Art Exhibit Opening with my prints

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The Spider’s Spell

In honor of the print of my copper etching “The Spider’s Spell” that will be on display at the exhibit “A Stone’s Throw from the Water” at Angels Gate Cultural Center from August 4 – September 15, 2018, I just had to write a story snippet.

Here’s the words that I chose for this “story snippet”:

believe, candle, command, fume, gather, haunt, heirloom, jolt, key, light, notice, south, specter, trinket, wood

and here’s the “story snippet” that I wrote using those words:

“The Spider’s Spell”

I had always been drawn to old things
even as a small child
playing in my grandmother’s attic
i couldn’t resist
the rusted skeleton key
that i found

no one knew
where the key came from

no one knew
what the key opened

no one knew
what the key locked away

as an adult
i felt i was searching for something
specific antique items
and although i didn’t know exactly what they were
i always had the belief that
i would find

i hunted for treasure
at estate sales
at antique shops
at local flea markets
and at every county fair

one saturday
in late summer
i followed a series of signs
leading to an estate sale

at the end
of a very long
very overgrown
forgotten county lane
i first saw it
the crumbling mansion
beyond the tangle and neglect
of the front garden

i had a strange prickly feeling
which silently slithered up the back of my spine
i gathered my courage
as i parked on the crowded drive
and stepped through a crudely cut path
past thick thorny vines
and scruffy barbed bushes
the garden had long broken free
and returned to it’s wild
instinctual state

the front entrance of the manor was crowded
as people rummaged through books and boxes piled high
at the base of the stairs

i felt drawn to climb
to the upper levels
entering a small bedroom
near the back
the room was empty
except for a worn wooden wardrobe

behind it

i discovered a musty music box
the cylinder was cracked and beyond repair

as i lifted up the music box
a tarnished silver locket slipped out
and clattered to the floor

as i reached for and picked up the locket
i felt my heart beat faster
i felt beads of sweat gather and drip down
between my chest

the clasp on the locket was broken
it easily flipped open in my hand
a fragment of a faded picture inside
of a young woman
holding her beau’s hand

this was it
i knew
the very items
that i had been looking for
for such a very long time

i thought my search was finally over
i didn’t know
it had just begun

as i had done so many times before
i took my treasures back to my small cottage in the woods
first i carefully removed the dust, dirt and grime
as i prepared the antiques for a deeper cleanse

i set the music box and the locket
beside my grandmother’s old skeleton key
on the table facing the south window

as i lit a tall candle
i could sense the presence of spirits
specters from the past
still clinging to the heirlooms and trinkets that they once owned

i opened the window
and commanded them to leave
into the darkness of the night
the candlelight swayed
the wick sputtered
and fumed

but they did not leave

i waited
for the subtle jolt
that would signal
the release
of their former ownership of
the objects
that they held
in their past lives
so very

as i waited
in the stillness

i noticed

a solitary spider

on its

like a fine spindle


back and forth


back and forth

in a slow

i couldn’t look away
three times
i tried

couldn’t look

i was

maybe it was just a moment
maybe it was many minutes
i wasn’t sure

but finally
i felt a subtle shift
a release
within the room
and i was finally able to
force myself
to glance away

the locket on the table was newly polished
and tightly closed
its clasp was fully functional
i heard the music box tinkling a classic tune

the room was furnished with unfamiliar items from a bygone era
with antique objects that were
brand new

i heard the handle of the door turn
the knob shook
the door rattled and rocked
but held in place
firmly locked
keeping me

i heard a thump
and felt a brush
as if an unseen force had passed by
the skeleton key from my grandmother’s attic
lifted from the table
and flew across the room
it neatly fit into the keyhole
and clicked
within the lock
and the door


Written by Susan Eileen Jizba
Weaver & Wordsmith….the Weaver of Words
………………weaving fibers & fables………………

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a fireside tale: travelling further down the road

…this one took a little while, but here it is. my latest “story snippet”, continuing the story of a “fireside tale”….

here’s the chosen words: amulet, bind, burnish, bury, cast, challenge, connect, fairy tale, haunt, hidden, midnight, path, porcelain, trick, wilderness….

and here’s the “story snippet” that I wrote using these words…can you find each word embedded in the tale?

“a fireside tale: travelling further down the road”

vaguely aware
………i wandered toward wakefulness

………………stepping forward

drifting back

……struggling against the pull

……………….holding ground

…………………feeling the force

…………….of the mesmerizing seduction of sleep

………………challenging it

…………………fighting it

………………………stepping forward once again

……………………………….this time

……………………………………all the way across

…………………………………………………..the t h r e s h o l d

………………l e a v i n g   behind the  ethereal  realm  of    d r e a m s


as my hazy sleep logic

………the edge
………………..of waking reality

i paused.

trying to

there was something


in my dreams

i struggled to recall
but the images were just out of  r e a c h

i could feel them

in a subliminal space

……………a half-step away

haunting me
taunting me

as i tried so very hard
to remember the images
to understand the message

but the dream was
……………………………………………….g o n e

i felt cold
perhaps the fire went out
i felt wet too
i opened my eyes

i wasn’t in my bed

i was lying on thick dewy moss on a forest floor

i bolted awake


i remembered

the odd night in my cottage
the enchanted embers
lifting up and out of my fireplace
one by one
my midnight flight
following the trail of their light
into the cursed wilderness
becoming entangled in a swirling vortex of spells
cast backwards

i felt a faint filmy residue
of the sticky gossamer web of magic
of binds that had been broken
and flung aside

but now
aside from fading remnants
from the night before

the air around me
felt oddly
and completely free of magic

in addition to the absence of magic
i felt something else
as if an enormous shift
had taken place

i looked around the dense forest
faintly lit by the approach of dawn
but i couldn’t find any trace
of the enchanted embers from the night before

i couldn’t shake the feeling
something was wrong

i decided to head back to my cottage
i wanted to make sure everything was okay
i could see bits of the meadow through the trees
so i headed out to the meadow
trying to retrace my steps
from the night before

a light morning mist hovered a foot above the ground
covering the large expansive meadow
i looked for the ancient oak tree
to gain a sense of direction

but the meadow was clear
it should have been there
but it wasn’t

i crossed the large meadow
stepping carefully in the fog
but i soon became concerned and careless
and started to run

i made it half way across the field
when my foot caught on something
i stumbled

it was a small sapling
an oak tree

i had an eerie feeling

i had never seen a sapling in the middle of the meadow before
only a single massive oak tree

i stood up
i wasn’t injured
just shaken
i felt my heart pounding and pounding

i raced across the rest of the meadow
heading for the area
where i thought i could find the path
back to my cottage

the mist dissipated at the edge of the meadow
i found a faint earthen path
it wasn’t the broad footpath that i knew

i had a deeply disturbing feeling
i knew that this was
the path

i followed the trail
through the trees
ducking under branches
stepping over tree trunks
as my heart pounded and pounded

it felt like i had been walking for hours
when i finally reached the place
the clearing where i knew
my cottage
should be

but there was nothing

this time i knew for sure
the forest was denser than it had ever been
the familiar mountain with tall spires was in view
it reminded me of the church in my grandmother’s fairy tale
a tale she told us long past bedtime
when i was supposed to be
fast asleep

it was the same majestic mountain
that i had gazed at from my cottage door on so many early mornings
as its long spindly shadows
receded with the rising
of the sun

i rushed to the place
where my cottage should have been
searching for the outline of its foundation
searching for burnt ashes from the fireplace
searching for shattered fragments of porcelain
searching for any artifact
that could prove
the existence of my home
the existence of my life just a night ago
in order to find proof of the very existence and identity
of who i truly

as my heart pounded and pounded and p o u n d e d

i found


as the sun rose further
i saw a flash
then another quick glint
half buried underneath a clump of earth
on the side of the clearing
i discovered a small amulet
it was shiny and burnished
newly handcrafted
i picked it up
and held it in my palm
i felt deeply and strangely
connected to its energy

i felt the presence of someone approaching
i slipped the amulet into my pocket and looked up
an old man in rough homespun clothes rushed toward me

he whispered loudly
motioning to me to follow him

they’re coming
they’re coming

he urged me

i rushed after the old man
heading into the thick undergrowth
at the side of the clearing

i looked at him
as we settled into our hiding place
wanting to speak
he motioned me to be silent

in a few moments
they came

five horsemen

their approach was so chillingly silent
like a growing shadow
i felt a strange

they halted their horses
in the clearing where my cottage used to be

one horseman dismounted
as the others waited
the horseman
knelt in the place
where i had found the amulet
in the clearing

the horseman touched the ground
in that very place
and closed his eyes
i felt the strange tingling again

he opened his eyes
and then slowly scanned the forest surrounding the clearing
i knew this was not a trick
this was trouble

i felt a strange instinctive reaction
take over my mind body and spirit

time s l o w e d

i thought i felt
a slight vibration
from the amulet in my pocket

my mind body and spirit filled up with the expansion and growth of the forest
vines twisting and wrapping
branches swelling and extending
leaves unfurling and spreading
the furious action

as the horseman
turned to stare
at our hiding place

i felt an unnatural
i knew
that the horseman
was scanning the stillness of the clearing with his mind

i felt it

he was sensing his surroundings for signs of life
he gave a subtle sniff of the air
oddly enough i could hear him listening for sounds

i felt a sense of relief
when a small sparrow hopped out of the bushes
capturing and diverting his attention
and finally convincing him
to move on

the horseman stood up
mounted his horse
and after scanning the area
one last time
he rode off
with the

after the horsemen
disappeared down the trail
we waited
in stillness
until i felt the forest awaken again
as the flora and fauna
and swished
and the air
and clear
once again

when i felt it was safe
i turned to the old man

the words popped out of my mouth without politeness or polish

“who are you?“
i asked him

“who are you?”
he replied
“and what was that?”

i didn’t know.
i was stunned to realize.

after the strange sequence of events and the loss of time and place i wasn’t sure about anything anymore.

written by Susan Eileen Jizba
weaver & wordsmith… the weaver of words
…………………………weaving fibers & fables

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Art Exhibit includes my work

I’m very excited to have my work included in the Art Exhibit “Marina del Pedro” at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, California.

A video of Barry rowing and a photograph that I took at the Port were included in the exhibit on display through May 19, 2018.

Link to art exhibit:

this is another picture that I took of the port (from my wordpress site textured tales)…

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new words for the next “story snippet”

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Here’s the next set of words to be used in writing the next story snippet, as “a fireside tale” continues…..  

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Now accepting “word donations”


…….a few





…………………………………………… w o r d s

for my next snippet, as “a fireside tale” continues…..

…so far……..

……the chosen words are:

* amulet
* wilderness
* porcelain

if you would like to donate a word or two…..

…please plunk your word down in the comment section below by monday febuary 12, 2018

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finally. yes, this one took awhile….a fireside tale: the horseman

Ok, here’s the new “story snippet” – with vacation, work and stressing out about our country that I love so very deeply, it took me awhile to write this.

But of course, I love writing so very much, I had to get back to it.

Here’s the words that a few wonderful people suggested * Thank you *-  along with a few fairytale themed words that I drew at random from a hand carved wooden bowl:


and here’s the story snippet that I wrote using these words.

Can you locate each word within the snippet?….


“a fireside tale: the horseman”

i followed the tiny blinks of light
of the traveling trail of enchanted embers
as it s t r e t c h e d
f a r
f a r
a w a y
and down
the earthen path

the moon was a thin crescent of light

hanging high

in the silence of the night sky
it was a slight sliver away
from a complete eclipse into the darkness of the new moon

i should have needed a lantern
but the forest was filled with an odd unnatural glow
as if the environment was manipulated by a force of will

it reminded me of
the wise woman’s tale
she spoke of a powerful weaver
a man who could bend the natural elements
grasping a wisp of air
casting a curl of flame
grounding layers of intent deep within the earth
calling forth the drip and drop of water until it rushed forth in swirling torrents
binding the four elements in a spell
with a sticky web of words

for good
for evil

the wise woman cautioned me
the weaver was often reckless and vengeful

take great care
she told me
of that which you chose to put out into the world
for everything that you give
comes back at you
three times

with the full force
of the magic
of three

chose your words
and your deeds
she told me

for with great power
you have a great responsibility
use it wisely
use it well
i thought about her words
as i followed the trail of blinking embers
but the further that they travelled down the trail
the more difficult they became to see
as the trail of light began
to sag
to dip
to dim
and darken

i could barely discern the lights when we reached a large clearing
a meadow with an ancient oak tree
it was a place where i always felt an ethereal power
it was a high and holy spot
at the base of its

the blinking embers left the path
and circled the great oak tree
up and down
round and round
and as they circled it
the lights brightened
and became buoyant once again
sparkling and shimmering
it felt uplifting and celebratory

round and round they traveled
up and down
in rotating streams of light
and when the embers
reached the height of their brightness
they slowly unwound from the tree trunk
lining up at its base
one by one

i followed the trail of embers

as they headed across the expansive meadow
and when they reached the furthest edge
they paused
pooling in a blinking circle of light
as if to gather courage
for the dark forest beyond
was different
it was a mysterious place
greatly feared
and known for its deep enchantment

i had never dared to enter it

as i reached the edge of the meadow
i also stopped
and tried to remain calm
as i watched the embers moving
very slowly
into the dark forest
one by one

no. no. please.
i whispered
as if they could hear

i felt the creep and clutch of terror close tightly around my heart

i felt a faint whisper of chill on the breeze behind me
i felt a prickle of fear slither up the back of my neck
i felt a presence, an energy so very, very close
right next to me
i froze
couldn’t move
couldn’t breathe
i stood completely still for a sliver of a moment
like a fawn frozen on the forest floor

and then
the presence disappeared
swirling a w a y

my breath burst back
i heaved air back into my lungs
i instinctively reached up to touch my protective talisman
around my neck

it was g o n e

i tried to stay calm
i tried to breathe
my heart was pounding, pounding, p o u n d i n g
i tried to remember the last time i felt my talisman
i remembered stepping out of my cottage
i stopped to touch my talisman at the threshold before stepping outside
as i always did
assuring myself of the unseen protective force accompanying me
into the darkness of the night

i thought about heading back
as i watched the last embers
disappear into the dark forest
i knew i had to decide quickly
the trail would soon
be gone

i panicked
this was my one chance
i was given this extraordinary opportunity to discover deep truths
and i must take it
it felt as if it was something i simply must do
i couldn’t turn back

like a reckless dive into the cold clear mountain lake
i tried not to think
simply acting
plunging into the dark forest
following the very last blinking ember
and stepped into the dense forest

i was slammed by the full force of magic

the air was heavy with incantations
of an ancient tongue
the flow of words felt unnatural
as if sentences were traveling backwards
it felt as if a spell had been cast
but each word that created it
was being pulled back
one by one

the words were being sucked into a swirling vortex
traveling backwards to the origination
to the very moment before
the spell was

i struggled against the pull
as i was sucked into the spiral of sentences
the embers began to sway and shimmer
i felt dizzy and weak
i stumbled onto the thick moss on the forest floor
i felt sick
i shut my eyes
trying to stop the spinning

i dreamt a dizzy dream
at first the images were scattered and erratic
i tried to focus on the fluid flow
slowing the swirling surge of images

a white wolf
an apple orchard under the full moon
the crackle and scratch of writing on parchment
hands reaching out
a soft sigh

and then

a cloaked hooded horseman kneeling among ancient ruins
bowing on the broken stone floor
as if before a princess
but there was only light
so very bright
and shimmering

the last set of images felt profoundly prophetic
i knew that i knew
this time
this place
yet i had never ever
been here

written by Susan Eileen Jizba
Weaver & Wordsmith….the Weaver of Words

……..weaving fibers & fables……………….



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