Monday, December 23, 2013

Laurie Stone "Dean, Etc." Four Way Review

Laurie Stone's fiction "Dean, Etc." appears in Four Way Review and cooly condenses conflicts in five brief works of fiction.

A first-person narrator lauds pleasure and pain related to her love life; a girl's beloved dog is dying; a boyfriend clouds a girlfriend's world; a voicemail message cascades in slippery, forgetful syntax; and starlings take on metaphoric significance.

Check this writing out.

Scott Nadelson "Could Be Worse" Four Way Review

Appearing in Four Way Review, Scott Nadelson's story "Could Be Worse" gives the story of Paul, a guy whose dilemma starts with general unease with the world--which he thinks may have to do with his neglecting to take his car to the Baron, a mechanic who takes to mistakenly calling Paul "doctor."

The story uses much space in describing the mechanic and backstory of how they met. The Baron refers to cars as if they were women while, in his house, he has his own, very weighty problems.

The Baron instigates Paul's reflecting about the worth of his own life, the perspective of his own problems.

Very worthwhile read. 

Doug Ramspeck "The Second Coming" Booth

Doug Ramspeck's work of fiction "The Second Coming" appears in Booth and encapsulates in a single paragraph a story about a boy whose father, gone away to prison, returns.

The prose vividly conveys the situation and conflict the boy has, living with a mother who has her own problems.

A very good read from a very worthwhile publication.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holly Wilson _The Lonely_ Narrative Magazine

How happy I was to see a fellow Wichita State MFA-er, Holly Wilson, publishing a novel excerpt (The Lonely) in Narrative

Wilson's excerpt gives a first-person POV addressing the reader, foreshadowing the arc of the prose here. It's 1992, the morning of the first snow of the year, and "a little white girl" is on her way to track down her penpal, Demarcus, in Chicago.

Wilson's prose is fun, with syntax and diction conveying character. Her prose always casts that dreamlike feeling of walking and feeling through the story, of leaving this world for the fictive dream, mostly because images (gestures and descriptions, as well as dialog and thoughts) are conveyed efficiently and powerfully.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Justin Nicholes "Taiji 24" Sassafras Literary Magazine

Cool! My short-short "Taiji 24" appeared recently in Sassafras Literary Magazine.

This story idea came to me when I was doing my morning taiji on a roof of a building I lived in here in China. Having recently gone through Chinese divorce, I was thinking of a way to convey it on paper, and this was the best I could do.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Laura Story Johnson "Recession: The Great Wall" Outside In Literary and Travel Magazine

Laura Story Johnson's under-250-word "micro-journey" "Recession: The Great Wall" appears in Outside In literary and travel magazine and places us in a less-frequented strip of The Great Wall.

The characters dodge locals who seek to sell bottled water. The characters hide, scurry off, and eventually the writer expresses realization.

Check out this and other stories, micro journeys, and poems at this very cool magazine.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sarah E. Caouette "Chakras of the Throat" The Citron Review

Sarah E. Caouette's flash fiction "Chakras of the Throat" appears in The Citron Review and features a second-person accusation. "You" has been fucking around, especially with Chinese and SE Asian girls.

The voice comes across as pained, an anger that grips and conveys vivid character.

Check this work out at a very worthwhile publication.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kevin Tosca "When We All Grow Up" Thin Air Magazine

Kevin Tosca's short short "When We All Grow Up" in Thin Air Magazine is amazing. Contrasts in tone (between the narrative voice and the dialog of two near-adolescents) underscore what seems to be the meaning and purpose of the story, the meaning seeming to be to convey some sense of tragedy of once-hopeful young people who fuck up their lives.

The story achieves unity when its final lines roller-coaster to pitiful, poetic, absolute conclusion.

Check this out.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Jeff Muse "Anima" Poecology

Jeff Muse's short story "Anima," which appears in Poecology, launches with a vivid scene of the narrator, a journalist, following around a hunter for a tourism-promoting story of 1200 words in the local paper.

"I suppose that's what haunts me—the way animals act or look as they perish—and I suppose there's a question we all need to ask: do we die a little, too, when something passes?"

Muse's prose is bulletproof clear and poignant. The narrator reflects on his childhood and thoughts of animals and our killing of them, the way they die. This thoughtfulness and theme suits Poecology's mission--to publish poetry and fiction related to ecology and place--and also the work creates art that also shows the process of deep thought.

This is a very well-written work at an essential literary forum.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Justin Nicholes, George Davis, and many others worldwide _The Bay Is Dying_ interactive, multimedia, multiplatform group-authored Internet novel-as-a-game

Who are we? We're a group of people from across the world who decided to work together to create something special, with the ultimate goal of making people really see the impact pollution is having on the planet.

We're musicians, writers, gamers, teachers … and we're also you. Because The Bay Is Dying doesn't work without you. Your interaction with us, with it, brings this interactive, multimedia, multiplatform group-authored Internet novel-as-a game to life. 

Look. It's real simple. We've been witnessing pollution for so long, dealing with spills and leaks and haze for so many years, that most of us don't even notice it anymore. Or, if we do, most of us assume there's nothing we can do. One person can't change the world . . . right?

That's where The Bay Is Dying comes in. Hear me out for a minute. 

First, there's the argument side, one that everyone outwardly agrees with. More than that, though, is an obligation we have to act on this common belief, to do the right thing for ourselves and for future generations and each of us do a small part in protecting the planet.

The other side, though, has to do with the story, with the artfulness of what's unfolds here. The Bay Is Dying is a novel, it's a game—it is a world-wide, creative collaboration, that you, along with us, can make into a movement.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Katherine Heiny "The Absolute Truth Machine" cecile's writers

"The Absolute Truth Machine" by Katherine Heiny begins with an intriguing concept conjured between two friends: to build a machine that records true feelings and thoughts of everyone who exists and to be able to consult with that machine five times during your lifetime.

This part is backstory, though, and we quickly get to current action with the writer asking her mathematician husband what five questions would be.

The concept continues through the story and reappears as a device to channel and sometimes amplify human emotion--grief, confusion, a sense that sometimes unresolved. The diversion works as a tender reminder of human attempts to unify and close off cognitive dissonance.

In the end, the machine becomes more than in idea.

Check out this story.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Call for Submissions : The Pavilion : A Literary Room for Expat Writing

Reading Periods

~The Pavilion publishes bi-annually online: Fall and Spring. Writers may submit at any time but reading and responding will generally happen when we're not teaching.

~For the spring issue, expect responses between June and August.

~For the fall, December and February.



~Literary fiction: 1 story, 500-3000 words.

~Creative nonfiction: 1 essay, 500-3000 words.

~Poetry: 1-3 pieces, anything goes.


Guidelines for Fiction & Nonfiction

~Email address: Contact the appropriate editor at PavilionEditors[at]gmail

~Subject line format: Your Name "Title of Work" Genre. Example: Kal Groznyy "The Factory" Fiction

~Body of email: provide a brief bio (name, previous pubs if any, contact email) then paste the story or personal essay there.

*Poets may attach poems in a document—to retain formatting.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mike Heppner _Nada_ Amazon Singles

Congratulations to Mike Heppner, whose novella Nada was just released through Amazon Singles and is apparently making a splash!

Heppner's the author of The Egg Code, Pike's Folly, and The Man Talking Project. I've worked with him at Another Sky Press and can't recommend his writing enough.

Great work, Mike.


Matthew Dexter "All Her Piggy’s" Scapegoat Review

I found Matthew Dexter's short-short "All Her Piggy's" in Scapegoat Review. The story uses a collective "we" POV and nicely captures a moment of two girls nearing suicide. The story also incidentally explores issues of looking-glass selves, identities coming to be through shared witnesses of our actions and appearances, and our internalizing of how others react. Texted images of naked bodies, telescope-watching neighbors ... voyeurs of sex and death.

Check this piece out.

Good work, Mister Dexter.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Becky Tuch "Confessions of a Former Skinhead" 100 Word Story

Becky Tuch's 100-word story "Confessions of a Former Skinhead" poetically magnifies the details and metaphors of a former skinhead. Characterization is dead on accurate, word choice is delectable, and overall atmosphere urgent and honest.

Check out more at this exciting literary space.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Adam Robinson "Why Did Mud Luscious Close? Getting busy with JA Tyler" HTML GIANT

Adam Robinson at HTMLGIANT interviews the writer J. A. Tyler about the closing of one of the most exciting and inspiring small presses to have come along--Mud Luscious Press.

Having had the honor to work with J. A. on a couple projects, this interview led me to admire the writer and editor perhaps even more than before.

In the interview, Robinson does almost half of the talking, but the discussion the two have touches on the challenges and wonders, and life cycles, of small presses.

Congratulations to J. A. Tyler for his accomplishments with Mud Luscious. Check out this essential interview, the most gripping one I've read in a long, long time.

River Dragon Sky, a new novel

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Justin Nicholes "The Kidnapping" The Saint Ann's Review

Our Stories editor Justin Nicholes' short story "The Kidnapping" was recently released in the Spring 2013 issue of The Saint Ann's Review. Check it out!


River Dragon Sky, a new novel

Saturday, March 23, 2013

_Alien Sky_ SF anthology edited by Justin Nicholes

Edited by Our Stories editor Justin Nicholes, Alien Sky was just released through Portland-based Another Sky Press.

The SF anthology pays small homage to Ray Bradbury (who passed away during the editing of the collection) and features the following writers:

Jarod K. AndersonBen ChristensenJeremy ClymerDoug DonnanRobert C. J. GravesTom HowardGerry Huntman,Joe JablonskiPaul JessupGeorgina KamsikaBrian KoscienskiChristian A. LarsenHunter LiguoreJoe MatarMarshall MooreDaniel PearlmanChris PisanoT. Lloyd ReillyGuy SalvidgeDerek SmithShane WardChris White

River Dragon Sky, a new novel

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hong-Kong based Signal 8 Press February Sale -- US $1.99 per book

Signal 8 Press focuses mainly on the Asia – Pacific region, publishing
engaging novels, short story collections, and nonfiction written in

For this month, Our Stories editor Justin Nicholes's novel, River
Dragon Sky, is $1.99 for the Kindle ebook:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jennifer Haigh _Faith_ Harper Perennial

From absolutely one of the most intelligent and satisfying writers in English today, Jennifer Haigh's novel Faith models nearly flawless storytelling.

With most of the action set in 2002, with the Catholic priest accusations in full swing, the novel follows the distressing accusations leveled toward Father Arthur Breen, told through the voice and first-person perspective of his half-sister, Sheila.

Haigh's writing is analytical and piercing, and the overall shape of the book and the way information is revealed carefully and vividly achieve poetic effects.

This is storytelling at its best: fiction that also forms serious thought.

Read this book.

River Dragon Sky, a new novel

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wells Tower _Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned_ Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Wells Tower's book of short stories, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is a fine collection of short stories illustrating indispensable storytelling.

Notable stories for this reader included "Brown Coast," "Retreat," and "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned."

In "Brown Coast," Bob Monroe's dad just dies, and he takes his uncle's advice and moves to a house that uncle now owns to fix it up, as well as to get away from marital tension. Images of sea life wonderfully and strangely convey character, and we end with a feeling of enlightened despair but also of knowledge. In "Retreat," the same kind of afterglow occurs, in which our point-of-view character realizes some deep-down flaw inside himself, and once again, wildlife helps to convey that realization that sheds light on a conflict with a younger brother.

The final story of the book, "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" will always remain in my mind, partly because of Tower's absolute gift for rendering the concrete detail. Beware: blood eagle.

Bravo to a fine collection of short stories here. This is an excellent book from a hell of a writer.


River Dragon Sky, a new novel