Writers of the Month

Marty Ferris and Norman Levy

Marty Ferris taught for twenty years in the southwestern United States. After retiring, she visited South Carolina and was captivated by the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. The history of the barrier islands in both South Carolina and Georgia inspired her first novel, The Lost Pearls. She now works on the sequel. Her work also appears in IWN’s Ebb and Flow and Reflections.  Ferris continues traveling throughout the Lowcountry searching for that special place to call home.

Marty Ferris

Work’n in the Deli (an excerpt)


Elizabeth Simmons, head secretary for Middleton College’s English Department, had little time to waste on this first day of fall semester. “Professor, it is already ten a.m.,” she said while peeking through the partially open door of the office adjoining hers.

Inside the sunfilled room her boss, sixty-year-old English Professor Catherine Rutherford, sitting at a long mahogany desk, said, “I just need a few more minutes.”

“Fine,” Elizabeth said. “I’ll have your students assemble in the library.” Hurrying to her desk, she mumbled, “After ten years, I might have guessed, until absolutely prepared, she won’t address a new class of freshmen.”

Minutes later, Catherine closed her laptop and swiveled her chair to face several partially opened windows. Her glance fell on a table with a forty-two-year-old framed photograph of a teenage girl and an elderly man standing alongside a faded white pickup truck.

She smiled recalling that long-ago day when she had asked, “Grandpa, am I the only thirteen-year-old in Georgia who knows how to drive?”

Her grandfather laughed and said, “Well, maybe so, since you’re the only one I taught.”

Picking up the photograph, Catherine walked toward the sunlight peeking through the windows. Swirling maple leaves floated in the air, tossed by gentle September breezes, before settling on cobblestones in the school courtyard. In her mind, a quarter century of distinguished teaching was swept away, replaced by long buried memories of Grandpa’s Georgia farm.

How did it happen? Catherine thought, recalling the last summer at her grandfather’s farm. How did my cherished grandfather, who had loved me unconditionally, seem to be an enemy?


“No, no, no, I hate you. I hate you,” a seventeen-year-old Catherine raged, spitting out the words with pure venom. Her sea-green eyes flashed at him that June morning, as she said, “You can’t make me do this. I won’t, I won’t.”

Samuel Rutherford, a tall, muscular man with military carriage, stood silent, indifferent to her childish tirade. He spoke softly when she paused to catch a breath. “Well, you are not on Long Island now. You are here with me on the farm for the entire summer. And, yes, I say you will get a summer job.”

“Work’n in the Deli” © Marty Ferris (2019), from Reflections


Norm Levy

Norm Levy is the published author of Rhymes for our Times–social commentary in light verse form based on REAL news headlines. He has extended this work to Twitter (over 10,000 followers @Rhymes4OurTimes) and other social media platforms. His verses appear in all six IWN anthologies. Norm was Director of Advertising Development for the world’s largest advertiser. There he learned the value of concise communication and a smidge of humor.

Norm Levy

Rhymes for Our Times: Real Headlines – Well Versed

Ladies Jewelry: One-Earring Trendbecomingchic.com

“This update will create a statement look. Why? No one expects to see one earing on you. This single earring trend looks edgy and easy to pull off.”

What genius! Just a single earring

Frees the other ear for hearing

Rings and beeps, web-based crashes,

Songs and signals, dots and dashes.

ONE earring means more open space

To screw your smartphone into place.

Facts about Pie that Might Surprise YouNPR

“Pie is finally beginning to challenge cupcakes as the trendiest dessert.”

It’s a hopeful sign for our society.

As we rally ‘round sweet apple piety.

60 and Not a Wrinkle; Barbie’s 200 Careers, Journey from 1959NDTV

“Blonde or brunette, slender or curvy, black or white, princess or president, Barbie is a forever favorite. The iconic doll has evolved to keep up with the times.”

Tweaked each year in a new disguise.

Hard to do for human dolls and guys.

“Rhymes for Our Times: Real Headlines – Well Versed” © Norm Levy (2019), from Reflections

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