Sunday, August 6, 2017

PROCTOR ARTSFEST 2017 ~ Art Inspired Stories

Welcome to this year's stories and poems for the Proctor Artsfest Juried Art Show!

This is year four of this project, and this year I shared with the audience at the reading my goals for Art Inspired Stories: to get people to embrace the experiencing of visual art fearlessly so that every time they see a work, they immediately wonder what's beyond the edges, and what they would do one they arrived there.

There are 22 compositions in this year's series.  Fourteen of them were read at the show on Saturday, August 5th. As always, some stories are more poetry, others more prose.  Some are esoteric or philosophical, and some are just plain silly. Some are simply dialogue.  Some stories shouted at me right away, and some whispered that there was an idea there if only I was brave enough to seek it out.

Stories read at the show are denoted with **

Pieces Created for the Proctor ArtsFest 2017
Juried Art Show
 Note: All Stories & Poems are © 2017 by Judith Cullen
Use of any of the photo images on this page without the express permission 
of the individual artists is strictly prohibited

After Election Day **
by Jillian Fried, Acrylic

It all seemed to clear when we marched,
Image copyrighted by the Artist 
issues were sharply contrasted
I understood the difference
between us and them.

It was self-evident when we cheered,
that the platform defined lines
of black and white
between right and wrong.

Now the cheering and the marching is over. 
The pavement is littered with confetti,
deflated balloons, crumpled cardboard
the ardor of citizen patriots.

The clarity of black and white is fading.
Shades of red and blue mixing to gray
infiltrate my sense of right and wrong
and nothing is quite as clear.

Looking with honest eyes, I don't see
opposition, I see my neighbors.
Our fervor was encouraged to embattle,
and now we are supposed to stop.

Today we are a nation.
What were we yesterday?

Blue Poppy **
by Karen Marie Petrillose, Watercolour

Coryphee of fields
Image copyrighted by the Artist 
wind-bent stems sway together
reflecting the sky

Not painted in hot
like your blossoming cousins
flaming red, orange

Stealthy, you trick us
luring with a modest blue
till we are so close

A burst of stamen
vibrant contrast catching us
off guard with brilliance

While you blithely dance
to a sacred melody
Mother earth sings you

Thursday, August 3, 2017

THE FOURTH EDITION: Art Inspired Stories at Proctor Arts

This is a project I have been doing for FOUR YEARS.  It started at Proctor ArtsFest and I am so pleased to be returning there on Saturday with a new batch of Art Inspired Stories.

In the Tacoma area?  Join me at this year's Juried Art Show for another installment of micro-fiction and poems inspired by works of visual art, in the relaxed AC cool of the Mason UMC Parlor:

Proctor ArtsFest Juried Art Show - Art Inspired Stories
Mason United Methodist Church
2710 North Madison
Saturday, August 5th at 11:30am

Check out the stories from previous shows:
Read all of the 2016 stories from Proctor ArtsFest HERE
Read all of the 2015 stories from Peninsula Art Leagues 13th annual Open Show HERE
Read all of the 2015 stories from Proctor ArtsFest HERE
Read all of the 2014 stories from Proctor ArtsFest HERE

The entire series of stories and poems from this year's Proctor ArtsFest Juried Art Show will be posted here at Noon, Sunday, August 6th

Saturday, July 15, 2017

ALL CONFERENCE - There's Always a First Time

It is difficult to imagine that it has been publishing for over four years and finally just made it to my first conference as an author.  It wasn't big, but it was completely delightful and utterly inspiring.

The Pacific Northwest Association of Church Librarians hosts a conference annually, in rotation, at each of its chapters throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. I was honored to be invited, and as an author participated both with a table in the vendor area, and in the "Author Shuffle" component of the Saturday morning proceedings (how much CAN you say about your work, effectively in four minutes?).

So, I sold book, spake about my work, and BONUS - I met some fantastic people including other authors.  Sixteen authors there and no overlap of genre, seriously.  It was a diverse crowd.  I am excited to continue some of these nascent friendships: the photography and poetry of Jackie Gannan (the first new person to befriend me from her adjacent table), the powerful and effervescent Jamicka Edwards.

In the Author Shuffle I was honored to be in a group with the inspiring Sister Laura Swan, the amazing Lisa McMinn (who brought THE MOST delicious Blackberries from her home farm!), the adorable and charming Eleanor Corey, and Kate Breslin who has the most exhilarating smile!

So what could I do to represent myself in this august company, as a writer? I decided to play to my strengths and tell a story. I got up especially early on Saturday and penned 400 new words, as there was a time limit, which are the blueprint for a slightly longer work.  Several people commented enthusiastically on my storytelling style, and asked where the story I presented had been published so they could get a copy.  I am taking that as an imperative.

In the Beginning
by Judith Cullen
© 2017

Way back, when the world was brand new, when the God had formed the heavens and the earth, brought forth all the plants and animals, created the depths of the ocean and the great extremities of the mountain peaks, God sat back, looking at his final work - Humanity - and considered it. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

ETERNITY'S TEST is now available on Amazon!

NOW Available on Amazon for Kindle! CLICK HERE

What started out as a simple request from a colleague turned out to be an incredible journey.  I had the spark of an idea immediately when Eleseren Brianna (aka Donna Kantaris) invited me to write a companion piece to her own short story, written in support of an installation of 2D and 3D virtual art, "The Curio."

She specifically ask me to do a story from the perspective of the colossal stone and metal "Enkeli" figure that she had created and spun a story about. "Enkeli" is the Finnish word for angel.  How does and angel end up in the wilderness, as the one in Eles' story does?  And what could that mean?  Research, followed by several weeks of brooding contemplation amidst the turmoil that was last fall's U.S. presidential campaign followed, and in the aftermath this story came flowing out like an emotional imperative.

After letting it steep and revise, it still has that imperative feel about it, which lead to me deciding to publish it as a stand alone story, instead of tucking it into another collection.  It deserves its own focus.

Not everyone likes ir reads Kindle, I understand that.  but I am offering a special deal for folks on my mailing list, so if you are brave enough to READ MY NEWSLETTER announcement of this release, you can take advantage of the deal offered my subscribers!

If you enjoy it, don't forget to leave a review of Eternity's Test on Amazon.  Every little bit helps!

Coming in July and August - several event appearances, and more short stories.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

COMING THIS MONTH: "Eternity's Test" for Kindle

With all the things going on in the world, and in my life these days, I have decided to release December's story of a near fallen angel and the lessons he learns encased in stone and metal in the wilderness over millennia.  It seems like just the right thing to do.

So, keep an eye out for ETERNITY'S TEST to be released this month in Kindle only through Amazon as a stand-alone piece of short fiction.  The time has come: be ready!

For those of you who read the original last year, you may remember that this story was inspired by a virtual world sculpture by Eleseren Brianna (Donna Kantaris).  She also write a story about "The Curio" in which some 19th Century vacationers come upon its compelling presence deep in the Scandinavian wilderness.  Her story was very much one of observation and supposition, done in the format of a 19th C diary.  She asked me to consider creating a story from the sculpture's point of view.  And that, as we say, is that!

More coming, so stay tuned!

"The Curio" by Eleseren Brianna, created in Second Life

Sunday, May 21, 2017


The wheels of Amazon have done all there turning, and all the appropriate connections are now connected on a single sales page for Gorak the Gobbler . When you have a publisher behind you, it happens more smoothly.  When you are an independent, like myself, it doesn't always.  But now it's all there!

Not only that, but the first reader review is in and it is five stars!

"I have heard Ms. Cullen read all three tales presented in this tome in virtual worlds -- a rare privilege. Now to own the book with my own two hands! Awesome!

"Being old school (and ancient in my years) I adore having an actual book to thumb through, put bookmarks in and look at fondly when it rests in my book case. However, is is also available in Kindle, so have at!

"That said, Ms. Cullen's talents as a storyteller allow one to gambol in joie de vivre. I am a decidedly G-rated old crone, the Gorak tales touch on fun, fantasy, exploration, personal growth, emotional awareness and acknowledgement, and joy in the glory of living. I wish I had them in my youth. I'm definitely glad I have them in my elder age.

"I recommend this book to all. And if you get a chance to hear the author share the tale verbally, hop to it!"   ~ "
Rd Plasschaert", Amazon Reader Review (five stars)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

GORAK is on his way, this week!

That's right.  The small, oddly wise, extremely red little guy will have his very own volume of tales, released this week on Kindle, with the paperback available shortly after.

Here's a glimpse from one of the stories in this new volume:  Gorak Returns.

The big plastic storage bin of sewing and craft scraps that her Mom kept in the hall closet had been dragged into Ellie's room, and its contents were strewn all over her bed: scraps of fabrics in rainbow colors, papers with different printed designs, ruffled lace trim in varying sizes, ribbons galore, cellophane packages of beads and sequins twinkling in the light. Standing in the middle of the chaos, feet planted apart, arms spread wide and grinning was a creature Ellie had never seen the like of before.  Around its red head was tied a scrap of fluffy pink marabou.

"Me Gorak!  Ellie McCormick wanna dance?" it said.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

COMING in May!

The rumors are true . . . Gorak the Gobbler is getting his own book!

Coming mid-May to Kindle, closely followed by paperback, the original tale first published in The Blackberry & Other Tales That Creep, plus two additional stories.

Ever think about how pressures of life eat away at you, gnaw at your confidence?  What if there were a magical creature who gobbled away at those very things?  The things that attack and diminish your sense of self: self-confidence, body image, stereotyping, anger.

Gorak the Gobbler specializes in young people's problems. He enables them with his own brand of wisdom, and playful logic.

" like drinking soda.  All go one way and no stopping: Sip, gulp, no matter.  But when bubbles build up, only one ting to do - let em out!"

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Click on image to enlarge it, said Granny from her bed. 
"The better to read it, my dear!"