166 Extracted Words – The Tease – September 2020

September 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a crisis in progress.

The two mobs run toward each other. The only distinguishing difference is that one approaches from the left and the other from the right. Signs, clubs, guns. Shouts, laced with righteousness, jab at the air, as if meaning to poke God in the eye.

And then it happens. A protester falls, twisting his ankle in a pothole. And then another and another. Years of budgetary neglect has created a minefield out of the boulevard. Perhaps they could have built a few less bombs, a few less prisons, a few less green belts, and none of this would have taken place. No one would have had to get hurt.

26 Extracted Words – The Tease – August 2020


August 2020


I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a thought in progress.


Time, coffee, dust, sage, divided highway, brush, Cooper, big blue waters, landscape, power, drapes, trash, iron, grid, time, pillars, salt, basalt, foam, big gray waters, time.

163 Extracted Words – The Tease – July 2020


July 2020


I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a rant in progress.

There are the query letters we want to write and then there are the query letters we do write and, to be honest, they aren’t always the same. And for good reason.

A query is a begging of sort. Please read my work, at least the first three chapters. Surely you can see I’ve devoted years of my life to writing it. Don’t just hand it to the intern so they can mine my creative effort for their own MFA inspiration and then throw the rest in the trash. READ IT !!!!!

But we can’t beg and be taken seriously, so instead, we fake confidence and cloak our desperation with arrogance. I’m sure you’ll find the story as worthy of reading as I did of writing it. If so, please contact my agent … 

In the end, wouldn’t it be nice to just cut the crap and simply say – Please Mrs. Editor, have someone read what I wrote. I purchased a stamp and everything.

Mt. Spokane – Scenery Locked Down.

Mt. Spokane is open all the way to the summit, and it’s a welcome sight(s).

135 Extracted Words – The Tease – June 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress.


June 2020


How do you plan when there is no plan? How do you walk when there is no path? I live my life looking forward to the next “big thing”. Events, visits, trips, festivals. In my obligatory Covid-19 piece, which will emerge eventually (history practically demands it) I must speak of the people we’ve lost, the moments we’ve lost, the time we’ll never regain. But even that tally isn’t completed yet. Hell, the worst might be yet to come. And yet, in the capture of all this turmoil, the thing I miss most seems to be anticipation. Who dares plan anything at this point? A dinner out, perhaps, but a vacation … a trip … a cruise. Forget it. I miss that longing, that lean forward. Yes, we try to live in the moment, but if the moment is now, it’s not that appealing.

97 Extracted Words – The Tease – May 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress, a possible preface to an anthology.


May 2020


Writers have their preferences, just as readers do. I write novels and short fiction, essays and informative pieces, but short stories are my greatest pleasure. This is not an exercise in judgement, or a ranking of importance, rather, it’s an austere affinity – cashews over peanuts, photography over painting, gin over vodka. All the pieces I write, no matter what their form, have a place in my life. Even the most difficult of these works bring me great joy. It is as if they are family or, better yet, friends. And we all have our best friends, don’t we.

145 Extracted Words – The Tease – April 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress, inspired by this month’s Wordle at mindlovemisery’s menagerie .



Coat – alone – certainty – car – exclude – idoneous – own man – sob story – next – heavy – absorb – beige

Alone in the certainty of loneliness, alone in the back seat of his own car, he waited for the heavy rain to cease. But then, why should it? The idoneous storm front served as a soundtrack to his sob story. “Be the next great thing,” his mentor had said. “Be your own man.” Of course, she chose to exclude the fact that such idealism would transform him into a pauper. True, he sported hipster glasses and beige, knee-high stockings, but still, living in his car surely qualified him as a pauper.

He yawned. The night promised to absorb his dreams, like the brown and yellow leaves that soaked up the runoff, gurgling over clogged storm drains. He fell asleep cold, doomed to wake in the morning, once again inspired to coat the world in metaphor.

Viral Friends

Even in this season of social distancing, friends still visit our mountain.

177 Extracted Words – The Tease – March 2020 – (Covid-19 re-post, originally posted September 2016)

September 2016

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work still in progress. It seemed fitting to re-blog it given the current crisis.

It started the way most manmade disasters do, with the best of intentions. The root cause was eventually traced to the ventilation system of a lab tasked with developing experimental vaccines for mutated avian flu. Not three generations later, the entire human population had lost the ability to smell. Taste had been reduced to the thin edges of salt and sour.

Aside from the obvious challenges to the perfume industry, the dining industry and the movie-theater-popcorn industry, the greatest disturbance from the emergence of Scent Detection Deficit Disorder (SDDD) arose in a way never hypothesized by the para-governmental World Science Agency empowered to battle the crisis. Their narrow thinking, at the outset of the epidemic, allowed a far more dangerous crisis to arise – to the point that now, the very survival of the human race was threatened. The short-sightedness of a small, yet powerful, group of scientists and government officials had led mankind to the edge of extinction.



Spread Facts Not Fear

Leave the fiction to the writers.

In these strange and uncertain times, many of us are asking, what can we do to help. One very important action we can all take is to NOT spread mis-information. Refraining from engagement with the rumor mill is simple if not easy. Just don’t do it. If you don’t know, say so. If you hear others spreading falsehoods, correct them and quote your source (WHO, CDC, etc.). They might argue at the time, but they and others will eventually check your source and learn for themselves.

Take care of each other and leave the fiction to the fiction writers. We’re all in this together.