Our first story transports us to Lake Sunapee on a summer afternoon. Sounds peaceful enough, right? Except, once there, we find the narrator and his brother plotting over how to bait a porcupine (read: wild turkey hunter). The afternoon of googling best practices for said task leads to an examination of fear and how similar we actually are to our furry, or spiky, friends.

Today’s podcast is a #throwbackthursday to 2015 and our inaugural show at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s summer MFA creative writing residency. Read for us here by his story partner Becky Fine-Firesheets, give a listen to “Ascension” written by Cory Johnston.

We are thrilled to share that Cory’s story was recently published by the Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review.

Click here to read along.

Stargazing Storytellers

Right: Cory Johnston; Left: Becky Fine-Firesheets

Switching it up, our second tale considers a different type of stargazing in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A not-so-glam neighborhood is overrun with Boardwalk Empire and Girls extras, leading our narrator to dream of how her messy, poop-dancing, newly adopted boxer Bear could become a dog legend. As nostalgia for a neighborhood not to return increases alongside her rent, she strives for happiness in spite of the big city working against its own residents.

Cory Johnston reads “A Bear is Born” written by Becky Fine-Firesheets.

Happy Birthday to Becky!! As well as a big congratulations for being awarded a 2020-2021 Pen Parentis fellowship for her story, “2021.”

“Ascension” and “A Bear is Born” were directed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons.