Thursday, July 29, 2010


Looking up at the blank disc, she thought, “Orange?”

Hovering, just like those books said, somewhere just above the treetops.

She always thought they’d be silver. Not orange.

She fumbled through her purse, then cursed her luck for leaving her camera at home. Now she’d be seen as just another rube, some glory-hungry moron making up stories about flying saucers.

The media would crucify her. The skeptics would scoff. She’d be sent for an evaluation and then a quiet demotion and then unanticipated “budget cuts” would send her packing.


The disc descended, touched the ground, now only a dozen yards away.

She watched, silent, as a door, for lack of a better word, appeared and opened on the surface of the disc.

Will you look at that. A live, gray alien just like all the books described. So angelic, delicate, curious. Friendly. Her heart pounded.

She was witness to a visitor from another planet. She raised her arm, pointed at the alien.


The alien fell backwards, shuddered, then grew still as a pool of orange blood formed around it.

Good thing she’d remembered to pack her pistol.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hawaii Five-0

I posted a short piece with lots of versions of the great great great great great Hawaii Five-0 theme.

It's at Film Score Monthly.


She strung me up like as much meat, like a dirty gambler in one of those cowboy movies, like a kite in a tree, strung up, deserted, left for dead. Thanks a lot, baby.

This was concocted in 60 seconds after seeing a one word writing prompt at 

Thursday, July 22, 2010


“Mister Darien?”

He opened his eyes, but otherwise didn’t move.

“Mister Darien, do you know where you are?”

He glanced around. He couldn’t move. A woman in a lab coat stared at him. Though not unfriendly, the whole room seemed sterile, clinical. A hospital?

“Mister Darien, can you hear me?”

He nodded.

“Mister Darien, you’ve been through a shock. But I have to ask you this. What year is it? Do you remember what year it is?”

He furrowed his brow and finally croaked out an answer. “1942.”

The woman frowned. He watched her shuffle to some strange high-tech gadgets. She sounded American. But this room, this technology, it seemed so, well, foreign.

“How…” he began, but no more words would come. He felt so drained, so tired. So old.

She nodded. “You were in an accident. Do you remember any of it?”

He strained at the thought. He could feel the rumble of the plane, hear the flak exploding all around. He could see Bains and Ennis heading for the door, ready to jump.

“I’m right behind you!” he remembered shouting, struggling to retighten his parachute rig, then he, too, went to the door and he saw first Bains and then Ennis, torn apart by enemy fire almost before they had a chance to pull open their chutes, then the Lieutenant grabbing him before he could make the leap, shouting at him, telling him the plans had changed, and he could see them shut the door.

But wait. He’d made it. The plane landed safely. Then he could see Becky, her face, their wedding, the kids, he could see their three kids, and the beach house and then his daughter’s wedding and all those years at Upton’s Department Store and his retirement party and he could see the road, the rain-slicked road, and Becky beside him, and his struggle to keep the car on the road, and he felt so old, and he could hear her scream and he looked up at the doctor and now he remembered.

“Becky?” he asked.

The doctor shook her head. “I’m sorry.”

He closed his eyes to 2010 and leaped out of the plane.


Karen rushed into the kitchen.


Her mother let out a sigh and said into the phone, “Hold on a minute.” She gave Karen the eye. “What is it now?”

“Can I have one more donut? Please?” Karen gave her mother the nicest little angel smile she could muster.

“Just take the bag,” her mother said. “And don’t get any of that sugar on your clothes.”

Karen grabbed the bag from the counter and returned to the backyard.

“Okay,” she said as she sat back down at the edge of the sandbox. “There’s only two left, so we can each have one.”

She pulled one out of the bag and held it in the air.

"This is what we call a donut,” she said. “Can you say donut?”

Ambassador Klarn, fifth generation diplomat from the First Federation and sole survivor of the invasion fleet glanced at his warbird, buried in the sand. Then he stared at the girl, the gigantic child, towering over his 6 inch frame. He could feast on that pastry for a week.

He sighed, brushed a fleck of sand from his jacket, and said in his most dignified voice, “Donut.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Diamond Ruby

Thanks again to Twitter, I've just finished reading a wonderful novel.
Diamond Ruby: A Novel
I first started seeing positive chatter about the novel a couple of months before its release. Then I started following the author, Joe Wallace, and read a lot more positive buzz. Two weeks ago I went ahead and ordered it. And I'm so glad I did.

I expected Diamond Ruby to follow the exploits of an 18 year old girl who pitches against Babe Ruth. What I didn't expect was to get totally sucked into this book.

Wallace uses a historians eye to incorporate wonderful detail into Ruby's world. The New York of the 1920s came alive with characters and incidents as Ruby's path encompassed grim survival and triumphant success.

Mid-book I got so caught up in one particular chapter - Ruby's debut performance in the minor leagues - that I had a big, stupid grin plastered on my face the whole time. I wanted Ruby to succeed. I'd been with her through the hard times and reveled in her new role.

Here's what I said over at Amazon, "At once thoughtful, informative and entertaining, Diamond Ruby lives in a very real cross section of 1920s America. Filled with great period details, Wallace spins a yarn that ranges from the tragic to the triumphant. Some chapters had me grimacing while others left me with a big stupid grin on my face. One chapter in particular was absolutely exhilarating in pace, detail and service to the character - I was so enmeshed in Ruby's story that I shared her experience on the pitcher's mound. It was, quite simply, the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time. Thanks, Twitter, for pointing me to this gem of a novel."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just Business

“Another moneymaking scheme,” he said. “Great.”

“No,” she said, grabbing his arm before he turned away. ‘This one will actually work. Really.”

He couldn’t even summon the energy to sigh. He simply stared at her, taking in the fiery energy behind her green eyes.

Her smile almost melted him. Her enthusiasm almost sucked him right back in.


“Give it up, Karen.”

He set his empty glass on the counter then headed straight for the door.

“Come on,” she said. “I’ve got it all planned out. It’s perfect.”

“Sorry,” he said, closing the door behind him.

She stood still for a long moment, drained her own glass, set it down and retrieved a large plastic bag. 

Using a cloth, she placed his glass into the bag, then set about wiping the doorknob.

She looked around the room then, satisfied, reached for the phone.

“It’s me,” she said. “He’ll be dead within the hour. No, of course, no way to trace anything back to you. Or me. I’ll expect to see the other half in my account first thing tomorrow morning, before my flight leaves.”

She smiled. “Nice doing business with you, too, ma’am.”

Thursday, July 8, 2010


She looks into his eyes

Green. No, blue. Turquoise?

“Kiss me,” she says.

A sigh.

“You know I can’t.”

“You never will if you don’t try.”

“It doesn’t work that way anymore!”

He rolls over.

She pats his jellied limb.

“I know. I’m sorry.”

She rolls to the mirror, sighs, rummages through the top drawer for her brown eyes. She pops out a blue one, tosses it into a glass of Efferdent, sticks a brown one into the socket. Then she does the same for her other eye. And for her other one.

He never could resist her brown eyes.