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.

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 .

 

Absorb

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.

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.

 

 

119 Extracted Words – The Tease – February 2020

February 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress, inspired by the gigantic pile of cardboard, recycled bi-weekly from this household, most of which arrives containing products from Amazon.

 

There has been a revision to your Amazon account. Due to the fact that last week Amazon acquired the last known independent source of anything anywhere, you no longer have to use a password when logging on. There is no need for such security measures, since any means you have of paying us is now controlled by Amazon itself. To put it simply, we no longer care who you are. Everything belongs to us anyway.

Warning: If this notice causes you to sigh and take a deep breath, be careful. We own the atmosphere as well, and any over-use of the oxygen in it by any individual will be subject to a fee.

  • Have a nice day.

61 Extracted Words – The Tease – January 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress, inspired by Tao Te Ching # 27.

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The phlegmatic man silently pondered … if teaching continues, so must learning, correct? And if the good are to teach and the bad to learn, then who will teach the good so their learning continues as well? And then he came to the same conclusion he always did while brushing his teeth and searching for his essence in the bathroom mirror . Man’s objective truths are just God’s subjective truths, and therefore, all of science was simply God changing his mind. And then he had a very good laugh, just as he often did when looking in the mirror.

67 Extracted Words – The Tease – December 2019

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

The steel wind cut above the cobblestones, raking the old woman’s hair across her creased cheeks. She sat on the jumbled rocks of the square, as fractured in pattern as the morality espoused by the cathedral they fronted. Three nuns in habits looked past her bent frame and extended hand, as if the crowd deserved more attention than her shaking fingers. Somewhere someone sang ’tis the season …

151 Extracted Words – The Tease – November 2019

 November 2019

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

They finished their breakfast, cleared the table and filled the sink, before heading for the Jeep. Jessie drove with Molly at her side, up front, and Tumbleweed in the back, prepared to tuck with oncoming traffic. There was little and, as they wound down the road toward Deadman, it became obvious why. The whole canyon was filled with a dirty, cornflower haze. Visibility deteriorated with every drop in elevation. The rain from the previous night’s storm had done less to extinguish the wildfires than its wind and lightning had done to stoke them. Overhead, the sound of helicopters and PBY’s droned up and down the valley like worker bees. The acrid stench was potent, stinging Jessie’s nostrils. She removed her sunglasses and pulled her bandana down to wipe across her eyes.

“It’s got to be pretty close,” Molly guessed. “I wonder if any evacuations have been issued. I better call in.”

 

Author’s Note: Now and again The Tease has featured slices from my upcoming novel. This work is nearing completion and, in order not to spoil any of its outcomes, this will be the last monthly installment to draw upon that source. Fear not, The Tease will go on, and the novel (in its full form) will be available soon enough.