An airport you’d think was set up as a place for transportation, and I mean the swiftest known on earth outside rockets and spaceships. But add it all up, the time, I mean, getting to and from an airport, sitting in airport waiting for a plane, for a delayed plane, a meal you’re paying 200% for, waiting for a rental or a bus or some other snailish form ground-wheeled transport, and you have to conclude that an airport is nothing more than a way station set up to block or at least delay your ability to take your butt from one place to another. Or maybe a storage locker for aluminum Da Vinci feathered creatures to rest up before or after some arduous journey from hither to yon.

Today there’s lots of glass to look through more taller and wider than anything I might need but still not enough to see what I really want which is what happened to put me here or what is going to happen when I leave. For I will have to eventually leave I think. There was a movie once about a guy trapped in an airport. I don’t remember much about it except that it wasn’t a situation a person would want to be stuck in.

But, I remind myself, I’m not stuck. I have options. I have a ticket in my pocket, which I could use to board one of those leap-into-the-sky machines. Or I could cash it in, get a refund, and walk out to somewhere else. Or I could skip the part about cashing anything in and just walk out.

But where would go?

I don’t know that any more than I knew it when I bought this ticket to—where was it again?—Boise, Idaho. Weird name Boise. Boy—see. Or is it Boyz—ee? I looked it up once, but those things never stick in my mind. The name itself has something to do with wood or trees. None of these things mean a thing to me or my life, so why would I gravitate toward this place? I must have laid down my cash because of some inner urge I was seeking to understand or to discover.

At any rate, now I don’t know why I started all this or why and figure I might as well give it all up and go back to what I was doing before.

Which was what, exactly?

And that was what she always said, Gretchen, that is. That she loved me and all and we had great times together but that she needed someone she could stick with and she could never stick with someone as aimless as I am. No goals, no direction. It’s as if she said I had no past or future, was born into the moment, whatever that moment was, and never moved beyond it.

She’s right, of course. But I always figured what was wrong with that? I love the moments, the moments of every day. What else is there to need?

Well that didn’t go with Gretchen, so she is now off somewhere else in some other moment that doesn’t include me. And as for me, it looks like I’m headed to Boise, or will be shortly, unless I cash in my ticket, or don’t, or just walk away, or just wander around the airport till someone apprehends me or interrogates me or arrests me. Then will I know why I’m here?

I don’t know. Real question is do I really care why I’m here? Or anywhere else for that matter?

These are questions to be asked as Falstaff says in some play or another as if it made or makes a difference.

I seem to recall that in that play, it doesn’t make a difference, and I seem to remember there is something about blackberries in that line, though what shakespeare was doing writing about blackberries or what Falstaff was doing talking about them I can’t imagine.

Maybe if I’d been less aimless (or more aimful?) about things, I’d know the answer. Or care.

As it stands, I am standing in a Southwest Airlines line, boarding pass number C22 and I guess I’m going to shuffle my way through this door that looks like it belongs in a bank vault and find out what I’m doing here. Or there.

I might even care.


Writing Clever Plot Twists: Ways to Surprise Readers

Plot twists, the number one factor that keeps readers engaged in a story. If you wish to get a grip of your target readers’ interest, focusing on making clever plot twists will do the work. If it’s your first writing fiction and you don’t know where to start, this blog is ideal for you.

An important goal that every author should work on is to never have a predictable plot. Readers love big surprises—it serves as their reward. Plot twists make it possible. However, writing mind-blowing plot twists will never be easy. You have taken careful measures to perfect it. To help you out, here are some of the ways you can develop clever plot twists for your story and give readers the surprise they crave:

Learn From Other Authors

You need to make sure that you are learning from the best. Knowing the ropes on how you can write successful plot twists will only be achieved if you are open to learning from experts. Checking out books that can aid you to learn how you can do it. It would be a great idea to read books across genres. Books with amazing plot twists like Bonita by Carl R. Brush and is something that you can check out. It has gained a lot of praise from readers for its well-written plot. You Can’t Keep Her: Sequel to Bonita by Carl R. Brush is also already available. Make sure to check it out and learn some techniques of writing clever plot twists.

Subtly Mislead Your Readers

This technique can be so handy for authors, especially fiction authors. Your goal is to make your readers believe in something that will later change. This way you are giving the readers more excitement to finish the story. These subtle details that mislead your readers will be the factors to make them feel surprised.

Reveal Plot Twist Near the Ending

Your readers are wise, and they like to predict endings or how the story ends. Most of them will never like the feeling that their prediction is right since nothing will give them the element of surprise anymore. That is why, if your main plot twist will be revealed at the near end of your story, you can build it up even more. That plot twist that you have in your mind will be more creative over time. Give your readers the biggest shock of the narrative with a completely unexpected happening. However, you can always foreshadow this without it being predictable. You can give a glimpse of it in the very first part of the book. The most important part of the process is to make it seamless and low-key. The reader’s investment in your story will all be worth it with creative plot twists.

Create a Seamless Flow

As previously mentioned, the information that you give out to your readers should be seamless. And, as much as possible, you don’t want to bombard your readers with too much information. Or else, your surprises will all be worthless, or worse, you will run out of ideas. Leaving your readers wondering is a great way to impact readers. This will make your book worth sharing. Tickle your readers by holding back some important information. Give your readers a sense of satisfaction but never forget to give them a big one once you’ve reached the end.

Overshadow the Main Plot Twist

Never be afraid to overshadow your story. If you are afraid that you might reveal some detail that leads readers to know the ending, then don’t. Foreshadowing does not mean that you have to give up some information, it only means that you are teasing the readers. Think of how you can foreshadow your story before everything else. Structure your story before the actual writing process.

Your plot twists are as important as any other element in your storyline. It is the most effective element that can successfully leave your readers astonished, if not, it will be something that can make them remember your book and you as an author. Hopefully, you’ve acquired some helpful strategies from this blog. Good luck on your writing journey and may you successfully write a book that can capture your readers.


I am just now sitting down at the computer after having watched the new film Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power, and I confess to being a bit awestruck. Lee has been my congressional representative much of my politically aware life. In 1998 She succeeded the iconic Ron Dellums as the 13th district representative to congress  and has since become an icon herself. What I took away from the film was not so much information about her life or her ideas, but a sense of the experience of the woman herself.

I was treated earlier in the week to some biographical information via Joe Garofoli’s It’s All Political podcast on the subject. Before that I knew next to nothing about her early life, about her struggles with poverty and an abusive relationship. And, happily, there was her recent joyous wedding. If anyone deserves that, she absolutely does. Certainly others will glean much from those facts; but  for me, who was here during all of her political life (though I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have), it was the  experience of vicariously reliving her growth amid enormously challenging  circumstances, that I found so compelling.

From her courageous and unique vote against the much-abused post-9/11 war powers resolution (And hasn’t that been proven right over and over and over again on that one?) to her tireless work on behalf of her constituents– especially the unfranchised (children) and the disenfranchised (women and the incarcerated) and pandemic (Aids) victims, she has been a champion of values that represent everyone and everything American.

Shirley Chisolm

When she took her seat, she was virtually the only black woman in congress past or present. Dellums had his own challenges, of course, but at least he was male, and he was not a single parent. Lee had her own (to overuse the word) iconic predecessor in Shirley Chisolm, but Chisolm was gone by the time Barbara came along, so hers was a lonely position to say the least. Not that she started from exactly zero. Her work as a staffer for Dellums gave her some Washington D.C. presence, but not at all a prestigious one.

So what we have here is a hard working politician with compassion and integrity who has become a premiere voice for the downtrodden, one who can take her remarkable life and integrate her experience into legislation and actions that benefit us all. And she did it without seeking the star-power publicity and status that could easily have been hers. But then she wouldn’t be Barbara Lee, would she? She’s almost an anti-politician in perhaps the most political of eras. How fortunate I feel to be one of her followers.




For the first time in two years we yesterday evening entered the San Francisco Memorial Opera house for a banquet of that spectacle known as Grand Opera. I won’t say it was worth the wait because the wait seemed interminable and we are still in the midst of the surrounding danger and chaos. Nevertheless, there’s no denying OUR euphoria that we and–judging from the volume of cheers and number of standing ovations–the rest of the crowd floated in on similar emotions and sustained them throughout. It’s the first time I can recall when the chorus got a curtain call at the conclusion of Act I. Maybe it’s the way it always goes with this opera, but it was still a treat.

 Ailyn Pérez in the title role and Michael Fabiano as her ill-starred lover, Cavaradossi in our estimation tore the roof off the place. I’m sure it will be repaired forthwith.

Most notable, however, was the performance of SF Opera’s new musical director, Eun-Sun-Kim. I am no judge of such things, but it seemed to me that the energy and vibrancy she brought to her new role had every bit as much to do with the success of the production as did the voices and authenticity of the performers.

It’s a truncated season, so this is the only show we’ll see till the next round, but my lord, as they way, what a morning.

[FOOTNOTES: The main safety precaution was a requirement to show proof of vaccination. A guy patrolled the incoming lines, checked cards and i.d., then issued a sticker to be shown along with the ticket for admittance.

There were no programs. Whether that was a safety or an economic measure or both, I don’t know. I suspect the latter. There were easels here and there where you could download a program using a QR scanner on your “mobile device,” something we were ill-equipped to do. But there’s always next time.

Tips to Come Up with a Successful Short Fiction

As much as other works of fiction, short stories can also be as moving. In a single resonant hit, short stories can deliver and serve readers the central message. It’s like flashing the hidden spots of the story in an instant. If you’ve authored novels in the past and want to try out something different, or if you are new to writing, you should give short stories a try.

Many opportunities are waiting for authors of short stories. Short stories are ideal for authors to take risks and write something they are passionate about, allowing them to gain new learnings that prepare them to write actual novels. Writing short stories opens doors for writers into other worlds. It will serve as a journey that can take them further than they could imagine while leading them to the right path. Aside from the learning experience, you can also earn extra income. Magazines, newspapers, blogs, and anthologies are the few publications that pay authors for their short stories.

What are short stories? They are works of prose fiction with the intention to set forth a moral, capture a moment, or impart a vital message while giving readers a captivating narrative. The plot, character, pacing, and story structure must go together towards the common goal. In other words, short stories are focused within and directly on the elements. A typical short story could go anywhere between 1,000 words to 5,000, while flash fiction can have as few as five words.

Giving life to a short story in writing can take time and effort. If you want to know how to achieve excellent short fiction writing, you are on the right page. Here are some of the hacks you can incorporate as you come up with a successful short fiction:

Understand the Difference Between Short Stories from Novels

Don’t get this wrong; both have the same and common characteristics. Both need to tell a story, and no matter what length, they have to impart something substantial to the readers. As far as coherency and grammatical aspects are concerned, they also have to follow elements. If anything, they only differ in formats. You may think it’s hard to compromise word count to tell a complete story on a smaller scale. But it does not really compromise anything. It just needs to focus on one aspect of a character’s life.

Learn Strategies by Reading Other’s Short Stories

Being receptive to learning something new every day means that you are open to improvement. Many notable authors you know are readers. So if you are new to writing a new format of fiction, the best thing to do is search for something that can help you. Make sure to check out other short fiction by noted authors. You can undoubtedly gain some strategies that can help you come up with compelling short fiction. If you are looking for a writer who writes amazingly unique and powerful short stories, Carl R. Brush can give you that. You can find short pieces of varied moods and styles that you can never find anywhere else.

Always Begin Strong to Capture Attention

One of the ways that you can get your target audience to read your short story is to write and create catchy first scenarios. One method is to begin with an unusual and unexpected scene. In today’s fast-paced world, people have grown to want something different and something that they’ve never heard before. You can make the first scene the center of your story. This is one technique to keep the reader’s interest.

Create Meaningful Dialogues

As previously mentioned, you need to impart to the readers a powerful message. The need for you to make this message or theme relatable is dire. You need to make sure that readers will understand what the characters feel. Through dialogues, you can define your story better, making it come to life. It is one factor that can build your story up. Also, dialogue can help in developing characters. You might think that you don’t have enough word count to develop your characters, but if you are to be creative with the dialogue, you will push through.