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Cracks in the Window


This is the first three chapters of my (unfinished, at the time of this writing) novel. The rest I'm saving in case someone actually wants to publish it. Unlikely, but who knows.

An Unplanned Stop

Jackson pushed through the train's sliding doors just as they were closing. The soft whoosh of the car’s air conditioning system echoed his sigh of relief that he had made it on time. The next train would not be for an hour, and the sun had already long set. He was sure another hour spent downtown after dark would kill him.

Not that downtown was unsafe, he felt. It’s just that the shops rolled their windows up at seven, and the night did little to cool the hot, humid air that rolled in off the ocean. The train's platform had only fans that just blew hot, wet air around, and there were few places with air conditioning still open that he could sit and be cool for an hour. ( read more )

Stop Hitting That Snooze Button!

If September 11 was your wake-up call that bad things happen in this world, that there are people out there who want to kill you for your ideals and beliefs, then you've overslept. In the last fifty years, incidents of violence have plagued this country seemingly non-stop, ranging from terrorist attacks in a campaign against America's foreign policy, to rioting and looting over a court decision, to children gunning each other down because of teen angst, to terrorism in a campaign against America's domestic policy. While America has not been violently attacked as Israel by Palestinians or even the United Kingdom by Irish separatists, the violence has always been there. Pretending it wasn't there is dangerous self-imposed ignorance. ( read more )

English is a Stupid Language

Originally published on

[inline:1]Yesterday, the wife and I went out to accomplish a few things and on the way we stopped to explore the new mall that's near our house. Now, to be honest, the Eastridge Mall is not actually new. In fact, it's close to 35 years old, and when it was built it was the largest enclosed mall west of the Mississippi. This means, of course, that until recently it was kind of a dump because malls are among the things don't seem to age very well.

Well, they've completely redone Eastridge and they've turned the inside into La Ritz. Very shiny and sparkly with lots of nice little art and architecture, catwalks that go hither and yon, tile, high ceilings and all of the things that tell shoppers, "Hey, we spent a lot of money on this place, we want it to look nice so you'll come here and think you have to spend a lot of money too!" And that's an ok thing, if you ask me, because I like pleasant places. ( read more )



This is where I deposit articles from various places that I'm particularly pleased with. At the time of this writing, I now have regular gigs for and (which is my site so I guess it doesn't exactly count) and at this point am attempting to get into the practice of producing a reasonable volume of what I hope is quality material.

Written Word

This is my collection of material that I've put up for public consumption. Some of it is embarassing, but mostly it illustrates...that I haven't really generated enough material, and that I clearly need to spend some time just creating material.

Consider yourself lucky, by the way, about the material that's here; I wrote a novel in high school, entirely on paper, and I was moving and going to throw it away. Someone told me I'd later regret it, so I kept it. A few years later I broke it out and read the first two or three chapters. They were so horrendous I immediately threw it away and never looked back. ( read more )

Chapter Three

Kett's gaze was locked onto the distant ocean below, through the small, thick window. It seemed to drift by, lazily, completely unconnected to the world. Except, Kett observed, he was the one completely unconnected to the world at this time. Thirty five thousand feet above the world, and only the blue water, so far away that it looked perfectly solid.

It had been a difficult choice, figuring out exactly where to go. He'd done his research, and come across a lot of possibilities. The northern provinces were all too cold, he thought, and the southern provinces just started to look like carbon copies of Cedar City. Sure, there were a few landmarks, and each province had something distinct about it, but deeper research seemed to always turn up the same restaurants, the same tours, the same museums, the same amusement parks, the same hotels, and pretty much the same people. ( read more )

Chapter Two

Kett sat on the balcony, watching the sun set. He had not moved for hours except to light cigarette after cigarette, or to take a pull of whiskey. A deep melancholy had taken hold of him and seemed disinclined to let go.

He couldn't help but wonder if the strange man he thought of as the professional killer was somehow involved in this. But why would he do such a thing? Then again, why would he be sending emails, making calls and showing up at all? For that matter, who in the world was this guy? He'd try to trace the emails, but he already deleted them, and the computer refused to fess up to having kept any sort of backup copy, so that idea seemed to be out. The telephone company wouldn't give out those records without the Peace Corps being involved, so that idea was out. ( read more )


We were young and wild and strong and free
We did everything, always more to see
Since we were kids we always had fun
It's hard to believe those days are done

I don't remember what came before,
But we left that party some time around four
I was sure that I was okay to drive
And I just wanted to be home by five.

-- [Chorus]
I'd gladly trade places, be the one to go
I hear your voice now, a maddened echo
I don't want to have to bid you farewell
And what will I say to your poor Michelle?

-- [Faster, slightly discordant accompaniment]
Wind; rain; a pop; the car, skid right;
Wheel torn from my grip; a sudden light; ( read more )

Soak Up The Gun

(Parody of Sheryl Crow's "Soak Up The Sun")

This guy's a terrorist
He blew up some guy's RV
I can’t believe this guy
He got caught and he's on TV

He didn't kill himself
He didn't kill anyone
But he's going to jail
And he didn't get nothing done

I’m gonna get me a gun
I’m gonna kill everyone
Who pissed me off (I’m gonna show 'em that)
I'm gonna blow 'em away
I'm going to do it today
It will be fun
I’m gonna fire my gun
I’m gonna watch 'em all run

I’ve got a crummy job
It don’t pay near enough
To take the shit they dump
All over everything I do ( read more )

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