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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lieutenant Sydney: Another homeless-to-hero story.

Sydney was flushed down little Roger’s toilet quite by accident, we’ve been told. Roger was only 4, you see, and Sydney was small. Roger’s parents may have had some clues that this would eventually happen. Roger would often call Sydney “boat”, suggesting that he was unsure whether he was dealing with a pet or a toy, even though little Sydney lived in a terrarium.
There are 271 alligators who live in the New York sewers, some small, some large, all pleasant. Urban alligators are smart enough to understand that people are usually not so happy to see them, but there are good reasons to stay.  Sewers are rat-infested, so life is generally good. Like the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a hungry alligator in the Big Apple.”
Now you may not know this, but all 127 alligators love to people watch. The city knows this. It is one reason why all manhole covers have holes in them.
One day Sydney was watching a fat spring robin playing on a manhole cover and he instinctively jumped up in the robin’s direction, just as a black limousine with tinted windows ran a light and knocked over a bicycle rider, a courier. The car never stopped. Sydney had no choice. He ran over and asked the victim if he was OK.
“Owwwww, no!” he wailed. “Damn, I think he broke my ankle.”
As the traffic screamed past, Sydney gently grabbed Ben the biker by the shoulder and pulled him out of traffic, going back for his ride as well. He then stepped out onto the road, stopping traffic. He barked at the driver in the car before him.
“A man’s been hit! Call 911. Get an ambulance here!”
The driver did. If an alligator sounded this serious, you’d have done the same.
Sydney waited until the police and ambulance arrived. As the only eyewitness, he told police what he saw, astounding them when his report included a plate number. With his ankle immobilized, Ben the biker was lifted into the ambulance.
“Thank you,” Ben yelled down to Sydney. “You saved my life.”
Sydney blushed, something humans rarely see, and waved goodbye, returning to the sewer system as an alligator who was having a good day.
New Yorkers is that they appreciate the kindness of strangers, and don’t hesitate to make their appreciation known. There were three reports to the city from people who’d witnessed Sydney’s quick thinking.  Clearly he valued the life of his fellow man, er, living thing enough to risk his own!  So officials tracked him down to more formally thank him.
Fast forward six months … … … … … …
I was heading into an intersection known for having an insane record of fender-benders. Traffic seemed to be moving through smoothly, almost ruly. As I got closer I saw an alligator mid-intersection. He was wearing a policeman’s uniform, cap and had four white gloves on plus one on the end of his tail. At first, when he moved, he looked like Mickey Mouse having an epileptic seizure, but I quickly saw the pattern and symmetry and beauty in his motions. Oblivious to the lights above him, Sydney moved cars smoothly and efficiently through like a symphony conductor (if they conducted while on their belly). A few kids stepped off the curb and were whistled back.
“I’ll get to you boys in a second,” he yelled. He got a thumbs-up in return. Apparently they were regulars.
I’m sure Lt. Sydney would have return the thumbs up, but after all, he is just an alligator. Rumor has it that one of his friends is working the corner of 47th Street and Seventh Avenue, and another two might team up to finally take control of Times Square.
It’s almost worth driving in the city, just to participate in an alligator-controlled intersection. Almost. It’s still probably better to take a cab. By the way, cabbies love them. It often sounds like they’re yelling at each other, but they’re just talking. Apparently, you can’t watch and listen to people in New York for years without picking up several languages. The cabbies sometimes try to tease them, speaking Spanish with an alligator accent. All in good fun – which is something I never thought I’d say about the New York cab system.
Next time you get the opportunity, thank an alligator – coming out soon in a city near you.

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