Like her character in her flash fiction, Okay, Okay, resilience underscores Bernadine Lortis’ life and her writing. Her story expresses “how love can lift the deepest sorrow and provide safety to those in need.”
She’s spent recent years “turning snippets and scraps of writing” into poetry and stories which have found homes where they may be read by others. She accumulated her thoughts and reflections while caring for her daughter. And sometimes, like many writers, she could only push forward by ignoring friends and relatives who saw little purpose in “spending so much time writing.”
Her own life has been touched by friends and relatives diagnosed with dementia. Only one is in a Memory Care Unit; while others remain in a loved one’s home at the detriment of their caretakers. Bernadine would make “good homes with well-paid, well-trained staff that care for our aged—a growing % of the population—a national priority.”
More recently, Bernadine has been involved with San Miguel PEN in San Miguel de Allende, in the middle of Mexico on the high plateau. The center was created in 1979 as a place for English-speaking writers in Latin America with the hope of unifying the English and Spanish linguistic communities within PEN. She recently read her poetry at the San Miguel Literary Sala which had the theme of “Sing Out, Speak Up—Poems for a New Way, A New World.” The Literary Sala introduced Pen's Women Manifesto, writing on Women's Rights, Resistance, Climate Change, Peace and Hope as well as “Every Silence Broken Buys Another Woman Her Voice.”
Bernadine believes that “Art is a civilizing force in most cultures throughout history and that is a quality in short supply in our times and greatly needed now more than ever.” Her advice to other writers? Stay true to your writing if it is true to you, no matter how the world might howl against it, and you'll find your unique voice. Share your insights with the world.
Check out the rest of her story, Okay, Okay, here: bit.ly/READFLASH
Anchala Studios, LLC is a micro press based in Chapel Hill, NC which selects projects appealing to broad audiences and which enrich the community. The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory is its first publication.