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Five Sentence Fiction: Malice

Lillie McFerrin’s “Five Sentence Fiction” project is a stellar weekly writing prompt. It’s been months since I’ve done one of these, so I’m thrilled to be back in the flow. Here goes.

Malice FSF


Cain cultivated the land, watched life flowing upward, gathered a portion of the crop’s yield, and offered it to God. Yet God was displeased and told him, “Your brother, Abel, has given me his best and most precious sheep while you have given me flowers and weeds, wheat and tares alike.”

As the sun set that night, Cain took his brother into the field and raised the bone cudgel high. When Abel cried out and asked what he had done to earn this malice, Cain wept and said, “You are precious to me.” He brought the cudgel down fast as tears scattered from his eyes, knowing that God demanded a sacrifice of that which was held most dear.

Words, Words, Words

[This poem is being posted by popular request. Note that it’s a performance piece: If you’re reading it quietly to yourself right now, you’re doing it wrong.]

Words, Words, Words

Words, words, words.
I want to devote my life to the study of etymology:
find what madness melds Lunesta to lunacy,
trace the connection between sacred and forsaken,
between force and metaphors,
and find what binds “phallus” to “fallacy.”

I want to trace the ley lines of language,
find what verbs got laid by which nouns,
and go further back, until everything was Good.
And the Good lost an O, and became God.
And in the beginning, God was the word.

Read more.

Broken Glass Giveaway

This weekend my book, Broken Glass, is available for free on Amazon.

Broken Glass

I would love to have you “buy” a copy. It actually helps me in a few ways. First, the more people who “buy” it, the more likely it is the book will get to the “best in free” category—which increases exposure dramatically. Second, your purchase makes it more likely that the book will show up in the “people who bought this also purchased” toolbar on Amazon. Third, the more feedback I get about the book the more I can learn from the experience. You can buy the book through the link below. And there’s a fourth way it helps which I’ll get into momentarily.

Now I want to speak bluntly about the book.

Read more.



[creative nonfiction]

Today, I picked up a discarded piece of paper. My curiosity reached for the ink scrawled on the page. I unfolded it and found a letter to God.

“I wish I were better,” it started. Wishes she could be perfect, could follow the commandments, could follow through. That her desire to do good is easy, but the rest is hard.

Read more.

Green Eggs & Ham: A Novelization – Part 5 & 6

My “9 Tricks for Organic Dialogue” used a spoof novelization of a scene from Green Eggs & Ham. One thing led to another, and now I’m writing a dramatic novelization of this Seuss classic. This post contains part three and four. You can check out parts: one and two, three and four, and now—for your reading pleasure—parts five and six.

Green Eggs and Ham: A novelization.

Part Five

Culinary artists learn early on that a great dish can seem mediocre if the plating’s off and even a lackluster main course can be memorable with that little bit of garnish, the drizzle of sauce, and the classy environment to eat it in. For that reason, it felt pretty weird putting one of my best dishes on a paper plate set with a plastic knife and fork. I did what I could to make it all harmonize with a drizzle of pesto, a sprig of parsley, and a lemon.

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What Is a Metaphor? 17 Definitions [a poem]

Metaphors Be With You
To read more about metaphors, check out my lesson series on the topic. If you’re looking for a more concrete (and less demonstrative) definition of metaphor, check out Metaphor Basics: The Definition and Structure of a Metaphor.

Defining Metaphor

A metaphor is a figure of speech
that directly compares two objects
that don’t match until the objects are matches
striking in strong winds, dancing their white-orange
beacons on the top of two-inch lighthouses as
the wind catches fire.

A metaphor climbs to the cliffside,
sends a stone sailing through the air,
carefully watching it soar so
it can understand just how birds
don’t fly.

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Dear Lack of Follow-Through: A Letter to My Anti-Muse

This is my example piece for the “Letter to Your Anti-Muse” writing exercise (link pending).

Dear Lack of Follow-Through:

I really appreciate the years we’ve spent together. Those were some great times we had, weren’t they? You’re really great in a lot of ways: You encourage me, you tell me to jump on every wild idea I have, you fuel my creative mind. But I just can’t do this anymore.

It’s not you. It’s me. I can’t take the constant psychic weight of all my “current projects.” I have nine half-finished short stories, three half-finished novelettes, 26 half-finished blog articles, three half-finished books … I could go on.

Read more.