June 27, 2019

“The Age of Light” – Reprising Our Interview with First-Time (And Very Successful!) Author Whitney Scharer

“The Age of Light” – Reprising Our Interview with  First-Time (And Very Successful!) Author Whitney Scharer

A little over a year ago, we published an interview with Whitney Scharer, whose novel had landed her a million-dollar book deal. Only problem was, we had to wait another year to read her book. At the time, we wrote: “Barista Rachael Allen meets the novelist everyone will be talking about. Whitney Scharer and her fierce protagonist are set to take the literary world by storm! At this time next year, Whitney Scharer’s debut novel, The Age of Light, will stare up at you from your nightstand. The book will not stare at you so much as, potentially, display a woman staring into the distance, anonymously cropped at the neck, with scenic Paris blurred behind her. As much as she hopes for something different, Scharer says wryly, audiences are familiar with this kind of book…

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June 25, 2019

Charles Rammelkamp: History, Politics, and People

Charles Rammelkamp: History, Politics, and People

The Crud   My mother called him “the crud,” my brother’s friend Alan. I’m not sure what she had against him, besides his lack of ambition – she was a schoolteacher, after all – Alan destined to work in one of the steel factories after graduating from high school – at least until the steel factories all closed.   The Crud loved cars. He could tell you the make and model and year of anything with four wheels and an engine, sported decals of hotrods and muscle cars all over his school folders.   He did speak vaguely of “joining the service,” as his older brother had, then having all his teeth pulled, dentures installed in their place, the stubby twisted teeth in his mouth, a source of private anguish.   When my brother mentioned…

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June 19, 2019

A Suspension of Disbelief: Lydia Kinney’s Art

A Suspension of Disbelief: Lydia Kinney’s Art

Lydia Kinney lives and works in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2014 with a BFA in Painting. Lydia’s work focuses on spatial abstractions, forming tensions of interior/exterior environments. Subjects include windows and pillars into other planes, disintegrating color fields, formally ambiguous confetti, and plays of texture. The Artist’s Statement “My paintings function with haphazard visual structure and a focus on material. The composition is pivoted on stained substrates and poured surfaces. I push the compositions to balance a suspension of disbelief and a tangible acknowledgment of a made object. The dichotomy of drawn and painted treatments takes advantage of the depth and atmosphere implied by wet, amorphous forms and planes. “Rigid lines and shapes encounter these surfaces, holding up, constraining, destabilizing, and contradicting their preceding natural flow. The…

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June 17, 2019

Kyla Houbolt: A Natural Poetic Eye

Kyla Houbolt: A Natural Poetic Eye

What the Bears Do  If this is a dream I will open the eyes of my eyes before life kills us all.  I want to see what the bears do. I open the ears of my ears when there is a dear hum  or sound of grinding  that burns. The bears  hear it too. The bears   are not dancing. They may surround us with their large smell  of hot fur or drop to the ground, lope off into woods we did not know were there until  the bears claimed them.  We have received from the bears something of fur of the woods of knowing in our blood but what about  when blood is gone?  What then?  Then I will wait for the tiger  sure to come. I am not prey. I will follow  and not be mazed by that hungry  chthonic gaze.  It may be that any death should feed somebody, but in my family we burn our dead.  Journey For a Monday  Monday and suddenly I feel an intense longing for the desert….

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June 13, 2019

The Poetry of Michael Glassman

The Poetry of Michael Glassman

DEATH IN THE DESERT  Heat waves frolic along the desert’s endless edge I hear the shuffling of camel’s toes The soft landing of camel dung  The smell adding to my woes My knees embedded in sand Awaiting the wrath of the Queen of Hearts The bald ibis watches from his rocky perch I glimmer a glint of silver through shrouded eyes To the camels and ibis it’s no surprise They’ve seen many times how a man dies  Heat waves frolic along the desert’s endless edge Having no power to stop their play On a whim of the wind they hold their place The camel and Ibis are rarely seen Betwixt the sand and the dust devil’s space The wind has no say as to what happens next When frolicking ends and attention is paid A man with no head leaves them perplexed To the camel and ibis it’s no surprise They’ve seen many times how a man dies  NEWTOWN SCHOOL BUS DRIVER’S…

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June 8, 2019

An Interview with Ana Clements, Voiceover Artist

An Interview with Ana Clements, Voiceover Artist

Creating an audiobook is hard work. Maybe harder than writing, but it’s similar, too, in that the work must go through several revision cycles. You can simply listen to a recording to catch errors, or you can listen and follow along in the manuscript or the book. But neither is a guarantee you’ll catch all of the audio flubs. As with a book manuscript, you’ll need to review it again and again. Believe me. So it wasn’t until I was listening to the sixth audio revision of my latest novel Anarchy that I noticed a particular character’s voiceover just wasn’t quite good enough. The character was Miss Caitlin Dugan in Chapter 7. (By the bye, that chapter is entitled “A Reading at the Fictional Cafe, a doubly fictional coffee house in New York City, which…

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June 6, 2019

We Would Love To Hear From YOU!

We Would Love To Hear From YOU!

Dear FC Coffee Club members and visitors to our ‘zine, For many years, we weren’t able to permit unfettered comments from you, our members, because the gate to the Comments section was wide open to spam – and boy, did we get it. With the new version of WordPress software, this is no longer the problem it was. Where before you had to have a WordPress account, login and password, now you don’t. We would love to hear from you! All you have to do is drop down to Leave a Reply and type away in the Comments box below. (Don’t forget to click the Post Comment box.) We’ve been testing it, and it works great. The only thing that would make it better is the involvement of our treasured Coffee Club members. So don’t…

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June 1, 2019

Charming Indie Bookstores of Brooklyn

Charming Indie Bookstores of Brooklyn

By Simran P. Gupta Living in an “outer borough” of New York City has made me appreciative of what lies beyond the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. While many of the best-known NYC bookstores are on the island, there are a number of hidden gems that warrant a subway ride across the river to Brooklyn. While it’s true that certain neighborhoods are facing waves of gentrification, the borough as a whole has held on to its roots. That is to say, community spaces still reign supreme. And of course, at the heart of it are its independent bookstores. Molasses Books             Specializing in secondhand books only, visitors will immediately feel relaxed and at home at Molasses. It’s easy to miss from the outside, tucked away as it is on a quiet street between two busy…

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May 30, 2019

The Poetry of Emily Strauss

The Poetry of Emily Strauss

I Will Be Buried with Mice   Archaeologists in Egypt have recovered about 50 mummified animals, including mice, from a well-preserved and finely painted tomb.. NYT 4/6/19     My name is Ta-Shirit. Let my tomb be painted in ochre and lapis with falcon wings outspread on the lintel. See my life. There sits my husband Tutu on his throne watching over us. I hold my daughter’s hand another falcon glides by. She plays hand games as the mice run underfoot. I love them all, my young husband who comes with furry animals for me to pet, who brings our beautiful child into the winter sun, the second wife sweet and doting to us. We are happy together.The mice eat crumbs their rustling at night a sign that day would return; all would be right…

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May 22, 2019

“All Artists are Anarchists”

“All Artists are Anarchists”

Anarchy, Jack’s third Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers Novel Set amid the tumultuous days of American dissent against the Vietnam War and nationwide student riots, Anarchy brings Tim Rosencrantz, from Wild Blue Yonder, back into Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers’s life, intent on evil and disruption. Tim, student protester, SDS member, avowed Communist and now discharged from the Air Force, has had a transformation on the bombed-out streets of New York and is now a full-fledged member of Weatherman. Bent on bombing America to its senses, he wants Nate at his side. It’s now 1971 and Nate’s writing career has launched with the publication of The Pieces Fit, his collection of short stories. While he is anti-war and intellectually empathetic, Nate is unwilling to participate in Tim’s anarchy – until, that is, Tim coerces him. Their lives become an…

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