Tag: Writing

Opening Pages of Iron Abbie

A bird landed on the sill and cheeped. It was a pretty thing, mostly brown with a few blue and yellow feathers like scales on a fish. Abigail sat very still and peered over, not wanting to startle it, and noticed that the poor bird had a padlock stuck on its head—the metal hook, like a curled finger, wrapped around its neck. The padlock was small and silver and it gave the bird a noble look, but it was obvious the bird was suffering. Perhaps it had come for help?

“Don’t move,” said Abigail, and she ran about the house, finally returning with a coterie of keys. The bird stood patiently while she applied the metals, but none fit. Not the one to mother’s jewelry-box, not the one that looked like a skeletal finger, not the golden one for the shelf beneath the peering glass, not the one to father’s desk. Finally, Abigail went down into the foyer and with some hesitation pulled the key to the front door from her father’s spare coat. It was shaped like an F and it fit into the padlock. Liberated, the bird flew out the window, soaring over bowler hats and stone heads to the park across the road. From a branch it looked back, then was gone.


Rejections — GRIST, Fantastic Stories

Two rejections in one day. I really don’t feel like posturing any false sense of confidence – well, look at how many times they rejected Harry Potter, and didn’t they say Vonnegut’s account of the bombing of Dresden wasn’t “compelling enough?”

None of that. I’ve no illusions.

And I know the Ancient Greeks didn’t believe in hard work and no gain; they valued excellence. That’s why there wasn’t second place in the Olympics.

But I’m okay. I think I’ll start collecting these emails. If anything, they’ll make interesting wallpaper.

Published — “Snippets”


Rat Ass Review’s “Love and Madness” section published my poem “Snippets.” The online publication is devoted to poetry about “our varied attractions to one another” and isn’t “intended for children, nor for those adults whose views of individual liberty and freedom of expression would best suit them for life in 1630 Massachusetts or modern-day Syria.” Get reading because it’s an amazing, ever-growing page of stories of love and madness, if there’s even a difference. You can also find my poem (after clicking the link) by hitting CTRL-F and searching for “Desmond White.”

Writer’s Family Reunion 2016

Writespace had their Writers Family Reunion, which I attended with my future sexy wife. Writespace is located in an art studio warehouse called Silver Street, a peaceful, meditative spot. The itinerary included events like a Critique Group Speed Dating, small-group Q&A’s with local but very accomplished writers (I was lucky enough to sit with D. L. Young of Soledad fame), panels on publishing and marketing by the published and marketable, and games like pin the mustache on Faulkner.

 I learned a lot, but instead of dumping my notes on the internet, I’ll jot four things:

 (1) We have a literary scene! Houston’s not just a sunset-and-traffic, cowboy-hat-toting big oil city that’s rising into the sky as it sinks into the marsh. And that literary scene is immense, intricate, ever-expanding.

 (2) Many writers in Houston choose to self-publish but it’s a lot of work. It kind of takes an obsessive, hard-working type, or, well, a writer.

 (3) There’s a debate in the community about novel-writing. Some say that if you want to write novels, you should write novels. Others to write short fiction first and hone your skills.

 Finally, (4) Houston is very new and emerging writer friendly. 

 10/10, would write again.

Published — “Pink Pastures”

365 Tomorrow has published my speculative flash fiction “Pink Pastures.” The story was based on a dream, and since I can’t afford a therapist on a teacher’s salary, I resorted to a poor substitute (something I also know about, being a teacher). Ursula Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” influenced the setting, plus I really wanted to write about eldritch genitalia without using the word “vagina.” You’ll notice the comments aren’t forgiving; in my defense, my “purple prose” could have been intentional on a meta-level. (It’s not). 365 Tomorrows is an online journal that produces a new speculative fiction every single flipping day. The site would be a great complement to your morning bagel and cup of raktajino.

Short Prose (Lovecraft-Like)

“Sluice Warrington was growing more and more annoyed with Rez, especially the man’s side-street studio with its clitter clatter of canvases and layers upon layers of dust and paint-pocked floors…”

Read more of “The Artist’s Wife.”


“Could be a man or a six-armed cow or a twenty-headed sex goddess.”

Read more of “Kervani.”


“A warehouse that could be the love child between a dumpster and a medieval castle. Coming from inside, groans. Moans.”

Read more of “Necronomi Con.”


“It was maybe the smell – the stench of it – which wafted from its corridor invisibly, or on a bad morning very visible, a blushing mist.”

Read more of “Pink Pastures.”

Fiction — “That Chevy Impala”

I will never forget it. Blue as the Kelley Blue Book, a proud white belt, dual headlights like plates on display and squinting taillights. It made salesmen use the word “aerodynamic” and “chrome” and its interior looked like the cockpit of a rich man’s bush plane.

We (the neighbor’s kids) would touch its windows with our faces when the owner wasn’t looking. I told Nana someday I would own that car, that very car, and she tsked me: “No one wants you driving around in an Impala.” That’s when I noticed the dirty trucks littering the street like beer cans.

Something happened, or maybe he sensed evil thoughts. A For Sale sign appeared in the windshield, and the next day someone keyed the car. I still remember the owner touching the scars as if they were still sore. “You don’t see us driving nice cars,” Nana said, watching the street, and now I knew why. 

Zombie Fiction — “Living Things Pet Shop”

Copper is the most antsy, selfish, stupid dog. She yips when you’re not paying attention, she flops on the floor and pushes your feet, belly jittering like jello, eyes pleading. Or she sneaks by your toes to beg, and if you pet her she pees.

If I put my hands on her head and push down to her rump, she pumps out a puddle.

Copper sleeps in the back office with the door locked and a gun on the desk. Where I sleep. I don’t trust the other dogs. They’re dreamers. But Copper sleeps lightly, and has a good ear, and will nose me awake when they are nearby.