Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One of my on line editors writes this bit of encouragement.

How I deal with rejection/frustration:

I write.
I enjoy writing.
Anything that harshes that enjoyment gets punched in the face.

I'm quite a happy guy. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Maud Newton

Maud Newton

Narrative Magazine

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Short Story: Empire

They always sat together in the great room. They had their favorite characters, their favorite seating, and their favorite loose teas. Their seats faced the big, front window, and they had the view of the walk and the morning activity outside. “Look at that guy. Isn’t that Dave?” “That’s what we call him, but his real name is Greg.” Mark took another sip of tea, and pointed another character out to Mavis. “Look at that bozo. That’s Buckles. He was so full of Oxycodone the other day that his eyes were bouncing around in his head like two, black marbles.”

Mavis rearranged her legs on the old couch, and picked up her notebook. She scribbled a few lines, took a sip of tea, and ranted about The King. The King was an older guy that always sat by the door to the hall. He surrounded himself with a couple of the most beautiful of the women, and spoke softly to them as they leaned in to listen. He had a mane of flowing white hair, and a Bolivian sweater over his silk slacks. He commanded the room and the attention of the women, as he wove his stories and related his exploits and exotic treks around the world.

No one but Mavis and Mark knew the true background of The King. The King was a retired insurance man, that was well read and a fan of The Travel Channel. He spun stories he cobbled together from stories he read or travelogues he saw on cable television. Anyone that met him thought he was amazing and brilliant, not knowing the true source of his wondrous and spellbinding tales.

Neither Mavis nor Mark exposed The King, feeling sorry for him, and empathizing with him to such an extent – knowing that The King, his audience, Buckles, Dave and they, themselves, were all residents of the same sanitarium.

Pub. http://www.flash-fiction-world.com/empire.html 8 Jan., 2012

Two short pieces, revised

Mom brought me a cold drink. I had been under her car for a couple of hours on a hot day, and she wanted to check on me, since her only child was under a two-thousand pound automobile in the yard.

I made up my mind, and I was ready to tackle the inspection and rebuild of the automatic transmission in my Mom’s Mustang. I worked in a makeshift shop, connected to my old garage, and under a canopy-covered gravel driveway. Before I slid the heavy transmission from beneath the car, I pried the transmission loose from the engine’s flywheel.

As I jostled for position, a couple of quarts of warm transmission fluid ebbed from the transmission tail section as I rested it on my stomach and between my legs. I started laughing. She asked, “What’s so funny?” I said, “I think I know a little of what it’s like to have a baby.” She poked her head underneath the car to see my stomach and legs covered with the red fluid, and she laughed until she couldn’t get her breath. Mom and I had never been more close.

I had shared my own version of childbirth, but only the weight, sweat, and red fluid on my body. I felt as if I had accomplished something by working on a complicated mechanical device, and I had shared that fleeting, intimate connection with my mother. I felt like a man.


My friend’s birthday party spilled into the patio of his little cottage. A Willy Nelson record was playing, so I asked a woman to dance. I had poured myself enough wine to bolster my courage, make me light on my feet, and courageous enough to ask someone to slow dance to a Willy Nelson ballad.

We both laughed a lot and Janie and I danced for hours-several times to the same tune. Later, we found ourselves in her shiny, new, red BMW, playing kissy-face and making promises we couldn’t keep. I loved the smell of the leather and the quality of the stereo.

A couple of hours later, we collected ourselves, and I left. As I walked towards my tired, old pickup, I turned three times to admire the shiny, red BMW in the driveway.