October 21, 2018

“The Radio’s On,” a Short Story by Kevin White

“The Radio’s On,” a Short Story by Kevin White

He said he was going into the den to pay some bills. He took his beer with him and kissed his girlfriend on the head and said he would back in time to go to bed. She did not say anything but she probably smiled. He went into his den and shut the door and went to his desk. It included pencils, paper clips, an old transistor radio he never used, tissues, a phone book. He sat for a while, sorting out all the paperwork, when his cellphone rang. It was her again. He had to answer. “Hello?” “Hey, Kevin.” “Hey.” “I’m…surprised you picked up. I’ve been trying to get you.” “I’ve just been busy.” “Doing what?” “Just…things. Nothing, really.” They were treading worlds of the past and they were doing it too lightly to…

Continue reading →

October 17, 2018

Ghostographs: An Album by Maria Romasco Moore

Ghostographs: An Album by Maria Romasco Moore

NOTE: Ghostographs is a chapbook of short fictions inspired by old photographs by Maria Romasco Moore. It will be published November 1 by Rose Metal Press. The following review was written by Simran P. Gupta, Fictional Café’s Poetry Barista. Ghostographs: An Album by Maria Romasco Moore   The Perfect Book to Welcome Fall Reviewed by Simran P. Gupta The sun is setting earlier and earlier, the temperature is dropping steadily, and it’s time to pull out our long sleeves and warm socks. If you’re like me, you’ll switch from your favorite sweet iced coffee at Starbucks to all the drinks that symbolize fall and its accompanying chill: hot apple cider, cocoa, herbal teas, all things pumpkin. And of course the return of hot coffee! I’ve always been fond of dedicating October to books that make…

Continue reading →

October 15, 2018

The Jane Friedman Interview: Writing Because You Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else

The Jane Friedman Interview: Writing Because You Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else

Jane Friedman is quite possibly the most influential voice for the writer today. Her career spans over 20 years as a writer, editor, consultant, professor and speaker. “I sit at the intersection of several communities, which gives me a 360-degree view of the changes now shaping writing and publishing,” she says. “People working inside the industry see me as as an expert in digital and self-publishing, while independent authors see me as a traditional publishing figure. The university and MFA community see me as very commercially minded, while the business people see me as literary and academic. I would have it no other way; I prefer to serve as a bridge.” Jane granted Fictional Cafe the following interview, focusing primarily on how a committed individual can build a career as a writer by taking a businesslike…

Continue reading →

October 8, 2018

“Rearguard,” A Short Story by Robert Perron

“Rearguard,” A Short Story by Robert Perron

Jana backed off from Barry’s fart. No odor but a blast, a massive rip that blossomed the seat of his Royal Robbins convoy shorts before undulating out a leg hole. Okay, maybe she imagined the blossoming and undulating, but not the acoustics. Barry, a meter ahead, uphill, his left boot perched on a stone set in the trail for that purpose, twisted his body and said, “Sorry.” A wide tan hat protected his balding pate and shadowed the mien of sincerity on his salt and pepper face. “Quite all right,” said Jana. “Some things can’t be helped. I suppose.” Barry turned, applied hiking poles to path, and lifted his right foot. Jana let him gain several steps, and several steps later he ripped another, his head making a half turn and his shoulders shrugging. Oh,…

Continue reading →

October 4, 2018

Mia Cross’s Painting: Color, Form and Narrative

Mia Cross’s Painting: Color, Form and Narrative

Mia Cross is a Boston-based artist who in a very short time has gained a great deal of interest and attention from the community. Mia launched her career in 2014, following her graduation from Boston University with a double major in Painting and Sculpture.  In 2016 she received the “Emerging Artist Award” presented by the Danforth Museum in Framingham, MA. Cross has been the recipient of multiple grants, including the Blanche Colman Grant and a Mass MoCa Match Grant.  Her most recent residency stints include spending two weeks in 2017 at the Vermont Studio Center through a Boston University alumni grant, and a month in 2016 as an artist in residence at the Goetteman Residency at the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, MA.  Her work has been featured in numerous galleries and exhibits throughout New…

Continue reading →

September 27, 2018

In a Stone Garden: Masayaki Koorida’s Sculpture

In a Stone Garden: Masayaki Koorida’s Sculpture

Japanese sculptor Masayaki Koorida was born in 1960 in Kyoto, Japan and today lives in Shanghai. He is considered a major talent and dedicated figure in contemporary sculpture. Celebrated for partially carved and polished boulders like “Existence” (seen below and permanently sited in The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden), Koorida has broadened his stonework repertoire with highly polished geometric pieces in a variety of materials and exquisite, large-scale drawings. This year, for the first time, he staged two exhibitions in the United States, one at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the other at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, which is ongoing until February 24, 2019.     “Existence” Working with a small group of assistants from his studio in Shanghai, China, Masayaki Koorida uses stone as his primary medium to…

Continue reading →

September 17, 2018

The Poetry of Wayne King

The Poetry of Wayne King

Editor’s Note: The featured image is Wind in the Maple by Wayne King. Wind in the Washline   Peace Comes on a Breeze Spirits Rise, Hope is Reborn The Washline Dances     The Prevaricating Day   Summer in the North Country A warm breeze, briefly noted. Through pine and hardwood, Crossing fields of corn and Unmown grass portending hay Cutting, courting, cunning Teasing, testing, trimming As if intending to remain, Yet only taunting.   June days, behind us now, Beckoned us out, out Out to shake off winter Stubbornly liberating spring A month of April showers, Ours for but a pair of days, Dried to hard baked soil by May Constraining wildflowers Still pushing, prodding, poking through Heralding summer’s silken start.   Now, even as a warm wind blows from the West, Turning winged wind…

Continue reading →

September 14, 2018

I Understand the Game by Howard Williams

I Understand the Game by Howard Williams

I UNDERSTAND THE GAME by Howard Williams   My boyfriend deals drugs. And the entire life that we’ve built together has come at the cost of it. But after two years my perspective of the world outside our apartment is viciously sobering. We live in a spacious studio with exposed brick walls in downtown Washington, D.C. not too far from Georgetown University. When we first moved in I didn’t know how I’d fill the spaces, but I managed to transform the room into a home. On one of the walls I painted a huge graffiti mural of various black figures from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King to Audre Lorde and James Baldwin all compiled in the continent of Africa. The rest of the walls have paintings hung on them created by some friends of…

Continue reading →

September 12, 2018

How I Lost Control And Found Tranquility by Richard David Bach

How I Lost Control And Found Tranquility by Richard David Bach

Editor’s Note: Richard Bach dedicates this short story to all the authors who fear that their characters are taking over and dictating their narrative. This is the story of one such author fighting to regain control. HOW I LOST CONTROL AND FOUND TRANQUILITY   I opened the window to let out the lingering fragrance of cannabis and the lingering perfume of the young woman who turned and blew me a kiss as she walked down my driveway to the Uber waiting at the street. It had been a recreational evening and I hated to see her go, but I resolved to get back to work. Nights are best for me. I’m at my most imaginative, most creative, most productive, after dark. But I hadn’t possessed any of those talents of late, and I hoped that…

Continue reading →

September 7, 2018

Friday Night is Gumshoe Night Again: “Saratoga Noir”

Friday Night is Gumshoe Night Again: “Saratoga Noir”

Ruby Fink, our Audio Arts Barista, and I were talking recently about great detective podcasts and we both agreed that “Saratoga Noir” was one of the best ever. And since it’s Friday night, our traditional audio arts/podcast evening, we’re rolling that tape again. Here’s the first episode of ZBS’s “Saratoga Noir,” featuring one of the world’s greatest, most humorously cynical and yet endearing gumshoes, Danny Boyee. Please click on the arrow below to listen to Episode 1 of “Saratoga Noir.” If you want to listen to the entire story, they’re all here at the Café: https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-2018s-first-audiobook/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-podcast-episode-2/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-five-new-episodes-tonight/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/5-audiobook-episodes-saratoga-noir/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-episodes-8-14/ https://www.fictionalcafe.com/saratoga-noir-thrilling-conclusion/ Enjoy, with another big thank-you to our friends at the ZBS Foundation! Please visit their site. It’s a treasure trove of audio delights.

Continue reading →