17 minutes | Apr 4, 2017
CWO Episode 206: Bethlehem by Daniel Pope | Fiction (2017)
You have two choices: When life gives you a challenge, you can either wallow in self-pity or pick yourself up and get to work. Debt, divorce, death. Hitting rock bottom comes in many forms. But after losing everything, you realize that your attitude is all you ever had in the first place. And with that shift in perspective, you can start the slow climb up and out of that gravel-lined pit. "Bethlehem" touches on themes of family, parenting, and upholding traditions. With only two parental visits each month, dad really wants his two kids to sit on mall Santa's lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. But when his bratty son suddenly has to pee, dad is force to take him on a misadventure to the alley for quick relief. Told from the perspective of the frustrated, down-on-his-luck father, this story uses humor as a tool to discuss divorce. Daniel Pope is a writer and musician from Seattle, Washington. His work has been published in Loam Magazine. Hear his music at danielpope.bandcamp.com. Download "Bethlehem" Today!
9 minutes | Apr 3, 2017
CWO Episode 205: Poetry by James William Sinclair (2017)
Freedom is what you make it. Some people thrive on freedom. Others on routine, rules, and regulations. Like many things, freedom is found on a spectrum. From total imprison men and societal segregation on one end and border-less, oneness on the other. The poetry in today's episode touches on themes of nonconformity, violence, and illusion. James William Sinclair is a composer, writer and artist. Recent works include a recording & assemblage piece titled Shoah Songs Volume Two: From Theresienstadt that was acquired by The Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum, as well as a live score and re-edit of Kim Ki-Duk’s film Crocodile that debuted at the Cinefamily in 2016. He lives in Los Angeles. Decentralize the hierarchy. Dissolve all borders. Live for each moon. Visit JamesWilliamSinclair.com or follow him on Twitter @PotionLords. Download Today's New Episode Now!
14 minutes | Mar 27, 2017
CWO Episode 204: Short Stories by Lily Anne Harrison and Lana Tan | Fiction (2017)
Without our pasts, we are nothing. Our identities rely completely on the person we were yesterday. If we don't have that past, who are we? Only the youngest children can look at the world with non-judgement and see what it really is. As adults, we have to learn to let go of the things from our past that hold us back and prevent our progress. But this process of un-learning requires more wisdom than it seems. "The Yellow Room" and "Love Lightly" touch on themes of letting go, connection, and memory. When a recovering alcoholic finds herself stuck in a compromising position outside a bar, The Yellow Room, she must confront her past and choose the person she wants to become. "Love Lightly" is a poetic portrayal of two lovers dealing with slow-death of their life together. About the Authors Lily Anne Harrison is a fiction writer and actress living in Toluca Lake. The third of four born to actors Gregory Harrison and Randi Oaks, Lily grew up in Oregon. She performs her fiction around Los Angeles and hosts a reading series "The Blue Hour" at The Victory Theater to highlight the work of up-and-coming writers. Find her on Instagram @LilyAnneHarrison Lana Tan was born to be a bridge between worlds. She sees the unity, within the duality, and her life work is finding some way to communicate this wholeness in seeming opposites. She hopes to capture but a fragment of the wordless wonder in her so many words, and that the music of the stars can one day be sold on plastic key chains. Download Today's New Episode Now!
27 minutes | Mar 20, 2017
CWO Episode 203: Shortguns and Smartphones by Patrick Thomas | Fiction (2017)
We all use our phones too much, but where does usage creep into addiction? When we can't watch enough violent videos? Fights? When is enough enough? Unfortunately, we can't delete our memories as easily as we can a video file... At some point we all have to draw the line, especially when we're the ones behind the lens... "Shotguns and Smartphones" touches on themes of entertainment addiction, desensitization, and technology. Told from the perspective of Sam, a recently married young man, "Shotguns and Smartphones" takes place at a baby shower - or on the outskirts of one. Because Sam is one of only three men at the event, he and the mom-to-be's fiance take an ATV ride out into their abundant backwoods property. There they run into someone and things go horribly wrong, while Sam films everything from behind his smartphone... Patrick Kirk Thomas is a late-twenties author and copywriter out of Naples, Florida. He is currently at work writing and publishing multiple novels on Amazon. Download "Shotguns and Smartphones" Today!
22 minutes | Mar 14, 2017
CWO Episode 202: Running Shoes by Kenneth Kim | Fiction (2017)
When we try to squeeze into the molds others created for us, whether knowingly or unknowingly, we set ourselves up for a lifetime of misery and unhappiness. Only when we begin to try on the skin we were born with can we move forward and live life freely. "Running Shoes" touches on themes of acceptance, self-discovery, and change. Seamlessly told from the alternating viewpoint of Molly's 16-year-old and adult-self, "Running Shoes" explores the banality of life's defining moments. Molly envies her popular ex-best friend and yearns to be accepted by others at school. Eventually her anxiety breaks her. When she returns to daily life, she discovers herself a little bit during a chance encounter in the middle of a social obligation. Kenneth Kim is a writer currently residing in Los Angeles. His background includes an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. His acclaimed novel, The Superhero Memoirs, is a lyrical rumination on the mysteries of modern love, loss, remembrance, and regret. Download "Running Shoes" Today!
12 minutes | Mar 7, 2017
CWO Episode 201: The Fire Starter by Alexander Smith | Fiction (2017)
The season two premier, "The Fire Starter", follows a tormented boy who escapes the problems of his life through torching his plastic army men in his backyard. No one knows about his compulsion. Or so he thinks until the compromising details get leaked to a group of bullies... 77% of students are bullied...Sometimes victims can stand up to their bullies. Other times they are outnumbered and can't. And in the worst cases, victims resort to suicide or retaliate with a violent outburst ... In today's fiction selection, one bullying victim turns to an abnormal love of fire to deal with bullying. "The Fire Starter" touches on themes of bullying, loneliness, and compulsion. This piece is written by Alexander Smith, who has been featured on the podcast before, most recognized for his short story "The Perfect Man". Alexander Smith is a fiction writer and poet living in Providence, RI with his wife. His book of poetry, "For Poets Must Love" is available on Amazon. He works as a freelance copywriter. Follow him on Twitter @AlexanderWrites Download Episode 26 Today!
9 minutes | Dec 6, 2016
CWO Episode 26: The End by Nichole Hallberg | Fiction (2016)
Mental illness affects about 1 in 4 adults in America...Yet it is still an issue few discuss openly. It's certainly not common dinner table conversation material. Maybe it's because most mental illnesses seem invisible, only manifesting in our behaviors and thoughts. One author aims to reduce the stigma around mental illness In "The End", we enter the mind of a character suffering from the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. Nichole Hallberg has been secretly writing about her battle with mental illness for most of her life. And since she went public about it, she has used her writing as a tool to decrease the stigma around the common problem in America. One story at a time, it is working. Nichole Hallberg has published her work on TheMighty.com and on an international Bipolar website. She lives in Southern California with her fiancee and dog. She blogs at thatgirlinbklyn.wordpress.com. And you can follow her on Twitter @nickel_press Download Episode 26 Today!
11 minutes | Nov 29, 2016
CWO Episode 25: Poetry by Lord Bison and Alexander Smith (2016)
Discover poetry by Lord Bison and this podcast creator Alexander Smith. Love is complicated. In these poems, discover how sometimes we succeed and how sometimes we fail in our quest to win someone over. Lord Bison, a New York City writer and spoken word artist by way of the Bronx. Alexander Smith is the creator of this podcast and a poet and fiction writer living in Providence, RI. His work "Saving the Serenity" is forthcoming in Spring 2017 in Frequency Writers "City & Sea".
14 minutes | Nov 22, 2016
CWO Episode 24: Crazy Grandpa by Mark Tulin | Fiction (2016)
Hear a fond recollection of one "Crazy Grandpa", who lived life by his own rules. And while that won him a lot of enemies, especially his daughter-in-law and wife, it taught his grandson a valuable life lesson. Listen to Mark Tulin's new short story now! In this memoir-esque piece of fiction, we learn about a crazy grandfather through one grandson's fond recollections. From the outside, grandpa was one bad dude (he drank while driving, he cursed everyone out, and he didn't work). But Grandpa Ike's grandson saw the goodness in him and took it to heart. Listen to this energizing piece of fiction on the podcast today! Mark Tulin is a retired Family Therapist from Philadelphia who now lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife, Alice. He spends most days writing poetry, short stories and doing yoga on a standup paddleboard in the Pacific Ocean. He has published in the Santa Barbara Independent, Family Therapy Magazine,Smokebox.net, Fiction on the Web, Elephant Journal, Page and Spine and hubpages.com/@marktulin. His website is www.crowonthewire.com. Download Episode 24 Today!
18 minutes | Nov 15, 2016
CWO Episode 23: Poetry by Gary Beck - Veterans Day Episode (2016)
"War is the most dynamic cause of change, and I try to learn as much about it as possible," poet and author Gary Beck said. "Unfortunately, not a lot of it is admirable, twisted by history, politics, lies, etc. But it's oh so human, with all our grotesqueries from the heroic to the ridiculous." Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. A sampling of his poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) and Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City. Download Episode 23 Today!
25 minutes | Nov 1, 2016
CWO Episode 22: Not This Time by Scott D. Pomfret | Fiction (2016)
When one man feels chronically unappreciated at work, he plots ways to get revenge against his boss. But when presented with an opportunity to enact justice, will he? Will this scorned employee be able to bring his vengeful fantasies to life? Scott D. Pomfret is the author of The Second Half: A Gay American Football Story, The Hunger Man, and Only Say the Word, and dozens of short stories published in, among other venues, Post Road, New Orleans Review, Fiction International, and Fourteen Hills. Scott is lucky to be able to write from his tiny Boston apartment and even tinier Provincetown beach shack, which he shares with his partner of fifteen years, Scott Whittier. He is currently at work on a Know-Nothing Novel, a sequel to The Hunger Man set in antebellum New Orleans. Visit scottpomfret.com for more. Download and listen to this episode today!