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Family Guy

by Michele Leone

As the windy two-lane road rises past the brick wall fortifications obscuring celebrity mansions, Jeff Hobbs’ nostrils fill with the hint of crisp mountain air. His mind wanders. He imagines meandering through shady oak and sycamore trees, and arriving at the summit — the sprawling city of Los Angeles below, the sun glinting off the Pacific Ocean, and the solitude, mainly the solitude.

“Are we there yet?” squeaks Lucy, his 5-year-old.

His intense green eyes widen and focus on the road as it steepens, twists and narrows to one lane.

On Summoning the Gods

by Adrian O’Hanlon III

What civilians might consider unorthodox or bizarre or flat out superstitious makes perfect sense to narrative writers. From Balzac, who was known to consume up to 50 cups of coffee a day, to Maya Angelou, who wrote anonymously in hotel rooms, to John Cheever, who composed mostly in his underwear, writers engage daily in a wild assortment of compulsive behaviors to access their muse, to get right with their creativity, and — dare we say it — to break through their writer’s block.

The Book Doctor Is In

by Kathy Floyd

Colin Harrison grabs the brown butcher paper covering the table at his usual dining spot in midtown Manhattan’s Café Un Deux Trois, and roughs out rows of boxes. He’s not doodling or passing time while waiting for his food at the French bistro. He’s drawing a chronological chart of the principal characters and events for his lunch partner, Jan Jarboe Russell, who is hung up on structural issues in writing her book about German, Japanese and Italian families interned in South Texas during World War II.