The Last Call

It’s the end of the night.
I haven’t written a story yet.
I ask the bartender if he knows any.
He says he does. He heard a good one this afternoon on the way to the bar.
And he tells it to me.
“Wasn’t that great?” he says.
“Yeah,” I say. “Thanks. I owe you one.”
And I pay my tab and leave him a twenty.
On the way home, I think about the story the bartender told me, and how I can add one of my twist endings to it.
Wait. The story he told.
It’s one of mine.

Catcher In The Lie

A madman killed John Lennon.
Another tried to kill Ronald Reagan.
And then another attacked an actress and killed her.
They all had my book.
They all said to understand what they did, read the book.
What I put in there.
It was the truth about the phonies.
Not the evil these people did.
Their evil. They murdered. Murdered.
Not me. They.
That is the truth.
No, I have not stopped writing.
I cannot stop writing.
Writing the truth.
But I can stop publishing.
Because phonies will read my writing if I don’t.
And they will murder. They will kill.


There’s a lot of people I should thank for my stories. And there’s a lot of people who expect to be thanked for them, too.
I must admit that some of those people who expect to be thanked have been invaluable in inspiring my stories.
Especially the horror stories. Because they were total fucking assholes.
So, when I published my first book, I put a line on the dedication page with “sign your name here” under it
The good people can sign their name there. The bad people can sign their name there, too.
I’ll just write more stories, okay?


An envelope. From a publisher.
I closed my eyes, tore it open, pulled out the letter, and looked.
I was expecting another rejection letter to join my pile of rejection letters, but instead, I received an offer.
It wasn’t for much, sure, but it was better than a rejection.
But there was a problem… a big problem.
The editor wanted me to make changes… a lot of changes.
I looked at the rejection pile… at the offer… at the changes…
Do I keep my integrity, or sell out?
The editor suggested changing that, too.
“Screw it,” I said, and signed.


Imagination is like a magical place of ideas and stories.
Reach in, and pull something out… that’s creativity.
In between you and that place is the world, with all its problems and stresses and frustrations, clouding your vision and making it hard to pull anything from there, blocking you.
But every now and then, when you hear something strange, or something looks kinda weird, the world glimmers and gives way, letting imagination peek through.
Reach through quickly!
Grab on to it!
Pull it out!
Grab it!
Keep trying. Keep at it.
Don’t stop looking.
Don’t give up the search.