Monday, October 17, 2011

Let Me Redirect You...

If you go over to my Creative TMI site, this is where I have been for the past year. I have written two books and working on my third, a trilogy. I also love art, write fiction, prose and still love my poetry and ramblings about a Texas girl in New Jersey, married to a New Yorker...and now have a son teaching in Korea!

Creative TMI

Monday, December 28, 2009

Muse Monday

From now on this site will run off of the 'Muse Monday' blog...

All stories, photos, poetry, or creative content will be seen over there!


E Stelling
AKA Chef E

Thursday, December 3, 2009


- Muse I

I do have a fascination for abandoned places
This is the first I have photographed
I think it is an old spring house within walking distance of my home.

I couldn't get much closer without boots,
or a willingness to ruin my new sneaks.

I am determined to get brave with my investigating of these places...

~ Rebecca

Under feet
Morning ground
Crisp sounds
Unrevealed places
To be seen
Dense branches
Holding back
Holding on
Sunlight, green
Rivers unseen
Secret hideaways
Brave determination
Abandonment at a pathways end…

© E Stelling, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Poetry/Photography- Muse II

Do you find yourself missing summer, as if a thief crept in the night removing it from under dreaming head...

Discovering a pebble in your pocket, hoping it could magically transport feet into a slowly sinking warm embrace...

By side
Watery graves
Winding shores
Her fury
Sensitive feet
Life is shared
Walk with care…

© E Stelling, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Memory Box

I am trying to hustle to get some more material for my upcoming book 'Cast Iron Tempo', and had this piece dangling in my mind for months now... See what you think...

PS- I find it hard to juggle all of these blogs, so I have mainly been posting on my TMI... Come over and follow me there!

Mae’s fingers felt the ache of the evening cold as it crept under the old door, and into her bones. Pain shot up her hand as she drew out the needle and then pushed it back through the fabric. Arthritis took over her hands years past, but she was determined to get her latest blouse made before the weekend came. Earl T. her husband would walk in the door any moment. He spent most of his afternoons in the same place he had for the past fifteen years or more, out in the work shed.

Mae knew Earl was sitting in the same old spot next to his wood burning stove drinking coffee he made every morning in an old pot. His work bench was worn down by the rubbing of his small frame and hands across the top for over fifty years. The only evidence of green paint that remained to be seen was peeling on the edges and the legs. Roy their young neighbor was probably keeping him company, and putting up with Earl’s tales of flying thunder off Metcalf Gap. The only thing that would stop his rambling and bring him in after dark was the thought of missing out on a piece of homemade pie. Earl liked eating his pie, and then sipped his hot coffee off of the cracked saucer.

What Earl did not know, Mae did not make pies anymore. A girl from the local Presbyterian Church would slip them in once a week through the front door. This was part of their senior meal delivery service. Mae would also mend a few things for them from time to time in payment. The old couple did not have a dog to alert Roy, or other neighbors of her arrival. So Mae just let him think she was still capable of peeling apples, rolling out crust, and lifting them into the old stove. The door alone was hard enough to open.

Mae used a can opener and a microwave for most of their meals. Green beans, ranch style beans, potato and carrots, and other vegetables with a few pieces of store cooked chicken would satisfy her husband. She slipped pan cooked bacon in now and then to keep aromas of the old times present for him. He had always been a plain eater, and never spent much time in the kitchen. Mae preferred things that way. Earl was always outside tinkering with his newest inventions. Junk she had always called it. He was clueless like most husbands of their times. Earl might fuss with her to stop sewing if he knew she struggled with pain, so she kept him in the dark.

Mae had no plans of ever stopping. She enjoyed making her own clothes. Out of necessity she began to stitch as a young girl. Her own parents too poor to purchase clothes for her, or her older brother. Welfare and Indian heritage income saved them while Mae was growing up. Sure Clarence, her father worked enough to keep up the taxes on the old homestead, but most of the time they lived hand to mouth. On whatever her mother Ida could scrounge up. Mae sat near the front living room window in the house she shared with Earl. Sitting on an old storage bench full of photographs and keep safes when she would do detailed hand stitching. The box once held toys for the grand kids.

When the family would visit she knew the kids would head straight into the house and open the lid; it was filled with old dolls and dishes they had once left behind. The bench was a present from Earl T. He wanted her to have something to keep her sewing supplies in after they had gotten married, but she just used the old dresser and closet in the back bedroom. Mae knew she had way too many pieces of folded fabric to fit into that small bench. One day her daughter would have to clean out the old house, and knew she would be pleased to find what would eventually be hidden inside.

Old house
Standing tall
Attention needed
Details will fall
Within lie ghost
Boxes untouched
Russian matryoshka
Fitting us into the other
Passed on, memories long…

One day, years after Mae and Earl had passed on, their daughter well into her eighties; Ruby had begun to lose her memory. This was a sad time in the life of her niece Elizabeth, and other family members. Her brother along with many other old timers had already gone, and the remaining family cherished what Ruby could dredge up. Elizabeth began more frequent visits, so that she could write down information as it came to Ruby. One day while the two of them were searching Ruby’s house for old photos, the bench her father gave to her mother was uncovered.

She opened the lid and right on top was a neatly folded piece of material. With such excitement Ruby held it up and said, “Well I’ll be, lookie here. Why this was the dress my mother made me when I was a baby” In amazement they both talked about how Mae handmade all of their clothes, and she had even taught Elizabeth’s own mother to create beautiful hand stitching; which was a talent she herself practiced on her own two children. Ruby told her niece that this dress was made for her christening. Mae had used material from the shirt Earl T. wore when they got married.

Ruby folded the dress up and placed it back into the old storage bench, and began to pull out photographs. They were pictures of Ruby’s own children and grandchildren; that she herself placed in the box many years before. The photos her niece was seeking which once occupied its space were nowhere to be found. A few minutes later Ruby would pull out the dress, and repeated what she had just said about the dress.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Red Dashboard- Revision

I had been out of sink with my last editor Erika who teaches and is super busy up in north Jersey, and now have just took on a phenomenal writer/editor/teacher- Michele Kallman, Princeton. We sat down together and worked on this piece I had written a few months back- Red Dashboard. Michele has been following my writing for quite some time and approached me about working together, and being involved with teaching drama and her own works that I have seen over the past months, I said yes.

If you read the first draft; which I totally wrote early early morning in one of my insomnia stints, and compare it to this edited revision, I think you will see I take my writing seriously, and hope to move forward with publishing my first book- Cast Iron Tempo- Poetry & Vignettes.

I also would like to thank Jeanne @ The Raisin Chronicles. She inspires me, and also helped with edits, support, input on this piece and other works. Thanks Michele & Jeanne you are two great writers, and good friends!

Red Dashboard

Walking the cold streets of midnight to escape my feelings is not my cup of tea.

I hate the cold!

I hate the darkness...

My feet pound the sidewalk in six inch stilettos…

Tap, Tap, Tap…

An unintentional SOS… Morse code…

Signals that I am getting closer to doing what I have wanted to do most of my life.

Living my own life the way it was meant to live.

Not sure who I am trying to warn.

Each breathe I take sends out smoke signals…

Soon his cologne is brought back into my nostrils.

Love, lust, the hatred...

Tainted with memories of his smile…

The compliments he gave me each day.

God, how I wanted him gone from my life, and I would almost do anything to free myself from his magnetism. Pulling my overcoat in tight around my neck as chills ran up and down my back. I felt as though eyes were watching me. Was he lurking around corners? In the city's dark doorways the paranoia had me walking even faster. A danger was present. Was I taking the wrong step, toward my own end? I had a goal. My goal was to see this life changing choice through. My car was not that far now, and I would be entering its toasty space; it was the kind of warmth that would help shake off the chill; possibly a false protection from the night.

Walking down late night streets was not something I like to do; yet it had become insomnia’s friend. I began to hear footsteps behind me. Could it be him? her? his mistress? That bitch that would not leave me alone; his weapon he now used against me. Drinks with acquaintances had provided false reassurance that I was in no danger. Even my friends did not understand how obsessed he had become. He wanted me, yet he would not let go of her. The cold was getting to me, I thought.

A light mist had veiled around me as the night was becoming dawn.

Only moments…

Tap Tap Tap

I would be safe.

The sound of footsteps behind me grew louder.

My heels sank into the wet ground as I began to run faster, fumbling with my keys, I saw my blue Mercedes sitting near the corner curb. Adrenaline kept my thoughts clear. I can make it; it was just a few more feet. I got the alarm key ready just in case. There now I was safely inside the driver’s seat. The cool night mixes with the heat of breathe, as my exhalations fog up the windows, as I try to look outside. I panned around the cold tan leather interior.

Yes! The engine starts as a shadow loams within my mirror. Dread finds me once again. I yearn to escape these feelings of fear-ridden claustrophobia. Damn his sadistic charm! Damn his willingness to say anything and draw me into his baiting world; it's as though I am pulled through a funnel with no opening. Yanked into darkness I wanted no part of. In his mind he was the law, another powerful face.

Reaching quickly into my leopard-skin purse, I find my friend of safety, my shiny silver companion, loaded and ready. The car shakes, and I point my unsteady hand at the lurking shadow. The rocking makes causes hesitation to do what must be done.

Soon it all stops...

Crimson sweetness spills upon the dashboard, turning the darkness into my wine-sapped scene of violent passion...

If anyone has any thoughts on this piece, please share. How did it make you feel? Were you drawn into my story? What does the ending do for you? I will post another rework, as soon as we get it done. Thanks, E

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Disenchantment - The Poem

This is a work in progress...

While driving through the cloud covered and rainy mountains of Kentucky I began to see lush green vines that draped the rocky cut out paths along the highways. Turns out that this plant is like a relative that comes to visit and never leaves.

Eventually coming upon this house that was floating on it's sea of green, and immediately I fell in love with the idea it would make a good subject for my camera lens and pen. Inspired by its beauty and not knowing about the plant, I soon began to discover man's disenchantment with his decision to bring it over from China in the early 1930's.

I found that most vines I grew in my yard in Texas would over take what ever lay in their path; unless you stayed on top of its yearly growth. This house lost its keeper, and therefore the past it once held has become trapped in the Kudzu's deadly grip...

Most of us spend; life
stomping out weeds
shouting out loud
deprived of love.

Scented air lifts
rain falls gifting kiss
leaving sediment; debris
covering life's crown.

Lush and green
transformation seen
usurping poverty's beams
too much of a good thing.

Fearless beauty is born
hearts become torn; awhile
moon and stars rest
upon your choking sea.

© E Stelling, 2009

An interesting Japanese article on 'Kuzu', or as we know it Kudzu...

I will be revising this poem as it is newly written under stress of making dinner, endless phone calls, husband disturbance, and random day to day kudzu in my own life! Any remarks on its flow, or direction shall be taken under consideration, and welcome. This is something new I am trying with my TMI site, and mistakes are bound to be missed...