Tag Archives: creative writing

Toilet stall poetry

toilet stall with graffitiHave you ever used a public restroom,
Been seated inside a stall?
And have you noticed the words of wisdom,
That are scrawled across the wall?

Curses and verses and wisecracks.
Hints and tips not taught in school.
Insightful quotes by anonymous authors.
Sketches of women in the nude.

If you must answer the call of nature,
There’s no better way to spend your time.
Than to perch yourself upon a toilet,
And to read these rhyming lines.

Collectively, they’re a mural of knowledge.
A canvas of dazzling wisdom.
A monument of philosophy and convictions.
Art you can find only within a restroom.

As you’re taking care of business,
You admire this artistic masterpiece.
And you wonder how many have added to it,
As they sat here on this seat.

All of the many virtuosos,
Who contributed to this monument.
Are the ones responsible for its beauty,
And for all the graffiti written on it.

You think about your unheard voice,
Just before you flush.
And how those who have nothing to say,
Are the ones who say too much.

But in the restroom, things are different,
Where a wise man can say his piece.
In only one or two insightful verses,
Advice that’s always free.

So you clutch your trusty pen,
And find an empty space.
To write what’s on your mind,
In your very own sacred place.

And so with one conclusive scribble,
You admire what you’ve composed.
It fits in so nicely with this mural,
Made up on drawings, poems, and prose.

So you flush and leave with satisfaction,
Because you are now a bathroom poet.
You’ve had the ability to create artistic beauty,
And yet you didn’t even know it.

And so every poem and quote,
And even the sketches that are obscene.
Will remain as art for many centuries,
Or until the janitor wipes them clean.

Check out my serialized fiction on Goodreads

I used to publish my fiction on this blog, but for easier readability, I’ve since moved my stories to Goodreads. If you’re looking for free reading material, please check them out! Just click on the book cover to access the story.

Also, if you prefer reading on your mobile device, many of these stories are available for free in my book, Dying for Eternity: A Short-Story Collection.

Hope you enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading!

The Colane Conundrum: A Literary Sitcom

The Colane Conundrum Cover

Former newspaper editor Lyle Colane never imagined he’d have a mid-life crisis at age 30. But after losing his job and his live-in girlfriend of two years — both on the same day — he’s forced to make some dramatic changes in his life. The results (as you might expect) are life-changing.

With witty, comedic dialogue in the vein of Neil Simon and Woody Allen, “The Colane Conundrum” is a literary sitcom for people who enjoy TV shows, but hate TV.

The Colane Chronicles

The Colane Chronicles Cover

A prequel to my main fiction serial, “The Colane Conundrum,” this miniseries tells the story of Lyle Colane, a young man living in Reno who’s trying to figure out what he wants out of life — besides a second round.

Dying for Eternity

Dying for Eternity Cover

Two college students, Andrew and Matt, awaken in a mysterious compound with no memory of how they got there. They encounter a strange woman who tells them they’ve entered a spiritual realm … a halfway point between heaven and earth … because the unimaginable has happened:

They’ve died. 

However, for Andrew and Matt, death is only the beginning — the beginning of a murky and twisted reality that feels more like purgatory than a peaceful afterlife. And when it seems the spiritual realm they inhabit might not be so spiritual after all, their priority morphs from resting in peace to running for their lives….

Permanent Detention

Permanent Detention Cover

Since age seventeen, Paul has been serving a life sentence in Permanent Detention, a special prison for enemies of the state. His crime? Possessing a banned book — one he inherited from his long-dead rebel father. 

Now approaching thirty, Paul’s life has devolved to an empty, meaningless and very lonely routine. But one evening, his life takes a sudden and unexpected turn. For the first time in twelve years, he meets a woman — a fellow inmate named Pam. And though their encounter is brief, Paul falls deeply, profoundly in love. 

Flushed with emotions he never knew existed, Paul dreams of Pam at every waking turn, envisioning the life they could share if only their lives were their own — if only they were free and far away. 

Only Paul must cope with the fact that his life, like Pam’s, belongs to the state … and that no amount of dreaming can penetrate the prison’s thick walls. And when he’s told he can never see Pam again, Paul is forced to grapple with the emotions surging inside him … and to find meaning in a life over which he has no control. 

Set in a dystopian future in which liberty and privacy have become relics of the past, “Permanent Detention” depicts a young man’s resolve to find beauty amid bleakness, and to dream of love in life’s darkest hours.

The Do-Over

The Do-Over Cover

Jimmy Borman is a nerd. A lame, awkward, unpopular nerd. He’s never gotten the girl. He’s never even spoken to the girl. That’s how bad it is. 

He and his best friend, Ronald, occupy the lowest echelons of the sophomore class. And unless something drastic happens, that’s exactly where they’re going to stay. 

But then something drastic does happen — and it involves Jimmy meeting the girl of his dreams, Stacy Beckham.

The only problem? Jimmy’s family is planning to move to Reno during the summer. 

Will Jimmy succeed in winning the heart of the girl he dearly adores? Or will he blow the opportunity and require a do-over? 

Festering in Fremont

Festering in Fremont Cover

When Erin loses her prestigious job at a public-relations firm, she’s forced to move back in with her parents, returning to the small town she grew up in. Will she have an opportunity to reclaim her life, and her career, or will she remain festering in Fremont?

Nightmare of a Malefic Mind

Nightmare of a Malefic Mind Cover

Fred Walsh gave up on his dreams long ago. But now he’s entering a terrifying nightmare over which he has no control….

Baby Camp Recall

Baby Camp Recall Cover

Ted is a 29-year-old loser who can’t hold down a job or maintain a relationship. He’s not sure why. All he knows is that his whole life, he’s been a miserable failure.

But then Ted’s mom gets a letter from a summer camp that Ted attended years ago. According to the letter, the camp used experimental education methods that have proven to be traumatic. In an attempt to reverse the damage, the summer camp is asking for all former students — who now are all adults in their late 20s — to return for a cure. 

They’re issuing a recall.

If Ted goes back, will it solve all his problems and put him back on the path to success? Will he be able to live the life he should have been living all along? 

Find out in Baby Camp Recall.

The top 60 Tweets of a pretentious English student 

young man studying on laptop in college campus library

Yeah, I went to school with people like this…

Even graduate students studying ecocentric literature can be social-media superstars!

Bio: I express my artistry through emotional meditations and lowercase letters. My heart is pure; my poetry, self-published.

1. If there’s a sock on the door, don’t come in. I’m busy reading Vonnegut.

2. If my beret doesn’t give away my artistic tendencies, then I’m sure the Apple logo on my laptop will.

3. A sublime exhalation of youthful exuberance, in a premature outpouring of passion. (But give me 10 minutes, and I’ll try again.)

4. I’m not arrogant. I just don’t need to take writing advice from the dude who wrote “Charlotte’s Web.”

5. Yeah, well, how many literary-fiction journals have *you* been featured in, buddy?

6. Is that a Bukowski in your book bag, or are you just happy to see me?

7. Personally, I find the em-dash more progressive than the semicolon.

8. How endearing. I went through my own period of rugged Hemingway terseness back in 201.

9. We haven’t truly lived until we’ve written in the first-person-plural.

10. I’ll trade you three gently used issues of Glimmer Train for your annotated copy of “Burning Down the House.”

11. I’m not in it for the monetary compensation; I’m in it to bare my soul through the written word. (Besides, Mom pays my tuition.)

12. My tattered journal contains the scribblings of my soul. Plus, my Econ notes from yesterday’s class.

13. She left my emotional core stinging from the lash of rejection. (It also stings when I pee.)

14. I see you consistently get “it’s” and “its” confused. You need a bib to catch all the drool?

15. [Literary flirting] “So, you want to get coffee sometime? We could discuss whether Truman Capote wrote To Kill a Mockingbird.” Keep reading…

Download my free book, ‘Dying for Eternity’

Dying for Eternity: A short story collection

‘Dying for Eternity,’ a collection of short stories, is now available as a free download from the iTunes bookstore.

My 2012 story collection, Dying for Eternity, is now available as a free download from the iTunes bookstore.

The book showcases four of my stories, including Dying for Eternity, Permanent Detention, The Do-Over and Iceholes.

Readers probably know me best for my humor writing, which is my primary focus on this site. However, of the four stories, only Iceholes is an out-and-out comedy. Dying for Eternity is a suspenseful thriller, Permanent Detention is a dystopian romance, and The Do-Over is a high-school romance.

Readers also might recall that I once serialized all of the stories on this site. Later, I serialized them on a separate WordPress site, which I’ve since discontinued.

I can’t in good faith charge for content that once appeared online for free, which is why I’m offering the book at no cost. I’m hoping it will provide enjoyment for readers everywhere, whether you’re in the mood for humor, suspense, or romance.

Thank you as always for reading. And if you enjoy the book, please leave a positive review!  Keep reading…

Using social media to get more blog followers 

social media meme

The good news is that by harnessing the power of social media, you can drive more traffic to your blog. (The bad news is that you apparently have to engage with other people. I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier?)

I wanted to get more followers on my blog, so I called my old friend, Sally the Social Media Guru.

“I want to get more followers on my blog,” I told her.

“Oh, good,” she said. “That’s my speciality. Are you looking for active reader engagement?”

“I just want a bunch of followers,” I said.

“But are you looking for quality readership over quantity? Are you tailoring your content to target a specific demographic — one that demonstrates brand loyalty through repeated visits?”

“I really just want a bunch of followers,” I said. “Like, thousands or millions.”

“What’s your goal in building your audience? Are you looking to monetize your content?”

“If that means getting more followers, then yeah.” Keep reading…

If you want all those cool home features, you’ll have to pay extra

fancy kitchen

Whoever said “the best things in life are free” clearly didn’t know how much all these home upgrades cost.

I wanted to go house-hunting, so I called my old friend, Rhonda the Realtor.

“I want to look at houses,” I told her.

“Are you serious about buying?” she asked. “Because the last time you called, you had no intention of buying. The only reason you wanted to look at homes was because you had spent an entire weekend watching House Hunters on iTunes.”

I didn’t say anything.

Rhonda sighed. “You’ve been watching House Hunters again, haven’t you?”

“Not necessarily,” I said. “I’m seriously in the market for a home this time.”

“Buying a house isn’t as easy as they make it look on TV,” Rhonda said. “It’s not just touring houses and sneering at outdated fixtures. You have to get pre-approved, and then there’s the home inspection, renovations, unexpected problems. They don’t show those parts on TV.”

“Sometimes they show the renovations,” I said. “In fact, there’s a spinoff called House Hunters Renovation where they find a house and renovate it in forty-five minutes. It’s fantastic!”

“Isn’t there another Realtor you can call?” Rhonda asked. “Or am I the only one you know?” Keep reading…

Not every man is an expert on cars

car engine

Whenever my manliness is in doubt, I do what any real man would do: fake it.

I drove my car behind the oil-change shop and pulled up to the bay door. A young mechanic wearing greasy coveralls approached my window.

“Good afternoon, sir,” he said. “Just an oil change today?”

“Please,” I said. “I normally would do it myself, but I’ve been so busy at my six-figure job that I just haven’t had time.”

“Of course, sir,” the mechanic said, wiping his hands on a rag. “Would you turn off the engine and pop the hood for me?”

“Certainly.” I shut off the engine, then fumbled around the steering column. Staring the mechanic in the eye without blinking, I yanked up the handle next to the gear shift.

“Um, sir,” the mechanic said. “I think you just set the parking brake.”

I looked down. “Oh. Well, of course I did. That’s what I meant to do. I turned off the engine, so it’s only natural that I set the parking brake.”

“I see, sir.”

“I always set the parking brake. Don’t try to act like I don’t know how to park a car.”

“Of course, sir.” The young man looked at me.

I looked back. “Yes?”

“Could you please pop the hood for me, sir? And then exit the vehicle?”

“That’s exactly what I was going to do. Just give me a second, will you?” I reached under the dashboard, feeling around.

“The handle is at the very left, sir,” the mechanic said, pointing. “I can see it from here.” Keep reading…