If you like to read, and enjoy quirky, welcome. There are about 30 random things here for you. After you read a short story you may even find some personal comments/insights! The main purpose of creating this blog is for writers. I see so much written about writer's block, and honestly, I don't have it. Occasionally, I write short stories, longer stories, books, plays, one act plays, monologues, and sometimes I even think one is good enough to submit somewhere. Of course, when you submit a story to a magazine that receives 200 stories a month and publishes five, you'd better enjoy the process of writing. I'm not suggesting that I'm a good writer, merely that I can sit down and just start writing.

It is important to write, to constantly be working on your art. If you are constantly plagued by writer's block, perhaps you are being too selective in what you write about. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some examples of my writing, from someone who can write all the time. Occasionally the topics are a bit strange, but I don't let that slow me down, I love to write and get to a finished product. Hopefully, by looking at some examples, you will say to yourself that phrase that all artists who visit MOMA in NYC say: "Well, I can do this!" That would be good, because you can! One of my posts is about a talking tomato. (You have to be able to do better than that!)

In part I'm trying to get some of my stuff in one place, so keep in mind I never claimed it was going to be an incredible read. You can decide that. I will tell you that occasionally I have a story in me that seems to fit the goal of a publication, and I try to write specifically with that goal in mind. Lately I've been considering publications that publish nonfiction memoirs, so some of the entries you'll find here will have that flavor. Perhaps this is a way to get past writer's block - find a publication looking for something that you'd like to write. It seems like memoir-based publications may be a good place to start, because we're all experts in our own families. I'm using a blog here to share some of the things I've written; the blog format is not ideal, so you need to poke around a little at old posts, to see if you can find a story or something else that may interest you.

Two last items. None of these are finished products. I usually get to a point where I have something written, and then stop. If it is something I may decide to submit for some reason, I'll finish formatting, following the specific rules of the magazine or organization (the rules are alwaysdifferent). If you do see something in here that you may be interested in using, don't hesitate to contact me.

So welcome to my blog. Welcome to my writing. Write, people, write! It feels good.

Please also consider getting a copy of my first book, Saturday Night at Sarah Joy's. All Royalties go to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Please check out the book's blog at:

Thank you!

© 2012 John Allison

Thursday, August 9, 2012

. . . With the Help of the Lord

I was walking down Arch Street, trying to use the GPS in my iPhone to find Peter's Office, when suddenly I was knocked on my butt.  I looked up (finally) to see that I had walked right into a guy who was apparently texting on his Android.  Neither of us had seen the other.  It could have been a car!  I apologized profusely.  I felt so bad.  Fortunately both of us were OK.  He said he was sorry and that he felt like an idiot for doing something so stupid.  He was more than reasonable.  We shook hands, brushed the dirt off of each other’s backs, and agreed that walkers need to look where they're going, now more than ever.

When I got home, I was making myself a big glass of water at the sink.  Ramone, my son, was doing his normal thing of plastering his little body against my leg, semi-whining because he missed me during the day.  It drives me crazy - I can barely move; having a person stuck to your leg can make those pangs of claustrophobia appear.

"Will you get away from me?" I sniped at him, as I hit him in the head with a spoon.  He ran off to the living room.  I didn't see the tears in his eyes.

That night as I flipped and flopped in bed, not sleeping as usual, the tiny voice of the Lord visited my mind's ear.  "Do you know how much he missed you?  You interacted with a complete stranger today, and used common decency, but with your own son, you were thoughtless and cruel."

He was right (I probably didn't need to explain that). I had treated a stranger better than my own boy.  I felt awful.  I got up out of bed and went down to his room.  The little shit was sleeping soundly.  (Why can't I?)  I gently woke him up and said, "Hey buddy.  I wanted to apologize for the way I behaved today.  I ran into a complete stranger and was nicer to him than I was to you when I got home.  That is so wrong.  I'm sorry, pal.  I do love you."

He mumbled, "It's OK, Dad.  I love you too" as he rolled over.  He was snoring by the time I stood up. 

Two weeks later I was doing some food shopping at the Acme after work.  As I rounded a corner, a bit too fast, a grey haired old woman was steaming along and BAM! Our carts clattered together.  She looked up and apologized profusely.  She admitted that she wasn't paying attention.  I said, "Well just look where the hell you're going.  Maybe you shouldn't be allowed behind a cart anymore.  We need age limits.  You coulda put an eye out!  Jesus, woman!"

I backed up and circled around her to the next aisle.  I knew I could now look my son in the eye again and honestly tell him that I treat him with the same common decency that I use with everyone.

I hope the Lord was watching, and I hope he won't hesitate to tell me when I screw up again.  I do feel that his message to me will help me to be a better father.  Thank you, God!

© 2012 John Allison

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