The probabilities that make a story


Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain.

As a fiction writer, I read a lot of fiction. I also read a lot of current nonfiction material.
Continue reading “The probabilities that make a story”

A gold vein of routine

Tonight there was something soothing in the rhythmic hum of the dishwasher next door. I could hear it best from my bathroom, a tiny space with just enough room for a toilet and a bathtub. I sat there and listened for a moment, or two. Everything else melted away, and I felt my shoulders fall from their perch next to my ears. They’d been there all day. Continue reading “A gold vein of routine”

I dreamt a future

I dreamt a future. Not my future. Blue skin is not part of my genetic makeup.

I rarely dream. Or maybe it’s that I can only recall a few dreams. Either way, I can count my dreams on one hand and retell the events. That’s one reason I knew this dream was unique. It broke my dream pattern. Continue reading “I dreamt a future”

Creative Flow at the Shoreline

California shoreline. It’s where I love to walk and let my mind wander. It’s where some of my best writing ideas pop into my head. The Richmond shoreline that overlooks El Cerrito is a particular favorite of mine. Part of the San Francisco Bay Trail, this area inspires creativity of all kinds. I’ve seen an array of painters seated under umbrellas here and watched photographers with complex equipment aim for their best shots. And who knows how many poets, fiction writers or other creative souls I’ve passed along this path. Today, by chance, I might even return a smile from a fellow writer.




© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Lena got the scar on her forehead after a gust of wind shattered the big front window. At the time, she lived on a street that rode a coastal ridge just south of San Francisco. Most of the year, the entire region was blanketed in fog. Sometimes it flew in on howling winds that turned her umbrella inside out. Other times, the fog curled in and around the houses slow enough that Lena felt she could outrun it.
Continue reading “Lena”

The upside of wrinkles

I used to be obsessive about a wrinkle that carved a permanent home on the left side of my chin. The wrinkle, one of many now, is in the shape of a thin crescent moon whose open side faces down as if to mimic gravity’s pull. Continue reading “The upside of wrinkles”


Yesterday I bumped into my daughter’s mother-in-law on a sun-filled bay side path in San Francisco’s East Bay. She was taking our five month old grandson, Isaac, for a stroll, while I was walking with my dog, Kunie. Continue reading “Fleeting”