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

You Are Not Alone

Stay with with me here, I’m trying to think through something, trying to evaluate the signs and portents.

Last weekend I saw a fantastic production of Into the Woods at Centre Stage (I wrote about it on BroadwayWorld). The final song, of course, is “No One is Alone.” And in the director’s note, Chris Rose says his production revolves around that sentiment, that “You are not alone.”

Last weekend I also heard, again, a song from my daughter’s current favorite musical Dear Evan Hanson: “You Will Be Found,” which contains a section in which the company repeats “You are not alone.”

Sunday morning, the sermon came from the prodigal son story, and when I saw that was going to be the verse I (internally) rolled my eyes a little and thought, ugh, not the prodigal son story again. But our pastor, Ben Dorr, approached it from a completely different, unexpected angle, in which he discussed the power of connection, of getting out of our own interior monologues, of remembering that “You are not alone.”

And so I began humming a track from the LP Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space (because of course I did) and the single most memorable track for me from that LP, a track that has run through the back of my brain since the early 80s, is titled, yes, “You Are Not Alone.”

As James T. Kirk once asked, “Message, Spock?”10002999_10204920044055466_4733070030638684000_n

Sometimes the universe is sending you a message. Sometimes it’s subtle. But sometimes it’s a giant billboard, a message in flaming letters carved into the surface of the moon.

Maybe I’m mistaken, maybe this is a stretch, but right now I’m beginning to think that someone is trying to remind me that I am not alone. That none of us are alone.

As Chris Rose says, this truth is a double-edged sword. Sure, there are others around who can support us, who can be there for us. But the reverse is also true: we have a responsibility to be more than individuals, to think of more than just ourselves.

I am not alone. We are not alone. You are not alone.