BellaOnline Literary Review
The Stairway by Debi Gardiner

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

Francine L. Billingslea is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a breast cancer survivor who has been published in over 15 anthologies, 7 times in BellaOnline Literary Review, The Rambler magazine and also won several writing contests. She has authored her memoir titled "Through it all," which is a second place self-help/inspirational winner and can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and She loves traveling, writing, and spending quality time with her loved ones.

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

Lori S. Blake Lori S. Blake

Lori Blake considers herself a "poetry outsider". She has a degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and currently teaches science to students with visual impairments at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC. She has recently resumed writing after a long hiatus. Her other interests include digital photography and jewelry making. "Katya" is her first published poem.

Lea Booth Lea Booth

Lea Booth, Artist/Owner of Lea´s Artwork, resides in the inspirational North Carolina mountains with her husband, novelist and professor, Jim Booth. Her literary work has been published in ´Cold Mountain Review´ and ´Dew on the Kudzu´. Her artwork is exhibited in local and regional galleries and has been published in the online literary journal ´The Fine Line´ and ´Read This´ produced by the Raleigh, NC chapter of the Write Club. Her work can be viewed at

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. Some of her artwork has been published in the East Hampton Star, Fiction at Work, the San Pedro River Review, and 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.

Joanne Cucinello Joanne Cucinello

Joanne Cucinello is a poet and writer who to date has published three books of poetry and an illustrated Children´s Fairytale. Her works include lyric essays and free form poetry, often visionary and insightful. Joanne is a member of the Academy of American Poets and the Society of Children´s Book Writers and Illustrators. She has been published in "Shadows Ink Selected Poems 2008" and “A Splash of Verse 2008" with an Award of Excellence.

Kate Dillon Kate Dillon

Kate Dillon contributed the fiction entitled The Optometrist.

Jacqueline Doyle Jacqueline Doyle

Jacqueline Doyle´s flash prose has appeared in 5_trope, elimae, flashquake, Monkeybicycle, Staccato Fiction, LITnIMAGE, Prime Number Magazine, Everyday Genius, and numerous other journals. Her recent fiction and creative nonfiction can be found in Blood Orange Review, Front Porch Journal, Pear Noir!, Prick of the Spindle, California Northern Magazine, and Bartleby Snopes. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at California State University, East Bay.

Stacey Dye Stacey Dye

Stacey writes to touch people. Her favorite subject is the human condition. Her love affair with words is life long and she collects them on rocks, jewelry and through music and memorable quotes. She lives in Georgia with her husband Dennis and her critters Izzy and Elly. Credits include Touch: The Journal of Healing, BluePrintReview and previous issues of Mused.

Melissa Ferguson Melissa Ferguson

Melissa spends part of her time as a mum, part of her time as a cancer-fighting scientist and any time left over she spends writing or trying to bake the perfect loaf of bread. She has had short stories and non-fiction pieces published in various anthologies and journals (mostly in Australia).

Julia Friedman Julia Friedman

Julia Friedman, 21, is studying English at Union College. In the near future, she hopes to pursue a career in journalism with particular emphasis on magazine writing. Julia´s story, "Swapping," is her first piece of published fiction and she hopes that this will be the first of many. Her other interests include dance and baking.

Louis Gallo Louis Gallo

Louis Gallo was born and raised in New Orleans and now teaches at Radford University in Virginia. His work has appeared or will appear shortly in Glimmer Train, American Literary Review, Texas Review, The Southern Quarterly, storySouth, The Ledge, Missouri Review, New Orleans Review, Xavier Review, Baltimore Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Portland Review, Greensboro Review, Oregon Literary Review, Bartleby Snopes and many others.

Debi Gardiner Debi Gardiner

Even as a young child, Debi gravitated towards artistic pursuits. Photographing with her Kodak brownie camera at about 5 years of age and oil painting from age 10, her interests eventually lead her to college where she received a BFA in design, and a career in graphic design. Her company Gardiner Design is approaching 25 years in business. Specializing in logo design, illustration and web-design. Visit her website at:

Brigitte Goetze Brigitte Goetze

Brigitte Goetze, biologist, goat farmer, and writer lives in the foothills of Oregon´s Coast Range. She has been published by Oregon Humanities, Quiet Mountain Essays, Outward Link, Four and Twenty, Poets for Living Waters, Calyx, Women Artists Datebook 2011 and others.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee. She has authored eight chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, newly released from March Street Press. She a recent winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition for her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep. According to family lore, she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Rick Hartwel Rick Hartwel

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school English teacher living in Southern California with his wife of thirty-five years (poor soul; her, not him), their disabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children, and twelve cats. Yes, twelve! He believes in the succinct; that less can be more; the least can be the best. When not writing Rick wishes he were still pushing plywood in Coquille, Oregon.

Lois Elaine Heckman Lois Elaine Heckman

Lois Elaine Heckman grew up in Los Angeles, receiving a degree in Italian from UCLA. She now lives in Milan, Italy, where she has been a Red Cross nurse and first aid instructor. Among her writing credits are Boston Literary Magazine, Shot Glass Journal, Tilt-a-Whirl, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, LightenUp Online, and Prole. She won the 2010 New England Shakespeare Festival Rubber Ducky Sonnet Contest. She has recently discovered the poetry which is also to be found in photography.

Heidi A. Hopwood Heidi A. Hopwood

Heidi Hopwood has been an avid photographer since high school. In that time, she made the switch from b/w film to digital color and digital infrared. Heidi can always be spotted with a collection of Nikons around her neck, each one serving its own purpose. Heidi earns a living supporting the technological functions of a call center in central Florida... money to buy camera equipment has to come from somewhere. More of her work can been seen at

Gary F. Iorio Gary F. Iorio

Gary F. Iorio has an M.F.A. in fiction from the Iowa Writers´ Workshop He lives in Islip, New York and has been a real estate attorney since 1985.

Shiah IrgangLaden Shiah IrgangLaden

Shiah IrgangLaden has super powers. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland where he teaches nursery school and writes for a few websites (usually about comic books). He doesn´t understand poetry, but sometimes he likes it. Fiction is also sometimes confusing for him. He thinks more young people should watch Harold and Maude. If you would like to read more of his work, or follow his audacious adventures, he has a twitter that is infrequently updates.

JackiGail JackiGail

JackiGail began taking pictures to have unlicensed art for her website business. In 2005, she started to show her art work at art shows and fairs. A member of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, she participates in their Art At the Source program each year. She enjoys the whole process of photography from making the picture to printing to framing. Her work is unaltered and what she sees is what you get.

J. E. Kellems III J. E. Kellems III

James Kellems is a self-proclaimed beatnik Calvinist who originally hails from Hollywood, California. He, his wife and four children currently reside in Denver, Colorado. James has spent fifteen years as a sarcastic (yet effective) retail manager. Consequently, he has been recently inspired to return to school and is currently studying writing, German, and theology.

Christine Kindberg Christine Kindberg

Christine Kindberg is currently a Chicago resident, although she grew up moving around Latin America. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and dreaming of travel. You can follow her blog about writing and living in Chicago at .

Ruth F. Michel Ruth F. Michel

Ruth Michel is a long time dabbler, whose life now affords her time to pursue the craft of writing. Four years ago she moved back to the Kansas City, Missouri, after a twenty-five year detour in Idaho. Her first poem was published in January 2011. She has had two short stories and short fiction pieces published, and is working on her second novella. She especially enjoys the magic when characters come to life, and their wayward habits that frequently change the path of a story.

Michele Fleming Michele Fleming

Michele Fleming has been an avid reader her whole life. She took up pen and paper five years ago and has been diligently honing her craft ever since. She currently has two novels under her belt that she hopes to have published one day. You may visit more of her writings at where she has received “Highly Commended” honors on several of her short stories.

Mishka Mojabber Mourani Mishka Mojabber Mourani

Mishka M Mourani´s publications include LEST WE FORGET:LEBANON 1975-1990,"The Fragrant Garden," in HIKAYAT: SHORT STORIES BY LEBANESE WOMEN[Telegram,UK],BALCONIES: A MEDITERRANEAN MEMOIR [Dar Annahar],ALONE,TOGETHER, a poetry in English and Arabic, co-authored with Aida Y. Haddad [Kutub Ltd,2012]. Her work appeared in LEBANON THROUGH WRITERS’ EYES [Eland,UK], HABITER BEYROUTH and LA MEDITERRANEE AU CARREFOUR DES MOTS Assabil. She also translated MAKER OF REALITIES by Antoine Boulad in 2011.

Andriana Pohja 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.

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.

Brenda Rose Brenda Rose

Brenda Rose writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination, Ginosko Literary Journal, Montucky Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, and several other publications. She lives in southern Georgia with her husband and two children. She writes a blog, Sweet Tea in Southern Georgia, at

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.

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

Lisa Shea Lisa Shea

Born in Maryland, Lisa Shea has been contentedly nestled in the rolling hills and mossy forests of Massachusetts since 1995. 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

J. Scott Shields J. Scott Shields

Twenty-nine years ago, Scott left the Midwest for the deserts of Arizona. Music, literature, and writing are his passions, and he strives to share his love of the written word with his high school English students each day. Scott’s writing has appeared in the English Journal, Mused, Canyon Echo, and Treoir magazine (a publication of Comhaltas, an international organization that promotes traditional Irish music and culture). He is also a regular contributor to the blog, Writing Is Cake.

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.

Patricia Thomas Patricia Thomas

Patricia Thomas was born and raised in southern Alabama and attended Auburn University. She has been teaching writing for years, including Loyola Marymount University, the University of Southern California, and Texas A&M. While she has taught all levels of composition, including Legal Writing and Business Writing, her passion is creative writing. She currently teaches writing and literature in Fullerton, California. Check out more of her writing at http:\

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.

C. M. White C. M. White

Cynthia White is a retired oil and gas exec and freelance non-fiction writer. Recently, she added fiction to her repertoire and is working on her first novel. If she´s not reading or writing, then she´s playing with her French Bulldogs, woodworking, quilting, gardening or planning her next aquarium. Her blog is Born and raised in Louisiana, she also lived in France for six years, Alberta for 20 years, and now lives in British Columbia near the ocean.

Charlotte Zang Charlotte Zang

Charlotte Zang is a public relations professional who makes her home near the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to business writing, she writes to inform and entertain on a variety of topics.

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.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett
Eleanor Leonne Bennett submitted the works entitled An Ear Wig Home, Blown All Away and Otter Happy.

Danielle Crowe
Writer/Journalist/Blogger Danielle Crowe is also an avid equestrian and animal-activist. Danielle has taken courses in academic English, literary arts, Canadian literature, journalism, poetry and prose, copyright/plagiarism, fiction and literature, and copywriting. She holds a diploma in Vet Assisting with a specialization in Animal Care.

Danay C. Downing
From a small town in NC, Danay joined the U.S. Army at 17 and served as a linguist and intelligence analyst for 5 yrs. A graduate of the University of NC at Charlotte, she holds a BA Degree in Biology and a BS Degree in Psychology, with special emphasis on animal behavior. She is a graduate student of Anthropology and Cognitive Science at UNCC, her research interests being comparative cognition, learning, and the evolution of language, with a particular focus on primates and marine mammals.

David Edwards
David Edwards was born, and continues to live, in Indiana.

S. Duane England
S. Duane England submitted the work entitled Music.

D. E. Fredd
D. E. Fredd—lives in Townsend, Massachusetts. He has had over one hundred and fifty short stories and poems published in literary reviews and journals. He received the Theodore Hoepfner Award given by the Southern Humanities Review for the best short fiction of 2005 and was a 2006 Ontario Award Finalist. He won the 2006 Black River Chapbook Competition and received a 2007, 2009 and 2010 Pushcart Nomination.

Linda B. Gamble
Linda Gamble is a retired reading specialist. Besides an obvious love of reading, she has enjoyed writing since childhood. In the past she has published articles for professional educational journals, but since her retirement has given her creative muse a chance to grow. She has just begun submitting some of her poetry and has been fortunate to have pieces accepted by Edison Literary Review, Camel Saloon and now Mused. Currently she is also working on a children´s picture book.

Rebecca Graf
Rebecca Graf submitted the work entitled The Lost Child.

Elizabeth Caldwell Grant
In addition to her poetry, Elizabeth Caldwell Grant blogs at

Linda Heywood
Linda Heywood submitted the work The Loveliness Of Ladybirds.

Leslie E. Hoffman
Leslie Hoffman is a writer, freelance editor of fiction and non-fiction, Co-founder of A Poetry Workshop, and landscape photographer--"Hacienda Bridge" featured on The Oprah Show in 2002. Leslie´s poems, short stories, and articles have been published in magazines, newspapers, anthologies, and on the Web. More of Leslie´s writing and photography can be viewed at:

Rosalyn Marhatta
Rosalyn Marhatta loves to write and performs at Tate Street Coffee House and the Greensboro Public Library. She decided to be a poet after her sister insisted her stories were really poems. She’s published in Dead Mule, Referential Magazine, Poems2Day, Diamond Diva Magazine, Eclectic Flash and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2011 for her poem "Ocean Flight" in Vox Poetica. She has 4 new poems in "Fire and Chocolate" WGOT Poetry Anthology. She is poetic_line on Twitter.

Rhonda Melanson
Rhonda Melanson submitted the work The Book of Dust.

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Spring Equinox 2012 Table of Contents