Here’s my latest downloadable. It’s a fictional piece called “Ostrich” and is in no way based upon my life. At least I’d like to think not 😀 Please freely distribute to any and all who may enjoy (it’s eReader friendly). I’d love to hear what you think.
Hi friends, it’s been a little while, I know. Lately, I’ve been hard at work getting We Were Like Sons published, but in my down time I’ve been plugging away at my fiction. Years of Potential is my latest story. Please freely download and distribute to all who may enjoy (it’s eReader friendly). I’d love to hear what you think!
Years of Potential
Guatemalan coffee roasting, painting, orange juice, and father/son conflict.
“I’m a lifelong parishioner, and I’ve always tithed. Always, Reverend. Why would anyone who says they’re dedicated to the mission of the church not give to help her? I’ve never understood these newer people who’ve been coming here over the years,” Jerry said. He leaned forward to speak more quietly. “You know, the migrants who come to eat our food, listen to our sermons and take our communion all without giving to help the ministry.” Continue reading How The Weighty May Fall
“Well, doctor, I think you lied to me,” she said, the quality of her voice slightly altered by the subtle sandpaper tone of the telephone.
Dr. Leroy Church was just closing his office when Patty Hanks called. The sun had been on its way toward setting and he was ready to go home. He held the phone to his ear. “Now Patty, come now. Why would I do that?” Continue reading Degenerative Disc Disease
It starts in the chest. It swirls around the abdomen, out toward the fingertips and into your feet and toes. It is brought on by the senses. You take a deep breath and look around. It is you and eleven others. They are going through their rhythms. They’ve applied the icy-hot and have sipped from water bottles. They are readjusting their headbands, re-tying their shoes, stretching and massaging their quads.
Up, way up, way, way up is where my brother sits. He bends back branches and leaps from tree to tree at will. He has always been more adventurous than me. Below him are my friends, Raymond and Louis, themselves in different trees but often hanging into mine upon their own sturdy branches. They drop down, into my tree to say “hello.” I always look surprised, and I want to ask what brings them by, but before we can begin to climb together they have leapt back to their trees, often without waving goodbye.
I sit somewhere in the middle of the tree, not too high so as to avoid the better chance of slipping from weaker branches, but not too low that I may never have the chance to change a branch’s direction. Right in the middle I have built my bedroom. I have a bed made of leaves, and a dresser to hold what I wear made from high-up branches. I’ve nailed my life together here. I can’t lie, though, I yearn for the sky about as much as I yearn for the firm foundation of this tree from the earth. To be somewhere in between feels boring, noncommittal. But it’s also where I choose to be, my hands have never been tied.
In my pocket there is lint. There is lint because of what I put inside my pockets, and because of how frequently I do so. For example, I put my wallet in my left pocket. It is made of leather, and with time, the articles within my leather wallet stretch, harden and reshape it. During this, no doubt, particles of leather drop as dust into the crevices of my pockets.
In my pocket and also making lint are my keys. I use my keys to unlock many things. Front doors, car doors, bike locks, pad locks. My keys take my lint and (no doubt) leave it inside whatever it is I must unlock that day. in exchange, they remove other particles, germs or dust with their rigid angles and find their way back into my pocket. I realize now that my lint is not just mine, but possibly many other people’s as well.
Please enjoy this brief bit on the visitation shape often found in fiction writing, as well as my 25-minute practice with it afterward. Let me know what you think!
“The Visitation can show the character conquering or being conquered, transforming another or becoming transformed… The arc of the story is shaped by the visitor…The visitor must be intriguing, but as in all stories, readers must care what happens to your character.” — Jerome Stern, Making Shapely Fiction, 38-39.
Change your actions and you’ll make milage of your life. Change your heart and you’ll make miles for your soul. Charlie read it over to himself again. He tried to grasp the words but felt them float in through his mouth and right back out through his unsatisfied exhale.
This stuff will never work anyway, he thought. Self Help? I’m gonna need a lot more than that to– “Hey, saw you reading earlier. Thought I’d come by and poke my nose around.”
Charlie looked up. The man stood twice his height. A lollipop hung from his mouth, hands upon his hips, his brow wrinkled like a sheet.
“It’s a book my wife suggested. She’s real into self help.”
“But you’re not.”
“Let me see,” the man swiped the book up like a grapefruit and held it to his face. He peeled back the pages. “Will yourself toward your goals and success will be your only option.”
Charlie was quiet.
“You believe it?”
“I don’t really know.”
The man dropped the book on the table in front of Charlie and looked at the sky. His hands on his hips again. “Stuff never works.”
“Why? What never works?”
“Oprah psychology crap. Makes for decent community, but not change.”
Charlie thought about that. He pushed his hair away from his face and noticed the man’s clothing. “Do you work here?” Charlie said, parsing the man’s shoes and jeans before looking back at him.
“What’s it look like, partner? Think a place like this would hire a guy like me?”
“Well, I don’t know, maybe–”
“How long you work here for?”
“About a month.”
“Haven’t met many people yet have you.”
“No. Wait, how do you know that?”
The man sat. His legs wide like branches bursting from a tree. He put his hands flat across the table. “Because here you are at lunch reading a book you don’t want to be reading.”
Charlie was annoyed.
“What do you want to do?”
“What, on my lunch break?”
“In life. What’s your dream?”
“I don’t know. I don’t really think like that.”
“Oh, bullshit. Everyone’s got dreams. Where are you in two years? Who are you with? Why are you stillon the earth?”
Charlie could feel his face getting hot. He considered leaving but didn’t. “Guess I’d love to take my wife and live in the country. Raise a family there. Write a novel.”
“Now we’re talking, partner.”
“Hey who are you anyway? You don’t work here I gather, but you just show up at accounting firms at lunch time to scrutinize what people read all the time or something?”
“Easy now,” the man said. He leaned in. Charlie wanted to pull back because the man’s breath smelled like Doritos. “Just think of me as that guy that told you to get the hell out of the place you hate and to make your ideas for the great life a reality. Ain’t going to find it in a book like that, and you ain’t going to write a novel if you’re stuck crunching numbers all day.”
Charlie was quiet again. He scrunched his nose and looked away. But he knew the man was right.
“Mr. Johnson,” came a voice from behind. It was a woman. Charlie looked back and saw a thick, green day-planner in her hands and headset on her ear. She was writing while walking. “Mr. Johnson your one o’clock is waiting.”
“Burn it, man,” the man whispered with his head low. “You’ll thank me one day.” He stood, addressed the woman and walked into Charlie’s building. He turned up the stairwell and jogged to the top. Two fingers to his forehead he saluted Charlie from the railing at the second floor. Then, he turned and went through the only set of Mahogany doors at the firm. The only set, Charlie figured, fit for the boss.
The guitar. Steel strings, vibrato.
They clang, the player moving up the neck, the steel sounding more and more like tin.
making their way into the room. A captive audience, nothing moves. The player on his stool, the stage with a microphone, an unoccupied set of percussion instruments behind him; monitors too, but nothing but his plucking, up the neck, and back down, like ocean waves, smoothly moving in and out of them.
Rising, falling. In,
Steel strings singing sweet symphonies, like memories in the breeze.
People have stories—every single one of us. It takes a voice, a desire, and belief in ourselves to make our stories known, but it only takes a set of ears to make them heard. We are all vapors with pages meant to be shared with one another.