In the Garden Writers’ Workshop Saturday March 10th!

We are having the next In the Garden Writers’ Workshop this Saturday, March 10th, from 2:00-3:45 pm.

The topic will be prose: flash fiction and flash nonfiction/memoir. Bring your notebooks and pens and come prepared to write!


Alvar Library

913 Alvar St.

New Orleans. LA 70117


Each workshop is different and you may attend as many sessions as you would like. This event is free and open to the public.

Light refreshments will be served.


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The Paradise Tropical Spa Deli Gift Shop and Candy Store!

Image result for palm trees


Bridgeport, CT East Side, 1970

“Signs on the Wall and on the Door of the Paradise Tropical Spa, Deli, Gift Shop and Candy Store Owned by Marvin and Madge”

Only 3 children allowed in the store at a time

All children must place both hands on their heads while walking around the store, to prevent shoplifting and breakage

Children are not allowed in store during school hours

No talking or laughing

No eating candy or drinking soda in the store

Throw all trash in the trash can or I will throw you out!

The Deli and Gift shop half of the store is for adults only. No children allowed. This means you.

No talking back. If I had kids I would not allow such fresh talk.

All shoplifters will be arrested, convicted and sent to prison.

If you steal I will never FORGIVE and I will never FORGET

CASH ONLY!  No credit.  No favors.  Don’t ask.

If you BREAK something in the Gift Shop you just BOUGHT it.

If you want to READ a newspaper or a magazine you must BUY it first. This is NOT a public library.

Do NOT tie your dog up in front of the store. If you do I will call Animal Control.


If you are doing laundry at the Lots-o-Suds Laundromat next door, you are welcome to come into the Spa as long as you BUY something. You can’t come in and sit at the counter without SPENDING ANY MONEY. The same goes for those waiting for the bus. ALL YOU HAVE TO BUY IS A COKE OR A COFFEE OR A PACK OF GUM.  I AM NOT ASKING MUCH. JUST SOME COMMON COURTESY.

Do not put your gum under the counter or stools in the deli. Throw it in the trash.

No change given for Laundromat.

No change given for bus.

No change given for pay phone.

You can’t use the pay phone anyway, it is a BUSINESS phone.

MEN: You are hereby warned not to try to pick up women at the Paradise Tropical Spa.

No baby strollers allowed in the store.


MOTHERS: It is your job to watch your children, not mine. REMEMBER: SPANKING IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN, IT BUILDS CHARACTER.


No swearing allowed in the Spa. Kids who swear will get their mouths washed out with SOAP.  Adults who swear will be told to SHUT UP OR LEAVE.

Kids and Teens: no fighting in front of the store. Your parents will be called!

No drinking alcohol. That includes Beer. This means you. There’s a bar across the street. Go drink there.

If you smoke cigarettes, put your BUTT in the ashtray or I will kick your BUTT out the door!

Do not panhandle in front of the store or the police will be called!

No gambling, card playing, shooting dice in front of the store.


No shopping at Tony’s Deli down the street. He is my MORTAL ENEMY. If I catch you shopping there you are BANNED FOR LIFE from the Paradise Tropical Spa.


Do NOT bring outside food or drinks into the  Deli and EXPECT TO SIT AT THE LUNCH COUNTER AND NOT BUY ANYTHING.

NO REFUNDS on anything, including Money Orders.

Do NOT hand out religious tracts or pamphlets in front of the Tropical Spa. There are several churches down the street.  Go there and hand them out.


We’re Closed all week due to illness.

The Paradise Tropical Spa is Open again.


Back to School Special! Free pencils to first 20 law-abiding children. Must be quiet, respectful, and well-behaved.

Remember! The Paradise Tropical Spa, Deli, Gift Shop and Candy Store is Truly a Paradise for PAYING customers to Enjoy. Air-Conditioned in the Summer and Heated in the Winter. No Thieves, Freeloaders or Unsavory Characters will be Tolerated.


Wipe your feet on the Welcome Matt. Do Not track mud into Paradise.

KIDS: IF I catch you stealing candy bars, I will call the Police first, your Mother second. Then I will call your GRANDMA.

KIDS: No spilling Coca-Cola. ADULTS: No spilling Coffee.


Closed for next two weeks due to illness.

The Paradise Tropical Spa is Open again!


If you have a birthday party, it wouldn’t hurt you to bring me a piece of Chocolate Cake.

No sitting in your car out front listening to the radio. This is not allowed!

LADIES: Do NOT hang around the Tropical Spa flirting with men. This is a FAMILY establishment and loose women will not be tolerated.

I DO NOT take messages for Gino’s Hardware Store down the block. If he’s not there, it’s not my problem.

No whining or complaining allowed, except by the owners.


For the first time ever, the Paradise Tropical Spa will give out candy this Halloween to trick-or-treaters. First Come, First Served. DO NOT LEAVE CANDY WRAPPERS ON THE GROUND. THERE IS A TRASH CAN IN FRONT OF THE SPA.


If you STEAL, you are causing me to LOSE profits, If I LOSE profits the prices will go UP and UP and UP.


All thieves, losers, drunks, whiners, loud talkers, loud laughers are BANNED for LIFE from the Spa. This is a LOSS for YOU not ME.


We will be closed Thursday and Friday due to funeral services.

 The Paradise Tropical Spa, Deli, Gift Shop and Candy Store will Re-Open tomorrow. My dear husband Marvin is gone, but I am still here to run the Spa and enforce the rules. I missed all of my devoted and well-behaved customers. I didn’t miss those who were BANNED for not following the RULES. It’s their fault they  were kicked out of Paradise! Your proprietor,  Madge

PS: Stop by and have a hot cup of java with me!




Copyright © 2018 by Sara Jacobelli








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Case #3509745 has been published in Postcard Shorts!

My flash fiction piece Case #3509745 has been published on Postcard Shorts! You can read it here:

Postcard Shorts features flash fiction and flash nonfiction/memoir short enough to fit on a postcard. (Approximately 250 words or less).  I have quite a few stories published on this site. You can search the index by author and by title. You’ll find a wide variety of stories here: from general literature to science fiction, mystery, memoir and humor. You might want to write and submit a story of your own.


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Why Do You Want to Work Here? Writing Micro-Memoir

The Writer online magazine had a Micro-Memoir contest a while back. The idea was to write a 200 word memoir inspired by an object that holds meaning for you. I was too late to enter the contest, but I wrote one anyway. You might want to try this writing exercise. The article was written by Beth Ann Fennelly, who was inspired by a workshop on writing short fiction taught by Leslie Jamison. You can read about it here:

The object I chose to write about? A job application. The old fashioned paper kind, not the ones you fill out online. And I made mine a combo of fiction/nonfiction, so it’s not exactly a memoir.

Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Copyright ©  2018 by Sara Jacobelli

I filled out my first job application when I was nine. Mom brought home two, in case I messed up the first one.

“Mr. Cappizotto grabbed me in the elevator today.” She lit a Lucky Strike.

“Ole Onion Breath.  You gonna tell Poppy?”

“Jake’ll kill him and go to prison.” She opened the refrigerator and stared at the scant contents. “Grab a can of tuna and the opener. Fill this out. For the dry cleaners.”

The application reminded me of a giant blinking eye. Who are you? Are you good enough to work here? Name, phone number, address. “What job did you have before Levitt’s Store?”

“Waitress. White’s Diner.” She opened the can, slopped tuna in a bowl.

I completed the application, using that Big Imagination everyone said I had. She got the job. A few weeks later Poppy got fired from the restaurant for punching a customer. He brought me a stack of applications and I filled them out, ignoring my homework, listening to the radio. My brother Nicky handed me his application for a cashier’s job at Food Fair. I made them all sound like glowing job prospects.  I learned the power of the written word.




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Rafael with the Green Eyes

This flash fiction piece was inspired by a writing prompt from the online journal, Typishly. Start your story with the first sentence, “She lived in a dented silver trailer.”

And, it’s freezing here in New Orleans, I watched a Law and Order SVU Baby it’s Cold Outside Marathon, and I’m procrastinating on some of my other writing projects. 

Check out Typishly, you might want to try some of their writing prompts:

Fiction Copyright © 2017 by Sara Jacobelli

Rafael with the Green Eyes

She lived in a dented silver trailer. Mom found the trailer for rent in the classifieds section of the free weekly paper. Insisted Bernice move in. The rent was cheap; Bernice’s SSI checks would cover the rent and utilities. Food stamps would take care of groceries. I paid her cable and internet bill. Figured the TV and computer would calm her down.  Mom was happy with her cats and her shaggy dog and her library books and her volunteer work and didn’t want Bernice living with her. Bernice with her temper. Her odd ways. Smoking and staring at the wall.

It was my sisterly duty to visit once a week, bring her Chinese for lunch. Bernice never liked going to restaurants, rooms full of people made her nervous.

She had the TV on with the sound off and sat typing furiously on her laptop. She was wearing her purple bathrobe.  I plopped the cartons of food on the cluttered kitchen table.

“You hungry?”

She lit a cigarette. “I gotta finish this. He answered my tweet.”

“Who? What?”

“Rafael. From the TV show. The one with the green eyes.”

“Bernice. You do know those famous people don’t answer their own tweets? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all that crap. They pay people to do that. Secretaries or college students, interns. They don’t answer the five million tweets they get from lovesick fans.” I rooted around in the kitchen, looking for clean plates. “You taking your meds?”

She kept typing. “Not true. He answered me. I think I’ll visit him.” She stopped typing and took a deep breath. She closed her eyes. She was counting.  One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. Some trick one of her counselors taught her.

“Just fucking eat something. Do you want the chopsticks or the fork?”

She stubbed out her cigarette, grabbed a dirty fork from the sink and ate her Kung Pao Shrimp straight from the carton.  “I’m going to Los Angeles. To meet him, in person. We have.” She closed her eyes for a few seconds. “We have a connection.”

“Right. A connection with some guy on TV, who’s playing a CHARACTER, he’s ACTING. You’re going to LA with no money—to stalk some poor fucking guy. And get arrested. Remember the LAST TIME you thought you had a fucking connection with someone?”

She grabbed the remote and turned the sound on. “You have to go now. The Law and Order marathon is starting.

“That’s the guy? The one who plays the DA?”

“His name’s Rafael.” Bernice closed her eyes. Counting again. “He answered my tweet. We. Have. A. Connection.”

“Yeah. Sure.”

She opened her eyes, ran her fingers through her hair. She still had that thick shiny red hair, red with natural blonde highlights. When we were kids, she was the pretty one. The smart one. The best speller. The best singer. The best swimmer. The fastest runner. I used to kneel by my bed at night, praying that one day, everyone would like me more than Bernice. When we started high school she changed. Something happened.

I touched her hair. I was the only one who could still touch her. “I don’t think you should go to Los Angeles. I think you should leave this man alone. This man has his own life. Just leave him alone. OK? Bernie? Agreed?”

“I’ll talk to you during the commercial.”

“I gotta admit. He’s kinda cute.”

“Isn’t he? That voice. And those eyes. Those green eyes.”




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Big Ruby’s Gasoline Heaven


My short story, “Big Ruby’s Gasoline Heaven” has been published in Scarlet Leaf Review, an online literary magazine based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Check it out, leave a comment.

Go to www,, Select January 2018, Select Short Stories,

Select Sara Jacobelli





Photo Credit: Pixabay Copyright-free images. “Motel,” by pacoruiz64.

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Carolyn Levy Book Talk and Peter Cooley Poetry Workshop!

Local author Carolyn Levy will read from and discuss her mystery novel, “Regina,” set in 1980s uptown New Orleans. Bill Lavender from Lavender Ink will introduce Ms. Levy.

Where? Alvar Library

913 Alvar St. New Orleans, LA 70117


When? Thursday, January 11th, 6:00-7:30 pm


Dr. Peter Cooley, Professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University, and the 2015 Poet Laureate of Louisiana, will teach poetry writing at the next “In the Garden Writing Workshop.”

Where? Alvar Library

913 Alvar St. New Orleans, LA 70117


When? Saturday, January 13th, 2:00-3:45 pm

Both events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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Filed under Literature, New Orleans, poetry