By Jeff Couch It was a bright and sunny day. As I stepped through the shiny door of the Holitown diner, the bell on the spring gave a hopeful ring. I was hopeful too. Maybe, finally, this was the right place and time. I stepped up to the counter and […]


By Jess Austen Jared loved a bookstore. He loved the smell of the books, the feel of them in his hands. There was nothing more sensual in the world than the leather bound cover of a book. Or the cloth binding of a hard cover. With the dust jacket. Just […]

The Easy Pick Up

By George Eckel I lifted the orange crate labeled Valentine’s Day off the stack of boxes piled high against the side of our two-story, stucco house. The lid was smeared with years of dirt, dried water stains, and reminders that rodents lived unseen right next to us. “They’re breakables, Al!” […]

Thank you for being my Valentine

By Jack Wallen “I never said you were icky!” Declared Tommy, hands in his pockets and feet scuffing the ground beneath his Converse All-Stars.  “Did too!” Cindy was adamant about what she’d heard. Her friends even stood behind her nodding their little blond heads. “You said you didn’t want to […]

The Perfectly Imperfect Moment

By Jesse V. Coffee Marlene stepped out of the shower, wrapping the towel around her long chestnut curls, and using the other to dry herself off. She stepped into the bedroom, trying to think what the hell she was going to wear…and stopped in front of her full length mirror. […]

Unsuspecting Love

Jack Wallen explains why he believes so many writers have trouble writing the first sentence of a new work (and how to ease that task).

2 Minute Drill: The First Sentence

By Samantha Swalgin Seven months. Two weeks. And three days. Rebecca stood at the airport, clutching her coat tight in her arms as she waited for her husband’s plane to land. Her husband, First Lieutenant Jacob Stewart, sent off on his second tour just before the young couple could celebrate […]

His Homecoming Promise

By Dean Lappi Val shifted for the hundredth time on the frozen cardboard floor of the refrigerator box that was home. No matter what position he tried, the pain deep inside his stomach remained. He knew what the pain meant. He had watched his wife die from cancer fifteen years […]


By Penny Jones It is only as I reach the ocean that I remember. Looking out across its vast, grey, never-ending vista, I think of the first time that I stood here; you were next to me then, your arm strong across my shoulders, sheltering me from the wind and […]

Skimming stones

By Angel Vargas If love is a many splendored thing, Why can’t you accept my engagement ring? I’ve hunted high and low, you see, and it seems you’re the only one for me. Maybe I ought to start slowing things down and not chase the other girls in your town. […]

Love Makes Her Scream

Jack Wallen explains the difference between “showing” and “telling” to help you elevate your writing skills to the next level.

2 Minute Drill: Show Don’t Tell