Behind: “The Carcassonne Dream”

It is winter. Christmas Eve 2011, and Writer Guy rides the train to Arles. Second class. The South of France trundles by outside, salt flats and olive trees, the mountainside and harbor towns of the Mediterranean coast. I sip my Coca-Cola Lite and return to my laptop.

For in France the writing flows, as fast as the sweeping wind is vicious. I plan a collection, short stories set in different French locales, and the first idea has begun to spill out.

It is about a guy in Provence. On a train. In winter.

Such is my premise. Six words nearly bring the Coca-Cola Lite out my nose: “France Is Continue reading “Behind: “The Carcassonne Dream””

Behind: “La Upsell”

Intrepid Travelers Lowestoft coverHere, in honor of its recent republication, is a “Behind The Short Story” I wrote for “La Upsell.”

The short story is its own literary animal, a wholeness experienced in few words and on small bones. Some writers get a sunbeam and angel choir moment of inspiration. Others grit it out, go find the story. I’m somewhere in between those extremes.

For “La Upsell,” I was deep in a story groove, having worked up momentum on several other shorts. A rare place for me, to be fully inspired. It’s a hell of a feeling.

Inspiration went something like this: Continue reading “Behind: “La Upsell””

Satire: “He Writes in the Present Tense”

Bob’s note: The old woman here is, in my head anyway, a prototype for the old man in “The Carcassonne Dream.” Oh, and the tortured subject-verb relationships…well, that kind of the point.

Today fiction chooses him. Among the crowd circling the bookstore café, he is fastest to claim the open table. He powers up his laptop and smells the coffee brewing, hears the tempest roar of the cappuccino maker. This, he thinks, is writing.

He sets his fingers atop his keyboard, the artist poising for his muse. Nothing comes. He bemoans his feckless muse and switches to Facebook.

Those without tables see he is almost out of coffee. They circle, ready to swoop. For the sake of his writing he forgoes a refill. At the Überbooks café, it is literary trench warfare.

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There is a time in his past when Continue reading “Satire: “He Writes in the Present Tense””

Behind the Short Story: “First of a Fine Spectacle”

I’m honored that my short story / high farce “First of a Fine Spectacle” was selected for Pure Slush No. 7, Catherine refracted.

I’m a history buff. But I’ve not had much interest writing historical fiction. Or flash fiction. So historical flash?

What drew me was the collection’s theme: Catherine the Great. A canvas rife with legend, some deserved, others warped by time. If ever a life was writ large, it was Sophie/Katherina, Empress and Plutocrat of All the Russians.

Writing gold.

Nothing about the horse legends or string of lovers  grabbed me. I went for a Continue reading “Behind the Short Story: “First of a Fine Spectacle””