Elizabeth “Brad” Noel, 1930-2019

I was at her side when my beloved wife of 65 years died at 2:30 this morning. It is a huge loss, but a blessing for her: the final months with complications of Alzheimer’s were an increasing burden on her despite the best efforts of the caregiving staff of Seabury and the McLean hospice service.

Her obituary can only hint at the wonderful life we had together; read it ==> here.

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Mama’s treasures online

Part of downsizing, on my way to selling the house and moving to Seabury, was selling or giving away clothes. An ad for what seemed a high-fashion consignment shop on the Berlin Turnpike caught my eye. Emily and I took a bunch of Brad’s things one morning—which proved the inspiration for a short story that’s now out in Every Pigeon magazine, readable online ==>>here

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Moved by an escalator

We were coming home from vacation, upbound on an airport escalator, when we saw old friends

Pilcrow & Dagger

coming down. We hollered, waved, and got together for a ten-minute reunion before going on to our respective flights.

That chance meeting came to mind when Pilcrow & Dagger (a Georgia literary magazine that’s accepted another of my short stories) invited submissions on the theme “Do you remember?”

The resulting story, as so often, is complete fiction beyond that initial escalator encounter. It’s in the December issue, available December 7 at Amazon, but available now online and ==>>right here

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Trump as Fletcher Christian

Captain William Bligh popped into my head the night Donald Trump was elected: an earlier embodiment of an established order overthrown. Bligh was set adrift in the Pacific by discontented sailors seduced by the glib confidence of a master’s mate who, it would turn out, couldn’t steer the ship well enough to get them home.

  It took a while. I got and re-read (or skimmed) the whole Mutiny on the Bounty trilogy, and let the idea gestate. It came together; I sent it out to a few literary magazines. Leslee Goodman, editor of The Moon magazine, liked it. It’s out now; you can read it online.

                                                           Click ==>here
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Closure for Black Sheep

Pilcrow & Dagger, a Georgia literary magazine, was compiling an anthology of short stories on the theme “black sheep”. I had a story about an unwelcome mourner at a burial service, which I thought might fit. It did.  Volume 4 Number 4 is available at Amazon and other booksellers, but you can read it now ==> here

What’s a pilcrow? It’s the typographical icon for a paragraph. And what prompted my writing this story last November? I haven’t the faintest recollection!

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“Iniquities” published by Montana Mouthful

“Montana Mouthful,” the press release said, “is an independent, digital literary magazine devoted to publishing short fiction and nonfiction, poetry, artwork, and photography. The debut issue, themed “Firsts” is now available.”

As it happened, I’d been working on a short story that fit the “firsts” bill. One of those efforts that began with simply trying to paint a physical scene, a mid-summer hayfield, and waiting to see what my protagonist wanted to happen. The title and theme came not from any schoolteacher, but from one of my first newspaper editors. It all came together, and the editors of Montana Mouthful liked it. You’ll have to flip through to page 13, but you can read it –>here.

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Sirens

It began, at a Fairfield University MFA week, as an exercise in making sounds come alive — but then it grew into a short-short that has finally seen the light of day in riverbabble, a  California-based online magazine. You can read it there by clicking ==>here.

 

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Three more accepted, one more in print

Ocotillo Review v. 11 January 2018

What a great week! On Sunday, one of my favorite short stories, “Exoneration,” was accepted. It was part of my MFA thesis and has ever since been looking for a home. Finally! Then on Tuesday, two more were taken: “Tchotchkes” and “Sirens.”  None of them like one another. As usual, I can only post a tease here now, a few paragraphs to whet the appetite; it will be February or later before you can read the entire stories. A minor frustration.

Then, today, a copy of The Ocotillo Review arrived in the mail, with my “Chip Off the Old Block” and 260 very readable pages from other authors. The book is available ==>here — or you can read my story right now: click ==>here

 

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The Good Seed

I had to stretch my short story “The Good Seed”: Zimbell House wanted four stories, each at least 3,000 words, for its forthcoming anthology The Professor, “a collection of erotic tales.”  I had the professor in the story already, and was more erotic than I usually try. I added a few words, and it was a perfect fit. It’s now available from Amazon and other booksellers, but you can read it ==>here.

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