Friday, June 1, 2012


I saw my thoughts in print today, my FIRST published poem.
You could say I had a moment :-)

MOMENT by Nancy Sima

What is in a moment apart from brevity?

It is a wink, lost as much as it is found
yet still there and there again.

In shines and shadows,
it leads and follows this world
holding everything and nothing.

Great South Bay Magazine June 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wishful Thinking

Yesterday I had a conversation with a dear friend. We reconnected after a season and were catching up on one anothers' lives, the physical and the figurative, all matters of the heart and head. Later, I took a walk and thought about all the strange places that life takes us. Sometimes, I wish I had a crystal ball or the gift of a visit from my future self with some words of encouragement to guide me along the way. Could one part of me do that for the other? Alleviate my fears and give some reassurance that in the end, everything would still be okay? It was all wishful thinking on my part and then I happened to read my horoscope the next day. It read:

"I hold in my hand a postcard from the future. It is addressed to you. It says, "Hi, just wanted to let you know that I am having a lovely time here and things are looking surprisingly good. That issue, you know that one I was so bothered about...well it sorted itself out quite nicely in the end. All the best.

P.S. The weather is lovely, wish you were here.

Oh look! At the bottom of the card there is a signature. How interesting. That is your name! So there, you see? You really don't need to worry. Just proceed with confidence."

Thought for you...On your toughest days, what do you wish for?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


ONCE, there was a boy and a girl, and a song.

THE SWELL SEASON is their story
ever after success and expectation.

Check out The Swell Season, now available on Amazon

Friday, April 27, 2012

When a Picture is Worthy of One Word...LOVE.

Monday Hearts For Madalene is a love story that has traveled the globe, one heart at a time. Skillfully crafted by Page Hodel, every Monday heart is now shared with the world in a gift of giving.

To learn more about Monday Hearts For Madalene and to receive your Monday Heart, visit HERE.

Goodbye April! See ya next year for National Poetry Month at Calendar Gal.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Because Austin says it's OK.
Austin Kleon, acclaimed author of "NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT" is back with another book entitled, "STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST". Already a New York Times beststeller, "STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST - 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative" has got writers and creators alike talking, and stealing (which is a good thing!)

Watch Austin Kleon at TEDxKC discuss HOW TO STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST.

To learn more about Austin Kleon, visit HERE.

Hello April - It's National Poetry Month! Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing all things poetic here at Calendar Gal.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's Good To Have Friends!!

Some writers are notorious for wanting to be left alone, to work on their craft. And when I say some, I mean me. They would rather be hidden away in a corner workspace to type at their computers or simply sit in a bit of quiet sunlight with some paper and pen. (Still me.) But thank heaven for friends who push them (again, me) out of their comfort zones.

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to work with my friend, Tamara and her award winning group, Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble (MCCE). They now bask in the glow of their second National Endowment of the Arts Award which I am so very happy for them but at one time, it was I who had the extraordinary luck when they shared their stage with me.

First off, I must say that Tamara has a way with words. The project she proposed was entitled, Precious Metals, a collaboration of Russian Music and Poetry. Tamara had roped me in with the idea of immersing myself in Russian poetry. At the time, I knew very little about Russia's great poets. I knew I would have to dig deep into Russia's history to find my narrative thread. Initially, I was not afraid of the research or even the two month deadline, but when she explained that it all would culminate in a musical performance by MCCE featuring my narrative and poetry readings with members of the attending audience, well, to say that I was terrified by it all would have been fairly and utterly accurate. Ahh, thank heaven for friends who push us to leap. 

I could never have attempted such an experience without my friend, Tamara. Her confidence in me opened up my writing to something much greater than the four walls of my writing space and the experience stays with me still. It remains, always that friendly reminder to nudge me out of my pesky comfort zones and square writing rooms.

So today's poem (and star) comes to you as a gift, from Russia with love, and much thanks to Tam.

Now Listen!

Now Listen!
If the stars shine,
doesn’t it mean that somebody needs them?
Doesn’t it mean that somebody wants them?
Doesn’t it mean that someone calls these little gobbets
And bursting up
through the blizzards of southern dust,
Burst in to see God,
Afraid that he’s late,
kisses His sinewed hands
begs Him
most urgently for a star,
beats his brow,
unable to stand this starless torture,
then goes on his way,
a little anxious
but perfectly calm outwardly.
He goes and asks whomever he did it for:
“Is that okay now?
You don’t feel too bad now…?
Do you?”
Now listen!
If stars
it means somebody needs them.
It means you’ve gotta have
every evening
shining above the rooftops
at least one star – haven’t you?

Translated by Bernard Meares
Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (1893-1930)

Hello April - It's National Poetry Month! Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing all things poetic here at Calendar Gal.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sima Speak - Two Windows

PHOTO CREDIT: Kelly Eddington


Have you ever rediscovered yourself, surprised at the thought that you could ever forget? It happened one day to her, with the quiet opening of a window. Suddenly, she was a little girl again, peeking out on a cool, winter morning.
While her breath connected with the world's, her fingertips played with a shelf of snow. The memory was so sudden, so abrupt that she held her breath. It was not just her youth she tried to savor but life. The morning sat sleepy, almost motionless, but in her hands it felt vast, alive.

So real was the memory that she licked her fingertips to taste once more the wet snow. When her eyes tried to focus out again, they fell not on winter, but an open window to SPRING. The grass was green, the flowers were blooming, the air was warm and fresh. The morning sun brought no birds, just a gentle hum of cars from a far off road.
How very strange to think that a spring day should align with a winter memory, that lush green could be a portal to winter white? How beautiful is the mind where everything stands connected, two seasons, two windows, two pieces of the self, lost and found again.

By Nancy Sima

Hello April - It's National Poetry Month! Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing all things poetic here at Calendar Gal.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Poetry In Motion - Trixie Whitley

Amp up your "I am woman, hear me roar" mantra with this gorgeous video! Whitley is a delicate powerhouse ...oh yeah, and keep your eyes on that dress for an extra bit of poetry in motion.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

April is National Poetry Month

April is Poetry Month so let's get the show rolling with some poetry by Mumford & to my ears.


It's empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways

I'll know my name as it's called again

Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I'll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope

And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's land

So make your siren's call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it's meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

By Mumford & Sons

Hello April - It's National Poetry Month! Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing all things poetic here at Calendar Gal.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Just Had To Share - The Snow Child


A new novel has charmed my heart and writing sensibilities, and I am not alone. Click here to read what others are saying about the stunning debut of "The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey.

Also, the newspaper review that caught my eye. REVIEW.

What are your reading?


Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Little Birdie Told Me...

I like to think, alot.  

As a writer, it has always served me well for developing my characters, but I have to be careful that my pension for thinking doesn't spill over into my character's head.

The error is easy to spot when monologues abound, but solving them has been a difficult challenge. My inner wordsmith and I go head to head, fighting over the necessity of such thoughts and their oh-so-many words. To combat this writing hiccup of mine, I now have a yellow sticky note that sits on the top of my computer. It reads...


Consider it a new writing checkpoint that allows me to scrutinize my sentences and the direction they (and my novel)are going to take. The discovery is two fold.

1) IF IT'S WORTH SAVING... allows me to assess need. Does the reader need to know a set of details - a recollection, a memory, a thought, an impression - in the context of the story NOW? If the answer is YES, it stays. If NO, then the section gets cut and pasted to a TAKEOUT FILE for safekeeping. (Not having to hit the delete button makes my inner writer happy.)

2) IT'S WORTH SAYING...allows me to keep the focus on dialogue. I may hold character thoughts dear but the danger in a conversation of one is the halt in storyline; the action quickly runs flat or worse, off track. To remedy this, I go back to my question of need but with a twist. If the need is there for the reader, then I ask, "who needs to say these words?" I then do a bit of improv, letting different characters try the words on for size. Hearing them said in different voices and viewpoints helps me to see their worth - can they stand as dialogue and who, in the end, can serve them best? The beauty of this process is that paragraphs of thought quickly get trimmed down to a few key sentences. When the right mix of character and words are found, the transformation is immediately felt on the page. 

There will still be some words that do not bend to dialogue or other characters, that fight to remain a character's thoughts alone. That is okay because thoughts are more than just words -that is their worth. Challenge yourself to work with these inner voices and I am sure you will find a way to make them sing.

Do your characters like to get lost in their own heads?  How do you  keep the action still moving on the page?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Muses Never Tell...

Much can be said about the suffering artist, but what about his muse?

Lady With Seven Stars, By Michelle Wiebe


My muse, Penelope is a fickle sort,
she runs hot and cold when it comes to words.
When I sit down to write, Penelope knows how to disappear.
Writing is difficult this way. The room is too still,
the space small, the air dry, nothing breathes.
"Come outside," she whispers.
"It's raining."
"Yes, lucky you."

Penelope loves the rain. There is something about it
that makes her positively giddy. I go out with low expectations,
but once again, she surprises me.
As the rush of rain hits, it devours me
and leaves me speechless.
Penelope is pleased, she stretches her arms out to the sky and sings.
"Why are you so happy?" I ask.
But Penelope doesn't answer, she just shakes her head.
Sometimes, I wonder what Penelope was
before she met me. In a former life, I imagine her
as a blithe fish, or a pink swan, maybe even a mermaid
or a nightingale, but I never go there with her,
it is just another thing Penelope would never say.

One night I dreamed that Penelope revealed her truth to me.
She held my hand and pointed up to the night sky.
"There, you can always find me there."
I look up at a storm that rages overhead,
it is vicious as it is wide, but at it's core where Penelope points,
hovers a quiet space, it rests among the rapture like a tiny oasis.
It is one part ardent, two parts beautiful.

"Where are you now?"
Penelope feigns a smile. "I'm here, though somedays,
the feeling of a storm is just as real."
I look at Penelope but she doesn't look back.
"Am I the storm, Penelope?"
"No, it's just words," she says, "all these precious words."
When Penelope looks my way, her eyes are wet and sad.
She tries to smile, to laugh it off saying, "Wouldn't it be better to just hide away
amid the tiny, white spaces in between?"
Before I can answer, Penelope is swept away, gone.
I look up only to see the storm's eye glow back at me.

The next morning, the dream sits on the tip of my tongue.
I try to remember it, to write it down but my words feel inadequate.
No matter how much I write, I can't seem to describe the memory of
Penelope or the feeling she left behind.
It isn't until I am ready to give up, that a shifts occurs and I come to understand it,
the moment and all that Penelope never could say.
Sometimes, there just aren't any words left to give.

By Nancy Sima

Do you believe in muses? What do you think your muse would never admit to or say?