In the spring of 2012, I earned a Master of Fine Arts in writing and have since been fortunate to publish a handful of creative works in the categories of short fiction and narrative nonfiction.
The Season of the Itch
March 2021 The Lindenwood Review
Written in 2012, this narrative nonfiction piece is an epic first-person telling of my battle with a household flea infestation in 2009 that threatened my cats, my family, and my very sanity.
“Jennifer and the kids noticed a change in my demeanor—I had grown irritable, spending hours online searching out strategies to destroy the aliens. I was Ahab, and my Moby Dick was scattered about the house, not one imposing white whale but a ubiquitous, indestructible force hell bent on sucking every last drop of blood from our withered bodies.”
The Release Point
Feb. 2019 The Cobalt Review
Set on the September night in 1974 that the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets played an epic 25-inning game, this fictional story takes place in the living room of a St. Louis family listening to the game and also to a tall tale about a three-day baseball game told by the family patriarch.
“His story of false hope and missed opportunity wore on, with the Cards and Mets sparring in the background. I had one ear on the radio and the other on Grandpa, whose story had taken on a sort of gravitational pull, all of us leaning toward him…”
Oct. 26, 2016 The Examined Life Journal (issue 5.1)–University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
“The Snowman” is a narrative nonfiction piece framed within the year in 2005 and 2006 that I lived with my father following my separation and divorce. Braided into that narrative is the story of my mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, which had ended just prior to the separation.
“She stood at the patio door, looking out at Mr. Cool, and I told her the joy in the snowman was in the time we spent making him and we would have that memory long after he was gone.”
You’re Going to See Some Blood
Oct. 21, 2015 Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing
This is a creative nonfiction piece about my time as editor of the Warrenton News-Journal, centering on a story involving a homeless man looking for his dog.
“Because he said on the phone that he was homeless, I expected Mark Grodi to be a little rough around the edges; I did not expect him to walk into the newsroom with a gas can in his hand.”
Out of the Ballpark
April 1, 2015 Foliate Oak Literary Magazine
“Out of the Ballpark” is a flash fiction piece about the unintended results of a government plan to clone Babe Ruth.
“To me, he was just Uncle Herman–thick black hair, big, quiet–didn’t look nothing like my dad, who’s thin and muscular, face like a rock. When I was a kid, Herman was already too old to play baseball.”
Her Favorite Color
Nov 1, 2012 Fast Forward Press anthology–Flash 101: Surviving the Fiction Apocalypse
“Her Favorite Color” is a flash fiction story that offers a very brief but telling glimpse of a relationship in which one of the principals cares far more about it than the other. The piece was later selected for adaptation and performance by Denver’s Stories on Stage project.
“They had agreed to meet at 1 p.m., but with New York City traffic, she was not officially late yet, and she certainly wasn’t sitting in a cafe somewhere, sipping a cool drink with friends, their date forgotten or never registered in the first place.”
Still Life in Gray
March 15, 2011 Stymie Literary Magazine
“Still Life in Gray” is a creative nonfiction piece revolving around a visit I made with my children to old Busch Stadium just before its demolition in 2005. It includes several black and white photos I took that day.
“For a young kid who enjoyed baseball, Buck could weave a bedtime story like no one else. He died a few years before the stadium’s demolition, his voice drifting off into the warm air of a summer’s night.”