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, March 15, 2008

Uninvited Attentions, Unreal Relationships

If you believe affection is purely a thing of the heart, that you’d never fall in love with someone who had evil intentions, then stop right here. My chief character in a new story wished he had stopped before uncovering layers of hypocrisy and unnatural love. This is “Modern Love,” just published by Short Fiction World ( The story’s longer and more thoughtful than pieces I’ve recently published.

Some readers might think this story is self-consciously smug. But, it also has something to say about hypocrisy, government and unnatural love. Untold millions of calls have been recorded by the National Security Agency without court approval. Further, in relation to “Modern Love,” last year over 4,000 people in New York were wire-tapped by city, state and federal authorities. It leads one to ponder relationships.

The themes of pretty-ugly appearances and unnatural reality are seen repeatedly in New York’s neighborhood “worlds”, in the characters’ camouflage, and in Marcela’s joke about comic-book heroes and her talk of trust. Appearances are not reality.

Chad Plunk, SFW editor, said, “We debated for some time publishing a story with anal sex as a key component, but ultimately the imagery of a defense contractor and the media literally sharing the CIA’s ass won out.” That was my thought entirely, but in an un-ironic, non-scatological vein.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Food for Thought—and Starving People

It’s ingrained in humans’ DNA to play games, and over the millennia this has evolved to…solitaire, Tetris, and other time-killing games played out to while away boredom. But—here’s an elegant idea—what if each game resulted in giving food to very hungry people?

That’s the practice behind The New York Times Magazine ( hipped me to FreeRice, and in the first five minutes I’d donated 600 grains of rice (supported by corporate advertisers) to the United Nations food program.

Check it out. You’re going to be tested—but no one will criticize you if you’ve forgotten what retiary means (net-like) in the multiple-choice answers. FreeRice presents the player with a word and four choices as to the meaning. Click, learn the right answer and get another word. Correct answers lead to a higher score and harder words.

P.S. I’m up to just 46 points, so excuse me if I leave you now to go back to FreeRice.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

“Last Person on Earth Until There Was a Knock on the Door”

This science fiction premise has become a cliché. So how do you give this plotting device a twist? Being the last person on earth may be more common than thought when the subject is comatose and unable to cry to the outside world for help. The ultimate question then may be, “Can anybody hear me?”

A few readers called “Last Man on Earth” terrifying. It’s posted at Every day Fiction ( You tell me. Maybe it’s my odd sense of the ridiculous, but I wrote the story in an ironic vein. It’s less about death than about nurses who knock on the doors of comatose patients, doctors who flout mortality with their vices, and the hubris of scientific dogma. But my thanks go to some scientist who used the metaphor of Christmas tree lights blinking off in the brain. Now that’s ironic!

This is my third short story EDF has published, so I feel a great deal of appreciation for editors Jordan Lapp and Camille Gooderham Campbell and Webmaster Steven Smethurst.