A Complaint For Delta, Or An Open Letter to the Airline Industry

Below, you will find an unabridged copy of a complaint that I sent to Delta Airlines after a recent flight from Atlanta to San Diego (I’ve added some formatting for readability, formatting that was unavailable on the Delta complaint form). Consider this my open letter to the airline industry, in response to its practice of taking choice out of its customers hands.

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Filed under Culture, Feature, Travel

Ishmael the Tattooed

From “A Bower in the Arsacides,” a late chapter in Herman Mellville’s Moby Dick:

The skeleton dimensions I shall now proceed to set down are copied verbatim from my right arm, where I had them tattooed; as in my wild wanderings at that period, there was no other secure way of preserving such valuable statistics. But as I was crowded for space, and wished the other parts of my body to remain a blank page for a poem I was then composing–at least, what untattooed parts might remain–I did not trouble myself with the odd inches; nor, indeed, should inches at all enter into a congenial admeasurement of the whale.

Moby Dick by Herman Mellville

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Flash Fiction published in WhiskeyPaper

A short-short of mine, better termed flash fiction, was published today in WhiskeyPaper. If you care to read it, I’d love to hear what you think:

Up to St. Paul

I do hope you enjoy reading this piece. A special shout to Lessa Cross-Smith and Loran Smith for working with me to get this story out into the world.

P.S. Stay tuned to some upcoming publications, including my inclusion in the upcoming print issue of pacificREVIEW, and short fiction in Timber Journal and Lunch Ticket.


Filed under Feature, Flash Fiction, Writing

Micro-Fiction published in Cheap Pop

I’m pleased to share my most recent publication, a peculiar piece of micro-fiction written quite a while ago. It is nice to see it find a home at Cheap Pop, a little micro-fiction rag that has generated quite the buzz in just a short time.

Two Thousand Miles Running

I do hope you enjoy reading this piece.

P.S. Stay tuned for some of my upcoming publications, including pacificREVIEW, WhiskeyPaperLunch Ticket and Timber Journal.


Filed under Feature, Flash Fiction, Writing

Flash Fiction published in Mojave River Review

Today is the day that Mojave River Press released its first issue of Mojave River Review. In it, among other compelling and eclectic work, you will find a flash fiction story that I wrote.

Barracuda Lagoon

I do hope you enjoy reading this piece. I know I will enjoy reading the rest of this issue–if editor Michael Dwayne Smith’s foreword is any indication, Mojave River Review will be full of the good, weird, heartbreaking stuff that always makes me sing.

P.S. Stay tuned to some upcoming publications, including my inclusion in the upcoming print issue of pacificREVIEW.

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A couple of updates for the new year

I love you.

Some of my friends, family and fellow readers have been asking, so here goes. I have a few publications upcoming in early 2014, namely:

All flash fiction (approximately 500-1500 words) here. I dig flash, immensely. I also really, really dig what CHEAP POP and WhiskeyPaper are doing, including the continued innovation of their talented editors (Robert James Russell+Elizabeth Schmuhl and Leesa Cross-Smith+Loran Smith, respectively); and I certainly look forward to being part of what Mojave River Review has in store (for example, their press-end will release a fiction collection by Leesa Cross-Smith and a poetry collection by Daniel Romo later this year).

Good company!

Stay tuned for more detailed updates, including links, updates to the publications page, a complete overhaul later in the year, and hopefully the addition of more work to share.

Na zdravie.

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5 writers from Eastern Europe who might make you cry:

Anthony Martin:

My five things are up over at Treehouse Lit Mag.

Originally posted on Treehouse:

from Anthony Martin, author of There in the Countryside Many Miles Away:

  1. Danilo Kiš
    Recommended: The Attic
  2. Jaroslav Hašek 
    Recommended: The Good Soldier Švejk
  3. Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    Recommended: The Gulag Archipelago
  4. Boris Pasternak
    Recommended: Doctor Zhivago
  5. Milan Kundera
    Recommended: The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Flash Fiction Published in Treehouse

Hello everyone,

On we go. I am now a monkey in a treehouse. “There in the Countryside, Many Miles Away” was recently published in Treehouse, Issue 7, Fall 2013.

I am looking forward to reading the other work in this issue and sharing what I like. Maybe you will too.

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The First Short Story I Ever Published [Unabridged]

Below you will find the first short story I ever wrote, which I recently uncovered in my archives. It is from the 5th grade, and it is ridiculous, and I hope you will laugh like I did. I have reprinted it here, unabridged and unadulterated.*

by Martin Ceisel

Once there was a boy. His name was Greg. He didn’t really believe in anything. One day when Greg was going out for recess, the new boy came over to him. The new boy said, “Do you believe in aliens from outer space?” “No,” Greg said. “I don’t really believe in anything like that,” Greg said. Greg went out to recess. He played football and he scored 2 touchdowns. Greg’s team won 14-7. When Greg came in from recess, the new boy was waiting at his locker. The new boy asked if he could play football, Greg said yes. Greg went into his classroom. His class was starting math. Greg got his math book out. Greg started the page, and finished the page. He started to read right when the teacher said it was time for spelling.

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Filed under Feature, Short Stories, Writing

Essay Published in Red Savina Review 1.2

Hello everyone,

If my attention to Pen Tight has been sparse in recent months, it is because I have been focused on lengthier short stories and creative non-fiction work. One of them, an essay about my experiences growing up on the North Shore of Chicago and attending the Mitzvahs of my friends and classmates, was recently published in Issue 1.2 of Red Savina Review.

I owe special thanks to RSR editor John Gist, who worked with me to realize the full potential of this essay. His guidance was a refreshing slice of genuine encouragement in a writing climate that can, at times, give a young writer great anxiety.

Again, thank you to John Gist, Wendy Gist and the rest of the team over at RSR. I know they worked hard to bring issue 1.2 to life.

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