Year: 2020

COVID Hands by Christine Deynaka

Worry.  Don’t write.  Pace.  Try to write. Obsessively scroll through COVID updates.  Avoid writing. Adopt a sourdough starter and name her “Lily”.  Make bread.  Write a few uninspired lines. Think of mortality. Update my will. Download calming music.  Start to write in spurts. Wallow in writer’s block with Corona (the good memories kind) and lime to escape corona (the bad memories kind).       COVID Hands Hands wrap Christmas gifts casually dine, shop, touch before your invisible invasion camouflaged by a crown  that strangles, ambushes  the frail, the carers, the social  retreating like prisoners stockpiling and sanitizing lonely hands that become wrung, wrought, red, raw tracing outbreaks, clusters, death hands gloved, sewing masks banging pots and pans punching down homemade bread isolated hands that yearn  but cannot hug

Black Bear Issue 8

Print Issue No. 8

Selkirk College’s Creative Writing and Digital Arts students are proud to present this year’s print edition of the Black Bear Review. Featuring 14 writers and 15 visual artists, this magazine is a true testament to the hard work, talent, and ambition of everyone involved. Due to COVID-19 the magazines are not currently being sold in bookstores, but we plan to have a COVID-safe launch party in the fall. Stay tuned for that exciting event. In the meantime, enjoy this electronic copy and we invite you to share on social media. The e-copy might take a second to load, but trust us – it’s worth the wait!

Birds, Bongs, and Briefs by Veronique Darwin

Part One: Arrival Birdy trailed a teabag through lukewarm water. Her granddaughter Missy, recently back from nursing school, held up a large cell phone: on it, a skeleton of a human, its joints lit up like jellyfish. “Osteoarthritis,” Missy said solemnly. “Damage in the place where two bones come together.” Birdy looked out the window at the bird feeder. “It’s them I worry about. The birds haven’t been fed for some time now. I used to make my own suet, and now—” “Sweat?” asked Missy. They stared at each other, two distanced generations weighing the intelligence of the other. “You do need regular exercise.” Birdy folded her hands in her lap. Missy with her purple hair and too-short shorts seemed to imagine Birdy was looking for something and not finding it; like a princess waiting for the second shoe, Birdy’s granddaughter walked around barefoot, unkempt, paint in her hair and always a different boyfriend. Birdy wanted to tell her that she knew what adventure was too, and she had gone and done it, hadn’t she? …

Judgement Day by Bethany Pardoe (Grade Twelve Writing Competition Winner)

The judge Jam smeared and restless, the judge banged his gavel.  “Order! Order in the court!”  The agitated spectators filling the pews on either side of the aisle fell quiet. A few more bangs of the gavel because the judge liked the sharp noise. Time to bring out the accused. The courtroom was brilliant white. The walls and ceiling were the white of ivory chess pieces and gossamer angel wings. But the white of the judges glorious high chair was dirtied, tagged with sticky strawberry residue, cookie crumbles, and streaks of crayon. He pawed with pudgy fingers through a container of cheerios. He wanted every eye in the room to be on him. Wanted the air to be so fraught with anticipation they would all get headaches from the strain of it. He crammed too many cheerios into his mouth and some fell  into his bib, lodged in the fleshy crevices of his skin, or stuck to the coagulated jam on his arms. When the quiet reached its most absolute he said, “Bring in the …

Inbetween by Kaden Johnon (Grade Ten Writing Competition Winner)

Shadows of deep crimson enveloped the landscape, like a blanket of thin fog. All was mostly visible, but the only thing that one could truly see was the neon and faint aura of a single lonely building. A sign flickered just off of the russet-coloured road on which he stood, which simply read “DINER” in glowing yellow-orange letters. How he had gotten here, he did not remember, but off in the distance on each end of the road rested a low mountain, in which a dark tunnel’s mouth opened, leading to places unknown. There was no traffic. No vehicles of any kind. There was no parking lot around the diner either, merely an empty road, not newly paved, but there was no wear either–simply in an awkward state of inbetween. The sky around grows ever darker as he looks towards its mahogany peak directly above, starting at a faint glowing red on the horizon. The diner seemed increasingly more alluring each second, and gradually he began to amble nearer, the drone of the lights growing …

Sunday Morning by Lilli J. Matern

Outside my window the wind is murmuring. The diaphanous curtain floats in the breeze. The curtain is ethereal in its movements Accompanied by the dulcet tones of a violin The sweet fragrance of pancakes drifts through the air I burrow deeper into my bed, not yet ready to start the day     About The Author Lilli J. Matern is a writer and occasional poet. Lilli lives in Canada with her family and their senile pet parrot. She spends much of her time either writing or reading. When not writing or reading, Lilli likes to knit and drink tea.

DIANA MORITA COLE INTERVIEW – The Practices, Affirmations and Courage of a Misfit

Introduction: I was extremely fortunate to have met with Diana Morita Cole, Author of Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit in the fall of 2019 to discuss everything from her book and writing practices to life experiences and philosophies. It goes without any shadow of a doubt that Diana’s words of self-care practices, of overcoming doubts and obstacles, and of meeting expectations allowed me to reflect on who I am as a young writer, and I firmly believe that her words will do the same for many more. Hence, it may come as a great surprise that after our interview was over, Diana told me “when I go home, I’ll think of something else that I should have told you”. Diana, thank you for your time, words, your great influence, and most of all, your courage. Love, Samantha Smith Managing Editor Black Bear Review   Interview: How would you define success? I’m very happy when my readers identify with my characters and their struggles. That transference allows me to take my readers on a journey that, …

How to Write a New Years Resolution : Five steps to making “smart” goals in 2020

Here we go again… Those 6 glory days between Christmas and New Years day have officially passed, which means that it’s time to put down the gingersnaps and pick up the slack. By the drop of a hat yet another year has passed, and many of us are facing those daunting “New Year, new me!” thoughts, while all at the same time it feels like it was only yesterday that we were welcoming in 2019. Don’t worry, here at the Black Bear Review, we get you, and we are fully aware of how truly anxiety provoking the New Year can be. That is why we have taken the time to make a list for you to follow along to help all of your big goals for this year seem a little more achievable. Here’s the thing: Goal setting is an art, and setting a good goal does not come as easily as saying “I want to write a book this year”, or “I want to paint a masterpiece”. The truth is, even Di Vinci had …