Monday, September 30, 2013

The Taste of Bile

Forgive me, ladies and gentlemen, but I'm not in the mood to post anything witty, amusing or informative at the moment.  I am simply too irritated.
What, you ask, is the cause of my irritation?
Well, gentle readers, its my attempt to buy a condo.
I am using the word 'attempt' because it hasn't actually happened yet.  The closing date continues to be pushed back because of the administrative incompetence of the current owners.
This is not the first time I've bought a house, but I can say that it has been the most frustrating. Between the dog-eat-dog market, the deplorable condition of most of the houses I looked at and now the frustration of the current closing process, all I can taste this morning is bile.
I am angry.
I am pissed off.
I am pissed-the-fuck-off, if you'll pardon my language.
This entire process is just leaving a bitter taste in my mouth.
I sincerely hope, ladies and gentlemen, that your day started off better than mine.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Good evening, gentle readers.
Tomorrow, I am pleased to announce that three of my e-books on will be available, free, for the Kindle and those with the Kindle ap.
The three books I am offering for free are: Capetales, Hellbound on the Sugar Train and Surprise Vignettes.
If you've already downloaded and enjoyed these stories, please spread the word to your friends and acquaintances that they will be available for free.
Thank you and I hope you're having a great weekend!

Monday, September 23, 2013


Good afternoon, gentle readers.
As some of you may know for the last few months I've been searching for a house.  Well, it appears that I have finally found one.
But what does the end of my house hunt mean for you?
Well, for one thing I probably won't be posting odd house-hunting related short fiction any longer. Instead, I will probably start posting house-furnishing related fiction.
Yes, do try to control your excitement.  I know it's difficult with the possibility of furniture and carpet related stories to look forward to, but we are all adults here and must maintain a certain modicum of dignity.
And for those of you hankering for my next book (You know who you are. Yes. You. In the corner, over there. I see you.), you might be interested to know that my upcoming relocation will not detract from my current literary efforts.
So, that's my big news.
Before I go though, I would like to reiterate to blog readers that they can see me in all my ponderous fleshy wonder this Wednesday at the Richland County Public Library on Garners Ferry Road. I'll be speaking at a program regarding comics and literacy.  It starts at 5:00 p.m. and ends when it ends.
And after that? What next?
Carpet and paint samples!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Comics & Literacy at the Library!

Gentle readers, this Wednesday on September 25th, I will be taking part in a program discussing comics and literacy at the Richland County Public Library at 7421 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC.  The event starts at 5:00 P.M.
So, ladies and gentlemen, if you'd like to actually see and hear me speak, as opposed to reading the ramblings presented at this blog, come on down! I'll see you there!

Comics & Literacy
Richland County Public Library SE
7421 Garners Ferry Road
Columbia, SC 29209

Monday, September 16, 2013

Comics & Literacy

Good morning, gentle readers.

Next week, I’m giving a talk on comics and literacy at one of our local libraries. So, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to take this opportunity to produce a rough first draft of what I plan on saying.

So, without further ado...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts on Falling

Hello, gentle readers,
A few days ago I posted a poem, Falling, here on the blog.  It was inspired by the upcoming anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack on New York City.
I am not particularly comfortable writing about such things.  I get uneasy. I squirm. My stomach fills with butterflies.
Because it feels like I'm somehow taking advantage of the pain of other people.  I feel like a scavenger, picking at the bones.  Like I'm tearing the scab off a wound that hasn't healed, just to see if it will still bleed a little.
Another reason for my unease is the tone of my poem.  Falling on one level is about moving on, grieving and letting go, but on another level I think it's very obviously about 'compassion fatigue.'  It is not a particularly sympathetic work.
On that day, twelve years ago, I woke to my clock radio.  However, instead of the usual musical program, I was roused by two men talking about 'the disaster in New York.'  I climbed out of bed, went into my living room and turned on my television. 
CNN and every other network was showing the same images over and over again: the planes smashing into the World Trade Center towers.
I can remember feeling physical shock at the sight and then horror when they started playing it again. Whenever I think of the events of that day, I think of that image.  The plane smashing into the building, the towers collapsing in fire and ash.
The events of September 11th changed our entire society, here in the United States.  It changed how we viewed ourselves, how we viewed others, how we interacted with the entire world.
We haven't recovered from it.
Today, on the anniversary of that awful day, the country echoes with cries of, "Never forget!" Unspoken is the sentiment, "Never forgive!"
We hate.
We fear.
Some would say that those feelings are understandable; that they are justified; that they make us human.
I would argue that those feelings were understandable and justified at the time of the attacks.  Today, they do not make us human; they reduce us, make us less than human.
The towers have been falling in our heads and hearts for over a decade.  They never stop falling, they never reach the ground.
Isn't it about time that they did?  Isn't it time for them to stop falling?

Monday, September 9, 2013



Ten years have gone by.
The towers are still falling.

Frozen. Timeless. Still.
Trapped in memory and grief.

We do not forget.
Like the towers we are trapped.

Tangled in our grief
Mesmerized by shock and awe.

The ground waits for us.
All of us and the towers.

The moment stretches.
It is elastic. Awful.

We wait for the snap,
For mercy, for earth’s embrace.

Dashed to pieces,
Obliterated by time.

But time is not kind.
We are still falling. Graceless.

Falling through the years.
Trailing ash across the sky.

Let the grave take us.
We have fallen long enough.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ada McGee


This is the story of Ada McGee
She lost her heart to the cold dark sea

And by that, I mean the actual sea,
just a body of water, to you and to me.

But to Ada, it was something more,
the ideal lover, a thing to adore.

She’d walk on the shore, by night and by day,
not the fiercest of storms, could keep her away.

Near the damp shingle, Ada built up her home
from flotsam and jetsam, and gifts from the foam.

To be quite honest, it was just a damp shack,
But Ada was happy and for nothing did lack.

A bed and a fire, to warm her strange bones,
her lullaby song was the sea’s creaking moans.

Snug as a bug, Ada lived by her sea,
Enjoying the largess of her lover’s debris.

She harvested driftwood, collected bright shells,
found curious things in the dark, foamy swells:

Bouquets of flowers, beads of cut glass,
a heavy wool coat with buttons of brass.

And then, Ada found the most remarkable thing,
washed up on the sand was a fine silver ring.

It fit her precisely, as if made for her hand,
a glittering pearl, in a shimmering band.

Not long after that, on a warm summer’s night,
Ada walked into the sea, in the silver moonlight.

Some think she was mad, touched in the head,
they’ll sadly proclaim Ada drowned and long dead.

But some others will tell you, a quite different tale
that Ada was pretty, hardy and hale.

She may have been odd, no stranger to strife,
but she wasn’t the type to end her own life.

And they say, on the nights, when the moon is all round,
if you walk down to the beach, you’ll hear a strange sound.

By a damp little shack, that has seen better days,
you’ll hear Ada’s voice raised in sweet praise.

And if you linger right there, by that crude little shack,
they say you’ll hear the sea’s voice, answer her back.

So that is the story of Ada McGee,
who gave her heart to the wine-dark sea.