BellaOnline Literary Review
Kooki Kool 2 by Mark Berkery

Letter to Our Readers
Lisa Binion A year of hurricanes, tropical storms, and unseasonal snowfall is about to end as we prepare for the bedlam of shopping for those special gifts to give to our friends and loved ones. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the fast-approaching new year, explore the kinship you have with others as you read about the many diverse relationships in this Winter issue of Mused.

Through poetry we explore the chaos and craziness of shopping during the hectic holiday season. Watch as a vivid and dramatic transformation begins in the fog and ends in the depths of the ocean. The hopelessness of a mom's cancer and chemotherapy is seen through the bewildered eyes of a child.

Relationships with oneself and one's family are explored in the nonfiction and fiction selections. A woman reflects upon her past relationship with her father, a man she has some very mixed feelings about, as she tries to decide what type of cake to bake for his birthday. But no matter what kind she chooses, he won't be there to enjoy it. A man thinks back upon his favorite memories of his beloved father. Read the story of a woman's fierce independence and her grief.

Experience Ethiopia with a pregnant woman and her husband. She is afraid of losing the baby on the trip, but her husband loves taking exotic trips and he wants one more before the baby arrives. During an intimate conversation with his nephew, a man relives losing a woman he never even kissed, but loved deeply. Watch and listen in as an unhappily married woman meets with an old friend for coffee to discuss her marriage.

We have all had our failures. Let us not only learn from the mistakes we have made this past year, but let us look upon all we have accomplished and vow to make this coming year even better.

Lisa Binion

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Winter Solstice 2011 Table of Contents