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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Death of a Webzine

Sad words this week from Chad Plunk, who founded and ran Short Fiction World ( He’s shuttering his Windows and turning out the lights—and rejecting my submission before deciding to accept or reject it.

He wrote to me, “I’ve had a number of personal issues arise and we’re going to cease publication. The announcement will go out to everybody who has stories waiting this weekend, and officially be posted on the website. We don't have the time to commit that we expected and would rather do no job than a poor one.”

I suppose this also means the archival death of “Modern Love,” my story that he published in February this year. This leads to an interesting thought as people increasingly Google friends, associates, lovers and themselves. I check my name periodically and am surprised to see a history of my fiction, articles and press releases. Plus, there are links to my grandmother’s Chautauqua lectures, archived at the University of Iowa. And my great grandfather’s Civil War diaries online at Writing lives on long after other things have changed.

Is Internet “biography” a new form of posterity, more enduring than a tombstone and less expensive than an endowed university chair? Perhaps. Conversely, if in the future there’s no electronic representation of a person on the Web, does he or she have less existence?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Humor in a Jugular Vein

I’ve always wondered if mystery writers—even readers—had a sense of humor. Noir isn’t funny and Sam Spade was never jocular. Of course, no one ever admits, “Gee, I’m sorry, but I’ve always been challenged by humor.”

So, with some trepidation I tried putting a satirical shot across the bow of detective fiction and came up with “The Case of the Checkered Murder” (, "Minute Mystery") to see what might happen. Self consciously, I then interviewed myself since no one else has come forward to ask pertinent (even impertinent) questions. Hey, if the esteemed playwright David Mamet can interview himself (since he never gives interviews), I thought, why don’t I give that a shot too? You can read it at MysteryAuthors’ blog link.

My thanks to super editor Lisa Logan at who proved satirical humor is acceptable. A small part of me, though, still remembers my journalism professor warning us budding news writers, “Death is never funny.”