Which ‘Book’ Exactly?

Prospero’s book.  From Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  In Act 5 Scene 1, Prospero vows to give up magic, his powers and spells, and his records of this: ‘I’ll drown my book’. I’ve always been intrigued with contrasts, with opposites, the yin-yang, the duality of so many phenomena that propel the universe.  And language.  Growing up, Pop made admission to nightly television a writing exercise.  He would hand out notepads and pencils to us kids assembled in front of the set.  For each show we watched, we had to summarize the story in our own words.  I found it rather rote, so I quickly began to improvise alternate endings, new characters, and dialogue. No, this didn’t charge me with some deep appreciation for writing, or composition, or the beauty of the language, or the majesty of metaphor or irony, as much as the value of ripping off Hollywood writers’ plotlines. Sometime around then, I was sent home early from school for the act of presenting an essay which apparently resounded sufficiently among my classmates and teacher that the principal was summoned to our homeroom, right at that moment.  Again, I read aloud, from what I don’t remember, other than the subject was ‘responsibility’.   The  class stared at me, dumbstruck, then the applause and yelps of glee rang out.  The principal wrote a note to my parents and sent me packing with my composition.  My first half-day off.  With pay(!)

Meanwhile, at home, I got to read the same piece again to the singular audience of my mother.  At the conclusion of which she hugged me, broke a small glass piggy bank and handed me the proceeds, and followed all with a fat, fresh slice of double-chocolate layer cake from the fridge and a cold glass of milk. I should have held out for a smartphone.  I watched the joy in her face as I ate my reward, counting my coins on the table-top, not at all inspired by the power of the proper arrangement of the written word on fellow human beings, and mothers, as much as the importance of North American Serial Rights, a lesson that would serve me years later as I mined the very lucrative resale market for stuff that I wrote.

My writing and photographic experience came from the earlier work I did for Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Better Homes & Gardens.  More recently, my fiction, non-fiction, photography and graphics have appeared in these publications:

  • Agave Magazine
  • Apeiron Review
  • Arcadia Magazine
  • Bartleby Snopes
  • Cactus Heart
  • Cheap Pop Lit
  • Chicago Literati
  • Crab Fat Magazine
  • Crack the Spine
  • Dark Matter Journal
  • Dirty Chai Magazine
  • eFiction India
  • Far Enough East
  • Foliate Oak
  • Gambling the Aisle
  • Gravel Magazine
  • Jersey Devil Press
  • Loco Magazine
  • matchbook
  • Marathon Lit
  • McSweeney’s
  • Mud Season Review
  • Necessary Fiction
  • NewPopLit
  • North American Review
  • Olivetree Review
  • Per Contra
  • Petrichor Review
  • Prairie Schooner
  • Prick of the Spindle
  • Razed
  • SmokeLong Quarterly
  • Stoneboat
  • Storyacious
  • Thin Air
  • Thought Catalog
  • theNewerYork
  • Up the Staircase
  • Utter Magazine
  • Vine Leaves

Author’s Page – Arcadia Magazine
Beets, Three Ways – Bartleby Snopes
Three Milks – Cheap Pop Lit
First Chocolatier on Mars – Chicago Literati
Nine Steins on the Matter of Light – Crab Fat
To Play’s the Thing – Crack the Spine
Fish Phårm – Dirty Chai
Palus Job Indigo Wind – eFiction India
What Smith Knows – Far Enough East
The Cuban as Food – Gambling the Aisle
Take Me to the Pilates – matchbook
The Breathing Game – Marathon Literary
The Garden Sky – Necessary Fiction
Crash Tested – New Pop Lit
Solo Sapiens – North American Review
Secret Valley Birds – Per Contra
Tennessee’s Woman – Prairie Schooner
Your Lazarus Dream – Storyacious

Creative Non-Fiction

Godzilla Movies – Crack the Spine
The Paleo Diet Cars on Mars – Dark Matter
Self Driving Cars – Gravel Literary Journal
The New Activist – Gravel Literary Journal
Bitches Be Like 5 Seconds – Jersey Devil
An Ice Cream Headache – Loco Magazine
Other Tiny Houses – McSweeney’s
The Roomba Variants – NewPopLit
From Joy in Painting – Prick of the Spindle
Seuss Seats – Razed
Author’s Page – Thought Catalog
Bake a Bone – theNewerYork
Da Vinci’s Other Code – theNewerYork
GMO Calculator – theNewerYork
The Lotus Eaters – theNewerYork


Qualm Water Pier – Agave Magazine
Life Ring JailTres – Apeiron Review
Orange-Blossom-Florida – Cactus Heart Press
Lines – Crack the Spine
Pumphouse – eFiction India
Gallery – Foliate Oak
Cast Chain – Gambling the Aisle
2014 Forms – Gravel Literary Journal
Flagirl Troutzilla Core – Mud Season
Skull, Flood, Ducks – Olivetree Review
Boots-Florida – Petrichor Review
Gallery – Prick of the Spindle
Specie – SmokeLong Quarterly
Featured Artist – Thin Air
Series – Up the Staircase
Series – Utter Magazine
Terns, Bliss – Vine Leaves

Graphics & Mixed Media

Surf | Verde – Gambling the Aisle
Bazooka No – Gravel Literary Journal
TV-MA-LSV – Chicago Literati
Future Wine – Stoneboat
GMO Calculator – theNewerYork


Coming Next To: Hayden’s Ferry Review

Writing – Fiction & Not

On Writing Solo Sapiens

I write the stories that I want to read. I don’t know where to go to find the things I’m thinking, already written. That leaves me to do it.


I’m not a graphics artist, more a graphics designer. Maybe just a stylist. Whatever. During years of web design, I developed these passable skills out of the necessity of completing projects on time and on budget, and not have to wait on the schedules of other talent. But I do like illustrating my writing with visuals that will enhance the experience for the reader, that are the narrative as much as the words and photos. Uh, huh!

Contact me:  dp(at)davepetraglia.com