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Roadside Fiction Issue Four Online Now

Article by Vanessa O'Loughlin ©.
Posted in .
Roadside Fiction is an Irish online magazine of stories and photographs, which seeks to publish new writing that exudes action, movement, progression and realism.  The journal is edited by John Campbell, who also writes short stories and blogs as John P Brady at: http://johnpbrady.com/
Issue Four of Roadside Fiction contains 8 new stories and 5 pages of interesting photography.  Writers and photographers from Ireland, Italy, England, USA, and India are all featured.
John explains, “In the first story of Roadside Fiction Issue Four, “Carphone, 1992,” Orla McAlinden provides the inner workings of the mind of Rory, a spiteful, young Irish emigrant living in California.  The accurate, often sarcastic descriptions of rural Irish life and farming life in particular, stopped me in my tracks – it reeked of authenticity.  Here are two sentences which illustrate this:

 “His taciturn father, walking ahead on the dung-spattered path behind the dairy cows; damp soaking through the shoulders of his jacket and dripping, chilly, inside his boots.”

 “Neighbour men would be finding their way around the unfamiliar milking machine, things would go amiss, the cows always suffered from the ministration of strangers. “

I was very surprised to see that Orla had only recently begun writing as she seems to have already carved out a clear perfect style.

In “The Bullfight,” Brian Kirk describes events within an unhealthy relationship, where one member of the duo, perhaps out of meanness, perhaps out of a desire to end things, is cold and cruelly ambiguous in dealings with the other.  There is a sense of immobilisation and helplessness presented which is touching.  The writing seems to begin in the epicentre of an enflamed domestic situation where emotions are already running high.

Niall Foley’s story, “Hibernian 1 Hearts 5,” concerns the dynamics of socialising in one’s thirties or forties with the added complications of a spouse and perhaps children.  It discusses the meetings with uninteresting acquaintances of one’s spouse and the redundant conversations which must be endured.  There is also the backdrop of responsibility, something which is uncomfortably borne.”

More about the authors

Orla McAlinden is a new writer, approaching middle age and taking stock of life.  Born in Northern Ireland at the height of the ‘Troubles’, she moved, alone, to Dublin aged eighteen.  There she witnessed the unexpected birth, short, dazzling life and sudden, horrifying demise of the Celtic Tiger.  She lives in Kildare with her husband and four young children.  Having now spent more than half her life in the Republic of Ireland, she admits to being still a Northern girl at heart, with all the complications and contradictions that entails.  Her work is deeply rooted in that beautiful, difficult place.

She has no experience, or training, in writing, but words started to pour out after the recent death of her father.  Her short memoir, “The Jarvey and the GI’s” appeared in The Chatahoochee Review’s special Irish Literature edition in Jan 2013.   She submits to the Mining Memories section of www.writing.ie   A short memoir “Control zone”, an abridged extract from her unpublished book “Union Jacks and Rosary Beads.  Growing up Catholic in Portadown.” won second prize in the Valhalla Press short prose competition and another, “Drumming our way to the future” will be included as highly commended in this year’s Fish anthology.  She believes that Northern Ireland’s story of conflict and gradual, on-going resolution has universal import and appeal.  She tweets at @orlamcawrites

Brian Kirk is a writer and poet from Dublin. He has been shortlisted for various awards in recent years including Hennessy Awards in 2008 and 2011. His stories and poems have appeared in the Sunday Tribune, Southword, Abridged, The Burning Bush, Long Story Short Literary Journal, The Stony Thursday Book, Crannóg, Revival, Boyne Berries, Wordlegs, Cancan, Bare Hands Poetry, Shot Glass Journal, The First Cut and various anthologies. He blogs at http://briankirkwriter.com/.

Niall Foley has been harnessed as a barman, labourer, clerk, lecturer and journalist – and several other functions. He currently lives in Edinburgh, and is happiest when unshackled and alone in a room with a desk, some paper, and a pencil.   His website is http://foleywriter.com/

Johanna C. Leahy has provided a range of photos for this issue – she is Irish but has lived almost half her life overseas. The UK, US, Singapore, Philippines, Norway & Malaysia have all been temporary homes. Her short stories have appeared in Crannog and Boyne Berries. She writes health and lifestyle articles for magazines, is working on a novel and, in lieu of a mid-life crisis, has developed a passion for running. She tweets as @WriterNomad.

Issue Four is online now and can be read here:
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