August 27, 2020

Zach Piggott, Guest Blogger — MFA The Online Way

Zach Piggott, Guest Blogger — MFA The Online Way

Editor’s Note: Zach Piggott, recently featured writer on FC, shared in his bio that he had attended Southern New Hampshire University’s Online Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. We were curious about his experience with this type of learning (especially considering how impactful it may be for students in 2020), so we asked him if he’d write a piece for our blog. Here’s his take on the fully remote MFA. MFA The Online Wayby Zach Piggott In 2017 I was adrift. I was working at an escape room (a fun job, I can’t lie) only part-time while my wife worked full-time. My dream of creating and writing the stories for video games was evaporating more and more every day. My wife and I had just gotten married but there was a nagging feeling…

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August 24, 2020

“The Beholder,” A Short Story by Fiama Mastrangelo

“The Beholder,” A Short Story by Fiama Mastrangelo

You blink your eyes open and stretch your arms above your head.  You’re wearing an extra-large cotton t-shirt this morning—one that you got for free in your freshman year and never threw out.  Your dark brown hair is splayed out on the pillowcase and is exceptionally messy.  I wonder if you were feeling lazy or if you just didn’t care what I would think when you decided on this look last night.  We can work on that.  I watch you get up and move into the bathroom.  I can hear you washing your face, brushing your teeth.  You turn on the shower and the noise of running water fills the room.  No steam, it’s cold water.  Hot water will age you, remember?  I wouldn’t like that at all.      I told you that your legs felt prickly last night.  I wonder if you remember that this morning, while you…

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August 19, 2020

“Writing the Song,” A Short Story by Carole Langille

“Writing the Song,” A Short Story by Carole Langille

I met Van and another man at a party and though I was attracted to the other guy, I called Van. That’s how I did things in those days. I wrote lyrics, Van told me he wrote melodies, so when I suggested we get together and go over some material, Van invited me to his small duplex on the west side of Manhattan where he had his piano.  That first day, sitting on his couch, watching this tall guy with broad shoulders and curly brown hair play such wonderful melodies, I was happy. He looked like a cowboy, tall and lean, with his checked shirt and leather vest, his dark moustache, but an intellectual cowboy, his green eyes very alive. Years later, when I saw a film with Samuel L. Jackson, I thought they looked…

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August 17, 2020

“The Leopard’s Good Idea,” Poetry by Mark A. Murphy

“The Leopard’s Good Idea,” Poetry by Mark A. Murphy

The Leopard’s Good Idea   or Costume Change    The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold  The arch-enchanters wand! – itself a nothing! –  Edward Bulwer-Lytton    1    One day the crafty leopard hit upon  the neat idea to turn out   his old wardrobe  in favour of a whole new look.    Out went last season’s winter warmers   as if a change of pelt might bring   about a change in personality.  Nonetheless, the inclination to swindle     outweighs any kindness.     So, the cheating and subterfuge runs  its course, until the cheat    and the cheated part company  in the face of wild promises and denials.    2    Now we journey to the end of time  to ascertain whether the pen   really is mightier than the sword,  only to find what we always suspected.   …

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August 11, 2020

“Pool Boy,” A Short Story by John Beyer

“Pool Boy,” A Short Story by John Beyer

The concept did not come as a lightning bolt out of the sky, striking my cranium instantly. But more like a slow buildup of storm clouds on the horizon. The ones that leave a person wondering if inclement weather was in fact on the way or would fizzle into nothingness. Weather is like that sometimes, much like thoughts, ideas, or dreams. Nothing to do with reality at the moment but perhaps in the future that reality would truly become real.  That was how it was with the epiphany I could make a lot more money if I turned my career into something deeper if not more sinister.  I grew up poor, angry and disillusioned in Forest Park in Detroit. The small neighborhood bordering Wayne State University had high unemployment and those lucky enough to be working had some of…

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August 9, 2020

“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick

“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick

Meteor Shower   Canvas black  the eternal oil spill galactic  dark matter  speckled waves of crystal  diamond sky  ruby, emerald, sapphire   lightspeed  silent night bright   terminal velocity  eyes focus  straining in the dark time  as seconds, minutes, eons  stretch galaxies  into small hands  that even rain cannot  feel  for in feeling  we begin to fall  headlong into night  riding the meteors  of our past   knowing the showers  of our future  will smother  those small hands  someday  not even the rain has such small hands  Smokestacks of oak, hickory and birch  lurch in the balance of sleet and snow  on a confused Sunday in early May  as my woods fill up with snow.  It’s a snowy evening  tucked away on this Highland Park cul de sac  hugging Lake Michigan’s shore  as the gales of this Spring day  recall the final…

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August 6, 2020

“Party Boy,” A Short Story by Lee Anderson

“Party Boy,” A Short Story by Lee Anderson

I’m alone at a charity event in Patricia Yeo’s new Midtown eatery. Shirtless, chiseled busboys and lanky, large-breasted servers run lightly about the restaurant, carrying trays the size of manhole covers. The place is gold-trimmed and supported by Roman columns but a terrible place to have a party. Not enough room. We’re ass-to-hip in here practically.    I meet gazes with Celine about ten minutes after I arrive. She approaches me without hesitation. I actually don’t think she’s ever hesitated a day in her life. “Uh-oh,” she says. “Lazarus Fucking Cooper. Is that you?”  “Last I checked.”  “Well, there’s no telling what’s going to happen now.”  “We’ll have to be careful.”   “Yeah, you attract bad energy. I’m a lily caught in the rapids with you.”  “I see you haven’t changed.”  “Does anyone?”  A hyper-paced metal song begins growling from heightened speakers,…

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August 2, 2020

Paulo Navarro — Surrealist Expressionist Paintings

Paulo Navarro — Surrealist Expressionist Paintings

As a university student, Paulo founded his own gallery and art academy. At first it was a children’s art academy (Pintando Ilusiones) and later PHI Gallery, where important established and emerging artists shared the space created by Paulo. This artist also participated in the “Circulo de artistas emergentes,” an emerging group of artists with which he traveled through various Latin American countries representing his nation, and created important exhibitions and artistic cultural projects.  Within this group, he exhibited in Costa Rican spaces as well as other destinations like Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba and Japan. He has also exhibited individually at the University of Costa Rica, at the Creative University. In Nicaragua, he has exhibited individually in the city of Granada in the Gallery of the Casa Los Tres Mundos Foundation. In Mexico, in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon presented a sample of his work at the MuZiak Academy…

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July 30, 2020

“The Ahava Order,” A Novel Excerpt from Robert Przybylski

“The Ahava Order,” A Novel Excerpt from Robert Przybylski

The Ahava Order is the first book in Robery Przybylski’s series of the same name. This excerpt is reprinted with permission. Copyright (c) 2019 Robert Przybylski, published by Royal Hawaiian Press. *** The Ahava Order Winter life in Anad, a small village situated among forests, was running its usual course. Roe deer searched for food among plants in snow-covered fields, livestock heartily ate hay. For the Mage Azam and his wife, Eva the Enchantress, the day was going to turn out memorable. That morning, just as every morning, their son Zephyr was preparing food for the animals, while his father was getting ready to hunt for Amash—a horse-sized animal with everlasting white fur from the family of Great Wolves. Inhabiting numberous forests, the species hunts alone, pairs off and doesn’t form packs. Azam was about to choose a weapon when the village squire, Bolv, a squat man with a crop of curly hair on his head and a slightly red face—the effect of having consumed…

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July 27, 2020

“Departure,” A Short Story by Bari Lynn Hein

“Departure,” A Short Story by Bari Lynn Hein

When Chelsea stepped off the school bus on her last day of kindergarten, she handed me a construction-paper card shaped like a necktie. “This is for you, Mommy,” she said. With pink and yellow tempera paint she had filled the tie with flowers, and with black she’d placed the letters M and O over the preprinted F and A in FATHER. I understood, in that moment, that the next two and a half months were to be treasured, that my days of unfettered freedom with Chelsea would be finite.  Eventually, I moved the card from my refrigerator to a box on a shelf above my desk. In the years that followed, I added more treasures to the box: a seashell that Chelsea had found at the shore, a rubber Minnie Mouse and Canadian coins from our trips to Disney World and Niagara Falls, a…

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