it.”

“You were wrong about the girl, you know.” “Roberta wasn’t,” Loretta said. “Roberta?” ‘Roberta.” “Roberta? You met Roberta?” “I didn’t tell you?” It was true, she’d kept that part a secret. So Roberta wouldn’t get into trouble, be exposed. So Roberta wouldn’t have to suffer. Roberta had told her that he had betrayed her - in exchange - Loretta swore never to tell. Shit Roberta, she thought.


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 “That woman is crazy. You should

Had a weight been lifted? Had calling

never believe anything that woman ever tells

him helped? She tried to take a personal

you. I can’t believe you met Roberta.”

inventory, but kept getting stuck on the sound

“Small world. You’d only been gone a couple of months when I met her.” “Screw that woman. I don’t know why my sister married her son.” “Why didn’t you call me and tell me I was wrong?” Loretta changed the phone to the other ear. Her skin felt clammy from all the alcohol. “That’s when you were obsessing.” “Perfect. How concise. But your memory package seems to have left some things out, “she said and reached behind the passenger seat to find a bottle of water that might still be there. “You’re not going to call me anymore, are you, Loretta?” “Things like, Loretta, you’ve ruined me for other women.” “Loretta, we’re talking about calling me in the middle of the night.” “No. No, I’m not going to call you again. Don’t worry. I actually believe this myself,” she said and took a swig of water, swilled it around her mouth before gulping it down. “I’ll believe it later when you haven’t called me anymore.” “Okay, I’m done,” she said.

of his voice. “So, wait a minute. Have you done any writing?” Loretta realized she was sick of hearing the sound of her own voice. “Loretta? Loretta, answer me!” “Yes?” “Well, have you?” “Have I what?” Loretta laughed. “I’m going to hang up; you are so ignorant when you’ve been drinking.” “So, hang up,” Loretta shifted into neutral. She realized that she’d been holding down the clutch the whole time they’d been talking and that was why her left leg had started to feel weak. “Are you divorced yet?” “No.” Loretta lied. She wasn’t out and outlying; it was just that she couldn’t really believe that she and Blake were actually in the process of getting divorced. She just never thought it could happen. “Really?” “Yes, really, why do you ask me that?” “Where are you living?” “Cockeysville.”


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 “Where?” “Cocks - de ville and I’m quoting. I wasn’t wrong about that woman.” “Where is Cockeysville, and then I’m going to hang up. I know you are about to cry,

She’d had a pretty good time tonight. The first time a blind date had been fun. The guy had even made her laugh. “Put the phone down, Loretta and opened door, for Christ’s sake.”

aren’t you Loretta. Loretta?” “You infiltrated my life. Why did you do that?”

The window of the car was fogged up and when she put a mittened hand up to wipe away the dew, she saw him, Jack, jumping up and down with his arms hugging his waist.

Silence was better than crying. She didn’t want to hear her voice anymore. She realized it was the arrogance that she was hearing, now, in his. It had always been there;

“Hurry up Loretta. You’ll have to come in. But, only for a minute. Okay? You got that Loretta?”

her friends had pointed it out numerous times

So, there he was, Jack, looking just

as the reason not to be with him. But, she had

the same. She’d thought she’d forgotten how

never heard it. She remembered she had

he looked, but now she knew she never would.

walked with a light solid step. As solid as

“Loretta! Now!”

newly formed ice over a river of rapids, she joked to herself now. Maybe it’s just the alcohol, she thought...he’s right, I do drink too much.

He struggled to open the door, but she had locked it, and it was her intention to leave it that way because it suddenly occurred

“Loretta? Where are you anyway? Loretta, answer me, right now! Wait a minute; is that your car outside my window?” “Maybe.” “How did you find me?” “I don’t know. You’re easy to find.” “I’m coming down.” Loretta kept the phone to her ear and waited. There was so much more she wanted to say. That she must’ve come here by accident; it wasn’t what she’d set out to do.

to her that tonight would be a good time to kill herself. “That’s okay. I’m okay,” Loretta said through the window, and her breath started to fog it up again. “Whatever. Look Loretta, I don’t mind if you come in. I’m not doing anything. I’ll give you some coffee, it’ll be all right.” She would prefer to die as he watched through the window, hugging his sides at the inconvenience. As she was dying, he would attempt to break into the car and jump up and down even more than he was doing already and


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 some neighbors and passersby might gather.

back inside. You do what you want to do. I’m

She would just keep fading and then fall into a

tired of this. Don’t call me anymore, you got

coma as she might fall asleep on the porch

that?”

swing in the middle of August when the stillness of the air would wrestle anyone’s energy to the ground.

Jack started to walk away. Loretta straightened up and rolled down the car window.

“Loretta, are you passing out?”

“Jack.”

She thought he might be yelling, but

He turned around.

she couldn’t be sure. And then he would bang on the window like he was banging right now, and he would finally get to her, just in time, but she would be almost gone. He would have to get so close. As close as he’d been the last time they’d been together. They had met in a parking lot, by accident, not too long after the end. He hadn’t stopped trying to undo the buttons on her sweater; never mind slipping his hand up under to cup them around her breasts. “They still look good,” he’d said peering down through the top of the sweater. “I’m not doing this, I’m just not doing this, “ she had repeated, repulsed by his words, but giving in to each touch. “Tell it to your girlfriend,” she had added, “you know the one who’s in bed with you these days.” Loretta looked back at him, now. His face was still handsome. The man she’d been with tonight had looked ordinary. “Loretta! Why are you doing this? Okay, Loretta, I’m done, this is it. I’m going

“Why is ordinary boring?” Loretta said. He squatted so his face was level with hers. “Who’s ordinary?” “Do you remember when you were talking me into it? When we were just like this, I was about to drive away and you said, ‘look, if I take all the women I’ve known and line them up, I would still want to be with you.” “Yeah, I remember, “Jack said and lowered his head. “Why did you say that?” Loretta felt her eyes begin to sting. “I don’t know, just because, I guess.” Jack said and stood up. “Look, are you coming in, or not?” Loretta looked up at him and saw something, but it wasn’t coming from him, it came from somewhere inside herself. He looked more like a stranger than he had before. She watched him push his hair back off his face, probably in exasperation, she thought, and she looked into his eyes to find


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1 something familiar, but the soft brown eyes

die if she couldn’t see him again. An odd

were opaque and, if anything was happening

feeling of safety began to emerge, and she was

behind them, they weren’t giving it away to her.

surprised by the novelty of it. Maybe right

She didn’t feel the rush, either, that used to

now would not be a good time to kill myself, she

light her up and make her think that she would

thought, and felt a headache coming on.


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Innovative Masterpieces


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Tears by Rebecca Bodin This work is sold as prints at $20.


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Pieces of Fall By Mark Moore This work is available as Print or Original 16 x 20 , Canvas print, matt paper print $99.99 or $199.99


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Cat Bird by Richard Cannington 7.5 X 9.5 image Also available in print or larger size $20.


Strokes:: Volume 1, Issue 1

Accommodating Intimations It is unfortunate that when writing professionally, we as writers must pay for reviews, search out those who want to read our work, and have to find ways to meet with publishing houses. Here at Bodin Publishing we run things a bit differently than other Publishers. We let the writers have the power to decide what they want to write, how they want to write, and in what form. We have books that span across several different genres. One new form of writing, which is something to look into, is actual “plotless” works. Why are these becoming popular? Could it be that reality television has started taking effect in the literary world? As this seems an unlikely coincidence it is quite possible due to writers getting ideas for works from the environment around them. These “plotless” works need further research, but a random work that has no point, but whose characters, environment, and language could all make sense. One new technique in art is glazing oil paint over works. This may sound strange but painting over a drawing could preserve the work and give more life to it. This oil paint gives a distinct layer and contrasting texture to the image.

Update Bodin Publishing is growing vastly, and we see this as a season of opportunity. Every week we have new artists, writers, and musicians sign up and begin making money doing what they love. If you or someone you know loves to write or create please tell them about Bodin Publishing Inc. We are always looking for new talent. Strokes will continue, the next issue’s deadline will be November 9th, 2012. The person with the most sales of their works will get to premier on the cover with their artwork, eBook, or photo. To apply for next month’s issue please email info@bodinpubinc.com and request information about Strokes. Please include a sample of your work in that email. If you have any ideas about new techniques in Art or Writing please email us and let us hear about it. More artwork and many new eBooks are available now at shop.bodinpubinc.com

Strokes Magazine  

Literary and Art Magazine