Month: June 2009

Let the Jaw Drop, a one-page story

Click Here to Download the PDF BEFORE THE THEATRE PLUNGED into complete darkness, a serious voice asked the members of the audience to turn their cell phones off, and to unwrap their candy now, rather than later, when the urge to cough would warrant it. To Dorothy, these were somewhat contradictory life instructions, for what should one do with the unwrapped candy? It probably mattered less than the annoyance she felt at her husband consequently unwrapping a piece of gum, because of how he chewed it – with such an extreme jaw drop that one could hear the clicking of his overused masseter muscle, and observe his ears as they moved, as if directly attached to the jaw. Years ago, they had laughed together at his ability to move his ears, and even parts of his ears, independently… Click Here to Download the PDF

Enclosed, a Short Story

Download the PDF (4 pages, printable on two-sided letter-size paper, or display on your computer) I GOT STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR, somewhere below the fortieth floor of my attorney’s building. I did not panic, of course, but strangely enough I had a sense that the incident could have been related to something I did. I am not superstitious, and not even religious, so I rarely attribute an event like a power failure in an elevator to a higher authority. Yet, when you are inside an elevator, you can’t resist the thought that you are at the mercy of an invisible force… Download the PDF

Writing the First Draft

For the past two weeks, I’ve been writing assiduously on a new Clairefontaine notebook with a fountain pen.  I do get hand cramps after a couple of hours, but the process is exciting.  Every morning, I seem to look forward to learning what my characters are going to do next, how they’ll proceed with what life throws at them.  Here’s a transcription of a paragraph, just to prove it exists.  It really is a first draft, which plows through the story and defines the characters, the scenes, what happen to them, their history, and where they’re going to end up.  A second draft will probably be entirely new. “… That’s him on the photos there,” he said, designating the photos on the wall behind the computer. “You guys were cute,” said Marc. “Yeah,” Peter said, thinking of the past tense in “were cute.”  He paused in his work, his hands supporting him on the table, looking at the back of the frame, having one of his moments, as he called it.  At the beginning, those …

Tech Opinion: The Future of the Kindle and Book Reading

few years ago, I left the world of technology to study English Literature, read more fiction, and write.  I got rid of the old Sears TV with its rabbit ear antenna, and after moving to Berkeley, no longer saw the need to shop in the electronics stores.  This year, I tried to update myself with an iPod, but found that I actually liked to hear what was going on around me on the street and on BART.  So I don’t really qualify as a technologist, if the prerequisite is to also be a consumer of technology.  There are plenty of guys who will talk to you about the latest and greatest this and that, and to prove their point they’ll grab a device hanging on their belt. I buy books, and take pleasure in finding them at a used bookstore or among remainder stacks of unsold first editions.  I think I qualify as a scavenger of sorts, letting items cross my path rather than running after them.  I think that’s why I prefer the local, …