2014 – April 30 – Reeling in the Fish

On the 30th day, we’re reading “Reeling in the Fish” by Joanne Jagoda.


Damon Southeby paces back and forth in his luxurious apartment on Clay St., ignoring the world -class view of the Golden Gate Bridge twinkling to the North, and gulping scotch from a mug. His apartment is paid for by his overseas employers who have been pressuring him to get moving with his assignment to kidnap one of Anne Donaldson’s twins.

Last month I wrote: “It will be interesting to see how far the author pushes things next month.” From this opening, it’s immediately clear that we will be pushing things quite far indeed.

I’m delighted to Continue reading

2014 – April 29 – U.P.D.

It’s the 29th day, and we’re reading “U.P.D.” by Vanessa Wiebler Paris.


“Just take a look at it,” says Dar , not looking at me. None of them will look at me; they just keep eating their lunch salads with plastic forks, lifting forkfuls of French-drenched iceberg two inches from the bowls to their mouths. “Just go to the double-ya double-ya double-ya world wide site and just see, okay? It’s a dating site. The girls, well, they’re supposed to be nice.”

Last month I wrote: “Jamie is a likable loser, but there’s a sense of building charge within him too.” This month we’re back with the lunch ladies. They seem Continue reading

2014 – April 28 – Aftermath

On the 28th day we’re reading “Aftermath” by Kimberlee Smith.


My mum sits in front of the telly all day scanning for news on the plane crash. It happened a month ago today, and there’s still a lot of interest in the story because with the winds blowing ever since, the recovery crews haven’t been able to access the turbine blade the remains of Junior are skewered on, because there’s no way to stop the wind turbine from spinning if the winds decide to keep it up.

Last month I wrote that the final scene “… really surprised me and left me wondering where we could possibly go next.” I’m happy Continue reading

2014 – April 27 – Samford’s Under the Bed

It’s the 27th and time for “Samford’s Under the Bed” by Nathaniel Tower.


The sound of splintering wood snaps Samford right out of his deep slumber. “What the hell was that?” he asks. His clone-friend Sarah doesn’t respond. He reaches over to wake her up only to find she isn’t in bed with him. Has she escaped?

Last month I surmised: “… suffice it to say Samford is not exactly gaining closure in March. Maybe April?” And…? you say? Well, it depends on how we look at it. If Samford is the unreliable narrator I believe him to be, closure is not something he gains in April. Continue reading

2014 – April 26 – Affair

On the 26th day we’re reading “Affair” by Gary Percesepe.


Macy was standing on the street licking an ice cream cone as I drove up in my blue convertible. I had seen her sitting or standing or walking the conference grounds at Antioch College, where we were both attending an academic conference. She was tall but walked slowly in silver ballet flats with ribbons attached in bowties, as if she had nowhere to go and all the time in the world.

Last month I wrote: “Our protagonist has moved beyond grief to sadness. From there, who knows?” The answer would appear to be nostalgia.

When I reached her I said hello, Continue reading

2014 – April 25 – Morgana Malone and the Miracle of St. Frances Xavier

Hey, it’s April 25 and we’re reading “Morgana Malone and the Miracle of St. Frances Xavier” by Matt Potter.


“Save me!” I say, as I duck between their legs. Crouching behind them, I look down at my toes poking through the lavender or mauve or lilac strappy bridesmaid sandals and hold my breath as their chanting continues.

One – two – three – four –

I look up, and I see their signs for the first time: ‘Hubbard’s Hoes’ and ‘Dianetics Disaster’ and ‘L. Ron is a shit!’

Last month, I wrote: “Half-breasted Zebadie is about to marry nose-job Grigor. I can’t wait Continue reading

2014 – April 24 – Patience

Today, we’re reading “Patience” by Teresa Burns Gunther.


Rachel whips around a too slow car on US101, cuts past a pickup, crosses two lanes and exits the freeway . “Jesus,” Gail gasps, clutching the passenger door with one hand, a box to her belly with the other. Patience Rachel reminds herself. She’s wasting her lunch hour to do her officemate a favor.

Last month, I wrote: “In the end, we see a glimmer of humanity that leaves us wincing, smiling, and wanting all in the same instant.” Rachel is something of a work in progress as people go. She loves her dog, but people push her buttons. Fortunately, she’s resolved Continue reading

2014 – April 23 – It’s Bright in Here

It’s April 23, and time for “It’s Bright in Here” by Darryl Price.


Close the door. Oh yeah there are no doors, or none that I can see. Maybe you’re blocking the doors. Do you think I’m going to try to escape? Listen, if I thought I could escape I would have been gone a long time ago.

 Last month, I wrote: “He may be improving, or repressing. Next month should provide a further clue.” I’m happy to report that this month indeed does clarify things for us. A great deal…

You wanted me to write things down, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m being a good boy.

So, yes, Continue reading

2014 – April 22 – Dr. Stanley Runs Late

Today is the day for “Dr. Stanley Runs Late” by Margaret Bingel.


Dr. Stanley looks at his calendar . He is running late for his 1: 00pm appointment with Ned Billingsly. He logs out of the app on his iPhone, and while waving a waiter down, he remembers he has 12 minutes to get across 20 blocks of city traffic . Dr. Stanley throws a fifty down and runs out the door.

Last month left me feeling “hopeful again, and looking forward to April.” Ned was awake and his perspective had changed from that first disturbing chapter. His mother’s prayer was answered and the future was looking bright.

This month offers Continue reading

2014 – April 21 – Snakes in April

On April 21st we’re reading “Snakes in April,” by Mandy Nicol.


Mum cranes her neck over the back of the car seat to check Peregrine. I can’t see him in the rear view mirror but I can hear him panting. Poor dog.

Last month I wrote: “In the simple act of changing dresses, this character has totally changed my perception of her.” This month is much less game changing, but it does pull me in and keep me there. Peregrine is in distress. Snakebite is the likely culprit.

“It’s all this global warming ,” [Mum] says. “It’s turning everything upside down. First we had to put on the heater on Christmas Continue reading