Poem of the Month- December

3:00 AM Frame Of Mind

I wish I could word- play with reasons
why stars shine
only when you and I

are beneath them

or contemplate directions that fireflies take
to marry fantasy with what is real.

If we could take a leap
within some 3:00 am frame of mind
and end up in the same galaxy,

would you mind?

We could laugh like imaginary friends
until light awakens us

from the dream that met your hand in mine.

I saw a shadow in a painting
that fit your silhouette
so I sat and waited for a signature
of that artist in Paris
so we could somehow be connected

and then I saw a shooting star.

by Lynda Bullerwell

Current Issue- V3 – 2

The River Muse has moved up in the world of publishing and is now a print journal of poetry and art  (also available in kindle)

  Print or Kindle

use code for print-  9N7MPKCU

The Current Issue

rm v3 2


Beverly Bonn Jonnes (poet)
Samantha Fletcher (photographer)


Terry Wolverton
Russell Buker
Tommy Blackwolf

Beverly Bonn Jonnes
June Kim
Guy Beining
Jose Varghese


To purchase your own copy of the new issue of The River Muse click on the appropriate link below.

Links will OPEN Monday October, 21 2013 with NEW …

                                  PRINT                        Kindle


DuK- Illuminating Tips for Great Lighting Design

by Greg Weston

Light has the ability to transform us. In addition to providing illumination, the simple act of flipping a switch can create excitement, joy, or a sense of calm. Whether it’s for home, office or hospitality, proper lighting plays the important role of serving a purpose and creating a mood. But one without the other can spell trouble. Below we’ll shed some light on how you can make the right lighting design decisions.

Consider Your Fixtures: Fixtures lend to a lighting scheme’s overall ambiance. Think about the look and feel you hope to convey. Barn lights and Corona lighting can provide a traditional feel to a space, making it feel comfortable and inviting while the grandeur and glitter of a chandelier expresses formality, sophistication and elegance.

Consider Your Audience: A restaurant may want to offer its patrons a feeling of romance, but without sufficient illumination, guests may find it difficult to read the menu. And while a spa may hope to create a tranquil lighting scheme, employees who must make appointments, provide services and fill out paperwork will need practical light sources to carry out their duties.

Consider Your Room: Think about your needs in areas that need illumination for safety and productivity. The brightness of bulbs used in office and kitchen lighting is going to be very different compared to the soft, calm glow of a bedroom lamp. Keep in mind that possible future room renovations typically require lighting renovations as well.

Consider Your Color: When creating a mood, the color cast by your lighting is also an important factor to take into account. Lighting experts, interior designers and architects refer to the Color Rendering Index or (CRI). Knowing a bulb or light source’s ability to show colors in a realistic manner can give your space just the right feel. An optimal CRI value of 100 indicates lighting with the most natural cast. The cool light emanating from an incandescent light has a CRI value of 95 while a fluorescent bulb’s harsh, unnatural cast results in a much lower CRI value of about 62. As with lighting, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional plumbing company for any kind of plumbing changes you may want to make to keep in line with your new lighting design.

Lighting design is a careful blend of art and science. The choices in bulbs, fixtures, their placement – and their price – may initially seem overwhelming, but with help you can create a lighting scheme that’s right for your project. By consulting with designers and architects you’ll be able to determine the most beautiful and cost effective ways of utilizing ambient and artificial light and creating the perfect mix of feel and function for your space.

Real Life Story: When I found Writing

No one is born with a pen in their hands, but a few are born with ink flowing through their veins.

This is the way that I believe writing became part of my being. So, could I really proclaim to know when I found writing or was it rather the fact that even before I could contemplate what the meaning of a mere word was; that the ink of heart, already splashed its tell-tale signs on my soul?

I’ve been writing since I was a toddler (given the fact that I could read and write before the age of four, this was not an unimaginable feat). Alas, not prose and eloquent tales of ecstasy, but rather rhythm and rhyme, a smile for a dime.

When I was younger, my influence came from whatever my senses dictated to me. What I saw, heard, smelled, tasted and felt. As I grew older, it deepened and suddenly it became about what I felt, that stirring of emotion…whether good or bad. What reached my soul, was penned on paper (or qwerty-style nonetheless). Inspired by a muse, which in my case, is my beautiful wife whom I adore with all my heart and soul. She has been the inspiration of many a love-adorned prose of poetry laced with longing (sheepish grin)

Writing is a river that flows underneath the brim of your soul and will linger there until it finds its nook, the tiny hole that will spout forth the fountain, releasing itself into a brook. This brook grew within me, growing wider and deeper at times and at others, stood still and dammed up until something was released within and then….words would flow in eloquent poetry like a cascading waterfall.

Letters would form in my head and transpire into prose or poetry at a whim – but alas, as life goes, some words would just get lost into the sweet oblivion of unspoken space and time.
Love, life, happiness and sorrow are the foundations of many a melody, canvas or book. Whether by note, ink or paint – the need to engrave my heart, so to speak, is part of my being.
It is only in the last couple of years that these inkings were made public by means of technology. What transpired through my poetry and such; is my growth as a person, a man and an artist.
If you dare to let yourself stagnate in a bend in your river of life, your words will grow stale and will leave no room for growth or exploration into greater depths.

The Artful Thought Project – Help fight for the Imaginations Back to the Children!

The Artful Thought Project

Today, our children are growing up surrounded by the fast paced world of technology where multitudes of information flash by as they click away. Their minds are being trained for the quick response causing a resistance to contemplation.  They are learning to expect instant gratification leaving them no patience to imagine intern no tools to create. 

We live at a time, many people have lost site of the importance the arts play in our children’s development.  The life long tools they receive from deductive reasoning to color awareness. Without Imagination no one would create or invent,  everything would be plain. We cherish imagination here at The River Muse. The majority of us are parents with small children or teenagers in different points along their bloom. Regardless of age, each one is developing somewhere new and as their parents, we want them to have the best tools at hand to help guide them to reach their potential.

Often, we depend upon the educational systems to give our children the tools they need to succeed. They spend most of their days at school learning facts and social skills from the academic and social toolboxes around them. The boxes vary depending on the school’s location and funding. At the same time, the majority of schools lack the creative tools necessary for their children’s development. The education systems are once again denying that imagination plays an important role in building life skills. A timely philosophy for them to hold as they decide where to makes cuts in education due to the economic crisis. The reality is the cutbacks have nearly striped the arts.

A reality that is not OK. I know first hand the importance of creating if one has the desire.  I walk a creative path totally perplexed with the state of imagination right now. Most of us are concerned with the lack of music and art and that imagination keeps fading with the advancements of technology. They say you need to make change to bring change and that every little bit helps. We decided with that thought in mind to do our part and begin the Artful Thought Project. A project to help build the imaginations of children through creative activities integrated with literature and art. A project we bring to our neighborhoods.

The Artful Thought Project is designed in three parts with activities involving at least two creative tools. One of the activities needs to involve poetry while another must engage the children in art. The third activity can use any creative tool available. The goal of the project is that a child will engage in an activity with his/her active imagination and will use deductive reasoning skills in completing the project. At the end of the project a child will have created two pieces of work that we will publish in The River Muse.

An  Artful Thought Project will take between two to four hours to complete depending on age and skill.

Everyone is welcome to hold an Artful Thought Project!
please contact River at editor@theriverjournal.org
for details in joining the fight for imagination.

We will be publishing the projects as they happen.


Writing Tips

5 Tips on How to Work with an Editor

by Mark Nichol

You’ve retained an editor’s services and have received the edited version of your manuscript or article, or you are reviewing the work of a staff or freelance editor working for a publication you have submitted your content to. If you haven’t worked with an editor before, you may be disconcerted by the amount of editing that has been done. But whether you’re a novice or a veteran, these guidelines will help you have a productive relationship with the editor.

1. Respect Objectivity

2. Cool Off

3. Pick Your Battles

4. Be Prepared to Rewrite

5. Accept Fallibility

To Read go here

Contests -Spring Poetry Contest Winner – Interview with Poet Jose Varghese

Jose Varghese is the winner of our 2013 Spring Poetry Contest with his poem, The download (4)Dancer and the Dance. Jose works as an assistant professor of English and is the founder and chief editor of Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts.




River: What inspires you to write?           

Jose: All life experiences inspire me to write – no matter whether they make me laugh or cry. I believe I am keenly observant and try not to lose the weight of perception in even the lightest moments. Of course, what I read shape my writing just like the way they shape my outlooks. And I happen to read all kinds of poetry, ranging from the canonical ones that I have to teach in college to the ones by emerging writers from the submissions I receive for the journal I edit here. Each poem that I like becomes a part of my writerly life.

River: Can you describe your Writers’ Forum?

Jose: I am glad to be a part of a group that consists mainly of my students in the college where I teach. We have occasional readings, critiquing and discussions and we have conducted two creative writing workshops so far. We have a blog (http://www.heart-bytes.blogspot.in/) as well in which the work of students are featured. We do conduct creative writing contests that are open to all. In fact, the journal that I edit is the outcome of our activities. It has a top-notch international advisory board comprising writers/critics like George Szirtes, Alan Summers, Bill Ashcroft, Sudeep Sen and so on. And writers like Hanif Kureishi , K Satchidanandan and Meena Alexander were kind enough to let us publish their work in the first issue itself. It also won the runner up spot in Saboteur Awards 2013, London.

River: Do you have a favorite quote?

Jose: Yes, I would go for this famous quote by Sylvia Plath from The Bell Jar

“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”


Jose Varghese’s poems and stories have appeared in many journals and are forthcoming in The Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013, UK, Unthology, UK, and the Red Squirrel Anthology 10RED, UK. His first book of poems is titled ‘Silver-Painted Gandhi and Other Poems’ and his first collection of stories titled ‘Silent Woman and Other Stories’ is slated for publication later this year.