Thursday, July 12, 2018

My mistake

Because I made the mistake of saying this day couldn't get any worse, Floozy Comes Back ran into a problem at the publisher. It's fixed, but it's off schedule now. I know she will go on sale on Lulu.com on the 30th. I'm hoping Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM!, and the others will also have her on sale that day. If not, they will have her the first or second week of August. Right now, they're saying they will "attempt" to hit the July 30th date. We'll see. Of course, I will have my copies by then so the local folks will be able to get it. There's no particular charm about the 30th, but it happens to be my birthday and I thought it would be a cool thing to have her premiere on that day. Okay, universe, you proved your point. I won't say that particular phrase ever again!

Oh, here's Floozy under the island palms. Where I'd like to be.



Wednesday, July 11, 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.”

From Floozy Comes Back available July 30. Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 10, 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.

From Floozy Comes Back available July 30. Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

"Those Whom Gods Would Destroy…Publish First"

It recently occurred to me that people do foolish things all the time. Even now someone is thinking about running for president, which is doubly silly since no sane person wants that job and the next presidential election has already been decided by our alien overlords. But be that as it may, I was thinking about those people who wake up one day and say, “I’d like to publish a book!” And even though that only leads to madness and worse, off they go.

I speak from experience. I’m in the middle of publishing a book right now. It’s been nearly three years since my last publication, mostly because it took me that long to recover. However, my creditors were hounding me again, and I embarked on another publishing voyage somewhat similar to that undertaken by the Titanic, but more tragic since it involves me.

From Floozy Comes Back available July 30. Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

"Je ne parle pas Fran├žais!*"

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 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.

From Floozy Comes Back available July 30. Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 06, 2018

From "Floozy Comes Back"

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.

From Floozy Comes Back available July 30. Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 02, 2018

From "Floozy Comes Back"

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.

From Floozy Comes Back available July 30. Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

From "Floozy Comes Back"

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 that burns fat like a Congressman spends money that they are baffled by people who are overweight.

From Floozy Comes Back available July 30. Copyright 2018 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

"What Are You Reading?"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Saturday, June 09, 2018

"Country Life"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Friday, June 08, 2018

"Unexpected"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Thursday, June 07, 2018

"Random Act of Kindness"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

"Autumn Sonnet"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

"Naked Scalloped Potatoes"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Monday, June 04, 2018

"Incident on Orwell Street"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

"Melting Away"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Saturday, June 02, 2018

"The Thanksgiving Tree"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Friday, June 01, 2018

New Anthology Released!

OKLAHOMA—The writing group Prosateurs announces the publication of the judged anthology Prosateurs: Tales & Truth. The anthology features short stories, recipes, humor, memoirs, poetry, devotionals, articles, and other works from the group’s members. It’s now available from Prosateurs members and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, and other retailers.

Author Kathy Akins won Best of the Book with a memoir of her mother’s battle with dementia. “It was honest, sincere, and well-written,” said Submissions Judge Gail Henderson. “A reader both sympathizes and learns from it.”

Henderson co-wrote the poetry collection Undying. She collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography that explores the enigma of womanhood in the world. She wrote Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry under the name Gail Wood. Her work has appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, Creations 2012-2014 and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for Lake Superior Writers, Duluth, Minnesota.

For more information, visit Prosateurs.blogspot.com.
Purchase on Amazon here!
Purchase on Barnes & Noble here!
Purchase on BooksAMillion here!
Purchase on Lulu here!

The anthology authors include:

Kathy Akins has won several awards with her poetry, devotionals, and short fiction. Her works were published in Blackbirds Third Flight and the Creations anthologies 2014-2015. A love for history, family, and animals inspires her stories. She lives in Oklahoma and shares her home with miniature long-haired dachshunds and a rescued Catahoula. Her dachshunds assist her when she presents educational programs for children in her capacity as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Ambassador. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit kathyakins.blogspot.com.

Debbie Anderson wrote the novel Friend or Foe in 2018. A longtime storyteller, she has written stories since she was a child. The oldest of eight children she used these stories to entertain her siblings. She spent eighteen years in the travel industry. As a result she has been to nearly every state and six countries. She left the travel business after 9/11. Since then she has written business documents such as manuals and procedures for the electronic and oil industries. She writes short stories, memoirs, novels, children’s stories, and how-to books. She has been published in Creations 2017.

Stephen B. Bagley co-wrote the poetry collection Undying. He wrote Murder by Dewey Decimal, Murder by the Acre, Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and EndlesS. He wrote the plays Murder at the Witch’s Cottage and Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God and co-wrote Turnabout, Hogwild, and There’s A Body in the Closet. His writings have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, ByLine Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Tulsa World OKMagazine, and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Kelley Benson is a pastor who has a passion for using everyday opportunities to help people recognize how God works in their lives. He and his wife Jade are raising their  children to see how God should be part of everything people do. Since 1997, he has participated in a wide range of ministries and been involved with the investment industry, the insurance industry, teaching, and carpentry. He published On Target, a book of devotionals, and writes a weekly newsletter. His articles were published in Creations 2013-2015. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit kelleybenson.blogspot.com.

Nita Beshear began writing as a young child. If her family wasn't moving from one state to another, they were moving across town. Stories gave her continuity. Her friends in her stories went with her to every new home. Beshear writes nonfiction, historical novels, and short stories. Her books include Devoted to Quilting and Beyond the Grief: A Widow's Survival Guide. Her fiction appeared in Romance-The Spice of Life. She is a member of the Material Girls (the Allen Oklahoma Quilters), McAlester McSherry Writers, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., and Duncan and Okmulgee Toastmasters. Visit nitabeshear.wordpress.com.

Wendy Blanton published the novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard, under the name Elizabeth Joy. Her short stories appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, and Blackbirds Third Flight. She writes novels and short stories in several genres. She graduated from the University of Mount Olive, North Carolina, and served in the United States Air Force. An apprentice bard, she tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues. She and her husband are members of the Clan Campbell Society. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit wendyblanton.wordpress.com.

D. E. Chandler wrote the thriller Bone Sliver. In 2013, her poem, “Oppenheimer” and her short story “One Way Window” won honorable mention and publication in Outside the Lines. In 2015, her poem “Carroll After Dark” won first place and publication in the Tulsa Review’s 2015 Spring contest issue. Her works were also published in Blackbirds Third Flight, The Green Country Guardian, The Sapulpa Herald, and Sapulpa News and Views. She graduated from Rogers State University. She lives with her husband Tom in Oklahoma. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Oklahoma Women Bloggers. Visit dechandlerwrites.com.

Barbara Shepherd has received more than 300 writing awards. She is the Oklahoma 2017 Voice of the Fair Poet, a Lone Stars Poet, a Woody Guthrie Poet, and a former Nominee for Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma. Shepherd served as a field editor for Taste of Home and contributed to other magazines, including: Outlook, Oklahoma D.O., Oklahoma Woman, Edmond Life and Leisure, Bella, and ArtBeat. Her books include: The Potbelly Pig Promise, River Bend, Vittles and Vignettes, and Patchwork Skin. Her writing appeared in: Women’s War Memoirs, Heavenly Patchwork, Voices In Time, and numerous other publications. Visit 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 story telling and writing. Her memoirs, short stories, and articles have been published in Oklahoma newspapers and in the Creations anthologies 2012-2015.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

How to say it

A friend asked me how to pronounce "Prosateurs."
It's "Pros uh tours."
It simply means "a writer of prose."


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Motto

You may have noticed that the motto of this blog has changed. It was "No good deed goes unpunished or revenged." It's now Hay que poner un poco de locura a veces en la cordura. Translated: "You sometimes need to interject a little madness into the sanity."

I came across this Cuban saying in a recent Smithsonian article about historian Eusebio Leal who lay down in front of steamrollers to keep them from asphalting over a rare wooden street. That took place in 1967. Leal is now the official historian of the city of Havana and responsible for saving many historical buildings and revitalizing Havana. An amazing man, but I'm not sure I would think of him as insane as much as driven.

Another word for driven is committed. I think anyone in a creative endeavor has to have that commitment. We only have so much time in this world; every choice we make means another choice isn't made. Our choices have to move us toward our goals, whether it's to write a book or paint a landscape or save a building.

Although I do think getting in front of a steamroller in Cuba--not a place that encourages civil disobedience even now--might have a touch of insanity about it. Or maybe an overwhelming commitment.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Coming in May!

This should go on sale in May. Don't have the exact date, but will share, of course, when I do. It has a couple of articles and short stories in it by me. Excited to see my works among the others. The submissions judge did a great job in selecting the best from the submissions. (Although she didn't select several of my submissions. Sigh.) The anthology has articles, memoirs, short stories, poetry, and even recipes! Good writing from good authors. Anyway, here's the cover! #PT&T #Prosateurs


Last Day of April

The year is speeding by. Worries me how quickly time is passing. It seems when I was younger, a year was an impossibly long time. Now, I turn my head, and it blurs by. Either time is speeding up—not entirely impossible by our current understanding of physics as long as we don't equate time with light—or my perception of time is off. After all, a day is a day is a day...to paraphrase Stein a bit. 

Anyway, April is almost gone. What a strange April it has been. Our Oklahoma weather jumped from freezing to sweaty in the space of a day or two. Then repeated. And repeated a few more times. We seem finally to be past the temperature fluctuations, but now we're looking at possible tornadoes this week. Weather in the state has always been unexpected, but this is pushing it even for us.

Possibly this is a manifestation of climate change. Hard to know since climate change mostly talks about global changes, which will affect various areas, but the science is imprecise in what exactly those changes will be. None of the discussed changes, by the way, are ones that will create a paradise. No, they’re ones that will cause our grandchildren to hold us in contempt.

Whether such changes in the weather are possible for us to control or to mitigate...I don’t know. Okay, yes, we can, but we lack the will to make those changes. As long as the will is lacking, we will continue to have discussions about climate change until the time for doing anything is long gone. 

Setting that aside, it should be an interesting week here. Time for us to watch the sky.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Angel over the ape

We might not create Eden, but it doesn't have to be a wasteland. We can take a compassionate, reasoned, pragmatic approach to life. We can do what we can to make the world better and trust that others will pick up where we falter. We each day must choose the angel over the ape.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Way Forward

A Hard Truth: If the sides in a political conflict don't give the other side a way forward, then a political equation is reduced to they're wrong, we're right. And that will never lead to a path forward because the defeated side will not support the way chosen. As long as we see problems as Us vs. Them, it is an equation that leads to societal destruction and misery. Somehow, we have to open our tables to everyone.

As Christians, it is our responsibility to open our table to everyone. To set a place for those we disagree with. To allow them to disagree with us and still break bread with them. The politicians--Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Tea Party, Coffee Party, etc.--want to reduce our interactions into heroes and villains. That simplistic view makes "compromise" into a naughty word and allows them--they think--the ability to control the public.

It's up to us to find a way forward. It doesn't include memes. It doesn't include fake news. It doesn't include personal attacks. It doesn't include lies. It doesn't include fake science.

It does include us. Every broken one of us. It means learning how to draw together instead of drawing apart. It means trying to understand other people and seeing their views. It means we will not get everything we want, but we can get what we really need. We cannot remake Eden on Earth--that is true because there is evil that we must oppose--but we don't have to create Hell on earth, either.

It means being an adult and making adult decisions.

It's up to us to decide if we will be angel or ape.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Reciprocity

Was talking a friend yesterday who suffers from a common aliment in his marriage: He loves her more than she loves him. That mismatch in affection is painful, not that she doesn't love him, but she doesn't show it often.

I hear that a lot from my friends about their significant others. And I always tell them the same thing: Love doesn't carry with it any promise of equal reciprocity. Love just is, and it's a worthy thing to love even if they don't love you as much as you love them. It's a hard thing, but love also doesn't say it will be easy. Love is kind of a jerk at times.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Nectar

I can't be needing a Dr Pepper 10 this early in the morning. "There's something wrong about that," I say as I'm pouring the fizzing nectar over ice.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Day 2

How is your new year going? Broke your resolutions yet? I do like making resolutions and think it's good for me to think about how to be a better human, but I don't get too upset when I slip. Every day is new day and a new chance to do better. Almost a motivational poster, but not quite pithy enough.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I hope the new year blesses you and yours
with joy, peace, health, and wealth!
Stephen B. Bagley

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Joke 15

An aspiring young lawyer was sitting in her office late Christmas Eve night when Satan appeared before her. The Devil told her, "I have a proposition for you. You can win every case you try for the rest of your life. Your clients will adore you, your colleagues will stand in awe of you, and you will make embarrassing sums of money. All I want in exchange is your soul, your husband's soul, your children's souls, the souls of your parents, grandparents, and the souls of all your friends and law partners."

The lawyer pondered this, then finally asked: "So, what's the catch?"

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: Back up your computer! Recently I heard that a writing friend's laptop died. I don't know what was lost, but I imagine lots of things. We all have precious photos and documents on our computers and phones now. BACK THEM UP! One of the easiest ways of doing this is by paying for Carbonite, an automatic backup system for computers. I use it and recommend it, but if you do use it, make sure you know what folders it's backing up, particularly if you use different folders than its presets. But there are other apps that will do that, also, for your computer and phone. (If you use a backup system, please share it in the comments.) Don't lose your digital memories.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Joke 14

A clergyman is walking down a country lane, enjoying the freshly fallen December snow, and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.

"You look exhausted, my son," said the cleric. "why don't you rest a moment, and I'll give you a hand."

"No thanks," said the young man. "My father wouldn't like it."

"Don't be silly," the minister said. "Everyone is entitled to a break. Come to my house and have a hot chocolate while I change to work clothes."

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the clergyman said, "Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him, and I'll give him a piece of my mind!"

"Well," replied the young farmer, "he's under the load of hay."

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Joke 13

A husband and wife were driving down a country lane on their way to visit some friends at Christmas. They came to a muddy patch in the road, and the car became stuck. After a few minutes of trying to get the car out by themselves, they saw a young farmer coming down the lane in a tractor. The farmer stopped when he saw the couple in trouble and offered to pull the car out of the mud for $50. The husband accepted, and minutes later the car was free.

The farmer said to the husband, "You know, you're the 20th car I've helped out of the mud today."

The husband looked around at the fields incredulously and asked the farmer, "When do you have time to tend your farm? At night?"

"No," the farmer replied. "Night is when I put the water in the hole."

Christmas Factoids 2

“The Nutcracker” is the most famous Christmas ballet and was used by the Chinese to break the
wills of political prisoners. It is outlawed by the Geneva Convention as is the playing of “Jingle Bells” more than 1,754,322 times during the holiday season.

If you received all of the gifts in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would receive 364 presents, none of which you could return. By the way, why are there so many birds in that song? Doesn’t it seem fowl?

Holly berries are poisonous, which does explain why holly berry cookies aren’t popular even though there was a heavy marketing push for them during the 1950s. It joined the ranks of other failed food products: stone ground hemlock bread, foxglove fajitas, poop pie, and of course, green tea.

In 1843, A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens in only six weeks. Many of us feel he should have taken more time with it and added some spaceships and several hot alien females.

Excerpted from Floozy and Other Stories on sale here:

Bonus Christmas Joke 13

The traffic was terrible as Herman was driving down the freeway to the mall. Everyone was out shopping for Christmas presents, and they were driving like crazy people!

His cell phone rang. Answering through the car speakers, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!"

"It's not just one car!" said Herman. "It's hundreds of them!"