Yes, this is the moment, I cannot pretend to hide my eagerness, tilting backwards in my desk chair in the all too recognizable posture of scholarly enthusiasm, typing with tremulous fingers, that I provide links to a few new short stories (one of which I linked in the prior post, but I am doing it again, as I did not include the title in that post and I am given at times to overdoing things). Here they are (alphabetized):

A Seminar

Let’s Go Out For A Spin

Morning Edition

That Time I Found The Five Dollars

In combination with the short stories I linked awhile back, I may at this point have enough to bind up a brand new book of short fiction which sells barely any copies.

Also I thought it would behoove me to say a few words about the Sochi Olympics, which I have not spectated in the least. I may have heard or read somewhere that people were complaining about the accommodations provided in Sochi, in comparison to that which other Olympic cities have been providing. Is that a thing? Maybe it isn’t at all. But if it were I wonder if the Sochi accommodations would signal a return to the usual state of affairs, wherein the Olympics are a venue for rigorous international athletic competition, rather than a garish demonstration of municipal or national wealth (or pretense thereof). And maybe a slightly more subdued aesthetic is appropriate for that particular purpose, while an opulent aesthetic might be appropriate elsewhere, such as opera or kabuki. Who knows, as I am, as usual, writing from a place of complete ignorance.

Dear reader, I have fantastic news. My latest title, Vermont, is available for sale both here and here. It can also be downloaded via kindle app for $1.

I have also written a new short story, which can be read for free in its entirety.

In other news, there is a cruel part of me which enjoys Super Bowl blow-outs. In part this unseemly preference—I admit that it is morally incorrect—can be chalked up to mere nostalgia, to which I am prone. But I also enjoy knowing—or pretending to know, as much is still left open to chance—that one team is really much better than the other. Then I can pack that knowledge neatly into a cubby of memory: 2014 was the year the Seahawks were badasses. Of course the game still could have turned out differently. It wasn’t impossible for Denver to win, leading me to construct a different narrative, but in a blowout it’s easy to pretend that in all respects one team was better. And the players themselves fall into that way of thinking. You can see it in the body language of both winners and losers. One can pretend to draw large conclusions from a blow-out, even if those conclusions aren’t actually well-founded. And who doesn’t like to pretend to draw large conclusions?

This is the front cover of my new book, Vermont.

This is the front cover of my new book, Vermont.

Please click here for independent cinema

I do enjoy making blogs. Why not try them on for size? I was going to link them each individually to words in the prior sentence as other blogs have cleverly done. Instead, for the sake of clarity, I have made a list of urls:

http://sevenmenandacorporal.wordpress.com

http://ernestfbynerivus.tumblr.com

http://aboutlionandoldben.tumblr.com

Here they are, in no particular order:

Cool It Down

Hypothesis

Because We Can’t

Eyeball

Fire Ants

Furious Evening

Rainbow Stew

Study Bible

Let Me Put It To You Simply

Orations

Please read them and enjoy, faithful public.

I just finished reading Choices, a novella by Jude McKinnon. The author was kind to send me a free copy. Choices depicts the adolescent relationships formed by a teenage girl who has recently moved to California. Her family is coping with a divorce, for which the girl perhaps shoulders more than her share of emotional responsibility. The novella contains a realistic and tense study of two abusive relationships, the first with a violent and conniving boy who could be described as a psychopath, and the second with a weak young man whose reaction to an unplanned pregnancy is horrifying. But there are many happier moments.

Scarlett, who narrates the story, is a well-realized character. She is an intelligent girl, often concerned with her friends and family, who sometimes makes maddening choices. Particularly well dramatized is Scarlett’s hesitance to report abuse. The psychology which leads many to continue in the face of abuse, and Scarlett’s immediate thoughts and reactions are accurately and thoroughly depicted. The acts themselves are unadorned and frank. It feels real, and is often shocking.

Scarlett remains a young girl, sometimes foolish, sometimes a little cruel, and primarily interested in her love life, which is fertile. The work unabashedly deals with sex: loss of virginity and well beyond in an intelligent and mature manner. Its psychology is thorough. For that reason, it may not be considered Y.A. fiction, but it would be appropriate for smart teenagers.

It was an enjoyable read and I am thankful to Jude for sending it to me. In the end, Scarlett must make a difficult choice between two favorable options: a literally distant marine (he is stationed in Japan) who insists on giving her everything he thinks a girl should want, and the good-natured though sometimes thoughtless young man she is grudgingly permitted to date at home. She makes the right choice, and I enjoyed observing her get there.

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There were six different kinds.

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