Monday, September 1, 2014

Don’t Hate the Ice Bucket

by donnaleemiele

There's hot, and then there's Phoenix hot

I sing at funerals. It’s something I do as part of my church choir.

Most recently, it was for a man who’d lived a long, contented life. An average guy. He enjoyed his retirement, told corny jokes, and irritated the hell out of his employees–he skimped on the air conditioning at his independent business and duct-taped the thermostat dial in place. His story was cheerful, and rang true–I’ve heard enough eulogies to know when there’s a shadow underneath the perfect eulogy portrait. Continue reading

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August Break

by Neil Fein


Magnificent Nose will be on break next week, returning in September. We hope everyone enjoys the rest of August.

Continue reading

Monday, August 18, 2014

An ode to a silent boy

by ednatru

Beautiful sun halo

For my brother.

You haven’t spoken a word
Not once these twenty odd years
Although we’ve learned to read you
Like a book without a spine
It’s still a hit or miss affair

When we were but children
Vague emotions do I remember
Of times when we would play
We never really did get along, eh?
Or perhaps it was jealousy
But that soon turned to shame Continue reading

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Teen Got Me Daily Show Tickets! With Puppies.

by donnaleemiele

puppy pies!

Why does the world dump on teenaged boys? They don’t behave any worse than adults with hormonal abnormalities (that you have to live with, feed, and legally guard). And like other sentient humans, teenaged boys will occasionally surprise you with their spontaneous generosity.

A few months ago, my 18-year-old had not only the incredible luck to nab tickets to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but also the thoughtful foresight to get tickets for my husband and me, too. It wasn’t Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. The child didn’t have to be nice. It was as if he might actually like to hang out with us, doing something cool. I was touched. I may have even daydreamed a moment of us together in line, being approached by the Humans of New York guy. Continue reading

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


by Leanne Yong


Writing. Something everyone can do, but something very few excel in. Now, before I get into the swing of things, there is a delineation I’d like to draw between people writing for fun, and people writing with the aim of becoming a professional.

I would love it if everyone wrote for fun. It doesn’t matter how terrible you think you are, or how tenuous your grasp of your chosen language. Just write! It’s a wonderful thing to see the dreams and fleeting thoughts in your mind take form, hewn out in the rough constructs of language. Yes, rough–for who has managed to perfectly represent the vivid clarity of our thoughts with words alone? But we try, and sometimes we come close enough to that representation to touch someone else’s heart, regardless of whether our words are the stick figure drawings of a child or the works of Michelangelo.

But it’s another world when one decides to take writing as their profession. One analogy I use often is that of a cook. I can throw together a meal that is edible and tastes somewhat decent–at least, decent enough that everyone doesn’t turn it down from the get-go. But place me within a professional kitchen and the other chefs will tell you that I am more likely to slice my finger than the onion, that I have no subtlety whatsoever with flavours (salt, salt, oh and a pinch of chicken salt for variety!), and that by the time I’ve got anything ready to serve, the customers will have tired of waiting and left the restaurant. Continue reading

Monday, August 4, 2014

About Change

by ednatru

Arizona educators experience Marine Corps boot camp

Change. Wanting to change. Knowing when to implement the change. Knowing how to change, what to change and why? Is it right, is it wrong? Should I, shouldn’t I?

These thoughts roll around in my head once in a while, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed. When everything seems to be slipping out of your grasp, anyone would panic, right? Once you’re in that state, nothing seems to work, and days start to blur together. If you remain in an extended slump, all that you see is tainted with an ugly hue and motivation fades into a dull buzz in the background. There’s something else that you’d rather pit yourself against and a small voice in your head cries, “Get me out of here!”

That is a sure sign that something needs to be done. Continue reading

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Of Giants and Men

by Leanne Yong

You were a giant, once.

Every step resonated through my world, every word tolled like the great bells of London. You were the sky I aspired to reach, the limits I aspired to challenge. The limits, my mind whispered, that I could never hope to surpass.

For how does one swim better than a dolphin, or change the shifting of the tides, or explore the furthest reaches of space? How does one measure themselves against proportions physically impossible to achieve?

In your shadow, I found my security. You were a fortress, a reassuring presence that meant all was well. I didn’t have to worry. Knowing you went before was enough. Continue reading

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Monday, July 28, 2014

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Barrels Towards its End

by donnaleemiele

Fifth Gear

The Last Policeman series by Ben H. Winters has garnered an Edgar Award (2012, The Last Policeman) and a Philip K. Dick Award (2013, Countdown City), delightful recognition in a literary world where awards often go to novels that are epic, meticulously crafted, relevant, or even stupefying, but not always fun. This month, the final installment in the series, World of Trouble, takes down the fun about a hundred notches, but concludes the story unforgettably.

The Last Policeman opens in March. Detective Hank Palace is a cop’s cop, one of those rare men who rises each morning knowing exactly why he’s here. That virtue, however, is about to become irrelevant. Maia, a massive asteroid formerly known as 2011GV(sub 1), is predicted to collide with Earth in October, with 100% certainty according to the news media. Maia will probably not strike Hank’s home of Concord, New Hampshire dead-on, but her impact is predicted to eradicate life on Earth as we know it. Continue reading

Friday, July 25, 2014


by Ceil Kessler


He was safe.

No phones would ring, no thieves could break in, no internet hackers would steal his identity.

Enclosed in his one-bedroom bungalow ten miles outside of Raleigh, Joe planned for everything.

He could still get around if need be. His handicapped-modified car allowed him to visit people and go to stores. But otherwise, he had a monthly standing order at the grocery store, and the people from social services would visit on the same day. Always the 3rd of the month.

Continue reading

Thursday, July 24, 2014


by ednatru

London Rain

“Hey, do you hear that?” Betty asks. She rushes into the lounge room with a stricken look on her face.

“Hear what? That’s just the rain and wind. Nothing to be surprised about. It’s raining cats and dogs outside,” Andy replies and faces the television once again.

“No, that’s not it. It sounds like someone crying. Like a little kid sobbing right outside on our doorstep.” Continue reading


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