Submission Theme Of The Month – A Moral Dilemma

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This is our first Submission Theme of the Month! We encourage you to submit writing of any and all topics and themes, but if you’re looking for a place to start, the Submission Theme of the Month should help you!

This month’s theme is: A Moral Dilemma. A moral dilemma is a conflict in which your characters have to choose between two or more actions and have moral reasons for choosing each action.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia

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“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” 
-E.L. Doctorow

A VidLit starts with a well-told tale. If you are reading this, you are likely a writer of fiction, creative non-fiction or a poet who is looking for a new outlet. Maybe you haven’t been published before, or not for a while, but you have something to say and a creative way to say it. We want to help. We want to give you a platform and help you with the sometimes icky task of promoting yourself. Our mission is to make fiction and creative non-fiction indispensable. It’s our belief that stories help our lives to make sense.

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  • One submission of 2000 words or less.
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Minions’ Lament

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Click here to read part 1 of the series, The Philosopher King

By Rachel Artenian

Meow, meow, mew, mew, nibble, nip, coo.
Psst, Gwendolyn, is that working for you?
Purrrrr, play, leap, scratch, paddle, wriggle my rear
Cecily, I don’t think anyone knows that we’re here.

There’s a new cat in town; nothing’s the same
He makes us so mad; Punim’s his name
They kiss him and coddle him and bedeck him with jewels
They fête him with sushi; he follows no rules.

We owned this house before he arrived
We strutted and feasted and both of us thrived
Now, no more kisses, no more creamed caviar
Punim, the prince, is the one shining star

Confession

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by Barry Allen Herzog

     During late afternoons in November the sun would glide across the metal-coated building behind Howard Abrams’ office and cast a smear of copper on the wall opposite his desk. The smear would slide up slowly, melting, until it met the ceiling, bent and oozed inexorably in his direction.
     The sun always set before it reached him.
     By then the secretaries outside his door would be ending the tasks they had worked on since lunch and would be straightening their desk tops for tomorrow. Pleadings would whir through copy machines to be collated, stapled, affixed to blue construction paper and attached to forms directing the messenger service where they should be filed the next day in court.
     Abrams heard Martha take out her purse and remove the top of her lipstick with the little popping noise it always made. He pictured her sliding the red gloss carefully along her upper lip while he stared at piles of manila folders scattered on the floor, file cabinets and chairs around him.
     The intercom on his desk phone buzzed, insistent and shrill. He touched the ‘receive’ button.
     The voice of the new receptionist came out metallic, thin. “Your five o’clock is here.”

My Private Frida

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by Harriet Reisen

        The other day I saw the exhibit of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s garden at the Bronx Botanical Garden. It was a perfect day spent in glorious weather with a new friend. She called it a “play date.” I’d call it a good day to go on a pilgrimage, the kind Chaucer wrote of in The Canterbury Tales centuries ago.
         I’d been making pilgrimages to shrines of Frida Kahlo for a very long time, more than twenty-five years, from the day when from far across a slushy winter street a Frida Kahlo self-portrait on an Art in America magazine cover bewitched me. I crossed a network of intersections to get to the Out-Of-Town newsstand in Harvard Square to buy the magazine, although it was expensive, and I had never read it before. The subject of the cover story was an exhibit of Frida Kahlo’s work, at the Gray Gallery in New York. Like a magician’s stooge carrying out a post-hypnotic suggestion, I got on a Boston southbound train to see it.

WEATHER

Weather - Now a VidLit!

By Cathy Colman

“There is no snow pack. Only one year of water left.”—Governor of California, Jerry Brown

Sometimes the earth tells and retells her story.
Throws figurines, makes the doors stutter,
weathered wood flies apart like toothpicks.
We are not listening. We live on behalf of strangers.
We live on the surface. It’s the only place.
I can see grooves
from the water’s former sluice, from the riot where
the meadow confessed its obsession for red. Somewhere,

Deconstructing The Beatles

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By Dan Dubelman

Watch the VidLit here: Deconstructing The Beatles

Intro:

Oh yeah, all right, Are you gonna be in my dreams tonight?

Was it Just a Dream?

I was born in New York City at 6:06pm on January 25th, 1965. John Lennon always said 9s had meaning for him and 6 seems to be my number. My ex-girlfriend said that I have undiagnosed dyslexia, and while I’m not sure if she’s right, 6’s and 9s seem related to me, and it always seems like it’s 6:06 or 6:09 or even 9:09. If six were nine, I don’t mind.

My parents figured I would die. Their first son died, but not before they had two or three years to love and bond with him. Out of fear, they didn’t let too many people touch me. It was okay to look, but don’t touch. If people were going to look at me I had to be entertaining. I had early reinforcement that being able to express myself in a manner in which others were amused brought joy and laughter. I craved this feeling the way a normal person feels when they wake up after a long sleep and the smell of fresh blueberry-banana buckwheat pancakes permeates the air. I know you don’t think buckwheat would be tasty, but you haven’t had mine. Just a small amount of really good maple syrup – the expensive shit you have to buy at the hipster store – really complements the flavor.

Roses and the Snow

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By Laura Cella

It was my twentieth wedding anniversary a few Thursdays ago and my husband Jamie and I went out to dinner. I went with two of his sisters to a restaurant in Manhattan and he joined his cousin and her husband at their house in Santa Monica. He flies home every Friday night and, like a 36-hour clock precisely wound, returns to Los Angeles on Sunday evening.

Sometimes I wonder if the ceramic bride and groom on our wedding cake were accidentally placed facing in opposite directions. While living in the same place at the same time has sometimes proved difficult, our marriage only became a cross-country relay event three years ago, when he became the President and CEO of The Culver Studios, known throughout the movie-going world as the big, white house seen in the introductory frame of every David O. Selznick film.

While living simultaneous lives on opposite coasts can be Hell, it also comes with unexpected moments of incomparable sweetness that I don’t think would be there if we were together all the time. Sometimes these moments are simultaneous. Sometimes they involve snow.

The Philosopher King

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By Rachel Artenian

Watch the VidLit: The Philosopher King

Click here to read part 2 of the series, Minions’ Lament

Punim the cat was alone and inscrutable
Searching and yearning for a home that was suitable
He was tiny and brave; his requirements few:
Humans that tended him and Minions that mew.

Espying two cats in a window one day
Who were eating caviar and engaging in play
And teasing poor Punim by wiggling their rears
Punim thought: I could bring those kitties to tears!

Splaying himself on the porch of the house
With Pitiful cries and folded small as a mouse
Out came the owners: oohing and cooing
Punim thought: I won’t have to do any wooing.

And now Punim has grown to a most regal beast
With two mewing Minions that lead him to feast
With Humans that cater to his every whim
And all who enter must kowtow to him.