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Serving House Journal – “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights”

Serving House Journal Banner copy

The story is titled “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights,” and it is published in Issue 9 of Serving House Journal. “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” is about a conversation with a methamphetamine addict in a bar in Santa Cruz at a time when I was too young to patronize bars. The heart of the piece is derived from staging and ambience. If there’s a deep truth to be plucked from this story, it might have something to do with the ways that our hedonism blinds us, or puts us in harm’s reach. It might also be about a man willing to put himself halfway in danger, but never all the way.

The Serving House Journal is amazing. I’ve been very lucky with some of my publications thus far, and though the Paris Review hasn’t been kicking down my door, journals like Serving House keep finding room to include my work. Not only is this publication showcasing superb contemporary literature, they have an editorial staff whose talent hurts my brain – Duff Brenna, Clare McQueen, and Thomas E. Kennedy (who has work appearing beside mine in Issue 9) to name a few. (Honestly, if you’re reading this Duff, Clare, edit all of my fiction for me forever.)

Serving House Journal Banner copy

Serving House mission statement:

Serving House Journal endeavors to publish works in the literary and visual arts that will surprise, rivet, amuse, charm, enchant — even electrify— our readers.

Our mission is to play an international role in fostering and preserving the best of what the literary arts are capable of doing: writing that may impel others to become writers themselves; writing that will add to and enhance the dialogue of the arts; writing that reaffirms our belief in the inspiring possibilities of the written word.

We celebrate the imaginative voice, the authentic attitude towards the status quo “world of letters.” We like lean-edgy-elegant writing that takes on the stupefying realities of our challenging times, our thorny relationships, the political chicanery that exhausts our patience, the contraries between men, women, children, and friends.

We’re looking for work that strives to eclipse clichés, stereotypes, and mass-market formulas gleaned from what has become more and more a “reality show,” a “sit-com,” a stultifying Wal-Mart of the mind. “Expect poison from standing water,” William Blake once told us. “The cistern contains; the fountain overflows.”

Inscribe the flow of the world as you see it. Send that world to us. We promise you a fair reading.

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Monongahela Review – “To the Buses and Planes, I Thank You”

Monongahela Review

My newest publication is a lengthy short story, titled “To the Buses and Planes, I Thank You,” and released in the online journal Monongahela.  I feel that the trend over the years has been improvement, and this is one of my favorite stories thus far.  I think that it is one worth reading, and the price is right so you should definitely check out pages 20-38 of Issue 9 of Monongahela Review.

The story itself addresses a theme that I love returning to – public transportation.  Through a series of vignettes that transpire within buses, planes, terminals, and a light rail train, a narrator describes his dissolution and his possible redemption.  Which is a bunch of fancy words for “weird shit happens to me on the bus.”  I think you’ll dig it, so get out your transfers, tuck in your knees, plug your nose, and enjoy the ride.

You can download the magazine via Weebly or view it on Issuu.

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The Monongahela Review wants heartache, it wants romance, it wants death, it wants joy, it wants so many things that it is hard to say exactly what it wants. One thing is sure: the work must be genuine and passionate about its subject matter. Peruse our previous issues to get a complete idea of what we like.

 Monongahela title page 2

New Pages Review:

Issue 8, Fall 2013

Go to The Monongahela Review’s website, and you won’t find out much about the journal by just browsing. Without much information or submission guidelines, you really have to read the journal to get to know it. Download the PDF or open it in Issuu, and get cozy.

Joan Colby delves into the alphabet form in her poem “Choices” which begins:

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Derek Gromadzki experiments with pauses and sighs in his poem “Sospira,” setting the tone from the very beginning: “Come the being we call calm / from the motion that bodies tick out to measure time.” The repetitive “s” sounds sooth throughout, lulling as the lines move back and forth:

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Brenda Lynaugh’s “A Play for Tamara” tackles an unrequited love that starts in high school and has a bit of finality now that the main character has graduated college. Visiting his best friend Tamara at her university, he feels that even though she has a boyfriend, he needs to sort out his feelings: “He’d come to see her because of their history, because maintaining friendship was important, but he knew that wasn’t the whole truth.” Is he still in love with her? Or is it lust? Are the things she does actually endearing, or does he just view it that way because he likes her? There’s no resolution, but one thing is clear, relationships are messy.

And Ping, a character from Moria Moody’s “The Great Yu,” knows this sentiment all too well. Raising her son Qi in the United States while still struggling to speak English herself, she runs into conflict as the lies she tells him about his father and the way he meshes into this new culture both drive a growing fissure in their relationship: “Ping knows her son changes with every season. He is always slipping away from her, and she studies to stay close.”

So while the website may not offer much, there is plenty of poetry and prose and art to delve into once you’re inside the issue, and there is plenty to enjoy there.

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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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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.

Constellations - Cover - artsy copy

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.

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

(408) 554 – 4484


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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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Spilling Ink Review – “The Last Dignified Transaction”

“The Last Dignified Transaction” is about the rewards inherent in being a university teaching assistant, and then going on to work as a waiter… and then having to serve your former students.  As for dignity, well, I think I’ve got some left.  This publication originates in Glasgow, so hooray for me because I’m oversea (and by the way, I hell of want to visit Glasgow).

Spilling Ink Review is a  quarterly e-journal. They’re a troupe of professional writers and readers that shares a passion for the written word as well as compassion for new and established writers looking for an innovative platform. Their aim is to create an environment where the unexpected can thrive, where the serious and the humorous can sit comfortably side-by-side, and where we can celebrate both the process and the product of creative writing.

Update:  I regrettably must report that Spilling Ink Review is now defunct.  The magazine is permanently closed, and their website URL is available for purchase.

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Corner Club Press – “The Writing Group”

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The Corner Club Press has been kind enough to accept my story “The Writing Group.” It is to be found on page 93 of the January 2012 issue of their journal, which is, unfortunately, temporarily unavailable. This piece is unfairly subjective look at a fellow writer, but is more about the narrator’s inability to escape the monastic solitude of authorhood.  It is about a man whose personal struggles make him unsympathetic to a fellow sufferer. It’s curmudgeonly and mean and an editor once described it as frighteningly solipsistic, but it’s a great read. Each issue of the Corner Club Press is released as a free PDF download, and they’re awesome.

Corner Club - Cover - Banner copy

About Corner Club Press:

The creation of The Corner Club Press is actually an impulsive endeavor of ours. Being an editor for The Oddville Press, it’s always been at the back of my mind to create my own magazine, but I never had a reason to start. For one thing, finding people on-line and then actually trusting them to get things done is a harrowing thought. For another thing, I had no idea how to go about doing it. Of course, having experience in the realm of two magazines has answered those questions for me, but even then I had nobody to start a magazine with. Then in my ENGL 2250 class, I met three other people who were interested in creative writing. The name “Corner Club” actually comes from Christopher Selmek, writer of Augusta’s local Verge. He coined the term because all four of us sat in the corner of our ENGL 2250 classroom, constantly exchanging humorous anecdotes over the days’ lessons. We quickly formed a friendship, then bonded one night during a study session.

But it was Daphne and I who bonded even faster because of our fervent love for the written word and Daphne’s own shared interest in being part of a magazine. As for Greg Tredore, he is someone we impulsively added because of his experience with a literary magazine and having an MFA in Creative Writing. We figured he’d be a great mentor to us, and thus far, he is.

Even though two members of the “Corner Club” are not as of yet active in the creation of this magazine, the name wouldn’t exist without their friendship. And that’s what Daphne and I want this magazine to be about: friendship. Not necessarily stories of friendship or anything of that sort, but we aim to provide a friendly, flexible magazine for writers to submit to. I consider myself more of a novelist, so the short stories I did write often had difficulties finding magazines because many magazines want shorter works and there are few magazines that accept longer works. We also didn’t want to limit our magazine to any particular theme or genre because we want as many submissions as possible. So submit away!

Amber Forbes, Founder

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Down in the Dirt – “Beauty and the Bus”

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The story is “Beauty and the Bus.” It’s a charming little gem all about my penis, which puts me on par with the most hackneyed of all male writers – I can only go up from here (no pun intended). The magazine is Down in the Dirt.  Just Click here, and enjoy.

Also, you have several options when ordering the print edition of Down in the Dirt Magazine, containing my story “Beauty and the Bus.” The story appears in the 2011 anthology of Scars Publications’ contributors, as well as a a bevy of other Down in the Dirt compilations, which is pretty cool and I’m fucking stoked. People seem to be digging the bizarre and embarrassing crap that I’m willing to reveal about myself. Click the links below to find the order forms for any of these various Scars Publications.

Perfectly Imperfect

1000 Words

Bleeding Heart Cadaver

Down in the Dirt, Vol. 101

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Read the intro letter from Scars Publications editor, Janet Kuypers:

Hi there, from the new editor of Down in the Dirt… I wanted to formally say hello, and give you any information about the connection Down in the Dirt has always had to Scars Publications.

Let me start from the beginning… I (Janet Kuypers) have run Scars Publicaions since its inception in early 1993, shortly before the birth of the literary magazine Children, Churches and Daddies (byline: the UN-religious, NON-family oriented literary and art magazne). In 1994, cc&d magazine ran supplement sections occastionally inside, in a section called Down in the Dirt. As cc&d got more and more popular, we stopped this insert. But the logo design for Down in the Dirt was there, and when Scars Publications expanded in 2000 (with its own domain name, then eventually mp3 audio and the video additions), we considered starting Down in the Dirt as its own magazine (instead of having inserts in cc&d).

Now, I had enough on my plate, so I did not mind giving the reigns to Alexandria Rand for editing this publication. I gave her magazine templates and form letter responses from cc&d, and she ran Down in the Dirt for nearly a decade. When she decided that she wanted to step down as editor, I just could not let the magazine die (I mean really, it was an off-shoot of my magazine, by baby, so to speak, and it used my artwork and templates for design). So although it means more reading and more designing on my part, taking over as editor was something I could not pass up.

So I have done everything in my power to keep Down in the Dirt magazine just as Alexandria kept it running — it still combines poetry and prose, and (unlike cc&d, which separates the poetry and prose into different section) accepted material flows between styles throughout issues. And yes, as I write this letter months after taking over as editor (this letter was written toward the end of January in 2011), people still send submissions to Alexandria’s old email address (so yes, we still keep that email address open for people who only know of the old address for emailing submissions).

It has always been Scars Publications’ policy to not accept the same writing to both magazines, because all accepted writing appears under the author’s name in he writings section of http://scars.tv and there cannot be repetition of accepted writings. But now, as the editor of both magazines, I get to read a greater variety of writings, and it is an honor to further immerse myself in the literary world with Scar Publications.

Thanks for being a part of Down in the Dirt, and let’s keep this magazine going for another decade!

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