Sorry to have been away for so long, but Google wouldn't let me into my blog. Ah, you know the usual excuses. Actually, I’ve been writing. It was a very good year, with some 17 short fiction and non-fiction pieces published in print and online. Let me share those online pieces that are most satisfying as I look back on 2013:
“Waiting to Join the Grey Lady,” is a ghost story published by Short-Story.Me (at ). I was intrigued by the thought that people become captivated by books because they’re preferable to people. This clicked as a story when I learned of the ghost who haunts the town library in a small Ohio town. And, because one of my favorite used bookstores is on Cambridge’s Huron Avenue, the three elements melded together.
Often, reading about a weird psychological or neurological condition will serve as a prompt. Reading Dr. Israel Sacks led to discovering hypnopompic hallucinations, the visions a patient has when wide awake. This was the prompt I needed for “Scouting Alternatives,” published by Bewildering Stories on (at http://bewilderingstories.com/issue553/scouting_alternatives.html). Imagine being followed — or in this case, preceded—by your hallucinated other.
“Rosamonde Calley” was similar in that an editor is on the trail of a pseudonymous best-selling auth. But, the author exists only by being channeled through a failed book collector. This story of frustration was published by The Corner Club Press in its Paranormal Issue (at http://thecornerclubpress.weebly.com/uploads/6/0/5/3/6053731/thecornerclubpress_paranormalissue_updated2.pdf - p. 11).
Perhaps one of last year’s favorites is “The Psychic in the WalMart Parking Lot” simply because I’m extremely rankled by the nefarious spying done by the CIA and NSA. At the same time, a psychic was in the news for losing a lawsuit in which she bilked customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, what if a psychic were legit in her demonstrated abilities? What would the government do to stop her or him? Guess. (Times up!) The story was published by InfectiveINk (at http://infectiveink.com/?tag=walter-giersbach).
Remember the college football player who was played by a girlfriend who existed only in the social media? The schlunk is known as a “catfish” It’s a shame when you can’t believe what you see on the Internet and social media. It’s even worse when your unseen lover bamboozles you into committing a heinous crime. “You Ain’t the Only Catfish” was published by Every Day Fiction (at http://www.everydayfiction.com/you-aint-the-only-catfish-by-walt-giersbach/ ).
Do we ever truly leave our childhood behind? “Brace Beemer, Please Come Home” is a non-fiction look back at the glory days of radio shows. Mr. Beemer, of course, was the first actor to take the role of the Lone Ranger when radio was in its heyday. The memoirish recollection was published by The Connotation Press (at http://www.connotationpress.com/creative-nonfiction/1929-walt-giersbach2-creative-nonfiction).
Sure, crime stories are a grabber for reader and writer alike. Now, imagine The New York Times writing about the Army’s working on the lightning bug gene for warfare. And imagine your girlfriend was making a few bucks by testing this development — until her body parts started showing up around New York City. “Light up My Life” was published by Short-Story.Me (at http://www.short-story.me/mystery-stories/549-light-up-my-life.html).
I’ve always been fascinated by the Civil War and to a certain extent Southern Gothic culture. This was an entertaining story to write in order to get the atmosphere right, with a dollop of murder thrown in for good measure. “Grammie’s Waiting” was published by Liquid Imagination and narrated by Bob Eccles, at http://issue.liquid-imagination.com/article/grammies-waiting-by-walter-giersbach/
Love those stories that do a U-turn near the end, and then another 180° turn in the last paragraph. Mostly, however, I knew I had to do something about viaticals — those brokered insurance policies that let you collect the payout before you’re dead. “Life Settlement, Finally” was published by Over My Dead Body! (at http://www.overmydeadbody.com/wgbach3.htm).
Bitchy women and dysfunctional families are so entertaining, as long as you don’t have to live with them. Would anything piss off Mother Dearest more than to have her 16-year-old daughter announce she was going to marry an older man from Morocco? And the conversation at the three-star Manhattan restaurant just got louder and louder until…. “Lunchtime Interlude” was published by Short-Story.Me (at http://www.short-story.me/flash-fiction/534-lunchtime-interlude.html).
There was another trip back in time, to my childhood when a Hollywood star introduced an 11-year-old to love. “Marilyn Monroe Loved Me” was published by Writers Haven in its 9th issue (at http://original-writer.com/writershavenissue9page4walter.html).
Hope you can enjoy these short pieces. Send me an e-mail if you have a comment, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.