Searching for Shark Girl

It’s hard to say where stories come from. It’s a sort of archaeological game that we tend to play if we’ve ever taken a literature class and made the wildly speculative assumption that such origins exist. The online journal published my novella @SharkGirl79 earlier today, so I guess if there’s a moment to spendContinue reading “Searching for Shark Girl”


“Nostalgic” is a short story I wrote as background when brainstorming ideas for a music video collaboration  for the song The Wind Kept by Brave Julius, which we produced in 2012-2013 and premiered at the Whiteside Theatre on March 16, 2013. Santiago Uceda directed the video and more artfully and imaginatively executed the concept in a wayContinue reading “Nostalgic”

Writing in strange places

Patricia Ann McNair holds some measure of responsibility for the fact that I still write stuff. I’m not sure that she deserves praise or derision for this dubious honor. But in all truth, she’s the sort of selfless writer who can be a mentor, friend and teacher, all the while passionately pursuing her own craft.Continue reading “Writing in strange places”

The Immigrants

They slouch across oceans, across borders, have been for years, leaving a trail of footprints, litter, hope, the occasional corpse. They descend on our fields, neck-deep in crops dusted with pesticides, the spore of new construction, bringing life to otherwise dying small towns in Kansas. Many have the audacity to bring their families, to stay,Continue reading “The Immigrants”

A bullshit artist looks at forty

Here I am back in my hometown of Chicago, slouching toward the birth of the new year, the year in which I’ll hit the big four-oh. Maybe it’s too soon to start in with the hand-wringing that usually accompanies the reaching of the rough middle point of one’s journey across this great green and blueContinue reading “A bullshit artist looks at forty”

Gutenberg, iPhones and “Far Beyond the Pale”

Update – 08-11-10 – ReadWriteWeb offered 5 reasons why paper books are better than eBooks. Kobo offers a host of free eBooks including every classic you’ll ever need to read. It’s been at least ten years since I first started thinking seriously about eBooks and getting excited about the idea.  I had a Palm PilotContinue reading “Gutenberg, iPhones and “Far Beyond the Pale””

Why he writes: Part II of a Q&A with novelist J. Adams Oaks

Any reader who is also a writer understands that questions will rattle in your head as you wend your way through a work of fiction. Unlike regular readers, you can’t simply be subsumed by story, sinking into the world that the author has labored to create. Like a retired engineer you have to kick theContinue reading “Why he writes: Part II of a Q&A with novelist J. Adams Oaks”