Friday, November 1, 2019

YULE TIDINGS ON SALE NOW!

Yule Tidings, the latest anthology from the writing group Prosateurs, is on sale now. The holiday-themed anthology celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s with works of fiction and nonfiction.

“Besides making the perfect Christmas gift, Yule Tidings is great for planning your parties and get-togethers, too,” said Kathy Akins, Prosateurs vice president. “We have articles on easy party preparations and, of course, delicious recipes. And the stories, memoirs, essays, and poems will get you into the holiday spirit. It’s the perfect book to curl up with.”

Yule Tidings features works from these authors:

Kathy Akins has won several awards with her poetry, devotionals, and short fiction. Her short stories and poetry have been published in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds Third Flight, Creations 2015, and Creations 2014. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit her website at kathyakins.blogspot.com.

Debbie Anderson wrote the suspense novel Friend or Foe in 2018. Its sequel, Predators Among Us, will be published in early 2020. She writes short stories, memoirs, novels, children’s stories, and how-to books. She has been published in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Creations 2018, and Creations 2017.

Stephen B. Bagley's latest book is Floozy Comes Back, a collection of humorous essays. He co-wrote Undying, a book of dark poetry. His other books include: Murder by Dewey Decimal, Murder by the Acre, Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and Endless. His plays include: Murder at the Witch’s Cottage, Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God, There’s a Body in the Closet, and Hogwild. His poetry, articles, short stories, and essays have appeared in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Writer’s Digest, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, ByLine Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Pontotoc County Chronicles, Tulsa World’s OKMagazine, Free Star, Dark Prairies & Deep Rivers, the Creations anthologies 2012-2015, and other publications. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit his website at StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Wendy Blanton wrote Dawn Before the Dark, the first book in a fantasy trilogy, which was published by the Christian fantasy publisher Bear Publications in the fall of 2019. She also co-wrote three fantasy novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard, under the name Elizabeth Joy. Her short stories, articles, and recipes have appeared in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, and Blackbirds Third Flight. She is a member of Realm Makers and Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit her website at wendyblanton.com.

Debra E. Chandler’s debut novel, Bone Sliver, was published in 2015, and the sequel, Nova Wave, in 2018. Weathered, a collection of her short works and poems, was also released in 2018. Her short stories, poems, photographs, and articles were also published in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds Third Flight, The Green Country Guardian, The Sapulpa Herald, and Sapulpa News and Views. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Oklahoma Bloggers and Influencers. Visit her website at dechandlerwrites.com.

Barbara Shepherd is the 2019 Voice of the Fair Poet, the Poetry Society of Oklahoma’s 2019 Poet Laureate, and recipient of more than 350 writing awards in local, regional, national, and international contests. Her books include: The Potbelly Pig Promise, River Bend, Vittles and Vignettes, and Patchwork Skin. Her writing has also appeared in: State Cops Cooking in the Heartland - More Than We Can Say Grace Over, Candle Flames: PSO’s 70th Anniversary Anthology, Oklahoma Centennial Heritage Collection, Harp Strings, A Centennial Celebration of Oklahoma Stories, travelin’ Music, Elegant Rage, Poetry Is For Everyone, Imagination Turned Loose, Beads On a String–Peace, Joy, and Love, From the Heart of Galaxy, Ain't Gonna Be Treated This Way, and other publications. Visit her website at barbarashepherd.com.

Joanne Verbridge was born in Oakland, California, spending her early life experiences in Northern California. Family brought her to Oklahoma where she enjoys writing memoirs and crafting. She works to inspire her young nieces to take an interest in storytelling and writing. Her memoirs, short stories, and articles have been published in newspapers and Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Creations 2015, Creations 2014, Creations 2013, and Creations 2012.

Yule Tidings is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, Lulu, and other online retailers, and from the Prosateurs members while supplies last. For more information, including book signing dates and locations, visit Prosateurs.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

In the Valley of the Dead

In the Valley of the Dead

Make no songs that say our names;
we will not listen now.
Don’t compose poems to sing our virtues;
past small things, we do not care.
Do not praise us in speeches
written to glorify the cause;
eulogies are said by sly politicians.

If you truly would honor us,
walk quietly among white wildflowers.
Share memories of your families,
the children we cherished, the babies’
first steps, the turning of the world—
the stones hold us down, down, down,
and we cannot see beyond the loam.

Was our falling worth the cost?
Some say yes and others say no;
we do not care about the words,
the many falsehoods. the justifying.
Let us lie quietly here; our sorrows
vanquished as strife is not—wait,
what sound is that? A trumpet calls—

Copyright 2019 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Have Some Laughs!

Floozy and Other Stories 
by Stephen B. Bagley
Got two nuns and a goat? Do you enjoy Sabbath Night Fever? Or own a flying robot monkey army serving our Alien Masters? If you do - and even if you don't - this is the book for you! Enjoy humorist Stephen B. Bagley's views of our world in more than 80 hilarious tales from his decidedly different life.





Floozy Comes Back
by Stephen B. Bagley
Humorist Stephen B. Bagley returns with a new collection of wild and wacky tales from his decidedly different life. Enjoy these stories: Spice Boy, A Tale of Two Goldfish, Tanning My Hide, Kindle the Barbarian, The Fine Art of Sighing, Pumpkin Pinterest, Mr. Manners Speaks, Much Ado About Carbs, Congress & Other Monstrous Things, Work in Your Underwear, The Terrible Truth About Women, and many, many more!
Buy on Amazon!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Ocean View

Happy Saturday to you. I've been gone, occupied with a serious illness that affected a precious family member (who is improving), my own illness (improving but exhausted), and all the rest of life's little surprises.

You seem to have done okay while I was gone. Some of you still happy, some of you still sad, some of you still between, some of you sadly still freakishly paranoid, but most of us are still at sea, battling the waves, enjoying calm days under the sun, and being braced by the wind that fills our sails.

In other words, that's life, and I'm glad we're making the journey together. I'm going to try to post more often here. Hope some readers are still with me. I promise more jokes, more stories, more books, more life, God willing.

And sometimes we will just gaze at the far horizon together and drift, thinking of things to come. Let's set sail!

Monday, May 20, 2019

From "Floozy Goes Forth"

Mona Lisa in Glitter & Glue
By Stephen B. Bagley

I have been watching a lot of YouTube lately. I had always avoided it before because I figured it was filled with the generally loud and useless noise that permeates social media these days. (Twitter, I’m pointing at you.) But a friend shared a link to a crafting video on YouTube, and I was intrigued enough to watch a crafter turn 200 straws and a bargain store round mirror into a “sunburst décor item” with a can of gold paint and a hot glue gun. It looked nice, although I did wonder if there is actually a decorating school known as “sunburst décor.” I wouldn’t know since my home decorating school is “Junk Everywhere” and our motto is “Leave It Where It Falls.”

YouTube, with the help of tracking cookies and sinister magic, knew I had watched a crafting video, so they suggested another crafting video, this one involving building a sturdy bookshelf with cardboard and lots of hot glue. Naturally, I had to watch that one, too. I’m nothing if not suggestible. Then another video popped up, and five hours later, I emerged dazed at all the amazing things I had seen.

You might think I would be inspired by all these videos to start crafting. But, of course, you’re wrong once again. Sometimes I’m not sure you’re stalking me as diligently as you should. I tried a bit of crafting years ago and gave it up after a nasty hot glue burn on my nose. (I was looking at a project closely, okay?) Besides, I would spend hours and hours on a project, finish it with a real sense of accomplishment, finally look at it, and then throw it with great force into the trash bin because it was batweaselbutt ugly. I don’t have the crafting genes, and I couldn’t craft jeans, either.

But the people on YouTube can craft EVERYTHING! If you told me that some crafter had made a running replica of 1952 Buick out of pipe cleaners, glitter, wire, cardboard boxes, and a box of hair pins, I would believe you—as long as you mentioned they used hot glue. ‘Cause hot glue holds the crafting world together both figuratively and literally.

Hot glue has advanced a lot since I gave myself second-degree burns while attempting to make a Christmas wreath. It now comes in a rainbow of colors, including glittering metallic hues. And I do mean glittering. Despite the fact that glitter is the cockroach of the crafter world—it gets everywhere and it’s impossible to get rid of—it’s used like it could cure humanity of all our ills. I can’t look at it without remembering that the dust of Mars is also sharp due to the lack of erosion and would deliver a thousand cuts to your lungs if you breathed it as would glitter, except the later would give you the dreaded “glitter-lung” disease that strikes down so many crafters in their prime. This is one of the reasons I won’t go to Mars and certainly not with glitter. That’s asking for trouble as all the astronauts know. Oh, frightening thought: glitter in zero gravity! Let’s see Matt Damon deal with that!

I must mention a disturbing advancement in the hot glue world: they now have low temperature glue and guns! Yes, instead of having use glue at volcanic temperatures that can etch glass, they get to use glue that stings, but doesn’t eat down to the bone. This is just wrong! We are supposed to suffer for our art. SUFFER! If you really want to be the Leonardo da Vinci of the crafting world, use only the high temperature glue. As a plus, the scars will be a wonderful conversation starter at crafting hoedowns and church rummage sales, although you probably shouldn’t expect to date much.

Not that a true crafter wants to date. No, a true crafter wants to spend their life passion on creating a lovely Christmas elf house out of a metal hanger, cereal boxes, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, modeling clay, miniature lights, paint, and hot glue. They also spend hours on their projects. On their videos, they cheat and speed up the action until they’re moving as fast as the Flash. This lures you into thinking you could do the same in a couple of hours when actually it’s a week or month—if you’re lucky. I watched one video where the female crafter was thin, pregnant, and then thin again with a baby crawling through the scene. I just realized the baby was actually crafted, too, but she and the father didn’t make a video of it, I hope.

A big movement among the crafters is recycling or upcycling what would be trash, but is used as crafting supplies—“Trash into Treasure” as it is so charmingly phrased. Regrettably, some of the videos are more along the lines of “Trash into Trash Covered with Hot Glue and Glitter.” You wonder why their friends don’t pull them aside and tell them the truth about their Styrofoam cup and rainbow colored cat litter centerpiece. No, I’m not making this up. Maybe their friends don’t want to hurt the crafter’s feelings and maybe the crafter is still armed with the hot glue gun. Better safe than a trip to the burn unit.

Some people even make things out of hot glue. That’s right. No materials, only hot glue sticks and hot glue. Watching one person construct a lacy bowl out of bronze hot glue, I realized the latest 3D printers are only computerized hot glue guns. Those crafters are simply using hot glue in its natural form. They even use hot glue to create beautiful and intriguing paintings that would grace any wall— particularly if you like “sunburst décor” and who doesn’t? What did you say? Well, you don’t have any taste then.

Seriously, I’ve seen wondrous landscapes, still life, nautical and historical themes, animals, and even portraits done in hot glue. Somehow, the heat and fumes lift the crafters into a mentally heightened state. If Leonardo could have had access to hot glue, we might have seen an entirely different take on the Mona Lisa, perhaps enhanced by glitter and pipe cleaners.

YouTube has many categories of crafting that use materials such as: copy paper, balloons, plastic bags, empty medicine bottles, soda can tabs, compact discs, rubber bands, yard sticks, sticks from your yard, soft drink bottles, pens, plastic and paper straws, broken dinner places, cow horns, wire, gum wrappers, wrapping paper, aluminum foil, modeling clay, gourds...oh, the list goes on forever. YouTube is the place where you learn if all those projects you saw on Pinterest are possible. And if they shouldn’t be made to protect humanity.

But if—for some reason you should never share—you have a box of painted fingernail clippings you can’t part with, YouTube is where to find videos on how to craft with them. You weirdo.

(From the forthcoming book Floozy Goes Forth. Copyright 2019 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. Thank you for reading.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Fitness Goal: Another Way to Say Insanity

"Fitness Goal: Just Another Way to Say Insanity"
By Stephen B. Bagley

A friend of mine set a fitness goal to climb a mountain. Naturally, we immediately attempted to have her committed on grounds of general insanity, but a judge told us that climbing a mountain is not a sign of mental illness. We have to abide by his ruling, although it’s hard to trust a man in such an unflattering dress. A bit of color on his collar and sleeves  would brighten up the whole courtroom and give it a much needed festive air, particularly during sentencing.

I’ve always had a love/hate/hate/LOATHE relationship with fitness goals, mostly because I never reach one. If I do set one, there’s a good deal on tacos, and that’s the end of that. But they’re good. I mean, the tacos are good, not the goals.

Okay, fine, fitness goals are good. But they’re hard to achieve, particularly if your trainer is so small-minded that he/she doesn’t accept Recliner Lounging as an exercise, even though it takes a lot of skill to balance a plate of food, dessert, a drink, a bucket of fried chicken and biscuits, napkins, and several remotes on your stomach as you watch the latest episode of My 600-Lb. Life. As you watch the show, you wonder how those poor people got that large as you eat a couple of biscuits slathered in brown gravy. It’s a mystery.

Probably giving up biscuits and fried chicken should be one of your fitness goals, but let’s not talk crazy, man. Instead, maybe you could get one of  those fitness watches and gradually increase your steps until you’re walking over 100,000 steps a day! Then you look around and wonder where you are and why bears are circling you. Probably you should have taken up running, but instead you’re giving the wild animals lean meat, which is so much better than the fatty tourists they usually dine on.

I have a fitness watch. At first, it was fun to count how many steps I had and read the little messages of encouragement that showed on its tiny screen. “Go, Stephen! You’re doing great!” But after a few months, the messages took a mean tone: “So...that’s all you’re doing? Are you even trying? I’m ashamed. I’m the laughingstock of all the other watches, buddy! LAUGHINGSTOCK!” I find forgetting to charge its battery shuts it up.

You can choose to eat healthy, but it’s hard to choose a diet among all the thousands out there. It’s even harder because every diet says the other diets don’t work and might probably possibly perhaps KILL you, although this statement hasn’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and probably never will be if their lobbyists are effective.

Still, you must choose. Pick one of these: Mediterranean, DASH, Flexitarian (the favorite among Vulcans), MIND, Volumetrics (Defender of the Unibelly), TLC, Ornish, Fertility, Nordic, Flat Belly, Nutritarian (sworn enemies of the Flexitarians), Vegan, Glycemic Index (you don’t what to know the GI of Hostess Twinkies), Zone, Abs, Macrobiotic (not just biotics, but macrobiotics!), Optavia, Paleo, Raw Food, Supercharged Hormone (the favorite of all the super heroes), Keto, Spark, Weight Watchers, SlimFast, Mayo Clinic (which is not based on mayonnaise as I had excitedly thought), and so on. I found more than 100 different diets while exhaustively searching the Internet for a second or two. I’m sure there are more out there, but I can tell you now that none of them allow you to devour Hostess Twinkies(TM) by the box. Life is bitter.

Let’s say you’ve chosen your diet,  and now you must choose your exercise routine. Fortunately, hundreds of routines are available. Thousands. Pick one. Or two. Several. Doesn’t matter. You will hate it soon after you start. A friend  started a rigorous exercise plan and said he loved it from the beginning. I’ve never trusted him since then. A man who will lie about that will lie about other things, too.

Besides sweating like a horse and also smelling like one, maybe you want to spend a lot of money on machinery that’s dangerous and ugly. You can buy a fitness machine! There are many models to choose from. They will let you walk, run, gallop, row, flex, bend, perforate, shred, shriek, cross country ski, hike, bicycle, mountain bike, climb stairs, jump hurdles, float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, plank, kayak, vibrate, invert, box...and you can do all these things without leaving your home. Which means emergency services won’t have to waste precious time looking for you when the time comes. And it will.

I would have said “without leaving the privacy of your home,” but many new machines feature a “social aspect” where other people can chart your progress—or lack thereof—and even see you on their machines’ monitors. This is supposed to inspire friendly competition, much in the way the Romans inspired competition by tossing people in an arena and letting them run from hungry lions. This both revealed the fastest and the tastiest.

You might also need a bigger house. Some of the machines are large. If you can fit, say, a 1965 Dodge Dart in your bedroom, then you can safely have an exercise machine to hang clothes on.

The curious thing about all this running, hiking, biking, rowing, etc. is that you’re not actually going anywhere. After all that activity, you will still be in the same room. When you’re walking outside, you will end up somewhere—probably an ER—but somewhere besides where you started.

Another curious thing—well, I’m curious about it even if you’re not—is people are actually dressing up before they exercise in their OWN HOME. Women put on makeup, men put on pants, and then when they’re finished, they have to shower and get dressed again! I guess if you run around in sweat pants and t-shirts all day, you’re set. Otherwise, it seems a waste of laundry. A friend of mine has an expensive bike with video camera. She covered the camera with a towel and says she won’t uncover it until she looks as good as the people in the bike’s TV commercials. She says to check back with her in five years. It’s a good plan, particularly since all sorts of things could happen to the bike before then. They don’t last forever. They do break down. Accidentally sometimes.

My friend who is planning to climb the mountain says you’re not the same person at the beginning of an exercise regimen as you are at the end. You’re a fitter, better version with more confidence and discipline that will make your entire life better. She’s always saying crazy crap like that. I think the judge is plain wrong, and I will file an appeal as soon as I finish off this lovely box of Twinkies.

(Copyright 2019 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying or sharing without express written permission of the author and publisher. Thank you for reading.)

Monday, December 31, 2018

"Turn Does the Year"

"Turn Does the Year"
By Stephen B. Bagley

the old year turns
either onto a new path
or onto the same
with only minor changes

we raise a cup or not
hoping a toast brings luck
even as we realize
it might not be as wished

in this changing moment
between then and now
and what will come after
drink deep the bittersweet

promised nothing, we still
scheme and plan
and if the fates be kind
a plan or two will bloom

we make promises
we might not keep
even though we will try
and cry and laugh and run

dance with me
love with me
pray with me
kiss your sweet lips now

think of what we leave behind
walk toward what is before us
most importantly hold my hand
as the old year turns new

(Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Surviving Christmas Again

So...how ya doin'? You enjoyed/survived/tolerated/rejoiced in/bah humbugged/delighted in Christmas. And you're still here. Good for you. Be proud of you.

If you know anything about me, you know I love Christmas. Yet, like many of you, my Christmases carry loss and sorrow as we mourn those who aren't here with us. I miss my parents so much that it hurts. Not all the time, of course, but sometimes the pain takes my breath away, still so sharp and clear after all these years. And other precious family members and dear friends, all lost now...I remember them, too. Even so, I still rejoice in Christmas. Not because of the gifts or the food or the shopping or the TV specials on PBS, although they are all enjoyable--except the shopping, but that is the price we pay for wanting to give to those we care about.

No, I rejoice in Christmas not for any of those things, but for the hope. The idea that the birth of a small child would cause a ripple in history. A child who would grow up and go forth and preach a message of love and acceptance. He would suffer terribly and he would be killed for his words.

A huge story started then, a story that would change the world and set in motion great times and small things, terrible events and glorious actions. That's the story of Easter: tragedy and terror, loss and sorrow, murder and miracle, redemption and glory.

But on Christmas, we remember the beginning, the trembling fear and overwhelming joy every parent feels when they hold their newborn, the expectation of things to come, that moment when it seems the world pauses in expectation, the first lusty breath and then a baby's first cry rings out in a silent night....

I rejoice in Christmas because it is a reminder of those things. A reminder of hope and how things can change. It's a new beginning. That's what Christmas is for me. I hope it is that for you, too. Whatever you believe, that's what I pray for you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Prosateurs 2018 Christmas Book Catalog

🌟
Do
you
need 
any last 
minute gifts? 
The Prosateurs have 
the books for you! From 
cooking, children's books, humor, 
mysteries,  horror, inspirational, and 
more, you can find the right book for all
the lucky people on your list--and for you!



Monday, October 1, 2018

NEW RELEASE FROM MRH

MRH PUBLISHES NEW BOOK FLOOZY COMES BACK

OKLAHOMA—Many Rivers Harbor announces the publication of Floozy Comes Back, a new collection of humorous articles from author Stephen B. Bagley. The book is on sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, Lulu, and other online retailers.

“Stephen’s first collection of humorous essays, Floozy and Other Stories, is one of the top books we’ve published and the readers wanted more,” said Ms. Pru Simmons, MRH associate editor. “Finally, after too long a wait, we have a new collection of these hilarious stories.”

Simmons said most of the essays in Floozy Comes Back had been published in print and online magazines and newsletters and in various anthologies. “Stephen wrote several new ones just for this book and also restored a couple of articles previously published in the first Floozy collection that had been cut by various editors to fit space and theme requirements.”

“I enjoy revisiting these essays,” Bagley said. “They’re like old friends. I’m glad to get to share them again with the readers.”

The book’s contents include: A Tale of Two Goldfish, Spice Boy, Hamlet or Another Four Hours I Won’t Get Back, The Terrible Truth about Women, Tanning My Hide, Congress & Other Monstrous Things, Work in Your Underwear, Taking Aim at Cupid, Needs Something More, Irish Dancing as Performed by Roofers, Pumpkin Pinterest, The Story of the Second Thanksgiving, Getting Lit at Christmas, Much Ado about Carbs, and many other reader favorites.


Floozy Comes Back retails for $16 in trade paperback. For more information, visit manyriversharbor.blogspot.com.

Stephen B. Bagley co-wrote Undying, a collection of poetry with poet Gail Henderson. He wrote Murder by Dewey Decimal and Murder by the Acre, both in the Measurements of Murder™ series. His other books include Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and Endless. He wrote the full-length plays Murder at the Witch’s Cottage and Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God and co-wrote Turnabout. He coauthored two one-act plays (“Hogwild” and “There’s a Body in The Closet”) that were published by Dramatic Publishing Company. His poetry, articles, short stories, and essays have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, By-Line Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Pontotoc County Chronicles, Tulsa World OKMagazine, Your Country Music Magazine, Free Star, Dark Prairies & Deep Rivers, New Journeys & Destinations, the Creations anthologies 2012-2015, various newspapers in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and other print and online publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and a founding member of the writing group Prosateurs. Visit his website at StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

ABOUT MANY RIVERS HARBOR
Many Rivers Harbors, a micropublishing company based in Oklahoma, is dedicated to helping authors publish and promote their books. For more information about MRH publications, visit MRH at manyriversharbor.blogspot.com or email at manyriversharbor@gmail.com.

Friday, September 28, 2018

"Up, Up & Away in My Beautiful Semi-Rigid Airship"

I’ve always loved dirigibles, those huge gas-filled flying machines that naturally would make us think of Congress if they were filled with hot air, but no, they’re filled with a helium mixture these days. I remember seeing the Goodyear blimp float over my town once. As it made its slow, majestic way across the sky, I felt true wonder in my soul, like the first time I saw Pamela Anderson in a bikini.

Even now, some people talk wistfully about days of the passenger airships. They were luxury cruisers and fast enough when compared with other modes of transoceanic transportation. The Hindenburg made it across the Atlantic Ocean in about four days, faster than even Michael Phelps could swim it.

Unfortunately, the Hindenburg disaster on May 6, 1937 put an end to the airship era. It shattered the public’s faith in airship transportation, although statistics showed airships were safer than cheating on your spouse.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

"We Like Big Trucks: We Cannot Lie"

Recently a major American automobile company announced it was going to stop selling almost all its cars and concentrate on big trucks. The idea being that fossil fuels will last FOREVER—or at least until our generation is safely dead and then it’s not our problem.

Not the company’s fault, of course. They’re making what the public wants, and apparently, the public wants vehicles large enough to be seen from orbit.

I myself drive a sensible four-door sedan. I would like a flashy sports car that can go from zero to sixty in a blink, but I am stopped by one) not having enough money to afford one, and two) if I did have one, I would have to butter myself to get inside and it would take the Jaws of Life and the fire department to get me out. I no longer have the body for a low-slung sports car.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

"The Truth about Trees"

The first thing you learn is that trees are jerks. Big, mean leafy jerks. Trust me on this. Joyce Kilmer probably never had to dig up a sewer line in sweltering weather or pay a plumber soul-crushing amounts of money to do so because tree roots invaded the pipes, even though there’s a pond near enough for the tree to spit in if trees spit and I’m not sure they don’t.

But it’s not plumbing problems that have me riled up about trees this time around. Nor is it their world domination schemes that are aided by the squirrels but opposed by the noble chipmunks. (Oh, Chip and Dale, the terrible price you’ve paid for your selfless bravery!) No, it’s a new complaint: I’m trying to learn how to paint, and trees are hard to do.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

"Inner Peace or Something Vaguely Like That"

"Have you ever tried yoga?” my therapist asked, popping another handful of pills down his throat and washing them down with a Red Bull in his shaking hands.

I regarded him doubtfully. He was young and had seemed healthy enough four weeks ago when he replaced my last therapist who had apparently entered a monastery, but he had gone downhill fast. I wonder what was going on in his private life that had caused this change.

“Yoga? You mean that chanting thing where they sacrifice chickens, go into trances, and make zombies?”

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 24, 2018

"Congress and Other Monstrous Things"

It seems a lot of people these days are excited about the idea of a zombie apocalypse; they’re even looking forward to it. Of course, they're assuming they will be a survivor fighting their way across a broken America—much like an ordinary voter approaching the polls in any election—rather than ending up as one of the shambling folk.

I don’t know how such frightening shows such as The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, The Talking Dead (a talk show about The Walking Dead), and Dancing with Barely Remembered Stars can pull in the viewer numbers that they do. If people really wanted to watch something horrific, they should watch C-SPAN. If what goes on there doesn’t frighten you, you’re most likely already dead or living in Washington, D.C., a fate well known to be worse than death.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

"Much Ado About Carbs"

Carbohydrates are organic compounds with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n; that is, it consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atom ratio of 2:1. What does that mean? I have no idea. In biochemistry, carbohydrates are also known as monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. (As Shakespeare put it: “Carbs by any other name would still taste as sweet.”) Basically, carbs are flavor molecules. They make food delicious. Actually, they work hand-in-hand with calories, which also make food taste better. And fat. Fat helps flavor, too. But I’m not supposed to have any of them.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 21, 2018

"Irish Dancing as Performed by Roofers"

As I write this, the roof above me is getting reroofed, and from the sound of it, the roofers are performing Irish step dances. Thumps, shouts, crashes, and indistinct shouting (that could be Gaelic, but I suspect it is not) are all taking place up there and sometimes on the ground as they fall off.

Yes, they do fall off the roof. I actually got to see one of them do that. He rolled off the carport nearly in front of me. Naturally, his fellow workers sprang into immediate action showing their concern.

One of them called, “Hey, you okay?”

The one on the ground said, “(Expletive), yeah.”

And then everyone laughed uproariously, except me, of course, because I had to rush inside to see if my home insurance would cover a liability claim if someone did get hurt while working on my property. I already knew it didn’t cover other people’s pets who wander into large model rockets.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

"I CAN Drive 55; I Don't Wanna"

Okay, I can understand running out of blinker fluid. It happens. Apparently. Let’s not get up on our high horse about that. After all, when was the last time you had your car’s blinker fluid level checked?

But this whole I-don’t-see-the-stop-sign-so-it-doesn’t-exist thing, that’s odd. I don’t understand it. Toddlers believe something similar; that’s why peek-a-boo is such a hit with them. You disappear for a moment, and then you miraculously reappear. You’re the most amazing person they’ve met in their short life! Of course, that feeling doesn’t last, and by the time your toddler has grown into a teenager, you’re quite possibly the dumbest parent who has ever walked the earth and only put here to “totally” embarrass her/him. Which you should do at each and every opportunity. It’s your duty.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

"The Burden of Beauty"

I just had a sudden insight that I’m sure may have escaped your attention. Well, don’t feel bad. After all, I’m a genius, and you’re not. But you have a sweet spirit and will probably be spared when I crush the thrones of this earth under my booted heel. But that’s not a promise. Stop being so needy.

Anyway, my insight was about The Burden of Beauty. The capitals on The Burden of Beauty should clue you in that this will be our topic. Or really my topic. I’m writing, and you’re reading. It’s good to keep those roles straight. Yes, it’s true that beautiful people get the best jobs, make the most money, get better care in emergency rooms and hospitals, receive more respect from their peers and loved ones, and live longer. These statements are all supported by real statistics, not ones I made up.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Needs Something More"

This morning I got up at five and thought I’d watch the sunrise. As I watched the scarlet fingers of dawn stretch across the majestic vault of the sky, I thought, Hmm, it could do with a bit of dramatic music and maybe a car chase or two. By sharing that, you might think I’m blind to the wonders of nature. Not true. I just feel nature is better behind a TV screen, door, picture window, wall, moat, 20-foot-tall electrified fence with guard posts every 30 feet...because nature frankly never saw a human that it didn’t want to bend, fold, perforate, or eat.

Yes, I know, Disney has made you think that nature is filled with lovable bunnies, cute ducks, and adorable deer. Did you know that deer cost us over 4 billion dollars in property damage and medical bills each year by their habit of jumping in front of moving cars in their imitation of trainspotting? And the number of people shot by bunnies with guns stagger the imagination! Truly, it would. I can’t even discuss the fowl things ducks do.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 17, 2018

"That Buzzing Sound You Hear"

It’s time for the sounds and smells of summer: barbecue, people splashing in pools, coconut suntan lotion, happy laughter, freshlymown lawns, all is happy, happy, happy as people rejoice in the sunlight—except for me, of course, since I’ve been hiding in my darkened house as soon as the flocks of mosquitoes started returning from whatever nightmarish place they spend the winter.

Yes, I know that supposedly they lay eggs that somehow survive the winter’s cold, and those eggs hatch into larvae, which grow up to suck blood and lay more eggs to survive the winter, but I don’t believe it. Have you ever seen a mosquito nest? Me, neither. What really happens is they follow the sun to torment South Americans. Mosquitoes live many years, and all of them speak fondly of me, their Promised Land of white, soft skin that conceals the most delicious and nourishing liquid.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

"Taking Aim at Cupid"

Ordinarily in February, I make a few disparaging remarks about Valentine’s Day, or “Passover” as I call it in my house, but never within earshot of any of my Jewish friends as they do get the joke, but they don’t think it’s funny, and I hate it when they go all Samson on me.

But this year, I’ve decided to direct our attention to that clothing challenged archer who wings around shooting people with arrows to make them fall in love with people guaranteed to ruin their lives. I don’t understand Cupid.

Oh sure, I get the metaphor that love is like a sharp weapon that pierces your spleen and makes you hemorrhage to death while your lover runs off with your best friend, but beyond the obvious, what’s up with him?

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 14, 2018

"A Tale of Two Goldfish"

I bought another fish recently to keep Churchill, my fancy goldfish, company. It’s a fantail goldfish, and its name is Bo. The other fish at the store had apparently heard of me. While my back was turned, I quite clearly heard the phrase “aquarium of death” bubbled around. I ignored them.

As I checked out, the clerk leaned close to me and asked, “Do they fry up good?” Apparently, she thought I had been buying so many goldfish because I was dipping them in batter and serving them with chips on the side. I didn’t reply, just smiled and shook my head, even though everyone knows you can’t fry goldfish. (You have to bake them in a low-temperature oven—or so I’ve heard.)

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

"What Did You Say?"

I’ve been accused of not paying attention more than once in my life. By teachers, parents, siblings, girlfriends, friends who are girls, just plain friends, fellow employees, teammates, etc., and who say I’m the poster child for Adult Attention Deficit Syndrome. I think it’s time to explain this once and for all—if I’m not paying attention, it’s because you’re not being interesting. If you’d step up your game, I’d be with you more.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"My Fitness Goal—and, Yes, I DO Have One"

At the gym—yes, I was at the gym; that shocked expression doesn’t look good on you—I was asked what my fitness goal was. And I answered promptly, “I want to be one of those obnoxious skinny people.” You know the ones I mean: they eat like starving pigs, but they never gain weight. In fact, they are so used to their incredible metabolism burning fat like a Congressman spends money that they are baffled by people who are overweight.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 10, 2018

"'Hamlet' or Another Four Hours I Won't Get Back"

You all know Hamlet by William Shakespeare is one of the greatest plays ever written. If you didn’t know, now you do, and you can go to bed knowing you learned one thing today.

You may be surprised to also learn I am not a fan of the play. Oh, I recognize the genius of it, and it has one of the most famous and moving soliloquies ever written (To be or not to be...) but frankly it doesn’t have a role for Dolly Parton, and I don’t like plays that preclude the chance of casting her. 

Read more in Floozy Comes Back on sale now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

"Je ne parle pas Français!"

I keep trying to learn French even though it’s obvious I will never master it with enough expertise to not horrify a Frenchman. I once had dinner in a French restaurant in Tulsa and attempted to impress the waiter with my French. With an expression on his face like he had a severe case of constipation, he attempted to repeat my order to me in bad English while I attempted to correct him in bad French. I would have gone hungry except the menu had pictures on it, so I was able to point at items and received excellent food. I’m not sure what it was, but it used a lot of garlic, cream, and butter, and how could you go wrong with that?

I don’t even know why I want to learn French. I have no particular desire to travel to France, although it seems lovely and they did give us the Statue of Liberty, which is much nicer than a gift card but not as easy to carry.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

"The Jonesmyth Expedition"

T’was a cold day in late December in fair London town in the meeting room of the Literary Works Explorers Club in the year 20— when Sir Neil “Nellybelly” Shanksview made a most audacious proposal: to mount an expedition of brave men to read the entire ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ of the somewhat United Colonies of the Americas.

“By Finnigan’s foot, it’s not possible!” Brigadier Frogsworth “Froggy” Speartoad exclaimed and spilled his whiskey and goat milk.

“Compose yourself, Frog,” the forthright and handsome Lord Thomas “Pigsworth” Jonesmyth said calmly. “With the proper equipment and planning, such an expedition could be done in...let me think...in—”

“Eighty days!” interjected the youthful Martin “Martin” Cowpert.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

"To a Fault"

Whenever something terrible happens, you should always ask yourself, “Is Stephen okay?” If so, then it’s not that terrible. At least not for me, and I’m sure we all agree that’s what’s really important. Naturally, I’m concerned about you, too, and will do anything to help you—as long as I’m not greatly inconvenienced or busy or my favorite shows aren’t on TV. I have to have priorities, which I know you understand because I’m such a high priority for you.

To a judgmental person, it might possibly sound like I’m self absorbed, but let’s be honest, if you were as awesome as me—if that were even possible, and frankly, it’s not—you’d be self-absorbed, too. I’m definitely marvelous. People are fascinated by me, particularly doctors who want to study me in a specially controlled environment.

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

"The Fine Art of Sighing"

My old computer died. You would have thought I lost a beloved pet by the way I moped around my house for a couple of weeks. During that time, my answer to any question was a sigh of despair with a hint of brave long-suffering and a touch of woe-is-me. It was one of my finest series of sighs.

Not that I’m the master of sighing. No, that title belongs to my brother. He can create sighs that are the verbal equivalent of the Mona Lisa. For some unaccountable reason, I am the cause of many of his sighs, and I can tell you they are capable of making strong men weep or at least check to see if the tires of their cars are leaking. His sighs convey the overall theme of “my brother is nuts and why am I burdened with him” with layers of such emotions as “life is a mystery of sadness and joy” and “geese fly south in the winter as the year moves toward its end.”

Read more in Floozy Comes Back available now! Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

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