Thursday, April 14, 2022

Unity Poetry Challenge

 In this gripping time, we need to find unity with as many others as we can...not just our typical "tribes." We need to reach across all kinds of lines...caring about humanity in all its forms. Find sympathy, compassion...walk in someone else's shoes. Find similarities in our humanness. 

Please join my Unity Poetry Challenge so we can demonstrate to the world that love and kindness are not gone but stand strong to help us build a better world, country, home. "Find the friend" in unusual places, with those you've never considered before...find the commonalities. Then send me a poem about it. (Written word, word prose all kinds are fine.)  More info below.  

Unity Poetry Challenge

 I’m pulling together a new book called Unity Poetry and hoping you’ll contribute to it.

I’d love to have you share my Unity Poetry Challenge with other writers, too.

Submit your non-divisive poems to Ariele M. Huff, author of several anthology books of writing and poetry under the brand of Candy Bar Books. Ariele has solicited poetry for and edited Northwest Prime Times Poetry Corner for over twenty years.

If a poem is selected for the book, the poet will get a free eBook version that they can share with family and friends.

I do edit most poems I receive for Poetry Corner (rarely I only use excerpts) and will certainly do those as needed for Unity Poetry.


Please send poems that address non-divisiveness in any groups—male/female, black/white, Democrat/Republican, city/rural, chocolate lovers/those who like other candies, etc. Extra points for submitting a list of types of divisions. The most important rule for inclusion in the book is that no negatives about either side are in the poem. Feel free to send limericks, haikus, tankas, free verse, classic rhyming, prose poetry, Sestina, Villanelle, English or Italian Sonnets, Cinquain, Quatrain, Spoken Word, even sagas or epics though really lengthy poems will have a harder time winning a position in the book.


FYI—some of the selected poems will also be used in the website segment (Sharing Stories) that I host for Northwest Prime Time.

Position in the eBook and in Sharing Stories is a nice opportunity to have published poetry for a portfolio and to help other people get through this time with more comfort and hope. 


Send poetry to  Submissions will be copyrighted in the anthology.


Example of a unifying, non-divisive poem follows, re-written from a published original.



“Everything’s-for-Sale” sale.

Ten-dollar local antique—so frail.

Newcomer leaving for a “safer, redder” place…

wants to leave without a trace.

Old lady Dem and young bearded GOP,

we talked and laughed without a stop.

He carried my new/old treasure,

his kindness a touching pleasure.

Sad to see you go, departing friend,

but thanks for sharing at the end.

Ariele Huff

Monday, February 1, 2021


Love was defined for me by a blue-eyed, blond muscle man.  When he looked at me, it was calm, strong, and true.   I learned that if I were angry, he still loved me.  If I ignored him, he’d come back later.  If I rejected him, he would sadly trudge away, coming back again the next day.  If I chose someone else, he gave me my space.  And, from day one, he made it clear that marrying me was what he wanted to do.  Everyone knew.  And from my point of view, he was a pest.

We were in the fourth grade. 

Sharing Stories 2/22/2021

By Frieda Kirk, longtime Washington resident, continues to break hearts…now  among those older than 4th grade. This piece was done in response to Ariele’s request for entries for Love Lines from friends and students.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Writing Classes Virtual, phone chat, and online


Winter  2021                WRITING CLASSES                                                   Ariele M. Huff

*EVERETT COMMUNITY COLLEGE        425-267-0150

Online classes: eBooks Start to Finish, Write About Your Life, Freelance Writing, Writing for Children, Character Development, Commas to Comments: Edit Your Own Writing, Creating a Selling Novel, Selling Your Nonfiction Book, Script Writing & Travel Writing.   

10-session classes                                                                                                            $99


*EDMONDS PARKS DEPARTMENT               Edmonds                                  425-771-0230

WRITE ABOUT YOUR LIFE ONLINE: Start at any time.                                  $102/$117 nonres

STORYWHEEL WRITING LAB online: Writers of all skill levels/genres explore & expand their

talent through writing practice. Creative output is stimulated in a supportive, nonjudgmental methodology while students use a storywheel to complete a piece of writing through character, plot, scene, dialogue, & theme development. A fun class to get you writing &/or increase your output.

Start at any time.                                                                                                 $102/$117 nonres 

Creative Writing: 8 sessions  $82  Making Magic: ten sessions $102
Storywheel Writing: Six sessions
$62 Reading Funny Stories: Five sessions $52

Monster Club: ten sessions $102

Reading Funny Stories

Reading comprehension or speech enunciation issues are improved in this fun class.

 Including stories from other eras, readings will be followed by discussion and

other ways of demonstrating understanding.

This is a pleasant way to end the school day.  Five sessions $52 at Edmonds Pks

Ariele M. Huff: Columnist, freelance writer, editor, and writing teacher since1982,

Huff has worked in Learning Labs where writing skills and reading comprehension

 were tested and improved.

 Making Magic  Grade Range: 3 – 5  Fee: $96, includes all materials  Many children 
love stories of wizards, elves, hobbits, and other magical creatures.
In this fun class, writing fantasies and science fiction stories includes discussions
 exploring books and movies.


an expert to get some benefits from many ancient healing practices.  We’ll dip into

a buffet of methods including Feng Shui, Yogic breathing and stretching, I Ching

messages, mandala construction, martial arts centering, spirit animal selection,

homeopathic principles, naturopathic herb and diet options.  Plus, a handful of

more recent stress busters like Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Art Therapy, and

Movement Therapy. Fun and relaxing: cheaper than a spa with more practical information. 

15 sessions

*MORE ONLINE CLASSES (done directly with me): Fiction Series, Script Writing,

Feature Writing, Write to Inspire, Humor Writing, The Art of Storytelling, Self Portrait

Books, Basics for Writers II, Writing with Style, Good Things, Build a Book, Life Map,

Portrait Books, Storywheel Writing, Exploring Poetry, Write from the Heart, Short Story

Writing, Early Authors, Herstory, Neighborhoods, Guilty Pleasures, Literary Methods,

Character Development, The Plot Thickens, Processing Loss with Writing, The Joy Diet,

Joyous Ruminations, Writing Winning Letters & E-mails, Becoming an Editor,

Technical Writing & Editing, The Writers Journey, Write to Grow, Travel Writing,

Monster Club (for kids & adults). $100 for 10 sessions—Tech Writing &

Early Authors (4), Writers Journey (12),

Contact:  Website   

Phone: 360-637-8002

Blogs: and

NW Prime Time’s website, I host Sharing Stories. LOCAL section  Collect stories, essays, poetry for Sharing Stories. I Also collect poetry for Poetry Corner paper version

and write Writing Corner paper version.


Rainbows are in our future 
Join me in a virtual class, phone chat of online class.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

A Pleasant Experience

A Pleasant Experience

A particularly pleasant experience happened 23 years ago when my new friend and I spent a weekend at the ocean.  She wasn’t really a new friend because we had met nearly 15 years earlier in Alaska. 

I was invited to sing with the Anchorage Symphony, and Meg and I had the opportunity to sing together.  At that time, Meg was my newfound friend and for some reason we kept in touch for nearly 15 years. 

Meg was married and I was involved so our relationship was purely platonic and long distance.  Fifteen years passed, and then Meg’s husband died suddenly.  I found myself unattached and because we had kept in touch, I invited her to come to Seattle.  Another two years went by before she accepted my invitation and when she arrived it was if we had never parted. 

It was blowing and raining at the ocean, so we had to prepare for the cold and wet.  In our parkas, we walked the beach and bent our bodies to the wind and rain.  The expression on Meg’s face was magical, and I knew something wonderful had happened.  She said that for the first time since her husband’s death she felt free and that the burden she was carrying had been lifted.  She felt that she could at last shed the sadness of the past.  Our relationship grew, and I knew I wanted to share more of those magical moments with her, so I asked her to marry me.  She accepted and we have been able to weather storms and sunshine for nearly 20 years.

by Jerry Thorsen
Jerry and Meg

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A New Anthology Book!

Please join me in starting an anthology book about FUN!

Write about FUN.
Dictionary Definition of FUN: Enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure.

You can make a list of what’s fun for you.
       Example: shopping, knitting, drawing, reading.
OR you can define what fun means to you.
       Example: My idea of fun is to have plenty of time with other people. I love to socialize and talk.
Or you can write about a particular time that was fun.
       Example: My fifth birthday stands out as a really fun time. My parents invited all the neighborhood children and did a puppet show for us. They even hung apples from strings, and we tried to grab one by biting it. Lots of laughter and enjoyable activities.
OR you can talk about what was fun during a specific time of your life or during a specific incident. How did fun relate to being an “army brat” or the new kid on the block or…whatever comes to your mind.

Have fun with it!  😊 The best size for these is 50 to 250 words. But I'll look at whatever you come up with...maybe take an excerpt if it's super long. 
Pat Jordan in a clown wig having fun at Write About Your Life class, Greenwood location.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

32nd Anniversary & more photos/videos

Brad and I are about to have our 32nd's not one of the "big" ones, traditionally, but since it coincides with a year in our new home and town, it has significance for us.
Photo shows Brad with our adopted stray, Sox and some new plantings--tree and ferns and berm of Black-eyed Susans (rubeccia), wegelia, etc.

Halloween shot of front door and pumpkins, as well as indoor décor. Turn on sound for spooky music accompaniment. 
3 cats for company on the couch. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

& other Loves

A few times since we've come to Aber-land. (Aberdeen--we have many nicknames for it: Aberdabberdoo, A-brad-een, Ariele-deen)...a few times since we've been separated from most of our work (yes, I write columns, host a website segment...Sharing Stories, teach onsite classes, and edit books) but even with moving and setting things up and still working, a handful of times, I've found myself reading for pleasure. I haven't done RELAXED reading for pleasure for dozens of years. I've stolen time to do it occasionally, but that wasn't relaxed. One of my favorite things to do when growing up was reading...many, many hours of reading--the feeling of escaping on a magic carpet, going to other times and worlds, melding minds with authors. So wonderful. I feel jealous of it now, like anything else I take on--teaching on site down here, other edit jobs...anything. I feel like I don't want anything to take that away.
And the waking up next to Brad. The watching his Westerns in the morning, his "stories" as he likes humorously to call them.
Cooking healthy stuff again after the moving & setting up was pretty much done. Petting the cats, sitting with a cat on my lap until my legs go numb. Ah, life!

Life--it's good. 

AND another cat???

Yes, our neighborhood has an outdoor stray cat who is everybody's cat--friendly, loves to be petted, is fat from all the feedings. He can't be indoors as he has a history of spraying. But he wasn't getting any vetting. So I took him to the vet for worming, to be sure he was neutered (yes), to check for fleas, for vaccinations, etc. Then I bought him an outdoor heated house (has a pad on the floor to plug in, waterproof, and about the size of him...but he does spend his nights in it with a feather toy I stole from the girls' toy box.)
So our LOVE can include another cat. Really really wasn't looking for another cat at this point, but it happened.
Sox--accurately named. 

Ariele & Sox on deck in sun.


We are who we have now--a new place, no people we really know here. We've both coalesced in this situation and found the weaknesses between us as well as the strengths. Hiding from the weaknesses in other relationships when need be during our 31 years of marriage...not a bad thing to have other recourse than each other. But now he's retired and we're far from others. Days when heavenly closeness and pleasure in our new situation and having so much time together can suddenly switch to "and that has always aggravated me...and NOW, argh!" Having lots of space helps. We both love all of the house but the upstairs kind of mine and the basement kind of his. Main floor is mostly where we are all the time. Neighbors have been pleasant.

Here's how we've altered the surroundings.

Main bedroom with lovely view out over the deck & wooded area.

Front door, living room, view into dining room
Fireplace DOES work and we love it!
Office area in dining room is convenient to kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom...and only 14 stairs from the laundry LOL

Another living room angle that shows the linen closet outside the main floor bathroom.


Deck, carport, shed, woods--deck just repainted

west side now has a hydrangea & hosta

main bedroom

upstairs landing

Upstairs guest room--has a tv, DVD player, video player, and Roku stick

walk-in closet in guest room has a window!

upstairs bathroom

East facing windows outside large "library" upstairs--facing walk-in closets in this shot.

west side of the "library"

Reading area

south end of library--projects

utility closets behind fireplace--warming shelves for linens!
Outside the front window now has a palm with acanthus bookends & dragon statuary in front, a flower berm with celosia, black-eyed susans, crocosmia, & wigelia, then a juniper with ferns on either side on the corner of the front yard. 

main floor bathroom

built-in on wall going into living room. Brad says for a phone.

Entry at bottom of stairs for the basement

small bedroom in basement has door, outlets, overhead light, 2 windows (7 in basement!)

holiday storage

Brad's performance area--The Cat Box

Brad's books, videos, weights

Music watching & game playing area

laundry area

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Life goes on

Love and its many changes. 
A year of staging our house, selling in a crazy tuff market, buying in a place we think of as a vacation place (Aberdeen...gateway to the ocean but far enough away--20 miles--to avoid the tourist traps, excessive prices, and crowds), and re-planting in a new area with new house solutions to find.
All this to allow us to live. Seattle too expensive. Husband disabled & retiring at 57...before IRAs or retirement funds are available. How to live? How to retire?
Sell the house, buy cheaper, live off the difference. And, yes, a year later, that's what we're trying to do.
So many expenses to sell, buy, move, relocate. 
But we're declaring at least partial success, at least current accomplishment.
This is the new house.

This is the living room with, we find out now the nonfunctional fireplace...but so cute. Solutions--never use it, get a pellet stove insert which...hopefully won't wreck the look and sadly will cost $5000 or so. This fireplace was featured--without notice that it has too many problems to function. Inspector discretely didn't mention the fireplace. We thought this meant, all's fine. Hah!

This is the great kitchen--yes, some sticking drawers, but nice. 

This dining room is great--way big enough for a large computer desk and office area as well as dining room table, chairs, etc. 

This adorable upstairs is totally remade from this listing photo. It's filled with my books and projects, photos, portfolios, etc. Three walk-in closets, a large bedroom, and a half bath make this upper floor a haven of delight. Only drawback, their outdoor dog had brought his fleas, so the area and our only indoor cats (never a flea in their lives) are having to be treated. But this upstairs is a wonderland of space, big windows, nice lighting, tons of storage, nice colors, overhead fans and always enough heat rising from the lower floors. Delightful.
Yes, we're still in step.
Still figuring out how to live,
how to be happy,
how to be us.