Category Archives: Short story

Story.

Walking to work a little boy, maybe 7 or 8, scampered up to me on the sidewalk. “Hello,” he said. “Hello,” I said. “I have a TOAD,” he said. Sure enough, he had a toad. What did I have, that measured up to a toad? Nothing.

I wish I was that little boy.

The End.

Off The Record is in the ecosystem

And has been for a couple months. Have you bought it yet? It’s got 6 5-star reviews on Amazon, out of 6. Not too shabby, eh? And all for a good cause, too. Available in all the usual formats, including dead tree.

All the stories are named after classic tunes. Mine was Back In Black. My story’s in there, humbled squeezed among luminaries like Les Edgerton, Steve Weddle, Helen FitzGerald, and Ray Banks.

My story is the first Hiram Van story in what I hope are many more installments. Thanks again to Luca Veste for the deft editing.

Click on the link to buy.

I created a playlist on YouTube that includes, in order of the Table of Contents, every song in the collection. Have a look.

Update city: Grift & Murder Your Darlings

News breaking out all over:

Had a flash piece go up over at Grift. “The Smooth Shoulder” will take you approximately 2 minutes to read, so, won’t you? Here. A bit of it:

 Across the street, Merilyn nearly dropped the baby scrabbling in her pockets for her phone.  She had to yell to be heard on 911, the baby howling to halt a freight train.

“The fuck you doing, man?” said Angus.

Angus’s heart rate was two-twenty, his irises vanished, skin waxy and bubbling with boils.  He hadn’t slept in four days, on the smooth shoulder of a long meth ride ever since Ginger had left with the kids.

Thanks to John Kenyon for taking this piece, and providing some very nice edits.

The very cool Cort Bledsoe was kind enough to do an interview with me over at his place, Murder Your Darlings. We talked about a few things, such as writing and parenthood:

 Me: How has being a father influenced your writing?

Court: As I type this, I figure I’ve got about more 10 minutes to work before my oldest gets up and needs fed and watered. Kids hem you in, no question.

And yet it is wonderful to be interrupted by a slobbering 10-month old.

I’m one of those who willingly retreats for whole days into the sanctuary of your head. My kids won’t allow me to stay there that long, though. I am thankful for it.

Go have a look, please.

Other good news coming shortly.

 

“Some Place” is up at Necessary Fiction

My story “Some Place” is up at Necessary Fiction.  I wrote this story while I was still living in Thailand, thinking about America from a tropical distance, reflecting on my days working as a surveyor, mostly on subdivisions in Colorado (sorry, Colorado).

It took me 5 tries to crack this market and it finally happened with a story I wasn’t really sure had legs or not … a further lesson that all you can do is write the story as best you can and then let editors and / or the market decides its relative value.

A big thanks to Steve Himmer for accepting the piece, and for some very deft editing.  A sampler:

“Yep,” said Jeffroach. “From now on, be plenty of time for me to get to what I like.”

“Guess she’s going to stay in there,” said Thom.

“Fixing up old trucks. That’s mostly what I like. Take this puppy here. Wasn’t much more than a bucket of rusted-up bolts when I found her. But I got her going. Been a struggle, let me tell you, with ole horseface all the time throwing bottles at me.”

“Empty ones?”

“Don’t you know it. She ain’t about to give over a bottle she ain’t finished with. She’d say it was throwing bad liquor after a worse man. You ought to hear her sometime.”

"Some Place" is up at Necessary Fiction

My story “Some Place” is up at Necessary Fiction.  I wrote this story while I was still living in Thailand, thinking about America from a tropical distance, reflecting on my days working as a surveyor, mostly on subdivisions in Colorado (sorry, Colorado).

It took me 5 tries to crack this market and it finally happened with a story I wasn’t really sure had legs or not … a further lesson that all you can do is write the story as best you can and then let editors and / or the market decides its relative value.

A big thanks to Steve Himmer for accepting the piece, and for some very deft editing.  A sampler:

“Yep,” said Jeffroach. “From now on, be plenty of time for me to get to what I like.”

“Guess she’s going to stay in there,” said Thom.

“Fixing up old trucks. That’s mostly what I like. Take this puppy here. Wasn’t much more than a bucket of rusted-up bolts when I found her. But I got her going. Been a struggle, let me tell you, with ole horseface all the time throwing bottles at me.”

“Empty ones?”

“Don’t you know it. She ain’t about to give over a bottle she ain’t finished with. She’d say it was throwing bad liquor after a worse man. You ought to hear her sometime.”

"Lek" is up at Specter

My story “Lek” is up at Specter.  A sort of semi-impressionistic piece that came to me a few years ago, strolling amongst the tweakers and hookers and pimps on Pattaya Beach.

Big things are coming from this mag, by the way.  I’m proud to be a part.

A sampler:

Then she jumps up like someone’s pulling her up and I squat down in the corner and hang tight to the Buddha I have on the gold chain around my neck and pray and pray and pray.  I know this isn’t my friend Lek, not anymore.  Blood is running down her face.  She looks at me.  She doesn’t say anything.  I pray and pray and try not to look at her.

Here is Lek.

 

“Lek” is up at Specter

My story “Lek” is up at Specter.  A sort of semi-impressionistic piece that came to me a few years ago, strolling amongst the tweakers and hookers and pimps on Pattaya Beach.

Big things are coming from this mag, by the way.  I’m proud to be a part.

A sampler:

Then she jumps up like someone’s pulling her up and I squat down in the corner and hang tight to the Buddha I have on the gold chain around my neck and pray and pray and pray.  I know this isn’t my friend Lek, not anymore.  Blood is running down her face.  She looks at me.  She doesn’t say anything.  I pray and pray and try not to look at her.

Here is Lek.

 

"Back In Black" to be in Off The Record anthology coming your way soon

Luca Veste, editor of Guilty Conscience, is editing an anthology and very kindly invited me to take part.  The concept:

Guilty Conscience will be publishing a collection of short stories from some top names in writing. Named ‘OFF THE RECORD’ it’ll be based on a prompt of Classic Song Titles, each writer will be contributing a short story to the anthology.
Some confirmed names to whet your appetite…
Ray Banks, Helen Fitzgerald, Nick Quantrill, Les Edgerton, Simon Logan, Paul D. Brazill, Thomas Pluck, Nigel Bird, Steve Weddle, AJ Hayes, Court Merrigan, Chad Rohrbacher, Patti Abbot, Darren Sant, Ian Ayris, Julie Morrigan, Col Bury, R Thomas Brown, David Barber and many more…
Thirty writers in total. Now, I hear you ask, who did you have to trade favours too in order to get these people on board…well the answer is no one. Because all these lovely and talented writers, whilst having sick and twisted minds, are all about helping out the less fortunate.
So, for the first six weeks, ‘Off The Record’ will be on sale for under a pound/dollar and every last penny/cent of profit will go to charity.

Cool, eh?  I’m damn honored to have my name up there with these folks.

The song I chose is “Back In Black,” which hardly requires an introduction from me.  Nearly got the piece knocked out, too.  It’s going to be a good one, I think.  Set in my second-favorite setting, the Big Dirty, aka Pattaya, Thailand.  Updates to follow.

“Back In Black” to be in Off The Record anthology coming your way soon

Luca Veste, editor of Guilty Conscience, is editing an anthology and very kindly invited me to take part.  The concept:

Guilty Conscience will be publishing a collection of short stories from some top names in writing. Named ‘OFF THE RECORD’ it’ll be based on a prompt of Classic Song Titles, each writer will be contributing a short story to the anthology.
Some confirmed names to whet your appetite…
Ray Banks, Helen Fitzgerald, Nick Quantrill, Les Edgerton, Simon Logan, Paul D. Brazill, Thomas Pluck, Nigel Bird, Steve Weddle, AJ Hayes, Court Merrigan, Chad Rohrbacher, Patti Abbot, Darren Sant, Ian Ayris, Julie Morrigan, Col Bury, R Thomas Brown, David Barber and many more…
Thirty writers in total. Now, I hear you ask, who did you have to trade favours too in order to get these people on board…well the answer is no one. Because all these lovely and talented writers, whilst having sick and twisted minds, are all about helping out the less fortunate.
So, for the first six weeks, ‘Off The Record’ will be on sale for under a pound/dollar and every last penny/cent of profit will go to charity.

Cool, eh?  I’m damn honored to have my name up there with these folks.

The song I chose is “Back In Black,” which hardly requires an introduction from me.  Nearly got the piece knocked out, too.  It’s going to be a good one, I think.  Set in my second-favorite setting, the Big Dirty, aka Pattaya, Thailand.  Updates to follow.