New – and old – short stories

I published several short stories this past week. I’ve been trying to reacquaint myself with my inner fiction writer and thought I should just go ahead and put these out into the world.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

This one I wrote last night(!) and I really like how it came out. It’s called Birthday.

This one was published on An Idea (By Ingenious Piece) – it’s called Souvenir.

This one was also published on An Idea. It’s maybe the most personal fiction I’ve ever written. It’s called Pluperfect.

Here’s an old one – very old – but also very short. It holds a special place in my cold heart. It’s called Grandma’s Mummified Hand.

And finally, another one I wrote a long time ago. This one features a Vulcan. It’s called Rituals.

I’d love to know what you think of any – or all – of them.

Star Trekking

Star Trek references pop out at me all the time.

A Starfleet insignia bumper sticker on the car in front of me. “Chekov’s job description” as a clue in a crossword puzzle. A passing reference to “Vulcan death grip” in a cultural critic’s essay collection. Or, later in that same collection, this sentence: “Like Trekkies, Hitchcockians have no trivia threshold.”

So I’ve started cataloging these references and thinking about how they fit into a larger cultural context. After all, collecting and analyzing trivia is exactly what makes someone – me – a nerd.

And that’s my mission for Star Trekking, my weekly newsletter in which I share and discuss the way Star Trek continues to infiltrate the culture at large. More than anything, I hope it’s an amusing distraction.

Read back issues and subscribe here: Star Trekking

Juggler Wisdom

I’ve been listening to Penn Jillette’s podcast since it was a radio show. And it stopped being a radio show in 2007(!).

One constant of the show has been cohost Michael Goudeau. I always enjoyed Goudeau’s quick wit and generally happy attitude. What’s not to love about a juggler whose favorite song is “Tomorrow” from Annie?

Michael Goudeau – photo from

Earlier this year (maybe it was this year? It’s so hard to remember anymore. 2020, amirite?) Goudeau said something on the podcast that really struck a chord for me, so I wrote it down.

Last week I started thinking about the quote again and it occurred to me that it contained a new resonance in this time of lockdown. So I wrote an article about it, published in the online magazine An Idea.

It’s called The Secret to Enjoying Lockdown — and the Rest of Your Life: How a juggler taught me the meaning of life in less than 90 seconds. Please do check it out and let me know what you think!