Skip to main content

A Simpler Time

The only thing I'm going to say about this next piece is that kids should play outside more, like I did when I was a kid.

We spent two weeks gathering supplies to build our raft. After our parents would go to sleep, we would sneak into the garbage and withdraw empty milk-jugs and two-liter soda bottles and store them in our secret stash behind a bright blue tarp, our makeshift fort, strung up between fence poles into a sort of lean-to in the backyard. When a stiff wind would come in from the valley, it would blow up and down in the air and make thick, thunderous sounds that scared the neighbor’s children in the middle of the night, but we didn’t care, we were teenagers now.

Once we’d collected an entire garbage bag full of plastic bottles and jugs, we set out to the dollar store with our saved up pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to purchase six-dollars worth of duct tape and various odds and ends, lengths of rope and the like. Then we raced back home on our bicycles and got to work.

The body of the raft would be an old, hollow door that my dad had put on the side-yard during our last remodeling effort and hadn’t yet had time to take to the city dump. It was deep chestnut in color with a wood grain printed on what seemed to be Formica or balsa-wood, though we couldn’t tell the difference, either way it was perfect for our vessel. We went to task taping all of the bottles shut, airtight, and arranged them on the bottom of the door, taping them in long, neat rows like corn in a field. Then we added another row of bottles and jugs beneath that, leaving us with a solid eight to twelve inches of flotation device below the wooden door.

“Do you really think this’ll float?” Jared asked me, as though somehow I was the ringleader, even though it was his idea all those many days ago.

To continue reading, please purchase this short story for the Kindle. It appears as part of the collection of short stories "A Simpler Time: Six Mostly True Stories"

For those without a Kindle, it's available via .pdf by clicking the link below.



9 comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Art and Politics

Art is inherently political.

Let's just get that out of the way. We all have things we want to say (or things we want to not say) in our personal lives that shape the art we make. And artists, more often than not, are trying to say something with their art, even if their goal is to not say something.

There is no doubt that this has been a turbulent week in the country I live in. There are many of us that are confused and shocked and afraid of what might be to come in the future. That's understandable. As artists and writers, I feel like we're typically more empathetic than the general population. It's easy to think about what it's like to be in someone else's shoes because we spend so much of our creative time almost literally in someone else's shoes. And we need to pass that understanding on to our readers or viewers or however else they're consuming this art.

I've seen this troubling idea, though, that art needs to be purely for escape and that p…

Anatomy of an Opening: The End of the Affair

Instead of breaking down a scene from a movie, this time we'll break down the opening of a book. (Previously, I've done scenes from City Lights, Citizen Kane, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I've also broken down the opening to Starship Troopers.

Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is absolutely one of my favorite books. The writing is lyrical and story heart-wrenching and beautiful. Greene's style of writing is such that he always has me gripped, whether it's the beginning of the book or the end. And he shows you so much about the character in his opening lines.

So, here are the first two paragraphs from the book:
A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which, to look ahead. I say 'one chooses' with the inaccurate pride of a professional writer who - when he has been seriously noted at all - has been praised for his technical ability, but d…

Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 Schedule

It's time again for Salt Lake Comic Con and I have another packed schedule. This is where I'll be occupied for much of my weekend. I would love for you to come out, see me on a panel, catch me at my signing, or just say hello.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

3:00 pm Fixing Fandom and Ending Bullying and Gatekeeping :: 150G

4:00 pm Fauxthentic History - Star Trek :: 151G

6:00 pm Star Wars Trailer Park :: 151G

8:00 pm The Life and Times of Ahsoka Tano :: 151G

Friday, September 2, 2016

12:00 pm Palpatine's Rise: The Cautionary Tale of the Star Wars Prequels :: 255C

1:00 pm Star Wars: The Life and Times of Han Solo :: 251A

3:00 pm Jeremy Bulloch :: 250A

5:00 pm Stuff You Missed in History Class Live: How Does Historical Fiction Get Made? :: 250A

6:00 pm Bryan Young Signing :: Shadow Mountain - Booth 1807

7:00 pm Adventures in Podcasting :: 251A

8:00 pm What is the Balance of the Force? :: 255F

Saturday, September 2, 2016

11:00 am Famke Janssen :: Grand Ballroom

12:00 pm The Many Fac…