November 5, 2019

Novel Excerpt 1: “Kado,” by Rusty Braziel

0
Novel Excerpt 1: “Kado,” by Rusty Braziel

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to premier Kado, a new adventure novel, today and tomorrow. Today, the Introduction, Foreword and Chapter 9, followed by Chapter 10 tomorrow. Kado was published today on Amazon and is available as a hardcover, Kindle and Audible book. Get yours here. Introduction It is the early 1800s in the new frontier west of the Mississippi. Eighteen-year-old Tom Murrell could never understand his father’s dreams of carving a new life out of the wilderness. He wanted to do something else with his life besides spend it behind a plow, but with the family moving to the Red River in Arkansaw Territory, he was stuck. Everything changes for Tom when he witnesses the death of Tiatesun, spiritual leader of the Kadohadacho tribe, and is drawn into a raging conflict between the Kado and…

Continue reading →

November 2, 2019

“In Thought, Word and Deed,” by Jose Oseguera

0
“In Thought, Word and Deed,” by Jose Oseguera

By the time Paul and Ariela reached the Caravaggio exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, they decided to stop avoiding the urge to hold hands, and finally interlaced fingers. The tingling sensation first came to him when he handed her the red LACMA sticker, she needed to wear in order to be allowed in all the special exhibits. Paul squeezed her hand as if it would fall out of his if he didn’t. She blushed. He smiled, showing more teeth than he’d intended. Paul was born in Mexico, but was adopted as an infant by white evangelical Christian missionaries who decided to bring him home to Rialto, California along with all the goat’s milk candy they could fit in their luggage. Although his parents had tried to instill as much Hispanic culture in him…

Continue reading →

October 27, 2019

Mind-Melding with Lew Holzman’s Art

0
Mind-Melding with Lew Holzman’s Art

We’re pleased to showcase Lew’s unique expression of the intersection of photography and painting once again. His work first appeared here, and was featured again in our just-published anthology, The Strong Stuff: The Best of Fictional Café, 2013-2017. Artist’s Statement There are many beautiful or interesting moments that one can capture but we’ve seen many of them too many times. I always attempt to avoid the clichéd. My work is transformational so that we might look again and see things somehow differently. I am trying to blur the distinction between photography and painting with influences mainly from late 19th and 20th-century art movements including Surrealism, Dadaism, and abstract expressionism. *** I have always created either word images in my poetry or visual images. Digital photography expanded my horizons and my transformations transformed me into a…

Continue reading →

October 24, 2019

“Variations on the Trolly Problem” and Other Poems by JP Mayer

0
“Variations on the Trolly Problem” and Other Poems by JP Mayer

de rerum natura and I realized I was the pieces  I was picking up, all scattered  across the floor,     all technicolor  fragments of static jettisons from  far away;  I am a farmer in Kansas. I am a  doctor in Nairobi. I am a prisoner  in Beijing and a pilot in Lahore and  a fisherman off the coast of Jeju  Island;  the saltwater pulls at them with its    ebb tide     but all the same the         lines on my hands   are not ones that can be washed away  ** love in lost time    I shot Proust dead in an alleyway on  my way home from work. It was something  he said it was   love is a reciprocal torture  his body hit the pavement with a thud. It started   raining on my walk home and I…

Continue reading →

October 21, 2019

“Stan the Sous-Chef,” by Wilson Koewing

0
“Stan the Sous-Chef,” by Wilson Koewing

Stan the sous-chef turned forty-seven on a Sunday. A fishing rod and an apron were painted in icing on his cake. After his modestly attended party, Stan cleaned streamers off furniture and vacuumed up confetti. When the guests were gone, and Stan knew his wife, Cathy, and his adult son, Jamie, were occupied, he wandered outside and released a happy birthday balloon into the sky. Stan stood in his driveway watching the balloon rise and float away for a very long time. Stan had been given his birthday off at work, the New Orleans Country Club, and since the club is dark on Mondays, Stan received two days off in a row. A phenomenon that had never occurred in the seven years he’d worked there. Taking advantage, Stan enjoyed a quiet day of fishing for…

Continue reading →

October 14, 2019

Please Welcome Mbizo Chirasha, Our First Poet in Residence

0
Please Welcome Mbizo Chirasha, Our First Poet in Residence

It’s a great honor to introduce Mr. Mbizo Chirasha to our Coffee Club members. We met Mr. Chirasha through Poets & Writers magazine when he sent us an email recognizing our efforts. After reviewing his credentials and reading, “I am a capable literary and cultural arts worker. My role and purpose is to shift perceptions, inform and educate society through my writings and literary arts activism projects,” it was evident we could ignore neither Mbizo’s internationally acclaimed poetry nor his extraordinary activism. After discussion among us baristas, we decided Mbizo should be offered a new position, created especially for him: the first Fictional Café Poet in Residence. When it was offered, he wrote: “I am greatly impressed by your offering this position. I accept with my all poetic humility. I thank you greatly.” Mbizo is a…

Continue reading →

October 12, 2019

“Confession of an Accidental Theocrat,” by Jacquelyn Tufts

0
“Confession of an Accidental Theocrat,” by Jacquelyn Tufts

The door to Carol’s bedroom swung shut behind her with a bang. The late-afternoon light streaming in through her window highlighted every wrinkle and mote of dust that had accumulated on her pantsuit over the course of her walk home from work, but she wouldn’t be dealing with that now. She had come to a decision. It was one that she had been slowly working her way towards not just since she’d woken up that morning, or since the week had begun, but for one full calendar month — and it wasn’t a February either. It was one of the respectable months.  “Okay, listen,” she said to the figure sitting on top of the table beside her bed. “I didn’t know all this would happen between us. But it did, and I love you, and…

Continue reading →

October 9, 2019

“Construction Season,” a Short Story by Brian Moore

0
“Construction Season,” a Short Story by Brian Moore

Shelley and Celine were halfway across the Rockies when they passed a sign beside the highway that blinked BLASTING AHEAD in angry orange letters three feet high. Blasting what? She imagined dynamite and geysers of rock cracking holes through the hearts of mountains. This was the Trans-Canada. Weren’t they done with all that in the sixties? The traffic oozed to a stop at the chin of a long valley. Campers and minivans glittered a mile down the road, around the toe of a cliff, and out of sight. No town, no stores, no houses, no exits. Not even a signalman flashing a STOP / SLOW triangle. They could be waiting a minute or an hour. She shifted to park and turned off the ignition. The July sun puddled over the fenders. The car smelled of…

Continue reading →

October 8, 2019

The Strong Stuff

0
The Strong Stuff

The First Fictional Café Anthology Has Arrived!!! October 3, 2019: Fictional Café is proud to announce the publication of The Strong Stuff: The Best of Fictional Café, 2013-2017. This beautiful, coffeetable-format anthology presents the fiction, the poetry, and the four-color art and photography of 55 contributors, wrapped in an original cover designed by Steve Sangapore, FC’s Fine Arts Barista. The Strong Stuff (like the coffee we prefer) is a first-edition, limited printing of 200 copies. It is not available on Amazon, or as an ebook. As such, it’s a collector’s edition, a treasure to those whose creativity appears between its covers as well as to you members of the FC Coffee Club. Future editions are planned. The Strong Stuff: The Best of Fictional Café, 2013-2017, makes a great gift. The list price of this oversize,…

Continue reading →

October 6, 2019

“Evidence of V” a Novel by Sheila O’Connor

0
“Evidence of V” a Novel by Sheila O’Connor

Reviewed by Honorah Creagh In her novel Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions, Sheila O’Connor pieces together the true story of her maternal grandmother, V, a woman whose existence was a family secret. O’Connor’s mother, June, was adopted by V’s sister, and O’Connor did not know about V until she was sixteen years old. Working from incomplete information, O’Connor colors in the spaces between the facts, transforming V from a name on court documents into an effervescent, audacious girl. In the process, O’Connor tells an affecting story not just about the injustices V and other young women like her suffered, but about what it means for someone to be family, and how a person’s influence reaches through generations. In 1935, fifteen-year-old V lives in Minneapolis and spends her nights singing at…

Continue reading →