June 1, 2016

William Torphy’s “The Call”

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William Torphy’s “The Call”

    [Image courtesy of Katheryn Holt (c)2016. For more of her work, visit her site.] * * * 202-339-6732. The phone number I found scribbled on the title page of the book I was reading, a Milo Weaver spy novel.  Normally I wouldn’t give it a second thought. Used books often contain jottings from previous readers. The phone number could belong to anyone—a friend, dry cleaner, business contact, call girl—but it had nothing to do with me. My curiosity was easy prey to fantasy, though, immersed as I was in a story of international intrigue. I was strangely tempted to call.   Ridiculous and potentially embarrassing. What would I say to the person at the other end of the line? What reason could I give for calling? Of course, I could just hang up. If he…

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June 1, 2016

Are You Listening? – June Submissions

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Are You Listening? – June Submissions

Last week, I posted a teaser of our featured work for June. We continue with the idea of vulnerability this month, as our submissions focus on communication. Whether it is the basic act of trying to interact with another human being or looking to the depths of our souls and expressing who we are, communication is a fundamental component of humanity and one which we perhaps take for granted. Our fiction this month comes from William Torphy, who has written two pieces of flash fiction about telephones – our lifelines to connection and communication. What can the telephone teach us about the mystery of who is really on the other end of the call and what happens when our cell phone batteries die? Stay tuned to find out. Hannah Carmack uses her poetry to convey…

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May 25, 2016

The Vulnerability of Creating

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Singing
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Reading
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Mural artists
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Building
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Songwriting
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Sand sculpting
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Cooking
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Flair bartending
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Arts and crafts
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Photography
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Poetry reading
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Modeling

Those of us who are creators know how vulnerable it feels to put our work out there. Whether we are writers, artists, architects, bartenders, musicians, inventors, etc., the act of making something and displaying it for the world to see can be scary. It takes so much courage to be as honest as we are when we are creating – to stick our necks out there like we do. This month’s featured poet, Bonnie Amesquita, shared what it’s like for her when she’s creating: “Have you ever wanted to write something really good, a poem or some great something-or-other.  Still, when you try to spill those words on a page you discover that they’re just noise. Oh Jeez. Finally, you settle down and you ask yourself what you want to say and about whom or…

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May 4, 2016

Bonnie Amesquita – Six Poems

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Bonnie Amesquita – Six Poems

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to bring you this collection of poems about faith, loss, love and growing older. Bonnie’s poetry speaks directly to the reader and reflects on the people and events all around us. Enjoy!   * * * How Do You Comfort? How do you comfort someone who grieves Sorry for your loss Our prayers are with you Sorry Sorry Words fail and sometimes offend Sorry for what? You didn’t give her cancer Cause the car crash You didn’t do anything wrong You didn’t have anything to do with it No Words don’t help They push us away Bury us with our dead Sequester our tears behind polite smiles Thank you for coming Thank you Thank you Touch hurts though hugs and air kisses are obligatory Don’t go there. Just be there…

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May 2, 2016

Wayne Hammer’s “Shifts” – Novel Excerpt

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Wayne Hammer’s “Shifts” – Novel Excerpt

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to bring you the opening chapter from Wayne Hammer’s sci-fi thriller Shifts. The novel weaves elements of genetics and espionage into a story about a man, Michael Duchesne, and the potentially world-changing implications of a DNA mutation secret he’s keeping. If this teaser chapter piques your interest, you can buy Shifts on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. * * * An elderly couple walked within a few feet of the boat slip. The woman slightly rotated her frail body and hunched her shoulders to keep the chilled morning air from leaking in over the collar of her oversized windbreaker. She paused for a moment and then left her husband’s side to stroll toward the edge of the dock. When she got to the railing, she leaned over to get a better look…

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April 30, 2016

Fond Memories, Bright Futures – May Submissions

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Fond Memories, Bright Futures – May Submissions

This month we reminisce about those times – some long ago, some close in our minds – that make us smile. May takes me back to my sister’s birthday and family get togethers. It takes me back to three generations of moms on Mothers Day – my grandmother, my mom and my sister. I don’t think I’ll ever buy so many flowers and Hallmark cards as I did then. We also look ahead at what’s to come. May is the month of college graduations and the beginning of a young person’s foray into “the real world.” As a former college employee, I loved seeing their bright, wide-eyed faces as they began their next stage of life. It also marks that turning point when the last breath of winter is extinguished and spring fully envelops us…

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April 29, 2016

We Were Featured in Authors Publish Magazine!!

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We Were Featured in Authors Publish Magazine!!

Good morning Café patrons! The great folks at Authors Publish magazine have written a review of our community of creative folks. You can read it here. Authors Publish is a FREE resource that connects writers to publishers, literary magazines, articles on writing craft and a litany of other resources. Please join us in thanking Caitlin Jans, Ella Peary and Jacob Jans by checking out their site and their Facebook page (they have great writing prompts there). So pour yourself a nice big mug of joe and take a look at what they have to offer. — Your Baristas  

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April 26, 2016

“Indecision: Choosing a Career in Writing” by Rachael Allen

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“Indecision: Choosing a Career in Writing” by Rachael Allen

[Photo: Manhattan. Which box do you choose?] I want to be a writer. Well, what do you want to write? Novels, short stories, articles? Academic papers, scripts, speeches, songs? English, Italian, Spanish, marketing materials, instructional manuals? I don’t know. Moreover, I don’t want to choose right now. And yet, in declaring a major, in finding summer jobs, in approaching the time when I will no longer have school to define myself by, it feels as though I have to choose—at least momentarily, to shroud that indecisiveness that jitters inside me. In part, my confusion seems to fulfill the generalizations of an English major and perhaps, moreover, a liberal arts student—you do not have a set career path, you will not make much money. Even if you do find that sweet spot of a job, they…

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April 13, 2016

“Why We Write” An editorial by Lloyd Prentice

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“Why We Write” An editorial by Lloyd Prentice

Why We Write Words flit in and out of our awareness like fish in shoals— many so drab we scarcely pay attention; others teach us or guide us, imbue memory and behavior like computer code. Some few— some few inspire us, change us in subtle and striking ways, play on our minds and emotions like a maestro on a concert grand. These words, by and large, are invisible to the eye. They slip through and resonate, indeed explode, at the deepest levels of our being. Words that matter are the product of disciplined study and practice— hard won. At best— an art. Words that matter are most often composed in solitude over lonely hours. Every serious writer I’d venture yearns to tame the ineffable, express the inexpressible with elegance and beauty. Writers of non-fiction weave…

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April 8, 2016

Lew Holzman – Digital Art

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Lew Holzman – Digital Art

Editor’s Note: When Lew Holzman emailed us with a few images for us to consider for the Fictional Café, we were instantly struck by the imagination and diversity that we saw in his work. Some are photographs overlaid with other images, creating a haunting effect, while others seem to be more like collages cut and pasted together electronically. We won’t peek too far behind the curtain, but hopefully you get a sense of the magic that Lew’s creative mind can perform with our modern technology. If you like what you see here, check out his personal page and his Fotographers group, where you will find other artists’ work as well. * * * Body “Walkin on Substrates”   “The New City”   “Plastic Surgery #2”   “City at Night, Lumicta VII”   “Bermuda Rectangles”  …

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