writing

65 Extracted Words – The Tease – February 2021

February

2021

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

Maddi was from the scarecrow side of the family. Maddi was a scarecrow and she lived on a farm, as most scarecrows do.

Maddi had a very important job. She had to guard the carrot field. Naughty little rabbits liked to take the carrots. She didn’t really mind  the rabbits. She liked the way their fuzzy little ears tickled her ankles as they ran past.

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106 Extracted Words – The Tease – January 2021

January 2021

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

As he stood upon the right wing of the media stage, hidden by stacks of monitors, scaffolding and electrical cables, he could see several bright festival pennants behind the outer arc of seats. Beyond their gilded seams, rolled the expansive city park that hosted the event. At the rise of each knoll and drop of each draw stood a flag. The heat had already ignited the scent of trampled grass and sweat – hot, pungent odors reminiscent of livestock. If he closed his eyes, he could picture armored knights saddled at opposing ends of a regal field …

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166 Extracted Words – The Tease – December 2020 – September Revisited

September 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a crisis in progress (originally published in September). This excerpt was the most popular of 2020, and therefore is this month’s entry.

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.

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116 Extracted Words – The Tease – November 2020

November 2020

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

He scans section 23-581 of the penal code of the District of Columbia. It says A private person may arrest another who he has probable cause to believe is committing in his presence a felony.

Joe muses. Trespassing on Federal property is probably a felony. Better yet, parking in the President’s parking spot must be a felony.

He laughs.

So there it is. If he’s still there on January 20th, Joe Six-pack has just as much right to frog-march his ass out of the White House as any armed militia member has to “guard” a stranger’s storefront without their consent.

Joe pulls his luggage out from the hallway closet. He packs his best sweatpants.

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89 Extracted Words – The Tease – October 2020 Canada geese, honkers, fly overhead, sunset painting their wings bosenberry. They speak to each other in economical bursts, positioning, locating, redirecting. They minimize the chatter, the choice to burn calories in any action a serious one, considering the long journey ahead. Some say, silly goose. But, from thousands of feet overhead, listening to what we consider worthy dialogue, they might say, silly humans.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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