I'm in 15 Views of Miami, edited by Jaquira Diaz (Burrow Press, 2014)
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Welcome to the Whimsical Project

Welcome to the Whimsical Project, the art and literary blog of expat writer Michèle-Jessica (M.J.) Fièvre.  M.J. writes from Miami (Florida), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia). “Your blog is a mitzvah. Thanks for inviting me to play.” Matthew Sharpe, author of The Sleeping Father. Here’s to help you navigate through the different categories in this…

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Majadito: Bolivia’s Treasure

El “Majadito” is one of the most famous dishes of Bolivia. It comes from the eastern side of the country, from the very heart of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. This dish was created during the pre-Columbian era when people mostly depended on meat, cassava, plantains, rice, and other grains. The word “majau” means smashed meat;…

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Laura McDermott: Scenes from the Rearview Mirror

_______________ 1. Barreling through the Everglades on the 85 mile stretch of two lane highway linking civilization to civilization a land bridge of asphalt, you, Lover, appear there beside me, bumming off a ride. For the loveliest words I wished you’d say are the words I have not said. This flat road stretches like the…

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The Florida Book Review gets a new home!

Update your bookmarks! The Florida Book Review is currently moving into its new site, at FloridaBookReview.net. Founded by Lynne Barrett and Susan Jo Parsons, The Florida Book Review features reviews of books with Florida settings or subjects, as well as interviews and essays about Florida’s literary scene. Editor Lynne Barrett was one of my mentors at Florida International University. She…

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A Canadian Thanksgiving, by Daniela Lara Serna

The United States isn’t the only country in the world where people celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are five others: Canada, Liberia, (one town in) the Netherlands, Grenada, and the Australian territory of the Norfolk Island. According to Zack Beauchamp, “Canadian Thanksgiving is about the 1578 voyage of Arthur Frobisher, a British explorer who threw a meal…

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A Classic with a Twist, by Milena Gigliotti

Apple pie is a regular guest at Thanksgiving parties across the U.S. In Bolivia, this dessert is not as popular, but those who enjoy it wish it were available in more coffee shops and bakeries. My cousin-in-law, Eliana, is the creator of one of the best apple pies I have tasted in Santa Cruz. These…

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Nobody go run me, an interview with Joanne C. Hillhouse

I had a little chat with Antiguan and Barbudan author, Joanne C. Hillhouse. We talked about her exciting new book, Musical Youth, and a little bit about Joanne’s own journey. Joanne’s writing has been described as “honest,” “real,” “poetic,” and “lyrical.” Her culture is at the heart of her writing: “Obvious is the ‘writer’s ear’…

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Writing in Non-Traditional Settings: Exchange for Change!

After 4 months in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, teaching Writing to a group of dynamic students, it’s time to say good bye. I’m looking forward to returning to Miami because I’m going to work as a writing instructor for the nonprofit Exchange for Change, recently started by South Florida writer Kathie Klarreich. Echange for Change, which is…

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Miami Vs. Orlando

Mark your calendar, Miami: Thursday, November 20, at 6:00pm As Orlando-based Burrow Press expands its 15 Views Anthology Series to the 305, come celebrate the release of 15 Views of Miami with a head-to-head, bracket-style reading that pits Miami and Orlando writers against one another in a veritable inkbath of words. This free event is located…

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I would be an excellent X-rated film critic (Anyone hiring?)

This Q&A with M.J. Fievre is part of  Badass, Lip Service: True Stories, The Double Album, edited by Andrea Askowitz. Click here to buy the book. Don’t miss the launch of the story collection on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Miami Book Fair International. Corner of NE 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue.…

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Dariel Suarez in Search of Genuine Thought and Emotion

Dariel Suarez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He lived there until 1997, when he immigrated to the United States. He’s the author of the chapbook In the Land of Tropical Martyrs, upcoming from Backbone Press. It is available for pre-order until November 20th. You should get it. Writer Michael Hettich notes, “Though In the Land…

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Badass chicks

Sarah Klein and Andrea Askowitz were pimping Badass last night, telling people about our debut at the Miami Book Fair International. At The Swamp, Wed. November 19, 7 p.m. Corner of NE 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue. The show they were on is called Only in Miami Show. I’m proud to have a story included in this…

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15 Views of Miami

Edited by Jaquira Diaz and published by Burrow Press, 15 Views of Miami is a literary portrait of the Magic City told in fifteen loosely linked stories by fifteen Miami authors. Sprawling from Hialeah to Homestead, from Wynwood to Stiltsville, these stories cover a range of cultures, languages and lives, reflecting the diversity and drama…

I'm BADASS (Lominy Books, 2014), edited by Andrea Askowitz

What a Badass!

In honor of its eight-year-anniversary, Lip Service is launching Badass, Lip Service: True Stories, the Double Album (Lominy Books, 2014) edited by Andrea Askowitz.  This anthology is a collection of some of the best of Lip Service’s first eight years. Lip Service is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation award-winning organization and a Miami institution. “We are a night…

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Santa Cruz de la Sierra: Where the Saints are Canonized

I’ve fallen in love with the craft of his writing. His ability to get into the head of his characters and stay glued there, is impeccable. I found myself going back to the same chapters—as if these narratives were musical compositions that one could never tire of. I’m about to meet a great man—a man…

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Saving April

April shows me her cuts. Small razor cuts spread on her arm. She’s managed to shape some of them like stick houses—triangles atop squares. Others are words—fuck them. Several of the wounds are still fresh. I want to run the tip of my finger on them, ease the pain, but several years of training stop…

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Haitian Recipe: Blanc-manger coco

I made a delicious blanc-manger coco when Mother visited for Christmas last year, and I thought I’d share the recipe. I learned to make the dessert in Port-au-Prince, but it’s also very popular in other French Caribbean countries such as Guadeloupe and Martinique. You will need: One (1) tsp pure vanilla extract One (1) 12 oz…

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Nayeli Fanfan: The Art of Being a Diva

Modern chic. Sophisticated classic. Fashion model Nayeli Fanfan is a total babe! Born and raised in Port-au-Price, Haiti, Nayeli started modeling in her teens. She was crowned Miss Inter-College in 2000, Miss Florida in 2003, and also won First Place at the Miss Haiti International pageant in Paris, France, in 2004. She is now the…