Grey Sparrow and Noctua–“Not for the Birds”

Grey Sparrow, Winter 2013
Grey Sparrow, Winter 2013

Grey Sparrow and Noctua Review are both digital and print (hybrid) publications featuring new artists and writers (both short story and flash fiction).

Because of the expense of producing print media or “hard copy”, the proliferation of digital journals allows new writers and artists more venues than ever before.  Journals such as Grey Sparrow and Noctua Review offer both, with the “hard copy” delayed but also available for those who are not quite used to reading almost everything online or in e-book format,  or who just need something for the coffee table.  For those who still believe that printed journals exude more “legitimacy” or “credibility”, some literary and art journals are going through a transitional phase by offering both formats.

Rethinking the way we receive information that used to be exclusively through magazines and newspapers is an exciting venture:  brainstorming new ways to distribute the pleasure and value of reading fiction and appreciating art.  I view them as complementary–almost mutually dependent–in presenting new ways to digest ideas.

The experience of each format is different, both physically and cognitively.   Print is less brilliant in terms of light and “glow” on the eyes and inert when it comes to interacting with the reader. In contrast, digital is bright, interactive and instructive in terms of displaying images, referencing literary illusions, background information, and posting comments.  I enjoy both the “touch and feel” of the paper version as well as the immediacy, interaction, and archival nature of digital media.

For me as a writer and artist, the two-way feedback allowable on the Internet, is an overwhelmingly positive tool to refine my work for a broader audience.  It allows the creator/crafts person to be more democratic in inviting comments and suggestions. The ease, low cost and immediacy of digital distribution is erasing the economies to scale needed for print distribution, once the exclusive providence of large national media channels.  Now we can all compete for viewers.  As content providers/ creators all of us can get potential worldwide distribution that was previously almost impossible.

I invite you to take a look at these two journals which are both digital and print  to see some new work in fiction and art, using the digital and print media distribution channels.  I have my artwork in both journals (Grey Sparrow, Winter 2013) and Noctua Review (June 18, 2013).

“Shadow Dad”– Flash Fiction in “The Story Shack”


“Shadow Dad” was just published in the online literary journal, The Story Shack.  The inspiration for the work came to me during a creative writers’ group exercise involving writing within a 15-minute time period.  It was fun and revealed how sometimes “over thinking” can detract from the power  of the original thought.

Go to The Story Shack online to read “Shadow Dad”. Let me know your comments!


“For Independent Minds”–Grey Sparrow Press

The Internet has created vast new horizons for first-time artists and writers–for new voices.  And indie publishers and self-publishing companies help create and reach new audiences for these voices.  But it still is a daily battle to prove that the new distribution channels for creativity are just as good (or better?) than the traditional black-and-white print media.

Small presses have become  a new and legitimate publishing force. Today these small publishers comprise approximately half of market share in the industry.

One such innovative and dynamic literary journal and press is Grey Sparrow, based in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Grey Sparrow offers a “National Treasure” series in the arts, and features a short story or poem by a Pulitzer Prize writer for most issues.  Emerging and established voices are both presented.  As the recipient of the “Best New Journal” award in 2011 by the MLA (Modern Language Association), Grey Sparrow’s mission is to publish visual art, photography, and literature in print and ezine format.  In addition, Grey Sparrow Press publishes books by first-time authors and announces them on its website  (

If you have art, photography or creative writing you would like to offer to a wider audience, and give voice to your story and interpretation, consider submitting to Grey Sparrow.  (Some of my art is featured in the current January 2013 issue.)

Independent publishing and self-publishing can be the perfect solution for voices yet to be heard, for the poetry of memory and time.  Through language and art, we can make what is small, bigger; what is silent, heard; and what is fleeting, eternal.

“Go for Broke”

Let me introduce myself to the followers of “Unhealed Wound.”

I am Susie Berteaux, friend of Diana and Doug, who has a blog of my own – “S&J’s Big Adventure(s).”

I guess, since I have my own blog, Diana thought that qualified me to be the  substitute blogger while she and Doug are traveling the vast, beautiful and  fascinating country of China.  When she gets back, we will all be waiting for her discoveries of art, culture and …food. I hope you all will find my postings as interesting and educational as Diana’s.


For this posting, I will “GO FOR BROKE!” as I attended the 11th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner for the “Go for Broke National Education Center.”

The dinner was held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, CA.  Almost 900 attendees gathered on the 2nd floor of the hotel, for an evening with the surviving Nisei veterans of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service (MIS) along with their families and friends. This dinner is an annual celebration of these Nisei men who contributed so much to prove their loyalty to the United States by volunteering to fight in the European and Pacific Theatres of World War II.  The 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service (MIS) have become the most decorated military units in US history. Seeing all these men in their late 80s and early to mid 90’s who are our fathers, uncles, grandfathers and great grandfathers, who survived the loss of brothers, cousins and friends in battle far away from their families who were incarcerated in internment camps in some of the most desolate parts of the western United States, made me want to bring more awareness to anyone who is interested in loyalty, courage and love of family and country.  The Go for Broke National Education Center is a wonderful place that does just that.  I have copied some information from the Go for Broke National Education Center website to give you some information that has made me proud to be involved with such an organization.

Excerpts from the Go for Broke National Education Center website:



In 1986, Japanese American veterans who had served in segregated units during World War II decided to create an organization committed to keeping alive their legacy of rising above prejudice and distrust to serve their country with unparalleled bravery and distinction.

Spearheaded by Colonel (Ret.) Young Oak Kim and Buddy Mamiya, the veterans embarked on a mission to build a monument as a lasting memorial to the patriotic men who served their country, even though their country had turned its back on their families.

In 1989 the organization was formally incorporated as the 100th/442nd/MIS WWII Memorial Foundation. For ten years, the veterans led a grassroots campaign to raise funds for the monument, and to secure a location in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district.

1998 was a watershed year as ground was broken for the monument, the Hanashi oral history program kicked off, and the organization held its first teacher training workshop.

Having completed their original mission of building the monument, the veterans established the Go For Broke National Education Foundation to focus on educational programs to preserve and perpetuate the veterans’ story.


….Over the years the organization has continued to develop its educational resources and outreach. We partnered with the Museum of Tolerance to tell the story of the Japanese American soldiers serving in the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion who were amongst the first to reach a Dachau sub-camp and render aid to the Jewish Holocaust survivors.

Our comprehensive video, “A Tradition of Honor,” paired with curriculum guides tailored to meet state standards, has provided the backbone for our teacher workshops.
In recent years, we have developed online curricula to support project based learning.


In 2006 we made a slight name change to the “Go For Broke National Education Center” to reflect our vision of nationwide educational outreach.

Today, we’ve completed over 1,100 veteran interviews, taught over 3,000 teachers and 100,000 students, and we continue to welcome tens of thousands of visitors to the Go For Broke Monument.


More interesting facts from the website:


Military Record of the Military Units

The Japanese American soldiers of WWII proved their loyalty through the sacrifices they made in service to their country, the United States. The decorations and awards they earned are a permanent and indisputable record of their bravery and their patriotism.

For its size and length of service, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the most decorated US military unit.

21 Medals of Honor (20 awarded on June 1, 2000)
52 Distinguished Service Crosses (including 19 Distinguished Service Crosses which were upgraded to Medals of Honor in June 2000)
559 Silver Stars with 28 Oak Leaf Clusters (in lieu of second Silver Star. One Silver Star was upgraded to a Medal of Honor in June 2000)
8 Presidential Unit Citations
1 Distinguished Service Medal
22 Legion of Merit Medals
15 Soldier’s Medals
4,000 Bronze Stars with 1,200 Oak Leaf Clusters (in lieu of second Bronze Star)
9,486 Purple Hearts
12 French Croix de Guerre with 2 Palms (in lieu of a second award)
2 Italian Crosses for Military Valor
2 Italian Medals for Military Valor


The Military Intelligence Service (MIS) was credited as having “saved countless lives and shortened the war by two years” by Major General Willoughby, General McArthur’s Intelligence Chief.


3 Distinguished Service Crosses
5 Silver Stars
1 Presidential Unit Citation (awarded June 30, 2000)
5 Legion of Merit Medals

Note: On   October 5, 2010, President Obama signed into law S. 1055, a bill to grant  the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442n Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.

I am humbled and proud of these Nisei men whose slogan was “Go for Broke” in war and  in peace the Go for Broke National Education Center  is “keeping alive their legacy of rising above prejudice and distrust to serve their country with unparalleled bravery and distinction.”

“The Net”–Captured in Each Other’s Minds

I always let my blog followers know about my recent art and fiction publications.  Just two days ago my short story, “The Net”, was published in an online literary journal ( The Buddhist metaphor of the net underpins not only this short story but also my writing, art and philosophy of life. Read the short story in tandem with this post for a fuller back-story to the Buddhist values implied in “The Net”.

The Buddhist concept of perception was front and center in an art class on Color Fundamentals. I learned that human vision is limited in terms of what colors we see.  Color differs from one individual’s vision cells to another person’s.  Yet we all use a language of color.  Moreover, human perception of color may not actually correspond to the color of the object.  We receive and perceive colors based upon our ability to accept certain wavelengths of color.  These colors differ from fish or birds, for example. Or from other people who have color differences (formerly called “color blind”). This is such a Buddhist concept of perception!

My short story,” The Net”, is taken from a classic Hindu tale adapted by the Mahayana Buddhist school in which the god Indra’s net is strung together with crystal jewels reflecting off each other.  In Buddhism this becomes the icon for the philosophical concept of interconnectivity, interdependence, community between and among all sentient beings.  In some of the more philosophical Hua-yen treatises, Indra’s net symbolizes each individual mind reflecting others in continually evolving, fluid patterns.

The Buddhist notion of interdependence implies that all of life is mind-created, illusory as a reality in and of itself (just as color is).  Our world is limited by and dependent upon what our minds want and can see.   By definition, we cannot know anything separate from our own mind and how it is reflected by other minds. I used this profound metaphor for the structure of our reality to create a story about a social net, a circle of women friends who support and reflect each other’s thoughts and feelings. The friends mirror each other and each of them is a jewel intimately connected with all the other jewels in the group. When one jewel changes or shifts slightly, it resonates with the other jewels that reflect it. In my short story it is stories from childhood that the women tell which rebound and reflect off each other.   All the women understand.

The irony and current reaffirmation of connection and community is evidenced by our attraction to the Internet and social networking.  There is even an Internet company in Boulder, Colorado called “Indra’s Net”! The net is all around us and expands to infinity: a meditation on the interplay of each of us as stored and reflected in the minds that surround us. A mesmerizing and elegant concept indeed!

“Letting Go”–A short story published in “Blood and Thunder”

In the fall issue 2011 of Blood and Thunder, a literary journal published by the University of Oklahoma Medical School, my short story “Letting Go” appears, exploring the theme of the ill and dying.  Blood and Thunder does not publish issues online and I could not scan the published version for my blog.

Consequently, click on the cover image above and you will be taken to the fourteen-page document published in its entirety in the current issue.  A version of this short story is being included in the final draft of my novel, Unhealed Wound.  I would be very, very interested in receiving your comments!


“Road Trip”–a short story

My short  story “Road Trip” has just been released in the Spring 2011 issue of  Calliope,   the official publication of the Writers’ Special Interest Group of American Mensa, Ltd. This is a condensed portion of a chapter from my work-in-progress, a novel entitled Things Unsaid.  I really enjoyed writing this “flash fiction” story and hope you enjoy reading it!

BLOOD LOTUS: Discovering New Voices in Literature and Art

I discovered the online journal, Blood Lotus, while doing a Google search for submitting my short stories to small boutique journals.  While spending hours looking for  an appropriate fit for my edgy short stories about growing up with wounds, both healed and unhealed, I discovered this literary and quarterly gem.  Blood Lotus, established in 2006, with the belief everything has not already been written, has a mission to promote not only distinctive writing but also unusual art. Two poets, Stacia Fleegal and Teneice Durrang Delgado, are its co-founders.

Stacia M. Fleegal (co-founder, managing editor, poetry co-editor) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2009 and 2010. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Fourth River, The Louisville Review, Skidrow Penthouse, Pemmican, Blue Collar Review, and The Kerf. She is also co-founder and co-editor of Imaginary Friend Press. The other co-founder and co-editor, Teneice (Durrant) Delgado is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Flame Above Flame (Finishing Line Press 2006) and The Goldilocks Complex (RockSaw Press 2009).

Each issue is predominantly poetry, reflecting the founders’ own interests but, I think, also the need for high-quality poetry journals since poetry is more difficult to get published than non-fiction, and secondarily, fiction, especially by unknown authors.

I particularly liked issue #17, both the art and the literary articles.  The art is a series of woodcuts by Peter L. Scacco, quite abstract and rich in composition.  The fiction and poetry are not mainstream, in the sense that the unexpected happens in offbeat ways.  I particularly liked “Underwater” by Trevor Houser and “Greater than Y” by Cherri Randall.  Check them out!

The theme for the next issue (#19) is the outsider or outlier, one who walks the fine membrane between mainstream and trespasser/interloper.  While my short stories did not fit this theme, the art I submitted fit Blood Lotus‘s “outsider” theme for inclusion in the forthcoming issue.  I hope you check out the issues on line at: for new voices, both in literature  and fine art.  The experimental vision of this journal should not be missed!