LUCILLE BY JOHN HILL 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 59
In back of the hotel, right where the maids and bellmen came in, there was a white Lincoln stretch limo, which belonged to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself. Richard Penniman aka Little Richard, like many rock stars, never went anywhere alone. Therefore, there were always a few courtiers hanging out near the limousine. I saw this limo more than once, so I knew that Richard had some connection with the hotel. But still I wasn’t prepared for the moment when I stepped into the elevator, pressed eight, and turned around to see—Little Richard!
THE HEALING ARTS BY AGNES O’CONNOR 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 59
HEART CAKE BY KAREN BREMER MASUDA 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 59
RICHARD P MAYER
I started writing in my early 20s when I returned home from the military. I kept at it for a couple of years. There were only two poets that I was familiar with at the time, Rod McKuen and Hugh Prather. I lost the box that contained all of my hand-written poems and they were gone forever. A career in health care distracted me from writing, although I continued to write in my head for years afterwards. Recently, I enrolled in a creative writing course, read a lot of poetry. I view my work as not overly complex, hopefully easy to comprehend, and the cutting edge of nothing. But it is the voice that I hear.
The Wall is a poem about the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC and the wall on which the names of 58,320 men and women killed and missing in action are inscribed.
KAREN BREMER MASUDA
Everyone’s meaning of friendship is different. Why some friendships wax and wane could be as hard to pin down as the meaning of friendship itself. Things are taken with various levels of sensitivity. Meaning is derived from so many different angles. There is such an array of personal feelings for relationships and their importance. The feelings Katherine has for her friendships would be different for whomever is feeling them. When it comes to dropping an atomic bomb, the emotions are much more distinct, although a variety of circumstances play a role in whether one ever thinks about the implications and the reality of atomic bomb attacks. With Japan being the only country to ever have atomic bombs dropped on it by America, Katherine thinks about them, particularly during August when the terrifying days are commemorated. Dropping or being the victim of atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, and the one dropped on Nagasaki three days later in 1945 is something Katherine is faced with every August. A documentary on the Needle Rat saves Katherine from despair. There is always hope, however minuscule, for redemption in the darkness of life.
I am an American writer living in Shizuoka, Japan. My travels with my husband and family play a big role in the basis for the writing of my literary multicultural fiction. 34thParallel Magazine has published five of my short stories, the first 10 years ago. In the past 12 years, I have been published six times in other e-magazines.
I am reassured by the fact that my writing days will not end, no matter my age. Writing will always be what I consider to be the most important work of my life.
I write what I consider realistic fiction, but it is more a realism of emotions than of place, time, or action. Truth is found in the complex of emotions aroused by language that penetrates the objective covering we call fact. The perfect response to a fact is, “So?”
Many of my stories can be called autobiographically based. Saying that leaves me to ponder if there is any fiction that is not autobiographically based.
This summer I self-published a collection of stories called Harmony’s Song & Other Stories. I have a website, Carlwooton.com, which I am trying to learn how to make useful. I am a tech dinosaur. The computer is a wonderful typewriter, but I still haven’t mastered all the things I might want to do with it.
Bequest came to me while I was washing the dishes. Yes, washing the dishes by hand. This often gets the glimmers flowing, I doubt that loading a dishwasher would have the same effect. Like Zoe, I like dishwashing more than most other chores, and I have been known to volunteer to wash dishes in hopes of not being drafted for another job. Bequest was given an honorable mention in the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction, but is published for the first time here.
My earliest ambition was to be a “book maker” and I wrote my first story Judy and the Fairies at the age of six with a plot copied from a Nancy and Sluggo comic book. Most of my stories came after I left my job as Fiction Librarian at the San Diego Public Library. They have been published in literary magazines in the US, the UK, and Australia, including The Binnacle, The Nassau Review, and Orbis. Most recently I had a novella Rumpelstiltskin published in Eclectica, and the Wild Rose Press published a romance novel Seventeen Days.
I’ve done every job there is in the music business. The exception is entertainment lawyer, which I’m happy to leave to anyone else. I’ve been a songwriter for CBS (now Sony), a producer for Columbia Records (also now Sony), and the president of two different music production companies. In the course of doing what I did for them, I realized that I was scoring to images, so I decided to use this skill to score films. So far I’ve scored 11 films and a few TV shows.
I am a huge fan of Little Richard, and I was bowled over to actually meet him. I had already met a few others of my idols (Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Bob Dylan for starters) but not The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. It was kind of refreshing to drool unashamedly on his coat sleeve. And he seemed to be OK with it.
I’ve been published in The Southampton Review, and my fiction is also in Inertia, and Sexandmurder.
At left, an ad from Cashbox, 1968. I’m the dweeb in the center of the back row. The man to the extreme left of that row is Chip Taylor, who cowrote Wild Thing, and is John Voight’s brother (and therefore Angelena Jolie’s uncle).
With a journalism degree at San Diego State University, I have worked as a freelance journalist and editor-in-chief of a regional Southern California magazine. Now I concentrate on writing short stories, my first love. I admire the Wyoming stories of Annie Proulx, the exquisite simplicity of Sandra Cisneros in The House on Mango Street, and the striking intelligence and insight of Joan Didion. I have had stories published in Wilderness House Literary Review, Foundling Review, The Write Room, Waypoints, Deadly Writers Patrol, and more.