Women & Words Dec. 1, 2008

To order, check your local Cape Cod bookstore, or email: GillianHDrake@aol.com

$14.95 plus $5 shipping.

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The following poem by is from the anthology of poetry, fiction and memoir about Cape Cod entitled "World of Water, World of Sand: A Cape Cod Collection of Poetry, Fiction and Memoir," published by Shank Painter Publishing.


by Cynthia Zaitzevsky

This is my beach.
I began life here,
swam here as a child.

I remember
the sucking sound of ebbing water
the wet sand puckered with tiny air holes
the fringe of foam at its edge
waves forming in the distance,
swelling, cresting,
crashing on the shore.

Years later I come back,
sore in body and spirit.
Here is the sand and the fringe of foam.
Here comes a wave rolling in.
I curve my back and dive,
as it thrusts me forward
and breaks on my shoulder blades.

The boiling surf churns over me,
and I am whole.


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Our Favorite Cafe to Meet, Work and Read!

Harwich Central Café:
  A Community Place

The big red house at 98 Parallel Street (between Bank Street and Sisson Road) is home to a wonderful café that promises to become one of those places you just can’t wait to get back to.

Open year round, owners Blaize and Kristine encourage customers to stick around and relax in the comfortable seating/meeting room to enjoy the free WiFi, a book swap and live music on most Saturdays. As the days begin to shorten and the cold fingers of winter grasp at our heels, it is great news to know that we have this cozy place to gather and stay connected with our community.

The Harwich Central Café serves Fair Trade Organic Coffee and Teas, specialty hot drinks that include Nutty Rules! and Cinnayummy! in addition to a wide variety of delicious baked goods, soups, salads and sandwiches.

Hours: Mon – Fri 6:30am to 3:00pm
& Sat – Sun 8:00am -3:00pm

Harwich Central Café, 98 Parallel Street, Harwich
508 432 9801


Author Lynn Kiele Bonasia:

How one author’s novel
became her own
instruction guide for moving on


“Life imitates art . . .”
I remember struggling
with this
rather counterintuitive concept from one of Oscar Wilde’s essays in grad school. I thought he was being a wise ass. After all, logic suggests it’s the other way around. Artists draw influence from life experience. How could life imitate artistic expression?

My first novel, Some Assembly Required, which came out in July, began around six years ago, when I was still in school down in Florida. I was homesick and in writing it, drew from my own experience of having lived on the Cape. While the plot and characters are purely fictional, there were certain aspects to my main character, Rose, that might be considered autobiographical. For example, while I’d never been a writer of instruction manuals as she had, I had written the words on dehumidifier boxes among other glamorous exploits during my 20-year stint as an advertising copywriter. Perhaps too, there were certain facets of my personality that meshed with hers. I’ll admit that for most of my life I’ve been one of those people who follows the rules. I arrive on time and never miss deadlines. I brush my teeth when I get out of bed, refrain from cutting out mattress tags for fear of karmic repercussions, and bring the car in for an oil change when the number on the odometer matches the one on my window sticker.

When I started this novel about a woman who moves to the Cape to start over after a bad break-up, I was in a relationship I didn’t foresee ending. Not by a long shot. I’d bought into that whole “ ’til death do you part” thing as one would expect––more rule following––and so when my husband of 20 years decided to call it quits, for reasons that in hindsight and all fairness were understandable, I was stunned. We were not the kind of people who did such things. I wasn’t.

Fortunately, at the time all this was going on, I had the upcoming publication of my book to look forward to. And so I threw myself into working with my publicist, each day having some new project or receiving some bit of news to keep me occupied.

One day, I received a blurb about my book written by a popular author and recall thinking: Hey, sounds like a book I should read. Because, after all, why do we read fiction except to figure things out, learn about ourselves and the human condition, and what motivations lie at the roots of our behavior? And then, in that instant with these half crazy thoughts swirling in my heart-broken, stressed out, sleep-deprived, cold-medicated brain, I was struck with the ultimate irony: six years ago, I’d begun writing myself an instruction manual on how to move forward in my own life.

It was as if a little part of my own psyche had reached out to a future me. There were things to be learned now from my own character about letting go, finding the strength to move on, about grace, humor, compassion, faith and even forgiveness. In another year’s time, like Rose, I’d be faced with the likelihood of moving to the Cape to start over. Was it sheer coincidence or had Rose been reaching out for something I couldn’t admit to myself, or even fathom I could possibly want? Dramatic irony is when the reader knows something a character doesn’t. How about when a character knows something the author doesn’t?

Last week, I spoke with an old friend who’s a practicing psychologist. I asked her whether she thought writing this novel might have been a way for me to work things out on a subconscious level. She emphatically agreed to the likelihood. I’ve always been an intuitive person with an ability to read people, to the extent that I sometimes feeling a sense of dread before bad news arrives. What happens when a person like that shuts off her intuition in order to keep the peace, or to hang onto something she’s convinced herself is precious? What happens when we hit the mute button on that “little voice”?

At the risk of over-thinking all of this, imparting meaning where there simply may not be, or even just ruining the beauty of my discovery, I remain humbled and even comforted by the character of my own character, so to speak, and at the possibility that my heart and mind may have been hard at work when it seems my senses had taken leave.

In the end, you never know where life will lead you. You just have to be open to what it can teach. In some ways, this was my “Dorothy” moment. Three clicks of the ruby slippers and I’d found that the power to heal and find home had always been mine.

But just in case Oscar Wilde was truly onto something, my next novel* will be about a wildly successful Cape Cod author (with a strapping young boyfriend) who wins the lottery.

*Ok, that will be the third novel. The next one, scheduled to come out the summer of 2010, is actually about a woman who runs a clam bar on Cape Cod.

© 2008   To order, go to:   www.lynnkielebonasia.com


Winter Poems

The First Snow 

by Anita Mewherter

I wake to vivid light slanting
through frost-glazed windows

watch chickadees surprised
by winter’s first snow
skitter among snow-capped bushes.

My dog and I hike to the cove
make first tracks
across white velvet covers

round the corner where
familiar boats tied to the shore
today wear collars of ermine and lace

Sunshine sequins frayed ropes
and eiderdowns gentle
the branches of an old apple tree

A sudden shower of snow
from the pines
blesses the silvery silence

I see storm clouds
blow away to the east
rejoice in the cleansing wind

call my little dog
and turn toward home

photo by Anne Garton

The Gift

by Judith Partelow, 11-21-08

I like the snowstorm that gathers its force at night

and when I turn on my porch light

I see the huge flakes rushing down the street

like a gang taking over the neighborhood.

I know it won’t be safe to go out

until the all-clear sounds the day after tomorrow.

The morning radio announces everyone should stay at home

so I, cheerfully compliant, curl up in pajamas all day long

enjoying the white drifts and swags

like bleached laundry hanging on a line.

Oh, yes, I’ll join the others in a uniform of down jacket, cap
     and gloves,

armed with shovel to displace the havoc wreaked upon us.

But for now this change in tempo

to enforced seclusion, cup of cocoa and contemplation

is more welcome than a planned vacation –

as it arrived effortlessly

presenting me

the unexpected gift of time.

Judith Partelow of Harwich is a freelance actress, director and poet who has lived on Cape Cod for over 30 years. She serves on the Board of the Provincetown Theater, and represents the Baha’i Faith on the Leadership Council of the Cape Cod Interfaith Coalition. She works at Hospice & Palliative Care of Cape Cod.

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Telephone: (508) 255-5084
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