June 22, 2016

News and Interview with Nicole Beauchaine

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News and Interview with Nicole Beauchaine

  I recently had a chance to catch up with our Featured Artist for last October, Nicole Beauchaine aka Woodsybug, about her new work. In March, she published her first book: an adult coloring book titled Goddesses. It seems that unlike Trix, coloring is not just for kids. Read on to hear more about it.   The Fictional Café: Congratulations on your new book! First off, what exactly is an “adult coloring book?” I’ve never heard of that before.   Nicole Beauchaine: So, an adult coloring book is just like a coloring book for kids, only slightly more complex designs and subject matter. For instance, my book includes nudity, not specifically sexual, but not exactly for children either.   FC: Good to know! Thanks for making that important distinction. What inspired you to make a coloring book?…

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June 19, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Chou” by M. J. Sterling

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Chou” by M. J. Sterling

Editor’s Note: For the final installment of our Children’s Literature Issue, we have an essay by one of our members, M. J. Sterling. She writes about the agony of anticipation that comes with hoping for parenthood. * * * In Chou on Spruce and Sacramento one crisp November day while the city reverberated with the tap tap tap of keyboards under blue lights in cardboard cubicles, we were two deserters and a stowaway drifting through the jewel box of smocked, pinstriped, hand-knit and starched cotton treasures as through an enchanted forest. Just past three. Nestled on that too beautiful San Francisco street, clear brilliance of red and blue and green skyline — the city paused here in quiet repose. The owlish shopkeeper in giant black glasses and 50’s polka dot scarf peered into her dog-eared…

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June 16, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Mirror Girl” by Allison Quaid

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Mirror Girl” by Allison Quaid

Editor’s Note: Our latest installment in our Children’s Literature Issue is a short story about a girl who uses her burden help a new friend escape danger. Illustrations by Jennifer Bolten McDonough. * * * Mirror Girl Mercy, a thin girl with long dark hair climbed out of bed. Her mirrored body reflected the grey, stormy clouds from outside the window onto the gloomy bedroom walls. Mercy’s entire body was covered with sharp pieces of mirror, glued to her like shards of armor. Only her head, soft and pink, bobbed out from the glass. From a distance, she looked like a walking Christmas ornament. Today, like every day, she would spend the day reading at home, alone. She flinched as she walked towards the library, the pieces of glass digging into her flesh. She opened…

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June 15, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Hey Diddle” a Poem by Betsy Pohlman

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Hey Diddle” a Poem by Betsy Pohlman

Editor’s Note: This one’s just for the parents. Betsy’s poem takes the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” and puts a new, PG-13 twist on what the cat, dog, moon, dish and spoon may have been thinking that fateful night when so many fantastical events transpired. * * * Hey Diddle   hey diddle (the dish thought) what have we here – you don’t see a leg like that anymore. i want that to tap my well – what a line, so classy. i love a good party.   hey diddle (the spoon thought) here’s something – lovely and round with wide hips and smile. i want that to fill my bowl – how sturdy, how fun. i’m so glad i’m here.   these gigs suck crickets (the cat thought) the costume uncomfortable – the…

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June 14, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Elven Woods Harvest” by Christie Megill

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Elven Woods Harvest” by Christie Megill

Not too far from you, but maybe farther than you can see, is a forest. You would find this forest on a map, and it even has a name that humans have given it. This forest is also a place where magic exists, where mythical creatures are real, and where a dream can be made into reality with no more than a wish. You may call it one name, but to others, the forest is called Everwood, and it is a fantastical place. * * * Chapter 1 It was Poppy Dell who saw the first changed leaf of autumn that year. She was a young elf, only three years old, and she was the one to see the bright flash of autumn red, high in the maple tree closest to her home. Every year,…

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June 12, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Makena, The Firefly” by M. J. Sterling

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Makena, The Firefly” by M. J. Sterling

Editor’s Note: This is our first installment of our Children’s Literature Issue – a short story about a baby boy in the wild and the animals who find him. Illustrations by Fuzz. E. Grant. * * * It was the hottest part of a hot summer day in the Maru grasslands when Mother Nia, the matriarch of the elephant pack, woke from her afternoon nap, yawned, and stretched her trunk to the sky. Father Idir lay on his side and his young son, Oluchi lay facing him, his trunk tucked into Father’s giant chest. “Wake!” said Mother Nia, “It is time to go to the watering-hole!” She prodded and poked him and his twin sister while her eldest girl waited impatiently. Meanwhile, the baby of the family lay dozing. Nia pretended not to see him…

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June 10, 2016

Danielle Benedetto’s Digital Art

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Danielle Benedetto’s Digital Art

Springing                                       * * *   Danielle Benedetto is a high school senior who loves to manipulate images using over a dozen apps on her iPhone. In addition to photography, she also enjoys reading, walking around the lake in her town and philosophy. She will be attending Emmanuel College in Boston in the fall where she will study neuroscience.

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June 8, 2016

Announcing the Fictional Café’s Children’s Literature Issue!

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Announcing the Fictional Café’s Children’s Literature Issue!

Kids at the Café?! Yep! Next week, we are bringing you a full issue of children’s literature featuring short stories, poetry, art and narrative for and about kids. We are very excited for this issue, which was put together by some of our very own Fictional Café members. They worked hard for months on this issue, so we are happy to be putting it out just in time for summer vacation. So pull up a carpet square and grab a juice box; it’s story time! On a historical note: with this issue, we are marking a new milestone at the Fictional Café. Our purpose in running this site is to bring people together from all walks of life – whether they are on a different continent, in a different age bracket or of a different…

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June 6, 2016

Two Poems from Hannah Carmack

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Two Poems from Hannah Carmack

PFD, IC, SUI Face up, Palms open, Eyes closed. Legs spread. This is where we’ve put ourselves. Somewhere between traipsing through the cecum and dragging our nails along the soft livelihood of our stomach, we fell and ripped the sweatshop seams of our intestines open. Trapped in Abraham’s bosom, stuck between death and mediocre existence. “We’ll be going internal now.” It is a fire, lit in the esophagus that keeps us here, our bodies’ negative reaction to our natural existence. We are internal now, pushing through the perineum with coconut oil and a scrap of shrapnel. There are hands wrapped around the sigmoid, squeezing to test its tolerance. We don’t scream, but our bodies tense to build us a wall, because they don’t understand nothing is wrong. “You’re preforming well.” Yes, we are. With deep…

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June 2, 2016

William Torphy’s “The Invention of Numbers”

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William Torphy’s “The Invention of Numbers”

  [Image courtesy of Katheryn Holt (c)2016. For more of her work, visit her site.] * * * Patrick had never needed to use a public phone. He noticed them occasionally, forlorn and disregarded objects in the urban landscape, but he didn’t really know if any of them worked. Still, he asked for change from the pretty dark-haired barista with the bumblebee tattoo on her neck. He handed her a dollar and she fumbled through the tip jar, smiling as she dropped the coins into his palm one at a time. He felt an electric charge when her fingertips brushed his. Maybe it was from all the appliances she handled. He left the café to hunt for a phone, unsure where one might be found. People passed by talking into their cells, staring at their…

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