‘The Stars Above a Ramshackle Fence’

A Flashfiction Moment

Every picture tells a story… He was still young, almost 18, but many—no, most—would say too old to swing like a child. But the motion soothed him; a subconscious sense he could change his perceptions by mere movement. A shifting of view that revealed more of the world… and himself. To see what was before […]

Old Songs | New Meaning

Short Nonfiction

As I write this—from my Pandora random station shuffle—Joan Baez is singing, ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.’ A song written by Robbie Robertson and originally recorded by the Canadian-American roots rock group The Band in 1969. It’s a first-person narrative relating the economic and social distress experienced by a poor white Southerner during […]

IF

The one piece of writing that best exemplifies my personal philosophy

I’ve carried this piece of writing in my daily planner since 1992 and when life (or something within it) turns to shit as can happen from time to time… with troubles and worries all around. I’ve often read it to put things in perspective and give me something to center me and sync with what […]

THE WRITING of ‘Through a Lens of Dark & Light’

The Story Behind the Story

This 23,000+ word story evolved from a writing challenge. What was planned as a short story to be called The Campfire based on a picture that was the runner-up to Union Station in one of my PICK- A-PICTURE-GET-A-STORY-WRITTEN contests. This photograph shows two teenage boys and a girl sitting in front of a campfire. I wondered who the girl was… and was she […]

EVEN WHEN

One thing I tell my daughters is that you have to take action to get what you want in life… but equally critical is how you respond to what’s happening, especially when things don’t go your way. And that’s perhaps the most important lesson to learn. Life, happiness, and self-respect, ultimately, come from what you […]

The Sign of Fools & Sages

An Alpha & Beta Story

“How do you learn from Fools, dad?”
I turned the volume down (sorry, Steven Tyler). “Well,” I sat at the end of the table. “It’s important to pay attention to all kinds of people around you. But mostly those close to you that you might listen to or think you can learn from. You have to watch to see how they act and interact—what they say and do, especially the impression they give you. And then compare that to reality.”

Along with the sunshine…

I remember when this song was a hit and coming into or leaving the house, seeing mom in the kitchen. Often cooking and cleaning, but sometimes she was sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and the ever-present cigarette trickling smoke—pooling with vestiges from those that came before—that climbed and formed a cloud […]