Writing

Please enjoy these samples of my published writing.

Fiction | Nonfiction | Poetry | Film


Fiction

A Damn Fine Town

A little boy in a red cape whooshes past me on the early morning train. He’s dead set on flying down this musty subway car headed for the airport. Kid Cape.

Heh, I must’ve had a costume like that for Halloween. Probably wore it too long too.

No one I scouted paid any attention to me thanks to this nondescript jacket in this indifferent pose with this vague stare. But this kid spins around, runs back, and eyeballs me. He’s my daughter’s age.

“POW!” Kid Cape says with a grimace and a tiny, hairless fist pointing at my nose. “I stopped you!”

Read more in The Best American Mystery Stories 2019 or Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 4

or this story’s publication journey.


bleedin’ peach

His first ten days of life, he only knew a doctor’s latex touch. Preemie. Such a cruel word for such a cute boy. I needed to rub my cheeks on his. I nuzzled up to him. For a moment his warmth reached beyond his five pounds. But he jerked his head in the unshaven direction of my cheek and filled our apartment with tearless cries. Oh, Alexander.

“What unshaven direction?” Mom asked that evening when I brewed coffee in preparation for another upright night of soothing.

Read more in KYSO Flash, Issue 9

or read what it took get this published.


Dawnsong

In the hour of creeping light—too late to call insomniac—I trace the highways of sleepless sweat over my body to the chirping song of a lone bird.

Read more in KYSO Flash, Issue 10

or follow its publication journey.


Fresh Scar

Let me tell you why novels don’t get done. You’re young and full of words, so you spend a summer pouring your nights into dawns and crippling your fingers because they can’t curve into how you feel. Neither do the letters, no matter how many fonts you cycle through.

That’s a first draft.

That’s my contribution to this morning’s revision party. A party for me and my friend June, at another cafe where no one’s invited to my world or June’s. They aren’t ready yet.

Read more in Third Wednesday, Vol. XI, No. 1

or trace its journey to publication.


lying is the girl

You ready? Last flight leaves in 45!”

She isn’t. Asks me to grab her lipstick. We’re going skydiving; who cares what pink shade wraps your screaming lips at 10,000 feet?

Read more in KYSO Flash, Issue 10

or see its path to publication.


Reading Willow

My wife pointed out the willow tree on move-in day. The branches draped over a hill as round as my wife’s belly at seven months. We’d traded a West Coast high-rise for an East Coast village where the only thing to wake our baby would be other babies. We came to the city in our youth. And we left for our youth.

Read more in The Common Online

or read what it took to get this published.


Rivet Here

Before our men all left in ’42, there he’d been. Our windows pointed at their driveway. His cigarettes pulled my chin like a fish hook — sleek, not painless. I’d see the couple next door necking by their truck and leer from our living room, dust clean blinds as an excuse to watch.

Read more in Necessary Fiction

or see its publication path.


The Price of Chivalry

$65. That’s the price of chivalry. Stop reading. There’s only embarrassment ahead. Whatever curiosity the title sparked should be satisfied. Go on. Live your life. Make your own mistakes.

Still here? Fine. Grab a cup of something good and sip along with the first real sentence.

Read more in From Whispers to Roars, Vol. 2 Issue 2


The Unfinished Death of My Grandfather

I got the call in the Houston airport, stuck in an airplane cabin the color of a deserted dentist’s office. Yesterday, Travis and I attended Duke’s wedding as two single groomsmen on Valentine’s. Today, we squeezed into 31D and E, near the already pungent bathroom. Duke was supposed to be the last of us to settle down. Every five minutes an announcement reminded us they needed another five minutes to inspect the plane. “An ancient American Airlines plane that American’t fly,” Travis said. 

If the plane departed on time, I would have missed the call. If I left the reception with Roxana, who spent nine songs teaching my toes to salsa, I could have overslept this morning dance. If I focused on the jaded tingle in my father’s voice a month earlier when he insisted Grandpa would live, I should have been on a different plane. If only I’d answered my phone yesterday…

Read more in Glimmer Train Stories, Issue 106

or see its publication path.


Nonfiction

A Homesick Wanderlust

I detest the word “content.” It implies complacency, a lack of momentum and desire, and a surrender to your life as is. As Jess Walter says in Beautiful Ruins, “we want what we want.” Not wanting is tantamount to not existing. Making an enemy of contentedness makes me re-evaluate my habits and routines, even when it comes to writing.

Read more in Shut Up & Write! Zine


Why I Write

Rebecca Solnit described writing as a conversation across time with someone you haven’t met yet. Isn’t that the ultimate saving grace of a creative ego? Even if you’re dead and forgotten, you’ll survive in the words some reader may find and empathize with one tomorrow.

Read more in Fiction Southeast


Poetry

blinks of awe

Poetry you can see, touch, and hear. Exclusively for iBooks (iPad & Mac).

33 relationships per minute

Read more & hear samples.


Film

Nomad

I wrote and acted in this film made with the ever-talented Ashley Pittson & Kyle Stout

Watch on Vimeo.