May 13, 2021

“My Sister,” Poems by Susan J. Wurtzburg

“My Sister,” Poems by Susan J. Wurtzburg

My Sister  My sister enacts meal provider, family clustered  around the table.  Sustenance for body and heart, hollowed   out by this year.  Muffled emptiness behind my ribs muted  by video calls.  Strands across the Pacific from my island  to her wooded home.  My sibling draws me back to Canada, closed  pine borders.   Each call a step closer, but still stranded  on a rock in the ocean.    ** The Toad  Heavy rains, another toad in the garden, poison  to my dog.  Buffo catching, my new pastime, followed  by a marsh trip.  Bye Mr. Toad. No whimsical talking character,  Wind in the Willows cute.  Instead a mammoth, warty body, with venom  sacs behind his ears.  Toad number seven in a lineage, a hopping  invading force.  Beady eyes, fire-plug body, strong jumping legs,  garden bane in Hawaii.  Islands replete with outsiders: frogs, rats, goats,  even tourists.  If the toads arrived with…

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May 10, 2021

“Demon Road,” A Short Story by Derrick R. Lafayette

“Demon Road,” A Short Story by Derrick R. Lafayette

I lived in a castle made of mud. Solid enough to make you feel caged. Light barely escaped the brown warped walls. The house had so many ancestors pass away inside, that layers of its spirit fought each other seasonally. I was doomed.  I believe it was late autumn when my stomach’s emptiness corresponded with my heart. After fifty-five days in solitude, the hunger monster devoured me. Food was to be acquired. There used to be another person to handle these things during the summer.  However, the sunlight tempted her to search for buried treasure in the cityscape. She thought there were buildings, roads, and regular life beyond the mountains, past the desert plain. All things inside the dome. I located the area map before she did and destroyed it. I thought about her wandering hopelessly every night. Helped me sleep.  The gun seemed to gain ten pounds since the last time I…

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May 8, 2021

“Rogue Tyger: Pilot” by Jabberwocky Audio Theater

“Rogue Tyger: Pilot” by Jabberwocky Audio Theater

Welcome Fictional Cafe viewers, did everyone enjoy their Cinco de Mayo? Because it’s time for Rogue Tyger : The Pilot. We have a fun 5-part series this week from Jabberwocky Audio Theater, because who’s sick of sci-fi? I’m not! 5,000 years into the future — in a corner of the galaxy where Earth is no longer known — humans and a dozen other sentient races have forged a civilization. Spacers brave the oceans of void between hundreds of worlds for power, glory, and simply to survive. This is the tale of one band of spacers and their ship: the Tyger. Jabberwocky Audio Theater invites you to join the crew of the Tyger as they search for adventure, riches, and possibly redemption. Modeled after classic cliffhangers such as Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar or that one with the alien guy and the…

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May 4, 2021

“Pilgrims of Zame,” by Mbizo Chirasha Now Available!

“Pilgrims of Zame,” by Mbizo Chirasha Now Available!

Pilgrims of Zame, a collection of hybrid narratives by poet Mbizo Chirasha, is a visceral assault a of images, sounds, and evocative experiences that transport readers from the hills and mountains of Zimbabwean villages, to sordid cities filled with violence and poverty, and into the minds, hearts, and lives of an entire people. Chirasha captures the raw emotions of culture and conflict and presents them through his uniquely vibrant poetic style. Through alliterative prose and free verse poetry, Chirasha explores both the roots of his culture and its path into the future. Mbizo Chirasha is the current Poet-in-Residence at The Fictional Café and author of A Letter to the President (Zimbabwe). He has co-authored several titles including The Little Voice, Metaphors of the Rainbow, and Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi. Pilgrims of Zame may…

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May 3, 2021

Forensic Foraging Photography by William Crawford

Forensic Foraging Photography by William Crawford

Artist’s Statement: The trite, trivial and mundane are often dismissed by today’s technology driven photographers. Images shot can unlock the beauty and intrinsic value hidden in most everyday things. Thus, an old fractured glass window found on a wrecked desert shack might better be presented as a compelling image. Such a transformational presentation can be achieved by applying basic photographic techniques: framing, lighting, coloration, saturation, contrast, etc. This precise application of seminal tenets can often transform the mundane into something pleasing. This process forms the essence of Forensic Foraging. Photographers today possess a plethora of powerful technical tools. High resolution sensors, potent post processing software, and cameras with such jacked up processors that they could, in a pinch, support the governmental operations of a small city. Many camera images today all but surpass the human capacities…

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April 28, 2021

Friday on FC: Our First Live Webinar with Dan Blank!

Friday on FC: Our First Live Webinar with Dan Blank!

It’s almost here! This Friday, April 30th, at 2pm Eastern we will be hosting a webinar for writers who want to learn how to create an author platform and market their books. Dan Blank will be presenting on various topics. Check out the description below! Here’s the link to join in the webinar (Meeting ID: 863 9109 4393). An Introduction to Author Platform and Finding Your Ideal Readers Dan Blank has helped thousands of writers develop their author platforms, launch their books, and create marketing strategies that work. In this one-hour webinar, he will share his methodology for how to develop your author platform, market your writing, and find a sense of joy and fulfillment in the process. He will discuss social media, finding your ideal readers, how to present yourself online, and the key elements…

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April 27, 2021

“Head Space,” Poems by Ted Millar

“Head Space,” Poems by Ted Millar

Head Space    I still know my childhood best friend’s  telephone number even though  I’ll never dial it again.    I’ve taught certain poems so many times  I can recite them on demand, yet  some claim that has no practical application.    Most find my ability to name the American  presidents by years in office amusing  before urging me to remember “something important”    (like last night’s winning Powerball numbers?).  I embrace my savant-esque ability to rattle off  every Bob Dylan album and the songs featured    on them. I prefer not to cram my head   with empty crap on the radio and celebrity   gossip, thank you very much.    Want something proofread, I’m the resident  grammarian, but if it’s scores to last night’s  game, I suggest turning on ESPN.    I’ve actually read the whole Constitution,  not cherry-picked excerpts. Ditto   the Declaration of Independence,     the United Nations’ Declaration of…

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April 26, 2021

This Friday: Live Webinar for Writers on FC!!

This Friday: Live Webinar for Writers on FC!!

This Friday, April 30th, at 2pm Eastern we will be hosting a webinar for writers who want to learn how to create an author platform and market their books. Dan Blank will be presenting on various topics. Check out the description below! Stay tuned for the link for the webinar later this week. An Introduction to Author Platform and Finding Your Ideal Readers Dan Blank has helped thousands of writers develop their author platforms, launch their books, and create marketing strategies that work. In this 1-hour webinar, he will share his methodology for how to develop your author platform, market your writing, and find a sense of joy and fulfillment in the process. He will discuss social media, finding your ideal readers, how to present yourself online, and the key elements of book launches. A Q&A…

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April 25, 2021

April Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

April Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

Jason’s Notes From the Lab… This month I tried something new. I’d heard about other writers doing it, and tried one as a sort of rough draft to some success. I’m sharing the details and results here with you, so if you want to give it a shot you know how.  Who is this for: authors with self-published books and a mailing list. What is this: a giveaway sweepstakes to gather new emails for your list The Details: Here’s what I did. I found a bunch of other authors with mailing lists who write in genres related to mine. We all kicked in $25 for prize money and advertising. Our genre was safety, specifically family safety, and we gathered a library of 13 safety books, plus some supplies and even a AAA membership for the prize bundle.  For…

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April 24, 2021

“The Sojourn” by Daniel Orrett

“The Sojourn” by Daniel Orrett

Welcome back to the next segment of our Sci-Fi Month! This week we’re covering “The Sojourn” an audio drama by Daniel Orrett! The Tantalus Cluster is the fragile cradle of humanity. Adrift in the divide between galaxies and surrounded by the vast emptiness of the intergalactic void, the Tantalus Cluster is the only home humanity has ever known. Desperate and facing starvation, humanity’s only hope is a strange nebula that has suddenly appeared beyond the edge of the cluster. Its shifting clouds may hide a source of salvation for the people of Tantalus, but time is running out. Signing on to the ambitious Avalon Expedition, Privateer Captain Cassandra Farren will face the shadows of both the past and future as she leads her small crew into the unknown in a last, desperate bid for the…

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