Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Not Too Shabby List for 2017 Instead of The Usual Crummy New Year’s Resolutions

Yup, it’s that time of year again. Time to make the list. Time to make the donuts. Throw down the gauntlet and take on your biggest challenge. Wait, not that big.

There’s a bunch of ways to slice it, but I’m going to take another path. The painless path. You say easy. I say different.

Humor me. For fun, I’ve made a list of 7 New Paths to take for 2017. Lucky 7. The pursuit of excellence. The pursuit of ergonomically untested waters. Maybe just the pursuit of take the edginess off things. Comprende? Only 3 of the ones listed below are ones I’d genuinely consider. I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.

I think this is a healthy exercise and I’d urge you to do the same.

List on.

1— Become a Unicyclist

Why not? You get plenty of exercise. It’s an eco-friendly way to travel and now with all the bike lanes around it’s an efficient way to get from point A to point B. And with all the Citi Bikes hogging up all the limelight, this would be a great way to steal some of their thunder. Get it. A way to stand out. From what I gather, it’s also a natural segue to make it into the Big Apple Circus and a helluva lot less dangerous than sticking your head into a lion’s mouth or teetering on the trapeze artist’s wire line.

2— Backgammon Champ

It’s the frustrated Chess Player’s best shot at making it into the big time. No Giuoco pianoing required. You can throw your textbook theory out the window (out of a moving vehicle). Combining Fancy Checkers luck and skill you can either be hustler of obscure playing parlors or take your gaming on the pro tour. Truth be told, I’ve always like been really smitten with their carry cases.

3— Goatherd

I’m going to get metaphorical on you. These guys constantly get lumped in with shepherds. They’re not the same at all. First off, I prefer goats and their milk and their cheese. Who doesn’t like goat cheese? I think some of their stubbornness could rub off on me (in a good way). think of all that fresh air and the dewy smell of grass.

4— Fantasy Ball Player (Batter Up)

This is totally doable. I could really sink my teeth (or cyber cleats) into this. I’ve always said immersing yourself in all the infinite possibilities is the best way to enjoy the ol’ American pastime. There’s something very Borgesian or is it Borgeseque about it too. The infinite possibilities that is.

5— Tat Artist

Yeah kid. This is the ticket. No doubt. They make some pretty good coin too. No reason to fiddle with finger paints and Crayolas forever. New Year means New Horizons. New Outlook. Newness. Ink it!

6 – Lightsaber Inspector

You wanted me to wield the laser sword? Admit it, didn’t you? Puh. I’m not taking those kind of chances. I’ll still play a great part, a bit part to be sure, but a safe part. Thank you very much. I want to keep all my limbs and eyeballs in 2017. The Balance of the Force will be in my Nivea-enriched hands. Come on, don’t try to play it off. You know that you’d kill to be that special somebody who ironed out all the chinks of the most awesome weapon in 17 and half galaxies and made it possible for the newfangled Jedi Knight Master to the N-teenth power to take care of business until infinity and day. Yeah.


This shouldn’t come as a total shock to my closest peeps. You know who you are. Let me make it absolutely clear just what I mean by being a wizard. Of course I’d love to have a trusty wand and make potions spew from the unsuspecting mouths of baby sparrows and spill out of Tupperware containers stuffed with tofu. It would like be super often to have that capability, but nay, I’ve got a different hankering for 2017. I’m going Bard up. Bard in the true wizardly sense— you know, engage in the musicality of the cosmos and whatnot. Find the right muse and pull the stuffing out and spread the love.

Thanks for playing! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Announcing the Release of My Short Story Collection: Something Like Bliss

Fire up your Kindles Fiction Lovers!

I’d like to take a moment to announce the upcoming release of my story collection “Something Like Bliss.” The Kindle release is pretty much slated for January 29th 2017, roughly a fortnight from the Tropic of Capricorn. I’m practicing a Capricorn, as you might already know. While I had originally planned on putting out my book this past June, a number of obstacles prevented this from happening. I find I keep tripping over life or it keeps tripping over me. Anyway I’m excited to see this project finally coming into fruition. All of the stories, save one, have been published in literary journals. Below you will find a roster of the lucky lit mags. Three of my stories first appeared in my MFA Thesis at Pacific University. They’re tickled pink to be freed from their buckram binding.

Many of the stories in this collection cross genre boundaries as well as myriad emotional landscapes. “El Mariachi” is set in Mexico and centers on the unrequited love a young man has for his aunt. “A Private Language” is an updated, reconfigured Stand By Me, following the lives of 4 latchkey boys, culminating in a gruesome moment that will forever change them. Some of the stories have a fabulist element. “Rejects from the Pretzel Factory” is a comical take on the exploitation of a sweet old lady, a former Rockette, who has been roped into a greedy corporation’s ad campaign. Also, included is “The Itch of Runaway Souls,” which was published this past April in the new insert of the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row.

I’m not going to pretend I don’t have a favorite, but I’m also not going to share that with you either. Gonna play possum. Seriously though, I waited a long while to share this collection with the public because I wanted it to be just so. I’m most passionate about shorter works. I’ve always been a devoted reader of pithier prose: Flannery O’Connor, Kafka, Borges, Chekhov, Bernie Malamud. And of those writers who go long, I favor their short stories: Haruki Murakami, Thomas Coraghessan Boyle, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Hannah Tinti, Pete Fromm, Phillip K. Dick.

Maybe the time we live in is indicative of my predilection for concise works. I believe it’s Francine Prose who says something
to the effect that in short stories “each word must go on the trial of its life” in order to make it into the final cut. Something like that, and when it works, it’s something like bliss.
Thanks for all of your support and I look forward seeing you at the upcoming readings and such.

Publication List

Breakwater Review
Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row
Digging Through The Fat
New Pop Lit
Newtown Literary
Snapping Twig
The Main Street Rag
The Summerset Review
The Vehicle
Tulane Reivew
Twisted Vine
Vector Magazine
Writer’s Digest
Yellow Chair Review