Winter 2022-23 Issue #23
Excerpt from Bernard Meisler’s hilarious neo-noir satire novel, There’s Never Been a Better Time to
Buy Die. “Meisler hits Marin County’s quirky nails smack in the head with his hard-boiled real estate agent’s noir-cynicism.”—Mill Valley Literary Review.
“Mad Men Revisited.” J.Macon King’s essay explores the cast and careers of one of the best television shows ever. “Why was Jon Hamm, the nonchalantly magnetic Don Draper, never cast as James Bond? Or Cary Grant?”
With Every Step I Take 2, a collection of poetry and prose by Avotcja, well-loved Bay Area Bay Area icon Poet/Playwright/Multi-Percussionist/Photographer/Teacher Avotcja. Review by Poetry Editor Jeff Kaliss.
Note: beginning in February 2023, we are retiring our long-time “issue format” and will be publishing a new story, poem or other work about every 4-8 weeks. Please bookmark us and check back regularly for more literary treasures and treats. If you like the variety we’ve brought you for 10 years, keep us going—SUBSCRIBE or DONATE NOW. And writers, Submissions are now open.
Coming Attractions—Profile of Scottish-Irish poet Cáit O’Neill McCullagh, award-winning lyrical and visionary Scottish Highlands writer.
Cover photo: Lake Tahoe, Incline Village, by Nick King.
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Previous 10th Anniversary Issue. Choice quality words since 2012.
Summer Issue #22 is jam-packed with features and writers. Who? Who? Take a peek:
Reflections Ten Years After
Foreword from Mill Valley Literary Review’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, J.Macon King
This magazine’s ten-year-journey began innocently enough, with my wife Perry, at our weekly Friday night “Martini Talk.” I had been baptized into the classic cocktail (try to visualize that) by the legendary, Bruno at his San Francisco’s “Persian Aub Zam Zam” bar, and spoiled by the best, prefer to shake my own (2nd best) at home.
Relaxing on our horsehair-stuffed corbeille (inherited from a writer), surrounded by numerous pets and appetizers, we hold our “Martini Talk.” There, we brainstorm creative (enthusiastically naïve) ideas. After forgetting to remember the big money-makers and Midas touches, Perry started taking notes, and later recording ideas. Ideas like climbing the Golden Gate Bridge, starting our own tech, marketing, and fitness businesses, figuring out a way to spend time at Skywalker Ranch, becoming leaders of our community improvement club, reviving a dormant community theatre and producing shows, publishing a novel, and hosting monthly meditation gatherings. (BTW, these all somehow happened. However, note that I am not a life coach so cannot legally prescribe martinis for brainstorms.)
That fabled night, during our second martini (where the fun begins), I conjectured, “It would be great to publish a literary review.” And Perry, always positive (to a fault?), murmured, “A lovely idea. How soon?”
Thus, within a couple of weeks, in May, 2012, the Mill Valley Literary Review was born. Our 22nd issue is now released, which makes the average 2.2 issues per annum or .00580 issues per diem.
Our literary mission:
1. Support and encourage writers. The key premise that makes MillValleyLit unique —proactively encourage writers by soliciting memoirs and stories that might otherwise not be written or printed. (Plus include the occasional photographer or artist.)
2. Interview both well-known and unsung writers, and persons of interest. Like the Mill Valley Film Festival, we have presented works from all over the world.
3. Make it colorful, quirky, fun, and different from the traditional dry, pictureless, colorless print review\journal. (Yes, because of this, we were issued a few warning tickets by the Literary Police.)
4. Keep production costs minimal while making widely accessible (hence one of the first e-zines with zero paper), with minimal advertising, by donations, voluntary subscriptions, and sponsorships. We would appreciate it if you would contribute or subscribe now.
With early support from local businesses — Famous4 fashion store (Larry the Hat), Book Passage, Mill Valley Book Depot Café (thanks, former manager Ari Maslow), Throckmorton Theatre, and Paul Liberatore’s kickoff article in the Marin Independent Journal — we became, overnight, rich and famous in the cut-throat business of literary journals. Kidding.
We interviewed creative people from best-selling writers like T.C Boyle and Catherine Coulter, to exquisite little-known Irish poets and tattooing-godfather Lyle Tuttle. (Salon list here.) We “discovered” writers such as Susanna Solomon (well-versed with the local literary circuit who led my introductions), effervescent novelist Christie Nelson, and multi-talented Jeb Harrison, who would all become frequent contributors, as they continued thriving as imaginative and prolific authors. We created some poppin’ fresh covers for our home pages.
In celebrating this 10th Anniversary Issue we continue our mission by debuting diverse tales such as: a tourist discovers his family’s shocking past in the Death in Venice-esque “Salonica.”; the “Curious Yellow” high-life of a road less traveled in “I was a Teenage Runaway”; unsettling droll events on a European bicycle trip in “Spokes, Wheels, and Cranks”; a surprisingly sentimental story about a piece of wood in “The Pole”; and a writer’s illusions in “The Orange Peeler Meets Johnny Wadd.” And our Poetry Editor extraordinaire Jeff Kaliss presents two outstanding poets and their work.
Subscribers will note some style and posting transitions in this issue. What is next for the little Lit magazine that could? The game is afoot. Thanks for your readership and please support our ongoing mission by contributing or subscribing now.
Previous Issue Winter 2021-22 #21 below:
Perry King & Biscuit with “Frosta”, MT Rose, NV.
Our Salon Interview plus poems: Poet Lisa Delan from Jeff Kaliss.
“The Literary Agent Who Lived the Plot of My Novel”:
memoir by Jeb Harrison.
Rabbits and more: Book reviews by Nick King.
“I Was a Teenage Runaway: Haight-Ashbury 1968″. Teaser HIGH light reel of memoir by Carol Green coming in June issue.
Like what we do? Please support writers and help keep MillValleyLit ad-free. Donate at this PayPal link: PayPal.Me/yeslpk or with Venmo: perry-king-5. Subscription info here.
MillValleyLit promotes the work of emerging writers, interviews well-known authors and should-be-known personalities, reviews books, and reports on the literary scene. MillValleyLit has hosted events and salons and been featured in numerous publications such as San Francisco Magazine, Marin Magazine, Marin Independent Journal, Pacific Sun, The Bohemian, and Marinscope newspapers.