Archive for author

This Old House

Posted in One Stop Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2010 by dustus

Old panel peeling, crumbling grout
Echoes through my abandoned house
See through it clear, this starter dream
Floorboards curl, their splinters sting

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Life’s Spectrum (Flash Fiction 55)

Posted in education, Flash Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2010 by dustus


Arrrrgh! As pint-sized Captain Hook, Mikey smiles until my mullet wig frightens him—like on the circus field trip when his mother stifled sobbing wails, hugging him calm.

He doesn’t know it’s me. Five-year old thoughts sense danger. Unhooked hands cup ears shrieking, rocking back-and-forth, head banging wall, shattering my heart through life’s spectrum.

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Simon Says

Posted in Blog, Flash Fiction, writing with tags , , , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by dustus

Simon wasn’t certain of anything that groggy night. About to call the cops, his neighbor’s cries subsided into bad dreams until the following midnight…

Heard through the vent; ceiling-shaking screams:
“Put an F-in shirt on!”

“My Stereo!”

“I’m sick of your loser songs! …Get out!”

Knock-knock! No joke.

“Police. Open the door at once!”

(to be continued…)

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*55 Fiction (nanofiction)

Under Standing

Posted in Blog, Poetry, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2010 by dustus

Cannot sit still
Elbows switch
For once in life
Don’t care to win

Supporting palm
Glass bolstered chin
I don’t mean
What you think
Has been

Questioned
Time of life
Well, not unexpected
Less lines written
Minus invective

Smile somewhere
Over caring
Found the ground
Missed under
Standing

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Thank You, Judge 20!

Posted in Blog, education, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2010 by dustus

Through a letter from Jessica Strawser, Editor of Writer’s Digest, I was informed that I was not among the winners of the 17th Annual Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards.

However, attached with the rejection letter was the evaluation of my book, which I have decided to post…
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On a scale of 1 to 5,  with 1 meaning “poor” and 5 meaning “excellent,” please evaluate the following:

Plot: 5,  Grammer: 5,  Character development: 5,  Cover Design: 4

Judge’s Commentary:
What did you like best about this book?

High School Asylum is one of the best written and most original of all the novels I’ve read for this competition—emphasis on original.  I’ve read some good stories and some beautiful stories for this competition, but this is the most original.  Reality is always uncertain in this novel as it is in real life, and no more tenuous is reality than at a high school.  The narrative voice is marvelously engaging and likeable: “Even though I don’t have any real friends other than Jenny, I knew many personal details about other people that only a true friend could know.  So what if Teresa wanted to be Cinderella when we would play war. How could I forget that she always wanted Billy to save her from some fire-breathing Cyclops that sprung from her imagination?  The fantasy was always different, and so were the three of us back then.”  Wonderful dialogue.  Beautiful descriptive details.

How can the author improve this book?

I’m not sure what I want, but it seems the cover could be more attractive and evocative.  In a way, the cartoonish figure on the front of the novel is consistent with certain themes, but certainly all the characters have far more depth than any cartoon.  I’d maybe like to see the image of the “silver moon swelled like a glowing beach ball” on the cover.  In terms of an author fulfilling his intentions, this is just about the best book in the competition—not a book for conventional tastes but a book that should find and deserves to find an appreciative audience of intelligent, broad-minded readers.
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Thank You, Judge 20!