Miscellaneous Writings and Musings


A genie and her rock band

(Novel and Short Stories)

Steal Tomorrow

Steal Tomorrow
Murder, Mystery, First Love, and the End of the World

(Novel and Short Stories)

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My Books and Stories
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55 - Splat!

She wasn't one to look at signs;
it was her greatest folly,
and so she hurried down the steps
of the well lit tourist trolley.

With a cheerful call-out to a friend,
she said to meet her across the street.
And that is how she came to be
smeared blood and guts on concrete.


About Friday Flash 55: The challenge is to write a complete story in fifty-five words. If you've written a 55-flash, go let The G-Man know!

Flash Fiction: Hospitality

Today's post for Three Word Wednesday is based on my experiences in the restaurant business. Be sure to visit other Three Word Wednesday participants or write your own story and join the fun!


Old, he thought as he pored over the evening's receipts. From his spot at the back of the restaurant he could see everything that happened in the dining room. At this late hour, it was critical to keep an eye on things or the wait staff would get lax.

Had Carlos gone into a different line of work, he would've been considered in his prime. Among the business lunch crowd, men his age wore suits, talked finance, and were treated with respect, but a forty year-old restaurant manager was over the hill, out of touch.

Carlos knew things, though, that the young waiters didn't yet understand. He could see their dangerous trajectories, the inevitable outcome of the wild behaviors that might wreck their lives before they had a chance to really live.

Sometimes he wanted to warn them away from the drugs, tell them to cut back on the booze and the parties, and finish their education. He knew they wouldn't listen, though, and there was no point in trying to bubble-wrap them. They would have to find out as he had that the party was on borrowed time.

Carlos gulped the last of his cold coffee and got to his feet. The final customer had gone and it was time to close up shop. He lumbered toward the door, past the waiters flirting with the pretty bartender, and resigned himself to feeling fat, outdated and unwanted. Well, if those young turks survived the hazards of youth, recklessness and too much ready cash, they would some day be as he was now. Then they would understand, and maybe look back on him with a little sympathy.

The bartender giggled at something and one of the waiters made a cryptic remark about a "friend" who could "set them up."

Carlos shook his head but didn't judge. "Hurry up with those checkouts," he called. "I don't want to be here all night."

With any luck, he'd get out in enough time to go to a late-night AA meeting. There among his own kind, he would be understood.

Steal Tomorrow Excerpt: Possibilities

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is an excerpt from my novel Steal Tomorrow, posted here for Sunday Scribblings. In this scene the teenage survivors of a global pandemic have been in a fight with a rival gang and are checking up on the status of their wounded.


Many of the casualties were sharing mattresses, but Cassie had made sure Julilla had her own. She lay so still that if not for the rise and fall of her ribcage, Cassie might’ve thought her dead. “Her ankle is only sprained, but she lost a lot of blood from the cut on her arm. Doc said in a normal world, she would’ve gotten a pint or two, but he’s not set up for that sort of thing.”

“But she’ll be okay, right?” Galahad sat down and rested a hand on her good shoulder. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. A lot of us wouldn’t.” He gave an ironic smile. “She must’ve been deadly on the basketball court. She can rally a group in full retreat and make them want to fight.”

“She just needs rest,” Cassie said. “And food. And to not get an infection.”

“Three impossible things.” He stood up. “Well, we attempt the impossible every day around here, so what’s new?”

By now Cassie had noticed that not all the blood on Galahad’s shirt was from battle. Some was oozing from his arm and she took a firm tone. “Would it be impossible for you to let Doc look at that arm now? Come on. Before you end up like Julilla.”

If you enjoyed this story, go to Steal Tomorrow for the serialized novel, flash fiction "extras" and and other fun Steal Tomorrow stuff. Be sure to also visit Sunday Scribblings today and see who else contributed!

55 - All Activities Monitored

Each day at 3 o'clock she came to this place alone. Thinking herself unobserved, she made silly faces, danced and twirled, her lips moving in silent song. Then one afternoon she saw the sign:

Now each day at 2:55 she brushes her hair and touches up her lipstick. One never knows who might be watching.

About Friday Flash 55: The challenge is to write a complete story in fifty-five words. If you've written a 55-flash, go let The G-Man know!

New Flash Fiction

New Vince fiction, a prequel this time: Commitment

55 - Pirate

I bided me time, me hearties, waiting for me captors to make a wrong move. I spied an opportunity when the dirty bilge rats let me out for what they called a picnic. I escaped while their afts were turned. What wailing when the lubbers couldn't find me! Avast, I have me freedom once again!

About Friday Flash 55: The challenge is to write a complete story in fifty-five words. If you've written a 55-flash, go let The G-Man know!

New Flash Fiction

I've posted a new Vince story for Sunday Scribblings: Normal Annoyances

55 - Holiday

She had been promised a holiday of exciting nights and glorious days. Luxury and adventure were to be hers. As she gazed at the decrepit sign, however, she realized with chagrin that she had been duped. Her stay would not be luxurious, but if she played her cards right, she just might have an adventure.

About Friday Flash 55: The challenge is to write a complete story in fifty-five words. If you've written a 55-flash, go let The G-Man know!

Recipe Share: Quick and Easy Tamale Casserole

If you're in Texas, you probably had tamales for Christmas, New Year's Eve, or both. Now you've got extra tamales in your fridge and freezer and you're probably wondering if there's anything you can do with them besides re-heat them and serve with a side of rice and beans.

Faced with this dilemma and a hodge-podge of ingredients around my house, I still managed to turn out a delicious tamale casserole. For the following recipe I used pork tamales, although beef or bean would work well, too. The beans were black beans, but pinto beans would've served equally well. As for the cheese, I recommend cheddar, jack or cojito, but don't be afraid to use whatever is cluttering up the fridge.

And now without further ado: Quick and Easy Tamale Casserole


6 tamales, fresh or thawed and cut into 1" pieces
1 14.5 oz can beans, any kind, drained
1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/4 yellow onion or onion flakes to taste
ancho chili powder and cumin to taste
4 oz grated cheese, any kind

1. In food processor, blend fire roasted tomatoes, peeled garlic cloves, onion and spices.
2. Spread small amount of sauce across bottom of round casserole dish, enough to cover.
3. Add tamales and beans, cover with remaining sauce.
4. Top with grated cheese.

Bake at 400 until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with avocado slices and sour cream (or plain yogurt) if desired. Total prep time 10-15 minutes. Baking time about 15-20 minutes.

New Jazz Gang Fiction

New flash for Sunday Scribblings: Flutes and Rumors