New Short Story: Above the Lake of Fire

I updated the monthly short story rotation with a new story!

Above the Lake of Fire” is the story of a young man and an old woman — who wants the young man to help her kill herself. It is a longer and much more serious piece than the last story, “W, Dick, and Bill” (which was a humor piece). By comparison, “Above the Lake of Fire” gives you an idea of the range and breadth of my work. …I’m supposed to say something here that intrigues you and makes you want to read the story… But I seem to not be very good at promoting myself, it’s so hard for me to find those words.

Well, “Above the Lake of Fire” is really a beautiful story that is well worth the effort of sitting down for a few quiet minutes and reading. It was inspired by the experience of watching my grandmother spin out the senility of her life for many years in a nursing home.


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Why Soccer? -And How Soccer is Like Boxing- A Letter to American Sports Fans

[ This article is meant to balance my other recent soccer article: “Why Americans Don’t Embrace Soccer” ]

Soccer is called “the beautiful game” and “the simplest game” and reminds me of what boxing, my other favorite sport, has been callled: “the sweet science of bruising”. In fact, soccer and boxing have a lot in common and are both starkly different from what are often considered the major professional sports in the United States: (American) football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, and tennis, in that order. Boxing was for much of the 20th Century the most popular spectator sport in America. Soccer has never been, but is by far and away the most popular spectator sport in the world, and its profile in the United States is finally growing. As it should.

What soccer and boxing have in common for spectators is that they are tension sports. The other sports that are popular in America are sports Continue reading

New Feature: Monthly Short Stories

Hi Folks,

I want to announce a new feature here on The Granite Notebook : a monthly short story rotation. I realized the other day that I have written quite a bit of awesome short fiction over the years and need to give readers here the opportunity to see some of it. Soon, probably early next year, I will publish a short story collection that will include many of these stories, but they are being published here for the first time. So readers of The Granite Notebook get to see them before everybody else. :)

You can see the link now in the menu bar above, and you can Continue reading

Why Americans Don’t Embrace Soccer

[ For a more positive look at the sport of soccer, and why it is the best sport in the world, please refer to my other recent article on the subject: “Why Soccer? -And How Soccer is Like Boxing- A Letter to American Sports Fans” ]

The special Copa America Centenario tournament that was held in the United States this summer has given me a great jumping off point for an article that I have been wanting to write. Brazil were eliminated from the tournament by a single goal that one of their Peruvian opponents scored by intentionally slapping the ball into the net with his hand. In other words, the Peruvian player did not actually score a legitimate goal, instead he committed a major infraction of the rules, but the game officials awarded the goal anyway, Peru moved on to the next round, and Brazil (who would have moved on instead of Peru if not for that single goal) were eliminated from the tournament. At the highest level of soccer, whether it is with professional clubs or national teams, events like this are so common that they are barely even a scandal. Continue reading