March 12, 2020

Our New Baristas! Welcome Michael, Amanda & Yong

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Our New Baristas! Welcome Michael, Amanda & Yong

Please join us in welcoming our new baristas to The Fictional Café! These three talented additions to our staff have rolled up their sleeves to help us brew the tastiest “fresh java” this side of Pluto. Michael Piekny has joined our Editorial Board, which also includes our editor and all-star submissions manager Ruth Simon and our editor and anthology barista, Mike Mavilia Rochester. As an Editorial Board Barista, Michael brings a robust enthusiasm for editing based upon years of practice, and the work he does at his own company, Hub Edits. If you’ve recently been published on FC, you’ve surely enjoyed working with him. Our new Visual Arts Barista is Amanda Grafe. She’ll be curating our visual art offerings, which includes anything from paintings to sculptures to photography. An artist herself, Amanda’s passion for art…

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February 18, 2020

“The Escape to Candyland,” A Review

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“The Escape to Candyland,” A Review

In Yong Takahashi’s debut collection of stories, The Escape to Candyland, the main character is dilemma.  That’s the featured role in this series of recursive, interwoven stories: the human heart in conflict with itself.  Takahashi’s protagonists labor under myth-like predestination and curse; they are often tortured by the knowledge of what ails them, compounded by the inability or unwillingness to overcome it.  Hence dilemma.  Very few suffer in ignorance – most of the men and women in these stories know they are beset by a personal menace (an abusive husband, guilt over a brother’s death, an obsessive-compulsive mother), and many understand that their deliverance lies in plain sight, but who among them can seize it and afford to lose a pillar of their identity – past trauma.  Perhaps, then, the apt word to describe each member of…

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December 23, 2019

Jim Best’s Last-Minute Gift Ideas

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Jim Best’s Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Author James D. “Jim” Best is one of our favorite fans, and we’re one of his, too. Jim cares passionately about reading books, and offers these last-minute suggestions for people on your holiday gift-giving list. 18 Ideas for Gifting Books At times, friends and relatives can be hard to buy for. Some seem to have everything. Due to age or illness, others may be less mobile than in years past. Some don’t really want much. Families scatter across this huge country and selecting a gift, packaging, and shipping can be a chore.A book is a perfect gift … and a great way to avoid the crowds. Books provide a great entertainment value, delivering hour upon hour of pleasure. Reading fiction is like taking a mini vacation without leaving home. An engrossing story makes worries fade…

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December 4, 2019

New England Writers & Book Enthusiasts, Join Us!

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New England Writers & Book Enthusiasts, Join Us!

Calling all New England writers and book enthusiasts! This Saturday, December 7th, the Association of Rhode Island Authors is holding its annual writer’s conference: the Rhode Island Author Expo. This will be the third year the Fictional Café will be attending the ARIA Expo. Stop by our table and chat with Jack, Mike and Honorah. Tell us about your creative work, your book interests or your favorite coffee brews. We always love meeting our members in person! You can enter to win one of our giveaways while you’re there. We’ll even have copies of our hot-off-the-presses Anthology for sale. At this all-day event, you’ll find writing workshops, tables with local authors and resource groups for writers. Come talk shop with other writers, get tips on crafting engaging dialogue or simply pick up a few holiday…

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October 14, 2019

Please Welcome Mbizo Chirasha, Our First Poet in Residence

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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…

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Welcome to the Fictional Café! Your baristas are interested in all genres of short fiction, poetry, excerpts from novels-in-progress, your photographs, art, and audio or video podcasts. We encourage you to share your work for publication in the Fictional Café. Click on the Join/Submit button above to learn more.

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