Toasted Cheese 17:3

Featured

The September 2017 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Miki Byrne, Matthew Heston, Simon Perchik, Sarah Valeika & John Zedolik; flash by Helen Coats, Izabella Grace, Malka Herman & Merran Jones; fiction by Natasha Cabot, Tara Kaprowy & Alex Shishin; and creative non-fiction by Laura Marostica & Mary Street.

TC 17:3 also includes the A Midsummer Tale Writing Contest winning stories by LS Bassen, Vanessa Levin-Pompetzki & SK Elliot.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Megan of the Mists by Bill Lockwood.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Theryn “Beaver” Fleming.

The cover image is by wwny on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 17:2

The June 2017 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Deborah Bacharach, Marchell Dyon, Donna Pucciani, David Sermersheim, Spencer Smith, Judith Taylor & Jim Zola; flash by Sabrina Hicks, Fran Laniado & Tomas Marcantonio; and fiction by Lanny Durbin & Bonnie Thompson.

TC 17:2 also includes the Spring Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Erin McDougall, R.J. Snowberger & Meredith Lindgren.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Stephanie “Baker” Lenz.

The cover image is by David/rnddave on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 17:1

The March 2017 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Holly Day, Liz Dolan, John Grey, Michael Paul Hogan, Salvatore Marici & Sam Payne; flash by Jenny T.H. Chiu, Becca B. Jenkins, Zack Peercy & Michael Snyder; and fiction by Michelle McMillan-Holifield, Gwenda Major, David McVey & Kathryn Pallant.

TC 17:1 also includes the Dead of Winter Writing Contest winning stories by Ellis Sinclair, Catherine J. Link & Red Lagoe.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Jesus and Magdalene by João Cerqueira, and Bill Lockwood reviews Sure Things and Last Chances by Lou Gaglia.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Theryn “Beaver” Fleming.

The cover image is by torbakhopper on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 16:4

The December 2016 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Darren C. Demaree, Rose Knapp, D.W. Moody & Timothy Pilgrim; flash by Timothy Bastek, Isaac Buckley, Lori Cramer, Travis Keys, Michelle S. Lee & Tim Love; and fiction by Nancy Christie, William Locke Hauser, Jay Merill & Dacia Price.

TC 16:4 also includes the fall Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Robert Walton, Valerie Lunt, Christina De La Rocha & R.J. Snowberger.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Buried Gold by Bill Lockwood, and Bill Lockwood reviews The Last Cadillac by Nancy Sullivan.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Stephanie “Baker” Lenz.

The cover image is by H is for Home on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 16:3

The September 2016 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Richard Dinges, Marchell Dyon, Theresa Kelly, Marc Livanos, Lauren Scavo & Judith Taylor; flash by Jeff Bakkensen & Stephanie Gail; fiction by David E. Grubb, Kathy Mansfield, Michael Retzer & Gina Sakalarios-Rogers; and creative nonfiction by Autumn Shah.

TC 16:3 also includes the A Midsummer Tale Writing Contest winning stories by Sarah Evans, Heather Finnegan & Gail Webber.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Not For Art Nor Prayer by Darren C. Demaree.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Theryn “Beaver” Fleming.

The cover image is by Benny Mazur on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 16:2

The June 2016 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Colin Dardis, Bobbi Sinha-Morey & Diane Webster; flash by Andrew Bertaina, Jhilam Chattaraj, Greg Metcalf & Tara Roeder; and fiction by Sharon L. Dean, Karl Harshbarger, Isabel S. Miles & Steve Passey.

TC 16:2 also includes the Spring 2016 Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Meredith Bateman, Brian Behr Valentine & Erin McDougall.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Feeding by Cody L. Stanford and Lou Gaglia reviews Crossing the Lines by Tony Press.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Stephanie “Baker” Lenz.

The cover image is by James on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 16:1

The March 2016 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Lana Bella, Jeff Burt, Theresa Kelly & Wern Hao See; flash by Melissa Ostrom & Sherry Welch; fiction by Brian Coughlan & Catherine Keenan; and creative nonfiction by Luanne Castle, Brett Peruzzi & Linda C. Wisniewski.

TC 16:1 also includes the 2015 Dead of Winter Writing Contest winning stories by Matthew Boyle, Robert James & John Howe.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Poor Advice (and Other Stories) by Lou Gaglia.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Theryn “Beaver” Fleming.

The cover image is by Roger Penguino on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 15:4

The December 2015 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Miki Byrne, Erin McIntosh, Sonnet Mondal & Lauren Scavo; flash by Paul Hetherington, Ajay Patri & Christina Sanders; fiction by James Butt, Kim Farleigh, Maithreyi Nandakumar & Deb Smith; and creative nonfiction by Theresa Kelly.

TC 15:4 also includes the Fall 2015 Three Cheers and a Tiger Writing Contest winning stories by Matthew Boyle, Mark Neyrinck & Clarissa Pattern.

At Candle-Ends, Shelley Carpenter reviews Undertow by Eric E. Wallace.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Theryn “Beaver” Fleming.

The cover image is by Allagash Brewing on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

Toasted Cheese 15:3

The September 2015 issue of Toasted Cheese features poetry by Jan Ball, Sean Lause, JoAnn LoSavio, Jonathan Shipley, Angela Inez Vargas, Diane Webster & Marne Grinolds Wilson; flash by F. C. Brown Cloud & Claire Polders; fiction by Melodie Corrigall, Ryan Dempsey, Matthew Everett, Melanie Griffin & Judy Salz; and creative nonfiction by Marsa Laird, Mary Lewis & Emily Pifer.

TC 15:3 also includes the A Midsummer Tale Writing Contest winning stories by David Thom, Anais Jay & Susan Shiney.

At Candle-Ends, Erin Bellavia reviews A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire and Shelley Carpenter reviews Orangutanka: A Story in Poems by Margarita Engle.

This issue’s Snark Zone is by Stephanie “Baker” Lenz.

The cover image is by jeffreyw on Flickr, with additional photos by photographers around the world, all of whom have generously made their work available for use under Creative Commons licenses. Please click through and check out their photostreams.

Congratulations to all. Happy reading!

A Creative Go-To

A Pen In Each Hand

By Harpspeed

I remember on one occasion back in my undergrad days in a creative writing classroom I was expected to complete a writing exercise on the spot. I felt tired from a long day already spent at my day job and overwhelmed—being at my lowest creative moment of the day. Regardless, I had to write something. So while my peers were scratching and tapping away in their notebooks and keyboards, I was zeroing on a single topic along with some describing words, and whatever literary mechanisms my tired brain could muster up.

In the end, I broke down the assignment from paragraphs and pages to consonants and syllables. I was much like that stereotypical driver driving on empty fumes and magically making it to the gas station before the engine finally conked out for good. In fact, I surprised myself with having wellspring of creativity inspired from my lack of it. Thirty minutes later, I shared a free verse poem about an evening walk with my dog. I borrowed this technique at a similar venue years later. I wrote about the juicy clementine I had consumed minutes before. Success had made free verse my official go-to for creativity-tapping.

So, here’s the thing, if you are ever in creative trouble, don’t get upset or overwhelmed. Instead, think different. Think smaller. Think poetry. You might even consider trying a tanka poem. Here’s the skinny: Tanka poetry originated in Japan and is over 1200 years old. It is similar to haiku poetry but contain more syllables as well as metaphor, personification, and simile. Tanka poems contain five lines. Subjects of tankas include nature, seasons, and emotion.

These are examples I found on the web: [1] [2] [3] [4].