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The Many Faces of Fictional Children

Sometimes, it happens that we have a perfect selection of stories for a particular month. Stories about gratitude for November (American Thanksgiving), or stories about love for February (Valentine’s Day), or stories about new beginnings for January. Last month we had a nice lineup of mother themed stories. In the absence of thematically relevant stories, I […]


The Universal Mother

As a baby begins making its first purposeful sounds, they’re almost always “mamamamama.” That’s an easy sound to make with the human mouth. It’s as easy as opening and closing the mouth while forcing air across the vocal cords. It is no coincidence, then, that the word for mother almost universally contains the “mah” sound. […]


March 1918, Camp Funston, Kansas

That date and that place might ring a bell for some of you. It was there, at that time, that the worst pandemic in world history began. History has recorded it as the Spanish Flu Pandemic, probably because of a particularly virulent outbreak in Madrid. How did it get to Madrid from Kansas? Another notable […]


5 Lessons Learned from Fairy Tales

Who doesn’t know the formula for a fairy tale? It’s so deeply ingrained in our cultural lexicon that we naturally begin and end our modern stories with those familiar words: Once upon a time… And they all lived happily ever after. No matter the format, we love fairy tales. Fractured, retold, spiced up, or sanitized, […]


Love and Stories

“Where is love?” sings young Oliver in Lionel Bart’s musical rendition of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. In the story, Oliver is a young workhouse orphan who escapes to London. There he falls in with a troop of thieves and other assorted villains. He is, in many ways, alone and lonely and wishing for the one […]


What’s the Deal With the Baby?

I understand the imagery and all. Baby representing the birth of the new year. I get that. In fact, I quite love the idea of it and what it represents. Fresh new start, right? The Saturday Evening Post had a longstanding tradition of featuring the Baby New Year on the cover of the last or […]


Our Gift to You

I grew up in an American household in which Christmas was observed with awe, merriment, and love.  As Christians, we reverently set up the Nativity scene each year.  We also waited excitedly for Santa Claus to come. I was the youngest of six children, who, together, observed our own Christmas morning rituals.  Mom and Dad […]



September 2019 marks the twentieth anniversary of Jay’s decision to become a writer. His gift to you all this celebratory year is DO IT – Twelve hard lessons on learning by failing, succeeding by accident, never giving up and saying FXXK WRITING all at the same time. You’re welcome! * * * What makes you […]


Of Satire and Pseudo-Reality

During the 1950s and 1960s, television producers gave us a string of speculative programming. The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and others, brought us stories that were often mysterious, sometimes whimsical, always odd. Remember Rod Serling, with his unibrow and a voice that fell somewhere between Maxwell Smart and James Earl Jones? […]


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On Horror and Halloween

John Carpenter directed one of my favorite films. Starman with Jeff Bridges as an alien visitor to earth. He also directed the first three Halloween films and the 2018 reboot with encore performances from Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle–stars of the original film. I haven’t seen any of them. Carpenter is known as a top-tier […]


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