A Tale of Two Trees
This is a short story that I’ve tried over the years to get published as a children’s picture book. Two trees with varying parental expectations struggle for happiness and meaning. I imagine the pages the left side of the book are always the first tree and the right side the second. At the end of the story, I have provided information on how this story is a metaphor for self esteem and also includes parenting philosophy.
An End to Despair
I finally (after many years of searching) found a copy of one of my favorite short stories; “St. Emmanuel the Good Martyr” by Miguel de Unamuno. To celebrate, I decided to write a short story themed with what my High School AP English teacher once said was ‘My Genre’ (existentialism, I am a skilled pessimist). I wondered if terrorists ever get depressed, and this was born. So here you are; a super short existentialistic science fiction ditty.
This story comes from a dream I had while reading “Escape from Camp 14.” In this book, Shin tells his story about being born in and then escaping a North Korean prison camp. Heartbreaking and fascinating, I was thinking about how despite the cruel treatment, Shin misses the prison camps. If Shin, now a free man, longs (to a degree) for the horrible environment of his youth, what does that say about me? It led me to think about how some of my young expectations, hopes, and dreams turned against me as an adult. Then a dream gave me some ideas for this story…
I was Jesus
A man struggles with the realization that as a human being, he is capable of both beautiful and horrific acts.
My Friend, Satan
A man struggles against dark powers in his search for the meaning of life.
A decent man snaps when he catches his wife cheating on him.
Sleek Black Train
Have you ever been hit by a train? My guess is, Yes. It can be brutal and life changing. This is a story about one that hit me many years ago.
I’ve always been intrigued by this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche:
What we experience in dreams — assuming that we experience it often — belongs in the end just as much to the over-all economy of our soul as anything experienced “actually”: we are richer or poorer on account of it.
So I’ve wondered, what if somebody dreamed an entire lifetime in one night? I initially wrote this to be short story but now that it is finished I wonder if there should be more.
If you could dream a lifetime in one night, would you do it?
I love writing super short stories that pack a punch and this one is one of my favorites. Although pessimists generally struggle more against depression, research shows they often have a more realistic view of the world. Many of our most creative people have battled depression and/or mental disorders. It’s both a blessing and a curse, to all of us.
The Honest Cheater
This happened to me, exactly as it is written.
It can be so easy to judge the cultures and beliefs of others as barbaric or ignorant. Yet sometimes, even the most repulsive practices as viewed by some are cherished by others. If we can get past our blinders and empathize, we might understand.
The Pirates Slave
What would it be like to be like to be an abused, neglected child of an alcoholic?
a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money.
to sell or offer (oneself) as a prostitute.
to put to any base or unworthy use: to prostitute one’s talents.
The Sexual Dysfunctions of Planet Zeronius
One night while lamenting my stack of rejections from contests, agents, and publishers, I had a thought. What if a writer in my situation was notified they had won an inter-galactic writing contest?
Vengeance of the Tainted
I wrote this short story for the annual Blizzard writing contest. It didn’t win, which is too bad because the grand prize was a sword and my friend and fellow author, Tracy Green, said I could chop off his arm with it if I won (we were both really looking forward to it…we were going to broadcast it live over the internet and everything).
The story is fantasy, somewhat dark, and set in the original Diablo world (although knowledge of that game isn’t necessary). The blood, shadows, murder, and evil dripping from it’s pages make it a decent Halloween story. (The picture is stolen from the movie “Hostel,” which I haven’t seen and has no relation to the story other than the image kinda fits.)
This poem is why I struggle. It tells why I get depressed, can be lazy, and so frequently procrastinate. It is also the reason I haven’t accomplished more of my goals and dreams. Yup, it contains the secret formula to my destruction.
The Search for God
I could write 30 pages about how my religious philosophy shifted from devout Mormon to agnostic. Instead I will encrypt it in the following eleven lines.
The Writer’s Creed
This is a result of my search for meaning; what I want to do with my life and how I would like to contribute to humanity.
“Her” was directed and written by Spike Jonze and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. I give it 5 golden nuggets (of five). It set my brain on fire with ideas, something I totally did not expect.
I wrote this many years ago during one of the more dark times of my life. It was difficult and took several more years of searching, but this exploration helped me find the purpose and meaning I craved. Life is much better now.
Triple Entry Accounting
This was my Masters thesis, an argument against using traditional financial statements for predicting future revenue. If we drove cars like we use financial statements, we would drive down the road by looking out the back window.
World of Bigotrycraft
Although I know I can never escape prejudice, I try desperately to manage it. I don’t consider myself a racists or a bigot, yet while playing a computer game I realized how easy I can fall hostile, judgmental feelings.
Zen Photography in 10 Steps
This article is a blend of my photography philosophy embedded with several quick tips on how to take better pictures.
In a world created by evil, rebellion is inevitable.
For the first sixteen years of his life, Prince Jasper has revered the stranger who saved them from destruction thirty years prior, a man known only as the Guide. But he’s afraid of his buried thoughts and burning questions. Have his parents and the Guide lied to him? When his first love is sacrificed under the guise of honor and tradition, his eyes start opening to the horrible truth. He voices his concerns and is instantly shunned by everyone he loves.
Jasper’s fall from grace is swift. His life is threatened and he is rescued by a small group of outlaws who introduce him to swords, sorcery, and dark secrets about the Guide. His parents, friends, and the entire kingdom have been beguiled by cunning lies. Now, hunted and despised by the people he struggles to save, Jasper joins the Resistance to fight an underground war against the dark powers that shroud his nation in ignorance.
Am I Sleeping Again?
This is one of the first stories I wrote. I like the idea of the story and I keep thinking I should rewrite it to clean it up. It’s not well written but could be a series of short stories if I ever take the time to resurrect it.
No TV for Susan
One Halloween everyone in the family wrote a scary story, this was mine. It’s poorly written. My kids wrote better stories than I did, I should have posted theirs.
One Christmas, my kids wanted me to write them a Christmas story. This is what they got from me. Not the worst story I’ve ever written…but not the best either. It’s a decent story though, if you like cheesy feel-good stories that play on your emotions and people learn simple lessons from simple people.
The Cavern Holiday Nightmare
This is one of the first stories I ever wrote. I wrote it for my kids and it isn’t well written but they still liked it (but I think they are the only ones). I should delete it rather than embarrass myself.