March 20, 2019

Casey Stanberry, Architectural Illustrator

Casey Stanberry, Architectural Illustrator

We’re pleased to introduce some new and fascinating art from Boston’s Casey Stanberry. Casey was trained as an architect and furthered his education at an art school in Spain. There, he participated in his first art shows and allowed the dense, historic architectural fabric to inspire his work. Originally from South Carolina, he has always had a passion for historic architecture and its relationship with contemporary daily life. His work reflects the intersection of the built environment and fine art in sweeping perspectives captured in painted and penned architectural diagrams.  Artist’s Statement “These pieces are drawn in elevation, plan, section and aerial to best expose certain structural and aesthetic qualities. Paint is sometimes layered over drawings followed by pen, which gives pieces a sense of being in architectural progress. There is an analytical approach to…

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March 1, 2019

The Weekend Podcast: “Anna Schutz” by Dean Peterson

The Weekend Podcast: “Anna Schutz” by Dean Peterson

We have a terrific new audio arts program for you tonight. It’s the story of an enigmatic young German woman named Anna Schutz and an American GI named Oli, who has a really bad case of depression. Or, in the author’s words: “A white-clad phantom seen running through the woods in Germany . . . a warren of abandoned tunnels under an American base . . . a forgotten clinic once used by the Nazis . . . one soldier’s obsession to solve a fifty-year old murder before his suicidal plans go any further. Listen to the madness unfold in Anna Schutz. “It’s like Jarhead meets The Shining.” We are providing the first six chapters to whet your appetite for this strange, enchanting ghost story, narrated with great empathy by the author. And speaking of the author, please be…

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February 19, 2019

Mark Greenside’s New Rabelaisian Novel

Mark Greenside’s New Rabelaisian Novel

The Night at the End of the Tunnel, or Isaiah Can You See? “It was the best of the worst of times, the worst of the best of times, the beginning of the end of the beginning.” That’s how this story begins. It’s late 70s, early 80s, New York City, and nothing works. No place is safe. Porn is everywhere. The streets are filthy, and the subways are worse. Trust is committing suicide–love is abused, and institutions and individuals are corrupt, corrupted, or corruptible. The City and country are disintegrating. Enter two of the unlikeliest characters you’ve ever met–think Charlie Brown meets Mr. Natural, or Alfred E. Neuman in The Heart of Darkness. All these guys want to do is survive, and they do–but in a way neither they nor you can imagine. What follows is…

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February 3, 2019

“Ghost Train” A Short Story by Stephen Brayton

“Ghost Train” A Short Story by Stephen Brayton

After the seven-hour drive from Connecticut, Rick and Bill were following Joe Spence’s directions to his camp on Chebuncook Pond: Nutting Road for five miles, then right onto a dirt road marked by a row of mailboxes beneath a stand of birches. Bumping along with the boat behind, they crossed the abandoned railroad line that Joe had noted. Even though he knew the railroad map of northern Maine, Rick had searched this one anyway, a Maine Central branch abandoned over a decade ago. They’d come across it at different locations on past trips. Here, its right-of-way through the woods remained clearly evident, no doubt from snowmobile and ATV use. In another half-mile, the waters of Chebuncook Pond appeared through the trees. They passed two camps and pulled in at the third. Joe’s camp looked like…

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January 27, 2019

“Night Embers” A Short Story by Tanya W. Newman

“Night Embers” A Short Story by Tanya W. Newman

The rains had set in two days ago and hadn’t stopped yet. Grace kept her eyes on the gleaming puddles before her on the sidewalk as she jogged while spiky raindrops hit her face and every car that passed sent rainwater splashing, soaking her leggings. She cut right so she could run down to the park, but running downhill became too much for the knees that once carried her with ease and now buckled and gave out underneath her. She crashed to the ground, her hands hitting the pavement first. She didn’t get up right away. She lay there, letting the rain fall over her in her defeat. Her hands were bleeding. The fiery singes in them told her that before she lifted them to see the scrapes and cuts for herself. They’d have to…

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January 23, 2019

“Seth Seeks Sex for Sex’s Sake,” A Short Story

“Seth Seeks Sex for Sex’s Sake,” A Short Story

We welcome Paul Negri, a new member of the FC Coffee Club today, with a witty short story for you. Seth Seeks Sex for Sex’s Sake by Paul Negri “It’s so sibilant.” Jamie picked a french fry from Seth’s plate and put it on top of her frisée salad. “That’s the point,” said Seth. He took a sip of water. “Say it fast. Seth seeks sex for sex’s sake Seth seeks sex for sex’s sake. It’s like the sound some women make when they’re having sex.” Jamie filched another fry. “I never made that sound.” “You did. Sometimes.” “I never heard that.” “Of course, you didn’t hear it. It’s like snoring. No one hears themselves snore.” At 39, Jamie looked enticingly older. Trim, pale, blonde, with startling black eyes. She’d overheard one of her high…

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January 16, 2019

Leaping Metaphysical Boundaries: John Michael Barone’s Art

Leaping Metaphysical Boundaries: John Michael Barone’s Art

Artist’s Statement Painter John Michael Barone believes while we gain success as artists and entrepreneurs, it is our duty to help the art scene grow. It is exceptionally important now for artists to be seen as key contributors to the future of our communities. If we do not forge a strong path and build platforms for artists, failure may be inevitable. Working together, we can set sound examples for the future of the arts. If we teach others, they will teach us. We guide them and they will show us the way. As artists young or old, professional or amateur, we can all learn from each other. This will help us all achieve our goals of reaching higher peaks of learning and expanding our knowledge of the artmaking process. Current Work   “I have been…

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January 14, 2019

“Want You Gone” A Short Story by William Torphy

“Want You Gone” A Short Story by William Torphy

It’s a pleasure to welcome William Torphy back to the Fictional Cafe. The last story of his we published was “The Invention of Numbers” in 2016. “Invention” was subsequently chosen by the FC Baristas for inclusion in our forthcoming Anthology — but more on that another time. Herewith William’s newest creation, “Want You Gone,” a fast-paced, witty-wise glimpse into a relationship between a daughter and her estranged father. Want You Gone by William Torphy Cherie was pouring steamed milk over a double espresso when her father appeared at the café dressed in a form-fitting orange anorak jacket, stonewashed designer jeans and millennial sneakers. The pegs in his scalp testified to a recent hair transplant and he had obviously undergone a mid-life crisis facelift, his face tighter than a bongo, like one of those aging Las…

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January 8, 2019

We Asked. You Replied. Now It’s Our Turn.

We Asked. You Replied. Now It’s Our Turn.

Last week we asked you, our faithful Coffee Club members, to share your favorite book(s) of 2018 (after all, it’s a time-honored ritual). We were delighted with your responses and your choices. As promised, now it’s your baristas’ turn to share our 2018 faves. (You can see our bios and pictures of us here.) Our hope is that all of us get to tip one another off to a good read! Jason: “Absolutely THE MARROW THIEVES, I’M AFRAID OF MEN, and THE GHOST KEEPER. Three very different books by amazing authors.” ** Ruby: Sea Swept of The Chesapeake Bay Saga by Nora Roberts is one of the sweetest books I read in 2018. Set on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, each book focuses on one of the four Quinn men. In true Roberts fashion, she provides the reader…

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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…

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