A Longer Story…

A friend of mine, Marva, requested some “longer” short stories, so I’m posting links to some of my longer flash fiction below. It actually exceeds the length usually allotted to flash fiction, but that should make Marva happy 🙂

A Whiff of Whiskey

The Adventures of Techno-Man

You can see more stories by clicking the “Flash Fiction” tab on the menu at the top of the computer screen.



This is a poem about chronic illness. The illness is the imagined enemy, my battle foe. Naturally, it’s a male!

The poem is inspired by the NaPoWriMo prompt for April 20th. We are challenged to write a poem about something or someone, using kennings to describe the subject. A kenning is a colorful term or metaphor, a phrase typically made up of two nouns, often hyphenated, to describe another noun.  The use of kennings dates back to old Norse poems and writings that describe mythological characters, battles and other dramatic events. For example, instead of the word “snow,” the term “winter-raiment” might be used. Modern kennings include such phrases as “show-stopper” and “brown-noser”–also a few combination curse words, which I contemplated using, and occasionally do in real life. But I decided to make this a G-rated poem 🙂


one more accommodation

to the false healer

why am I kow-towing

to this soul-stealer


master of separation

seeks to loosen

tethers to friends

bonds to family




he changes me

he wears me down

lurking in the corners of my brain

impaler of the intellect

inner peace-taker

confidence shaker


I am not strong enough

to defeat him now

though we are engaged in battle

in marrow-piercing pain

he brings me to my knees

with self-congratulation

but I have faith!

it is a powerful shield

and one he cannot steal

unless I let him




Kip and Dredge: How to Go on a Job Interview

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where you never know what to expect! This week’s photo prompt was provided by Marie Gail Stratford.  Thank you, Marie!

If you would like to know more about Friday Fictioneers and/or post your own story, check out our fearless leader’s website, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple.

This “Kip and Dredge” story is a little different, in that Dredge does not appear.  I’m afraid he got lost in editing it down to 100 words. However, Tanya makes a brief appearance, her first since 2012. She’s the girlfriend of Junior, who’s a friend of Kip and Dredge and knows Kip’s dad. Tanya and Junior were the focus of Modern Art (as curated by Kip and Dredge), which is my only “Kip and Dredge” story that wasn’t written for Friday Fictioneers. I think that means I should be writing more. Hmmm.

I hope you enjoy the job interview!

Marie Gail Stratford

Photo Copyright: Marie Gail Stratford

Kip and Dredge: How to Go on a Job Interview

by Jan Brown


“Kip, I got you this interview ONLY as a favor to your dad. So do NOT screw this up.”

“Shut up, Tanya.”

“No, YOU shut up! Here comes the HR manager. Remember to shake her hand.”

“Mr. Kipinger? I’m Ms. Dixon. Let’s go into my office.”

Kip held out his hand as she turned around. Tanya sighed loudly.

“Tell me about your work experience.”

“Well, I did community service work on a ranch, picked up litter in the park, and cleaned up grafitti.”

“Any PAID work experience?”

“Not unless you count dumpster diving. Or selling weed.”

Ms. Dixon sighed loudly.

To read more Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

Exploring the Universe in Fact and Fiction

In honor of International Women’s Month, here is another look at an amazing, accomplished woman.

Dr. Mae Jemison is the first female African American astronaut. She is also an engineer and a physician. She worked as a medical doctor in the Peace Corps prior to opening her own practice. She later applied and qualified for NASA, ultimately going into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992. She’s been a professor at Dartmouth and Cornell and has founded a charitable organization to encourage teens to enter the science and engineering professions.

She is also an avid fan of science fiction:

I think science fiction helps us think about possibilities, to speculate – it helps us look at our society from a different perspective. It lets us look at our mores, using science as the backdrop, as the game changer.

– Dr. Mae Jemison

How to Grieve in Five Stages

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise!

This week’s very unique photo prompt is from fellow writer Ted Strutz. Thank you for the challenge, Ted 🙂

The photo is filled with old, failed implements intended to contain the flow of water.  When they fail, it floods.

It made me think of the homeless population that lives and hides among abandoned junk. How might a homeless man grieve the loss of his lifestyle?

That’s the micro theme of the story.

On a macro level, how might any man grieve the loss of his lifestyle–and the very ecosystem in which he lives–in the case of a real-life, cataclysmic flood? I’ve written a few stories about this environmental scenario previously: one ended on the highest floor of a downtown condo complex, and another ended in the post-op ward of a high rise hospital. Apparently, my protagonists survive the watershed by seeking higher ground….

Now I will try to combine the above themes with a little dark humor and a Twilight Zone ending!

toilet ted strutz

How to Grieve in Five Stages

by Jan Brown

1. Denial

I was a climate change denier.

But when the big melt-down began, I went with the flow.

2.  Anger

I ran out of anger long ago.

First, when I lost my job.

Next, when my daughter kicked my drunken ass out of her guest room.

3. Bargaining

I was living in a crate when it happened.

The crate floated away, and I begged to camp in the library.

4. Depression

I flooded the world again—with alcohol and tears. Mostly alcohol.

5. Acceptance

I’m the only one left in the library. Or anywhere else.

Where are my reading glasses???


To learn more about Friday Fictioneers, visit our lovely leader’s web site, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple. To read more Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:

Well-Behaved Women

Lest you think I have forgotten Women’s History Month, I plan to share a few of my favorite quotes from amazing women.

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

– Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, historian

In addition to being her most famous quote, this is the title of one of her books. Read more about it here.


New Poetry Collections


affirmation stones - c. NSfotogyrl - Fotolia

I’ve added two small collections to the Poetry Collections page of the blog. If you’ve never visited the poetry page, just click on the menu tab at the top of the screen.

The new collections are:

Collected Twitter Verse, Vol. IX: Joy and Pain

A virtual chapbook of selected short form poetry that I’ve previously tweeted, inspired by love and friendship, God and nature, surgery and chronic pain, faith and hope. Some of the poems respond to prompts posted on Twitter by @fieryverse, @madqueenstorm and @baffled.

Collected Twitter Verse, Vol. X: National Haiku Writing Month 2016

Haiku and senryu written for National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo), based on prompts from @NaHaiWriMo and others during the month of February: 29 poems in 29 days.



How to Park a Car

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! This is my second in a series of “How To…” titled stories. Of course, they have nothing to do with how to perform the named activity. Rather, the titles are ironic in that the activity appears to fail in epic fashion. Hope you enjoy this week’s story 🙂

The intriguing photo prompt is provided by Al Forbes. Thank you, Al!

For more information on Friday Fictioneers, or to learn how to post your own story, check out our fearless leader’s website, author Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Addicted to Purple.

antique car al forbes

Photo Copyright: Al Forbes

How to Park a Car

by Jan Brown

A cryptic reminder popped onto the screen of Emma’s phone. It read simply, “Parking Level B.”

Emma descended a flight of stairs and knelt next to Henry’s car. She removed a drainage grate from the cement floor–a perfect place to shove the body.

In thirty years of marriage, he’d never been on time for anything. But lately Henry kept perfect time. He left the office promptly at 5:00 every weekday. Had to make sure the blue pill took effect before his very-much-younger mistress arrived at their love nest.

Henry won’t be keeping that appointment today. Or any other day.


To read other Fictioneers’ stories, click the link: