Category Archives: journey


by Levi Andrew Noe

Most of my collected notebooks from age 7-27

It all started in kindergarten with my breakthrough story “The Bose Busbros,” (The Bossy Brothers).  It was my first typed draft of a semi-autobiographical tale. It chronicled a young boy whose elder brothers refused his right to hot chocolate and sent him to his room.

You could say I was always a writer. From the moment I learned how to shape words into somewhat cohesive sentences, I was telling tales, filling notebooks, and frustrating teachers with my illegible handwriting.

I haven’t deviated much from my hopes and dreams as a 9-year-old, as recorded in the notebook entry below left. Though experience has taught me those lovely lessons like cynicism, world-weariness, and the plight of the starving artist, my deepest hopes still place me as a would be “famous author.” I abandoned the visual arts, however, just after elementary school.

Middle school served to squash most of my passions and creative pursuits, as public school and puberty are so infamous for achieving. But in high school a new art form sowed its seeds in me: music. I was in a couple bands including pop punk, emo and/or hardcore, called Knester, Sell Out Boy, and A Call to Arms.  As arrhythmic and cacophonous as it was, in music the spark of artistic creation was again re-ignited and reimagined.

I was the bass player and backup screamer in A Call to Arms. We played house shows, dingy cafes and friends’ birthday parties. We were terrible, beyond offensively awful, but we played our angsty hearts out. Through music a new writing style emerged for me in the form of poetry. It was not my calling to play music, but music fuels, inspires, and moves me deeply, and I believe it permeates my writing to this day.

My college years came and I continued to grow, both as a writer and person. In those formative times I dove into academic writing right alongside dumpsters, beer bongs, and the bohemian lifestyle. Through it all, I found a deep affinity for every genre of writing. I graduated with a B.A. in English Writing and a minor in Holistic Health, but not before I took a semester off to hitchhike up and down the West Coast, sleep in bushes on the side of the road, and spend a few month at a yoga community in the redwoods of California.

It was those days, my wandering, unrestrained, wide-eyed early twenties in a perpetual existential crisis that formed the bedrock of who I am today, in my writing and in my personal philosophy. Post college, I continued in my voyage of discovery, but in a slightly more responsible way. I spent a summer in Ketchikan, Alaska working at a coffee shop, teaching yoga, picking berries, catching salmon and writing all the while. The jaw-dropping, infinitely astounding natural world is still probably the greatest muse for my writing.

In 2011, just after the great earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, I decided it was a good ideato go teach English there, just about 150 miles from Fukushima. Japan is a place so full of wonder and weirdness, tradition and contradiction. It certainly inspired a new era of writing for me. I began my first novel (still unfinished), as well as many pieces of every genre which I have placed into various manuscript collections (waiting for their time), and there I continued and deepened my love affair with haiku.

Following teaching in Japan, I took the long way home. I traveled through southern Japan, then flew to Bangkok, Thailand. By train, bus, van, boat, tuk-tuk, and motorbike, I made the loop through Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. I spent a few months in SE Asia and it was no big deal, just totally changed me forever and was one of the most important periods of time in my life thus far.  Then I spent 1 ½ months in India, got my yoga certification in Rishikesh, swam in the Ganges (the clean(er) part), and saw about one thousandth of what I wanted to see of the Himalayas. Needless to say, this period of my life carved its story through every aspect of my being.

But home’s call is always strongest, and always pulls at the heart the hardest. I returned to Denver, Colorado as a new, worldly-wise, battle hardened, adult(ish) person.  I came with goals, with plans, with a new perspective, and some sense of what I came here to do in this life.

Since 2013 I have started and liquidated four businesses and conceived of dozens of others, one is still currently running and semi-viable. This business is Tall Tales Yoga, the merging of my three greatest passions, teaching yoga to children through storytelling. In addition, I have self-published four children’s books, and had a couple dozen short stories, poems, articles, flash fiction, creative non-fiction pieces published. I started the podcast Rocky Mountain Revival as another merging of some of my greatest loves: literature, music, and podcasts. To top it off, I’ll be getting married in July to a woman who is as perfect as any creature on this earth can be.

Life has had its ups and downs, but through it all, writing has always been my salvation, my torment, my obsession, and the most constant of all my psychoses. So, now that I think about i. Life has been pretty good to me, though I don’t always feel that way or appreciate the opportunities and experiences I have been given. I still don’t feel like I’ve “made it,” whatever that means. But I’m blessed in my own relative ways. And whether or not I become a famous author, a wealthy entrepreneur, or a successful human being, at least I can say I’ve done some shit, and I’ve given it my damnedest. Thirty might feel like a long life subjectively, but I know what those elder and wiser than me would say: “You don’t know shit yet.”


Levi Andrew Noe was born and raised in Denver, CO. He is a writer, a yogi, an entrepreneur, and an amateur oneironaut. Levi won first prize in 2011 and 2013 in Spirit First’s international poetry competition. His most recent or forthcoming works are in Ink, Sweat & Tears, Connotation Press, Boston Literary Magazine, Crack the Spine, Eunoia Review, Scrutiny Journal, and many others. He is the editor in chief and founder of the podcast Rocky Mountain Revival, Audio Art Journal.
Twitter: @LeviAndrewNoe, @RockyMtnRevival


by April Bradley

The first piece of fiction I wrote was supposed to be in the range of 80,000 to 100,000 words, but I ended up with 218. I labored over those few words and loved how the careful attention to that moment opened up a world, but I had no idea what to do with it. Who’d publish such a small thing or read it the way I did? I’d never heard of flash, had little familiarity with short fiction or literary magazines, had no training or academic experience in creative writing, didn’t know any other writers. It felt like I had failed because I was supposed to be writing a novel. I abandoned that unintentional piece of flash on my hard drive. That was in 2007.

This was during my mid-thirties when I read even more than usual, feasted on fiction and craft after the house was asleep, or in parking lots of elementary and middle schools, at libraries, doctor offices, the town green, and I did not write. That half-decade hosted an inferno of events and living that converged into a calm focus by the time forty came around.

By the time I was 36, my son and I survived a high-risk pregnancy and birth; I left a graduate program and dropped out of law school; my career was derailed by multiple episodes of blood clots in my legs, lungs, and brain; my spouse and I divorced. I agreed to co-parent my child with my ex-spouse in the same home and to mother full time. I should have been writing. I wanted to write, but coaxing the words to line up into a coherent, immersive story with evocative, vivid characters seemed impossible. I wrote around story; I didn’t create it.

For years supportive friends and family encouraged me, saying things like just sit down and write, keep a journal, free write, take a class, find your tribe, write, write, write. Keep in mind that an intense life was plowing right along; the topic of my creative writing didn’t come up all that often. Peter, my son’s father, and my grandmother were the most persistent.

Peter, also a writer and narrative theorist, knew I’d have to work for it and thought I was wasting precious time; my grandmother was firmly in the sit-down-and-write-a-masterpiece camp. I had outlines, plot ideas, research, and character sketches that obtained a great deal of length, but no life, and certainly no sense of story.

Those years were vital for me to read and re-read and study, turn my thinking around from theory and criticism to creation. Finally, when I was nearly forty-two I started writing what would be my first—and first published—pair of short stories. They too started off first unintentionally as flash. I wrote a vivid moment, put it away and came back to it a couple of months later and developed it into a story of more length and arc. At that time, I had a vague idea about flash that at best could be described as “I think it’s short short fiction.”
I wrote at least sixty drafts of a story over a five-month period, pushing myself to learn with it, and length is difficult for me. My naiveté with literary journals became obvious. After Glimmer Train declined to publish it, I sent it to two others, one of which was Bartleby Snopes. They told me that I had two stories in play, neither of which resolved the conflict of the other. They were right. The two shorter, revised stories immediately found homes at Dew On The Kudzu and Thrice Fiction.

As I acquired more familiarity with literary magazines and worked for one, I gained more exposure to flash. Discovering flash was like discovering a genre no one had ever mentioned. It was more than a miniature short story. Imagine if fiction or poetry were suddenly revealed to exist—that’s how wonderful and dazzling flash was to me. Yet, it was also familiar.

Flash is the medium I gravitate to out of a creative instinct, but it is no less difficult an art form. It intrigues me as a creator and as a philosopher. Narrative time in flash is uniquely experienced and expressed, and this feature of flash is particularly compelling. There is a dissonance in how long it takes to read a piece of flash, how it is portrayed in time through physical space in story time, and how long time and emotion resonate with the reader. The various elements of flash each influence the way time is re-ordered internally and externally.

Flash is similar in some aspects to many familiar forms of narrative, but it owns itself. After I started writing and publishing longer form stories and gained more confidence in my writing, enough confidence to write spontaneously, experiment with structure and form, emotion and content—I wrote more and more flash. Then, I sought guidance and studied with some of the masters of the forms: Kathy Fish, Gay Degani, and Nancy Stohlman. My education is by no means over.

These days, I have more story than time. There are flash projects in the works; I belong to a fantastic writing group, and I have been working on a flash novel-in-progress that suspiciously resembles a novel. Besides writing, the best thing about flash is the vibrant community of writers who shape and create it.

I found that original piece of flash, rewrote it entirely, and it didn’t work at all. In its original form with a bit of refinement, I submitted it Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. They published and nominated it for a Best Of The Net Award.


April Bradley is from Goodlettsville, Tennessee and lives with her family on the Connecticut shoreline. Her work has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Flash FrontierHermeneutic Chaos Literary Magazine, Narratively, Pure Slush 5, and Thrice Fiction, among others. She is the Associate Editor for Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine and Press. Find her at