Paradigm Prize Winner
Paradigm Prize Winner
Phoenix Finalist
Phoenix Finalist
Pineapple Finalist
Pineapple Finalist

Laying the Ground Work: The Snake Path

an author interview with Lori B.

Symbolism is a storytelling tool that can be wielded with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel, or the hackneyed swagger of a machete. In The Snake Path, by Lori B., we see the former: a deft touch that allows readers to enjoy both the "step-by-step" laying of a garden path and the protagonist's journey from arid dissatisfaction, to earthen action.

Lori, a school psychologist, finds writing a great way to unleash her creativity and order her thoughts about complex issues. A keen observer, she pays attention to the news and conversations, and asks herself: is this inspiring? Can I write about it? Usually, an initial gut feeling begins to take on a life of its own.

As she writes, Lori's audience is always on her mind. She pulls back every few paragraphs, and asks herself if what she has just written is likely to "grab" people. A love of words, and how they fit together, a rich vocabulary, and a strong sense of humor also inform Lori's writing. She finds the development of a plot line the hardest part of storytelling, although you wouldn't know it when reading her work.

An avid photographe,r Lori especially likes to document small elements of the natural world such as birds, lizards and flowers. This attention to detail is evident in The Snake Path, and proves an effective way of drawing readers into her story world. Lori is currently working on the text and photos for a children's picture book that will celebrate the unique desert ecosystem surrounding her Tucson, Arizona home. 

Of her reasons for entering the contest, Lori says, "I love to read and to write, and I find joy in sharing stories with others." We enjoy reading them, Lori!

A FAMILY TREE: LOVE IS IN THE HEIR
Lori B.
bio, family, love
1010 words
             Luigi Barbera (my grandfather) was determined to find a better life for himself. He knew if he stayed in Naples, Italy much longer, he'd end up poor, or dead, or maybe ...
113
I'M LIVING IN A CHILDREN'S BOOK
Lori B.
humor, nature, pet, travel
358 words
My two-week Airbnb guest house in upstate New York comes with ducks and chickens. I didn’t know this when I rented the place, but I’ve discovered that I enjoy waking up to the sound of quacking and clucking in the morning. Sure, I have to ...
15
RUMPELSTILTSKIN REVISITED
Lori B.
fable, fantasy, humor, love
924 words
The two men sat at opposite ends of a long, gleaming mahogany table. They'd been negotiating for hours.George King, president of King Cakes, had finally reached his breaking point. Jumping up angrily, he pounded his fist on the table and ...
116
PLANET PARADISE
Lori B.
family, love, travel
2703 words
           Olympia Constantinopoulos sighed and put down her knitting. Her eyes were getting tired, and it was time for her cup of chamomile tea. She pushed herself out of her La-Z-Boy recliner (a birthday ...
123
THE SNAKE PATH
Lori B.
essay, family
1579 words
The Snake Path     A few years ago, in the middle of the night, I woke up thinking that I needed to do something about my backyard. (And no, that's not a euphemism for a certain part of my anatomy.) I'm talking ...
157
STITCHES IN TIME
Lori B.
bio, essay, family, kids
1692 words
 1955 Mommy is sitting at her sewing machine. I’m standing next to her. I watch as she pins white lace to the collar of my yellow birthday dress. My birthday is tomorrow. I’ll be six years old. The sewing machine was ...
118
COMMUNITY LOVE SONG
Lori B.
fantasy, love
2351 words
      Jane Bell awoke early one morning with a song in her head. It was a lovely tune, and totally original, she thought. Before she could forget it, she jumped out of bed and ran to her piano. But by the time she’d ...
18
MANY NAMES, MANY DREAMS
Lori B.
family, humor, love, travel
1744 words
Many Names, Many Dreams            Antonietta Vittoria Benedetti-Gonzalez was a woman of many names.            Her parents called ...
123
THE WAKEUP CALL
Lori B.
history
2884 words
             Many people talk about the “butterfly effect,” that phenomenon where a butterfly can flap its wings in Tokyo and cause a tornado to occur several weeks later in ...
112
NATURE'S INSPIRATION
Lori B.
nature
1927 words
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”As a child, whenever I was asked that question, I cringed. A teacher, an artist, a nurse? How was I supposed to know? I didn't have the skills for any of those things, and I didn't have any ...
18
TWO BUCKET LISTS
Lori B.
essay, family, humor, love
835 words
     Do you have a bucket list? I never had one until today … and now I have two.      I have to give Celeste Davidson of Join Our Story all the credit. After all, she told us to write about ...
111
THE CHANGING OF THE GOD
Lori B.
fantasy, love, scifi, spirit
1575 words
I knew I was in trouble when I heard the tremendous bang and felt the vibrating shock waves spreading like wildfire across the universe. I’m supposed to be omniscient, right? So why in the world didn’t I see that coming?I must have been too ...
19
PASTA DREAMS
Lori B.
adult, humor, love
1308 words
     Mary Simpson had a problem. She couldn't tell her husband, because she was a widow. She couldn't tell her children, because they lived three time zones away and never answered their phones. She ...
115
JOSIE'S BUCKET LIST
Lori B.
adult, family, kids, travel
1710 words
            Josie stared down at the stream of hot water mixing with the detergent in her wash pail. The strong smell of Murphy’s Oil Soap rose up, sending a wave of nausea through ...
111

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