Ask Ceil – Zombie Mascots

Dear Ceil, Why do zombies eat brains? Undead in Utah Dear Undead, There are a number of reasons a zombie might want to eat brains. First and most obvious, zombies are ridiculously stupid and they are constantly trying to become smarter. Being the dull-witted, illogical non-beings they are, they figure that eating brains is the … Continue reading Ask Ceil – Zombie Mascots


When is it Okay to Abandon that Book?

A writer who gives up easily is not a writer that will ever be published. Therefore, my editor threw my world off kilter a bit when he suggested a new idea for a blog post: "When," he wanted to know, "is it okay to abandon that book?" "That's a wonderful idea!" I said to myself, … Continue reading When is it Okay to Abandon that Book?

Shorter and Quicker

Last week, we ran five stories that were all under three hundred words. Why? Maybe because I'm obsessed with elegance. The idea of extremely short stories is, I think, unbearably appealing. The seeds of flash fiction week were planted when I was thinking about short novels. Reading a good story in twenty minutes can be … Continue reading Shorter and Quicker

Human Accounting

Russ grabbed his brother, spun him around and hugged him. Under his breath he said, "Thank God you're okay." A reluctant breeze swayed the yellowed, ruffled kitchen curtains and cigarette smoke swirled around the dingy room. Russ then pushed Jackson back and slugged him. Jackson flew back, knocking over the kitchen table. Mother's crystal salt … Continue reading Human Accounting


It was hot in the lounge. Pick, pick, pick... ah, skin in a strip that exposed flesh on her leg. Amazing, Anna thought, so beautiful. "I do that too," called Joel from the worn sofa across the room. "I like it across my wrists." "It's not the same thing," Anna replied. "I'm not trying to, … Continue reading Hooked


“But Ms. Tuttle,” said Phillip. “I don’t know what to write about.” “Write about anything,”  Ms. Tuttle said calmly. “Inspiration isn’t that hard to come by, is it?” Geoffrey raised his hand. “Can’t you just give us some ideas? A place to start?” From her desk, Ms. Tuttle made a note on the pad of paper on … Continue reading Inspiration

“What We Have Here…”

His cowboy hat was askew and she had nothing in common with him. As far as she could see. Which would have been fine, except it mattered: she wanted to be in a relationship. She looked idly up at the Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling. If people keep decorating seasonally and leaving it up … Continue reading “What We Have Here…”

The Last of It

It was a ridiculous way to die, and for that alone, he would never forgive her. In the future, when people asked about his wife’s death in lugubrious, respectful tones, he would have to say, “She was trying to buy Girl Scout cookies at a table set up too close to the railroad tracks and … Continue reading The Last of It

Flash Fiction week

As we've announced: March 19th through the 23rd--the third week of the third month of 2012--is flash fiction week on the Nose. All stories to have three characters and top out at 300 words. Monday will feature a story by Julie Goldberg, from Perfect Whole.

Ask Ceil – News Cakes

Dear Ceil, Aren't cupcakes just small cakes? Why are they so exciting? Edible in Erie Dear Edible, I'm not sure. When something is smaller, for some reason, it's more desirable. Like miniature poodles. Or mini cameras. Or mini aardvark/earthpigs. So cute. And sharp. But when something is bigger it's also desirable. Like cake. And more … Continue reading Ask Ceil – News Cakes