Posts made in December, 2011

Letter from a Friend of Fine Lines

The attached letter from a new writer to Fine Lines (Shawnelle Alley, Fremont, NE) arrived just in time for the holidays. I could not have wished for a better present. Her wonderful expression of what a new writer feels like to be published is the reason we have continued to develop Fine Lines and reach out to “young writers of all ages” these past twenty years. Dear David Martin, I understand that I am now published twice by you; once online and once in print! Amazing!! Perhaps I am in shock, I don’t know if I should laugh, or cry, or both. As Special Editors, I hope you know that what you do to help Fine Lines can change people’s lives. Let’s not become “bored members.” Monthly, I receive shorter messages, similar to this one. Not all of them are as well written as Shawnelle’s, but they mention that Fine Lines made a difference in their lives. I hope you look forward to our third decade of helping young writers get started, as wordsmiths, as authors who celebrate our language, as dreamers seeking for beauty and truth, line by line and page by page. I cannot tell you how excited I am, and oddly humbled – and, in truth, I am shocked – yep, that is it; the BIGGY is shock!! I am sitting here at work processing that. I process on an ongoing basis, hence the art and word flow; when I am stunned, sometimes, there is silence. (Some people appreciate that). Thank you, David. I am in the Academic Resource Center at Metropolitan Community College’s Fremont center this afternoon, and it is quiet. There is only one student working on research and not in need of my assistance, so I am off to clean computers in a few rooms and make some copies for the Writing Center.  Of course, I will also be pondering that you have just published me. WOW. Shawnelle Alley Our Special Editors are changing people’s lives through the written word. Fine Lines does make a difference. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Write on, David...

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“The Doors of Then” a poem by Shawnelle Alley

 The Doors of Then Shawnelle Alley [Shawnelle@theAlleys.us] It wasn’t a dream, but it repeated Then Blurred together like finger-paint memories Cement gray floors of confinement, tears fall Where chunks are missing, though time crawls forward Hugging splotchy white cinderblock walls Rays of anticipation peek through rotting windows Their musty lover growing moldy black specs Clinging, like little sisters to their solid love Because dog collar necklaces leave choking bruises Insecure small hands fumble to release secure anxiety If blood promises are truth dripping off tiny finger tips Then open space is the prize of dark secrets kept Where understanding is deeper than dirt, or a basement You can tell me anything, because we shared everything Grimy cold feet tiptoe bare, past creaky boards Climbing the ladder of hope called, “This is but a dream” Maybe locks click free with rusty nails, or birthday wishes Gobbled up early, and so be it if cake snacks heal fear On the other side of deadbolt locks, and streaked cheeks Or whispered promises of more pain if we tell stories So we sing and rock Repeatedly Killing sleepy-time monsters for years to come When nightmares plagued girls with fading steps And demon tethers, strangling breath They punch the lock to tear down the door, setting free what should be Putting hate in solitary confinement, watching it grow moldy Blurring the lines of what could have been with who they’ve become Finger painters, filling in chunks with love on open space Like rays of hope in shadowy...

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