Out on the West Coast there is a small company named Splaff.
But more importantly they are on line www.splaff.com.
They sell products made from recycled materials. Try their belts.
I have given several as gifts and they are very cool. I recommend the wider of the two style, the one made from mountain bike tubes. When visiting them make sure to look at the end tables they offer.

Pen Pricks Micro Fiction

I want to thank Pen Pricks Micro Fiction for publishing three of my 55 word stories in the December Issue. I like what I read on their site. It is quick on the draw and edgy, which is what 55 words is about. Please see:
“Grape Arbor”
“Blood and Culture”

Smash Flash Update

Elizabeth who edits Pen Pricks was kind enough to include three of  my 55 word tales in the January 2008 Issue as well!

Please see:

“Fiction Class”

“Frosty Ride”



My sister gave me two rocks. One for each hand, she said.
Both carried inscriptions. One offered up “Strength”, the second proclaimed “Joy”. I thought things over and gave them back after taking a sharpie and writting “FUCK” and “YOU” on them.
It took strength not to say more, and certainly gave me great joy.

by – Doug Mathewson

Grape Arbor

My grandfather didn’t speak much English but we got along. We would sit in the grape arbors shade. He would say “now we smoke”. From the pocket of his huge pants came a can of Bugler tobacco. He would roll two cigarettes and we would smoke in silence, just enjoying being together. I was nine.

by – Doug Mathewson

Blood and Culture

Just because someone is self-educated, does not mean they have done a good job. Dyslexia was certainly not an asset in this endeavor. I see the patterns in words, but not their spellings.
Words are wrongly traded one for another. Is it “nosferatu” or “neufchatel”?
Who could possibly get that scared by an old cheese?

by -Doug Mathewson

“Spook” by William Gibbson

I was looking forward to the release of William Gibbson’s new novel “Spook”. Online it was praised, The New York Times liked it.
And I wanted to like it too. The Novel is ok, but no new ground. It is set in more or less the same world as “Pattern Recognition” which is a much better novel. These are both accessible to most readers which is good for the author, but it was his earlier more obscure work that gained him fame. I still reread “Burning Chrome”, “Count Zero”, and “Mona Lisa Overdrive”. One thing I have always liked about Gibbson is something I first saw Kurt Vonnegut Jr. do with his alter-ego Kilgore Trout. Kilgore would toss out some wild idea to the reader and then just let it sit. Not stretch it into some pointless subplot. Trust the reader a little, please.
Support your local library, have them get you “Spook” or just read
“Pattern Recognition” and imagine your own sequel.

Early Call

She called me from India on a borrowed phone. Said she been to a temple in the mountains. The temple cats all wore earrings and she thought of me. I smiled all day thinking about that call. I’m not a cat and I don’t wear earrings. She called because she loves me and that made me happier than the fattest cat with the fanciest earrings of all.

by – Doug Mathewson

Deaf Guy

This guy was looking for work. He came in like other day-laborers. He was mute as well as deaf. Since he was from someplace in Central America so they got the spanish speaking girl in the office. She said “but he don’t talk spanish and he don’t hear spanish”. The boss guy couldn’t hear her either.
When they left I gave him a safety-vest, twenty bucks, and a rake. I never saw him again.

by – Doug Mathewson

Muddy Middle

Hello, and welcome to Muddy Middle, the musical program that goes nowhere for people who are headed that way too.
Music that is all middle for folks who just can’t seem to start anything and hate to say goodbye.
For the listener who savors the moment, on, and on, and on.
And now, more middle.

by – Doug Mathewson

Human Interest

Giving back the small amount of money I had been paid was not even worth thinking about. The article was to be 750 words with two photographs for the Human Interest Section. I spent the money and forgot about the article. It was after all not due for weeks. The topic provided seemed dull, and I was called to other visions. A review of a nonexistent operetta seemed best

The Duke of Verona is mistaken for a common garter snake. He plays along at first, but falls in love with a beautiful emerald green tree snake. She is really a Princess of Byzantium, hiding from a cruel arranged marriage. There are twists and turns, their love proclaimed, and identities revealed. A Golden Age of understanding and prosperity sweeps the land.

The Editor was not pleased. As I read she rattled paper clips in warning. She coiled and uncoiled the phone cord in irritation as I gained momentum. She hissed in disdain at my photos, a home made play bill and the exterior of a random theater. As she began to unhinge her lower jaw, I desperately told her the title. It’s called “Wriggletto”.

I work for them full time now, but they insist on more straight forward journalism. No more serpentine tales.

by – Doug Mathewson