• Story Excerpts

    The waiting feels…eternal

    The longest minutes are the ones when you wait, not knowing what’s going to happen, not knowing what may have already happened. It would be easier if you could do something to help the people whose lives are in limbo. But maybe they’re not in limbo. Maybe they’re already gone and you’re just counting the minutes until you find out you never got to say goodbye. Right now you don’t know and the waiting feels…eternal.

  • First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    If it weren’t for other people

    When someone struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, they’re usually their own worst enemy. I think something we should all keep in mind when we interact with people is that we have no idea what they’re walking with. Be kind.

    On an opposite note, this First Sentence popped into my head:

    I think I’d be pretty good at this whole life thing if it just weren’t for other people.

  • Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

    Why doesn’t it ever last?

    As is the case often, whether for better or worse, yesterday evening did not go as I planned. Practically everything I set out to do took longer than expected. I decided to go to bed rather than post here.

    The tiny quote below is from a story where the character’s wife has just died (remember how I’m mean to all my characters?). It strikes me today that it applies to so many different relationships that end for so many reasons.

    “We were happy together. Why doesn’t it ever last?”

  • First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    After this, she declared war

    It turns out getting your home ready for an open house takes time. That’s why I haven’t been posting as regularly as normal. I hope I never end up selling a place I’m still living in again.

    The Star Trek and Doctor Who online fandoms have gotten really toxic. I don’t consider myself a Star Wars fan but I’ve read enough comments to see the toxicity there too. To be clear, you can like or dislike a show, and express your like or dislike, without being toxic. There are certainly fans in that category. But when looking at the loud and toxic mess, on one hand there are people talking about how liberal virtue signaling Social Justice Warriors have destroyed these beloved franchises and on the other hand there are accusations of racism, sexism, and Trump support against those who aren’t fans of the current iterations of these franchises. It gets so tiring and depressing to see and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

    I want more fun in my fandoms.

    On an unrelated note…

    It was the dining room table that destroyed our “friendship,” if you can call it that. She put it in far right hand corner. I centered it in the room so that my friends and I could all sit around it. After this, she declared war. Of course, I didn’t know that until weeks later.

  • First Sentences

    The end is enough

    Nadette doesn’t like seeing Lana this way. Diminished, self-conscious, unsure. She doesn’t think Lana knows how diminished she is, and she doesn’t know what Lana’s brother said to her, except for the end. “You always were such a disappointment to father.” But the end is enough.

  • First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    Not in the sense that people always mean it

    I am writing this post on my phone so, for once, there is no cat between me and the screen. Not that my cats don’t get between me and my phone, but they don’t run to do it the way they seem to when they see me on my computer.

    I had a fun evening with a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months. We watched a really interesting sci-fi movie called Anon. I enjoyed the premise and implications of that premise a lot. I was also very struck by the demographics of it. In a world with many mostly white male casts, this one’s white maleness stood out more than normal. I discussed this with my friend and commented that if the cast were the opposite – say, mostly black women – people would complain about forced diversity and pandering to liberals.

    This weekend I’m excited about the return of Doctor Who, a show that has been accused of that very thing in its casting of a female Doctor and two minorities (plus one white male) as companions. These people, self-professed Doctor Who “fans,” talk about how the series will be cancelled within two seasons because of this forced diversity and virtue signaling, and seem to hope for that eventuality. I, for one, hope the new season is wildly successful and I can’t wait to see what they’ve done.

    Today’s First Sentence, written just now:

    I’m going to commit the perfect crime. Not in the sense that people

  • iPhone Xs
    First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    The Appfinity Loop

    Today I was going to edit the first chapter of my novel. Emphasis on the word “was.” Because today I also had an appointment with Apple at 6:15pm since my week and a half old iPhone Xs said its maximum battery capacity was at 98% instead of 100%.

    Apple verified the phone was defective and recommended, due to warranty reasons, that I replace it through Xfinity, who I bought it through. Apple also said that because the phone was such a new model, it would need to be sent away and that I’d be without the phone for several days if I did it through them.

    Xfinity gives you 14 days from the day the phone is shipped, not from when you receive the phone. My phone shipped two days before I received it and that 14 day period ends exactly today. I think it’s BS that I lose two days of the return window to shipping since the phone was literally not in my possession during that period. But, whatever, I was still in the 14 day period so I called. I got a very helpful person who started the process right away, letting me know that I wouldn’t have to return my phone until the new one arrived. Unfortunately, she ran into the problem of the Xs being backordered for several weeks. Apparently their system won’t let you process an exchange unless the replacement is immediately available. This is something else I think is BS because I

  • Ianta the Punk 1
    First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    Every. Single. Time.

    It never fails. Every single time I sit down to work on a blog post, Ianta is sure I’m here for her. Every. Single. Time. She’ll purr. She’ll walk back and forth. She’ll rub up against things to mark them with her scent. She’ll knock things off the desk with her tail and then be startled by the sound they make when they fall. It’s 100% cat.

    So, in honor of her, today’s First Sentence:

    They said it would be easy. Well, listening to them was my first mistake. Thinking anything in my life would be easy was my second. In my defense, all I was supposed to do was knock on his door and ask for directions to some place or other, and that really does sound easy, doesn’t it? Yes, yes it does. So how did it go wrong? I’m glad you asked.

    It all started with the cat.

  • The Osprey cover art
    Short Stories

    The Osprey

    My short story of the month is called the Osprey. It’s one of several short stories I wrote during a real-world stint that I think was inspired by the writing group I was in at the time not being very into fantasy or science fiction.

    This one’s very short. 1,410 words. I wrote it in November of 2009. Here’s a little info about it: Life is uncertain. Loved ones are sometimes ripped away unexpectedly and moving on can seem an insurmountable task.

     

    The Osprey
    by Erika Friedman

    “I have the same dream almost every night. I’m flying over the water. And calling your name. You never answer.” The clash of the dumpster being emptied into a garbage truck intrudes on the early morning. I stop, wait for the distraction to fade, as if fearful my voice won’t carry over it. “I guess you were right about the osprey.”

    I turn around. The kitchen is unoccupied. Silent. Undisturbed. There are dirty plates on the table. The smell of mint tea hugs the apartment. My untouched mug still steams its invitation, sitting beside Jeremy’s eternally empty one.

    “Baby, your absence is all I see of tomorrow.”

    At the funeral I talk about the osprey that lost its mate to a fishing net at Huntington Lake. Jeremy heard its calls every morning of our vacation and thought it was grieving. What to me seemed like nothing more than a series of short whistles was a song of mourning to my fiancée. He