Jennifer M. Ward
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I write contemporary fiction, nonfiction stories, and blog posts about life, books, and creativity. Connect with me on Twitter @jennwardwrites or find me here: https://jennifermarieward.com/
A Resting Place
Below is an excerpt from a short story titled "A Resting Place." It is a story about family dynamics and how that impacts people differently when dealing with grief. It is inspired by some of my own experiences and the neighborhood where I grew up.
Waiting for the Sun
Jack doesn’t love me anymore. I’m not saying this simply because he stopped saying it. There are other ways to tell. Like the way he creates distance between us. He calls me now and then, but we never see each other more than once a week. That might not bother some people, but it infuriates me. Other times, I’m consumed with sadness. When I was sick five months ago, he sent me a box of chocolate-covered Oreos wrapped in red ribbon, but he never came to see me. Is that love? In the beginning, he played the song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran while we sat in his parked car. He used to grin a lot and say things like, “We finally found each other,” and “You really are the perfect girl.”
The History & Haunting of The Myrtles
The Myrtles Home & Former Plantation Deep in the heart of St. Francisville, Louisiana, lies one of the most haunted homes in the United States—The Myrtles. The former plantation and home were built in 1796 by General David Bradford. In the early 1800s, it was common to find plantations along the Mississippi, and The Myrtles was one of them. For some, plantations were a significant source of income. They produced a supply of cash crops at the expense of those enslaved. Tragically, plantations were also a place of death and despair for many others. It's a dark chapter in American history, filled with brutality and inhumane conditions.
Autumn in New York
It’s a quiet, cloudy evening in New York City. When I arrived home from work a little while ago, I went straight to my bed. Not to sleep yet, but just to relax. I’m beat. It could be the gloomy fall weather, or my illness, or a bit of both. Fridays are great, but they can feel rough sometimes after pushing so hard all week. Either way, tonight is a time to rest, drink coffee, and write. In the morning (when I have more energy), I will go for a walk. Tomorrow is a new day.
Walking Inside the World of Vincent van Gogh
"I don't know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream. ” - Vincent Van Gogh When I was a little girl, I used to look at van Gogh’s paintings for hours. My father had an enormous hardcover book that featured an impressive collection of his art throughout his career. I found it fascinating – the vivid colors, the brush strokes, the people – all of it was like nothing I had seen before. There are a few paintings I’ve never forgotten over the years–Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, Sunflowers, Starry Night Over the Rhône, The Night Café, and his self-portraits.
A Closer Look at Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Pumpkin Head’
A Woman Alone When I first read Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “Pumpkin Head,” I was so frightened that I didn’t want to be in my apartment alone afterward. Her stories have scared me before, but this experience was quite unsettling. As with most horror stories, the shock wore off with time, yet her characters continued to haunt me long after meeting them on the page. Perhaps it was her female protagonist — Hadley — whom I identified with so much that I could not forget her vulnerability as a woman living alone. As I sit here in my candle-lit apartment listening to the roll of distant thunder, I remember Oates’ story a decade later as we approach Halloween — the season of pumpkins and stories that make our skin crawl.
Discovering Found Families
“But none of that really mattered. I had found my tribe. It felt like a family reunion for the family I'd never really known, a homecoming at the place where I was always meant to be but hadn't known how to find.” – David Levithan, Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story