Category: Shaw Blog

Writing Tips from the Bards

We asked our Bards if they have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors, and this is what they served us up:


7795837Robert Cely: If you really feel called to write, then it’s something you have to stick with. A lot of people I knew wanted to be a writer one day, and I am the only one of them that is still hammering away at it that I know of.… Register or log in to access full content

New Year. New Possibilities

2013 new year sparkler

Back when I was a younger man (with hair … and the mistaken belief that I knew everything … and did I mention the hair?), New Year’s Eve was my favorite holiday. Christmas was mostly fun, and it certainly ranked. The Fourth of July was also fun but too hot for my taste. Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day were basically the same thing as New Year’s Eve: an excuse to dress like an idiot and drink enough to justify the bad decisions I already planned to make.… Register or log in to access full content



I loved winter when I was a kid. I hate it now because I’m old and one of the signs you’re getting old is when cold weather turns you into a troll, but I loved winter when I was a kid. It meant hot chocolate, late night movies on the weekends (eating buckets of popcorn, warming our feet under the radiator next to the tv in the living room), snow days off school, and sledding down the many hills in our neighborhood.… Register or log in to access full content

Gravity is a Cruel Mistress … and Other Lessons I Learned Falling Down the Steps to My Basement

Gravity is a cruel mistress. She tempts. She teases. She torments.

I learned my lesson earlier this year when I was doing laundry. I got halfway down the steps to my basement, put my foot where I thought the next step would be. The only problem was it wasn’t there. I missed, and that’s when Gravity reached out from the depths with her icy hand and pulled me to the ground below.… Register or log in to access full content

Two More: An Excerpt

I'm working on a new story. It's called "Two More" and its about a down-on-his luck man who  meets a mysterious stranger at a bar after closing time. The stranger offers him everything he's ever wanted ... for a price. Here's an excerpt...

Two More (by Joseph E. Shaw)

Mike Pierce spent the final moments of the second-to-last day of his life on a stool at the Friendly Stop Bar & Grille.

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Telling Stories

The power went out a lot when I was a kid. A storm would roll through, the lights would flicker, then dance, then disappear and there you were, sitting in the dark, wondering whether the episode of “MASH” you were watching would end with funny Alan Alda or maudlin Alan Alda, knowing in your heart of hearts it was probably both.

We had a routine when the power went out. My sister grabbed the blankets from the hall closet, I got the candles from the fridge (I don’t know why we kept them in the fridge.… Register or log in to access full content

The Boys of Summer

"I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit just to play baseball" - Pete Rose

Baseball season is almost halfway over and my favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, are currently in first place in the National League Central, two games ahead of the Pirates and Cardinals. It’s been a while since the Reds were in command of anything. It should feel good. I should be excited.

But I’m not.… Register or log in to access full content

Peanut Butter Sandwiches

“Life is hard,” my grandma would tell me. “Eventually someone will hurt you. When that happens, you get to decide: will you fight back or will you forgive? It’s up to you, what will you do?”

When I was a kid, I played baseball with my friends in the field behind my grandma’s house. We played all day, from sunup to sundown, and whenever there was a break in the action everyone gathered at my grandma’s porch for her “world-famous” peanut butter sandwiches.… Register or log in to access full content