If you want a fascinating example of the law of unintended consequences, check out how the non-rule “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition” has led to an irritating and meaningless sentence quirk that is maddeningly popular, particularly among inexperienced writers who want to sound more “fancy” or “correct.” (I won’t bore you with the
Slight-of-hand is notSlight, but rather Sleight — The wordItself so cunning, So sly; so determined toMislead, to slight you by sleight. *A Tanka poem is a Japanese form that consists of 31 syllables, usually forming an unbroken narrative line.
Here is a short video of my appearance on Accents Radio with the uber-talented poet and screenwriter Katerina Stoykova. I read several poems and an odd short story. Enjoy!
‘Erudite’ and ‘Pedantic’ are neighbors and kin: To know is a virtue; to KNOW you know is a sin.
Title: How Brown Smells **Author’s note: Another story with violence. Well, implied violence and a gruesome body part. Also another story with a violent criminal who happens to be in a wheelchair. Who knows where these things come from? I like the narrator in this one, as tiredly tragic and condescending as he is. The
Title: Mouse Himself in Action **Author’s Note: I like trying stories like this, where there is a bit of overlap in timeline and a shift in perspective. I italicized the middle section where we are privy to the junior henchman’s thoughts, but I sometimes feel like that is cheating, like you should be able to
Title: Rotting Stagger-Claw **Author’s note: I probably tried to do too much with this story, but it’s an exercise, so that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do. Hubris is really the only correct posture for the artist to strike, especially while experimenting and drilling. But even though I tried to do too much probably, the story
Title: Bertram & Barney **Author’s note: This is one of those stories that came out all at once, in one sitting, which means it’s no surprise that I like it so much. In my opinion, my best short stories are usually ones that my subconscious just spits out all at once. It is best to
Title: Gary Learns to Talk **Author’s note: I hate that things don’t end well for the world’s first talking rodent, but it just came out that way. I love that Gary is learning to think as he learns to talk, and that pop culture phrases seem already pre-programmed into him. And of course my sick
Title: The Size of Wasps **Author’s note: The title of this occurred to me first, and then I remembered some stuff I had read about Kinsey. I kind of like the effort here, but it does indeed fall short of a fully-fleshed-out short story, which is the idea of these exercises.** First you bury the