Three Drops from a Cauldron: Issue 22 (The Return!)

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Angel’s Cove, a story from Ripples on the Pond, is on p.51. 🙂

Angel's Cove Enlarged

 

Three Drops from a Cauldron

Hello there readers, writers, cauldron stirrers (in the nicest possible way), and assorted magical beings. We’re back with our first new web journal issue in 6 months! (Yes, I had a lovely maternity leave, thank you! – Kate)

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Ripples on the Pond Review by N.N. Light’s Book Heaven

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A wonderful review of Ripples on the Pond by N.N. Light’s Book Heaven:

Ripples on the Pond by @sebnemsanders Echoes Emotions of the Human Experience! #mustread #bookreview #shortstory #anthology

May 24, 2018

Title: Ripples on the Pond

Author: Sebnem E. Sanders

Genre: short stories, flash fiction, women’s fiction, fantasy

Book Blurb:

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.

My Review:

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

 

 

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/single-post/2018/05/24/Ripples-on-the-Pond-by-sebnemsanders-Echoes-Emotions-of-the-Human-Experience-mustread-bookreview-shortstory-anthology

Echoes in the Snow

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A story from Ripples on the Pond, to commemorate the beginning of the War of Independence in Turkey that began when Ataturk arrived at Samsun on May 19th, 1919, 99 years ago today.

 

 

palandoken

Palandöken Mountains, Erzurum

 

erzurumda-kar-uzerinde-cirit-003

A mountain village in Erzurum

 

 

Through the window of her stone house, Ayshe gazed at the infinite white blanket covering her surroundings. The remote mountain village in East Anatolia had been cut off from the rest of the world ever since the roads were closed during the blizzard. Her thoughts drifted to Ali, her husband. She had not heard from him in the past four years. All the young men in the village had been called to fight in the big war, they had no idea about. The remaining folk, old men, women and children, did not even know the enemy. The only enemy they knew in these parts were the Russians, who raided the region every now and then, burning the villages and the mosques.

The loneliness and the void the whiteness evoked would last another three months, escalating the grief of her solitary existence. Hearing the chuckles of her baby filled her heart with joy. She rushed to the crib to hold her, only to find it empty, again. Tears in her eyes, Ayshe began her chores. Every day, she cleaned the house, from top to bottom, making everything sparkling, to wash away her sins. The fatigue that set in each evening relieved some of her pain. Her hands red and cracked from constant scrubbing, she rubbed with oil and wrapped them in muslin at night. In her dreams, she played with her little angel and held her to her bosom.

The Sultan, they had heard about, but their Sultan was food, which was scarce. Only some grains and legumes remained from the summer, while they had difficulty keeping alive the chickens, anorexic cattle and sheep, once snow enveloped the meadows in the winter. The white blanket isolated them from the big town of Erzurum and the villages scattered along the way. Abandoned to their fate, they dealt with their problems as best they could.

Internal administration and strategy left in the hands of the Imam, a council of old men aided him. The local midwife, the only person who contended with health issues and bringing new life into the world. The children attended Quran courses held by the Imam and learned the alphabet, while suffering under his sharp cane.

One night, three months after Ali’s departure, she’d fed the baby, put her back in her crib, and fallen asleep. A strange feeling in her heart, she awoke with the rising sun, and rushed to the crib. The baby lay still, a translucent whiteness spread over her dainty face, and her lips a shade of purple. Ayshe screamed at the top of her voice. Her neighbours came and called the midwife. She rocked the dead child in her arms, until the midwife prised the baby away, and gave Ayshe some calming tea.

They buried the little angel, in a small coffin, the size of her crib. Ayshe wept inwards, not a single sound coming out of her mouth. She stopped talking and wandered around, lost in her head, until one day she climbed up into the hills and screamed, “Aliiiiiii, come back!”

The mountains echoed her voice and carried the words of lament to the addressee far away, but time had to take its course.

Ayshe wept and wept, until there were no more tears. She resumed her life, looking after the house, her meagre cattle and sheep, and the chickens. She never mentioned the baby again. Only talked to her in her dreams.

The Imam said, “Beware of strangers. Do not open your doors, especially to those who come in the night.”

Her parents dead a long time ago, her husband’s family scattered around the neighbouring villages, Ayshe was left on her own, but closely watched by the elderly.

Towards the end of the winter of 1919, someone knocked on her door in the middle of the night. Ayshe rose, grabbed her gun, and tiptoed to the entrance, her heart pounding.

“Who is it?”

Another knock and silence. The weapon in her hand, she unlocked the door and saw a body lying face down on her doorstep. She poked it with the gun and leaned down to turn the head. The familiar eyes of the bearded man stared at her through frozen eyelashes. “Ali!”

She dropped the gun and dragged him inside, calling for help. The neighbours lent a hand to carry him to the bed and strip his ice-starched clothes from him. She rubbed oil into his frozen skin and limbs, and covered him with blankets.

Ali opened his eyes three days later. The purple marks on his hands and feet had begun to fade, and colour rose in his cheeks. Ayshe wrapped him in her arms and cried with joy. “Thank God!”

Ayshe knew then she had to tell him. She pointed to the empty crib and said, “The baby is dead and it’s my fault. I failed to look after her. She would have been four years old now.” She retreated into a corner and sobbed.

***

Ali saw the anguish in her eyes. He had lived through enough grief during the war. Bodies blown to pieces and covered in blood. The desert had turned to a sea of red, corpses rotting in the heat, famine and plagues threatening the lives of those who survived. The faces of the enemy changed, depending on where they were fighting. The English, the French or the Arabs. The Ottoman army bled, until the war ended and troops dispersed.

On the long trek home, he’d heard her voice echoing back from the mountains. Through heat, starvation, dehydration, diarrhoea, and fever he had survived. The call of her voice, whispering to him on the wind, kept him going, on his solitary journey. By the time he reached his native land, the snow had blocked the mountain roads. He could no longer wait. He’d lost so much time. He would make it.

Ali held Ayshe’s hand and embraced her. He stroked her hair and wept with her. “We’ll have other babies. Spring will be here soon. They say Mustafa Kemal Pasha will end all this misery.”

 

 Erzurum

The snowy plains of Erzurum 

 

 


Ripples on the Pond

RC Quarterly Spring-Summer Issue 52

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RC Magazine Collage

 

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. 

 

Ripples on RC Magazine

 

RC Quarterly Cover

 

Here’s the link to to the PDF version of the magazine:

RC Quarterly Alumni Magazine Spring-Summer Issue 2018

 

 

 

 

Ripples on the Pond

Ripples on the Pond by Sebnem E. Sanders

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Many thanks to author Paul Bennet from The Review Group on Facebook for this wonderful review. 🙂

Historical Fiction reviews

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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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King of Hearts from Ripples on the Pond is published in the May edition of The Bosphorus Review of Books

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Bosphorus Issue May 2018 Cover

 

I’m delighted to share with you the following news. My story, King of Hearts, from my  anthology,  Ripples on the Pond is published in the May 2018 edition of The Bosphorus Review of Books .

 

Link: The Bosphorus Review of Books, May 2018 edition

https://bosphorusreview.com/may-2018-1

 

Link: King of Hearts

https://bosphorusreview.com/may-2018

 

The Bosphorus Review of Books

 

Happy days, happy writing,

 

Sebnem

 

 

 

Ripples on the Pond

Mirror, Mirror

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Mirror 2

 

An ad I came across on the Internet got me pondering. Round mirror for sale, never used.

Once I arrived home, I confronted the hexagonal, guild-framed mirror hanging in my lounge, one I’ve had for a while. “Are you used? Your frame must be chipped and the glass slightly scratched, but that’s not what I mean.”

How can a mirror be not-used? Hasn’t the factory worker ever looked in it after coating the glass with a reflective surface? The framer assessed his work, as he raked his fingers through his hair? Hasn’t the seller peeked and winked at it while smoothing his tie? Or a female customer paused in front of it for a moment to refresh her make-up, and continued shopping. So it’s not wear and tear I’m talking about, it’s the functionality, the main task of a mirror that should count.

A mirror’s first duty is to create a perfect reflection of the person or an object in front of it. If we accept some of the above probabilities to be true, then we must conclude that the mirror has been used. Yet, there’s no proof because the mirror doesn’t have a memory. It doesn’t record anything. There’s no flashback, a rewind button, or any tangible evidence. In that sense, a mirror is inferior to a camera that produces printed or digital copies which people can later peruse and reminisce the moment.

So, my lovely looking glass of  thirty years, every time I glance at you, you reflect back my current state, but nothing from the past, when I was younger. Nor my late mother’s image when she stood before you and touched her hair, or any glimpses of my beloveds who are no longer in my life. You say the departed cannot be perceived with the eye because they become tiny specks of light. I agree with that, but I’m still here, so are the estranged ones.

I can’t remember when I first saw my own reflection in one, but I do recall watching my father shave before the bathroom mirror, his face covered in white foam. And my mother sitting at her dressing table and putting on lipstick, then dabbing it lightly with her finger.

Is it vanity, a narcissistic habit that we consult mirrors for approval each day? Or is it a self-destructive approach that gives us pain as we age? I don’t know when the attachment starts, perhaps with a shy peek during teenage years, until it becomes an addictive routine. I’m three-dimensional, though the image you project is two-dimensional, an illusion of how others see me, just like the photos.

Yet, when I look into you, I see other things than what you show me. I can search your depths and bring back visions from my mind’s eye. Maybe I should avoid you, stop witnessing my aging process, if not day by day, but from year to year. Perhaps, you’re being kind by not showing me the past. Telling me I should stay in the moment and not delve into the folds of time.

Sometimes I see my mother peeking back at me or my grandmother’s eyes in mine. Other times the radiant face of a young girl greets me with a smile and whispers, “What will be, will be.”

Ripples on the Pond has received a #ChillWithABookReadersAward

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I’m thrilled to share with you some exciting news. Ripples on the Pond has received a Chill With A Book Readers Award. 🙂

 

Ripples in the Pond by Sebnem Sanders

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.

Genre:  Short Stories
Approx pages:  247

Ripples on the Pond was read and evaluated by Chill’s readers against the following…

Were the characters strong and engaging?
Was the book well written?
Did the story / plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
Was the ending satisfying?

Would you recommend to someone who reads this kind of story?

 

http://www.chillwithabook.com/2018/04/ripples-on-pond-by-sebnem-e-sanders.html

Short Story Collections – Settle in and Read

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A wonderful blog post from author Diana Wallace Peach and a lovely review of Ripples on the Pond. Thank you, very much Diana. 🙂

Myths of the Mirror

Right about now, I can’t think of anything more enjoyable than sitting outside in the spring sunshine, nibbling on strawberries, and reading. (For those in the southern hemisphere, just turn it around, and contemplate those cool, comfortable autumn days of hot cocoa and swirling leaves).

Short stories somehow complete the picture, and I wanted to share my 5-STAR reviews for 3 short story collections that I enjoyed over the winter. All beautifully written, all with a broad variety of stories, all wonderfully entertaining. I hope one or two or all three appeal to you.

Global links to Amazon are below the books, and if you want to connect with any of these three wonderful bloggers, click on their names. ❤

Global Amazon Link

Ripples on the Pond

by Sebnem Sanders

Ripples on the Pond is a mesmerizing collection of short stories. I was swept into Sanders’ imagination from the very…

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Happy Easter! ************************* [in Just-] by E. E. Cummings

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Easter Egg Limoges

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it’s
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

Easter Eggs - Copy

Easter Eggs Various