"In her wonderful new collection, Soul Proprietorship, Dianalee Velie presents us with a series of stories about the places and events in life that our souls attend, memories that "...await us in every closet." Velie writes of "...nondenominational angels," "spunky dogs", and then wonders how one can find their soul when life revolves around everyone else. Join her "jumping into the leaves... pushing off in a snow saucer." Soulmate with her as she relates tragic tales on abortion, death and rape. Attend her daughter's "Perfect 10" marriage. Ah, Dianalee... It's all here."
- Martha Deborah Hall, Poet
"In Soul Proprietorship: Women in Search of Their Souls, Dianalee Velie seeks - and finds proprietorship of the soul - through a wonderful collectoin of character-driven short stories, with an accent on magical realism. Sensations Magazine initially published five of the 24 stories in this new collection, over a period of several years. It's always a pleasure to see work that debuted in our publication, later achieve additional exposure through book publication, and we are confident new readers will enjoy the works as we initially did. Diananlee Velie has published several poerty collections and seen her plays produced off-Boradway. This short story collection adds to her repetoire as a writer of wide range and discipline - worthy of reading, studying, and experiences."
- David Messineo, Publisher/ Poetry Editor, Sensations Magazine.
Ariel started life in a little, black, hard shell with a tiny white stripe down the middle. She was comfortably surrounded by many others just like herself. Life was reassuring and perfectly planned. One day, as expected. she was mechanically plucked and neatly packaged with all the others and shipped far away from home. She was dumped into a clear plastic environment where one by one she watched those around her being gobbled up by the scary world around them. Ariel was frightened. She had these tremendous yearnings as if she were about to split at the seams with a powerful energy. She knew there had to be more to her life than simply being eaten up by the world. One by one her friends disappeared until she was the only one left. She was then rather harshly flung outside and into the grass. A huge, handsome, dark bird saw her and immediately swooped down and swallowed her whole. Not knowing any better, she believed she was in love. She lived within the confines of his being until he expelled her somewhere out over the vast ocean. Ariel, now rather saturated and plump, was terrified and unprepared. She felt herself settle into the sandy bottom and feel sort of safe. Life became comfortable and predictable, if rather soggy, but soon these old stirrings began. She started to flirt with a fish and he too devoured her with gusto. She knew it wouldn’t’ last. They were just not the same but Ariel was bored and ready for adventure and it was a good thing. Ariel’s once beloved fish was caught by a clever fisherman and became his dinner. Ariel felt positively fried when she woke up and discovered she was surrounded by a heap of fish bones on a sunny hilltop. She settled down into a dirty little hole she called her own and as exhausted and dead as she felt, something old and familiar began to stir within her. She knew she could just burst. She would not be contained. She reached for the sun and began growing in leaps and bounds. She followed her heart and felt she could reach the clouds. Encouraged now by others like her, she continued to grow until she was gloriously crowned with a yellow halo of petals, the fulfillment of her own being. She gave birth to many little black seeds that resembled her old self, but she wasn’t hard and brittle anymore. She knew what she was, a sunflower. For many years to come, she would tell other little nutty seeds that no seed is ever too old to sprout. Sometimes it just has to be eaten, and buried and expelled and rained upon by life if it is ever to bloom.
- a selection from Soul Proprietorship - Women in Search of their Souls, published 2011