July 1, 2022

“Art as Creative Synergy,” by Hank Keneally

“Art as Creative Synergy,” by Hank Keneally

Artist’s Statement: I am very fortunate. I have always been in the arts. Learning the notes on the piano from my grandmother who was a piano teacher. Listening to classical music that my brother brought before me. Playing instruments. Becoming a photographer. Practicing counseling and social work for 42 years, which I see as another artistic process. Becoming a painter. I create every day. I start with compassionate observation. I always have a camera with me. For me, great things happen where arts merge. I use paint, cameras and digital technologies. I aim for reciprocity between myself and my media. I love to be surprised in the act of creation. My artworks are all a result of these processes.   *** Hank Keneally studied music and photography at Arizona State University, often staying in the dark room overnight…

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June 24, 2022

“The Petrol Station” by Annis McGee

“The Petrol Station” by Annis McGee

Welcome back Fictional Cafe listeners! “The Petrol Station” by Annis McGee is a semi horror podcast about the lonely world of working the graveyard shift in the middle of nowhere. Though I considered hanging onto this until we hit Halloween, the glowing reviews that followed this show convinced me to post it a little early, for your listening pleasure. Nina Sudbrooke is a young girl who works the nights at her local remote petrol station. One evening she encounters something…stranger and now is desperate to tell somebody, anybody.  The first episode in the audio supernatural horror series was written by Annis McGee and produced by Far Island.  After thinking her troubles were over, Nina finds herself noticing things get stranger and stranger.  This episode was written by Annis McGee. Performed by Nick Odams and Annis…

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June 21, 2022

“Circling the Bronze Sculptures,” by Paul Germano

“Circling the Bronze Sculptures,” by Paul Germano

She first notices him at the far end of the room, lean, rugged, rough around the edges, wearing dark-wash jeans and a grey hoodie under a brown leather jacket. He has short-cropped coppery-red hair and two days’ worth of reddish scruff. He rubs leisurely at the side of his face while pondering a watercolor on bark paper, an evocative rendering of a lonely fishing boat tied to a weather-beaten dock in murky water. He steps back, slightly tilting his head. He can feel her attentive gaze, but pretends not to notice. When the moment is right, he sneaks a peek and likes what he sees. Her dress is just tight enough, a navy-blue number with white trim and matching high heels. She has chestnut brown hair that’s shoulder length and silky smooth, piercing green eyes…

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June 18, 2022

“Juneteenth: Remember That Time” by Derrick R. Lafayette

“Juneteenth: Remember That Time” by Derrick R. Lafayette

I remember in mid-march 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s second album debuted. One of my closest friends, who is white, had played it for his wife, who is also white. Needless to say, the first thirty seconds is a sample from Boris Gardiner’s “Every ____ is a star.” She promptly told him to turn it off. She was uncomfortable, and I understand. The first fourteen years of my life were a heavy combination of daily reminders and academic study into the bloated, complicated, and emotionally traumatizing history of slavery. My elementary school had taught me “Lift Every Voice and Sing” when I was four years old. Some people don’t know that there’s a Black National Anthem. I’d seen Roots, The Color Purple, Shaka Zulu, Panther, Rosewood, and Malcolm X by the time I was in seventh grade….

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June 16, 2022

New Writing by Barista Lorraine Martindale!

New Writing by Barista Lorraine Martindale!

Lorraine Martindale, The Fictional Café’s editor-at-large, has published new work which explores ideas of how one tells stories, and how the process often leads to new discoveries. “A Magical Stumble Back in Time” muses on how collage artist Joseph Cornell’s work creates visual stories, in Raft Magazine. In Shift: A Journal of Literary Oddities, “A Lemon and Almond Tart for Manny Eggertsville” reveals how a character changed when the sister’s story became more interesting, using an old, found recipe. And in “Beverages, San Francisco” an imagined conversation plays out among a certain set in Sazeracs, Smoky Ink. *** Lorraine Martindale is our Editor-at-Large. She is a freelance writer and editor who loves to read and talk about books. She has an MFA from the New School in New York, and is at work on a…

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June 13, 2022

“Ideology as a Way of Life,” Poetry by Tali Shabtai

“Ideology as a Way of Life,” Poetry by Tali Shabtai

“Ideology as a Way of Life” Women like me, yes have been added over the years to overshadow what preceded us that is mostly not in line with our agenda. The accepted wording is not what will satisfy our desires – Desires? Ours? Well then, I write in the female first person plural so as not to sound as one who sins with pretension as an individual woman, however I do not have many female friends for this journey and those who have already passed through a station or two according to the fixed rules of society A woman like me tries to stay free from society and at the same time to be in it with boycotts in double-digit ages until the arrival of the adolescence age and beyond I bear this bitter insult…

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June 10, 2022

Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, Reincarnation

Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, Reincarnation

Hello Fictional Cafe readers. You all know me as your friendly Audio Arts barista. But today I’m going to talk about me: The author of Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective. You also know that I am one of many that searches the vast internet for those hidden gems, those artists who have just as much – if not more – talent as the rest, but don’t get quite as much recognition as they deserve. It can be a thankless volunteer job, but it can also be an inspirational one. Because we aren’t getting paid to put up these posts, nor do we need to be. We are a community of people who believe that everyone deserves their moment in the spotlight, and we try our best to find those who need that light the most. It’s…

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June 7, 2022

“Virtual Math,” A Short Story by David Rogers

“Virtual Math,” A Short Story by David Rogers

I meditated on this lost and perhaps mythical labyrinth . . . on the secret summit of some mountain . . . I imagined it infinite, . . . a sinuous, ever-growing maze which would take in both past and future and would somehow involve the stars.            —Jorge Luis Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths”  “I did it,” Professor Radiant announced. “I’ve solved the problem of faster-than-light travel.” Radiant was the most senior member of La Mancha University’s Department of Mathematics, but no one listened to him. He was well known for his quixotic quests to solve problems like the Riemann hypothesis or to show Pi did, in fact, have a last digit. Of course these efforts never ended well.  Thus, not until Professor Radiant made his claim about the secret of FTL travel…

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June 1, 2022

Aislinn Feldberg — “Dream World”

Aislinn Feldberg — “Dream World”

Artist Statement: I enjoy experimenting and creating art with a dark, bizarre flair in order to create a dreamy scene or landscape. My work demonstrates conflicting natures of human nature or of materials (flowing delicacy or brutal strokes). I attempt to include sarcastic or whimsical humor in my art whenever I can. I draw inspiration from my surroundings and artists that I admire, such as Gaugin, Max Ernst, Frida Kahlo, Banksy, Vincent van Gogh and Yayoi Kusama. *** Aislinn Feldberg is a writer and visual artist from Queens, New York. She is currently a Junior with a major in Studio Arts at Bard College. Her work interweaves with prior dreams and gothic influences. You can find her on Wrongdoing Mag or her website: www.oddityplayground.com.

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May 4, 2022

“Sometimes We Fall,” Yong’s New Book!

“Sometimes We Fall,” Yong’s New Book!

SOMETIMES WE FALL takes readers into the lives of people searching for self, sense of belonging, and their version of truth: A son protects a secret that could destroy his family’s reputation and fortune. A daughter searches for the truth as her mother descends into dementia. A mother asks an unexpected friend to look after the baby she plans to abandon. Their paths are not easy and inevitably they fall. Some pick themselves up and some can’t or won’t as they struggle to find the reason for their failures. Yong Takahashi is the author of Observations Through Yellow Glasses, Rising, Sometimes We Fall, and 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, The Writers’ Mastermind Short…

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