March 23, 2021

“Real Estate,” A Novel Excerpt by Kathryn Holzman

“Real Estate,” A Novel Excerpt by Kathryn Holzman

A few passages from my novel, Real Estate, published by Propertius Press in November 2020.   Excerpt #1  Santa Clara Valley, 1962  On a cloudless Saturday afternoon in May 1962, Harriet Jackson rode her brother’s battered blue Schwinn bicycle along Mariani Avenue, alert for passing cars. She inhaled the delicate spring scent of newly budding manzanita blooms, delighted that her mother had sent her to the store for a quart of milk. As she pedaled, she sang “Johnny Angel,” mouthing the words as sung on her favorite 45 by Shelly Fabares.  Harriet let the breeze carry the lead but provided the chorus’s echo under her breath. The popular song complemented the sense of possibility in the crisp morning air. The rotation of her bike tires provided the backbeat. Together we will see how lovely heaven will be. She tilted the bike automatically into…

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March 17, 2021

“Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” A Book Review by Lorraine Martindale

“Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” A Book Review by Lorraine Martindale

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life is a biography of horror fiction writer Shirley Jackson by Ruth Franklin. My first encounter with Shirley Jackson was reading “The Lottery” in junior high. It was the first story that truly disturbed me; the stoning of an innocent woman was a shock. The culprits were not villains. They were regular people, going about their regular lives in their bucolic village. Jackson was confronting conformity at a time when the individual wasn’t valued. I could have been one of them. I wasn’t the only one implicated. After it was published in The New Yorker in 1948, the magazine received letters calling “The Lottery” “outrageous, “gruesome,” and “utterly pointless.” The New Yorker had never received so much mail in response to a work of fiction. Jackson received letters as well,…

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March 15, 2021

“In the Hotel Room with Arles,” by Jeffrey Boldt

“In the Hotel Room with Arles,” by Jeffrey Boldt

1.  I first met Arlene Henson in law school. She’d been a teacher for twenty years and was in her early forties—which made her nearly twenty years older than me, and most of the rest of our class. But Arlene was still youthful and fun, and I never thought of her age as a significant factor in our friendship.   Her face had the gentle and patient look which you’d want to see on your favorite teacher, but it was also quick to flash into an ironic smile and even a dismissive, almost-cynical laugh.  Arlene was recently divorced from a Geography professor and she was attending law school on her share of the sale of their house in Milwaukee.   She’d been a collegiate swimmer, and still did triathlons; she often came to class in tight fitting athletic outfits which hugged her trim figure and still drew plenty of attention from young men half her…

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March 11, 2021

“Thirty Years in a White Haze,” A Memoir Excerpt

“Thirty Years in a White Haze,” A Memoir Excerpt

Dan Egan, with Eric Wilbur, has written a memoir which is true to its title: Dan’s three decades as an athlete in general and specifically one of the founders of the sport of extreme skiing. Thirty Years in a White Haze is his story as told to Eric. It is also the story of growing up in the Egan family and in particular becoming a world-class extreme skier alongside his brother John. We learn how they came to develop skiing abilities far beyond those of the average skier and to become extreme skiing stars in many of the legendary Warren Miller’s ski movies, ultimately arriving at the podium of the US Skiing & Snowboarding Hall of Fame in 2016. This excerpt is the book’s Prologue, and describes what is perhaps his most challenging and life-threatening…

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March 8, 2021

“She Is Going to Do Something Nutty,” by Raymond Abbott

“She Is Going to Do Something Nutty,” by Raymond Abbott

He told the police sergeant, as he knew he would, that he would leave right away and help however he might.  The address he wrote down was familiar to him.  It was in the Flats, an old Holyoke neighborhood or section of the city once inhabited by many different ethnic groups, although now almost exclusively Puerto Rican.  He shoved the paper with the address in his coat pocket and found his little black bag with the oils and other implements for giving what once was called the last rites of the church, but were now termed the sacrament of the sick, and headed off in the direction of the Flats.  Sixty-six Center Street.  He’d been there before, he was sure.  Only the week before, the adjoining block had burned up.  It was another of those…

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March 3, 2021

Bhuwan Thapaliya – Seven Poems from Kathmandu

Bhuwan Thapaliya – Seven Poems from Kathmandu

I’m sick of not seeing you    He poured himself  a glass of her thoughts    two years after she won  a scholarship to heaven    to pursue her PhD  in life after death    and sat down beside  her antique gramophone    with his senses  straining in the dark.    “I’m sick  of not seeing you,    I’m seeing only  the back of an African Wild Elephant  and the wide open jaws of the vultures.    Helpless days of confinement,  a stultifying inertia  and no knowledge of what comes next.    “Where are your  eyes in the sky, Grand Ma?” he sighed.    Where are the bald eagles?  Where are the rhododendrons?  Where? Where? Where?    He stammered and cried.      What type of poem am I?    “What type of poem am I?”  I am as formless as the clouds,  and as elegiac as the silence,  in the itinerary of the noise.    I am not a classic  written by the author,…

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March 1, 2021

Alex Nodopaka – “Computer Aided Design” Art

Alex Nodopaka – “Computer Aided Design” Art

Artist’s Statement: I am a multifaceted artist who practiced traditional painting, drawing, photography & sculpture until the advent of the PC. Subsequently, my art evolved into pure computer graphics. I have quite a bit of experience from graphics through watercolors and oils and etching and sculptures in many mediums such as ceramics, bronzes, wood and assemblages. All my artistic life and beyond has been totally dedicated to art to the point of fixation, if not light obsession. I work serially. That is, periodically, I come up with a certain manner and style in my artwork, then conclude that series after 50 or so examples/variations in each category in that fashion, then I move on. Operating in such fashion created a problem with artwork storage and that is when I decided to strictly create CAD art….

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February 26, 2021

“Rising” – New Poetry Collection by Yong Takahashi

“Rising” – New Poetry Collection by Yong Takahashi

RISING: Poems In this debut collection of poetry, flashes of life’s most intimate moments are filled with love, hope, remorse, longing, and anguish. We root for the one who reaches for happiness but is not yet able to grasp it. We wince for the one who picks at festering wounds that never quite heal. We are breathless as we run alongside those who chase after a thirst that can never be quenched.   Yong Takahashi is the author of The Escape to Candyland. She was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest, Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest, and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. She was awarded Best Pitch at the Atlanta Writers Club Conference. Her second short story collection will be published in 2021.To learn…

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February 25, 2021

February Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

February Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

JASON BRICK’S NOTES FROM THE LAB As a freelance writer deep in the trenches, I’m here to present your five facts and five favorites from the month of February, 2021. Just the facts…. Fiverr.com is a good place to get low-cost cover design services, and a bad place to find competent copy editing. The pandemic has shifted a lot of genre sales figures, but by now you shouldn’t change any decisions based on that.  On social media, there is an inverse relationship between how successful a writer is and how mean they act. If you “don’t have time to write” you actually just prioritize other activities Martha Wells’s The Murderbot Diaries is really, really fun to read. Five Favorites… Social Change in the Publishing Industry I don’t know if it’s going to be awesome or a train wreck, but…

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February 22, 2021

“To Your Inner Slavery,” Poetry by Selma Haitembu

“To Your Inner Slavery,” Poetry by Selma Haitembu

To Your Inner Slavery    You try really hard not to show it  I will not relent to evade my notions,  Nor my ideas, hence the color of my skin  Spoke before I could raise my head  To your foot, beneath the very grounds  I lay scythed by your scorn  I will not relent in shame  My mother, I wore as pride   Ride me into the dangers of your color  Your ignorance and frivolous abuse  Your amusement related to mine   Rooted from two different aspects  I worry not where you are from  Your stench has no beginning  I worry only what you would do next  To know, to finally see my color  My mind in this brown skin bag  Has gears twisted in complex turns  I deserve to be here as well, it will show  And below me you will fall soon  Your hate of me will beg to exist,…

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