Short Stories Online
This story explores the question: what happens the moment your fiancée unexpectedly drops dead? Not only are you dealing with shock and a broken heart, but you have a dead body management problem on your hands. Who do you call? Do you move him? Cover him? Can you eat pizza while you’re waiting for the dead body managers to arrive?
When I die, I want a Goth disco. Why? Because funerals are a big downer—a stiff church service mixed with Toastmasters for people with performance anxiety mixed with a hanky-heavy therapy session. The thinking behind the Goth disco is this: people could still wear black and look pale and suicidal without being judged. Then when everyone is sobbing into their hankies, a disco ball is turned on and disco music would pump through the chapel and peoples’ tears would be startled back up into their tear ducts.
As a fiction writer, I build worlds and craft characters that prompt readers to reflect on deeper, more meaningful life questions than they might in the normal course of living. And while this has long satisfied the creative writing urge in me, around 2012, I felt compelled to join the political and pop culture conversation in America with Poplitix, sharing information, insight and wit in an engaging way to push readers past the shallow partisan thinking that characterizes Americans. Having been fed a steady diet of reality TV and biased infotainment passing for news for decades, we are losing the critical thinking skills, the knowledge, and even the will to effectively participate in our democracy. Exhibit A is the 2016 election when 40% of eligible voters chose not to vote and 26% voted for a man not qualified for the highest office in the land.
Taking on Issues of the Day
My blog takes on the issues of the day, including such topics as the forces that shaped the Boston Bombers, the Freudian underpinnings of the gun obsession in America, and analyses of lone wolves. In “Making America Grope Again” and “Trump World” I write about the narcissistic man-boy who became President of the United States. Occasionally, I will write fiction based on world events, such as “Walking the Line,” a piece about a Greek man who finds a little boy, a Syrian refugee, who drowned escaping the horrors of his country. “Ukrainian Suns” was written from the point of few of a defecting pro-Russian rebel right after the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. In both stories, I imagine a world in which kindness, compassion, and peace are the strongest instincts. If we can imagine it, it can be so—no?
What I love about travel is it changes who I am. It reaches inside and shakes me awake so I’m no longer the person I assumed I was seconds before. When I return from my adventures and my gypsy spirit settles, I enjoy writing about the moments that stayed with me.
Each year I travel to Hawaii to heal: to remember who I was before I squeezed life through a computer screen. I’m more myself here than anywhere. How inconvenient. An archipelago, 2,500 miles from the continent I call home; exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range. Life is fragile here and will, one day, return to the sea.
I imagined them in earlier years, carefree traveling gypsies, bouncing from Paris to Istanbul and Bangkok to New Delhi on a whim. They’d snap and post pics of themselves wearing the Eiffel Tower as a hat, chomping on toasted grasshoppers in Mexico, and ferrying in a hand-crafted boat in Phuket bay. In their vows to each other, they had promised to never let mortgages, PTAs, and Little League interfere with their wanderlust. They had tucked their wee one into a backpack and journeyed across the Atlantic to Paris and south to the white cliffs of the azure Mediterranean Sea to never forget.
Without a doubt, Colorado’s dramatic scenery has long captured the imaginations of film directors, serving as a backdrop for gritty westerns and road trip dramas. Visit the A-list towns of Ridgway, Durango, Glenwood Springs, and Gateway, and reimagine yourself as a rough and tumble cowboy, an outlaw heisting a train, a fugitive locked in a car chase or a pursued assassin scaling a canyon wall.