Thursday, April 28, 2011

Small Tales Reminder

We want your short stories for our Small Tales Anthology.  Deadline for submissions is May 31.  Polish what your working on and send it off.  There's only a month left.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Hillbillies

My next door neighbor, Howard, mowed his lawn last week for the first time in four months.  I assumed it was because I threatened to call the city again.  Not so.  Today being Easter, they needed short grass for the egg hunt in the backyard, else it might have presented a challenge that required the kids to, I don't know, actually hunt for the eggs.  Instead, Moira led baby Eddie to each egg, pointed it out and then lowered him down so he could pick it up and put it in the basket she placed in front of him.  All the while, he kept falling down, which is more of a hazard than you might think since Alfalfa the dog had just done his business all over the egg patch.  Through it all, Howard was nowhere in sight.  Must be NASCAR day.

Happy Easter!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Small Tales Update

My Small Tales partner Vince Ferraro has posted a little tribute to the e-reader over on the Small Tales Blog.  For those of you still clinging to your paper books in fear of e-reading, I can only ask, why are you blogging and reading blogs?  It's the way of the future, and it's how we will be publishing Small Tales, so if you don't want to miss out on some fantastic short stories, get on over there and see what Vince has to say.

And don't forget, we're accepting short story submissions through May 31.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friends You Don't Know

I just googled someone I haven't heard from in a few years.  Wow.  I'm glad I haven't.  This is disturbing on so many levels.

First, the background:

Some years ago, I wanted to be an airline pilot, so I moved to Florida and went to flight school.  To gain some experience I became a flight instructor (I know, that sounds backwards, but is completely common.)  At the flight school, I made some friends.  One particular fellow was a bit of a know-it-all, who didn't always know it all that well.  Renee Bradley* wasn't always likable, but eventually we became pals.  Not great pals.  Maybe not even good pals, but we were friends, and as annoying as he could sometimes be, Renee had a quality about him that told you he was a very loyal friend. 

Renee had an interesting, if not entirely enviable, backstory.  He came from money although I don't think he ever earned any.  Someone bought him a Karate school.  Someone else paid for his condo.  He drove a purple Mustang that was probably a gift.  And, he got a nice settlement after a car accident.  Despite all this, he seemed to work pretty hard, flying as much as anyone else and we were all trying to fly as much as possible so we could move on to better things.  All the while, Renee seemed like the kind of guy who wanted people to think he was successful, outgoing and popular.  However, I heard him say on more than one occasion that he was looking forward to going home at night to play with his cats.  I always thought that was who Renee really was, too shy to really let anyone get to know him, but desperate to be liked. 

Really, Renee was a guy with low-self esteem, who's father belittled him in front of me the one time I met him.  Renee was incapable of finding love because he jumped into relationships too fast and too hard.  Still, he was a friend.

We all moved on from the flight school but kept in touch somewhat.  Then I'd heard Renee was in another car accident and couldn't fly anymore.  Others who knew him better said he just kind of quit on life.  He became addicted to pain killers and spent all of his time on the couch, no longer even playing with his cats.  I spoke to Renee for the last time four years ago.  He sounded out of it, calling himself retired and hanging out with his other retired friends.  Renee Bradley was 34 years old.

Now, the disturbing:

Google turned up the following headline:

Renee Bradley Had Two Beautiful Young Women Die in His Apartment.

In retirement Renee became quite the playboy.  He partied hard, abusing prescription drugs, cocaine and who knows what else.  He frequented sex clubs and had the wrong kinds of connections.  The police referred to him as the Candy Man, able to get you anything you wanted.  He apparently used this ability to attract impressionable young girls, just starting out in life.  One such young woman overdosed in his condo.  He tried CPR and called 911.  She died. 

But Renee was already moving on.  He had a new girlfriend, and took her to the funeral.  Four months later, she, too, died under identical circumstances. 

Were this anyone else I wouldn't hesitate to say he killed them, either by giving them some lethal combination of drugs, or something else just as sinister.  The guy in the paper sounds like a sociopathic serial killer.  And yet I now understand how people can so blindly stand by loved ones that are so blatantly guilty and defend their innocence.

I don't know what Renee's culpability is, (the police called him a person of interest, but have declined to charge him in either death) but it sure seems high.  I'm just left wondering how the shy, annoying, know-it-all I once considered a friend became such a monster. 

Makes you wonder who we really know.

*Not his real name, don't bother googling Renee Bradley.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baby Expo Vs. Boomer Expo

A year ago, I stopped by Boomer Expo to support an author friend selling her book to old people.  It was among the more amusing events I had ever attended.  This past weekend, with fatherhood looming, I went to Baby Expo.

A few comparisons:

At Baby Expo, vendors set out samples of their products.  Little kids take these things, because they are little kids and don't know any better.

At Boomer Expo, vendors also set out samples and old people take these things because old people hoard and steal.  My friend had little candies on her table.  They took the candies.  She also had it decorated with Mardi Gras-style beads.  They stole the beads.  No one bought her books.

At Baby Expo you dodge strollers.  At Boomer Expo you dodge wheelchairs and walkers and hovearounds.

Baby Expo has races for  kids on wheeliehorses.  Boomer Expo had Sean Connery and Marilyn Monroe look-a-likes.  Both dudes!

At Baby Expo you can get a free 3D ultrasound that shows a clear image of your child-to-be.  At Boomer Expo you can get free cancer or diabetes screening.

At Baby Expo you can try out strollers.

At Boomer Expo you can try out a casket.

The End.