Life's not fair


Matt Paust

Matt Paust
Gloucester, Virginia,
December 31
Sorry - writer's block... BTW the "birthday" listed above is false. I prefer to keep that day private, but am not permitted to do so here, so I'm forced to lie.


OCTOBER 22, 2014 3:01PM


I've seen her three times now. The first was at the doctor's office. We are waiting in a sort of haphazard line at the window where you arrange for referrals or your next appointment. She is ahead of me, and this is annoying.… Read full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2014 4:47PM

Justice for Mr. Boogedy

 [dedicated to Koshersalaami]

Once upon All Hallows Eve, I'd just ingested my Aleve,

Whence came a tapping at my door, a tap tap tapping,

A damnably intrusive rapping tapping, rappity tap tap tapping...and nothing more.

Of course,

Read full post »
OCTOBER 19, 2014 1:36PM

Tree Voices

It was known locally as The Hanging Tree. No history to corroborate the name that Sutton knew of, but he allowed there was enough circumstantial evidence. At least one if not others of its massive reach of sturdy horizontal branches might well have held a rope or more back inRead full post »

OCTOBER 18, 2014 11:40AM

Remember Snippy the Grammar Dog?

She's had a litter of cuppies!


Snippy  Read full post »

How ironic, thought Thorogood, the economy's collapse coming forty days and forty nights after the Internet crashed. A quiet agnostic, he guessed this coincidence likely nothing more than that, although he kept the thought to himself. Were he able to Tweet Jane, she would have appreciated the coincid… Read full post »

OCTOBER 14, 2014 11:04AM

Elimination (a review)

When I was in high school my dad ran in the Democratic primary for a state senate seat. I was his campaign manager. We didn't have any money and I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and we got the crap kicked out of us. If we'd had… Read full post »

[true story]



Going back to Easter Eve 2014 and looking ahead to the next morning, I know now I would without hesitation choose what was about to happen. Were the choice mine, I would take what happened over winning a billion dollars in lottery gold.

One reason… Read full post »

OCTOBER 11, 2014 3:19PM

Sam McCain's Last Ride?

I will miss Sam McCain. He's the lawyer/detective who thinks he's Robert Ryan. Word on the street is that Riders on the Storm will be his final adventure solving murders in his Iowa hometown. If this is true I don't know what I shall do, because after accompanying him throughRead full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2013 11:21PM

Hemingway Test – 25 (Pool talk)

Ruth slid her ID badge twice past the scanner on the door to the pool room. When the lock failed to click open, she turned to Joan, “Try yours.”

The green light came on. Maybe it's the lock.” Joan nonetheless slid her badge, too, withRead full post »

FEBRUARY 16, 2013 11:31AM

What would Margaret Feike do?

[This was posted on Facebook]




A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled.  A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.

Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, "I

Read full post »
FEBRUARY 9, 2013 9:31PM

Hemingway Test – 24 (Shaping news)

Trueblood and Secord were still on the Beltway when Trueblood's smart phone interrupted their reverie. It was Doris.

C'mon back. Bart says the redhead's already talked with the wife.”


She's got the interview on tape. Wants to play it for you.”Read full post »

JANUARY 26, 2013 11:14AM

Shout to the dead


[I wrote this Friday night but the snowstorm blocked our satellite server.]


My anal retentive, passive aggressive, narcissistic, atheistic dad would get this. He always said everybody's a little nuts. It went without saying he meant except him. Haven't missed him much until this momentRead full post »

JANUARY 15, 2013 12:58PM

Sacrifice, the revision!

Amazon has just released the newly revised Sacrifice, which is now available in the Kindle Bookstore for a buck.  I rewrote the prologue and went thru the entire novel, smoothing out prose and reconciling story glitches -- stuff I should have caught in the first published draftRead full post »

JANUARY 11, 2013 3:13PM

Finally got Sacrifice blurb right!

This is my third go at it.  Powerful learning lesson for me.  The first one was hackneyed, read like the late pitchman Billy Mays shouting on TV, second one was gimmicky and embarrasing -- it's still on the book's Amazon listing, but soon to be replaced by this one.  Hope youRead full post »



It was one of those incredible literary coincidences destined to reside in Wiki annals forever.  GV, who on a sour whim had stretched his writing chops just once in his life to post a "customer review" on Amazon, found himself seated on a bar stool next toRead full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2012 4:52PM

I feel the same as you, Margaret

But I sense they're still fighting to keep this place, trying to figure out how to transfer the database from the old platform to the new.  As long as there's hope I'll keep coming back.

I pledged to stay away until Dec. 19, which is Wednesday, so I'm breaking my pledgeRead full post »

NOVEMBER 15, 2012 3:44PM

Keep the Community, Ditch the Site

Open Salon is a community that uses the OS website to stay in touch with a core group of people who enjoy writing and discussing all kinds of topics. We, the writers, are the community; Open Salon is only a platform. We believe the OS platform has becomeRead full post »

NOVEMBER 4, 2012 6:21PM

When the buck stops (flash fiction)

truman desk

I saw surprise distort Albert's face when he appeared in the doorway that separated his office from what he called “the big office”. He was holding the morning mail pouch, which he ordinarily carries to my working office across the oval room where I sit now.Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2012 9:22AM

Too Old to Dream

I awoke this morning with an old, old song in my head. It was one I hadn't heard or thought of since I was a child. My parents loved to sing it together on our frequent drives in the car, our favorite family recreation. Their singing of itRead full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2012 9:55AM

Doubting Thomas (poem)


Do not go raging into that bleak night,

Old age should know frustration's not the way;

Float, float when all about you's losing light.


Wise men at their end know it be quite

Demeaning to our dignity to bray,

Do not embarrass others withRead full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2012 4:47PM

Tom Cordle's disappearing book


Any literary agent worth the title who read no further than the opening lines of Tom Cordle's manuscript, shook his or her head and said “nah,” should be stripped of his or her credentials and sent packing to find more suitable employment as, say, a grocery bagger or Wal-Mart greetRead full post »

OCTOBER 3, 2012 1:28PM

Finding Paddy ~ tribute to a hero

 finding paddy


A documentary video, Finding Paddy, has just been released commemorating New York City's most celebrated firefighter.

Capt. Patrick Brown died along with eleven of his men when the World Trade Center's North Tower crumbled into a pile of fiery rubble on the morning of Sept. 11,Read full post »

OCTOBER 1, 2012 9:40AM

Seat-of-pants novel writing


I made up the story that became my latest novel, Sacrifice, episode by episode. It worked pretty much the same way I used to string a serial story along for my daughter at bedtime when she was six or seven. Kept the same characters in play, maybe adding a newRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 29, 2012 9:04PM

Mystery solved!


I know what a half virgin is. The question had been nagging since I first saw the title of John Blumenthal's new novel Three and a Half Virgins. It nagged me all the way through the book until I finished it last night, and now IRead full post »