The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.

– Junot Diaz


Mad Max: Fury Road & Unexpected Protagonists

-Written with a minimum of spoilers.-


I’m an unrepentant old school die hard Mad Max fan.

I had a long and glorious history with the old Max and no history with Tom Hardy, so I wasn’t in any hurry to meet the new Max.

Turns out I needn’t have worried. Hardy’s Max is pitch perfect.  He came in and owned the character, the movie and thereby, the franchise. Truth is, Fury Road is easily my favorite Mad Max movie.

Which is ironic considering that while Max is the title character, he’s not the main character.

Hold on. Before you throw that commemorative die-cast war rig in protest, let me explain.
Continue reading

Character Sketch for SEMPER FI

Never thought I’d be sorry to say goodbye to the Shiloh Valley Veteran’s Hospital. Spent most every day of my eighteen month residence daydreaming about the moment I’d bust out. Always imagined myself hauling ass out the front door and hollering ‘freebird’ until I didn’t have any voice left.

Didn’t quite turn out like that. Reason being the guys thought we should say our ‘goodbyes’ over turkey on rye. When I say ‘the guys’ I mean the Puerto Rican and nobody crosses the Puerto Rican.

So this morning, after I get my walking papers, I head to the cafeteria, hoping for a few moments alone to nut up and get myself in check. But Jimmy McNulty is already in the courtyard holding down a table in the shade. The shade is to protect the Puerto Rican’s healing skin. She arrives shortly after I do and in her wake, comes the final member of our crew, Leonard Kane, his eye bandages covered by sunglasses. Continue reading


Breeze Through The Middle Of Your Novel

My first attempts at novel length stories were exhilarating and demoralizing.

Exhilarating because I could so clearly envision the beginning and end of the story.

Demoralizing because I could never quite manage to bridge the gap between the two.

Why is it that middles so often become baffling, exhausting, and tedious to get through?

I’ve been actively seeking the answer to that question and here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Continue reading

Character Sketch for Tenacious


The house is dark and quiet when Margot arrives home after work. She leaves the car in the driveway, skirts the sprinklers on the back lawn, and dumps her jacket and bag on a patio chair.

The wind shifts, chasing damp birch leaves and lilac petals across the cement until they bump into something on the patio, something quiet and patient and warm.

She reaches into her bag for smokes, lights one, and takes a slow drag. “Now that you’ve caught me smoking, I suppose there are no more secrets between us.” Continue reading

Character Sketch For The Bestiary



A coyote and an alligator walk into a bar.

     Sounds like the setup to a joke.

          But this is one punch-line you don’t want to stick around for.

Crowd at the Naked Porcupine is riled tonight. Friction echoes between the brick walls and whines down the bar’s copper-topped counter like current on a telephone wire. The place is wet with sweat and booze, sticky and squishy, like everything else in Malady, Louisiana.

Etienne settles onto a worn barstool at the far end of the bar where he can see who comes and goes, tosses back a pair of whiskeys, and nurses a third, waiting. Continue reading