Tag Archives: reading

Commercialization of the Word Like

She put her book on her lap as if a sudden idea occurred to her.

“When did the word like become so…”

“Commercial?” he replied from his work desk on the other side of the room. She smiled.

“You always can finish my – “

“Dinner?” He interrupted with a smile.

“Oh so funny,” she said as she dangled her legs over the side of the dark red couch of their study. “You’re working pretty hard over there.”

“Marketing doesn’t market itself, as my boss always says.”

“Trying to get the new book more likes?”

“Yup,” he said with a frown. “It’s tough. We’re up to 1, 256. My goal is 3000 by the end of the week.”

“Do you get what I’m saying, though? It’s almost as if the word like has lost all meaning. The power of liking something has been diminished, in a meaningful way. I heard a ten-year-old tell his friend that she should like his blog, and she said only if he liked her friend’s pic for some contest. He agreed. But what does he care about the contest? He liked it, I’m sure, as soon as he got home, so that she would fulfill her side of the verbal contract and like his blog. The word is losing its umph, its pizzazz, its gumption.”

He turned to face her, which was simple since he was in a swivel chair. “From a human standpoint, I totally see what you mean and can get behind you a hundred percent. But as a heartless bastard in the world of marketing, what you’re saying right now is scaring the shit out of me.”

“Maybe I’ll start a campaign. A campaign to take back the word like! I’ll tell the world to stop liking things and to just like things! Real life like! I’ll never forget the day you first told me you liked me, I giggled and blushed. Remember?”

He nodded even though his back was to her.

“Maybe you should start a Facebook page.”

“Very funny. But if we weren’t together, and you told me that you liked me now, it just wouldn’t mean the same thing. I like you. Well, that’s nice and all, but you also liked Girls in Wet T-Shirts and California Raisins today, so I’m not really sure where I fit in on your list of priorities.”

“Okay, first off, I liked Girls in Wet T-Shirts as a joke. And I happened to be eating raisins yesterday and thought about how much I liked them, so I liked them.”

“Oh trust me, I laughed at the joke, no worries there. I knew it was your sense of humor aimed right at me. I’m just saying.”

He clicked the mouse a few times. “Hmm…looks like someone likes Those Pantyhose That Come in an Egg Container today. Can I start calling you hypocrite now or should I wait?”

She laughed as he turned to face her again and used his feet to wheel right up to the couch. As she looked at him he took her hands in his and pulled her upright and they faced each other. The smile left his face and he looked at her with love and longing.

With all of the seriousness he could muster, he whispered, “I like you.”

She smiled and blushed.

My Second Book, Coming Soon!

 

Coming soon! Wrags Ink., a new publisher in the Philadelphia area, is putting out a collection of my typography on vintage photographs! You’ve seen some of them before here and possibly on my Etsy, but this collection has about fifty images and more than half of them have never been seen before! So get ready, readers! My work is also being featured in a few magazines coming out this summer, and I’ll be sure to let you know about that as it comes up!

Also, once the book is out the prices will probably be going up a bit on my Etsy, so if you want any, better get them soon!

Thanks for reading!


Fulfilled Dreams

“When you find all of your dreams fulfilled, it’s time to think up more dreams.”

She looked up at him. “Huh? What’s that from?”

“Me, I guess,” he said with a large, goofy smile. “My dreams are all fulfilled.”

“Really. How so?”

“I have this house I made into a home. My first book is published. And then there’s you. I love going to work most of the time. I am not starving to death, I have my health, you know. My dreams are fulfilled.”

“And?”

“And it’s time for new dreams. Time to start reaching higher.”

“Like…another book?”

“And maybe another girlfriend.”

“Very funny.”

“I thought so.”

She threw the copy of ReadyMade she was reading at him but he ducked. “See? Everything’s coming up me right now. You couldn’t even hit me with -”

Another magazine hit him square in the face.

“Nice.”

She smiled. “Gotcha! Don’t be so cocky!”

“Hey, can I help it if I’m happy?”

“I’m glad I’m on that list,” she said, getting up and walking over to the couch.

“That doesn’t mean I want to cuddle.”

“Tough. I came over here to cuddle, and cuddle I will.”

“Fine,” he said in his pretend-frustrated voice. He put his arm around her and pulled her in.

“What’s this you’re working on?” she asked, picking up the notebook he had been writing in.

“Ideas. For my next book.”

“Nice.”

“Like I said, new dreams. Not like my first book is doing well. Even the publisher said it wasn’t selling much. Maybe I can use this to get an agent. Or maybe this is the start of something bigger. It just takes the right person to read it, someone like Chuck Klosterman to tweet it, and next thing I know, it starts selling like crazy.”

“Or?”

“Or nothing. I got a book published. It was one of my dreams. I’m happy. It feels good.”

She dropped the notebook onto the floor and it landed on her crumpled magazine she’d used as a weapon just moments ago.

“Let’s go upstairs,” she said after resting her chin on his shoulder.

He smiled. “See? I’m getting everything I want.”

She got up and threw the magazine at his face again.

Ronald (A Story of Connections)

Ronald searched the jumbled shelves of the used book store. The owner told him the copy was here and even described the binding so he knew what he was looking for: off white with shiny red lettering. Shouldn’t be too hard to spot.

Ever since he met Liz he’d been infatuated with her. They spent so many hours discussing films, books, and everything else they both loved, and she’d recommended Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the other night over tea at her place. He couldn’t get over how optimistic she was, her fun, artistic apartment, and even her quiet son who’d spent the night playing with his Transformers.

“I found it!” the owner called from behind a bookcase somewhere in the back of the store. She hobbled out and handed him the paperback that he took with care as if it were a newborn. He couldn’t wait to read this.

He paid her in cash as he always did, and she asked him how classes were since she always confused him with one of her other customers, a college professor, and reminded her that he was a chef. She smiled and apologized, fixed her small, crooked glasses and gave him change.

He walked out and continued down the alley that led to the main street where he made a left at a clump of mainstream stores, including a bookstore big enough to be considered a warehouse. He always went to Barbara’s store first for books since he liked to support independently owned stores that were quickly disappearing.

He stopped to flip through the book as he noticed some of the pages had photographs, some drawings, and even a few pages with color. He almost bumped into someone and without looking up walked around them. “Excuse me,” he said. When the person didn’t respond he turned to look at them and realized it was Liz’s son and he had a small, green handled shovel.

He’d have to bring that up to her next time they hung out. But that wouldn’t be until he’d read this book at least twice and was ready to tell her how wonderful it was.

If you enjoyed this and want to know more about the other characters, click on the Stories of Connections category on the right.

His Reading Spot

He sat in the bright orange room and took in, rested in the moon chair where he liked to read and took a sip of his hot, unsweetened Earl Grey tea with a splash of milk. The glow of the sun warmed him on the cold day that start with snow and ended in sun. The wind blew flakes against the nearby window, which mesmerized him for a moment before he picked up his copy The Living Sea by Captain Jacques Cousteau from the nearby red Ikea table and settled in for a day of reading and happiness.

The Harry Potter Midnight Show

“Oh shoot!” she said from the other room. I looked up from my laptop.

“What’s up?”

“The Harry Potter midnight show is sold out.”

I was a bit surprised.

“Are you serious?”

“Of course! I wanted to go!”

She’s so silly.

“Have you even looked at the fridge lately? I know I do most of the cooking but you must go in there sometimes, at least for the milk to put on your cereal.”

“Why?”

“Duh I bought the tickets last week.”

“You DID?”

She ran to the kitchen first, made a funny little squeak and then came in and hugged me rather violently.

“You’re the BEST! I can’t believe you did that for me!”

“Who said the other ticket was for you? There’s this hot busty girl who moved in across the street…”

She smacked me on the arm.

“Ouch! Now I really am taking her!”

“Oh haha.”

I put my arm around her and pulled her onto the couch with me.

“I didn’t buy it to be nice. I want to go.”

“You do?”

“Sure! Have you ever been to a midnight show? It’s so much fun.”

“I know! It’s so exciting to see it before anyone else! Well, besides the people in there with you. But you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, true, but that’s not why I go.”

She pulled away looked at me with a note of skepticism. “Then why?”

“I love seeing the people dress up. Did you know I once saw a three-hundred pound bald man dressed as Harry Potter? I swear. Even had the lightning bolt scar.”

“For real?”

I nodded. “It’s cute when the little kids dress up, but that’s just insane. I can’t wait to see what people do for the movie. It’ll be fun.”

She looked at me for another moment, kissed me and went back into the other room. I picked my laptop back up, situated it a bit, and turned a page in the copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I was hiding from her.

Flash Fiction Published!

I’m proud to announce a collection of my stories was published in a lovely publication called The Fifteenth Dame Lisbet Throckmorton Anthology:


Click the image to order the book on Amazon. It was an honor to be selected with such beautiful stories and talented writers.

My collection are a bunch of short flash fiction pieces that take place in a coffee shop. There are two sections, Despair and Hope, some of the stories continuing from the Despair section to the Hope section. I’m really excited! Here are a few example flashes:

She removes her hood, as directed.  He wants to see her eyes as she ends it.  She sighs and takes a sip of tea.  He spins his mug of coffee on the saucer, noticing the tiny cracks in the glaze.

~

From above, all that could be seen was two people calmly reading.

From below, all that could be seen was a serious, ongoing foot war.

~

It was their first date, blind at that, and conversation was fairly smooth.  But he knew it would all work out because as she ate her giant marshmallow square, she broke a piece off, rolled it into a bite-sized, mouth-appropriate ball in the palms of her hands, and carefully regarded it between her finger and thumb before popping it into her mouth.

~

She loved sipping the hot rooibos tea but regretted her decision to sit inside on such a nice, clear night.  She looked out the window with an air of regret, but lacked the initiative to move.