Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

If Editors Only Realized

The holidays can be so filled with Himalayas of joy and Marianna Trenches of despair that I’m happy to report my family—all of them—and I came through them with great experiences, sensations and memories. One added Christmas present came on Dec. 26 when I opened my mail to find an acceptance from Every Day Fiction ( for the flash piece “The Last Person on Earth.” [Publication date to come shortly.] Camille said of it, “A fascinating concept and well-crafted prose. The last line is particularly well done.” Co-editor Jordan remarked, “Wow. This asks so many questions beyond the actual story. It’s so deep and yet so short. Another beauty from you.”

This is my second piece to have been accepted and published by this new [2007] online magazine. As with a few other editors, it’s a pleasure to deal with these thoughtful people. Every writer has received snarky rejections from don’t-bother-me editors. A friend of mine actually got an-mail back saying, “This story is crap!”

How nice then for BJ Bourg, publisher and editor of Mouth Full of Bullets ( to tell me in September that he was truly and personally sorry he had to reject a story. A few months later, he wrote about another submission, “Thanks for submitting such wonderful work! I really enjoyed ‘Epitaph with Flowers’ and will publish it in December 2008. I hope all is going great for you and that you have a Happy Thanksgiving.”

Wow! Those are the kinds of responses—for acceptances and rejections—that keep writers coming back. I’ve struck a number of magazines off my list of markets because there didn’t seem to be a human being at the helm. Queries weren't answered, delays were interminable, approvals were later cancelled. Others, however, have gotten my checks for subscriptions.

As a side note, this encouragement means I've spent more time—successfully—writing to specific genres. The good editors are making me examine their markets more closely—and making me a better writer. Makes me wonder if editors know the effect they have on writers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What’s to Be Afraid of in a Number?

A letter crossed my desk years ago from a fellow who’d written a book exposing odd cyclical correlations. The price of pig iron in China, he believed, ran in cycles comparable to sow bellies in Iowa. I didn’t buy his book, but the coincidences kept coming to my attention. For example, Jack Kennedy had a secretary named Nixon and Richard Nixon had a secretary named—you guessed it. I often wondered whether there might be cycles that would uncover mysteries. Numerology, astrology and “sympathetic magic” fall into this class of happenstance. So does a great deal of Old Testament religion, which gave rise to a gaggle of writers describing 666 as the sign of the devil. I wish life were that easy and such shortcuts to interpretations were available.

All this leads to my short story titled “Number Eleven,” which editor Don Webb has published at Bewildering Stories. You can read it at But, please, don’t write or call to tell me that numerology really does explain the innermost secrets of our existence!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Opening the Cable Window

Editor Don Webb has just posted my short story, “Cable Window,” at Bewildering Stories ( This bit of gee-whiz is less an exercise in sci-fi than a way to unveil our heroine’s loneliness over the loss of her husband. Missing a TV signal does not compare to the death of a loved one, but some metaphorical comparison could be made.*

The time-out-of-synch plot isn’t original. It’s been the core story plot a number of times over the decades. Philip K. Dick was a master of the sub-genre. The fact that there’s a “February 29th” in “Cable Window” is my predilection for things that are sometimes overlooked. Perhaps it’s a stranger’s earring found in your bed, or finding a strange cigarette end in the car ashtray. Who knows where that could lead?

The story grew out of a prompt years ago that made me ask, “What the heck is a cable window?” Well, I now know it’s that period when time stops because Macy’s is going to deliver that whatchamacallit, or the repairman will visit—and you better be home to receive the delivery or service call. Haven’t we all taken a day off work to wait for the person who doesn’t come? The window closes, we’re often dissatisfied, then we have to muddle through as best we can.

Give “Cable Window” a read and let me know about the windows of waiting in your life.

* I can’t leave this without digressing into humorous absurdity. Someone has asked, “How can you tell if your husband is dead?” (Answer: The sex is the same but you get the remote.)