Just Like In The Movies

Stella considered herself an incurable romantic, albeit a secret one. Her wide circle of acquaintances and few close friends were equally ignorant of her inner yearnings and wild flights of fancy. This was deliberate. “Webster’s second definition of romantic,” Stella would often say, “is imaginary.” Yet every time she boarded an airplane, her eye would rove […]

Barman Story

Note on this story: It’s one of the Überhaus Diaries I wrote in Portland during the late 1990s. The photo Karen selected this week is the inside of a bar around the corner from where I lived in Portland. The Überhaus was perhaps the last bandit lofts in the city, a 2000 square foot apartment […]

Mid November

It’s November again and all over the USA, writers are midway through the marathon of National Novel Writing Month, known cordially as NaNoWriMo. We call it Nano, but some people call it  goddamn it’s four in the morning on a weekday and why did I agree to do this?  The goal of Nano is to write […]

Excerpt: Ulysses of Sorts

In honor of all those soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors who are dying in the name of America,  I give you an excerpt from a story about Stuart Dulley,  a young man who joined the Marines in 1940 and got caught up in the hideous machine of war.  Stuart decided Navy nurses were all the […]

This Affliction

For me, the affliction largely occurs in the very early morning before I head off to work. I get up at four AM and write for a couple of hours until it’s time for exercise, breakfast, hygiene.  Then whoopee-boy, eight hours of work in the cubicle hive! My current contract has me designing interfaces for a giant […]

Hemingway’s Birthday

For Hemingway’s birthday, a bit of his flash fiction (before it was called that). Cat in the Rain, from 1925, is a remarkable study of using the unsaid to tell a powerful story. This is similar to the more famous Hills Like White Elephants. I like this one more. CAT IN THE RAIN There were […]


In 2013, I self-published my first novel, Hawser. I expected that I would sell a few of them and then get picked up by one of the traditional publishers who would doubtless be beating down my door. A large box arrived at my house containing five proof copies. Eagerly, I cracked them open and was appalled at the myriad […]

Never Apologize, Never Explain.

In his 1970 Travis McGee novel The Long Lavender Look, John D. MacDonald wrote about taking a single object from childhood and fitting it into the context of its use. “You take an object. Roller skate. The kind from way back, that fastened to the shoes instead of coming with the shoes attached. Look and feel and […]

The Cubs Win, But We Lose

Think about 1908 for a second. This is the year the Model T debuted, the year the Wrights finally unveiled their flying machine to the public. Theodore Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor William Howard Taft was elected as president. The Dow closed at 60.7296, a solid recovery after one of the many panics. In 1908, there were […]

November Again

November already. Time to set aside the horror screenplay I’ve been working on the past week and get back to the matter at hand: word count. Fifteen hundred fresh words a day, every day until the 30th of November. When I first heard about National Novel Writing Month I thought it sounded 1. crazy and […]