J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


‘Class’ on Paragraph Planet

More with the shameless self-promotion! This is me marketing my small works!

I’m happy to say my short “Class” is featured today on Paragraph Planet, a creative writing website that features 75-word pieces on one topic. If you’re a writer, please give it a go. There’s something so satisfying about writing just 75 of just-right words. If you’re a reader, click and click daily. There are some real gems there, and they make for a nice breather between phone calls, a shared human moment before another deadline. Writers may also write a sequel to the posted paragraphs using their own 75 words.

My piece that is featured today was inspired by a quartet of smokers sharing cigs one day after class. Ted Hughes and his crow make a cameo appearance. Check it out while you can. The pieces change daily.

UPDATE: This is the piece that appeared Nov. 22.

Class. Oh, it had been so very good. An odd quartet agreed as they shared their smokes, happily disagreeing on today’s quality of tobacco. Was it North Carolina’s? Virginia’s? Did it matter anymore? Wasn’t soil just the devil’s dirt? Had Hughes’ crow taught us nothing about death and dying today? Eager white teeth bit into a moist stem, not quite a ripe woman’s thigh. Class had been good, even Red had agreed. And so did I.

Flash forward

This is a bit of a departure from my usual advertising/marketing posts, but it’s in the interest of self-promotion, so it’s not completely from left field.

I’m happy to report I’ve kept up my writing habit over the summer — despite not taking a writing class during the summer sessions. I’m even happier to report that my flash-fiction piece “Tokyo Exchange” was selected for Doorknobs & Bodypaint’s August issue, along with another short, “Crib Notes,” which is part of a much longer work in progress.

For “Tokyo Exchange,” I had to use the following prompts: 1) a theme of treachery 2) a sub-theme of restraint 3) setting is Tokyo and 4)  the phrase “of an emulsion” must be included. Oh, and it had to be 450 words or fewer. We meet Jamie from “Clocked In” again, 10 years after we last saw her. She’s a computer analyst who is living in Tokyo temporarily and suffering from a serious case of homesickness.

In “Crib Notes,” which was written for the Dorsal contest, someone had to act treacherously to take something that isn’t theirs. It’s 1996, and we meet Sean, a once-gifted journalist who has squandered his talents. He’s a first-class shit, and he’s loosely based on a journalist I knew back in the early 1990s. This piece surprised me: I felt angry and sad and completely disgusted. I hope the reader feels that way, too.

Speaking of writing, I have daily pages and classwork to do, so this self-promotional post will end awkwardly — like this.

TBD.com goes live

TBD, a website covering news and culture here in the metro area that is Disneyland on the Potomac, has officially gone live.

The letter from the editor (who would be one Erik Wemple) promises “an aggressive news-filtering machine” that lets D.C. metro residents access an area news feed just by entering their zip code. Wemple also admits all the kinks aren’t worked out just yet and asks the readers to bear with them as they grow.

I was sorta psyched for them until I read they have three reporters devoted to the Redskins year round.

Oh well. Good luck to them, anyway.