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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ghost of a Valentine

I was fascinated by the first successful face transplant, on Nov. 31, 2005, when a 38-year-old French woman received—literally—a new outlook on life. As reported by Time magazine’s Jeffrey Kluger, “No surgery quite crosses the existential line the way transplant surgery does. Create a single chimeric human with the tissues of another and the very sense of self goes wobbly.” My interest was more in the poetry of undying love than in Gray’s Anatomy, asking if the face is a reflection of the person within. That’s the thesis behind “Ghost of a Valentine,” at

News items like this make me run to the PC. William Gibson (Spook Country) grabbed me last week when he wrote, “She remembered [him] describing Stockholm syndrome, the fondness and loyalty one could supposedly come to feel for even the most brutal captor.... America had developed Stockholm syndrome toward its own government, post 9/11.”

Great concept! This has taken me into writing a mystery about a wealthy, educated career woman apparently disappears. Going missing, however, isn’t murder. It turns out that with all the achievement and wealth, she escapes from her “kidnappers” of parents, boyfriend, career, and education.

Other idea-generators have included a feature in the China Post surmising that most cubicle rats have “office spouses”" (every editor was outraged at this one), a blog from numerologists worrying about the number 11 (below, sold to Bewildering Stories), a news item about Chinese studying how magnets make it possible to “read” a hidden newspaper (“Magnetic Resonance,” waiting for an acceptance), and a psychologist describing Capgras syndrome, in which a family member becomes unrecognizable (sold to Mouth Full of Bullets).

Amazing how ideas can be transformed into fiction. Grab them, jot them down, shaken them up, let them ferment--and then see what comes out of the bottle.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Food Fantasies

There seems to be a natural affinity between fiction and food. Comestibles and condiments mix well with horror and homelife. “Face in the Tree” trades on one such affection gone wrong over a love of barbecue. You can read it at Hope you enjoy this bit of foolishness—and remember that the recipe for vengeance calls for different kinds of ingredients.

Someone mentioned that I could double the submissions potential of food fantasy by submitting the stories to Food TV. If they ever start featuring fiction along with the fajitas, maybe Bobby Flay will review it.