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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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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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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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.

 

 

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Random, writing

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.

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93 Extracted Words – The Tease – July 2019

July 2019

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

Jessie didn’t even remember when she and Mann came in themselves, but when she returned with their latest round of drinks (which had devolved to the level of vodka sodas) she realized they had been sitting on the sofa long enough for the darkness outside to have completely enveloped the grand, tall windows and their view of the valley. A seam of lightning cleaved the sky.

“Looks like that storm is getting heavier. The boys are in for a rough night. Gals too, hope they keep it wired tight.”

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313 Extracted Words – The Tease – June 2019

June 2019

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

He packed the old Ford with everything he thought he might need, save the items he would toss in right as they left. He planned on getting there early, at first light, if necessary. He already had the place in mind, if it came to it. Hopefully the dumb shit would take his threat as advice and just hit the road, disappear, never return. But before he could even finish the thought, it soured from clarity. “Got damn, Cleopatra, as sure as you’re a Saluki, that kid’s a dumb shit. A neophyte, liberal, socialist dumb ass.” He spit in the pine needles behind the Ford’s toothy rear tires. “And people think he’s some kind of truth teller, but just like the idiots that mistake you for a Doberman, they don’t even know what the truth is.” He spit again, this time brushing at the stubbly skin covering his taught jawbone. “He’s a coyote, a jackal, and you’ve seen how I dispose of them.” He reached behind the dog and rubbed the wooden stock of his thirty-thirty. “Afraid you won’t get to sniff this one’s bones, though. One shot and we’re out of there. Might not even go back to the homestead right away.” The dog whined through her long nose. “Well, I wouldn’t care for that either. I’d surely miss the place as much as you, but we might have to run for a while. Might be a kick in the ass, anyway.” He smiled at the thought of crossing the heartland during the night, listening to emboldened talk show hosts across the land, their voices turning to midnight anthems, crying out with pride about the mysterious patriot in Oregon, and how he acted so boldly, the way we wished our leaders would. A crack of lightning answered from the sky. “Well Miss Cleo, sounds like a storm picking up.”

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