Browsing Archive: May, 2014

"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 35: THE GREAT SNAKE SCARE

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, May 29, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

(NOTE: This week's entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project is being posted a couple of days later than usual because of our newspaper deadline schedule over the Memorial Day weekend. This particular story, though fictionalized, is based on something that actually happened not long after Melissa and I moved from Illinois to Oklahoma back in the early 1990s.)


How The Missus And I Survived The Great Snake Scare Of 1993
(From The Memoirs Of Carson Trent)


You must understand at the outset that my wife...

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 34 - TWO-SENTENCE TRAGEDY

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, May 19, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: I kind of hate to admit it, but this week's entry came to me in a dream. Must have been that last taco I had for supper the other night...)


As he watched the oncoming pickup truck veer into the wrong lane and careen into the path of his own Volkswagen, a single unhappy realization popped into Brandon Smith’s mind.


“Man, and I really wanted to see that new Star Wars trilogy,” Brandon thought just before the pickup plowed into his Beetle head-on...


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THE ACCIDENTAL MEMORIAL

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, May 16, 2014, In : Reminiscence 
(My paternal grandmother, Iona Small)


Let me admit here at the outset that this is one of those stories which most readers may decide they don't care much about one way or the other. But it never fails to send a bit of a shiver up my spine whenever I think about it. Which is why I decided to share it. 


At the very least it should probably stand as some sort of evidence of the existence of a higher power in our lives, and of how we can never really know beforehand the ways in which that power ...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 33: DAUGHTER OF MYTH

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, May 12, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This week's entry is another short piece that is probably destined to become a fragment of a much longer story...)


"She is very pretty."


I turned with a start, not having noticed the presence of the gentleman standing there behind me until he had spoken. He seemed a very tall man, with black hair and piercing gray eyes who spoke in a low but strong voice.  He was dressed in a dark suit, and from his appearance and demeanor I thought he might be a minister. 


But there was something odd...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 32: PATRON SAINT OF THE DESPERATE

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, May 5, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: This latest entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project is another one that I think may eventually turn into a longer story. I figure there's just got to be more that needs to be told... probably without the lengthy title below, however, which I cobbled on as a joke of an afterthought.)



"The General Edge Of Tomorrow's Days Of All My Bold And Beautiful Children's Guiding Life To Live As Another Young And Restless World Turns In Dark Shadows" 


(The saga that asks the musical question: ...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 31: DESOLATION

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, May 1, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

(NOTE:  It's been such a hectic week at work that I almost forgot to post this latest entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project. But here it is, for what it's worth...)




Wasteland.


Empty. Barren. Devoid. A Grand Nothingness. A fitting eulogy to Man, as created by Man himself.


For centuries beyond reckoning, it had been a prosperous world. But now it was nothing more than a gigantic cosmic tombstone, the blues and greens replaced by black and gray. The price of too much prosperity. Armageddon. ...


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About Me


John Allen Small John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association, and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996). Mr. Small is the News Editor and columnist for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, a weekly newspaper headquartered in Tishomingo, OK. He obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of the success of his popular newspaper column, "Small Talk." (In addition to the many awards the column itself has received over the years, a radio version of "Small Talk" earned an award for "Best Small Market Commentary" from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1998.) John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais-Kankakee area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his native state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something. In addition to his professional career as a journalist he has published two short story collections: "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West" (2007), a collection of western stories; and "Something In The Air" (2011), a more eclectic collection. He was also a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe," edited by Win Scott Eckert. In additon he has written a stage play and a self-published cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination entitled "The Men On The Sixth Floor"; and has either published or posted on the Internet a number of essays, stories and poems. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry. He is a past president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the Johnston County Reading Council, the local literacy advocacy and "friends of the library" organization; served as Johnston County's first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator in 1994-95; served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party; and has taught journalism classes for local Boy Scout Merit Badge Fairs. He is a member of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society.
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