This and That – a Feed Book


This is what’s next – my new work, to be serialized only here on Wattpad. It’s an idea I’ve been tossing around for a while and I think it might have some legs. If fictions are reflections of life, then a lot of “the way we live now” is through endless scrolling through a variety of sources – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, news feeds and so on. As in Julio Cortazar’s book “All Fires the Fire”, in our world it’s “All Apps the App” – they all blend together in the day-to-day experience of them. Along with blogs and postings of our own are mingled the postings and realities of everything we choose (and some we don’t) to let into our senses. This work is an attempt to capture some of that experience. It will also have story, characters, and drama stirred together in the overall pot. It will incorporate some of my ongoing thoughts and personal experiences with cancer and with the world as it is,  along with ideas from my own collection of items in my Flipboard magazine Cashier World, my own feeds feeding into this feed book.

On What’s Next

I decided to wrap up the Fragments series – after 99 of those I could tell that the writing – already quite uneven – was disintegrating quickly. I’ll still do covers but post them on a tumblr instead (, so it’s a wrap both here and on Wattpad, with a final “thank you very much” to my 3 or 4 readers on each of those platforms! I liked all your likes very much.

Part of me wants to revisit the ideas in my series of stories called The Outlier, but re-do it completely, less comic-book-y and with a decent villain and something at stake. I love what I was going for there but I know I failed at it, and it’s been bugging me ever since! It featured a wealthy and stylish “big data dilettante detective”, a cross between Sherlock Holmes, Malcolm Gladwell, Errol Flynn, Doctor Who and Doc Savage, who solved absolute nonsense mysteries with the help of his trusty and likewise oddly skilled assistant(s). I just couldn’t pull off the pulp fiction voice I was going for, and didn’t have juicy enough mysteries after the first one, ‘beepers’.

Maybe I’ll get back to it. Maybe I’ll have a take that resonates. Maybe I won’t. Maybe what it really needs is a Moriarty. Maybe that’s the next book

There are multiple facts at work in my life these days – one being that I’ve written quite a bit of fiction over the years and I hate repeating myself (though I’ve done that often enough), another is the feeling that I’ve already written the best book I can write (How My Brain Ended Up Inside This Box) and the third is that treatment for metastatic melanoma has left me largely drained of physical and mental energy on most days. I’ve only a few months of treatment to go, and it is actually working (“beating the cancer” as they say), so the hope is by the fall I’ll be back in decent health again. If so, that’s what’s next. Living.

Fragments from books that don’t exist: The Man Who Wasn’t [99th and Final Fragment]


As soon as they found out he had cancer Tommy ceased to exist. He had always been a drag at parties. The kind of guy always had something negative to say about everything. And now they didn’t even need to invite him. They didn’t need to call or ever see him again. It was amazing how easy it was. Joni even said it would have been great if he had gotten cancer a long time ago.

Fragments from books that don’t exist: Murder on a Trampoline


There are many ways to think about the future. You can use your wishful thinking. You can be afraid. You can tell yourself it won’t even happen at all, or that it doesn’t matter if it does, because you won’t be around to see it, not in the long run at least. You can see it as a serial whose chapters will never end. You can make predictions. You can shrug it off. You can study the past in search of clues. You can make a career out of that. It won’t do you any good. You can think about the future all you want. The future doesn’t care.

Fragments from books that don’t exist: The Filling Station


“In the first place,” Catalina insisted, “there was nothing wrong with the original parts. There was no need to throw them away.”

“We had our orders,” Reginald replied. “And they did not meet the specifications.”

“Nevertheless,” she insisted, “You could have simply returned them for a full refund. We promise satisfaction guaranteed.”

“That’s enough!” From the doorway came the imperious voice of the mysterious General Bruhn. Catalina shrank back as the hulking figure approached.

“The specifications were quite clear,” the General pronounced, drawing ever closer, and pounding the concrete cellar floor with his golden cane at every step. “We will have what we want. Produce the parts now!”

“Yes, sir,” Catalina said, reaching for the boxes on table. “We have a twelve piece hot wings here, and the twenty piece spicy wings too.”

Fragments from books that don’t exist: That Darn Mannikin


From the first Abraham distrusted the newcomer. She was too loud, seemed vain, and made no sense. This was supposed to be an atonement center, not a braggart bazaar! It wasn’t cool to boast about how long or how many or how low or how bad. All that was in the past so to speak and now it was time to turn proverbial corners and hit the ground running. It was hopefulness and peace within yourself. It was letting go and holding hands. It was me last and everybody else go right ahead I’ll wait right here and smell the coffee. It was about time. It was modesty and nodding and compassion and deliverance. He was the one who decided when and where you could stand in the light and get your turn. He didn’t know who in the heck she thought she was. Junkie or not, this thing’s got wheels and wheels they turn and why won’t she just sit down already and let somebody else spill their guts out for a change. He didn’t like this place anymore, not as long as she was talking. He already knew he would never stop looking at her as long as she was in that room.

Fragments from books that don’t exist: Wednesdays with Humphrey


Prisoner A was fairly certain the deity was on his side when he proclaimed that if it weren’t for Muslims there would have been no need for him to stab them.

Prisoner B was just as sure the deity agreed with his determination that blowing himself up along with several random children was the best course of action all things considered.

Prisoner C argued that killing people who killed unborn babies was the only reasonable thing for a person of conscience to do.

Prisoner D held out for the position that anyone who did anything not according to a particular set of rules was bound to suffer extreme torments for eternity, which is a rather long period of time.

Prisoner E preferred to shout and hit people with bats rather than aim and shoot quietly.

Prisoner F stole some earbuds from the pharmacy.