Quote of the Week

Anita Brookner

Accountability in friendship is the equivalent of love without a strategy.

{Anita Brookner}

Follow Me On
The Girl in the Silver Mask

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The Woman in White Marble

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The Oystercatcher Girl

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Chickens Eat Pasta

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The Darkest Side of the Moon

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Dis-Ease: Living with Prostate Cancer

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The Fragile Thread of Hope

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Crawling Through Thorns

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Psalms Redux

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Alien Love

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Notes from 39,000 Feet

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The House With The Lilac Shutters

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Greener on the Other Side

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Freefall into Us

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{Click Backshadow or visit Books in the main menu}


            Welcome to The Back Road Café


Kalaymyo-Tahan, MyanmarThe Back Road Café is for people who like to write and like to read. In cafés around the world individuals sit over coffee thinking, reading, writing and watching the day go by. Groups of people converse, debate, laugh and set the world to rights. The Back Road Café is a place where people can think, write and converse.

This virtual café is where I share some of my own thoughts and work. Café Talk is my personal blog. Books is where you can find descriptions of books I and others have published. In Nonfiction and Fiction I will include a wide range of my and other people's writing.

The Back Road Café is not, however, just for me. In The Back Road Journal you are invited to submit your own work to share with others. If you are interested click Guidelines in The Back Road Journal to your left. Or, if you have a blog you would like to link to this site let me know in Contact in the main menu. In Back Road Blogs there are pictures and descriptions of other bloggers and their links. The site also features regular postings you will find in the Left Sidebar.

On Tuesday of each week I will post new material so read What's New below to see what the week offers.

The Back Road Café is unapologetically liberal and progressive.

Dale Rominger  

                                 What's New


Dale Rominger

From June 1985 to June 1986 I lived in Castle Carrock, a small village in Cumbria, Great Britain. In the Duke of Cumberland pub, across the street from the cottage I was renting, I met David Bean, novelist, playwright, historian, film maker, and all around decent human being. Amazingly after all these years I often think of our temporary friendship. So in Café Talk this week it’s David Bean ~ Remembering an Author.

{To go directly to Café Talk click here.}


Deborah Streeter

Deborah Streeter continues her writings about ocean novels, this week The Storm by Frederick Buechner. Deborah writes: “The Storm takes place on a small island, Plantation Island off Florida’s Atlantic coast, a wealthy community owned and ruled by the eccentric Miss Sickert.  The title is sort of like Chekhov’s gun; you don’t name a novel The Storm unless you plan to bring in a big old storm before we are through.” So read about storms, islands, characters, and sea changes.

{To go directly to I Must Go Down to the Sea Again click here.}



Our friend Chris Smedbakken is back with our special creative storytelling. The story is called Nobody Quits, which is poignant and mysterious. I suspect you will want to read it more than a couple of times.

To go directly to Nobody Quits, click here.

I encourage you to visit Chris’s website by clicking here. There you will find more of Chris’s stories, as well as poetry and audio stories that I think are great. Do have a look.


Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas has been with The Back Road Café for a while now and has posted two short stories: Curmudgeon for a Day and The Human Condition is on Television. Both are innovative and enjoyable stories (to read Matt’s stories click here). 

This week I’m pleased to offer a first look at Matt’s soon to be released novel, Cold Civil War, about a 28-year-old James Edwards is disillusioned with his life, who sets out on a journey that not only changes his life, but has profound implications for America.

To read the first two chapters of Cold Civil War, click here.



Virginia Soenksen

I’m excited to welcome Virginia Soenksen to The Back Road Café. Virginia is an art historian and associate director of a museum, she also writes about Japanese textiles. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley, and enjoys finding inspiration through travel. She is also an author and this week we are featuring her book The Titan Strain. One reviewer wrote: “A steadily captivating read not just for sci-fi-

fantasy fans, but for any reader who is down with a post-apocalyptic-set story, complete with advanced genetic mutations, a corrupt government, and a dash of love & betrayal.” The Titan Strain is the first book in Virginia's Genetic Chronicles.

To learn more about The Titan Strain click here.



Pete Robertson

We welcome back Pete Robertson this week. He sends us a new poem entitled, Song of Regretful Sorrow. Pete has had a varied and full life. He served in the US military in South Korea near the Korean DMZ. He served in Hawaii rising to the rank of Major. After the military he completed an MBA and worked in banks in Detroit and Seattle. And somewhere along the way he started writing poetry. Scroll down from Song of Regretful Sorrow and you can read several other poems by Pete.

To go directly to Song of Regretful Sorrow click here.


 Patricia Crandall Patricia Crandall is back with a new story, Not Suitable Viewing for Children. The story begins: "“Study this photo, class, and tell me what you see,” instructed Lewis Golden, a math teacher at the Marin Middle School in Carmen, New York. Lew held up a picture of a tortured, dismembered body. The seventh graders squealed with delight..." Things only get better from there. 

Patricia has  published numerous articles and short stories in various magazines and newspapers. She has five books in print, Melrose, Then and Now, a historical volume, I Passed This Way, a poetry collection, The Dog Men, a thriller, Tales of an Upstate New York Bottle Miner, non-fiction, and Pat’s Collectibles, a collection of short stories. She lives with her husband, Art at Babcock Lake in the Grafton Mountains near Petersburgh, New York.

To go directly to Not Sutable Viewing for Children click here.

Liz ButcherI’m excited to welcome Liz Butcher to The Back Road Café. Liz has just published a book entitle After Dark: What's waiting for you in the shadows? Ghosts, curses and creatures of the dark, these stories take you on a journey from the secret whisperings of the trees, to the torments of the subconscious mind.

Liz lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, daughter, and two cats, Pandora and Zeus. While writing is her passion, her numerous interests include history, astronomy, the paranormal, mythology, reading, art, knitting and music. Liz has published a number of short stories in anthologies and After Dark is her first solo project.

To learn more about After Dark, including a short excerpt, click here.


Our feature book this week is Chickens Eat Pasta, the love affair between Clare Pedrick and an old, Umbrian ruin she bought on a whim that started a new life in Central Italy. But the book is not just another romance, but a story of escapism, coincidences, friendship, luck. Clare Clare Pedrick is a British journalist who studied Italian at Cambridge University before becoming a reporter.  She went on to work as the Rome correspondent for the Washington Post and as European Editor of an international features agency. She still lives in Italy with her husband, whom she met in the village where she bought her house.

To learn more abouat Chickes Eat Pasta click here.


Gabrielle Barnby

Our good friend Gabrielle Barnby is back! We know Gabrielle from her short stories—Orkney ~ from  Spring to Summer, Gift, Listener, and Jeopardy. We’ve also feature her books The House with Lilac Shutters and The Oystercatcher Girl. But this week Gabrielle sends us seasonal gift in the form of a poem entitled The Maker. Do have a look.

{To go directly to Gabrielle's poem and her short stories click here. And be sure to visit her website by clicking here.}




                      Short Fiction at the Café

  {All Short Fiction can be found in Fiction in the main Menu.}


Kata MlekOrdinary Life by Kata Mlek
What does it mean to always want an ordinary life?



Lionel NtasanoRecipe for an Escape by Lionel Ntasano


The death of a father leads a young man on a journey of identity and the discovery of a new home.



Gabrielle BarnbyJeopardy by Gabrielle Barnby.

Two couples meet at the train station on a hot Australian day. Liza and Delia board a train for Sydney and through conversations and memories things change forever.





E.J. WillisA Short Tale from Falyncia: Refugees by E.J. Willis 


A story of fantasy, sword fights, kingdoms to conquer, a strong heroine, and protagonists you can love and antagonists to hate.


M.P McVeyThe Dark, Troubled Ground by M.P McVey.


There certainly is a strange sort of magic in Tucker, Ohio. It seeps out of the grass and flowers, traveling through the trees and the two rivers that trap this small town; a supernatural air of mystery. 


 TDale Romingerhe Poetry of Being Human by Dale Rominger

Love, political strife, and the power of language in a story of two people meeting and falling in love in a the hothouse that was Central America in the mid 1980’s.

 Martha Goes to Paris by Dale Rominger

 A satirical look at George W. Bush’s America. Over dinner Martha tells George she wants to visit Paris with her friend Peggy. Things will never be the same for either of them.    


                                        In the Archives



Roberta RomingerWhatever Next? by Roberta Rominger's. Roberta shares book reviews and thoughts concerning contemporary church life in the U.S. and beyond.

The link to Whatever Next? is located in the left sidebar or to go directly to the page click here.


James Lawer

Writings by James Lawer includes Jim's poetry and essays. 

All the links to James' writing are located in the left sidebar. Or to go directly to his poetry click here, his essays click here. 

Also, click here to visit James' website Earth-Centered Healing and Spirituality in New York City.


Kevin Brown 


A Dialogue with Dietrich: In Search of Church by Kevin Brown.

All links to A Dialogue are located in the left sidebar, or to go directly to Kevin's essay click here.


Gayle Madison

Soul Desire by Gayle Madison is a collection of reflections on love and the sacred nature of ordinary experience.


All links to Soul Desire are in the left sidebar, but to access the reflections directly click here.


Phil Nevard

Little Things Please Little Minds by Phil Nevard. A motorcycle pilgrimage through Northern Ireland with a helmet cam, a camera and a notebook.

All links to Little Things Please Little Minds  are in the left sidebar, but to go directly Phil's blog and photos click here.





Kalaymyo-Tahan, Myanmar