A Sciku of admiration for these noble lives

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“Aged and Ageless” A Sciku of Trees:

I don’t want to live
In a world without real trees.
Without role models —

Botanical friends
That teach me, by example.
How to live and thrive

In a scary world.
How to grow up fearlessly
Rooted and reaching,

Twisting instead of
Breaking. Sucking up toxins
And giving back joy.

Laughing with the sky,
Coexisting with the earth,
Dancing with seasons.

Gifting leaves of green,
Red, gold, bronze. Nuts. Buds. Bark. Cones.
The scent of flowers.

Watching the wide world,
Eon after eon and
Staying strong, grounded.

Never despairing.
Always believing in growth.
Optimistic. Good.

Undaunted. Even
at the age of…


More about writing than faith

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In retrospect, my hesitation at reading The Book of Longings is laughable

It’s absurd, really. I had purchased a copy of Sue Monk Kidd’s book, The Book of Longings when it was released through my Book-of-the-Month subscription, but I put off reading it. I had it in my head that I might be committing some kind of quiet heresy by indulging myself in a story that “re-imagined” Jesus’ as a married man.

My childhood upbringing of weekly church services and standard Methodist dogma got in the way and delayed my reading of one of the best books I’ve held in my hands this year.

I try never to rate books. I also…


Curated in April 2021

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“Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

I have no idea what’s going on, but basically everything I’ve written in the month of April was curated. (The only one that wasn’t was the April 3rd piece right here in CurationMatters, which wasn’t eligible.)

In fact, since January, I’ve published 36 pieces in multiple publications. Four of those pieces were published in Curation Matters and exempt from consideration for curation. Thirty-two published pieces remain. One was an experiment for a short-form post, and two were published under my own name. Twenty-nine of the thirty-two pieces were curated.

I’m elated, but I’m also curious.

I’m Curious…(Aren’t we all?)

While Medium suggests that quality…


Suspects, suspense, & surprise

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Thanks to you, Nancy Drew

As a kid, I read every Nancy Drew mystery available. I’d get them at the library and haul home five or six at a time. My family was one of book lovers, and every birthday or Christmas, I’d get at least one teenaged-sleuthing-female-mystery-fighting Nancy Drew. Sometimes, for variety’s sake, I’d read The Hardy Boys, an old copy of the Bobbsey Twins, or an ancient book my grandmother had of The Boxcar Children.

Even in grade school, I was an eclectic reader, mixing mysteries with biographies and science with romance. I still am. …


But Kristin Hannah’s book shouldn’t be your only source

“Dust Bowl Blues” by Kansas Poetry (Patrick) is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Kristin Hannah’s popular success

Kristin Hannah has written twenty-four books. Her book, The Nightingale, published in 2015, was wildly successful. Set in France, it looks at the very different paths two sisters take to survive the German occupation. It’s being adapted for film with Elle and Dakota Fanning taking the starring roles of the two sisters. The Nightingale has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Hannah has risen to great popularity and gained the acclaim of bestseller status for numerous books.

Firefly Lane, a novel about a decades-long friendship that is torn apart, was ix recently adapted into a television series starring Katherine Heigl and…


Rumblings of literary fraud

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Literary Rumblings of Fraud

I admit that I’m easily excited by stories. A good plot gets my blood pumping. A strong character piques my interest. A well-researched historical basis stimulates my mind. So it’s no surprise that the premise of Mark T. Sullivan’s Beneath a Scarlet Sky wowed me.

The novel was based on “the true story of a forgotten hero,” Pino Lella, an Italian youth who led refugees over the mountains to freedom in physical acts of courage. Later, Lello enlisted in the German Army to avoid being drafted into it. …


You won’t regret it

library shelves in the dark of night
library shelves in the dark of night
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The word “charming” comes to mind

Sometimes I read a book because I’ve seen an advertisement for it. Sometimes I choose a book because the blurb sounds interesting. I’ve been known to buy a book because I love the cover art or because the title sounds like music on my tongue. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig appealed to me because I’m a book lover, and what book lover can resist a book about a library filled with stories about the lives you might have lived?

To tell the truth, the word “charming” came to mind after I finished reading this novel, but not at first…


My Nanny, “The Bait Boss”

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An Anthropology-Inspired Grandmother Sciku:

No cookie baker.
No white hair or sober shoes.
Nanny rocked the world.

Two Drastically Different Grandmas

Maw-Maw, my paternal grandmother, was as transparent as Saran Wrap. No hidden motives, no mind games, no sharp tongue. She was music and word-play, and faith rolled into one smiling, white-haired, wrinkled-skin package.

On the other side of the family tree, the branches weren’t so straight.

My maternal grandmother was the daughter of an itinerant gambler in a tough home in a Southern Indiana river town born in the first decades of the 1900s. …


Delight that doubles with twins

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“So many good things come in pairs, like ears, socks, and panda bears.

But, best of all are the set of twins, with extra laughter, double grins.” — Anonymous

Downsizing Into Delight

“Downsizing” for us meant moving from a large two-story home on our twenty-five-acre property into a house one-quarter of the size. Our new home was a much smaller house that we had built years before for my husband’s mother, just about thirty yards away from our original Big House.

As we got closer to retirement, we recognized that we didn’t need all that space and all that upkeep. Our older joints…


Or all three…

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Only for the love of it…

If you’ve read my work, you know that I write for the love of the craft. My early dreams of making money on Medium were blown to smithereens long ago. No matter how many times I’ve been curated, or how many “bigger” publications I’ve been in, or how consistently I’ve published, I have never yet broken the $100 per month mark.

Yet I continue to publish on Medium because I like the community. I’ve met people I care about here even though I may never physically get to shake their hands or see them eye-to-eye. I enjoy creating a body…

Melissa Gouty

Writer, teacher, speaker, and observer of human nature. Creative content for the literary world. Follow me at LiteratureLust.com, Twitter, or Facebook.

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