Reviews of the Ephemeral

The Write Place at the Write Time

In online magazine on July 31, 2010 at 10:04 am

– Reviewed by Liam Jones

The Write Place at the Write Time is a quarterly online literature zine, edited by Nicole M. Bouchard. It hopes to immerse the reader in thought-provoking writing from previously unpublished writers to more established writers.

At first glance this online zine seems so simple: the layout of the website is not too flashy. However, it is multi-faceted, easy on the eye and it is easy to navigate through its sections of commentary, interviews, fiction and poetry. The simplicity suggests humility and you can only wonder what it has in store for you.

The message on the home page grabs you and lulls you into comfort:

‘Imagine that you are seated comfortably in a chic café with the décor of your choice. In the time it takes you to consume the generous warm mug of coffee or tea cradled between your hands, you can step into another world, abandon your senses and delve into another space and time.’

Each page has its own featured artwork that adds to this atmosphere and compliments the work on show. From abstract painting such as Jim Fuess’ Wave and Sand to oil paintings of landscapes such as The Farm by Hermes Hernandez.

The poetry presented is extremely poignant and aims to grab the reader’s heart strings and pull them. Denise Bouchard’s In the Land of Dementia gives an account of a daughter whose mother has Dementia. It is an emotional portrait of the problems that face not only the person with Dementia but also their family:

‘As I leave, the critical judgments rain down on me from
The new guard
Untruths only they could conceive

I’d rescue every single one of the inhabitants if I could,
But the scary thing is once you are assigned to Dementia,
You can never leave’

The fiction section features more than a fair few of great stories, all meaningful, accessible and lacking pretention. The work ranges from Jeff Tompkins’ roadtrip in ‘Chutes and Ladders’ to the sharp ‘Killing the Writer’s Block’ by Mayra Calvani.

Other than the fiction and poetry sections, the website offers other sections such as ‘Our Stories’: non-fiction, accounts of serendipitous happenings, or just musings on every-day life. For instance, there is SuzAnne C. Cole’s description of her writing life as an addiction she can’t help:

‘So here goes:  I have a tendency to use people; I’m friendly and a good listener until I’ve soaked up all their quirks and motivations and heard their stories, and then, I discard them like used tissues.’

The website has a section called the Writers’ Craft Box where it helps with resources and inspiration. It gives recommended reading lists for things such as ‘On Description’ and ‘On Beginnings’, all hoping to help writers in their practice and guide them down new avenues.

They also offer a contest that gives you a choice of three options and you must write to a certain word limit about this. For example:

Contest 1-  There are three objects a century old in a drawer of the antique writing desk you purchased:  a key, a broken locket, and rusty-edged letter opener.  In 500 words or less, create a scene that played out in the room which first held the desk a century ago and explain the items’ relationship to one another.

This online zine is a little gem. It has everything that a zine should offer from great poetry and fiction to help and advice for writers either struggling with writers block or just looking for new research tools and methods.

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