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3x6 Cover

3x6: A Collection of Three Stories

To say thank you to everyone who bought and read my collection, I Held My Breath as Long as I Could, I’m pleased to offer a very short bonus collection of three 600-words-or-less short stories, 3×6. Included are:

“A Life of Their Own”: Satan’s latest attempt to get a child hits a snag.

“Embrace the Ground”: A vicious alien allows a man a last glimpse at the home in which he grew up.

“The Art of the Dead”: A man attends the funeral of a good friend.

These were all written as entries in’s recent short story contest. Since refuses to allow me to sell anything for free, I’ve chosen to publish this through Lulu, and to simply give away copies of the ebook (in .mobi format for Kindle and Kindle Fire and .epub for iPad, iPhone, and Nook) from my own website.

Hope you enjoy these!

Hello all,

Given the extremely low sales on iTunes and Barnes & Noble, I decided to try an experiment. Over the next 90 days, I Held My Breath as Long as I Could, my collection of 23 short stories, will be available as an ebook exclusively for the Kindle and Kindle Fire (paperback will still be available in lots of places). The reason behind this change is that I’m intrigued by the Kindle Select program, which allows anyone with an Amazon Prime account to borrow my ebook for free. I like the model; it seems like it could actually work out better for me and would-be readers.

We’ll see. If you hate that I’ve gone this direction, say so, and once the exclusivity period expires I’ll go back to offering the ebook everywhere.

In the meantime, if you really want an ebook copy for Nook or iPad / iPhone … email me. Might be something we could work out.



Oh, my. This … is cool. I am sitting there, right beside Stephen King, Robert McCammon, and William Peter Blatty. I mean, really?! Are you serious? How cool is that?

Holding a physical copy of my book in my hands was one dream. Being on the shelf next to these guys … that’s another HUGE win. And in time for Halloween, too! Unbelievable!

Thanks to everyone out there who bought and rated my collection!

So happy right now.

It was one of the best nights of my life.

We’d been to the Alamo Drafthouse Open Screen Night before, and we’d been gonged. The we here was myself, Scott Raulie, Justin Tunkkari, and Jason Rude. The Alamo allowed anyone to bring a movie to screen, and every film would be given at least two minutes, after which time, the audience was free to clap or boo, with the hosts determining whether the response suggested to keep the movie rolling or bang a gong on the stage and move on to the next. At the end of the night, a winner would be chosen based on audience reaction.

We were determined to win the audience award, which came with a cash prize of $100. We were gonged.

The video we presented, which was gonged, was called Heisters. Here it is (I play the guy with the burlap over his head).


Shameful, that gonging. But, you know, it was pretty scripted, what we were doing. And what can I tell you? All those continuity errors and the wedding rings on the guys … that was all intentional. All for laughs. I still think Heisters is pretty funny. But we licked our wounds and regrouped. We decided that next time, we would make something that had a running time under two minutes, so that there would be no way possible for our film to be gonged.

So we went and made Curious George and the Mysterious Box. I have to admit that I was giggling furiously the entire time we were filming it. Scott at one point said, “I’m getting a little sick to my stomach,” which only made me laugh harder. I can’t say for certain, but my euphoria over the project might have resulted in some distance between me and my soon-to-be-ex wife.

But a month later, we returned to the next Open Screen Night with our second film. Watching this play on a movie screen in front of a real audience that had no idea what was going to happen–and hearing them react in real time–was one of the single best things that has ever happened to me.

And what do you know–the second time around, we won.

To my friends I left in Austin–guys, I miss you, and I’ll always love the stuff we put together.

Happy Halloween!


Kindle Paid Short Story -- Top 100!

Well, it has been an emotional week for me. I’m not going to lie. The image here is the highlight: my book actually reached the Top 100 in the Kindle paid short stories list. I was one spot behind Mary Higgins Clark.

And just ahead of Spank Romance Stories.

Seeing that was a real treat. But better than that was the reaction from friends and family, who called and emailed and texted to let me know how they were finding the stories. It wasn’t all good; one sharp-eyed reader wanted to know how the man with no hands can caress a face. Pretty good question. I envisioned him doing so with one of the pulpy heads, but … I could’ve written that a little better.

Opinion is almost universal that the first story is a strange choice for the lead-off position. Fair enough. I did consider starting the collection with “Radiation,” but … I wanted to start with a shorter piece. I just thought it would be more fun and set the tone better.

In other terrible news, I also found out after I published this collection that Chuck Palahniuk’s new book Damned is going to feature a young girl who finds herself unexpectedly trapped in Hell. Yep. That’s right. That is a near-perfect description of the plot of “Esther’s Prayer,” a short story I wrote originally on this site in February under the title “At Night in the Cottage.” Guess I’ll have to take back some of those things I said about Stephen King’s Under the Dome being too similar in plot to The Simpsons movie. Also looked it up, and it looks like, even if I did publish first, he talked about his book and what it was about in 2010.

I’ve been scooped not only by a pro, but by one I am a fan of. Kind of a bummer.

Chuck P., if you read this, I promise not to be upset by this bump of hands in the popcorn bucket of story ideas if you aren’t. I swear, I did not hear that story from you; it’s based on a dream I had earlier this year. I expect when I read your book, I’ll find your version vastly different than mine, anyway. You say you went Judy Blume/Breakfast Club, and I think that’s pretty different from what I did. Maybe there’s room for two girl-in-Hell stories in this world. Here’s hoping.

A few notes on distribution: iTunes still has yet to publish the book (what gives, man?), no copies have yet sold on Barnes & Noble, and my Kindle version is unsearchable by category, which pretty much makes it unfindable. But I’m hoping these problems work themselves out eventually. I’m prepping a physical copy to be published in the coming weeks, so readers who prefer something they can hold need not be left behind.

But as far as those of you who are reading this now and have purchased it, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU! This week has been a far bigger success than I expected.

Thank you all for being awesome and reading my book!!!!

Feel free to comment away below and let me know what you liked and didn’t like. I want to hear it all!

(also, if you have read it already, review it on or Amazon or wherever! say whatever you like, I don’t care; be honest! I love seeing reviews appear!)

Reading at Black and White

Reading for an audience once again

So no, I didn’t get anything written over the weekend, but I think getting another movie review finished and stepping out of my shell to get down to a bar to do an Open Mic reading on a Sunday evening should count for something. I read Ten-Minute Write, No. 3, which received a few vocalizations from the audience (mostly when I described a fat man’s shit-smeared crack), and it felt really great. I can’t wait to do it again.

Reading at an open mic session is definitely a strange and rather selfish game, but there’s something about the silent competition that does energize me. I want to be the coolest reader in the room, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. But when you hear pieces that are far better than yours, which I did, it really makes you want to do better–to write better, more meaningful things that are more fun for the audience. It helps you tune your own bullshit meter, and that’s always valuable. The difference between worthwhile writing and writerly masturbation is made dreadfully clear when you start to bug other people with your scribblings.

[mappress]I’m already thinking about what kind of piece I’ll write for the next open mic session I go to, and any time something gets me psyched to write all over again is a good day.

If you are in the NYC area and want to come and read, or come and see me read next time, the open mic is the first Sunday of every month at a little bar in lower Manhattan.

Black and White
86 E. 10th St.
New York, NY 10003