Suffering a Crowded Death

Here’s the start to a story concept about a young man who simply wants to be alone, but dies while surrounded by people he cannot understand or bear to be with.

It was a tattered day accentuated by the windy drizzle. It was hard to believe that in a few moments, I would suffer a crowded death.

I was enjoying hopping brilliantly as Dentist skipped begrudgingly, like a giant gerbil walking beautifully.

The ruler had tattered trees and a windy eye. It didn’t look dangerous. Not even its worrying flaps warned me of my fate. I should have sensed the danger in its hill.

I can still vividly recall the hat coming down on my fingers like a ugly blade – chatter. My life slipped away.


Bowling with Dad

Following up on Breast Bet, here’s a story idea about a father and son and bonding.

An absent father tries to reconnect with his teenage son by taking him to bowling alleys and teaching him the game. How do they bond over the game of bowling, and what is the biggest resentment the son has against his father?

This got me thinking about bowling alleys and whether anyone really goes bowling anymore. It seems to be a pastime out of a bygone era. Maybe that’s what would make the story work — a father trying to pass along his knowledge and skill as a way to not just bond, but to keep memories alive.

I was thinking about opening the story with this line:

He was going back to a place he’d hoped he would never see again.


Escape from Mormon Town

I’ve always been fascinated by the tension of devotion to religion and the new norms of modern life. Here’s a story idea about a young woman grappling with some of those same issues.

A 18-year-old woman who has grown up in a polygamous Mormon community just outside St. George, Utah, decides she wants to leave just before she’s betrothed to a much older man with three wives. How does she escape, and how do they attempt to track her down?

The initial setting for the story is a small coffee shop in the town, where the young woman is struggling to make ends meet. Her suitor represents an escape from financial hardship, but the end of the freedoms that a young woman would otherwise enjoy.

While doing some research for this story, I stumbled across an interesting fact about coffee — besides the fact that I drink too much of it. It turns out that the Folger Coffee Company is by far the leading vendor of coffee in the United States, with over a billion in sales last year. Who knew?


And although this post is in grave danger of veering violently off-topic once more, the story takes place in Utah, one of the most beautiful states in the USA. Here’s a picture from Glen Canyon, showcasing some of the amazing natural scenery that Utah has to offer.


Stay at Home Stalker

Another story idea knocked loose from the cobwebs in my brain. I thought of this one shortly after Going to the Dogs.

A stay-at-home mother with twin newborns worries that a neighbor is stalking her. What makes her call the police, and how is her life threatened?

The first sentence will go a little like this:

He had never seen so many homeless people in one place.

And finally, here are a few ideas for the first name of the stay-at-home mother.

Cecelia Sullivan
Danielle Sweeney
Neva Clayton
Rachelle Pauline Moss
Serena Davidson

Going to the Dogs

I’m working on a few different short stories this week. The latest one is built off this simple plot line:

A dog lover is suspected of an unprovoked attack. Events are made difficult by an accident.

I’m struggling a bit with the dialogue, but I have an opening sentence, which is this:

The garden of raindrops is a thought that beckons the soul.

The whole story takes place in Vohampwick, a small town filled with small people who have small dreams. Except for the hero, of course.

Here are a few character names for the story. I envision them being husband and wife couples that live in the same town as the protagonist.

Woodward Fearnley and Alice Fearnley

Marcel Bonnet and Ami Bonnet

The whole story is partly inspired by the following poem.

A Lemon on Tuesday

Tenacious late afternoon and the burned-out bottle
coagulate at the walls of my house
the gleaming alcoves conquered
I’d do it for the sphere in which you enchant?
For the miracles of transluscent opaque sepia you’ve crystallized
the mud
winged imbroglios are abducted
around opaque sepia water and sunburst orange smooth stones.
Like calcerous breakfast: corals!
Within the dull shades of burnt umber agony of the receptacle?
To the lyrical color of the silken atom,
in sand-colored?
Water and cashmere kisses
and around my hammock, during the lunchtime, I woke up naked?
And full of respect.




The Fireman and the Terrorist

Here’s another story idea I’m working on at the moment.

The Basic Plot

A fireman has 24 hours to track down a terrorist intent on mass destruction.

Some Character Name Ideas

  • Nicole Knut
  • Winston Quarry
  • Lena Horn

That last name sounds pretty familiar I guess. Hope Lena Horne’s estate doesn’t mind.

Here is my first sentence:

Call me Sister and know that is my name. This is how to live a life.



Swinging in California

A story idea…

In California, a woman falls in love in love with a man fifteen years younger. What do they talk about when they go swing dancing together, and how does he persuade her that he’s not too young for her?

Another story idea…

A young female scientist discovers that a genetically modified beetle has the capability of spreading autism to fetuses through its feces. How does the corporation who designed the beetle try to silence her, and what is she willing to do to spread the word?

A few character names to use…

  • Norman Knight
  • Lani Godbehere
  • Umberto Green
  • Barb Dwyer
  • Sergeant Ray Stiller
  • Justin Palo

Some of my favorite sentences…

A sudden warm rainstorm washes down in sweet hyphens.

– J.M. Ledger

The sky, at sunset, looked like a carnivorous flower.

– Roberto Bolano