Category: Commentary


Here are two articles I got published in 1997, when I used to be a freelancer for The Strip District News and The Southsider (both now defunct).

In 1997, one of my dreams (still is) was to be a paid writer – possibly a freelance reporter. I walked into the offices of the Strip District News and asked if they needed people to contribute articles. They offered me $40/article, which was fine by me. I could write on any topic I chose, as long as it was related to the Strip or the South Side.

Since I’d just moved to Pittsburgh, I took a tour with a new tour group in town, Just Ducky Tours (they are now a Pittsburgh fixture).



This following article was published in The Southsider, though the venue was in the Strip District. Thinking about it now, I’m guessing their page layout person must’ve gotten these two stories mixed up, because they are both from September 1997, and the duck tour story is closer to the South Side of Pittsburgh than it is to the Strip.

Though I’d recently left a brief career in music retail to work in manufacturing, I missed having music as part of my everyday life, and I still wanted to find a way to get back into it. The paper allowed me to review bands, and I think they were considering making it a regular column. (I don’t have the article, but one of my favorite experiences was going to see/review Spider Rondinelli and the Jazz Giants. After the show I hung out with Spider for a bit and was invited to something that I will compare to a 1920’s speakeasy: it was an apartment on the second floor of some apartment building, and a giant guy stood outside – the bouncer, I guess. “She’s with us,” said Spider, and I was allowed entry. We stayed there drinking and talking until 4am. But I digress.)

Here’s an article wherein I review The Vibro Kings’ performance at Nick’s Fat City on August 7th, 1997. I have a dim recollection of the evening. It looks like I had fun.



I had a handful of other stories that were published, but somehow I didn’t save copies of those, unfortunately. I would’ve liked to have seen what I’d done.


Sentence-Level Editing

This post about the writing process is part of a “blog tour”. Check out the original post at

Daily Ceil

I’ve been writing dark flash fiction since 2011, when I entered a piece in a local contest and won it.

It was a totally unexpected honor, and I might have been addicted to the flash fiction format and light-horror genre combination just for that. But as part of the contest, I had the opportunity to read my piece at a Halloween event sponsored by the writing group.

About 20 people showed up at Historic Hannastown, where we gathered in one of the preserved log cabins from the late 18th century. It was a wonderful setting, and in the fall – with dank air and musty, wet autumn leaves – it was perfect for scary stories.

As the piece I was reading reached its climax, a woman in the audience gasped. I’ll never forget that. It’s so powerful when you can reach a person on an emotional level that’s so evocative…

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Ten Years

This article is an epilogue to a series discussing the ten-year anniversary of 9/11.

My story of 9/11 is much like many other peoples’: another story of people at work, punched in the stomach by horrible intent, scared but finding solidarity among their friends and colleagues.

But this story is one of separation. (more…)