Writing

Various things that have been published in various things. These stories are also on Medium.

PIECES

I’m sitting at my desk on post-election day, reviewing eight pages of aborted paragraphs I’ve scribbled in my notebook, wrestling with the desire to communicate and connect with you, to say something important or useful or — if all else fails — something clever or entertaining. The eight pages have come up short on all fronts. I got bupkis. Continue reading

Broken Lines: LO

The cowboy is tired and a bit cranky.

“Whaaat?” asks the spaceman in disbelief. “No, it’s cool! Like a mascot!”

They sit in the rear booth of the Stop-N-Go Diner just off of Route 28. Two cups of coffee rest on the table, surrounded by breakfast debris. Above the din of ordering, smalltalk, and determined mastication rises the tinny sound of that accursed “Life Is A Highway” song. It leaks out of the diner’s table jukeboxes, thirty-odd speakers radiating unspeakable brain damage. Continue reading

Stunt Design

There’s an insidious monster whispering in the ears of amateur illustrators and designers, haunting Twitter feeds and blogs and tumblrs across the web. It isn’t an art movement or anything, it’s an internet trend. I have come to refer to it in my head as Stunt Design.

Stunt Design, n. The phenomenon of designers & illustrators creating gimmicky graphics purely in the hopes of ‘going viral’ on pop culture/arts blogs. Continue reading

CLEAR SKIES (Sip, Northampton)

An excerpt from my book One More Cup Of Coffee
It’s a blustery New England morning on Main Street. I inhale a chilly lungful of Monday, smug in the knowledge that, unlike west coast writers, I get to use words like “blustery.” I step into SIP for a coffee and a bagel. I’m not sure if all-capping SIP is required, but I do it because I dig their sign, which is all-caps, which is successful branding. Continue reading

Take Me Out To The Ballga—OH GOD THEY HAVE SNACKS

6:59—By the time I make it to the bleachers, it’s the end of the second inning. The Valley Blue Sox versus the North Adams Guys Wearing Black Shirts. I’ve decided to catch a collegiate league baseball game as an excuse to get out of the house on a nice summer evening. I’m out of my element here, trying my best to blend in. I wear my Red Sox hat, so no one will point and scream at me like a bodysnatched Donald Sutherland. I sit on the bleachers, keep my head down, and write. I’ll probably get beaned. See? “Beaned.” That’s a baseball word. I know stuff. Continue reading

Bam-Bam

Before he was even out of bed in the morning, one of the first things on Jon’s mind was his bamboo plant. Not because he particularly cared about it, but because it was right there, a few feet from the foot of the bed, waiting for the blinds to be raised so it could get a little sunshine. Continue reading

The Cash Register Tolls for Thee

It was an average night at the dead mall: the elderly were pocketing ceramic bird figurines while children were buying things with handfuls of pennies. Unknown brand names lined the shelves. The blank cassette tapes, hair scrunchies, and Virgin Mary nightlights were selling briskly. I answered customer inquiries such as “How much is this?” and “Is this a dollar?” and “How much would two of these cost?” Continue reading

Sunday Morning

We’re standing across the street from our house early on Sunday morning, surveying our grand 1/8th acre estate and discussing our yard work plans for spring. I tell Sarah I will be smarter this year and trim the hedge along the fence before it blooms. I realize that the phrase “nip it in the bud” has a real-world literal meaning. It had honestly never occurred to me before. Continue reading

UHF

It was the summer of ‘86 and Eddie couldn’t hit a dog’s ass with a fistful of TV Guides. He spent long stifling nights on his porch, coaxing clear signal from his portable black and white Japanese television set. Had particular trouble getting channel 32 from out Waterville way. Horizontal lines, verticals not holding, frequencies fighting frequencies on the inside of the little Shibaura’s picture tube. Continue reading