New Short Story: Bad Air and Bitter Herbs

Sometime in late April, I fell down a rabbit hole of links learning about the history of the plague in Europe. It was a dark impulse in the middle of a modern-day pandemic, but I became fascinated by the plague doctor costume, a head-to-toe covering designed to protect the physician from infected patients. Through myContinue reading “New Short Story: Bad Air and Bitter Herbs”

The First Thirty Thousand Words

At my core, I’m a short story writer, a factor that has been both a blessing and a curse as I set out to write a full-length novel. At the 30,000-word mark, just over one-quarter of the way to my goal, it hit me that I was attempting something new.

Lies, Damn Lies and Fiction

Two years ago, I read a short story I had written called “The Cannibals of Kitsap.” The story follows a boy who develops an eating disorder after his father loses his job. After the reading, a woman walked up to ask me how the story ended. “Did your father find another job after that,” sheContinue reading “Lies, Damn Lies and Fiction”

New Short Story: “How to Steal Copper Wire”

A few years ago, a news article caught my attention. An epidemic was sweeping the nation — copper wire theft. People were stealing wire from streetlights and utilities and many of them were getting killed by electrocution in the process. I remember thinking it was a strange kind of crime. Not long after, I sawContinue reading “New Short Story: “How to Steal Copper Wire””

Wiseguys with Fedoras in the Shadows: Why I Love Telling Noir Stories

I’ve always loved a good crime drama. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with the film noir classics — Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, D.O.A., Dark Passage. There is something about the tense atmosphere and moral ambiguity of the genre that fascinates me. A sense of doom permeated those films, especially theContinue reading “Wiseguys with Fedoras in the Shadows: Why I Love Telling Noir Stories”

The Magic of Deadlines

I have heard rumors in my travels of creative people who are entirely self-motivated. They get up early, awakened by an innate drive to create, go to their computers, ignore Facebook and Google, and complete their work in a timely manner with no exterior motivator. I am not one of those people. I’m not evenContinue reading “The Magic of Deadlines”

New Short Story: “Inheritance”

My newest short story, “Inheritance,” was just published by Creative Colloquy. Two old friends take on a massive project when they renovate an old theatre and run into some unexpected trouble. I’d appreciate it if you’d take a few minutes to read it. Read Inheritance now! While you’re on CC’s site, you should also checkContinue reading “New Short Story: “Inheritance””

Why We Love a Good Apocalypse

The other day, my wife and I were hiking through Point Defiance when our conversation turned to the end of the world. If there was a major natural or man-made disaster, how would we survive? Would we be able to hunt the deer in the park? Or should we aim to steal a boat fromContinue reading “Why We Love a Good Apocalypse”

No-Good, Rotten Liars Like Me

“Writers are liars, my dear, surely you know that by now? And yet, things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.” – Neil Gaiman, The Sandman Last year, I read a short story of mine at CreativeContinue reading “No-Good, Rotten Liars Like Me”

Lucky Numbers

The man and the woman sit on their futon, watching the lottery results. A ticket rests on the cardboard box that serves as their coffee table for now. They both know the odds of winning are low, but they secretly think they’re special. Everyone casts themselves as the hero of their own story. The manContinue reading “Lucky Numbers”