Julie Dunaway has a most poignant entry into our contest.

From the Towers that are A Word with You Press in snow-covered Moscow, greetings!

First, let me thank all of you who have wished me a seedy recovery.  I am on the mend…And secondly, as a result of being unable to sit at the captain’s bridge for about ten days, a reminder that our deadline for A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn: A Valentine’s Day Love Story has been extended to February 28th.  Great Prizes for first, second, and third place, and a chance to stir up a little romance with the object of your desires, or if not an object, a subject!

Here are the rules: http://www.awordwithyoupress.com/2014/01/15/roses-and-chocolates-and-thorns-oh-my-our-first-contest-of-2014/

Please share this with all your friends.  Famed relationship coach Kristine Rose Grant is judging the contest.  Usually, I can help you out here because usually, I sleep with the judge.  But usually, I am the judge. No such influence here, but Kristine does like stuff from Victoria’s Secret, I am told.

Julie Dunaway offers us bitter-sweet here. I particularly like her entry because it is very much in the spirit of what the contest offers: a chance to say something genuine to someone you love, and to make it public.

Here is

A Playful Ode

Julie Dunaway,


Used to think love meant the perfect scene…

Like idyll walks in Paris, in the blossoming spring…an indie film played in the mind, like the artiste’s black-and-white kind. Where the doldrums of love unfulfilled meant dull greys and dismal hues, days of pale blank nothingness and severe shades of the blues. Surely life without romantic love meant sad dark tints, wretchedly divided on the canvas: a lone soul wandering pitifully amongst the cheerful happy masses.

Used to think love meant the perfect scene…you either had it with someone, or you didn’t, nothing in between. But once love was found, it would be as if your feet had left the ground, and nary a thing could come in between. O the vivid rose petals that would fall from above! —through the black-and-white film (fluttering birds, cooing like doves), a released net of emotional magnificence splashing through the formerly stark wilderness.

Such a pair of lovers could be torn apart neither by time nor career nor distance! But then, my love, you left for…Texas?? With its bluebonnets, pecans, and sheer dusty size, I didn’t quite understand…it made only some sense, in my eyes. It was tough to get the appeal, but the call of family I know. And I can still imagine what you saw in a mouth-watering, old-fashioned Southern meal.

So you went off to your kin, and prices that wouldn’t break your wallet while in pursuit of your new profession. I admit it, I could see where that could become, well, kind of an obsession. My family’s here so I’ve got them all ‘round. Can’t blame you for making the tough call. It’s California; the cost of living here can drive a person – particularly one in transition – straight into our unforgiving high real-estate ground.

Used to think love meant the perfect dream…and we thought we had a chance to be in that scene. But it was only a rumor (one we kept telling ourselves, where the truth like a long river faded to a distant murmur).

You faced up to it, though, when enough time had gone by. And asked me to understand it too, showing the integrity and courage of a hero – that’s you.

I suppose this means the perfect end, for lovers who became friends…and the perfect beginning of friends that love each other, beginning a new lifetime (however far we are apart) of being the umbrella to each other’s stormy weather. I see now these are plain and ordinary colors, for ordinary days, but (as they say) to be experienced in the most extraordinary ways. This works just fine for me, with our hands distantly held together, as a gentle new meaning of ‘forever and ever.’ J

6 thoughts on “Julie Dunaway has a most poignant entry into our contest.

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Um, lingering thoughts of Paris, grand amour and the real quieted down world of the drifting gray clouds of reality with softer storms, gentler rains in reflection in puddles splashing images in the black and white story-verse. The writing within, “A Playful Ode” in my opinion is textured rich like layers of smoke from a cigarette in the misty mind of acceptance of what love actually is once the false exaggerations have faded from the silver screen and the streets of a deserted Paris. Beautifully tender yet honest is my review’s lingering impression once the “fluttering birds, cooing like doves” have grown silently still.

  2. Kristine Rose Grant says:

    I loved the tempo of this poem…I envisioned one of those old “beatnik” bars, dark, brooding, and wise. It shows to go you that we really do need to see if our values and convictions match up…in the final analysis, “He just wasn’t that into you…” I applaud the dignity and grace shown for rising above life’s disappointments and choosing friendship as opposed to bitterness. Cheers!

  3. Don Maker says:

    The first two paragraphs are deeply poetic, with rich, clear metaphors. I got a bit jarred out of the “literary” tone by most of the rest, although the images were still excellent, very nicely written. The message was well done throughout, nice transitions, and no bitterness crept into the change of relationship, only understanding. One little technical glitch bothered me: “neither” means two, whereas three reasons were listed. Overall, a really great short story, or remembrance.

  4. Kristine Rose Grant says:

    Damn it! This is so challenging.. I am reading and re-reading everything…So much talent out there. Thank you all for being part of this, and, this is quite a difficult venture as I see so much talent, so much personality, and unique creativity… Sorry for the delay…but my scrutiny is definitely getting in the way. Thanks for your patience. More than that, thanks for your sublime fortitude that has gotten me all in a snare…

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