August 30, 2020

“The Break From HOKAIC” with Jason Brick

“The Break From HOKAIC” with Jason Brick

Editorial Note: We’re excited to announce a new monthly feature from writing coach and longtime FC Barista Jason Brick. In this column, he’ll bring you news and advice from the writing world. Greetings all! As many of you know, I run a weekly newsletter of useful, fun, or amusing pieces of writing industry news called The Break From HOKAIC (my own term for the writer’s daily grind, which stands for Hands On Keyboard, Ass In Chair). As writers and lovers of writing yourselves, The Fictional Cafe thought you’d enjoy some highlights for your information and entertainment: VICE magazine took a real look at how much can be reasonably made publishing online.  Check out this list and review of free online publishing platforms for new writers. A report on virtual writers retreats during the pandemic Writing advice delivered…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

September 21, 2019

“My Year in Art,” by Steve Sangapore

“My Year in Art,” by Steve Sangapore

After graduating from college in 2013 with a degree in art, I spent the next five years maintaining a sharp focus on honing my craft as a painter. Countless studio hours were matched with even more time pursuing opportunities, schmoozing with gallerists, and making my presence known within Boston’s, and the greater Northeast’s, vibrant art communities. While each year yielded great leaps in my technical dexterity and academic proficiency as a painter, the art was virtually devoid of the most important component that separates art from craft . . . and I just couldn’t see it. Or, perhaps I could see it—I just didn’t want to. The debates between, “what is good art” and “what is or can be art” have been raging on for years – particularly since the mid-19th century with the birth…

Continue reading →

January 4, 2019

You Shared Your Favorite Books of 2018. Our Turn Next.

You Shared Your Favorite Books of 2018. Our Turn Next.

Thank you to these Coffee Club members for sharing their fave reads of the past year. For those who haven’t and would still like to do so, there’s plenty of time! The link is here. In the next installment, we baristas will share ours with you, and any others who still care to contribute. Thanks to all, and good reading in 2019! — Jack Anne Waldman’s “Trickster Feminism.” I love Anne Waldman and have followed her work for decades. Her last 3 books have been book-length pomes, a very favorite of mine. It’s energetic like a volcano, has the consciousness of a blue whale, the largest mammal on earth. There’s so much to learn here. To celebrate. Shamanic, acute intelligence, a journey we all need to take. – Joanne James * Hi Jack–Hope all is…

Continue reading →

August 10, 2018

Exploring Literary Trilogies and Tetralogies by Victoria Merkle

Exploring Literary Trilogies and Tetralogies by Victoria Merkle

Editor’s Note: The trilogy and tetralogy are commonplace in genre fiction: science-fiction, fantasy, mystery. But what of literature? Tori Merkle dissects the phenomenon and helps us understand its often unrecognized significance, not only in storytelling but in an author’s oeuvre.  Literary Chronicles: An Exploration of Trilogies and Tetralogies in Literary Fiction by Tori Merkle It’s a fact of storytelling: chronicles sell. Series novels, commonly a trilogy or tetralogy, are especially popular in genre fiction—we sit waiting and watching for the next sci-fi or fantasy saga to top the bestseller list and then hit the box office. Once we get the first luscious taste of a fictional world, we’re ravenous for more. We become attached to the characters as if they’re intimate friends. We’re eager to know what happens next. This is the same energy that…

Continue reading →

April 13, 2018

Free Copies of Sarina Dorie Novels for Amazon Reviews

The first three books in the WOMBY’S SCHOOL FOR WAYWARD WITCHES series is available on Amazon in paperback. I would love to get some reviews up before the ebooks are released at the end of May. If you have received a free copy of any of these books, please consider putting up an honest review. Even if all you have time to do is select the number of stars without writing anything, these reviews help enable authors to promote their work. Each week I announce in my newsletter books that are offered for free on Instafreebie’s Giveaways. Stay tuned for places Tardy Bells and Witches’ Spells and Hex-Ed are available for free. Reviewers can get a free copy of Witches Gone Wicked by entering the password at the address below: https://claims.instafreebie.com/free/wcMppWBA Password: BubbleBubble Thank you! ~ Sarina

Continue reading →

November 14, 2017

An Art Show from French Painter Anne-Marie Guilleman

An Art Show from French Painter Anne-Marie Guilleman

If you just happen to be in the city of Brest, France this week, you’ll want to visit Galerie ZonZon, at 50 rue Emile Zola. You’ll be greeted by the gallery’s lovely owner, Daniele Maguet, and shown the work of Anne-Marie Guilleman hanging on the gallery walls. Although Anne-Marie’s paintings tend to depict subjects near or on the water – after all, she calls Normandy, on the northern coast of France, home – there is a je ne sais quoi about her expression, not only in the scenes but also in the people she depicts. She calls this, “marines nocturnes.” Here is a sampling. Please click on the work for a full-screen view. A St. Petersburg wharf   (in the city of) Brest and beyond   Brest: rue Siam trolley tracks   Evening lights under…

Continue reading →

September 28, 2017

Inside an Amazon Bookstore: Rachael Allen, Our Intrepid Correspondent, Reports

Inside an Amazon Bookstore: Rachael Allen, Our Intrepid Correspondent, Reports

A Summer at Amazon Books by Rachael Allen You walk into a bookstore. Something is different, you think. You pay for a cold brew from Peet’s Coffee & Tea, located in the rear of the store, then walk around, assessing. Perhaps it’s the orientation of the books: they all face out, squared shoulders, as if presenting their best selves to a potential new owner. Perhaps it’s the black review cards tacked below each book, giving you booklover22’s opinion on why All the Light We Cannot See was so moving. Perhaps it’s the devices zone in the middle of the store. A couple pokes at a tablet, while a little boy dances to Ed Sheeran, whose music is now spouting from the voice-activated speaker, per his request. Perhaps, too, it’s your awareness of the store name…

Continue reading →

September 12, 2017

Guest Blogger Mike Squatrito – “From Writing to Teaching”

Guest Blogger Mike Squatrito – “From Writing to Teaching”

From Writing to Teaching: How Did THAT Happen? By J. Michael Squatrito, Jr. As a young writer I had a great idea for a storyline and, after years of turmoil and struggle, I eventually wrote the first book in my Overlords fantasy series. As of today, I have three self-published novels and I’m working on the fourth and final(?) installment. My literary journey has taken me to places I never dreamed that I would go – from individual book signings and mass author events, to local library and school visits, regional conferences and Comic Cons, and more than enough radio and TV appearances. I’m even the Vice-President of the Association of Rhode Island Authors! However, all of this started with an idea for a book and blossomed into a business. Why am I telling you…

Continue reading →

May 30, 2017

Party Tonight! Join us at the Virtual Celebration of the Mickie McKinney Podcast!

Party Tonight! Join us at the Virtual Celebration of the Mickie McKinney Podcast!

Please join us in wishing a happy first anniversary to Ruby Fink and the “Mickie McKinney, Boy Detective” podcast series on Faux Fiction Audio. We were fortunate enough to publish the whole Mickie serial here at FC, and upon learning the franchise has been renewed for another year, anxiously await the first episode of Season 2, which we’re told is due any day. In the meantime, you’re welcome to join in congratulating Ruby, the creator and producer,  and her performers–Sam, Hannah, Lucas, Lyndsey and who knows who else will show up–tonight [Tuesday] for Mickie’s birthday/anniversary party! It will stream live tonight on Facebook, beginning at 5:00PM PST. You may even bump into one or two of us FC baristas there–virtually, of course. In the meantime, here’s what Ruby wrote about her experiences writing and producing Mickie:…

Continue reading →