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)

My Books and Stories

My Books and Stories
Where to Buy, Read, Download

55 - Swag

I go to a lot of conferences,
I am not saying this to brag.
There are times when all this travel
starts to really be a drag.
I have to leave my staff at home
where they listen to customers nag.
So while away, I work the tables
to bring them vendor goods and swag

 Got a story you can tell in exactly 55 words? Let the G-Man know!


If I thought you'd understand,
I think I'd say I'm sorry,
and I would beg apology
for letting who you are
bring out the worst in me.

Angels of our better nature
can be silenced by our fears,
betrayed by base desires,
and vanquished by a vanity
that turns us into liars.

If I thought that you would get it,
I'd say that I get you:
the imperative of safety,
the urge to hide your weaknesses
from monsters such as me.

But everyone's a bogeyman
when you fear the fiend in you.
Believe the garbage you’ve been sold
and encase yourself in plastic,
lest your true self be told.

Today no new ideas
will gain traction in your mind.
So draw a knife, deny,
let no one testify.
Keep your pretense.
(all defense)
I’ll wish you well
and walk on by.

This is a Three Word Wednesday post.

Just a Game

I tried to find a path
through the forest of your lies,
but there were no tracks to guide me
past distortions,
tiny portions
of reality,
salted with fable dust.

My questions did not yield answers,
only fairy tales,
light as gas, like helium,
making me giddy,
feeding the flames,
until the periodic table of untruth
fell apart
from lack of substance.

No bait from me could tempt you
to throw off your pale mask.
No words could reassure
that there is honor
among thieves.
And so I wandered
on the edge of sanity,
a mere record for your files.

But in spite of the complex mess we made,
the pride and posturing,
the drawn knives,
in the dark,
carving each other up
with phony smiles,
still I wonder
late at night,
(and when the sun is high)
what little game it was we played,
and was it victory or tie?

This was written for The Sunday Whirl.

55 - Baby Squirrel

I think he fell
from the magnolia tree,
but when i looked up,
no nest did I see.
Too much danger
to leave him outside;
I put him in a box,
took him for a ride.
The vet treated him,
with fluids to make him better.
Now my squirrel resides
at the local wildlife center.

 Got a story you can tell in exactly 55 words? Let the G-Man know!

Let’s Pretend

It’s all surface play, you know,
the careful words and euphemisms.
Around and around the mulberry bush,
until we all fall down.

Flaccid arguments replace real words.
We speak of ghosts and phantoms.
All tidy and sleek,
but no more real than shadows
on cave walls.

So don your favorite costume.
Paste a smile upon your face.
Practice your sidelong looks and innuendo,
for there are elephants in this room,
and they are hungry.

This is a Three Word Wednesday post.

Time Heals

Where did it go?
The anger,
sense of false pride,
that shatters all serenity,
splits the heart,
and cleaves the mind in two.

Some cuts take a long time to heal.

Deep inside the cave of doubt,
we learned to lie,
say anything,
while wearing foolish costumes
and giggling behind a mask.
But inside we were
scooped out,
pressing on our bruises
to see if they still hurt
(they did)
and wondering
why healing wouldn't come.

But somewhere along the way,
we got lost
and found
new distractions from old pain.
Free of pokes and prodding,
gentle time's arnica
worked its magic.

The chattering demon
of lies and loaded questions
is spent now,
no more real
than a moonshine-addled dream.
(What was it about?)
And in its wake
there remains
only our shared memories
and love.

This is a Sunday Whirl post.

In Memoriam

According to Will Durant, "Education is the transmission of civilization." This is a fitting description of Doc Taylor's career, since he not only taught the specifics of our American civilization, but through his actions he taught us to be a little more civilized in our own right.

I used to wonder why a man with his education and experience taught high school. Surely there were more lucrative and prestigious jobs available for someone like him. But now, with the benefit of a few extra decades of living, I can see the appeal. Our teen years are the last time we can be easily reached. At that age we are wise enough to understand big concepts, but not yet set in our ways. In full adulthood, it often takes great trauma to soften us and make us reexamine our lives, but as teens, we can still be molded by a gentle hand.

Doc held his students to high standards, but always with a gentle touch.

They say one candle can light a thousand others without diminishing its own brilliance, but I believe Doc's candle burned all the brighter for having lit so many.

Note: I took Doc Taylor's AP American History class my junior year of high school. The following year, he tutored me for the AP Western Civ exam, since my school did not offer a class at that time. More info about Doc Taylor in his obituary and in this news story.

55 - Rescued

She was alone on the trail on a hot and dusty day.

Lost in this great wilderness, it seemed she had nowhere to turn. 

All seemed hopeless, but then rescue came.

Blissful kindness of strangers! 

Refreshed and revived, she knew things would be okay.

 And later that night, she had quite a tale to tell!

If you have a tale to tell, and can do it in exactly 55 words, let the G-Man know!

Storm Clouds

false friend,
nuage d'orage,
scent of distant rain.
here the land lies
of all but dust
and hope
while the horizon
and wells and reservoirs
run dry.

just a few drops
would soothe my thirst,
wet another week
of wishing,
for things that cannot be,
but no salvation
from the sky,
deus ex nubi,
will be mine

I approach the empty cistern
with a storm cloud in my heart.

This is a Sunday Scribblings post.

55 - Cooped Up

It's a sunny day, and I am cooped up here, indoors, looking out the window at the blue sky and palm trees. The air conditioner blows cold against my skin and I huddle in my business suit, wondering why we bother holding conferences in such lovely, sunny places if we never get to go outside.

About Friday 55: Write a story in 55 words, then tell the G-Man!


I put my ego in a box,
taped up well.


With no legitimate way to feed it,
this seemed the best way.

But it got out again
and rampaged
through the streets,
leaving debris in its wake,
but damaging only itself.

I will have to collect it again,
wrap it in soft tissue,
and put it away,
nestled in foam peanuts,
surrounded by cardboard.

This time I will mark the box
so there will be no mistake.
I'll take my magic marker
(the purple one)
and in my most careful hand, write:


This is a Three Word Wednesday post.