Oct/Nov 2006

Tom Dooley co-founded Eclectica in 1996 and serves as its Managing Editor. In the 12 years between earning a BA in English literature from the University of Chicago and a MPA in municipal management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he taught middle and high school English in Alaska, Arizona, and Wisconsin, amassing fond memories, dubious experiences, and debt. Two careers post-teaching later, he now creates spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides for the man by day, edits Eclectica by night, and feels very grateful for the blessings he has received—chief among them being married to the sweetest gal and the best poet he knows. He and said gal reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with enough rescued lapdogs to field a diminutive Iditarod racing team and the empty-nest echoes of two amazing Haitian-American children who have flown the coop.

Paul Sampson is Eclectica's Nonfiction and Miscellany Editor and has been a regular contributor to the Salon. A professional writer and editor for many years, he worked until recently for a mammoth corporation. He has since been downsized, although he remains the same height and weight as formerly. Some of his essays and poems have been published in Image, The Alsop Review, The 2River View, Illya's Honey, The Sulphur River Literary Review, the British publication World Wide Writers II, and the anthology Best Texas Writing (Rancho Loco Press). He lives on the outskirts of a small town east of Dallas, Texas.

Colleen Mondor is Eclectica's Review Editor. She also reviews for Bookslut, the Voices of NOLA, and Booklist. Short story excerpts from her novel on Alaskan aviation have recently appeared in failbetter and Storyglossia. She maintains a daily blog on all things literary (and sometimes not) at her site, Chasingray.com.

Elizabeth P. Glixman is Eclectica's Interview Editor. Her fiction and poetry have appeared online and in print in Wicked Alice, In Posse Review, 3 A.M. Magazine, Tough Times Companion, a publication of The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Her Circle Ezine, Frigg, and Velvet Avalanche, an anthology of erotic poetry. Besides Eclectica, her author interviews, articles, book reviews, and creative non-fiction pieces have appeared in The Pedestal Magazine, Whole Life Times, Spirit of Change, Hadassah Magazine, and the anthologies Chocolate for A Woman's Soul II and Cup of Comfort For Women. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: A White Girl Lynching (Pudding House Publications, 2008), Cowboy Writes a Letter & Other Love Poems (Pudding House Publications, 2010), and The Wonder of It All (Alternating Current, 2012). Elizabeth's story, "Mother's Bony Behind," was chosen one of the notable online stories of 2006 by the Million Writers Award. Elizabeth is an animal lover, and she has a blog devoted to shelter animals, especially those at kill shelters.

Jennifer Finstrom has been the Poetry Editor of Eclectica since the fall issue of 2005. This is her final issue in that capacity. A former Spotlight Author, she teaches in the First-Year Writing Program, tutors in writing, and facilitates writing groups at DePaul University. Recent publications include Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Escape Into Life, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, and NEAT. For Silver Birch Press, she has work appearing in The Great Gatsby Anthology, the Alice in Wonderland Anthology, and in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks.

Pamela Mackey is Eclectica's Copy Editor. She teaches English at a community college in central New York. Earlier in her career, she wrote feature stories for newspapers, including The New York Times. Even earlier, she was a researcher and editor in the magazine industry, holding staff positions at LOOK and Saturday Review magazines. She writes poetry and is the mother of a gifted young novelist.

Mike Spice is Eclectica's Travel Editor. He is working on a Master's Degree in International Business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. His poetry and prose have appeared previously in Eclectica and Modern Haiku.

Arlene Ang lives in a small town outside Venice, Italy. She is the author of The Desecration of Doves (iUniverse, 2005). This is her ninth appearance in Eclectica, and she has also appeared or is forthcoming in Forklift Ohio, HiNgE, Liminal Pleasures, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tattoo Highway, and Unpleasant Event Schedule. She was recently awarded The Frogmore Poetry Prize 2006.

Elizabeth Bernays is a biologist turned writer. After growing up in Australia, she received her Ph.D. at the University of London, England, and had a career as an academic entomologist (most recently as a professor in UC Berkeley and then University of Arizona) before obtaining an MFA at the University of Arizona. She has published over two hundred scientific papers and books and several popular biology articles. She has had six poems and six essays published in small literary journals.

Bob Bradshaw is a programmer living in Redwood City, CA. He is a huge fan of the Rolling Stones. Previous work of his can be found at Paumanok Review, Slow Trains, Red River Review, Poems Niederngasse and flashquake, among other publications.

Eduardo Carvajal was born Queens, NY, and now lives and works in Miami as a financial analyst. This is his first published work. He is primarily self-taught, and hopes to continue to see his work in print.

David Cates plays the flute and muses in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Cheryl Chambers is a poet and fiction writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in FRiGG Magazine, The Binnacle, Buffalo's Artvoice, and The Hiss Quarterly, among others.

Tom Conoboy has been writing and entering competitions for around eighteen months, in which period he has been placed second four times. Consequently, he now eschews first prizes and thinks them pretentious. He writes with Alex Keegan’s Boot Camp, which has had a dramatic impact on the quantity and a gradual impact on the quality of his writing.

Jeff Crook was born and raised in Memphis, where there are more churches than gas stations. "Even Angels Fall" was born over the course of an afternoon out of a lifetime's immersion in confusing and conflicting and sometimes downright racist and intolerant religious waters, seasoned with a profound appreciation of the absurd. Crook is the author of four novels (The Rose and the Skull, The Thieves‚ Guild, Conundrum, and Dark Thane); the latter two have been translated into French, and all four are miraculously still in print. His recent work has appeared in Pindeldyboz, RITRO.com, Bewildering Stories, Nanobison, Paradox, Game Trade Magazine, and the Sol's Children anthology. He has stories upcoming in the Stalking Shadows anthology and in Futures, the limited-run science-fiction feature of the weekly science journal Nature. He is the editor of Southern Gothic Online and an unsuccessful screenwriter, thus far.

Barbara De Franceschi is an Australian poet who lives in Broken Hill, a small mining town in outback New South Wales. When not writing poetry or committed to family and business, Barbara involves herself in community work. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2002 for her achievements in the area of multiculturalism. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals Australia-wide and online in the USA and Switzerland. Barbara is an adventuress writer who is continuously trying to find new ways and forms to present her work; she has experimented with sound and musical composition to enhance her recitals, with stimulating results. Her first collection, Lavender Blood, was published in 2004, and the manuscript for a second collection is well under way. Barbara is a member of the performance group "The Silver Tongued Ferals" and performs at caravan parks, arts festivals, etc., and has read her poetry live to air on ABC Radio on a number of occasions.

Tim Einstein is a freelance writer living in Sterling, VA. He has been a regular contributor to the Loudoun Easterner, a weekly newspaper in Ashburn. He does a column for them on news and events of his hometown and occasional features and news stories of broader interest. An English major with courses in journalism, he wrote for and edited his college paper and its literary magazine, Serendipity, which he co-founded while an undergraduate at Mount Saint Mary's.

Adam Elgar lives in Bristol, England, where he is a recovering school teacher and part-time optimist. Other work by him can be seen at nthposition and The Argotist.

Ali Fahmy has appeared previously in Eclectica and has also online in Pindeldyboz, Exquisite Corpse, Identity Theory, and Hobart. He's lived in Sweden (his birthplace), Egypt, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. He now lives in Los Angeles. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, he enjoys surfing and Scrabble.

Lyn Fox is a travel and spirituality writer living in the Canadian wilderness. The phrase "philosophical adventure" describes both his writing and his life as an avid world-trekker with a master's degree in philosophy and spirituality.

Michaela A. Gabriel lives in Vienna, Austria, where she assists adults in acquiring computer and English skills and gets together with the muse as often as possible. She has been published in English, German, Italian, and Polish, both online and in print, most recently in Loch Raven Review, Underground Window, The Hiss Quarterly, MindFire, and Niederngasse's Erotica Supplement. Her first chapbook, apples for adam, is available from FootHills Publishing, and her collection, the secret meanings of greek letters, will be published by Dancing Girl Press in 2007. When she is not writing, she is reading, listening to music, watching movies, blogging, communicating with friends, playing tennis or travelling—usually several of these at the same time.

Arun Gaur was born in 1958 and lives in Haryana, India. He has been teaching English at Chandigarh since 1982. Has also taught at Mizoram University, Aizawl, where he was a Reader in the Department of English. His Ph.D. thesis was on W.B. Yeats and C.G. Jung. He has published one critical book, I Stand Apart: Alienated Center in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself (2002) and three collections of poems: Steppe Tramping with Gorky (2001), Woodcutters (2000), and The Neurosis Island: Homofuge! (1994). He is working on a series of poems on Mizoram for his anthology, Mizoram-2004, based on thousands of photographs taken there. Some of these poems have appeared in Ariga, Poetry Magazine, Orbis, and Ygdrasil, and are forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg Review and 42opus. Regarding the poem that appears in this issue, he says, "I wrote the poem while I was a tenant of a Mizo household at Aizawl in 2004. Mizoram is a state where bamboos grow in abundance. During my seven-month stay at Aizawl, I was fascinated by the changing color and shape of the plant. Particularly, in the rains. You know there is a lot of rain in the North-East India. From my bed I could see the long and lank and lurching branches of the bamboo-groves. They would grow very quickly and seemed to approach my window with deliberate intention day by day. Particularly during the night, after the power-failure, and in the stormy winds raging outside, I could observe while lying in my bed the half-hidden dark shapes lurching forward towards my window-pane with some intention. It was fascinating. Moreover, I could see the strange whorls coming into being. Suggesting some spinning, whirling, perning movement stilled suddenly."

Shanna Germain dodges raindrops in Portland. Her poems, short stories and essays have appeared in publications such as Absinthe Literary Review, Best American Erotica, McSweeney's, and Salon. In addition, she is the recipient of the C. Hamilton Bailey Poetry Fellowship. You can see more of her work on her website.

Howard Good is a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz and the author of a poetry chapbook, Death of the Frog Prince (FootHills Publishing, 2004). His poems have also appeared in many print and online publications, most recently The Rose & Thorn, Slow Trains, Right Hand Pointing, and Lily.

Jim Gourley provided the visuals for this issue. He lives in China and maintains an awesome website of his photographs (see link).

Robert Gray owns Fresh Eyes Now LLC, a consulting company that offers a frontline bookseller's perspective to publishers, agents and authors. He is a columnist for Shelf Awareness, a publishing industry newsletter, and works part-time as a bookseller for The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, NY. He was a bookseller/buyer for the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT from 1992 to 2005, and was named the store's first Master Bookseller in 2000. Gray's written work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Publishers Weekly, Tin House, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and Cimarron Review. He earned an MFA in Writing & Literature from Bennington College in 2003 and is currently working on a book about reading from a bookseller's perspective.

Terence S. Hawkins was born during an Eisenhower administration he declines to identify. He was raised by wolves in a small coal mining town in western Pennsylvania. Owing to a remarkable series of freak accidents, he was admitted to Yale, from which he graduated with the coveted cum diploma distinction. He now squanders his education as a trial lawyer in New Haven, Connecticut. His work has appeared online at Poor Mojo's Almanac(k), Magaera, and Ape Culture, and in print in The Binnacle and the New Haven Register. His first novel, The Rage of Achilles, languishes in a drawer somewhere. Undeterred, he is at work on another: What Rough Beast. "The Thing That Mattered" tried to grow into a novel, but kindly midwives at a writing workshop smothered it with a pillow.

Thomas J. Hubschman is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon, the author of the novel Billy Boy (Savvy Press), and the publisher of Gowanus, an ezine for authors in and from the so-called Third World. He is also editor of The Best of Gowanus: New Writing from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean (Gowanus Books). His short stories, articles and reviews have appeared in The Blue Moon Review, Morpo Review, New York Press, on the BBC World Service and in numerous other print and online publications.

Michael J. Hulme lives and works in Norwich, UK, and edits Norwich-based creative writing magazine nr1. His fiction has been published and broadcast by the BBC, performed on stage, and published online and in various magazines including Ink Pot, 7th Quark, and Strange Horizons. He has been selected for a British Arts Council Escalator award, given to promising young writers.

Stanley Jenkins has appeared in Amelia, 32 Pages, The Blue Moon Review, CrossConnect, and the Oyster Boy Review. A former Spotlight Author, Stanley is a regular contributor to Eclectica's Salon and holds the record for greatest number of appearances in our issues. He lives and works in Queens, New York.

Anju Kanumalla holds a day job in the pharmaceutical industry as a medical writer, which allows her to feed her addiction to yarn and science books. Much of her other work can be found at Two-Penny Words. She is also a contributor at The Bitter Quill.

Dennis Kaplan is a Chicago native, transplanted to Oakland, California where he writes computer code by day and other things by night. A previous Eclectica story of his was named by the Million Writers Award as one of the notable online stories of 2004. His current story "Bone Moon" was inspired by an exhibit at the Chicago Historical Society which depicted the intersection of Wacker and Michigan as it appeared in the early 1800s. Dennis and his wife are currently in the process of assembling an anthology of fiction set in the workplace.

Alex Keegan lives in Newbury, England with his wife Deborah, son Alex and daughter Bridie. Born in Wales in 1947 of an Irish mother and Welsh father, he played around with writing almost all his life, but only got serious when recovering from injuries and mental trauma after the Clapham (London) train crash in December, 1988. In October, 1992, he decided to "give up the day job" and give himself five years to get published. The result was five "Caz Flood" mystery novels, the first of which was shortlisted for an Anthony Award for best first novel. Since then Alex has moved to writing literary short fiction. His publications include Archipelago, Atlantic Monthly Unbound, Mississippi Review, Blue Moon Review, The Alsop Review, Crania, and of course, Eclectica.

Caroline Kepnes was born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1976. After graduating from Brown, she moved to New York where she started out writing for Tiger Beat. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she got the best writing job ever: the 11th season opener of 7th Heaven. Look for a repeat on the CW, please. She also wrote about writing it for TV Guide. By day and night, she works as a gossip writer for E! Online. She is thrilled to have her third story in Eclectica. Her short stories have also been published in The Barcelona Review, The Blue Moon Review, Carve, Eyeshot, Hobart, Monkey Bicycle, Thieves Jargon, The Duck & Herring Co.'s Pocket Field Guide, Yankee Pot Roast, and Word Riot.

Dorothee Lang is a German writer and net artist. She is author of Masala Moments, a travel novel about India, and editor of the BluePrintReview, an online journal of unintended prose and poetry. Her work has recently appeared in Mississippi Review, Pindeldyboz, Word Riot, Hobart, and Cautionary Tale, among others. To see some of her latest pieces, visit her virtual gallery at BluePrintReview.

Scott Malby received an email a few months ago. He feels it says it all: "There is nothing about you that is even remotely interesting. Most people who read what you write would agree."

David Massengill is this issue's Spotlight Author. He is a fiction writer who grew up in the Bay Area and now lives in Seattle. The pieces in this issue come from Undersex, a collection of flash fiction and short stories about gay men's relationships for which Massengill is seeking a publisher. His fiction has appeared in The Raven Chronicles, 3 A.M. Magazine, StringTown, Rivet Magazine, and N.O.L.A. Spleen, among other literary magazines. He has also written nonfiction for American Book Review and Seattle Weekly. Massengill would like a French director to put his tales on screen and cast Charlotte Rampling as a lead. Directors, publishers, and kind-tongued folk are welcome to email him.

Andie Miller is a writer who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including M/C, First Monday, Motionsickness, and Gobshite Quarterly.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy has published poetry, prose and translation in many journals, paper and electronic, including: Jacket Magazine, Poetry International (San Diego State University), The Georgia Review (University of Georgia), Grand Street, SLANT (University of Central Arkansas), Consciousness Literature and the Arts (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Orbis (UK), Eclectica, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. His Hyperlinked Online Bibliography appears in the pages of The Catalyzer Journal.

J.R. Salling is an antiquarian bookseller specializing in the history of science and medicine, a fact sometimes reflected in his written work, more often not. His writings have appeared in Pindeldyboz, Flashquake, Eyeshot, Thieves Jargon, Monkey Bicycle, Word Riot, Mad Hatters' Review, Champagne Shivers, Poor Mojo's Almanac, Gator Springs Gazette, Opium Magazine, and Slow Trains.

Anna Sidak has appeared in Linnaean Street, Paumanok Review, Pindeldyboz, Ink Pot, Gator Springs Gazette, and other journals. The story "Myths of Minnesota" is a story of geographical relocations in search of new beginnings, an old American habit.

Ann and David Skealive in Australia. Ann is the author of Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest (UNE Press, Australia).

Maryanne Snell spends most of her time taking care of her beautiful new baby daughter. In the rare times when said daughter is sleeping, Maryanne attempts to cram in all the reading, writing, and reviewing to which she previously had hours to devote. During that limited time, she is working on a mystery novel set in the 1920s.

Laurie Soslow is a graduate of the Boston University Creative Writing Program. She has spent most of the last eight years providing IT and management consulting services to nonprofit organizations. Laurie's work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Mad Poets Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, HiNgE, and the Drexel Online Journal. She resides in Philadelphia, where she co-curates the INVERSE Reading Series on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Rohith Sundararaman lives in Bombay, India. His work has appeared in many online magazines. He is a management student and he recieves two and a half death threats a year for the poetry he manages to publish.

Rob Taylor lives in Port Moody, British Columbia, has published a fistful o' poems here and there, recently released his first chapbook, splattered earth, and has a blog. He likes naps.

Joseph Zozaya resides in Vienna. His favorite hat was constructed by a blind man who once worked as a conductor.