Mantula: Have some discord – book release

I’m celebrating the release of “Mantula: Have some discord” today! This weird little book started as a handful of blog posts and quickly turned into a full-blown multimedia project. I was having too much fun to stop writing the story of Doug and his curse. When I finally did come to the end, I decided…

SHORT FICTION: Gotta Distract ‘Em All

His finger hovered over the download button. Sweat trickled down his forehead, just a single line, but enough to make someone notice. Morris didn’t press the button. He turned his attention back to the sea of tents placed four feet apart from one another. Two people per tent, he was told. Only the tents were…

OPINION: Stop Blaming the Media

Interviewing actor Jon Voight during a fundraiser (and after a monsoon soaked everyone) for the Granite Mountain Hotshots in 2013. These days it’s trendy to blame the messenger. The media is stirring the pot, inciting violence, lying to you, etc., as if they were a giant hive-mind not made up of men and women toiling…

Short Fiction: November 8th Soon

Charlie skulked from building to building. He had to avoid the middle of the street and stay as close to the buildings as he could and off the main sidewalks. Gunfire rang out a block away. Charlie flinched at the pops. Citizens protecting themselves. Taxpayers at work, he thought. He could see a huddled mass near…

Winchester Mystery House: take a tour of this rich pad

It’s tough to be absolutely terrified of something when you have to go through a gift shop first. Surrounded by mugs, tees, bottle openers, and God only knows what else, a sense of creeping fear is in limited supply. Until you see the Ouija boards. Creeping fear comes then, but it’s just a tickle. At…

Final entry from a Big Sur writing retreat – part X

I long… I long to breathe in my son’s boundless energy – his youth and exuberance about damn near everything, while I still have the chance. I long to walk in England and get all giddy on Baker’s Street, to explore the pubs and streets of Ireland, while I still have the chance. Let me…

How to avoid spoilers (in curmudgeon)

Like blondes, spoiler alerts have more fun. They’re also stupid. PS –blondes aren’t really dumb, but I don’t feel like scrounging up a different analogy. And the opening sentence slipped deep inside my head while I was driving, so I wrapped my brain around it. Why waste a good driving thought? Being an American nerd…

From a Big Sur writing retreat part IX

The smell of stale cigarettes and cold coffee filled the hot Buick Park Avenue. Its air conditioner died a year ago. I was grateful for the bit of breeze I felt on my face when I climbed from the driver’s seat. Covering a jumper on Midgley Bridge wasn’t how I wanted to start the morning…

An open letter on open letters (in curmudgeon)

Dear Open Letter Writer, We all care so much about your opinion. We want your open letter so bad.  Please write it as long as possible, as passionately as possible, and tell us all how you feel. Of course we know you have no real connection to the topic, no stake, but don’t let that…

A road trip gauged on karate chopping

How the drive from Monterey to Cottonwood and back again might go for you There was a beat up pickup truck, larger than average, with a flatbed area surrounded by wooden fencing made of paint chips and splinters. The bed was full of sheep. They were pressed against the wood, but not making a sound….