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
♦ Cactus Heart
♦ Cheap Pop Lit
♦ Chicago Literati
♦ Crack the Spine
♦ Dark Matter Journal
♦ Dirty Chai Magazine
♦ eFiction India
♦ Far Enough East
♦ Foliate Oak
♦ Gambling the Aisle
♦ Gravel
♦ Jersey Devil Press
♦ Loco Magazine
♦ Marathon Lit Review
♦ Mud Season Review
♦ Necessary Fiction
♦ NewPopLit
♦ Olivetree Review
♦ Petrichor Review
♦ Prairie Schooner
♦ Prick of the Spindle
♦ Stoneboat
♦ Storyacious
♦ Thin Air
♦ Thought Catalog
♦ theNewerYork
♦ Up the Staircase
♦ Utter Magazine
♦ Vine Leaves



Writing – Fiction & Not

Me and GMO

Are Genetically Modified Organisms safe? For breakfast? To share a basketball court with? Music by Paul Simon.

What Smith Knows

Smith took the subway to work. During the ride, he’d pick out a single woman and imagine that he was her fiduciary. Or accountant.


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