BellaOnline Literary Review
A Whale of a Tale by Kim Rumford

Chris Abbate Chris Abbate

Chris Abbate studied English at Gordon College and Southern CT State University. His poetry has appeared in Common Ground Review, The Aurorean, and New England Writer´s Network, among other publications. In addition to writing poetry and short fiction, Chris is an English tutor, plays and teaches golf, and plays classical guitar. Chris works as a computer programmer in Raleigh, NC. He would like to thank his past and present writers groups for their great support and feedback.

Sue Babcock Sue Babcock

Sue Babcock spent years and years as an engineer. Now mostly retired, she delights in writing short stories, especially stories of dark fantasy and human failings, and occasionally manages to get published. She’s an editor at Silver Blade and Liquid Imagination (, a trustee of Silver Pen, a non-profit writers´ association, and the director of Kids´Magination Learning Center, which is part of Silver Pen.

Francine L. Baldwin-Billingslea Francine L. Baldwin-Billingslea

Francine L. Billingslea is a mother, a grandmother, and a breast cancer survivor who has recently found a passion for writing. She has been published in over twelve anthologies, a magazine, and in BellaOnline. Francine has authored an inspirational memoir titled "Through it all," which can be purchased through, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Xlibris. A portion of the proceeds are donated to breast cancer research. She loves traveling, writing, and spending quality time with her loved ones.

Shannon Barber Shannon Barber

Shannon Barber is an author from the Pacific Northwest. When not writing she spends a lot of time crocheting, drinking delicious coffee and reading. She can often be seen in her natural habitat walking very quickly while carrying a large cup of coffee. Visit her website to read her other work

Jeanne Becker Jeanne Becker

Jeanne Becker writes historical fiction and non-fiction picture books about the American southwest. To improve her writing skills, she enrolled in a poetry class at the local community college and discovered that writing poems could be fun. Poems are similar to picture books – they tell a story in a very few, carefully selected words. Jeanne is managing editor of the SCBWI-Illinois "Prairie Wind" newsletter and has published several adventure travel pieces.

Mark Berkery Mark Berkery

Mark was born to itinerant Irish parents which set the scene for a restless life. Like the Gypsy, he couldn´t accept the moribund values of a soulless society, what passed for important or posed as spiritual. The resulting roller-coaster of experience and inner conflict eventually gave way to a love of the simple sense of nature that he now lives - the best he can - as a form of meditation. He expresses his ongoing exploration of nature´s spiritual value through his writing and pictures at

Alexandra Burt Alexandra Burt

Alexandra Burt is a freelance translator. Originally from Europe, she moved to Texas eighteen years ago. While pursuing literary translations she decided to tell her own stories. Her short fiction has appeared in All Things Girl and the Freedom Fiction Journal. While working on several short stories and a novel of psychological suspense, she will write without pay until someone is willing to pay.

Christine Catalano Christine Catalano

Christine is an English major who slipped into publishing by tapping into her artistic muse. She worked happily as a graphic artist and art director for many years. Now liberated from daily deadlines, she keeps her muse satisfied with camera and Photoshop. In the past year, some of her artwork has been published in the East Hampton Star, Fiction at Work, and the Winter Solstice issue of Mused.

D j Cawood D j Cawood

David Cawood lives and writes in Regina, SK, Canada. He is a retired English teacher and now enjoys the freedom to travel and spend time at his cottage on Lake Diefenbaker. He enjoys the outdoors and loves photography, cycling, and swimming. David is a member of the Saskatchewan Poetry Society where his poetry is included in 2 publications - Interlude(2007) and When The Wind Speaks(2009)with an up-coming volume in 2011. He has also been published in Transitions, a literary magazine.

Megan E. Coxe Megan E. Coxe

Megan Coxe has just returned to Texas from a sabbatical year in Almería, Spain as an assistant English teacher, to be plunged back into American life. Now she splits her time pursuing an MA in Hispanic Literature at the University of Texas, coping with the unexpected return to her birthplace, and plotting her next international escape. Her work is forthcoming in Yes, Poetry and Leaf Garden Press.

Stacey Dye Stacey Dye

Stacey has a love for words. She is moved by music, inspirational quotes and poetry! Having written everything from journals to ad copy, it wasn’t until 4 years ago that she began to pursue the art of poetry. Her primary focus is the human condition. Stacey lives with her husband Dennis and critters Izzy and Elly. Credits include Camroc Press Review, Touch: The Journal of Healing, Magnapoets, The Shine Journal, Ribbons and previous issues of Mused.

Lee Evans Lee Evans

Lee Evans was born in Maryland, spent most of his life in that state, and is currently living in Bath, Maine. His poems have appeared in such journals as Four and Twenty, Poetry Porch, The Christendom Review and Anon. He has produced four poetry collections, which are available on

Cara Frame Cara Frame

Cara Frame has just finished a grueling two years of nursing school. Thus, completing a nursing degree has been her greatest accomplishment because it felt like she would not make it. In the little time she had over the two years she started writing to help her cope life. As a result, there are many poems. One poem the “Beat Goes On” was published in the 2009 Issue of All Things Girl called “Journeys”.

Tara Lynne Groth Tara Lynne Groth

Tara Lynne Groth is a freelance writer residing in Raleigh, NC. No, she does not own a black turtleneck and she´s never eaten ramen noodles. Her poetry is almost always threaded with the themes of escape, secrets, missed connections and Paris. She is the author of two poetry collections, This is Paris and Bare Feet on the Dashboard. Her poetry has surfaced in MUSED, Best of the Royal Bean Anthology and is forthcoming in Main Street Rag.

Sheila Hassell Hughes Sheila Hassell Hughes

Sheila Hassell Hughes is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Dayton. She has published articles and poems in journals such as SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literatures, African American Review, American Quarterly, MELUS, Religion and Literature, Literature and Theology, and the Lullwater Review.

Samantha Hunt Samantha Hunt

Samantha lives in Warwickshire, England, where she spends her time looking after two small children, taking photographs and writing poetry. She has set up a small business selling photographic cards and prints, She has had poetry published before in Mused, and in a few anthologies.

Kim Kenney Kim Kenney

Kim Kenney is a professional writer and curator. Her hobbies include cooking, practicing yoga, cross stitching, going to car shows and dabbling in photography. Kim´s fiction, non-fiction and photography have appeared in past issues of Mused. She is the Museums Editor at BellaOnline.

Joe Liotta Joe Liotta

Throughout childhood, Joe Liotta was constantly drawing, painting or involved in some manner of creative project. Presently, Mr. Liotta teaches a number of children’s and adult art and graphics courses and workshops, and works in a variety of media including graphite, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, pen and ink, calligraphy, digital art, and photography. His portfolio is viewable at:

Rhonda Melanson Rhonda Melanson

Rhonda Melanson became deeply interested in writing in her university years and graduated from the Artist In The Community Education program at Queen’s University, Kingston in 1991. Her poetry has been published both in print and online. She has been published in Regina Weese, Dance To Death, Wordletting, Boxcar Poetry Review and The Other Journal and others. She just self-published a chapbook called "grace notes." (Beret Days Press).

John Middlebrook John Middlebrook

John Middlebrook lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he manages a consulting firm focused on non-profit organizations. He has been writing poetry since he was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where he also served on the poetry staff of Chicago Review. John´s work has appeared in Writers´ Bloc, Foundling Review, and Yes, Poetry, and his home on the web is

Samantha Moore Samantha Moore

Samantha Moore has been to the brink, lived to tell the tale and now resides on the fuzzy outskirts of society where she is quite content. She is a seeker, a student of life, a sometimes-student of academia and a reluctant priestess.

Vivian Faith Prescott Vivian Faith Prescott

Vivian Faith Prescott is a fifth generation Alaskan who lives in Sitka and Kodiak, Alaska. She´s the Co-Director of Raven’s Blanket. She holds a Ph.D. in Cross Cultural Studies and an MFA from the University of Alaska. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in Praxilla, Drunken Boat and Turtle Quarterly. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry collection, The Hide of My Tongue, will be published by Plain View Press in 2011, winter. Vivian´s website is


Darryn offers original paintings that are vibrant and truly unique! His art—although emotionally uplifting—tackles topics of educational, environmental, and socio-political relevance. His style ranges from Modern Contemporary to Abstract Surrealism. To view more of Darryn´s work visit his website.

Al Rollins Al Rollins

Al Rollins is a retired Local Government Budget Manager. Al loves to travel the USA with his wife, Janet, and photograph all the wonders of this great country.

Sue Russell Sue Russell

Raised in Montana and transposed to the mid-west, Sue Russell finds her inspiration in the mountainous wilderness of her childhood. As a practicing psychologist/psychoanalyst, she brings the richness of human emotional experience and dream symbolism to her writing.

Moe Schulman Moe Schulman

Maury Schulman is passionate about nature photography and is outside with his camera whenever he isn´t teaching 7th grade science. A housefire displaced him from Fairbanks, Alaska and he landed in Tucson, Arizona (from one extreme to another). He lives with his wife Sherry, but has unleashed his children on the rest of the world in Alaska, Hawaii, and Oregon.

Andrew Sciandra Andrew Sciandra

Andrew is a retired Alternative High School Art Teacher.

Donna Sciandra Donna Sciandra

Donna has always been adventurous and loved to travel. She spent two years in Jamaica (as a teacher trainer in Kingston) and five years in the Solomon Islands on Guadalcanal (as a Community Developer in a rain forest living in a leaf house) with the Peace Corps. Donna is now a retired elementary school teacher who is enjoying her “free” time traveling and photographing North America.

Bob See Bob See

Bob See has been actively interested in photography for many years. He enjoys taking images of air shows, wildlife, and landscapes. The camera used for all photos in this issue of Mused was a Canon 40D. Bob can be reached at his golfing site at

Jeni Booker Senter Jeni Booker Senter

Jeni Booker Senter is a poet, essayist and journalist devoted to the advancement of women. She is currently a managing editor for the Panhandler literary journal. She is a member of NOW and AAUW. Her writing earned awards in the Duque Wilson Essay Contest and the LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest, and she is a contributor to NW Florida Business Climate, Blackwater Review, Journal of South Texas Studies, Socialist Women Magazine: International Women’s Day Edition, A&U, and Troubadour.

Lisa Shea Lisa Shea

Born in Maryland, Lisa Shea has been contentedly nestled in the rolling hills and mossy forests of Massachusetts for the past fifteen years. She is drawn to the ocean and cherishes quiet evenings as the orange glow of sunset glistens across wooden docks. Lisa relishes the challenge of conveying meaning and memorable characters in a measured bounding of time and space. Her stories, poems, and images celebrate natural beauty and serenity. Enjoy thousands of her photos at

Beate Sigriddaughter Beate Sigriddaughter

Beate Sigriddaughter grew up in post-WWII Germany and moved to the United States in her teens. Three times a Pushcart Prize nominee, she has published prose and poetry in many literary magazines and ezines. Her most recent book, Kuan Yin: Flowers For Change(2009) is a collection of short reflections inspired by Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy. Beate is also the founder of the Glass Woman Prize that honors passionate women’s voices (details at

Anita Simpson Anita Simpson

Anita Simpson is a freelance writer who focuses on non-fiction, but also enjoys writing fiction and poetry. She is a past BellaOnline editor, and has also published on the web via Suite101 and Associated Content. Anita´s interests include digital scrapbooking, infectious diseases, and weather.

Rob Spiegel Rob Spiegel

Robert Spiegel is a journalist who also writes poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, from Rolling Stone to True Confessions.

Sandra Staas Sandra Staas

Sandra grew up in Scotland, then later moved to Spain where she resided for many years. She taught Spanish as adjunct faculty for several years in Pennsylvania. She has been published in New Hope International, two Sandberg-Livesay Anthologies, Innisfree, Powder Room Graffiti, Mused Literary Journal, BoomerCafe, and other small magazines. One of her short stories will be published soon at The Weeder´s Digest. She blogs at

Leslie Tribolet Leslie Tribolet

Leslie Tribolet lives on Kauai with her husband and animals. She studied at Santa Barbara Art Institute back in the 70’s concentrating on pencil portraits. She was introduced to the Genesis Heat Set Paints in 2007 and loved them because they are dried with heat, which speeds up the process of portrait painting. She has always been drawn to faces, so she decided to try her hand at painting them with Genesis with some good results. She hopes you enjoy what she does whether faces or fruit.

Jeanne Marie Egbosiuba Ukwendu Jeanne Marie Egbosiuba Ukwendu

In 1992, Jeanne Marie Egbosiuba Ukwendu joined the U.S. Peace Corps and taught mathematics, English, and physics at a secondary school. Since the Peace Corps, Jeanne has been researching and writing about all aspects of African Culture. She is editor of the African Culture topic at She is also the owner of, a handmade bath and body products company. Jeanne is married and currently lives in Miami, Florida with her husband and two daughters.

Jody Zolli Jody Zolli

Jody Zolli has enjoyed writing poetry since she was seven. Poetry runs in the family, though, as both her mother and grandmother wrote poetry, and had a knack for doggerel verse. Jody has enjoyed being a technical writer for twenty five years, and feels it is the perfect marriage between creative writing and engineering.

Melissa Bahle
Melissa began writing poetry in high school after being inspired by Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s "Sometime During Eternity." Discovering it was okay to write poetry that didn’t rhyme, she began experimenting with free verse. Today, Melissa is a contributor to, a blog by writers, for writers. Between working at a local college and training for the next Warrior Dash, she likes to sit quietly at the kitchen table and stare at the blank screen of her laptop until an idea strikes.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett
Eleanor Leonne Bennett submitted the work Sleep Anywhere.

Kristin Binder
Kristin Binder writes about life, love, and loss from her home in the northwest hills of Connecticut. Her blog,, was started in the wake of the death of her first child, Peyton, and has been named one of the Top 21 Blogs to Inspire Creativity by She Inspires magazine. She is the Editor of the online literary magazine, Exhale, and has recently completed her first novel. Kristin makes her home with her husband, infant twins, and a black lab named Charlotte.

Colleen Card
Colleen Card submitted the work Shekinah Glory.

David Edwards
David Edwards was born and continues to live in Indiana. He has written (mostly) poetry for over twenty years, but only recently attempted publication.

John Grey
John Grey submitted the work The Guy On The Saxophone.

Hall Jameson
Hall Jameson submitted the work Salt Air.

Peter LaBerge
Peter LaBerge is an emerging poet, fiction writer, and photographer. His work has been featured in a variety of publications, including Burnt Bridge, Leaf Garden, Blue Lotus Review, and Bluestem Magazine. He is the founder of The Adroit Journal (, and is currently working on his debut full-length collection of works.

Marj Laydon
Marjorie Laydon pursues an MFA in poetry and technical writing at Western Connecticut State University. She currently lives in Denver, CO.

Heather Lazarus
Heather Lazarus submitted the work Turning Toad and The Weary Mahout..

Tina Marie
Tina Marie submitted the works Beautiful Colors and Sweet Sixteen.

Judy Moore
Judy Moore is a longtime journalist and editor who has contributed to several nonfiction books. She is a short story writer and a sometime photographer. A lifelong resident of Florida, she worked as a newspaper reporter and sportswriter for several years and has had articles published in numerous national and regional magazines. A former tennis pro, a so-so golfer and an avid swimmer, she lives in Gainesville.

Lyonn Ann Parx
Lyonn Ann Parx submitted the work Return of the Princess.

Richard Anthony Petracca
Richard A. Petracca, a Middle Island First Responder, is dyslexic, so learning to read and write was a real challenge. Still, he found reading to be a joy after receiving a copy of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. He then took Stony Brook University´s EMT-Paramedic Program and went into Emergency Medicine, his second love. This passion for reading soon turned into a desire to write, spurring his writing career and the completion of his first novel, “The Water Bearer”.

Andriana Pohja
Andriana Pohja is a bit of an eccentric who works forensics and has an inherent passion for the creative arts. Her admiration for the beauty of natural and man-made surroundings, along with personal experiences and just a touch of morbid darkness, are her inspirations for her photos, art, jewelry, poems, and stories.

Kim Rumford
Kim Rumford submitted the works A Whale of a Tale, Gnarled and Crooked Tree and Mountain Lion, Arizona..

Acquanetta M. Sproule
Acquanetta M. Sproule submitted the work Nature's Wonder.

Marci Winters
Marci Winters submitted the work Peaceful Passing.

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Fall Equinox 2011 Table of Contents