We’re excited to announce the release of our newest Ploughshares Solo, “Beach Plum Jam” by Patricia G. Buddenhagen. Ploughshares Solos are stories and essays too long for our traditional print journal that we publish in an affordable, digital format nine times a year. For more information and some great reading material, check out our previously published Solos, or the Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 3.
About “Beach Plum Jam”
Polly always finds refuge in painting. But when the beautiful landscapes of the Maine island where she spends her summers leave her uninspired, she questions the life she’s been living for the past thirty years. Will the reappearance of an old, seemingly successful friend be the spark Polly needs to get back on track, or will it derail her even further?
Here’s an excerpt from the Solo:
She lifted the soggy lime out of her drink and squeezed out the last bit of juice. “You haven’t changed in thirty years,” Willa had said. How could this be true? Polly took a bracing sip of her G & T and sat back on the sofa. She’d been lucky enough to marry a nice man, but she’d experienced the anxiety and pain (plus joy) of every woman with children. She worked in her studio most weekday mornings and taught high-school art: the kids were old enough to learn skills and their imaginations were somewhat tutored, but not yet fettered. She’d had breast cancer, quickly diagnosed and treated with chemo, but a wakeup call nonetheless. She’d been dumped by her New York gallery in the winter, but last summer her show on the island had almost sold out. It seemed as though she’d gone through as many ups and downs in her life as anyone. She thought of Willa’s lithe body and clear expression. Evolved was the word that came to mind to describe her.
The sun came from behind a fair-weather cloud and Polly moved farther down the sofa so that tree branches blocked its bright beam. She’d certainly lived fully these last thirty years, but had she really changed? She’d matured, of course, but her life with Bill wasn’t that different from their parents’ lives.
Intrigued? Read “Beach Plum Jam” today for $1.99!
About the Author
Patricia G. Buddenhagen began her career in book publishing in New York and worked as an editor at the Book-of-the-Month Club. She has since worked as a marketing specialist, a journalist, and for ten years served on the board of the Boston Branch of the English-Speaking Union (an organization devoted to improving global communication through the English language). She earned an MFA in Fiction from Vermont College. Earlier stories have been published in Emrys Journal and Scrivener Creative Review.
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