“The Fire of 41” appears in Literary Orphans

“The Fire of 41” is now live over at Literary Orphans.

Asian kid, Euro flavor. Loafers, no socks. The same jeggings my five-year-old daughter wears. Except he’s a teenage boy with high hair, black, sleek. The bottle that holds his musky cologne is highly stylized. Angular. Focus groups ate the design right up. Every morning he lifts it from his Ikea dresser and spritzes expectantly, with verve, like the stuff will land him on the Forbes 500, score him a Maserati like dad, the gastroenterologist. Continue here.

“A Taste of Fame” appears in Issue 71 of Jersey Devil Press

“A Taste of Fame” is now live over at Jersey Devil Press.

You know her from the Cooking Network. She’s the thick girl, pale, generously freckled, sweating over the purple flame. Beads gather on her brow and in the crease above her lips and on the follicles of her frizzy red hair. They drip onto sleeves of ink that pop against her white chef’s coat, an article of clothing that tells you what she does but not what she is: a lunatic, a child of fleeting forgotten love, simmering ambition brought to a boil. Continue here.

“Last Light” in Bartleby Snopes

“Last Light” is now live at Bartleby Snopes.

Having decided to ignore the Pterodactyl, I put the shell to my ear and promised my daughter I could hear the ocean. This was basically true—I could hear the ocean. Or, more precisely, I could not hear the ocean, but I could hear a rushing sound within the shell that resembles the ocean, and anyway she is only five and does not know that Puget Sound is not an ocean, and, more to the point, to see her blond hair blowing in the wind that way, to see her standing there smiling, holding a white shell, with sand and seaweed stuck to her rubber boots, which are pink, her favorite color, induced the kind of feeling that is vast and overpowering, even terrifying in the way it pulls you down and holds you under, and maybe it spits you back out or maybe it doesn’t but either way you know unequivocally who’s boss. Which is, as Sophie said in the first place, very much like the ocean. So, yes, I said again, this time with more conviction: I totally hear it, sweetheart. Continue here.

“Still, it was baseball” in Hobart’s 2015 baseball issue

Some short fiction of mine is available now in Hobart’s 2015 baseball issue. The story, entitled “Still, it was baseball,” was inspired by dozens of childhood excursions to the Kingdome. It’s my love letter to the Seattle Mariners, even the players I’m maybe not so kind to in the story (sorry, Bobby Ayala). Fittingly, the Mariners lost last night in extra innings.

Baseball“Still, it was baseball” is available now over at Hobart (image by James Yates)

The day after Opening Day

Most baseball fans approach Opening Day with a sort of ceremonial reverence. It’s an occasion to indulge in nostalgia, allow yourself some unchecked optimism. Part of me is right there with them. I enjoy tradition and pageantry. Plus I really like red-white-and-blue bunting.

Still, as much as I love baseball, I usually don’t get too wrapped up in Opening Day festivities. I look forward to the day after Opening Day because it marks the start of the grind that, to me, makes baseball so appealing. I like the dependability of the baseball season, its persistence. Day in day out, the games are there, even when you don’t need them (of course most days I need them).

This season is especially exciting because my Seattle Mariners appear to be legitimate contenders, which is rarely the case going into the year. The promise of April frequently turns to misery by May around these parts – plenty of Mariners teams have managed to suck spectacularly despite looking good on paper – but I’m allowing myself to daydream, if only a little, about October baseball.

Another cool thing about this season is that one of my stories will appear in the 2015 Hobart baseball issue. The story is set in the Kingdome during an era when the M’s weren’t so good. Look for it later this month. In the meantime, check out the other excellent baseball-related work that Hobart has published so far in April.

I plan to celebrate the second day of baseball tonight at Safeco Field. I’ll sign off with a memento/memory of mine from Oct. 6, 2000, when the M’s swept aside the Chicago White Sox in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. I sat behind the third-base dugout that day. Who knew that 15 years later I’d still be waiting to attend another playoff game?