About verbal


I like to read. I like to write. I spend way too much time staring at the night sky. And a little too much time watching baseball. Anything else you'd like to know, ask. I'm not exactly an open book, but I like to talk, and I like to listen.

Verbal Incandenza
Relationship Status:
In a Relationship
Local Time:
28 Jul 2021 03:56
Astronomy, writing, reading, camping, baseball. Good bourbon. Good conversation. Tilting at windmills.
Favorite Books:
Infinite Jest, All the Pretty Horses, Slaughterhouse Five, The Killer Angels, Beloved, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Lonesome Dove, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Shining, Mystic River, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The World According to Garp, Where the Wild Things Are, The Cat in the Hat, The Haunting of Hill House, Wise Blood
Favorite Authors:
David Foster Wallace, Cormac McCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut, Ken Kesey, Toni Morrison, Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, John Irving, Charlie Huston, Megan Abbot, China Mieville, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Suess, Shirley Jackson, Flannery O'Connor
Favorite Movies:
Favourite TV Shows:
Favorite Music:


Date Joined:
21 Jul 2015
Last Visit:
28 Jul 2021
Page Viewed:
2,724 times
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Topic: Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted: 27 Jul 2021 16:49


Okay. Okay. I’m not a Tik Toker, but this lady and her hubby make me laugh. She’s from Montreal but I think they live in Boston. Parents of two. She sings and is an ‘influencer’. He’s a lawyer. He never shows his face but is known as the Real Indian Dad. They both of Indian descent but he uses a very thick Indian accent for his character. It started out as him heckling her off camera while she played piano and sang, while preparing a future video post.

Sooo sooo funny.

RID: Did you hear about the two guys that stole a calendar?

DM: No

RID: They each got six months.

Iced tea, please. Some seed for the bird man of Colorado.

I’ve told this joke three times today. Got one laugh: Talia, predictably.

Sheena’s kinda cute.

Two meteor shores are peaking this evening. Might have to stay up late and watch.

A non-alcoholic limoncello please. And MORE COOKIES!

Topic: Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted: 27 Jul 2021 10:04

Good morning fellow coffee and cookie lovers. Thanks for the set-up, Larry.

Guess whose birthday is in less than 24 hours?

We're not doing much for it. Ice cream cake and presents. And we're travelling up to Denver to see a concert with some friends this weekend. Other than that, just another pleasant day of writing and cat-ball and a Mets game in the evening.

I'm writing about an impossibly beautiful woman and her impossibly gorgeous dog, who hang out at the dog park, and the man who watches her from the kitchen window. We have a dog park visible from our kitchen window. There's NO beautiful woman. It's FICTION. Tell Talia. (Several gorgeous dogs though.)

Mets and Braves split the double header yesterday.

Coffee and a competition-shaped cookie please.

Topic: A Survivor's Story Competition!
Posted: 27 Jul 2021 09:50

This comp has been a favourite of mine, the friendliness and community is so strong here and that brings out the best in us all.

Darn upload limitations. I have a funny penguin gif where one smacks the other to the ground. I wanted to juxtapose the tuxedo’d pairing. Penguins & Nuns. I sense a very hot South African catholic school story in the making or a very chilly one from Antarctica. But I don’t think there are any catholic colonies on the big berg.

Good comp. I concur. At the very least, we learned that Verbs was raised by wolves.

I'll have you know I was raised by milquetoast Southern Baptists in the middle of Iowa. I'm about as non-wolf as they come.

Now, raised by birds - that's something to aspire too. I had this idea last night: what if the birds started talking to children. All over the world. Just flew to them and whispered something. And none of the kids will tell anyone what the birds said.

It was a really strong, fun contest, I agree.

Topic: Your Mood In Pictures Or Gifs
Posted: 26 Jul 2021 13:50

(sorry for the f-word, Anna!)


Topic: Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted: 26 Jul 2021 12:45

Hey, when are comp results supposed to be announced?

It says August 1 in the Site news forum.

So it does! Thank you!

Hey Al Copeland, nice to meet you, I'll get to your story soon (as will others I'm sure).

Anyway, I stopped by AGAIN because I just read the Mets have a double-header today with their nemesis, Sara's Braves, AND not only that, but it's a five game series. AND not only that, but the Mets have so little pitching that they don't know who is starting 2 of the next 3 games. This series is one of the first BIG series to decide the NL East! Good luck Sara!

Topic: Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted: 26 Jul 2021 10:01

Is it still Moanday? it is? In the immortal words of Winnie-the-Pooh, "Oh bother."

Larry thanks for the set-up and for giving WG proper recognition and greetings.

I was a bit 'off my feed' this weekend. Just felt punky and out of sourts. On the other hand, it let me stay piled up in bed knocking off a couple historical mystery novels.

Next up could be an in-depth analysis of the news that the universities of Oklahoma and Texas will probably be moving from the Big-12 conference to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) wherr teams such as Alabama, Georgia and my beloved LSU Tigers roam. Yep that could be next up except most Inspirators don't care and I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing.

With a second mug of coffee in one hand while the other is filled to overflowing with Sarah's cookies, I'll go over to the corner table, sit in a dry confy chair, and speculate on just what in the heck-e-darn is speculative fiction.

Later, Inspirators. glasses8

Sorry you were off your feed Bill. Hope the coffee and cookies help. They help me!

I think speculative fiction just means a "what if" story: what if some aspect of the world was different than it is now. Like, what if the Russians landed on the moon first. Or what if they found giant robot monsters there? It's a huge category, and a big buzzword these days.

New story idea: any of you Canadians heard of a huge population of songbirds there changing their tune? Apparently white throated sparrows started singing a shorter song - "Oh sweet Cana, Cana, Cana" instead of "Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada." WHAT IF the birds had something more nefarious in mind!?


Anyway. Mets won. Larry's Padres got a BIG bat at second base right before the trade deadline. They're still in the hunt, and would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

Starting a new story today. Maybe the bird one, maybe one about a dog park with somewhat mysterious dogs and owners.

Hey, when are comp results supposed to be announced?

Coffee and a bird shaped cookie please.

Topic: A Survivor's Story Competition!
Posted: 25 Jul 2021 11:52

Yeah, what everyone else has said: an excellent group of stories. I'm proud to be part of this field!

Topic: Raymond Carver's Guidelines for Writing
Posted: 24 Jul 2021 12:36

This read like the philosophy of writing. Thank you for sharing; it's left a lot to ponder over.book

That well put, it's almost about living a writer's life than it is about actual writing. How to best observe the world.

And then you come across quotes like this:

"Writers don’t need tricks or gimmicks or even necessarily need to be the smartest fellows on the block. At the risk of appearing foolish, a writer sometimes needs to be able to just stand and gape at this or that thing—a sunset or an old shoe—in absolute and simple amazement."

The best gift writing has given me is the capacity for simple wonder.

Topic: Name something positive that's happened during lockdown
Posted: 24 Jul 2021 12:30

I got offered early retirement during lockdown (as a result of lockdown!) and it has brought positive changes to nearly every aspect of my life. My Dad died about 2 months before lockdown hit, and as deeply unnerving and painful as that was, I was thankful the whole world went kind of quiet for the next year, and allowed me to grieve in calm, isolated and strangely surreal surroundings.

Topic: Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted: 24 Jul 2021 11:46

Talia is at the office, so today the kitties and I are going to learn to juggle, to surprise Talia on her return home.



I DO get this look from Talia on a fairly regular basis. :)

Kinda gloomy day today, which I don't mind, it keeps the heat down. Talia got a raise so I may take her out in celebration tonight.

Mets won again. A five game lead, and they still don't have a full pitching rotation. If any team in the NL East decides to rise up, the division is theirs (hint hint Sara and Elizabeth).

Hey Roland, I'm going to a Cubs game next week! My son-in-law is taking me out to a Rockies/Cubs game for my birthday!

Okay off to a day of pure laziness (and intermittent editing).

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My grandmother tried to kill me in my crib when I was two months old. She’s dead now. Did I kill her? I don’t know. It’s not a simple question, and there are no simple answers. All I remember is being covered in blood, her blood, as I lay in my crib. # I never met my father. He was a passing fancy, my mother told me. Someone to keep her loneliness at bay. I never met him, but I’ve seen...

Added 17 Jul 2021 | Category Horror | Votes 21 | Avg Score 5 | Views 275 | 20 Comments

Ghosts of Cheyenne Mountain

“It’s all lies,” Seth told us, as he passed the joint to Cam. “The government will never tell you anything important.” Seth and Cam and Kyle huddled in the shadows of Cheyenne Mountain military base, partying, telling conspiracy theories as if they were ghost stories. Civilians could not enter the actual Cheyenne Mountain military base, but the city had built a public park below the...

Added 26 Apr 2021 | Category Science Fiction | Votes 6 | Avg Score 5 | Views 141 | 4 Comments

Recommended Read Funhouse

Screams erupted from every ride in the carnival, even the not-particularly-scary ones like the Ferris Wheel and the Turtle Train, as Conor walked the midway. The smell of funnel cakes and corn dogs and cotton candy washed over him. Discarded hamburgers and crushed lemons from discarded cups of lemonade littered the ground. He looked in the hall of Funhouse mirrors and saw the most...

Added 07 Sep 2020 | Category Flash Fiction | Votes 19 | Avg Score 5 | Views 758 | 17 Comments

Recommended Read Chew (part 2)

The man on the phone told him the latest girl was twenty-one, but Mr. Hargrove thought she looked more like a teenager. It didn’t matter anymore, of course. All that mattered now was getting rid of her body. Jeeves wasn’t around to help this time. The phone call--no name, just a number--took place every few weeks. Mr. Hargrove would order an ounce of good weed, several bottles of...

Added 04 Sep 2020 | Category Science Fiction | Votes 9 | Avg Score 5 | Views 354 | 7 Comments

Recommended Read Chew (part 1)

Baby was hungry again. Sara set down the baby bottle, opened the cabinet and counted the cans. Seventeen. Mostly refried beans, one of the few staples left after the supermarket got looted. Two cans of Beefaroni. Five cans of soup. Green beans. Corn. Peas. One lonely can of cranberry sauce, leftover from some pre-infection Thanksgiving and likely to be the last of the cans opened. A low...

Added 03 Sep 2020 | Category Science Fiction | Votes 10 | Avg Score 5 | Views 439 | 8 Comments

Ground Zero

In dream, my skin has been charred soot-black, not all over my body, but on my arms, my legs, my penis, my chest. In dream, I only notice the burns if my eye happens to fall upon that area of skin. There is no pain. No pain, but a deep, shuddering fright when I see my blackened flesh and am reminded once more of the severe burns I carry. It was a dream the night of September 11th, 2006,...

Added 11 Sep 2019 | Category Memoirs | Votes 9 | Avg Score 5 | Views 681 | 8 Comments

Lost and Found

The basement didn’t show up on John’s radar until about a year after they had lived in the house, though other spots did, and much more quickly. His daughters took note of the upstairs hallway before they even moved in. Em said it felt weird. John felt it too, and even Alice, who did not put much faith in the supernatural, said she thought of the countless footsteps of previous lodgers...

Added 04 Mar 2019 | Category Horror | Votes 4 | Avg Score 5 | Views 892 | 4 Comments


“Where the hell are all the forks?” John grumbled from the kitchen, not for the first time. “Emily takes them,” said El from the dinner table. “No I don’t!” wailed Em. El turned to her Dad. “Emily takes them and she hides them,” she said. “This is between her and me,” said John. “No need to get involved.” Sensing a temporary victory, Em added, “And quit calling me Emily!” John shushed...

Added 26 Feb 2019 | Category Flash Fiction | Votes 9 | Avg Score 5 | Views 828 | 10 Comments

Pupa and Chrysalis

Em asked her Dad to mount a full length mirror on the inside of her door when she was nine years old. The mirror whispered to her just after she turned ten. Or rather, something in the mirror whispered. She had just started fourth grade, and for the first time in her life noticed that others looked at her, others judged her: her clothes, her skin, her weight, her hair. She started...

Added 21 Jan 2019 | Category Flash Fiction | Votes 9 | Avg Score 5 | Views 867 | 9 Comments

Growing Old

The girls had been getting along pretty well together in El’s room, El playing teacher, Em playing student (they always played the same roles without variance), but then Em had turned rebellious on her teacher and was threatening to not do her assignment until El shared some of her apple. Now they were fighting. John and Alice knew this because they were on the first floor of the house, in...

Added 18 Nov 2018 | Category Horror | Votes 10 | Avg Score 5 | Views 1,117 | 10 Comments

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Happy Birthday from the team at Stories Space.
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de Grom prefers basketball
26 days ago
I'm delighted you sold the story! Yahoo. As good as you write it was a puzzle to me that you haven't sold many. You are really super good.
21 Jun 2021 18:22
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I know you like Paul in Hud, but I bet there was someone else in that movie that held your attention:
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