Saturday, February 14, 2015

ON VALENTINE'S DAY ~ Remembering to Listen

This "Happy Heart Day" or "Universal Love Day" I am re-posting this poem from early 2014.  It is a reminder to myself, shared with others, that Love speaks differently for different people - even when our native languages are the same.

So while it is the duty of loving to try and communicate in a way that your beloved(s) will understand, it is also the responsibility of being beloved (and loving in return) to listen for the many ways and many voices in which love expresses itself.  More than that, it is one of the ultimate expressions of love to learn to accept those ways and voices as they are, and not as you would have them be.

Listening for Love
By Judith Cullen  (c) 2014

Love doesn’t sound like
What you expected it to
It sneaks up on you
And takes various surprising forms

You want it say,
“Let me move these things out of your way.”
But it ends up saying,
“I made tuna salad.  Want some for your lunch?”

You want it to say,
“You look tired, let me do the dishes”
But it ends up saying,
“There was a sale on strawberries. I bought five flats!”

You have to listen hard
And with your whole heart
The voice of love is cunning

It sneaks up where you aren’t listening

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NEW ESSAY: How a Non-Sports Fan Finds Satisfaction in the 2015 NFL Post Season

The Journeys of Triumph and Adversity
 Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr
By Judith Cullen
(c) 2015

I am not a huge sports fan.  I am not a hater either; it has just never been my thing.  Acknowledging that we are none of us ever completely of one “type”, I am the art-theater-literature geek in the family.  Yet I have found myself in the last two winters being the “sports fan enabler” in our household.  I cook hot dogs, make cocoa, popcorn, and dish up ice cream or whatever else might be the desired accent to the game-watching experience.

I think my dis-relationship with sports goes back to early days.  I have never had much athletic prowess or even a glimmer of talent.  My one brief, shining moment in sports came in elementary school where it became clear I was a desirable player to have on ones team in dodgeball due to my great skill at avoiding the ball in question.  I had enough arm strength to lob the red rubber sphere over the heads of the opposing team to my team in the “jail” section, while managing to avoid being out myself.  A talent for avoidance is not really highly prized in most sports outside of recess time.

Yet, for the last two winters I have gotten wrapped up in the ascendancy of the Seattle Seahawks, our “home” team, in the annals of American football history.  For dyed-in-the-wool sports fans, I am sure the appeal is familiar.  Since we have established that I do not possess a strong competitive gene, then there has to be something else which appeals to my nature.  It is the stories that swirl around it that fascinate me, and observing the great drama of reactions to those stories.  Colorful characters, expanded plot lines (sometimes painfully so), moments of high drama and ludicrous comedy: it’s some of the best theater I have seen in years!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I am so pleased to announce that there will be three releases this year, and a possible fourth that I and keeping close to my vest just at the moment, as it is a large work in progress.  Besides, there's lot's of excitement to be found in the three definite titles in the works for this year.

I am thrilled that beloved cartoonist and illustrator Rick Geary has accepted my commission to do black and white line illustrations for my story The Blackberry Which will be released this year in a collection called  THE BLACKBERRY & OTHER TALES THAT CREEP.  This collection of short stories will include some of my popular spooky stores, such as Walter's Sunday, Her Own Words and some new tales including Gorak the Gobbler. I am pleased to share one of the rough conceptual sketches that Rick and I have been discussing which just might possibly become the cover of this book!

I'd share more, but I don't want to spoil it.

Also due to release this year is A TRIO OF IRISH TALES II, with a new adventure with my character Liam from A Shadow by the Gate entitled The Fairy Tree. Also to be included is a slightly twisted take on the Romeo & Juliet saga, set in Ireland simultaneously  in current times, and against the riots of 1793: Two Houses.  There'll be more adventures mixing modern characters with the lore and mythology that soaks the verdant Emerald Isle.

Finally, BEAUTY ON THE INTERSTATE will feature stories and essays around commuting on Interstate 5 - an activity that I am engaged in several times weekly.

"The Highway is a great rolling stage for drama.  Some are grand and expansive, complete with flashing lights, bells, and confrontations of life and death.  Others of these rolling epochs are simple moments of delight and justice, for where would tragedy be, without comedy?"

Stay tuned for updates and excerpts as this year's titles role to completion.

Also, check me out on Tacoma's LAUREATE LISTENING PROJECT, where my poem "December Sojourn" is one of the works featured in this wonderful project conceived by poet Lucas Smiraldo.