My LA Story

Last winter, I flew out to Los Angeles to visit a friend and work on a story.

The first sign I saw when I arrived at LAX read: ‘Your LA story is waiting.’

I was amused and delighted. I was also smug in the knowledge that I already KNEW my LA Story.

But my plans went sideways and I never got around to my expected story because LA had a whole new story for me.

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Nights like this, when autumn’s stained-glass skies blow jagged kisses, death comes sweet as candy and cruel as coincidence.

A gun in hand is a promise, like a left hook or an engagement ring. I am that promise, sworn to maintain order, defend members, protect the club. This ‘sergeant-at-arms’ patch means I do the heavy lifting, don’t mind getting my hands dirty and my boots scuffed. Continue reading

Roosevelt’s Thief

Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Comparison nips my heels the hardest when I’m reading a great book or essay

I want to put away my paper and pen – permanently

I want to shred my notebooks and format my hard drive

I want to swear off reading, writing, and creativity …

… because I get this choking terror that I will NEVER be good enough to write a story as powerful as So And So,

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Grasping At Straws

Scarecrow faces east                                            

Hails autumn with open arms

We should harvest hope


North Dakota / 1883

Papa had been right, damn his puny parched heart. Phillip hadn’t the stones to settle the land. Now he was sleeping beneath the dirt beside Papa and she was hard pressed to conjure a tear for either of them.

Perched on the porch steps, she watched leaves chase each other down the dirt road like jackrabbits scampering through the twilight, racing to their dens ahead of the storm. Continue reading

Wild Oats

They say you reap what you sow, but that’s a crock.

I worked two jobs to put him through law school and ran the household while he worked eighty-hour weeks.

He thanked me by shagging senior partners, embezzling client funds, and making a public spectacle of our family.

Before the fallout was over, I was sick of men, myself, and life. It was a damn good thing the feds seized our bank accounts and assets, or I’d have hired a hit man and put the two of us out of our misery. Continue reading