writing

125 Extracted Words – The Tease

September 2022

 

 

I write short fiction, flash fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from an essay in progress.

Humanity is out of balance.

Putin and Russia threaten to defend themselves by nuking their neighbors, even though the fallout would surely blow back on them. Politicians cry for the unleashing of fossil fuel energy to promote their short term political motives. Never mind that such actions only drive us ever quicker to the brink of a global climate apocalypse. Democracy is being threatened, not just in this country, but all over the globe.

The tightrope walker can cross spans hundreds of feet in the air, as long as they remain in balance. Yet, even the smallest obstacle becomes insurmountable, if they do not.

If we are to survive as a species and not destroy this planet in the process, we must regain our balance.

Standard
writing

153 Extracted Words – The Tease

August 2022

 

 

I write short fiction, flash fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from an essay on writing in progress.

When approaching old work that is being exhumed for the purpose of filling the pages of an anthology, how is setting handled? In particular, the element of time within setting.

I recently encountered this difficulty when resurrecting a short story involving the Occupy movement from a decade ago. To change the setting to present day would have made no sense. Nor was the original intent of the piece historical.

I finally decided to keep the time in the piece the same, with the understanding that my audience would now have to recall the Occupy movement rather than simply recognize it as a current event.

Before this experience, I had never consciously considered time as having a dual purpose in writing, both as an element of setting and as an element of context. I hadn’t weighed the implication of the space between when a piece is written and when the narrative takes place.

Have you?

Standard
writing

106 Extracted Words – The Tease

July 2022

 

 

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

He ran his wrinkled hand over the bound and tattered book cover. He had never started a revolution, or even joined one. But he was pretty sure that to start anything, you must first begin, and perhaps that was the most difficult task of all.

He opened the cover and was greeted instantly by the dusty musk of library scented pages. “To disable field cannon before capture, drive a spike into the vent, crack the spike off at the limit of it’s exposure and then drive the remaining portion below the surface with the use of a second spike.”

Interesting, if not useful, he thought.

Standard
writing

83 Extracted Words – The Tease

April 2022

 

 

More pumpkins

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

If it had been sunny, then he might have seen how deep the pothole was. If it had been sunny, he would have worn his shades and his blush would have been hidden from the world, and the Mother Superior.

“You seem to have lost your way, and your front axle.”

“I was looking for pumpkins. Do you have pumpkins?”

“Oh no, you must be looking for Green Bluff. That’s one bluff over to the right.”

He exited the sedan to inspect the damage.

Standard
writing

92 Extracted Words – The Tease

November 2021

 

 

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

Driving downhill, the city never looked like a city. It was a town, sheltered in an arrowhead valley, wounding the green, western slopes of the Selkirks. The white and olive mountains behind yielded only enough boreal retreat for one highway and one railway. Whether you entered on a boxcar or in your borrowed car, the approach was the same. The scene was sugarplum infused, icicle starshine. Frosty spires and cozy warm lanterns anchored every street. And yet, there was the steamy breath of the homeless rising from under nearly every bridge.

Standard
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.

Standard
writing

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 …

Standard
writing

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.

Standard
writing

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.

Standard
writing

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.

Standard