October 5, 2014

David Bond: A Sailor’s Photography

David Bond is a multi-talented man who loves to work with wood, machines, systems. He restored his 37-foot Egg Harbor wooden cabin cruiser, which he named Blues Breaker, pretty much from the keel up. He’s sailed his craft all over the Northern and Southern Atlantic waters from his home port in Wickford, Rhode Island. He spent seven solo months on the Intracoastal Waterway, sailing south all the way to the Florida Keys and back. Over the course of the past ten years, David has snapped around 11,000 photographs, a sampling of which we reproduce here accompanied by David’s commentary. Please click on the images for a larger view. * * * * * “We were sailing south through the Bermuda Triangle, about 800 miles from land, when this incredible sight occurred. “Looking east we saw the sun rising [photo…

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October 3, 2014

Daughter of Fire, a Novel by Dory Fiamingo

Helen of Agralee is a fierce warrior who wants nothing to do with her family’s legacy of being the Guardian, protector of the people of Davosad. Trained since childhood in the fighting arts and the only woman in the country of Cruinn allowed to fight, Helen has grown arrogant and selfish. To remedy this her father, Kurel, the current Guardian, sends her to Tieton Abbey to learn humility. She rebels, but her desires matter little. Vulcan of Norlad quickly becomes her enemy while Galen, High Prince of Cruinn, and Brother Patrick, an ex-mercenary posing as a monk, become her allies. When Kurel is murdered by Demion, insect, bat, and wolf-like creatures led by Mallus, who seeks the Guardian’s sword, the power seeks out Helen. It burns its way through her body, forever changing her—and the…

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October 1, 2014

Jack Kerouac: “The road is life”

I have a photograph of Jack Kerouac typing his famous piano-roll manuscript of On the Road hanging on my study wall. I saw the scroll when I visited the museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was amazing to see it stretched out. Jack wrote it in a three-day, hyper-caffeinated marathon in his mother’s apartment. She made the coffee and taped the pieces of paper together. Three days. Then he revised it for three years. You could sum up his philosophy in the four words quoted above: “The road is life.” Lowell has honored its once-maligned author by giving him a new headstone at his grave site. You can read about it here. If you’d like to know a bit more about Kerouac, here is a fine essay about him and his writing. The photo of the…

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September 9, 2014

Portrait of Ignatius Jones, a Novel by Peter David Shapiro

Editor’s Note: Herewith, Chapters 1 and 2 of Portrait of Ignatius Jones, Peter David Shapiro’s third novel, now published. Capitalizing on the late-19th-century fascination with psychics and confidence games, with a dash of The Picture of Dorian Gray, the novel takes the reader from Victorian Boston to the Peaceable Kingdom of Vermont, where things are not as peaceful as one might think. Chapter One September 12, 1896 Testimony of Mrs. Eugenia Stephenson concerning a Meeting at the Boston Spiritualist Lyceum I WAS SEATED AMONGST THIRTY others in the audience in a meeting hall of the Boston Spiritualist Lyceum on Tremont Street when Ignatius Jones entered, accompanied by Mr. William Price following several steps behind. Ignatius Jones sat behind a table at the front of the room. To be sure, I’d heard the whispers emanating from…

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September 9, 2014

“Carpe Diem,” A Poem by Catherine Dougherty

“Carpe Diem,” A Poem by Catherine Dougherty

  Watching the world go by; Seeing it pass before my eyes. Bearing witness to another day’s dawn, Preluding, yet, another day’s song. Funny, how it all seems to slip away; Nothing is ever meant to stay. * Still, I can remember, Ah yes, oh so well, Rising from what seemed like hell, Grasping the day and making it mine, Simply living my life And feeling so fine. * But, now I’m old, My time here almost gone. If my life was a battle, I would say that I’ve won. So I have no regrets of what’s come and passed, Always remembering, nothing’s meant to last. * I’m just watching the world go by; Savoring the moments before I die; Thankful and rich for what I’ve done, Where I’ve been, how far I’ve come. Knowing…

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September 9, 2014

Estelle and David by D.K. Lubarsky

  Editor’s Note: This is a chapter from Dante’s Angels, a novel in progress. David’s hands were shaking as he steered the 1996 blue Chevy into the hotel’s circular driveway. He mopped his forehead with a plaid handkerchief and stuffed it back in his shirt pocket. “See. No problem getting here. I told you so.” Estelle kept her mouth shut. The ninety-minute trip from Beaverton to Cannon Beach had taken three hours. The line of cars behind them often extended into the horizon. Estelle looked around. She could see the water, and the top of Haystack Rock. “I can’t believe we’re really doing this.” “Why not? Everyone else goes on vacation. Getting away for a long weekend is just what we needed. I just hope you packed everything this time. Did you remember my pajamas?”…

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August 12, 2014

A Dancing Bear, a Novel by David Free

 Editors Note: Herewith we introduce David Free, our first contributor from Australia. This submission is another first for Fictional Cafe: the premier chapter from his novel appears in two formats, type and podcast. You can begin reading, or scroll to the end of the excerpt and listen to the author in his inimitable Down Under accent read aloud to you. In either – or both – we hope you will find A Dancing Bear as delightful as we did. Please click on the arrow below to listen to the podcast of Chapter 1: Chapter 1 You lunatics, Fenton Bland pretended to think, while taking a fiery glance at his watch. What the hell am I doing here? In truth, he knew perfectly well what he was doing there. He had, moreover, no genuine urge to know the…

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August 11, 2014

The Photography of Paula Park

Artist’s Statement: If my photos have a mission, it is this: to capture common scenes and environments and present them in an interesting way. It may be underneath a highway overpass or the dark interior of an abandoned building. Whatever the locale, these images present the viewer with a unique view of the commonplace. Please click on each image for a larger view. In Armstrong Grove Armstrong Grove, Guerneville, Sonoma County *** Lily in the Woods Armstrong Grove, Sonoma County *** The Laguna Laguna Wetlands Preserve, Sonoma County *** March Madness *** onthewaytojenner *** Underneath the 101 “Underneath the 101, Sonoma County. I love to photograph the benign and show you what I see. This is underneath an overpass at night. When lit up by car headlights, it looks like a cathedral to me.” *** Abandonedtothedarkness California Packing Company’s Plant No….

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August 7, 2014

Peter Pan Kitsune, a Novel by Kyla Goulet

Editors Note: We’re very proud to introduce a talented new writer, Kyla Goulet. At seventeen, she is also our youngest contributor. We asked how she came up with the idea of Peter Pan as a Kitsune, the mythological Japanese creature. She wrote: “Some powers of Kitsune are that they’re immortal and can fly, so…bingo. Peter Pan as a Kitsune? Telling his backstory and a life full of adventure, the ups and downs of being this mythical being? It sounded absolutely brilliant in my eyes.” Her writing is absolutely brilliant in our eyes. Here is the Preface and Chapter One from her novel-in-progress, Peter Pan Kitsune. *       *       * Preface The strain had just been too difficult, as if pins and needles were purposely launching themselves into his skin. He winced, and—by the looks of it—his stomach…

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July 24, 2014

Willamette Writers Conference Just A Week Away!

Willamette Writers Conference Just A Week Away!

  One of the leading writing conferences in the country, the Willamette Writers Conference convenes next Friday, August 1, and runs through Sunday, August 3. Launched in 1969, in recent years attendance has topped 1,000 writing and publishing mavens from around the world. If you’re anywhere close to Portland, Oregon, or would like to see what Portlandia is really like, I hope you’ll attend. There are over 60 workshops and special events. I’m particularly flattered to be presenting three workshops in the Master’s Series in Business Writing: Your Professional Writing Career, Writing Your First Book, and Ghostwriting. But more than that, I’m excited to have the chance to meet so many fellow (male and female)  writers and presenters. I thought you might like to meet a few of them yourself. My colleague Jason Brick, who has worked…

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