December 29, 2015

To All Our Loyal Fans

To All Our Loyal Fans

From all of us baristas at the Fictional Café, we would like to thank all of you – our readers, writers, artists, photographers and fans – for your continued support of our site. We simply would not exist without you! Thank you for your submissions, for your subscriptions, for your comments and emails, for your “likes” and friendships, retweets and follows, for your invitations to readings, exhibitions or cups of real coffee. But most importantly, thank you for being a part of our community. We hope that you have found some inspiration for your own life on these pages this past year, as we bid a fond farewell to 2015. We are so excited for next year and the offerings we have in store for you all – some familiar, others novel (no pun intended)….

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December 12, 2015

Hank Keneally’s “Diffusion Portraits” Series

Hank Keneally’s “Diffusion Portraits” Series

Editor’s Note: Hank Keneally’s “Diffusion Portraits” series captures real life images and presents them in a blur of color that toes the line between dream and apparition. Read on to hear what he has to say about his “a-ha moment” with this series and how he achieved his effects in his photographs. Click on any image to see a larger version. Click your browser’s Back button to return to this page. * * * A Moment Of Discovery: The “Cosmic Download” During a class I was teaching for Brio Fine Arts Center one of my students got a call on her cell phone. She headed for the door to answer the call so as not to disturb the class. As she opened the door I got my “Cosmic Download”: Hank! You Should Photograph The Entire…

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December 9, 2015

The Poetry of Multi-Talented Maria Termini

The Poetry of Multi-Talented Maria Termini

Editor’s Note: There are two kinds of creative people: the kind that create art and the kind that live it and could know no other way. I met Maria Termini at a quiet little poetry reading in my neighborhood. Within five minutes of knowing her, I could tell she was that latter type of creative person. Before the end of the night, I’d heard about her poetry and her collection of memoirs, and I left the reading with one of her CDs (on which she sings songs in both Italian and Spanish). And as it turns out, she’s also trained artist. Here’s a sampling of her poetry that hints at the stories she’s got to tell from her worldly adventures.   * * *   Star Struck When I was seven, I would shake out…

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December 1, 2015

“Carmichael” by Lloyd Prentice

“Carmichael” by Lloyd Prentice

Editor’s Note: I met Lloyd Prentice at a publishing conference earlier this year. For a room full of writers, there was little talking going on. Lloyd and I struck up a conversation about, what else, writing. He mentioned that he belonged to an informal writing group that would get together and write on the fly. A character he’d created without much personal fanfare one day in the group turned out to be a crowd favorite. That character’s name was Carmichael. I made a mental note. We exchanged business cards. Lloyd and I connected via email shortly after the conference and I read over some of his work. When I came across this chapter from his novel, The Gospel of Ashes, I knew we had to have it up on the Fictional Café. As far as…

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November 30, 2015

Winter’s First Breath: December Submissions

Winter’s First Breath: December Submissions

If summer seems far away already to you, you’re not alone. Much of the country has donned its winter coats and woolen sweaters, like the gals in our cover photo, a floating art installment by Hilary Zelson called “Who Wears Wool,” a tribute to the wool industry of yesteryear in Fort Point, Boston. The sculpture eerily reminds me of a Trojan Horse – a wolf in sheep’s clothing or in this case perhaps a shark in sheep’s clothing – floating toward an unsuspecting city. Speaking of sharks and sheep, consumers this holiday season may be interested in this new invention to prepare for the winter ahead. But I digress… Here are our December Submissions to celebrate the solstice. This month’s fiction comes from Lloyd Prentice, a novelist whose gritty crime fiction caught our attention in…

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November 28, 2015

Interview with Artist Erica Nazzaro

Interview with Artist Erica Nazzaro

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I caught up with Erica Nazzaro – our featured artist this month – to talk about her art and the business of being an artist. For those of you following along with our blogs and on social media, you’ll notice a theme this month. We are highlighting the challenges and triumphs of the modern day creative person. Not only must they be exceptional at their trade, but they must also be a savvy business person. When Jack and I met Erica Nazzaro at an art show earlier this year, we were instantly struck by her personality. She was excited to talk with us, forthcoming with information when we asked her questions and followed up with us after taking our business cards. She also asked us to join her mailing list, which…

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November 23, 2015

UFORGE Gallery “Abstracted” Opening

UFORGE Gallery “Abstracted” Opening

I step into the din that is opening night of “Abstracted” at UFORGE Gallery, and am instantly struck by the energy of the small space on Centre St. in the artsy Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. The brightly lit white walls scream hospital sterile, yet the patrons paint the room vibrantly colorful. This is not the pearl-adorned SoWa crowd of those warm, careless summer days. No, the crowd here is salt-of-the-earth artists and art admirers, chatting away about process and inspiration as much as about personal interests and weekend plans. The sheer volume of artwork strikes me. Thirty artists are featured in this exhibit with one to three pieces each, making the walls close in a little and the people stand nearly shoulder to shoulder throughout the room. As I make my first pass through,…

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November 4, 2015

New Podcasts: Sample James D. Best’s “Murder at Thumb Butte”

New Podcasts: Sample James D. Best’s “Murder at Thumb Butte”

Editor’s Note: Back in 2014, we published an excerpt from James D. Best’s novel Jenny’s Revenge, the story of a jilted lover out for blood… literally. A seasoned writer, James has made his foray into audio books, and as big proponents of this ever-growing method of experiencing literature, we are excited to share a few chapters from another of his installments in the Steve Dancy novels: Murder at Thumb Butte. Without further ado, here are a few snippets from Best’s scoundrels and scalawags of the old west. * * * Murder at Thumb Butte Chapter 1:   Chapter 13:   Chapter 22:   *** James D. Best is an accomplished writer of western tales, most notably his Steve Dancy novels: The Shopkeeper, Leadville, Murder at Thumb Butte, The Return and Jenny’s Revenge. He blogs about…

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November 2, 2015

Erica Nazzaro’s Technicolor World

Erica Nazzaro’s Technicolor World

Editor’s Note: We met Erica Nazzaro at an art exhibition this fall. Her mixed media watercolor paintings of scenes in the forest and by the water instantly grabbed us because of the way the colors popped and played with each other. We needed to see more. If you’d like to see more, Erica has two exhibits opening this week and two more next month: November 7th and 8th at Roslindale Open Studios, 141 Aldrich St. in Roslindale, MA November 6th-29th in the “Abstracted” exhibition at Uforge Gallery, 767 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, MA with an opening night reception at 6pm November 6th. December 4th from 6:00-10:00PM: ART 100 BOSTON at Piano Craft Gallery, 793 Tremont St, Boston December 5th and 6th from 12:00-5:00PM: Pop Up Holiday Shop at Loring Greenough House, 12 South, St. Jamaica…

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November 1, 2015

Where There’s Art, There’s Life: November Submissions

Where There’s Art, There’s Life: November Submissions

Sometimes, we find art in the strangest of places, like in an overturned driveway marker. Other times, we find art right where we are looking for it, like at an art exhibition. In either case, it’s in those quiet, fleeting, open-minded moments that we see the depth of beauty in the world around us. This month, we invite our readers to take a moment to acknowledge the art in their lives – whether it’s on a walk through the neighborhood or on a trip to the museum. For a little inspiration, we offer you our November Submissions. This month, we’ve got submissions from a new acquaintance, an old friend and an FC regular. First up, we have Erica Nazzaro’s hauntingly evocative mixed media art. She paints scenes that bring abstraction and reality together to create…

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