I recently entered a contest for 250-word stories. This one won an honorable mention. The requirements were that it had to be an adventure story that included the action of pulling a trigger and the word “nobody.” I hope you enjoy the story!

Photo credit: Elizabeth McDaniel

The briquettes flamed to life at the touch of the grill lighter. I’d throw the steaks on as soon as Duncan walked in. The stupid pandemic wouldn’t ruin our first anniversary.

Even with the sliding glass door open, the wail of a siren was quieter inside than out. …

A Letter I Wrote More than 30 Years Ago Haunts Me Now

It was about 1986, I think. I was an undergraduate at Albright College in Reading, PA. It’s a United Methodist school, and I was in the pre-theological program — I planned to be a minister.

I believe my letter was in response to an announcement that a group was being organized for LGBTQ+ people on campus (although we had no such term back then). I remember thinking that this was wrong. I had been taught, and I believed, the existing United Methodist policy on homosexuality — that it…

For me, articles like this usually come out of a combination of events. The most recent one was an unfortunate altercation on Facebook about transgender rights. I should probably know better, but the argument was actually the culmination of a thought process that started almost a year ago, so maybe it was just time for it to boil over.

The other event was a conference I once attended with a group of people that included a transgender woman. Although she is accepted by the group, I was told she is often depressed because she is not fully accepted by most…

Recently, the senate finance committee passed the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care Act of 2017 (CHRONIC) unanimously. This act opens the doors for Medicare Advantage subscribers to manage their chronic conditions through telemedicine visits and expands telemedicine availability for stroke patients. Only a few days later, the Texas state senate passed Bill 1107, “… relating to telemedicine and telehealth services.” [1] This is a landmark win for telemedicine in that state, which has been sued by Teladoc for rules limiting telemedicine services in the state for the general population.


American Well commissioned Harris Poll…

Photo by Daria / epicantus

In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron says about writing her prescribed morning pages, “We are tempted, always, to reverse cause and effect. ‘I was too crabby to write them,’ instead of, ‘I didn’t write them so I am crabby.’” When I’m stuck in my own writing, I often think about that quote. Could it be that nothing is working because I’m not writing instead of not being able to write because nothing is working? Could it really be as simple as “put butt in chair, move hand across page”?

I think, as humans, we tend to look for difficult answers…

I live near a rural county fairground and, one day, we were stuck in traffic for a particularly popular event. I had been thinking about the creative process during my drive, but I never thought witnessing problems with traffic management would be so demonstrative.

Much of the opposing traffic had to make a left to enter the parking lot, and most of their turn signals were on, indicating they knew where they must go. Police stopped opposing traffic so a long line of traffic could enter the lot. They waved car after car across the stopped opposing traffic. Most —…

It’s been a year. Well, two if you count the bet as the start of it all. You said you would win because I was weak. You bet I couldn’t make you stop. For a year, you gloated. I pat your gravestone. You shouldn’t have beaten me — or bet me.

“Hey, I know what you guys are doin’ back there,” growled the bus driver.

“What?” Tom yelled back. “I’m talkin’ to my mom.” He held the whiskey flask, which looked like a large cell phone, to his ear. Everybody laughed. Tom ducked his head behind the seat and took a swig from the antenna.

“Your turn, Laura,” Meg nudged me. We were playing Mixin’ Fixion again, but I wasn’t really into it. I had a headache. And I was having disturbing dreams lately — probably from sixteen days straight of drinking bad bourbon on the way home from work. …

When I started writing fiction, I was unprepared for the difference between a critique and the edits I usually receive as a freelance writer. Even though my writing in the medical field, the academic field, and for general interest magazines is just as intense sometimes, I complete any “corrections” or rewrites without any complaint and without a lot of emotion. The first critique (and many afterwards) of my fiction felt like an arrow to my heart. It’s a common problem, and it shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. …

Mountains of feathers and tulle

Shimmering pathways of sequins and glitter

The stage door ajar

Echoes of music and applause drift on the breeze

Footlights dark

Seats empty

But the boards remember all

Ball change and shuffle

Relevé and pirouette

Promenade and hammer step

Pop, lock, and freeze

Every lift and turn remains in the stage

Bedrock and guidance

Le voyage de la danse

Jennifer DellaZanna

Jennifer Della’Zanna is a medical writer by day and a historical fiction writer by night. She loves to write about everything!

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