Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Here I am, new intern. Be gentle.

The first thing I want to post about is something I've been damn-near obsessed with for the past few weeks:

HOUSEFIRE, an extended "sort of a sister-cousin site" of METAZEN "that focuses on writers making writers write" begins their run with a flash fiction prompt collection from writers such as Riley Michael Parker and Frank Hinton (Brother and Mother Superior), Caitlin Laura Galway, Ryan W. Bradley, and our very own Mike Young—and that’s barely scraping the list.

I had fallen heels over head with the project before even realizing Mike had written something for it. Flash fiction prompts are an old favorite, and see a huge group of writers pooling their talents for the cause… why, it warms my cold, cold heart.

The initial prompt is “first time,” which has the danger of falling flat in the less talented of hands, but is already off the charts with momentum of anything but. The only kind of danger here is good kind of danger. Wander with your imagination and take a walk. The topics are ranging far and farer in between, some opting to choose the obvious route of that awkward virginity-stealing occasion (or, just losing it on vacation and hoping it would turn up somewhere) where some choose the less likely fat, white worm using an earlobe as a home forever and ever.

Want some prison whoring? Need to be torn in two, down through the mattress to forget every loss? Dying for an old man of indiscriminate accent? Better yet, would you like to fall in love with a mirror girl? Of course you do, I didn’t ask these questions to take up space.

You know where I’m going with this.

HOUSEFIRE releases two or three stories a day. Satisfying the craving but enough to keep you wanting more. How many more can the internet handle? I say stuff it with more and more until it bursts. Continue on that walk with your imagination, stop and let it sniff.

If you haven’t already found this collection and devoured it, go to allthingsburn.tumblr.com to get your fix. When you’re done with that, actually eat something. You’re starving.

HOUSEFIRE is also working on a nifty, tentatively titled TWO-FIFTY, limited edition chapbook that needs the support on Facebook in order to be come a reality—as real as the ity can get, so go like the page so you can get your hands on some goodness. Jump on the book of faces and like the HOUSEFIRE page for the awesome to occur.

Meet Alicia LaRosa, new intern!

Alicia is the new NOÖ Journal/Magic Helicopter Press intern. She is a student at UMass-Amherst and very enthusiastic. She sometimes has blue in her hair, but she is not a blue person. Besides doing behind-the-scenes stuff, you'll see Alicia here on the blog keeping things active: interviewing NOÖ contributors, reviewing books, highlighting cool stuff from other literary journals, and running sweet contests. Get to know!

Hi, Alicia! Where did you grow up? Do you remember any strange characters from your hometown?

Well, hello! I grew up in Hyde Park, Massachusetts—which is a part of Boston. For those who are unaware that Boston is made up of small towns, you just learned something new! Strange characters, strange characters… besides those I share blood ties with, there are always odd individuals wandering the streets of my neighborhood. I was too lost in my own mind to notice.

What are some of your favorite books?

Topic-wise, I eat interpersonal relationships, dysfunctional or not, up. Favorites include Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I encourage life-changing recommendations.

When did you first learn that abstract squiggles could make words that made people feel real things?

When I felt things. I then wanted to create those squiggly things in order to feel even more things.

What is your favorite meal?

There are memories of meals that have left impressions. While one will never be duplicated, one other can hope to be obtained. In Rome, on a corner of Campo de’ Fiori, there is a small panini shop that’s open until the middle of the night. On hot ciabatta bread with fresh mozzarella, mortadella, and lettuce… it’s a drunkard’s wobbly wet dream.

You speak multiple languages. When I was learning Spanish in high school, we all thought it was funny that the Spanish word for "pregnant" sounded like "embarrassed." I guess these things are called "false friends." What are some of the most interesting/funny things you've discovered in the process of learning different languages?

False friends get me, as well. Like how the word ‘bimbo’ means ‘poor’ in Japanese but ‘baby’ in Italian. Another favorite is Engrish—Google it and lose the rest of your day/night. Lastly, the aspect of each language I’ve dabbled in that has impacted my life—astronomically—is the music. There is so much out there past what you hear in English.