Laura is likened to Raymond Carver


Gabe Meline of the Bohemian just reviewed The Ice Cream Vendor's Song 


Brevity is the soul of flash fiction, and to do it well, one must have a concept and execute it with no wasted words. Far too often, logorrhea remains hard to restrain for most authors. Conversely, 'The Ice Cream Vendor's Song' (Wordforest; $8.95) benefits from Sonoma County author Laura McHale Holland's compact vision. In stories as short as four sentences, she's able to convey a full picture, or at least enough of the full picture for readers to want desperately to fill in the details on their own. There's a subtle Raymond Carver streak running beneath Holland's stories, and a story like "Still There," in which a man is telling a woman he's had enough, appears to veer into "Little Things" territory from the start. Holland is smarter than that, though, and the twist that comes five paragraphs later is entirely unexpected. Those who enjoy short reads with plenty of imagery and context left the imagination will want to seek out this collection.—G.M.

Launch party for The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song

The launch party for The Ice Cream Vendor's Song, Laura McHale Holland's first collection of flash fiction, will be:

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, 2 to 4 p.m. at Linda and Harry Reid's studio, 1734 E. Cotati Ave., Penngrove, CA 94951.


It's located almost directly across the street from the entrance to Sonoma State University. The driveway is paved and lined with roses, as well as two orange saw-horses. The studio is the first building on the left.


  • Park across the street at SSU and walk across to house.

  • Or park behind 7Eleven/McDonald’s – one block up on same side of street.

  • Parking on the street is not allowed by city.

  • You can drop off someone at our drive and go park.

Coming from South on freeway:

This gets you off the freeway faster in case you’re going nuts with traffic!

  • Turn off Freeway at Penngrove/Old Hwy 101; go thru tiny Penngrove.

  • Stay on Petaluma Hill Rd for 2 miles.

  • Turn left onto E Cotati Ave.

  • Pass (barely) entrance to SSU, studio is on left at 1734.


Coming from North on freeway:

  • Take Cotati turnoff.

  • Turn left and go under freeway, then right into town of Cotati.

  • Turn left onto East Cotati Ave.

  • Look for 7Eleven on right side – slow down.

  • Studio is 2nd driveway after 7 Eleven.

  • Park across street at SSU or behind 7Eleven in lot.

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