Beginning and Endings, On the Road and Off

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and somehow it seems fitting to commit to posting regularly as the one-year anniversary of a multitude of changes arrives. A year ago, I was at the Runner’s World Half and Festival for a weekend with old and new friends from the Sub-30 Club, my Facebook-based running tribe. My first half-marathon was two weeks earlier, and while I was triumphant that I had finished, my time was much worse than I’d hoped for after some unavoidable work challenges had derailed my last month of training. By the halfway point, I knew I …

Read More

Every day

It’s been more than two years since I’ve posted here, and an eventful two years at that. I’ve changed jobs at my office, taken up running, changed offices in my company and switched to writing in first-person POV. My 2017 vow is to get faster (at running, not writing) so that in 2018, I can run and still have time to write. It’s weird, to set a goal that specifically says I’m not going to try to write, but after seeing how the past couple of years have unfolded, it feels like a necessary one. 🎶Over the river and through …

Read More

Story Cubes Challenge: Dichotomy

Part of my novel-in-stories Story Cubes Challenge. Dichotomy Joe O’Leary passed the glass of wine — he made sure to find those plastic ones that looked real — across the table to Annabelle. She didn’t like beer, she said. Course not, she was a good girl. Not like those sluts at the football parties, throwing themselves at everybody. Dropping their red cups full of beer and bending over so they were showing off what wasn’t under their skirts for anybody who wanted an eyeful. Or more. He’d gotten more last night, and the night before that. But Annabelle wasn’t like that. She …

Read More

Story Cubes Challenge: First Impressions

Part of my novel-in-stories Story Cubes Challenge. First Impressions Joe O’Leary skirted the Campus Pond, backpack slung over one shoulder. He’d blown off his first class that morning — who wouldn’t? Everybody in the dining hall had wanted to talk after he’d come into the game Saturday and saved the day. He was the quarterback who’d thrown three straight touchdowns in the third quarter after Matt went down, putting the team back on top. He’d remember the sight of the final 21-14 on the scoreboard for a long time. That third one had been the toughest — he’d had to …

Read More

Story Cubes Challenge: Missing Details

My current round of Story Cubes Challenge prompts comes in a weekly email, and I’ve chosen to use the prompts to draft a novel-in-stories to tell the story of an Exeter character who’s been on the fringes of the books to date: Joe O’Leary. While the eventual published novel-in-stories will be mostly chronological, the dice aren’t that cooperative. As a result, you’re getting the stories out of order. As a bonus for newsletter subscribers, the stories appear there first. I’m migrating them over here with a delay, but arranging them on the Story Cubes Challenge page in chronological order. Missing …

Read More

Dichotomy

Joe O’Leary passed the glass of wine — he made sure to find those plastic ones that looked real — across the table to Annabelle. She didn’t like beer, she said. Course not, she was a good girl. Not like those sluts at the football parties, throwing themselves at everybody. Dropping their red cups full of beer and bending over so they were showing off what wasn’t under their skirts for anybody who wanted an eyeful. Or more. He’d gotten more last night, and the night before that. But Annabelle wasn’t like that. She was a good girl. “This is …

Read More

Back in the Northeast

I’ve been quiet for a while, mostly because lots of things have been in flux. Several weeks ago, I moved to a group of my company’s upstate New York papers, so between packing, moving and getting settled, life’s been crazier than normal. The bad news is I’m now a Red Sox fan in the heart of Yankees territory. The good news is I’m now only a couple hours from Massachusetts, so I can get back to my hometown more often. I also have a better work situation in terms of insanity levels, mostly because it’s a bigger newsroom. And you’re …

Read More

Michael Sam, Dan Reilly and the Power of Backstory

For those who don’t know, I’m a Mizzou (University of Missouri) grad, and a proud one at that. I went there for the top-notch J-school, but I also was in Marching Mizzou and thus went to every home football game, a few away games and both bowl games while I was a student. And yes, I still know all the words to the fight songs. So when Mizzou defensive end/NFL prospect Michael Sam announced to the world a few weeks ago that he was gay, I had more than average interest in the story for several reasons. Sam was one …

Read More

Spinning Mob Tales (or, Why New Englanders Are Different)

As is pretty obvious to anybody who’s read an Exeter book or short story, the mob was present in my small town as a kid. Or, to be completely fair, the Mafia had a presence in my town at various points in the 20th century. (I’ve seen the court records, so that’s not just town tall tales.) Their presence was just common knowledge. At November’s open mic for the local writers’ group, another native New Englander was sitting across from me. Jeff’s a poet, and he grew up in Rhode Island, 15 minutes from Providence, though he would point out …

Read More