Author Interview at Theme of Absence


Theme of Absence runs an author interview series alongside its original fiction called, well, Theme of Absence Author Interviews. These dialogues employ the same questions every week, allowing readers to scan questions and spend more time on author replies. If you want a mixture of pragmatic and wild writing advice, I recommend a chai tea with a pinch of milk (I guess I’m not sure how milk works?), a comfy chair or lap, and one hour spent (c'mon, don't be cheap) in the magazine's archive (located here).

Oh, and don't forget to read my interview for "The Spheres."

The Spheres


Theme of Absence just published my comedic take on extraterrestrial nihilism (the story's called "The Spheres"). The digital magazine is devoted to speculative flash fiction, and primarily posts original fiction on Fridays. These pieces are accompanied by a Q&A with the author, which I think is a really smart move on the editor's part because then readers can come for writing and/or writing advice. And if that's not enough for the literary enthusiast, the editor and owner of Theme of Absence also runs Write Good Books, a blog dedicated to producing useful writing resources and articles. 

An Obituary for the Coolest Christian


The Higgs Weldon, a humor site that does everything from comedic credits to caption contests, published my satirical panegyric "An Obituary for the Coolest Christian." The piece was the result of my thoughts (see: insecurities) about Christian youth culture (sans the tight pants, iphones, and XS plaid shirts—that's Christian youth Starbucks culture). The site is run by Los Angeles stand-ups Robbin Higgins and Paige Weldon and others (sorry to cut you short, others). They also have a live Higgs Weldon show which is a mix of character, sketch, games, and other improv facets at the Hollywood Improv Lab.

Garden War

Between two trees exploded into boulder stumps, Elemmírë raised a fist. Behind him, ten figures, barely visible above the gloom and bloom, dropped to their knees and scanned the street. They relied solely on the ghostly green readouts from their face masks, as their actual sights would have been distracted by the feral tapestry of flowers, the result not only of civilization gone wild but the biodegradable ammunition being used in the War. Inside each bullet was a gene seed which, when struck by fire, would sprout by day’s end into a single flower. It'd been the only agreed-upon convention between the elf factions—a way of turning war zones into gardens, of reducing the carbon imprint from endless shelling.

For a heartbeat, Elemmírë's Sight picked up a cracked skull, lilac seeping out like purple brain. Then he was Focused on the lights of armored cars bouncing across perforated rock-wake. A set of hand signals and the Ten disappeared, their gaudy red-and-gold camouflage blending with laceleaf and marigold. What Elemmírë's scouts were about to do was an ugly thing; an undignified ambush of a supply convoy. But in another way, a way beyond the soulless tactical hell of battle, they'd be returning motorized death-cannons and plated mercs wearing the ears of enemies around their necks to the serenity of nature.

A Zelzer Stiff

[Wrote this at a coffee shop while hanging out with my friend Stuart J. Warrencheck out his blog about introspections, politics, and writing!]

The android was making them all uncomfortable with its Zelzer Stiff eyeing them from its hip. It’d only been forty point three seconds since the landmark decision to include artificial humans in the Second Amendment and this son of a manufacturing plant had just walked into the Rig & Rattle with a laspistol holstered, twinkling. Kghoshi—a real bastard on a good day—splashed his drink on silver chestmetal and said, "You packing, tin can?" The bartender—a saint on a bad day—put an arm on the droid: "C'mon, now, let's not do this." The move was registered as an offensive action and the android shot the bartender between his eyebrows. Kghoshi's finger moved a centimeter toward his gun when a second shot put a red dot on his forehead as uniform as urna. The men in the bar leaped to their feet. Offensive actions. The men in the bar toppled over chairs and tables. By the time the android reached the counter, empty now of breathing souls, a feed of reaction times, facial registers, psycho-prints—all pointing to self-defense—had been submitted to local authorities.

Introducing Dredge


Whatever Our Souls published my short story "Dredge" in their June 2017 issue (see its Amazon page if you're interested in buying the issuepaperback is $7.99). My short story introduces Dredge, a plant zombie and necromancer who just wants to be left to his bog garden and tea. Eventually I'd like to pit this character against paladins, but for now a petty hero will suffice. 

Whatever Our Souls is a digital/physical print publication devoted to pushing the peculiar, especially stories that would usually "struggle to find acceptance in traditional literary magazines." This means everything from "space wolves" to "mutant rabbits." One unique feature of the magazine is its internal competition between its two editors (Team Pollux and Team Castor). Each editor posts their MVP ("Most Valuable Prose") to the website,and readers have the opportunity to vote for a "reigning champion"*

*Quotes from the site's homepage

To Die For


Had a quick cameo in Creative Workaround's 2017 submission to the 48 Hour Film Project. Our film won four local awards: Best Film (3rd Place), Best Cinematography, Best Genre Mashup, and Best Location.

The Immortality Cube

[The follow is a drabble, or 100-word short story.]

There's always that one friend who sticks to the group like a discount sticker on a used book, and who is tolerated by necessity because any removal might leave behind a sticky residue. Among Skye, Keith, and Kim, this was Lames, whose Mom had long admitted to being high when she tried to write "James" on the birth certificate. When Skye, Keith, and Kim came upon the Cube, without hesitation they excluded Lames from the Pact. And they didn't care years later when, at Lames's 89th birthday, he glared bitterly at their youthful bodies. They could wait a little longer.

Flash Nonfiction - Honest Seafood


My sister will not eat seafood. She is a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl, all inherited from my mother, and she is picky, an inheritance from no one. Or perhaps a suspicious ancestor—maybe the caveman who ate the poisoned mushroom?

We (the boys) are wide, sandy, blue-eyed beasts. We'll eat anything, be it a bagel or small dog. It's that cavalier attitude Mom rewarded with meals that stretched the definition of food. She was not the best cook, and sometimes pizza would be recast as "lumps," or toast as "carcinogens with a side of yeast." Nor was she the most honest about ingredients. She wanted us to eat, after all.

So, Sis found herself in a constant state of seafood consumption. She'd eat tacos and realize afterward: "These were fish tacos!" She'd eat red beans and rice to discover soggy shrimp.

My poor sister. She's had more sushi than a sushi chef.

"With Meditation on a Happy End," a Description of Chief Inspector Henri Moreau

[Translator's Note: Moreau's autobiography was published posthumously by his grandson in 1892. I've done my best to translate Moreau's vinegary, poetic tone from the original French.]

En 1889, dans la ville d'Arles

My life has become a flutter, flutter, flutter of paperwork as if clouds of inkwet moths are constantly flying around my office. If only these papers shared the moth's predilection for leaping into the nearest flames, I would have more fuel for my fireplace and a little less clutter. But this is my punishment for ambition; for wanting to add "en chef" beside "inspecteur." Now I have an office overlooking the Rhône, where I can work above the clatter of the streets, where I can interview my agents over a slow pipe and wine. I have never been unhappier.