Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Think 1995...recall Def Jam Recordings...bring vocalist Montell Jordan to mind.  He rocked the hip hop world with his anthem of good times....34,379,000 plus views on YouTube to date.  Two decades later...we step in!

aaduna's publisher, bill berry, jr., (who loved that song back in the day and still does,) along with Lisa Brennan, aaduna's visual arts editor and administrator, took time off from prepping the forthcoming issue. 

To do what, you may ask?

Well, they did it by coming up with the menu; prepping, and then cooking dinner for Auburn,
NY's residential homeless men at their place of safety, http://www.chapelhouseshelter.org/, for two dining sessions this past Sunday.  It was their Thanksgiving gift in honor of Leonard...our brother, colleague, friend, associate, guiding light, and manifestation of aaduna's spirit of inclusion, equity, support, and community.   
The menu?

Mixed Salad Greens, scrapped half-moon cucumber, grape tomatoes with assorted dressings

Cuban Creole Leg of Chicken with lime wedge and orange slice/parsley garnish
Roasted Cubed Potatoes
Sauteed String Beans with toasted almond slivers
Spiced Carrots
Cranberry Sauce

Bread Pudding, Ice Cream
Assorted soft drinks

After taking Monday as a day of rest (sort of,) and doing individual personal chores, they are back to doing what Leonard would want...getting the next issue prepped and ready to launch as soon as possible.

We suspect that there are people in your residential community and frame of reference that can use and would welcome your unselfish support.  Give it.  Our former submissions manager, in spirit, will embrace and savor your efforts ...your gift of time...a part of who you are.

Go 'head...

Do it the way that you want to!

We did!

Happy Thanksgiving ~

Bill and Lisa

 Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks ! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

a different shade of grey...aaduna style

Hedy M. Gray (photo provided)

Hedy M. Gray does not bring meaningless hype or artificial suspense to her storytelling.  She does imbibe "One Blue Mitten" with subtle nuances, imagery, and her own shades of Gray.  Here is the opening to Hedy's story that will appear in the forthcoming issue of aaduna:  

The old lady breathed an unseen deep, heavy sigh. She was resigned to her fate. The monitor levels shot up a bit, then settled back down. There were no other signs of life except the dull monotonous hum of the pumps. There was no one there to see her except the bright eyes of the monitors.
            Oh no, she thought. Here they come again. Why can't they just leave me alone? I'm tired, so tired... it's been so long... too long. I wish I were a bird, then I would flap my wings and just fly away. Nothing's any good any more. But sometimes I remember when it was good. I remember...  sensations... tastes... feelings... Sometimes I dream of  just a cool drink of water going down my throat... the feel... Or I wish for a piece of bread... a cracker. I can almost feel it crossing my tongue... melting in my mouth. Ummmmm... I almost remember the taste... the feel... the smell... almost.
            But it's been a long time now. They think I'm blind but, I see and I don't even have to look. I can feel the room slowly begin to lighten or darken. There are so many shades of darkness and light and I am familiar with each and every one of them. There are many different sounds of silence, too and I've heard them all.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

And then there were de Leon and Mason, Turner, Ikins and Thompson...ready and waiting

Kathryn de Leon (photo provided)

Kathryn de Leon’s
work nuanced with captivating and lasting images. Here is a teaser from her poem, “ACROSS THE BORDER (My uncle lived on a ranch in Northern Mexico)

We called it simply...

"across the border.”

Another world,
No plumbing
Just a large porcelain bowl,
A bar of Ivory soap
Floating in warm water
That clouded to thick white,
My sister and I new princesses
Bathing in milk.

No electricity
Just oil lanterns
That made us evil,
Painted us huge and black
On the walls
Of the cold bedroom.

Janet Mason (photo provided)

Janet Mason
found her way to aaduna's pathway by weaving words and cascading them into an endearing story. Here is the opening from her story, "The Mother" as a snippet to tease you:

(sometime early in the first century)

In the beginning was the Mother.
            In the womb, Tamar took mental notes. The heavens trembled -- at least it felt like the heavens. Maybe it was just gas. The Mother shifted. At first, it was too dark to see. But Tamar could feel. At first it felt like chaos -- like everything was unconnected. But then she felt something holding her. A curved wall. She was leaning into it. It was soft and warm. She felt her backbone curve behind her. She was half of a circle. Was she floating? There was a chord attached to her belly. She relaxed once she realized that she wouldn't float away.
            There were appendages coming out from her shoulders. She looked down below the chord. On the lower part of her body there was a small bump and on either side of that were two more appendages. There was liquid all around her. She felt warm and safe. She didn't have to worry yet about breathing.

Raymond Nat Turner (photo credit:  Debra St John)

Raymond Nat Turner “spits” words the way a be-bop musician produces staccato, interweaving notes and musical phrases that prompts audience excitement.  From his poem “Fire From My Mother,” here is a tease:
Fire spirit…
Fire heart…
Fire breath…
Breathing in,
Nostrils flared,
Out, lips pursed,
Hearing echoes of you
I am never alone
You are here when
I’m breathing fire,
From this world,
Never alone, breathing
Fire from my belly
Infused with embers
Of your eyes, hearth of
Your heart, umbilical cord
Connecting us once like deep
Sea diver to oxygen tank,
Sunlight to life, vitamin D


Rachael Z. Ikins (photo provided)

Rachael Z. Ikins brings a caring spirit to things that she does in life and that sensitivity is manifested in her creative work. Here is a glimpse from her story, “Cellphone:”   

I was hungry, had a headache, but my girlfriend ordered only a pitcher of vodka lemonade.  She joked with the bartender and whipped out her wad of cash to tip him lavishly.  “Thank you, sweetie!” he trilled.  She slammed the pitcher onto the table.
            Warm evening air vibrated with competing bass beats of bands, car stereos, and an occasional boom-box balanced on a skateboarder’s shoulders.  I could pick out at least three lyrics of current Madonna songs.  I snapped some pictures with my cell phone camera.  It was Columbus Day weekend.  Darkness fell early.  Crowds of mostly guys flowed up and down the streets, feet sporting every kind of foot gear from black leather biker boots to Nikes and purple Reeboks, to stiletto heels crunching in drifts of autumn leaves.  Skaters wove in and out of pedestrians.  We had arrived in the famous Boys Town gay district of Chicago.  Though I had looked forward to this trip for 6 months, I was uneasy, borne along like a single lonely leaf…

Michael Thompson (photo provided)

Michael Thompson places you in an ambiance of experience that is enriching and telling.  Here is the opening to his short story, “YOM KIPPUR:”

When Khalid al-Mahound is finished speaking, Will Adamson stands with the rest of the congregation, swept up by their waves of applause.  The Prophet’s speech ends with them shouting to a deep roll from the organ and the rattle of tambourines; his vow of wrath and days of rage brings down the house.  Behind him, the First Zion Baptist Choir launches into an old worship hymn of praise.  Their pastor, eyes shining, rises from her velvet seat and falls into his embrace.  Other preachers and politicians press forward to shake his hand.  Adamson can’t help but wonder at the moment, when the community’s chief priests all hail the lord and savior of the New World Nation of Islam.  They gather round his bully pulpit, men of Caesar and men of God, the men of the proverbial cloth.
             The rally’s over, and the people stream out of the church, and into the afternoon air.  An exhalation of high mid-September heat greets them as they leave.  Adamson, already marinated in sweat, now roasts miserably in his skin.  A low wind blows like the bellows from a furnace, but the believers pay no mind.  They float light as lambs into the dragon’s consuming breath.  The Prophet’s fiery tongue has touched their souls.  “He said some things that needed to be said,” exclaims a thin grim woman in a glittering gold dress.  A man in a T-shirt marked with a scarlet X swears that the truth he’s heard this day was “righteous.”
             “You see,” says D’Angelo Shaitan, as he walks along with Adamson.  “The Messenger lifted up his voice, and the people heard.”

Want more? 

The next issue of aaduna is being prepared as we move through this year's “Indian Summer.”  The issue is on its way. 

We are currently communicating with our contributors; making sure what we do is what they want; dotting "i's" and looping "e's;" proofing, coding, uploading…trying to make Keith Leonard smile as his spirit wanders wherever he sees fit to travel to….He is trying his best to get on our last nerve with his "out of this world" humor and quips; trying to make us not take our task too serioulsy because he says that life has too many options to explore and discover. We are trying to get him to continue on his journey so we can buckle down to the task at hand, which is to get our readership the next powerful issue of aaduna.  Some of our folks say, "let's kick this pig."  And no offense is intended to animal rights folks or hog farmers or anyone else. 

rest assured, we do plan to "kick it!"


Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks ! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Indian Summer and aaduna? When, Where, Why…

While there are several interpretations about the designation “Indian Summer,” there are legitimate indications that Native Americans in the United States started to observe this “season” within a season.  Without a doubt, there has to be a variety of weather conditions that must exist to apply this term.  Some folks say it started on November 2, while others suggest that it can not start until November 11 and end by November 20th.  We say, “Regardless….”

Well, when our former esteemed colleague Keith Leonard talked about having a summer/fall issue, little did we know (at that time) that he was wistfully itching for an issue that would be launched during “Indian Summer.”  Now that we exist with his ever present spirit, maybe he knew something that we did not.  Anyway…

Here are a few more snippets from aaduna’s summer/fall 2015 contributors for you to savor and look forward to:

Bruce Ellis Alford, (photo provided)
Bruce Ellis Alford’s offers an excerpt of an unique poem cycle entitled, “Alford’s Devotional and Guide to Poetry.”

815. The Project encourages you to write. Kids still play with baseballs. Someone teaches them how to throw the doors open. This poem steps out. Hungry

816. Children lingered in line outside an old building where youth ministry workers handed out Kool-Aid in Styrofoam cups and Oatmeal cookies wrapped in paper napkins.

Hallie Hayes (photo provided)
Hallie Hayes creates poetry of intrigue and wonderment.  Check this out:  (excerpt)

The lilacs slip into their whitewashed gowns tinged grey
in soot from the hard-fought wind, in May they dash
to the ball
                                    in their odor of ardor,

            come around again.

Christina R. Leal (photo provided)
Christina R. Leal’s fiction, “Come Home” is a story that you will not put down.  (excerpt)

Chris, you have a telephone call. I’m going to transfer,” the receptionist muttered over the intercom. I quickly made my way through the rows of endless desks, trying hard not to stumble on the colorful backpacks sprawled out on the floor, and looking over my shoulder at the innocent faces waiting patiently to be enlightened. One girl stood out amongst the rest with her bouncy, golden locks. Her ivory, smooth skin and red lips gave her the appearance of a beautiful, porcelain doll, rather than that of a middle-school student.

“Come home. Come home now. Don’t-don’t go anywhere…something has happened, and I need you to come home,” he whispered in such a low voice I could barely make out the words.

“Huh? What do you mean? What do you mean leave work? Is this a joke?”  I responded, startled.  “I’m about to start ‘A Retrieved Reformation’ with the kids.”

“Christina, come home. They’ll allow you to go if you tell them an emergency came up. They’ll allow you to leave,” he whispered. “I have to talk to you. Something-something…has happened, and I need you to come home. I need you here. I am home already…come home.”

Mario Duarte (photo provided)
Mario Duarte’s fiction, “The Western Exposure is Always Brightest in the Final Hours before the Sunset” is a reminder of what the creative mind can bring to us everyday. (excerpt)

Dear Lino, I know we haven’t talked in a long time but I have something to tell you.  No, everything is fine, but I’ve been busy. Let me tell you what I’ve been doing—the herculean labors this old woman of yours has endured.

     It all began with the rain. Yes, rain. It rained like it hasn’t rain in decades around here and more than I’ve ever seen. Yeah, I agree, global warming. Anyway, the rain began with one long thunderous crack, erupting like a tear in the fabric of the sky, a rip that cast down million and millions of fat rain drops.

    It rained without end. It began after the first red streaks of light on the horizon while I was feeding the chickens and didn’t end, I think, until long after I crawled into bed. Let me tell you it’s hard to fall asleep when it rains and thunders that much. The whole day was dark, and windy and the rain blew into my eyes when every step I took when I stepped outside to gather some eggs. A bad feeling descended over me, one I couldn’t shake for anything.

Jim Keane (photo provided)
Jim Keane’s opens his short story with a degree of suspense: (excerpt)

The nightmares were back.  They never really left.  Frank awoke breathing heavily.  His shirt was drenched as if he had just run a marathon.  Frank's wife Sarah awoke rubbing her eyes.

            "Did you have the same dream again?"  said Sarah.
            "Yes, I was close this time.  I could have saved him."  said Frank.
            "You have to stop punishing yourself.  It's not your fault."
            "If I was there I could have done something to stop it.  I am sure of it."
            "There is nothing you can do now.  It is time to get ready for the reunion." 
            Frank's Mother would always arrive last to the Pilgrim family reunion.

          Frank Pilgrim was enjoying his retirement.  After working several years with Horizon Communications, he received his gold watch and pension.  He and his wife Sarah had saved over the years to buy a house on the Hudson River.  This house would become their legacy house, a house they could pass on to their children and their children's children.  Where had the time gone? Frank thought.

            The Pilgrim Family Reunion happened every summer.  No matter what was going on with all the family members they found a way to make it back to Frank and Sarah's home.  Everyone would make a long weekend out of it.  Frank had everything he needed.  Almost.  There was something missing.  There was something looming and he knew it. 

The next aaduna issue is being prepped. We are psyched!


Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks ! 


Friday, November 6, 2015

We interrupt your life with an important announcement...


Literary's Writers Conference. New York City.

LWC}NYC is a program of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses [clmp] with The National Book Foundation, The New School Graduate Writing Program, Poets & Writers, The Association of Authors' Representatives and with support from Amazon Literary Partnerships.

NOVEMBER 12-13, 2015 } A two-day conference for fiction, poetry, and creative-nonfiction writers learning how to maneuver in the marketplace. Meet writers, editors, agents, publicists and publishers.

All conference events will be held at The New School, 63-5th Avenue, unless otherwise noted.

Register now—space is limited!

Price includes two working lunches and two one-on-one meetings with literary agents. Registration is capped at 100, so book soon to hold your spot! If you have questions, please email info@clmp.org

Thursday November 12


§ QUERY LETTER CLINIC A 10:30-11:45am

Jody Kahn, MacKenzie Fraser-Bub, Regina Ryan

§ QUERY LETTER CLINIC B 10:30-11:45am

Carrie Howland, Bibi Lewis, Gina Maccoby

§ LITERARY AGENTS 101 12:00-1:15pm

Rob McQuilkin, Stephen Barbara, Renee Zuckerbrot, Anna Stein


Katie Raissian, Minna Proctor, Lena Valencia




Alexandra Kleeman w/ editors Cal Morgan and Barry Harbaugh

Friday November 13


Erin Harris, Renee Zuckerbrot


Lucas Hunt, Diana Finch


Laura Biagi, Jaida Temperl

§ CASE STUDY OF A NOVEL 11:45-1:15pm

Tiphanie Yanique w/ Katie Freeman


with poet and publisher: Martha Rhodes and Gregory Pardlo

§ CASE STUDY OF A MEMOIR 11:45-1:15pm

Rob Spillman w/ Bill Clegg


Caroline Crumpacker, Jeffrey Lependorf, Bonnie Marcus

§ MAKING A LIVING 4:15-5:15pm

Alexander Chee, Kevin Nguyen, Michele Filgate

Program subject to change.

FEATURING } Jody Kahn (Brandt & Hochman). Kent D. Wolf (Lippincott Massie McQuilkin). Sarah Levitt (Zoë Pagnamenta Agency). Nicole Tourtelot (Kuhn Projects). Lisa Grubka (Fletcher and Co). Claire Anderson-Wheeler (Regal Hoffmann & Associates). Harvey Klinger (Harvey Klinger, Inc). Carrie Howland (Donadio & Olson, Inc). Julia Lord (Juliar Lord Literary). Sarah Yake (Frances Collin Literary Agency). Mackenzie Brady (New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.). MacKenzie Fraser-Bub (Trident). Bibi Lewis (The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency). Mary South (Lowenstein Associates). Barbara Lowenstein (Lowenstein Associates). Erin Harris (Folio Literary Mgmt). Regina Ryan (Regina Ryan Publishing Engterprise). Adam Schear (DeFiore & Co) Lucas Hunt (Orchard Literary). Laura Biagi (Jean V. Naggar Lit Agency). Renée Zuckerbrot (Renée Zuckerbrot Literary Agency LLC). And more!

The many presenters include: National Book Award shortlisted writer Angela Flournoy (The Turner House) in conversation with Harold Augenbraum (National Book Foundation); Alexandra Kleeman (You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine) with editors Cal Morgan (Harper Perennial) and Barry Harbaugh (Little A); Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning) and her publicist Katie Freeman (Riverhead Books); Rob Spillman (All Tomorrow's Parties); Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo with his editor Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books); arts administrators, writers, and marketing/PR professionals from Amazon, Tin House, A Public Space, The Literary Review, the Millay Colony, Poets & Writers, Stonecutter Journal, and elsewhere; over 25 agents from the Association of Authors' Representatives; and a host of editors, publishers, and authors eager to discuss the business of being a writer.

Press from LWC}NYC:
"Have Writing Degree, Will Travel," by Molly McQuade, Poetry Foundation
"The Business of the Book," The Virginia Quarterly Review

Visit us on Tumblr!

Recommendations for economical hotel accommodations:
"10 New York Hotels for Under $250 a Night," The New York Times
"Best Hotels at $150 or Less," New York Magazine

Check out what last year's LWC had to offer.

For more information: email info@clmp.org

Friday, October 30, 2015

On the cusp of discovery…pushing the door open even wider.

The initial hesitancy and anxiety has given way to curiosity and wanting to know more.  New contributors…new work…new opportunities to re-imagine what you thought was intriguing…we will offer nutritious brain food...soon enough…these are samples from the tasting menu!

Here are snippets from additional summer/fall 2015 contributors:

Jacqueline Henry Hill’s excerpt from “Detour” goes straight to your soul,

another errand,
same instructions.
go straight there. don’t stop. don’t talk to nobody.
stay away from those boys.  come right back.
a dripping sticky moistness attacks  her hairline,
dark visage,  patent leather-shiny and dewy damp.
an adventuresome spirit whispers a daring detour,
safety secured by villagers, seen and unseen.

Dean Hathout’s opening lines from “Walking Past my Dignity

To their cars and shops, to the flower mart
They hurriedly scurry along
While I sleep on the streets, next to my cart
In places they say I don’t belong
They pretend not to see me, an inconvenient truth
To them, I am just a bum, unkempt and uncouth.

Gladys Barbieri’s opening to her story, “Spa-cation”

Funny farm, the loony bin, and the nut house, are common terms used to describe a place or an institution, remotely removed from civilization, full of people who have literally lost their shit.  But it’s a completely different story when one of your own is living this nightmare, wearing a wristband, stamped with a medical number, and a cop watching her every move.

The text read: IT’S CHAR - URGENT! My gut immediately told me that Violet was in trouble. She had a mean case of the reds and I knew she had done the unthinkable. I called Char and told her to call Violet’s mom.  Char, pulled over on the side of the road in Van Nuys, screamed hysterically, “I already did and Magda’s clueless.” Her voice was muffled against the traffic raging by. “Said I was exaggerating. Hello, she emailed me a suicide letter….

Geoffrey D. Holman returns to aaduna with new work…Here is a sample of his provocative style:

"Baltimore on Fire," Geoffrey D. Holman (c) 2015


Robert Bharda (Ward) joins our community of visual artists with his exhibition.  Here is one piece to savor until the next issue is launched:

"Tidepool," Robert Bharda (Ward), (c) 2015


Our new issue is working it's ways towards you.  No doubt!   

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Is this the Season of the Witch?

Once you peek through the door or window, and see something that tantalizes your spirit, the expected reaction is to push open that access point a little more…to see more…hear more….

Here is that opportunity from the forthcoming issue of aaduna.


Nancy A. Jackson’s “Train Trip”…an opening snippet:

The train ride wasn’t fun, like Mama promised.
Instead it was hot and dark and smelled like sewer
Stuff when the basement flooded and sludge reeked in the house.
We cried for food until no more tears would come
And Mama tried to feed me from her breast,
But fear had ravaged even that most pivotal of meals.

Jennifer Singleton’s excerpt from “Never Again/Is Such a Long Time (The First Break-up)”

Never again, again and never
It seems such a long path now:
I follow it down to the water’s edge
Picking my way across the rocks and
Debris that collected
In the wild flowers that grow there
Die one day, live on the next/die the next day

Tiffany L. Fuentes travels our mindset with this excerpt from her story, “Something Mean”

Adam wiped a water droplet from Mina’s forearm.  The East river was high and misting their bench in the breeze.  It was July 6, 2006.  Cars riding the FDR hummed above as they sat quietly.  Yesterday’s downpour had washed away most of the gun powder party junk from Fourth of July and left the river high.  Explosive scraps of what used to be colorful fireworks were now saturated and stuck to plastic containers and other garbage.  Stuff spilled out of the city’s rusty metal bins to join the current that raced for sewers, but in a city like New York, puddles stretch across intersections before they make it underground.  Mina slipped her foot from her sandal and moved it closer to Adam.  She was always doing things like this, his side of the bed, bench, it didn’t matter.

Todd Foster’s visual images will enchant and bring you to a different place in time:

Barn, drawn from memory, Todd Foster (c) 2015

We are gearing up to bring you our next issue...your patience is a blessing to us at this moment in time.

The upcoming summer/fall 2015 issue is soon to be launched... Get ready!