What I learned about myself by looking at a picture

Pictures are mirrors. Today I didn’t like what I saw.

There are two pictures here. Scroll down to see the second.

I hope, should there be a lesson for you in this, it is neither as painful nor as necessary as mine.

Take a moment to answer the question in the first picture.

Give yourself time. Go wild with it. Explore it.

Exhausted yourself?

Scroll down and let me know your response to the answer.

And thanks.
Continue reading “What I learned about myself by looking at a picture”

The Little Knitty Dragon

The wonderful and talented Brittani Avery invited me to read some of my work and share it with Facebook’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Readers Lounge group.

This is my first offering, The Little Knitty Dragon (A Tale of the Woods).

This story is published in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 7 along with stories from talented writers such as Kate Baucherel, Mark Hayes, and others.

(fair warning: several readers tell me this story makes them cry. it made me cry, anyway)

Hope you enjoy.

Learn more about the Harvey Duckman series and get a copy of Volume 7.
We won’t mind.

Search Chapter 5 – Monday, 7 January 1974

Search is loosely based on a real incident. The incident remains, the story is greatly different.

Enjoy. And remember, it’s still a work in progress. These chapters are rough drafts. I’ve completed twenty chapters so far and it seems I’ll complete the novel this time. We’ll see.

Read Search Chapter 4


Search Chapter 5 – Monday, 7 January 1974

Jeri Weintraub watched the tall, thin girl in the long technicolor scarf, mittens, and matching knitted hat walk from a ruby red Monte Carlo into the Stop&Shop. “Couldn’t be.”

She grabbed a shopping list and her wallet from the passenger seat and followed. A couple of glances up and down the aisles revealed nothing so she went about her task; buying various feminine hygiene products for her Endicott Jr. College dorm mates. Once a week somebody drew the short straw and borrowed a college van to go shopping. If the trip was to nearby Liberty Tree Mall, the van would be full. But picking up tampons and pads at the north Beverly Stop&Shop? She was on her own.

She swung her cart down the Health&Beauty aisle and got out her list.

“On the rag, Weintraub?”

“Thompson? Stephanie?”

The tall, thin girl’s head poked around the aisle’s end cap. She pulled off her woolen hat and long, blonde hair fell down her shoulders and back. “Hey, Jer.”

“I thought that was you in the parking lot. You were out west, weren’t you? Working at a ranch? Something like that?”

“More like Camp Jesus for Wayward Daughters, but yeah.” She glanced at the list in Jeri’s hand. “Heavy month?”

“Buying supplies for my dorm. I’m at Endicott now. What are you doing here?”

“I got a job nannying a couple of kids in Wenham. How much time do you have? Want some lunch? My treat. You know about the Capri?”

“Heard about it during orientation. My boyfriend takes me there a lot.”

Stephanie’s right eyebrow lifted and she faked a German accent. “We have a boyfriend now, do we? You will tell us everything. Everything, do you hear? Everything!”

Twenty minutes later they’d placed their order for a large, extra cheese, well done, and were sipping Tabs in a dark booth at the back of the Capri. Stephanie toyed with her napkin, the salt and pepper shakers, the Parmesan cheese holder, and their straw wrappers, arranging, rearranging, then putting everything back in their original positions only to repeat it again and again.

She kept her eyes down, not on Jeri, and singsonged, “So what’s his name, what’s he like, does he roll over when he’s done, show me his sex face.”

“What’s going on, Thompson?”

Stephanie placed a hand on her chest and affected a southern accent. “Why whatever do you mean, Ms. Weintraub?”

“You’re pale, you’re breathing shallow, and you’re twitchy. You start doing drugs since I saw you last?”

Stephanie affected a Boston accent. “When did you become a doctah?”

“Since I started dating Gio. He pays attention to things like that. So what’s going on?”

“Gio, eh? The last boy you dated was a Javier. You got a thing for foreigners, Weintraub?”

“He’s not a foreigner and quit changing the subject. What’s going on?”

“You haven’t heard about my brothers?”

“Eddie and Tom? Are they okay?”

Stephanie’s eyes watered. She hung her head and whispered, “They’re missing.”

Jeri sat beside Stephanie and put an arm over her shoulder. “Sweet Jesus, Steph. When did this happen?”

Stephanie filled in the details, each point marked with a gut shaking sob. She clung to Jeri like a child seeking its mother’s breast.

“And the police know nothing?”

“Idiots haven’t done a thing in three months.”

The pizza arrived. Jeri shook her head at the waitress and mouthed, “Can we get that to go?” The waitress nodded and carried the steaming pie away.

Jeri held Stephanie and waited until her sobs were under control. “You mind if I tell Gio about this?”

Stephanie laughed through her tears. “I thought he was a doctah.”

Jeri watched the waitresses moving back and forth, other customers eating pizza, subs, pasta. She shook her head. “He’s…different.”

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I met Joseph Carrabis through his former publisher. He’s a fun guy with a wonderful imagination, and a very interesting past in marketing. Today, we’re going to talk all about that, and he’s going to introduce you to his work.

The great and glorious (and everwise. mustn’t forget everwise) Justine Manzano, author of The Order of the Key and other novels, interviewed me on her blog.

We talked about The Augmented Man, my writing process, music I write by, my publishing plan (currently in phase III of IV), examples of good publishers and an example of a bad publisher, blogging about wildlife, and more.

Give it a read.

And comment. It’s always nice when you comment.

Tom’s eyeballing me

It always happens.

You know?

There’s always got to be one who keeps his eye on you.

Making sure you’re not getting away with anything.

There’s always got to be one who spoils the fun because they make sure nothing happens.

In this case, a Tom.

And a young one, too.

Probably doing it to impress the ladies.

That’s how Toms are.