Writer, photographer and lover of the overlooked and forgotten

What would you like to know? I’m guessing you would like to know my slant, my background, what I bring to the party, what makes me tick. Not too much information, just enough. So here goes –

First, my last name is Greek. My grandfather immigrated from Greece in the…


With curation, my sewing room offers much more than workspace.

“I found Peaches!”

I look up from sorting papers at my stepdad George’s kitchen table. He died a few days earlier, at home, at age ninety. Now seven of us are sorting, dividing, and donating his belongings. Jean is working on the shelf under the sideboard. I expect she’s found…


Around the globe and across the years, rag dolls carve their own niche

A little girl chastises her dirty-faced Raggedy Ann doll.

There’s magic in humble scraps of cloth, deer hide, fur, and cornhusks. With a bead or two, a hank of yarn, and a few embroidered stitches, a rag doll can be birthed. The first parent to cobble…


Autumn hikers travel farther than expected

Kathy turned the ignition key, her brown eyes drawn to Smudge. Like a flexing body builder, the black cat struck pose after pose in the window. His eyes flashed gold with the rising sun. Kathy, popping in a CD, eased her SUV out into…


Teens sneak out at night and find…

A soft whirring hummed through the four in the morning silence. Two bicycles, lights extinguished, rolled through the inky Virginia neighborhood.

The fat, smiling moon — a waxing gibbous for those who care about such things — had abandoned the June sky hours…


A short story of a turn-of-the century girl’s dreams

Sunshine covered the children in the one-room schoolhouse. Nothing escaped the morning light flooding through Mountain Gap School’s paned windows. Sunlight highlighted the crooked part in Mary Lou’s hair and the patch on Tommy’s shirt. …


Opening the door brings in the unexpected in Waterford, Virginia

“Hmm, maybe the purple is best right here by the green.” Belinda Owens sat on the back porch of her log home in Waterford. The village’s handful of streets sprouted vernacular Virginia houses dating back a century and more. Sure…


A short murder mystery from Virginia’s hunt country

The murder had been easy, surprisingly so. Adam whistled tunelessly as he puttered around the shop. He refilled the brass holder with business cards and straightened out the stack of “Visit Middleburg” brochures. Outside the antique shop, the light was starting to…


San Francisco, a teen girl, and the medical intern

Hers was the first stomach I ever pumped. I stood by the semiconscious teenager’s head and chanted under my breath “In with the good, out with the bad.” With an experienced doctor walking me through it, I had inserted the tube…


Recompense for the immigrant

I like to think it happened at the Old Courthouse,

though more likely it was in a beige or green government room.

Nevertheless, in my mind’s eye,

my egg-shaped grandfather stands with the mayor

at the top of the Old Courthouse steps.

So diminutive he’s nearly…

Diane Helentjaris

Virginia writer with a love of the overlooked. Author of Diaspora, a poetry chapbook. www.DianeHelentjaris.com

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