I’m back at the Bar, sipping more Rye Whiskey. Many thanks to John Patrick Robbins, Poet and Editor-in-Chief of The Rye Whiskey Review, for letting me in.
La Belle Époque
The theme of the dinner party was La Belle Époque,
in the vintage shop, I found a dress suitable for Jane Avril.
Took it home, put it on a hanger and began imagining …
The urge was great, so I slipped into it,
the lights dimmed for a moment and
I was transported to a busy bar in Paris,
champagne flowing, cigarette smoke hanging in the air,
as the pianist accompanied the sad song the soloist sang.
Toulouse came to say, “Bonne soirée, ma chérie,”
but my eye was on the young Picasso, surrounded by pretty ladies.
Hiding in the corner with Zola was Pierre Currie,
having left Marie at the laboratory with her radiation tests.
Lumiére was looking up and down my dress,
to decide on my role in his next film,
as Picasso approached and bought me drink.
Moulin Rouge, he said, or Casino de Paris or maybe even La Tour Eiffel
Toulouse wasn’t too happy about this, but he joined crowd,
carrying bottles of champagne in his hands.
We rode Lumiére’s automobile to the Eiffel with Colette,
flirting with the elegant dames, in their haute couture,
Monet, Renoir, and Cezanne followed us,
in other autos with Michelin tyres.
We danced through the night in Parc du Champ de Mars,
and on top of the tower, watching Paris and then,
stopped at Moulin Rouge, meeting,
Andre Gide, Baudelaire, Mussorgsky and Stravinsky there.
Joie de vivre, absinthe, Can-can, poetry,
music, art, and literature hand in hand,
we roamed through Monmartre, Folies Bergére,
visiting each and every drinking hole,
cabaret, burlesque show, and ended up at the Ritz.
And we danced, and we danced, and we danced,
And I danced, and I danced, and I danced,
clinging to my dress …
Photo credit. -la-belle-epoque-de-jules-cheret-de-l-affiche-au-decor.jpg (800×1119) Old French Posters and Advertisements
adventure, anthology, debut, Flash Fiction, memories, review, Ripples on the Pond, short stories, Stockholm Archipelago, Summer of 1968, Sweden, teenage, teenage adventure, teenager, time-travel, travel, Varmdö, young adult
Recently, Ray Not Bradbury https://raynotbradbury.com posted a review on Ripples on the Pond https://raynotbradbury.com/2018/06/25/book-review-ripples-on-the-pond-sebnem-e-sanders/ .
I was pleasantly surprised to receive this review which she kindly posted on Goodreads, as well. I loved the photo of the book Ray took, which she used on her blog and on Instagram, and asked her if I might use it for a future post for Ripples.
Scrolling through her blog, I discovered Ran Not Bradbury is a pen name for Victoria Ohlsson who lives in Sweden. So the picture was taken in Sweden by a Swedish reviewer. Well, this brought back some memories from many years ago, to be exact, fifty years ago, from 1968 .
So, I time-travelled to the summer of 1968, when I spent about six weeks in Sweden, and a few days in Copenhagen.
I was one of the Turkish students invited to attend an International Lions Youth Camp in Sweden. It was my first trip abroad and the Sterling Airways flight took me to Copenhagen where I boarded a train to Stockholm after making sure I was in the right car labelled Stockholm. When we reached the sea, the Stockholm labelled car slipped onboard a ferry. After arriving at the Swedish shores, the car was attached to a Swedish train. It was dark when we reached Stockholm.
I entered the terminal in apprehension. How was the Swedish family I was to spend a week with before the Camp going to find me? Then I heard an announcement in English on the loudspeaker, calling my name and asking me to come to the Information Desk. A very blonde and blue eyed Swedish lady , Mrs Bernstrand, accompanied by two young boys with corn silk hair, greeted me with a smile. After dropping my small suitcase into the trunk of her car, she drove away to a destination unknown to me.
I was very tired. I hadn’t slept since the early hours of the previous morning when my flight took off from Istanbul. The stress of finding the Copenhagen train station, buying the ticket, and making sure I was in the right car added to the tension. But the good thing was everyone in Copenhagen spoke English, even the dustman who guided me to the ticket booth. Although I had relaxed a bit on the train, the American sailors who boarded at the next station and tried to chat me up, gave me the creeps. As soon as I told them where I was from, they asked me if I had “Hash”. I was terrified. I clung to my handbag and my suitcase, praying they won’t steal my travel allowance of about 200 dollars in my wallet. I stopped talking to them, and luckily they went away.
So trying to keep my eyes open and answer politely to Mrs Bernstrand’s questions was a hard task. I kept drifting off and waking up, thinking this is very rude. At the end of the journey, sprinkled with polite conversation, we came to a jetty and parked. A very tall and well-built gentleman, Mr Bernstrand, came to the car, and after greeting me, carried my suitcase and guided me to a motor-boat waiting at the jetty.
About ten minutes later, we arrived at another jetty, where he tied the boat and we disembarked. Mrs Bernstrand took me to a wooden cabin and introduced me to a teenager, about my age, saying, “This is your bedroom. Chloe will help you settle and she’ll show you the way to the main house in the morning. “
Chloe was an Au Pair, taking care of the young boys in the summer. I think she was French, but spoke English. Kindly she offered me the bottom bed of the bunker. I collapsed and fell into deep sleep. I hadn’t slept for twenty-four hours.
The cabin was equipped with a bathroom and shower. After the morning ablutions, it was time for breakfast.
I emerged from the cabin and found myself in the middle of a pine forest. Birdsong filled the air, and the red house we were heading to was perched upon a hill facing the sea.
We entered the kitchen with a magnificent sea view and sat at the generous breakfast table. Pickled herring Eww… No, I can’t have that for breakfast. It’s sweet too. I love the cheese though, and the crackers. And that little instrument that shaves the cheese. Ham, no problem. Coffee or tea, I can’t remember. Probably tea, I wasn’t a coffee addict, then, just acquiring new tastes. I loved the strawberries, though I couldn’t understand why they were pouring milk on them. Later I found out this was cream, not milk, though I still love my strawberries plain.
I was at Varmdö, the biggest island in the Stockholm archipelago, where Swedish families spend their summers. An array of colourful wooden cottages sprinkled inside a pine forest where strawberries and raspberries grow wild, under the shade of the trees. No borders or hedges between the houses, a lifestyle without borders.
I was lucky. The summer of 1968 was one the hottest summers in Sweden in thirty years. So, I took my first dip into the Baltic Sea and had a great time.
Photos: The book picture is taken by Ray Not Bradbury
The photos of Varmdö, from Google, exactly as I remember this gorgeous island.
The photo at bottom right, is one of me and friends at Varmdö, after playing croquet
To be continued….
Many thanks to RayNotBradbury for reviewing Ripples on the Pond on her blog. I love her comments on the stories she chose to feature and analyze.
Thank you, RayNotBradbury. I’m most grateful. 🙂
“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.” Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Sebnem E. Sanders… tells the story to you, or – stories – where the plot changes direction all the time, the heroes expands the surfaces of the real world and all that, in turn, transforms YOU.
Here’s the blog of the author – Sebnem Sanders
But it was one of my followers, Jeanne, who introduced me to this book.
‘Ripples on the pond’ is the collection of 71 short stories, which portray war, love, hate, greed, betrayal, future and much more. I guess the name of the book is reflecting to ‘the ripples’ we are making in our everyday’s Pond called Earth.
71 stories – is way too much to share on my blog, that’s why I’ve picked only a…
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Dear friends, followers and fellow writers,
I know I have been absent for a while, due to pre-election stress and anticipation, and post-election trauma and disappointment. Though hopes for a better future have almost diminished, life continues somehow. There is always something that puts a smile on our faces, despite the odds. This makes me think, perhaps, we tend to take life too seriously. At least, I do.
My story, Virginia Creeper, from my anthology of flash fiction and short stories, Ripples on the Pond is in the July issue of the Bosphorus Review of Books . This story was fist published by Spelk Fiction last year: Virginia Creeper
Here’s the link to the Bosphorus Review:
I promise, I’ll be in touch more often, soon.
anthology, around the world, bite-size stories, book trailer, debut, experience, Flash Fiction, human experience, life, Locations, lunchtime stories, ripples, Ripples on the Pond, settings, short stories
I’m unable to share the book trailer I made for Ripples on the Pond on WordPress unless I upgrade my membership and pay a monthly fee. So, I’m going to share the photos in the trailer and a link to my Instagram post where I uploaded the video. I hope it works.
Most stories in Ripples on the Pond don’t have a specific setting. This is deliberate on my part, as a writer, because I want to make them universal. They can happen anywhere in the world. They depict echoes of the human experience, our strengths, weaknesses, failures, achievements, and observations. We are the sum total of everything in our lives, in our search for happiness.
Yet, some stories have specific settings, due to a memory, life experience, a public figure or a work of art that inspired me. So here’s a summary of a few titles from Ripples on the Pond set at various locations around the world.
The Southern Aegean and The Mediterranean
Gemiler Adası, St Nicholas Island, Fethiye, Muğla, Turkey
A tribute to Florida
Time to put that book in the bag,
and begin to read, anywhere, any time, when you have a moment. Bite-size stories, lunchtime stories …
Thank you very much for reading. 🙂
A wonderful review of Ripples on the Pond by N.N. Light’s Book Heaven:
May 24, 2018
Title: Ripples on the Pond
Author: Sebnem E. Sanders
Genre: short stories, flash fiction, women’s fiction, fantasy
A man infatuated with ivy. A woman pining for lost love. In a Turkish square, ancient buildings lament a devastating explosion. An unlikely friendship struck up with a homeless person. A journey to a magical place that once visited can never be found again. The camaraderie between the patients in a cancer ward. A writer who has lost his muse. A tragedy that leads to dementia.
These are just a few of seventy individual tales set in locations straddling continents, which portray war, love, hate, hope, greed, revenge, despair, humour, mystical happenings, fantasy, and so much more. Like ripples expanding on the surface of a pond to reach its banks, they converge in this anthology of flash fiction and short stories by Sebnem E. Sanders in her debut release.
Ripples on the Pond is a fantastic collection of over seventy flash fiction and short stories ranging in genre but all dealing with the human experience. From friendship to love to loss to tragedy, these stories are beautifully written. While reading, I found my heart yearning to travel to the places described and wanting to experience what the world has to offer. Like the title implies, each story is a ripple on the pond of life, extending its reach and revealing truth.
Normally, I shy away from short story collections because I’m a novel reader but once I started reading Ripples on the Pond, I couldn’t stop. The writing is superb with its concise storytelling, yet I didn’t feel cheated by the length. Characters are fleshed out and given their moment to shine. When I finished and there were no more stories, I smiled to myself. This is one of those books I will be re-reading again and again. A must read!
My Rating: 5 stars
2018, ACG, Alma Mater, anthology, Arnavutkoy, debut, Flash Fiction, Istanbul, Quarterly Alumni Magazine, RC, Ripples on the Pond, Robert College, short stories, Spring-Summer Issue 52, The American College for Girls, Turkey
It’s wonderful to be mentioned in the Quartely Alumni Magazine of my Alma Mater, then ACG, The American College for Girls, now RC, Robert College, in Istanbul, Turkey.
Here’s the link to to the PDF version of the magazine:
Many thanks to author Paul Bennet from The Review Group on Facebook for this wonderful review. 🙂
First, a confession, I cannot remember the last time I read a collection of short stories, Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury somehow sticks in my mind, and while I have enjoyed Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe and the like; I am, and probably will remain, for the most part, a novel reader. It was mere curiosity that found me asking to review this anthology. Now, having said that I must also confess that Ripples on the Pond just might have me looking at the genre a bit more closely. What I found, my peeps and fellow travelers, in Ripples on the Pond is a compelling collection of well crafted stories. Stories that evoke the gamut of human emotions and experiences; glimpses of love, joy, loss, and hope permeate the pages and like a pebble dropped into water, the stories leave ripples of humanity seeking truth and fulfillment. A…
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Link: The Bosphorus Review of Books, May 2018 edition
Link: King of Hearts
Happy days, happy writing,