Category Archives: Memoir

Black and White Magazine, Red Ochre Press – “Je Vais Bien”

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I am so pleased to announce my most recent publication.  The story is titled “Je Vais Bien,” and the periodical is Black and White – one of the amazing journals being published out of Red Ochre Press.

The story is a gem.  It’s about a man who traps himself so deeply in a web of lies that he doesn’t see any escape. It’s a street wandering story, because there are times at which, faced with nothing else to invest one’s time in, the only thing to do is simply go outside and pretend that you have a destination.

Unfortunately, the most recent update is that Red Ochre Lit has gone defunct, and the publication is no longer available for purchase. Which I feel is so unfortunate, because not only was the publication releasing quality literature, but the declared politics of the publishers were commendable.


Red Ochre Lit - Banner - jpegAbout RED OCHRE PRESS:

“It is a mysterious and complicated business, bringing together muscles and brain, memory and desire, and a rhythm of motions and subconscious impulses…No wonder most good writers approach writing with just a twinge of terror in their bones.”  –Richard Marius
RED OCHRE PRESS exists as a publishing house and a community advocate for all things literary. We publish premier, contemporary literature. This includes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, interviews & essays. While our primary goal is to showcase the work of experienced authors, we feature emerging writers as well. A multicultural organization, we venerate voices from around the world, taking pride in writers whose work is both innovative and captivating.

This press was founded on the belief that reading and writing are becoming dying pastimes. In a world where people choose daily to flip through 1,000 channels instead of pages, writers must perfect their work and present it via widely accessible media venues. First and foremost, however, we, as writers, must lose our fear of rejection and submit polished pieces for publication.

Truly, this represents the crux of RED OCHRE LiT, BLACK&WHITECATEGORY 2, and ROLiT NEWS, resoiling the grains of our literary ancestors and what they worked so hard for.

To really drive this notion home, RED OCHRE PRESS offers a number of local workshops to help writers refine their literary crafts. We have groups geared for youths and adults. Our FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS not only usher writers into their creative zones, but also takes them through an actual publication journey. Students mold their skills, creating powerful literature as they build a readership. This is paramount in a writer’s literary universe and it is key to reviving the world’s interest in reading.

You will also be thrilled to learned about our new REVIEW & PROMOTION SERVICES. Learn how RED OCHRE PRESS can help in your publication journey. We review manuscripts, offer editorial suggestions to strengthen  pieces, and help to promote your work!

SIDE NOTE: RED OCHRE LiT & BLACK&WHITE are currently accepting submissions and we invite you to read our past archives and SUBMIT your work!

Lastly, monetary donations help maintain a foundation for our works, all of which are printed. We ask that you participate in our KEEP RED OCHRE ALIVE CAMPAIGN

Cheers to yet another wave of writing!

Until next time,
Editors of RED OCHRE PRESS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:

Mimi Ferebee is the editor-in-chief of RED OCHRE PRESSoverseeing the publication of RED OCHRE LiT, ROLiT NEWS, and BLACK&WHITE.
While originally from California, she resides in Virginia with husband, Melvin, and son, Melthias Jai.

A graduate of the College of William and Mary, she received degrees in both English (emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature) and Psychology (emphasis in Behavioral and Developmental Science).

She recently retired a career as a clinical therapist to pursue her primary passions of writing and editing full-time. When not working on completing her novel “In the Distant Marshes” and various other literary projects, she diligently works to complete applications for doctoral programs. She wants to obtain a PhD in English Literature.

Mimi also works with at-risk youth, refining their reading and composition skills. She spends many evenings in detention centers and twice as many weekend mornings at libraries working with this population. She prides herself on being an advocate for her students, helping them not only perceive, but achieve their potential.

Her literary work has been featured recently in several journals, magazines and reviews, including Onè? Respè!Contemporary World Literature, Decanto Magazine (United Kingdom), Both Sides Now, Flutter Poetry Journal, Leaning House Press, Caper Literary Journal, ChickenBones: A Journal, Menopause Press, Taj Mahal Review (India), Black Magnolias Literary Journal Houston Literary Review. 

Look for upcoming publications in the award-winning journals, African American Review and phati’tude Literary Magazine. She will also have features in the revered Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora, James Dickey Review, Reverie: Midwest African American Literature, Pirene’s Fountain, among others.

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Mosaic Art & Literary Magazine – “The Brave Man who Lives in my Gullet Whispers”

Mosaic Art and Literary

Hello lovely friends.  I am happy to announce that my short piece, “The Brave Man who Lives in my Gullet Whispers,” has just been released in issue 52 of Mosaic Art and Literary Magazine.  Despite the fact that this story is another schlock effort – thinly veiled autobiography, dense with sex and drugs – I think it’s one of my best – I may say that often, but in this case the sentiment is genuine.  I had been waiting for a publication to pick this one up for a while, and I believed all along that it was a story with more merit than most of what I end up writing.  I am honored that Mosaic accepted the piece, and that this story is appearing alongside the work of a selection of brilliant authors.  The story is about cowardice in so many of its manifestations.  It elaborates the measures that a man might take in pursuit of what he wants, while concurrently sabotaging his own every effort.  I think that it’s one of my best, a story worth reading.

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Luckily, the folks at Mosaic Art and Literary agree with me.  The piece came out in issue 52 of the magazine, and can be purchased directly from the publishers.  If you’d like to purchase a book, please email your request to ucr.mosaic@gmail.com, and send a check to their mailbox ($10 + $3 for shipping). Recipient of check should read: UCR Creative Writing Department, Mosaic.  They will then mail the book to you.  If purchasing more than one issue, the shipping will go up.  In that case, let them know, and they will calculate the total.

Or, if you live in the Riverside area and can come to campus, you can schedule an appointment via email and stop by our office (INTN 4002).  Notice: Since Mosaic is a student-run organization, we will not be selling books during the summer between June 15 and October 1. Please keep these dates in mind.

Mailing Address:
Student Life, 229 HUB (Mosaic Club)
University of California Riverside
900 University Ave. 
Riverside, CA 92521

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About Mosaic:

Mosaic is an art and literary journal based at the University of California, Riverside.  It is undergraduate-run and publishes one volume per year since it began as a group of poets in 1958. Today, it has expanded to create a home not only for poets but all writers, musicians, and artists. Mosaic accepts a wide variety of creative work from the public and hosts community outreach events, including its popular Open Mics, through a Gluck Fellowship. Everyone is welcome to attend and/or participate.

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Pisgah – “The Memoirist’s Christmas”

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The name of this piece is “The Memoirist’s Christmas.”  It’s about wallowing in the depths of sobriety.  I think that sometimes, when someone’s in a particular mood, a mood that leads that person to feel as if the world cannot accommodate them, then she or he might also be led to conclude that the world is unaccommodating in general.  This piece was certainly written from a place of misanthropy and the fear through which that distrust is derived.  I’m really proud of this story, and was elated to hear about its acceptance into “Pisgah.”

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“Pisgah” is the publication that was wonderful enough to publish “The Memoirist’s Christmas.”  They operate out of the creative writing department at Brevard College, in Brevard, North Carolina.  The story is available in print, which means that it is not posted online.  If you’d like to order a copy, you’ll have to send the editor, Jubal Tiner, a check for $7.  Unfortunately, the editor can be a difficult man to pin down.

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Temenos – “My Portrait in the Memorial”

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So, another piece has been published and is available to read online.  This is a short narrative essay titled “My Portrait In the Memorial.”  It’s a story about an incident that traumatized my community while I was in junior high school.  I had a lot of issues writing this piece, and was even more conflicted when I began submitting it for publication.  But I believe that I was as honest as I could be (as if honesty is an excuse for publication), and I believe that it accurately reflects the ambiguities and ambivalences of unimaginable tragedy, so I hope that I acted reasonably here.  Feel free to contact me with feedback, positive or negative.  I’m always receptive.  This is a sad story but I hope that anybody who checks it out might find something to take from it.

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The story was accepted by Temenos Literary JournalTemenos is the Central Michigan University graduate literary journal, founded in 2000. The magazine has no philosophical or esthetic allegiances. They publish poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and art by new and established writers and artists.

The Greek word “temenos” refers both to the ancient Greek concept of sacred space and the Jungian ‘safe spot’ where one may bring the unconscious into the light of consciousness. Temenos’ mission is to bring to light works that are engaging, memorable, and fearless.

They accept submissions year round. Please see their submission guidelines for more information.

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Read the story: http://www.temenosjournal.com/nonfiction/Leib.htm

Temenos homepage: http://www.temenosjournal.com/index.html

Temenos archives: http://www.temenosjournal.com/archive.html

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Constellations – “Turn into the Skid”

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Well, it’s been a little while, but I have another pieced that was recently released for publication.  “Turn into the Skid” is the story of me failing to heed that sage piece of wisdom documented in the title.  In my defense, when you’re veering out of control it’s counter-intuitive to turn into the skid, but que sera, right?  This story also happens to be about what it means to be defined by the things that you own, and the fleetingness of objects.  If you know me from Santa Cruz, and remember when I got into this accident, then this story might be particularly interesting to you.

While the piece is not available online, you can order Volume 2 of Constellations, titled Upheaval, from Createspace for the totally reasonable price of $10.  Just click this link to be redirected to the order page.

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About Constellations’ editor:

Nina Rubinstein Alonso, editor of Constellations, has published in Ploughshares, The New Yorker, Sumac, Avatar, Women-Poems, U. Mass. Review, and New Boston Review, among other places, and her first book This Body was printed by Godine Press.

She taught English literature at Brandeis University and U. Mass., Boston, while continuing training in ballet and exploring modern dance.  (Crazy enough, and in my opinion her greatest achievement, is that she might – totally incidentally – be related to me.  The Petaluma Jewish community was somewhat incestual not too many generations back.)

Saturated with academia, she taught at Boston Ballet for eleven years, and performed in their Nutcracker, until sidelined by injuries. She makes her living teaching at Fresh Pond Ballet in Cambridge, MA. She says, “Now is the time for fresh voices in poetry and fiction. I’m looking for a new constellation.”

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Santa Clara Review – “My House of Cards”

Santa Clara Review - Banner 2All right friends and random people who have mistyped their Google search and stumbled upon this page, I have another story to share.  The most recent piece to be released is a little ditty titled “My House of Cards.”  It is about terrible roommates – including myself – and it’s as gritty as I get (or at least it’s in line with past grittiness).

The publication is The Santa Clara Review, and it is an accomplishment that I’m particularly prideful about.  In fact, having spent most of my life in Northern California, and having lived for a couple of years in San Jose, Santa Clara Review feels like a home coming, and they have made sure to dust off the welcome mat for me.  The publication is incredibly professional looking, their layout is great, the artwork chosen is beautiful, and I’m featured beside quite a number of endlessly talented authors and poets.

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Check out page 58 of the magazine – it’s quite good.

For the online version of the magazine, click here.

For the free eReader download, click here.

For the free iPad edition, click here.

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You can also order yourself a physical copy of this magazine – just get in touch with the editors.  Back issues are $7.50.  Ask for Spring 2012.

Mail:
Santa Clara Review
500 El Camino Real, Box 3212
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Phone:
(408) 554 – 4484

Email:
santaclarareview@gmail.com

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Santa Clara Review:

Santa Clara Review is a student-edited literary magazine which publishes poetry, fiction, non-fiction, visual art, and music. The magazine is published biannually in February and May, drawing on submissions from Santa Clara University students, faculty, and staff, as well as from writers around the nation and globe. The Review is entirely student run by undergraduate students who are actively enrolled.The Review promotes the literary arts in several spheres: the student and alumni writing community within Santa Clara University, the academic literary community, and the national community of writers outside of SCU.

The Review is committed to the development of student literary talent,both in editorial and creative writing skills. The Review provides Santa Clara students an opportunity to gain knowledge in the practice of contemporary writing and criticism, and creates a forum for faculty, students, and alumni to express their creative energy.

History and Vision:

Founded in 1869, Santa Clara Review–formerly known as The Owl and The Redwood–is one of the oldest literary publications in the Western U.S. Throughout its duration the publication has represented Santa Clara University’s commitment to the humanities, a tenant of Jesuit education. Because the Review shares in Santa Clara University’s commitment to the humanities, the Review will accept only the highest quality material for publication, material which echoes Santa Clara University’s dedication to the pursuit of truth, honesty, and social responsibility within the literary arts.

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Retort Magazine – “The Drive Home”

All right crazy nebulous audience that I don’t believe exists.  If I did believe you existed, I’d never have the balls to publicize this particular story.  It’s titled “The Drive Home,” and is about a man somewhat confused in his spirituality.  It’s a weird little piece, the work of a disturbed man, but I love it, and I knew the folks at Retort would love it too, so I sent it their way.  To my delight, they accepted it.  This is the second story of mine that has been published by Retort, which means that I love the editors over there, and, were they not located on the other side of the world, I would probably figure out a way to hang around outside their office/homes, smoking cigarettes and tapping on their window panes in the middle of the night.  What?  It’s how I express my love.

Retort Magazine is dedicated to the publication and presentation of new innovative, experimental cutting edge art + text in all disciplines. Retort Magazine publishes both fiction and non fiction. Retort has published some of the worlds best known artists and writers but is also a platform for new and emerging writers and artists. We favor the cutting edge over the blunt of the handle, the avant-garde over backward walking, the delinquent imagination over the hammered economic mind. We publish whenever something interesting arrives in the inbox.

HISTORY

Founded in the laundry of an old queenslander behind a gas station in Brisbane in 2001 by Australian poet/writer Brentley Frazer RETORT was originally conceived as a spinoff to a live poetry/music/art/performance event called The Vision Area. The Vision Area was a monthly ‘culture jam’ started by Brentley and poet Adam Pettet and hosted by Ric’s Bar in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia. The Vision Area ran from 1998 – 2000 and only ended when the co-ordinators felt they had drained the talent pool.

In the beginning Retort was published as a bi-monthly online magazine. In 2003 after receiving a development grant Retort moved to an experimental ‘live’ format with new content being published whenever something cool arrived in the submissions inbox. After the experiment was deemed impossible by the exhausted editor (without the budget of at the very least a mid-sized newspaper in a large city), Retort resumed publishing on a semi-regular basis and has continued, throughout a whole decade, reaching millions of individual readers.

Retort is now based wherever the Editor is – which is usually somewhere on planet Earth.

Retort Magazine is archived on site and since 2003 also by The National Library of Australia as part of the Pandora Project which aims to permanently preserve electronic publications based on their national and cultural significance.

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UPDATE:  Sadly Retort Magazine has closed down.  In the words of the magazine’s Editor, Brentley Frazer:

12.5 years. Enjoyed a huge readership in the 00′s. Broke some ground (and a bunch of rules). Had a good time mostly. Would have loved to grow it into something huge, like an alternative to the old school greats that have become a parody of their former glorious selves. Retort stayed truly independent, never even applied for a government grant. I refuse to read government endorsed literature or view government endorsed art. Rest assured, the only propaganda you were exposed to while reading Retort was my personal agenda to champion the creative spirit of my fellow humans.

Have a nice life.

best

Brentley

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Grey Sparrow – “Packing the Wound”

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Hey Everybody, here is another story that I love.  This piece is titled “Packing the Wound,” and is about the trials and tribulations of post surgery home-care.  Frankly, it’s disgusting, and more than being about the horrible things that a human body does to a person, this is a story of the love it takes for someone to care for such a human body.  (Totally incidentally, and maybe I’m a fool to tell it here, but David Sedaris wrote a similar piece, “Old Faithful.”  I only discovered this after the fact, while reading When You Are Engulfed In Flames.)   Anyways, despite the wretchedness of the content, this was an emotional story for me, and I think that it’s found a great home in Grey Sparrow (a little publication that I’ve had my sights on for some time).

Please read this story, please share the link, it’s a pretty cool accomplishment for me and I hope that you enjoy it.

You can also buy the print version of this magazine – a decision I highly recommend making.  They cost about fifteen bucks after shipping and handling and you’ll be supporting an amazing publication.  Just contact the editors, and request the Summer 2012 issue.

Grey Sparrow offers a “National Treasure” series in the arts and features writing by a Pulitzer Prize writer for most issues and/or a national treasure from a country outside the United States. Emerging and established voices are welcome.  The journal is the recipient of the “Best New Journal” award in 2011 granted at the MLA Convention by the CELJ in Los Angeles.

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Townsend Walker, Associate Editor, is a writer living in San Francisco.  During a career in finance he published three books on foreign exchange, derivatives, and portfolio management.  His stories have been published in over fifty literary journals and included in six anthologies.  Two were nominated for the PEN/O. Henry Award.  Four stories were performed at the New Short Fiction Series in Hollywood.  His website is townsendwalker.com.
Diane Smith, BA, MSE, Principal Editor and Founder of Grey Sparrow Press, a 501[c]3 nonprofit corporation, was born in the United States. She retired from child welfare after twenty years of service and writes about the homeless, refugees, the poor, the diminishing middle class, healthcare; those who have little visibility or power in society.  She has garnered awards for her writing in Canada, England, and the United States.  She has not become a recognizable name in the literary world.

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Inwood Indiana – “Pyromaniacs, Bored and Young” (different story, same name)

I have another story out titled “Pyromaniacs, Bored and Young.”  In this lovely little tale, the protagonist and two of his friends use fire to burn stuff.  Like the other piece that was published under the same title, this is an early Ben Leib masterpiece.  I hope that you guys dig it.  Unfortunately, this piece was mistakenly published under my birth name, but if you order a copy and check out page 335 of Inwood Indiana’s Summer 2012 issue, Harvest Time, then you can find out who I really am.

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Inwood Indiana Press is the smallest press in the world. They are officially located at latitude 41.318 and longitude -86.203 but they don’t have an office so you can’t find them. Inwood is, by census data, “a populated place,” which makes it less than a town and more than an empty lot.

Strange things happen in Inwood Indiana. Things come up missing, people see things and the old lady on the corner seemed to have secrets. This publication is the place to tell your stories, or shroud them in prose. We are interested in all things unusual. We are especially interested in poems and stories set in small towns.

Note from the editor: My name is Glenn Lyvers and I am the editor of Poetry Quarterly magazine. Inwood Indiana is a private publication that I produce personally. There is no set schedule for publication, and submissions are always open.

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Picayune (and Retort Magazine) – “Pyromaniacs, Bored and Young”


“Pyromaniacs, Bored and Young” is a touching little tale about a group of teenagers who like to set things on fire.  As is the case with most of my work, it is culled from personal experience.  I really like this story, though it was one of the first shorts that I’d written – so it’s an early Ben Leib piece.  Also, if you grew up in Petaluma, this one might be particularly interesting. Picayune Magazine is a lovely little publication based at New Mexico Highlands University.  They produce a beautiful magazine over there, but unfortunately their limited operations budget ($500 per issue – I honestly don’t see how they keep it going, but bravo to them) precludes printing any extra issues.  They make a few for staff, one each for contributors, and that is it, making this one of the scarcest of Ben Leib publications.  That said, the issue in which the story appeared is unavailable. But, please read on, because there’s a little story to tell here…



When this piece was accepted at Picayune, I do what I always do – I withdrew the submission from the other publications concurrently considering the work.  One of those publications happened to be Retort Magazine.

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I did my best to withdraw the piece from Retort.  I searched their website, found four different email addresses to which I might address my withdrawal, and the Mailer Demon bounced all four emails back to me.  I didn’t know how to get in touch with their staff, and did not realize that they were in the process of revising their submissions procedures and reverting to an online submission manager. I gave up.  I figured, what are the chances?  What is the likelihood that this one publication will also accept the story?  It was a risk, because I’d promised Picayune that they would be the temporary rights holders, and the sole publishers.  But I just figured that, were Retort to contact me, I would be able to explain my situation and withdraw the submission at that time. Retort Magazine, which, despite all of this confusion, is actually a publication that I’m quite fond of, did accept my piece.  What they did not do was notify me that the piece had been accepted, nor did they notify me when when the story went live. That said, “Pyromaniacs” was available to read online for quite some time. Unfortunately, since release of that piece, Retort has become defunct – it’s a genuine loss, as the publication was airing work that I saw as truly daring and artistic (and not just my own).


Retort Magazine publishes both fiction and nonfiction.  Retort has published some of the world’s best known artists and writers, but is also a platform for new and emerging writers and artists.  They favor the cutting edge over the blunt of the handle, the avant-garde over backward walking, the delinquent imagination over the hammered economic mind.


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UPDATE:  Sadly Retort Magazine has closed down.  In the words of the magazine’s Editor, Brentley Frazer: 12.5 years. Enjoyed a huge readership in the 00′s. Broke some ground (and a bunch of rules). Had a good time mostly. Would have loved to grow it into something huge, like an alternative to the old school greats that have become a parody of their former glorious selves. Retort stayed truly independent, never even applied for a government grant. I refuse to read government endorsed literature or view government endorsed art. Rest assured, the only propaganda you were exposed to while reading Retort was my personal agenda to champion the creative spirit of my fellow humans. Have a nice life. best Brentley

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