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Woven Tale Publishing Š copyright 2013 ISSN: 2333-2387

The Woven Tale Press

Vol. II #9

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Sandra Tyler Author of Blue Glass, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and After Lydia, both published by Harcourt Brace; awarded BA from Amherst College and MFA in Writing from Columbia University; professor of creative writing on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including at Columbia University, (NY), Wesleyan University (CT), and Manhattanvill College, (NY); served as assistant editor at Ploughshares and The Paris Review literary magazines, and production freelancer for Glamour, Self, and Vogue magazines; freelance editor; Stony Brook University’s national annual fiction contest judge; a 2013 Voices of the Year.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Michael Dickel, Ph.D. A poet, fiction writer, essayist, photographer and digital artist, Dr. Dickel holds degrees in psychology, creative writing, and English literature. He has taught college, university writing and literature courses for nearly 25 years; served as the director of the Student Writing Center at the University of Minnesota and the Macalester Academic Excellence Center at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN). He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36 (2010). His work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art books, and online for over 20 years, including in:THIS Literary Magazine, Eclectic Flash, Cartier Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Sketchbook, Emerging Visions Visionary Art eZine, and Poetry Midwest. His latest book of poems is Midwest / Mid-East: March 2012 Poetry Tour. Kelly Garriott Waite Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Science Monitor, Thunderbird Stories Project, Volume One, Valley Living, The Center for a New American Dream and in the on-line magazine, Tales From a Small Planet. Her fiction has been published in The Rose and Thorn Journal (Memory, Misplaced), in Front Row Lit (The Fullness of the Moon) and in Idea Gems Magazine (No Map and No Directions). Her works in progress have been included in the Third Sunday Blog Carnival: The Contours of a Man’s Heart and Wheezy Hart. She is the author of Downriver and The Loneliness Stories, both available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

ASSISTANT EDITORS: Dyane Forde Author of forthcoming Rise of the Papilion Trilogy: The Purple Morrow (Book 1) Lisa A. Kramer, Ph.D Freelance writer, editor, theatre director, and arts educator. She has published non-fiction articles in theater journals, as well articles aimed at young people for Listen Magazine. Her fiction is included in Theme-Thology: Invasion published by HDWPBooks. com. She is the director of a writers’ workshop From Stage to Page: Using Creative Dramatics to Inspire Writing. LeoNard Thompson Has published opinion editorials, weekly columns and essays, and interviewed performers, practitioners, writers, politicians and personalities. ARTS: Seth Apter Mixed-media artist, instructor, author and designer. His artwork has been widely exhibited, and represented in numerous books, independent zines, and national magazines. He is the voice behind The Pulse, a series of international, collaborative projects, the basis of his two books The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed and The Mixed-Media Artist: Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets and Dreams From Over 40 Amazing Artists, both published by North Light Books. He is the artist behind two workshop DVDs: Easy Mixed Media Surface Techniques and Easy Mixed Media Techniques for the Art Journal. PHOTOGRAPHY: Lynn Wohlers Awarded BFA from School of Visual Arts, NY, NY; writer for Daily Post’s Photography 101 series.

Our staff is an eclectic mix of editors with keen eyes for the striking. So beware–they may be culling your own site for those gems deserving to be unearthed and spotlit in The Woven Tale Press.

Editor’s Note: The Woven Tale Press is a monthly culling of the creative web, exhibiting the artful and innovative. So enjoy here an eclectic mix of the literary, visual arts, photography, humorous, and offbeat. The Woven Tale Press mission is to grow Web traffic to noteworthy writers and artists–contributors are credited with interactive Urls rather than names. readers should click on an Url to learn more about a contributor. If there is a “Featured!” button, it will link you back to a special feature by the same artist or writer on The Woven Tale Press site. To submit go to:


Big Fish (Graphite and Watercolor Pencil on Illlustration Board)

“I adore a bit of unruliness in creative works–it can be presented in myriad different ways, but there’s something awesome about the energy contained in an unruly line, whether in poetry, music, visual abstraction, realism, or anything else. The thing that keeps it all together is craftsmanship, regardless of medium, genre, or subject matter.” –Ladianne Hendereson Mandel


Right and Below: Graphite, Watercolor, and Pencil on Paper

Dress Up


Our Fears A (Oil on Ca 3

Arrived Silently anvas Sheet)


Abstracting The Rain Horse

“Ted Hughes, author of The Rain Horse, dropped astonish wretchedly torn, into the fabric of his vivid short story. Th phenomenally detailed sketches of situational vignettes, I most basic, visceral, graphic forms. Here are a couple of t


hingly many visual cues into slots tidily cut, and occasionally he Rain Horse is rich with material, and while Hughes offers I found I was driven to abstract them–to distill them–into their the works from this project.” –Ladianne Hendereson Mandel


Writing and Immortality

Drop a pebble into still water and the energy of displacement radiates out in concentric waves of increasing circumference and proportionately decreasing intensity. That sounds so scientific, doesn’t it? That image occurred to me while lying in bed with my dog pressed against my chest. We live alone now, just “Bubba” and me, and although we have friends, relatives, business and social acquaintances, I began to wonder who might miss us when the inevitable time comes. The ripples my life has generated in the continuum of space and time, as explicated by the waves in the gentle pool, are spreading wider and wider, and are decreasing in their crest and trough. At some point their significance will likely diminish to the point of imperceptibility. Will anyone remember? As a writer, I go through those same ebbs and flows of confidence that all writers suffer. (Did I just use another water metaphor?) I have stared at blinking cursors without knowing where to go; I have penned loquacious pages of mediocrity; and written more than few things that earned kudos, appreciation and publication, but I have yet to finish any work of significance. I do not write to boast that I am a writer, or to gain fame and celebrity. I politely refuse the incessant invitations of circles and groups; I decline “author” interviews and requests for guest posts on other writers’ blogs. I write because I believe I have something to say. An audience is the end game for everyone who writes. Without an audience, a writer ceases to exist. But I don’t want to capture an audience for the sake of having them listen; I want the audience to come willingly and engage in the dialogue of my prose with the culture of society. I am a literary writer of practiced discipline. I doubt that the complexity of my style will ever result in a huge splash of popularity. (Sorry, I had to throw that water balloon in.) But I do aspire to the dream that long after my ripples have faded, a student will pick up a piece of my work and analyze its craftsmanship of the words on the paper and the words beneath. I have loved and lost, and I’ve been lost in love. I have built and run successful businesses and failed at one or two. I’ve been rich a couple of times and broke a couple of more. I’ve taught young malleable minds and learned from them, too. I have even pulled a drowning child from a pool as her inattentive parents busied themselves with a rung on an inconsequential corporate ladder. With the passing of time, none of these things will be remembered for they are insignificant to society at large.

It is reported that Herman Melville’s Moby Dick did not achieve acclaim until nearly 50 7

years after his death. Many writers I know would consider that a failure; I would view that as an ultimate success. His masterful discourse on the hypocrisy of adopting Christendom not out of faith, but to achieve social stature, trumpeting the attributes while ignoring the tenets for personal gain, juxtaposed against the genuine reverence and adherence to belief of the pagan Queequeg is as an important a lesson today as it was in 1851. Unfortunately, society has de-evolved to the point where reading (including the video “reads” of television and cinema) has become mere escapism instead of a tool of acculturation. I fear that the vast majority of students studying the classics today probably view Moby Dick as a tedious story of whaling and miss the significance of its lessons. (Yes, I know that Moby Dick is a water allusion, must be the theme of the day.) I doubt I will ever write that kind of masterpiece, as long as I write something significant enough to stand the test of time. In the 1979 Soviet movie, Stalker, Anatoliy Solonitsyn plays a writer who, when the characters arrive at the mythical room that grants wishes, posits that, “Books are a writer’s immortality.” I don’t plan to live forever, but I would like to achieve a little immortality before my ripples fade and disappear.

“I believe that great ideas are born from mistakes and I plan on making many on this exploratory journey.”

– Kathryn Dyche Dechairo



Pencil and Graphite Drawings


Touches of Digital Coloring




Charles Santoso (Chao) is a concept artist and illustrator who has been involved in various animated feature film and TV commercial projects. He loves drawing very little things in a very little journal and dreams about funny, wondrous stories.






Making Characters Bleed, Bad Grammar, and Letting Sleeping Fish Sleep

It is often my goal to wake up at 5am, but I usually get up at around 5:45 instead. I don’t use an alarm clock, but I expect that in the winter I will. There will be fewer birds outside.

This morning my toddler woke me up. “I want my blue blanket back on! I want my blue blanket back on!” It was 4:40. I stumbled into his room, put his blanket back on him, and shut his window–there was rain coming in. Lying in bed once more, I listened to the sound of rain on the roof. It wasn’t a sharp sound, but it wasn’t dull either. It wasn’t urgent or insistent, as rain sometimes seems. It was an easy, confident rain, falling as though it knew the gift it brought: freshness infusing the air, respite from the sticky, humid night. When I got downstairs, my fish was sleeping. I guess I got up too early. I’ve only had this fish for a few weeks. He’s a blue betta. The first time I saw my fish sleeping I thought he was dead–but then I remembered that if he were dead he would probably be floating along the surface, rather than remaining stilly submerged. The previous sentence leads me to a comment about grammar, because I had to look up whether to use “was dead” or “were dead” in the latter half of the sentence. A quick search made me change “was dead” to “were dead.” And a quick search is all I’m up for at the moment. So. Here’s the comment about grammar. Grammar is annoying. Supremely important, but annoying. I, like most people, make grammatical errors. Unlike many people, it bothers me that I do. I feel bad for waking my fish. It was dark in the room before I turned the light on, and he 13

must, like the rest of us, need his sleep. But I don’t have anywhere else to put him. Well, that’s not really true. If I remove him from this room, however, I’ll probably forget to feed him. The eventual results of my forgetfulness would displease my son. Do you find it hard to hurt your characters? Personally, I don’t like to feel pain very much. And I don’t really like to inflict it on others. (Of course, there are times....) One of my characters gets hurt quite badly, and I don’t really know how to write about it. I prefer to stay away from describing it in purely physical terms, probably because I just don’t know how it feels to be hurt like that, and I don’t want to find out. No matter how badly my character suffers, I hope I can avoid giving him a “sharp pain.” I will try to do better than giving him a residual “dull ache.” There might be red streaks, or red patches, and crushed leaves covering the ground. There might be a cool, solid surface whose comparable permanence meets, for the first time, the fragility of a human forehead. The soft skin; the shocking, easy difference between closed and open; the seconds in which eyes widen and things start to come out. There’s the word “soft” again. I don’t think I’ll ever escape it. The word “sharp,” on the other hand, just barely held me. I remained in its weakening grasp, felt its fingers becoming slick with sweat. It lasted about twelve minutes. I won. Or I lost. I put down my pen.


Composition 20 (Cotton Thread Embroidery on Hand Dyed Cotton Mounted on Stretcher Bars)


s g n i t n i

a p r Fibe

Composition 33 (Fiber and Paint Mounted on Stretcher Bars) 16

Untitled #2 (Abstract Embroidery on Cotton With Acrylic Paint)


Untitled #3 (Abstract Embroidery on Cotton With Acrylic Paint)




in Alannah is lum


figurati t o n , y ll a r te li I mean

l in disr u c t h ig m p li and your e is r t h ig m s row ave you? Oh, your eyeb h r, e h t e m t o ’ve n belief, but you hen it w s r e iv h s e h e moon–s th t a p u s e r n it waxes ta e s h e w h f s e li t, e h r ig h n it Every smiles w e h s r, e v li s e r e wanes to a m romise. p h it w t fa is and ery that in h c a m e th g ere, workin th p u y every month s d u b te n is a r n g a r m fo r He at we take h w her know o d ts n le o o s s m e n e k r th a s make e time of d th r e ft a e c n e – its re-emerg ce more. n o fe a s is e h that



The sisters sto od, arms slun g around one less in the so another ’s wais porific heat of ts, motionthe summer d usk. They had don e it. They had reached the e start, none of nd of a day w them had sec hich at its retly thought without falling they would ac by the waysid hieve–not e, not without and despair. splintering wit h exhaustion In the middle of the triumvir ate stood the tered by the im eldest, uniting plosion that h them all. Bata d threatened es, she felt old to shred them , so very old, all to piecas the sun dro sky. She knew wned itself in that grey hair the evening s had silvered few weeks, th her dark mop at new lines h in the past ad etched he r once-smooth forehead. Badges of ho nor, she thou ght. Despite every thing, despite the tearing at their goodbye their flesh as s, she felt a ti they had said ny glint of hap She had rega piness deep in ined her siste her chest. r after all thes bond with a s e years. She tep-sister she had found a had hardly kn own, not until recent weeks She imagined . a band of brig ht steel, spark gloom, linking ling in the now the three of th violet em together. made them w Their separate ho they are. T pasts had heir united fu they had each tures would h loved in their onor the man own, unique w ays. She raised he r eyes to the stars above, g sisters a little rasping the life closer. line of her





“After ten years of quilt-making, I needed a new direction. I learned to dye, print and batik, creating my own fabrics which led to a new way of working: without patterns, rulers or rotary cutters–free, expressive and experimental.” – Sabi Westoby

ls w o B


Andy Catling is a professional illustrator of more than 30 illustrated titles. He works in both traditional and digital mediums.

Button (Digital)


Pirates (Digital)

Above and Below: Illustrations for The lost Treasure of The Sunken City, a pop-up book published by Little Tiger Press, with text and paper engineering by Martin Taylor. (Both: Watercolor and Ink)


Stealer of Time

a grotesque predator stealer of time turned uglier with sound holds you captive with bolts of searing pain a survey of your armory reveals no effective defense against blazing hot talons that claw and drag pierce and stab their torturous ascent “it’s all in her head” shatters the silence


lying twisted and contorted coiled in the shadows the irony splits you open

All imag

Cry Me a Raven cry me a raven of ink and feathers scribing innards black as sorrow smearing messages in whispers of fallen souls carrion upon your breath memories rendered in cras


an oil slick stains the sky black the color of night a dark void with no form shape-shifting sands of time past, present and future the birthing of destiny tarred in echoes of truth beyond the illusions of energy, of life duality of right reality of wrong there’s murder in the air

ges by the author


Autumnal Roses


tua c a n ot a n s ’ t t qu No, i r a n sa ’ t I . s ss. e dres r d rm of o f e in th




“Living in an old Poland city of the textile industry, I create subtle pieces of art in every form possible; from small ornaments to great wall hangings, everything I create starts from a scrap of textile. It is a contemporary way to involve art in our everyday life, to let it into our houses, on to the tables.” –Bozena Wojtaszek


A Companion Textile Bracelet



Here is the back, the end of summer :


Skid Roads Greased the Way for the California Lumber Boom

One of the aspects of the 19th century Redwood Coast lumber boom that most captured my imagination and compelled me to create stories to bring that time back to life was the Herculean efforts required to move thousands of enormous redwoods from forest to mill to market. Being from Berkeley, I can hear the howls of protests: “Why are you trying to glorify the way these people ravaged virgin forests?” The short answer is that I’m not. Having traveled extensively through Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, I’ve always lamented the spoiled remains of clear cutting operations and the distressing human casualties left in their wake, in lumber towns like Scotia, Orick, and Fort Bragg. It is the human equation—the effort people were willing to expend, the hardships they were willing to endure—that makes “The Relentless Harvest” more of a story about courage, ingenuity, and persistence than one about the grandeur of lumber barons amassing huge fortunes. It echoes the recurring American story of ambition, struggle, and triumph. If it includes people of wealth and influence ruthlessly exploiting the intrepid souls blazing trails and making sacrifices, that is also part of our American story. Many of the first loggers to arrive on the coast in the early 1850s had been involved in timber businesses back east. But they had never encountered anything the size of our Sequoia sempervirens before. Their crosscut saws were too small to span the redwood’s enormous girth, their method of felling it inadequate, and, once they wrestled the giant to the ground, they were hard pressed how to transport it. The first operations were in close proximity to the few mills that had been built, so transportation wasn’t such an issue. The loggers relied on techniques they’d learned back east: building a series of chutes and skid roads between the cutting area and the mill. A chute was like a vertical road. The loggers cleared a path down a hillside twelve to fifteen feet wide so they could slide logs down an embankment. A skid road was often constructed on more level terrain. As with chutes, a crew would clear a roadbed, twelve to twenty feet wide (a process known as swamping). Then they would place logs eight to twelve inches in diameter and as long as the skid road was wide across the roadway, at ten foot intervals. The last step was to fill in the spaces between the logs with branches, 30

brush and dirt. The finished skid road might be as much as two feet higher than the original road bed, depending on the terrain and construction methods. Creating a network of skid roads and chutes in the mountainous terrain of the Redwood Coast was a tremendous undertaking, an impressive feat of engineering. And expensive: $5000 per finished mile at a time when loggers were earning less than $35 per month. Before the logs could be moved over the skid roads and chutes, the thick redwood bark had to be removed. Barking was a dangerous job done by men known as barkers or peelers. The bark itself a valuable product and was hauled back to the mill with the timber. When the barking was done, buckers would come in to cut the fallen trees into manageable pieces, often twelve to twenty feet in length. In order to do this, new crosscut saws had to be developed that were long enough to cut through larger diameter trees. Once the trees had been cut into sections, they would be moved down to the skid road by a yarding crew using ropes, horses and ingenious devices called jack screws (or sometimes screw jacks). When the segments were lined up on the road, they were tethered together with chains and pulled by a team of horses or oxen. A load might consist of as many as eight to ten log segments. 31

The skid road was lubricated with either water or grease by a man known as

a water slinger or grease monkey. The other key person in moving a load was the bull punch, who controlled the ox team, mainly through vocal commands but occasionally with the use of a goad, a long stick with a nail on the end. The load would either be hauled directly to the mill or to a stream where they would later be floated to the mill. Hauling a load along a skid road could be a treacherous undertaking. The water slinger had to know when to speed up the load by lubricating the skids and when to slow it down by covering the skids with dirt. If a load moved too slowly, it could come to a sudden stop, which not only might injure the oxen, but also make it harder to start moving again. If a load moved too quickly, it might overtake the bull punch and team. There are numerous stories of men and animals being severely injured or killed by a runaway load. New technology appeared over time to ease the task of moving timber to the mill. Steam donkeys eventually made yarding the logs much easier. The steam engine also helped usher in a new age of logging railroads that could get larger loads to the mill more quickly. While loggers required fewer skid roads in the age of steam, it would be decades before they would abandon them altogether. There are still numerous places in Mendocino County where you can see the remnants of skid roads. The photo of the logging dam above was taken along the Big River Haul Road, just outside the town of Mendocino. And the Fern Canyon Trail in Van Damme State Park along Little River follows an old skid road.

Puce trapped in a maze of patterned carpets and dog-eared publications feeling the strain of life’s pendulous ticking presence I climb walls the color of puce green like pond scum churned by rain 32

t s Lo

d n a

Priscilla Jones has been creating contemporary stitched mixed-media pieces in 2D and 3D since completing her degree in Embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University in 1997. Priscilla draws her inspiration from a variety of sources exploring the concept of identity, memory and 33


d n ou


nostalgia. These themes underpin a range of areas within her work, including freelance designs for greeting cards, fashion/interior fabrics and wallpaper exporting to Japan, Europe and the U.S.A. Priscilla is continuously exhibiting her work in exhibitions both nationally and internationally. 34




The Woven Tale Press Vol. II #9  

This Month: Sleeping Fish, Thread Bowls, Fiber Paintings and More

The Woven Tale Press Vol. II #9  

This Month: Sleeping Fish, Thread Bowls, Fiber Paintings and More