July 1, 2022

“Art as Creative Synergy,” by Hank Keneally

“Art as Creative Synergy,” by Hank Keneally

Artist’s Statement: I am very fortunate. I have always been in the arts. Learning the notes on the piano from my grandmother who was a piano teacher. Listening to classical music that my brother brought before me. Playing instruments. Becoming a photographer. Practicing counseling and social work for 42 years, which I see as another artistic process. Becoming a painter. I create every day. I start with compassionate observation. I always have a camera with me. For me, great things happen where arts merge. I use paint, cameras and digital technologies. I aim for reciprocity between myself and my media. I love to be surprised in the act of creation. My artworks are all a result of these processes.   *** Hank Keneally studied music and photography at Arizona State University, often staying in the dark room overnight…

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June 24, 2022

“The Petrol Station” by Annis McGee

“The Petrol Station” by Annis McGee

Welcome back Fictional Cafe listeners! “The Petrol Station” by Annis McGee is a semi horror podcast about the lonely world of working the graveyard shift in the middle of nowhere. Though I considered hanging onto this until we hit Halloween, the glowing reviews that followed this show convinced me to post it a little early, for your listening pleasure. Nina Sudbrooke is a young girl who works the nights at her local remote petrol station. One evening she encounters something…stranger and now is desperate to tell somebody, anybody.  The first episode in the audio supernatural horror series was written by Annis McGee and produced by Far Island.  After thinking her troubles were over, Nina finds herself noticing things get stranger and stranger.  This episode was written by Annis McGee. Performed by Nick Odams and Annis…

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June 21, 2022

“Circling the Bronze Sculptures,” by Paul Germano

“Circling the Bronze Sculptures,” by Paul Germano

She first notices him at the far end of the room, lean, rugged, rough around the edges, wearing dark-wash jeans and a grey hoodie under a brown leather jacket. He has short-cropped coppery-red hair and two days’ worth of reddish scruff. He rubs leisurely at the side of his face while pondering a watercolor on bark paper, an evocative rendering of a lonely fishing boat tied to a weather-beaten dock in murky water. He steps back, slightly tilting his head. He can feel her attentive gaze, but pretends not to notice. When the moment is right, he sneaks a peek and likes what he sees. Her dress is just tight enough, a navy-blue number with white trim and matching high heels. She has chestnut brown hair that’s shoulder length and silky smooth, piercing green eyes…

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June 18, 2022

“Juneteenth: Remember That Time” by Derrick R. Lafayette

“Juneteenth: Remember That Time” by Derrick R. Lafayette

I remember in mid-march 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s second album debuted. One of my closest friends, who is white, had played it for his wife, who is also white. Needless to say, the first thirty seconds is a sample from Boris Gardiner’s “Every ____ is a star.” She promptly told him to turn it off. She was uncomfortable, and I understand. The first fourteen years of my life were a heavy combination of daily reminders and academic study into the bloated, complicated, and emotionally traumatizing history of slavery. My elementary school had taught me “Lift Every Voice and Sing” when I was four years old. Some people don’t know that there’s a Black National Anthem. I’d seen Roots, The Color Purple, Shaka Zulu, Panther, Rosewood, and Malcolm X by the time I was in seventh grade….

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June 16, 2022

New Writing by Barista Lorraine Martindale!

New Writing by Barista Lorraine Martindale!

Lorraine Martindale, The Fictional Café’s editor-at-large, has published new work which explores ideas of how one tells stories, and how the process often leads to new discoveries. “A Magical Stumble Back in Time” muses on how collage artist Joseph Cornell’s work creates visual stories, in Raft Magazine. In Shift: A Journal of Literary Oddities, “A Lemon and Almond Tart for Manny Eggertsville” reveals how a character changed when the sister’s story became more interesting, using an old, found recipe. And in “Beverages, San Francisco” an imagined conversation plays out among a certain set in Sazeracs, Smoky Ink. *** Lorraine Martindale is our Editor-at-Large. She is a freelance writer and editor who loves to read and talk about books. She has an MFA from the New School in New York, and is at work on a…

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