365 Short Stories: Eight More Days, The Bay Area

IMG_3535My LOVE theme spilled over into another week and wrecked my tidy little plans to post a 7 day week-in-review for 365 Short Stories. Love will do this. Wreck plans. In the similar way, vacations will knock systems off-kilter.

If you’re just joining in, I review an on-line short story every day of the year in 2013. A few weeks ago, I traveled west to California with my family, a region rich in literary tradition both past and present. Instead of posting a week in review of Bay Area posts, I featured a story each day I was traveling which covered Short Stories 46-53/365.

There were bookstores, too, and bridges and beaches.

Here’s a list of the lit mags I explored and the stories I chose to feature.

Threepenny Review, “Drouth” by Wendell Berry

Threepenny resides in Berkeley, same town where we stayed the first half of the trip. Check out their Reading Room which houses an archive of selected poems, fictions, essays and reviews.

Storytapes features a story swap and the one I stumbled upon was #5, a sharing between Amber Sparks and Sarah Rose Etter who happen to also share a birthday. Both read and write beautifully, magically, heartfully (is that a made-up word?) and Storytapes does a bunch of cool things like swapping, reading, and chatting.

Eleven Eleven, “Down River” by Anna Fonte

This journal comes out of the California College of the Arts MFA Writing Program. This from their website…”The aim of our publication is to provide a forum for risk and experimentation and to serve as an exchange between writers and artists.”

Catamaran Literary Reader features California Regional Themes. Writers and Artists from Everywhere. I chose a series of linked short fictions with a circus theme by Ana Maria Shua translated by Steven J. Stewart. I loved these lines.

You’re always as young as your dreams, as your wishes, as your youngest lover, as your heart. And there will always be a place for us in the circus: it’s only a matter of putting on a little more makeup when the years turn us all into clowns.

Willow Springs takes us a bit up north to Spokane, Washington, but the author of this piece, “Sin-Tra-La” is by California writer Diane Lefer who I had to privilege to know at Vermont College of the Fine Arts. Great writer, excellent person, and Willow Springs is one of my favorite print journals.

Narrative Magazine is well-known, well-funded, and generally an easy go-to for good on-line fiction. Russell Banks (also well-known) has a novel excerpt/short story up in the Winter Issue. “Lost and Found” by Russell Banks

And to close, on my way home, at a layover in the Chicago airport, rain beating on the glass behind my seat, I could not help but think of Stuart Dybek. So I found this, “Voyeur of Rain” and borrowed my daughter’s ear-phones and was read to by the man himself. Sad, dark, lyrical and true. I can’t help but love the way his stories take me to his place, South Side of Chicago. Thanks, Indiana Review!