Week 7 QUEEN

OMG! I love me some Queen! What a great show. From opening with Bohemian Rhapsody to the We Are the Champions finale, it was a first rate Queenfest. All my favorite songs. The only downside was losing The Miz. I hated to see it but knew it was time. Fun while it lasted. Reminded me of an old Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

 I loved his Dad. The grace of foxtrot isn’t something I pair with The Miz but, damn if he didn’t pull it off. While the chin pointed at the ceiling was over the top, he actually had grace and elegance. And that outfit Witney had on. Red sparkles – what there was of it. Hard to look anywhere else.

The relays shook up the race. Jimmie went from tied for second place to fourth and Olivia stole the lead from JoJo. Jimmie, JoJo, Iman, and The Miz were the only ones who didn’t get any relay points. Interesting. And how the hell did JoJo end up in the bottom two?

The winner of the night was Olivia. Her and Val’s quickstep was picture perfect and way cool. I love watching Val do smooth dances. He’s just perfect. And who’s monitoring Len’s meds? He needs a checkup.

I feared two females doing tango might seem odd but, damn, that was hot. I loved Jenna’s sweep and JoJo attacked the floor. Not a soft tango, but an aggressive one. Loved it. JoJo’s doing very mature dancing for a kid. Sorry, I think of her as a kid.

Melora refuses to go quietly. Looks like she’s in it for the long run. Artem can foxtrot like nobody’s business and took Melora along for the ride. They took their time getting there, but once in hold it moved like a dream. The queen and her prince costuming was spot on. Kudos to Artem for not waxing, and I loved how he ignored Tyra’s inane question.

Jimmie’s another one who refuses to die. After the first round of scoring he was in second place. I don’t think anyone was more surprised than him, but he earned it. His VW wasn’t as floaty as I’d like but his lines gave me chillbumps. Such controlled power. In the opening sequence when it looked like he was going in for a kiss, I laughed out loud when he looked away with what’s known as a shit-eating grin. He’s gone several weeks without crying. Now if he would just lose the do-rag.

Amanda must have been surprised to find herself in fifth place after all the points were counted. I loved her jive with my favorite combinations of kicks and flicks. She had more energy going on than Alan. There was one little piece at the end where she was a hair ahead of Alan, but the judges are idiots. And when did lifts become illegal in jive?

Cody’s finally getting some love. He can’t get above midway, but he’s avoided the cellar. I guess the celebrities go in for the sob stories because they think it humanizes them. Yeah, it’s sad, but that’s not why I’m here. I loved the huge frame he had; I think we forget how big he is. And I’m glad he’s opening up his body for the dance. However, I thought his foxtrot looked heavy and a bit awkward.

Maybe it was Suni’s illness that affected her dance, but I didn’t feel any attitude in her paso. I loved the skirt work and got a laugh out of Sasha’s Freddy Mercury mustache. Len said she was hesitant, and that captured what I was seeing.

Iman seems like a really good guy. They need to give him some nice parting gifts and send him home. Yes, he has come a long way in his dancing, but he’s not the caliber of any of the others who are left. Parts of his paso were nice, but it just didn’t have the flavor of paso to me. He usually looks good in solo parts and weird when in hold, but this time he looked gangly and out of place in the solo parts. Bruno called him on the chest and I agree. How did we lose Mel C and Kenya and keep this stumblebum?

I loved the relays. Again, the music was so cool and as Len said it was good to see them go head-to-head. In the The Miz-Iman-Cody face off, I gave my vote to Cody. The guy just threw down and danced his heart out. And he put in my favorite kicks and flicks combo that the other dancers omitted. I have no idea why they gave any points to Iman. The last time someone stumbled around like that, and it was considered good was the Tin Man’s dance in The Wizard of Oz. But like Derek, I loved that sparkly blue shirt.

In the JoJo-Olivia-Jimmie foxtrot, I had to go with Jimmie. He was throwing down lines again in the foxtrot and Olivia just didn’t look like she was trying. Still, she got all the points.

The Amanda-Suni-Melora relay was split, but I went with Melora, Suni a close second. It was almost a tie for me.

I’m still saying if the voting public shows any sense (a sucker’s bet) next week will see the exit of Iman and Cody. Or possibly Iman and Suni. She doesn’t seem to be drawing the votes. Worst case scenario, any two going and Iman staying. Jimmie and Melora want to be spoilers, but I still think it’s JoJo’s to win and Amanda and Olivia will duke it out for second place. I have a soft spot for Olivia because she’s the only one of the three without any real dance experience. Plus Olivia has Val, and everybody loves Val. And I love Amanda’s legs.

Next week is Janet Jackson week. Meh. She’s nowhere near the icon as Queen is for my generation. I can’t think of a single song she has. She does concerts so I’m sure she has plenty of them. It just doesn’t speak to me like Grease and Queen did. Yeah, I’m an old white guy. So sue me.

I found this online recently and it made me laugh. Enjoy.

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Halloween: DWTS Week 6

Halloween, the show we’ve been waiting for. And it was a complete dud for me. It was more tricks than treats. The only saving grace is that the next to worst dancer was sent home.

I found four highlights for the night. That’s such a dismal score than past seasons. Halloween has always been over the top fun, thrills, chills, and exciting routines. Think Frankie Munoz as a slasher and Jordan Fisher as a werewolf. Where was the magic? Nowhere to be found.

The highest of highlights was Amanda and Alan. We had to wait until the final routine, but it was worth it. My first reaction was simply WOW. When she asked Alan if he wanted to dance, I felt chills run across my body. It was so eerie. Loved the use of the song Paint It Black. Just made it that much more menacing. Her lack of expression throughout was especially chilling. Gave me goosebumps repeatedly. I have no idea what the hell Len means when he said it was “too sharp”. Sharp was what this dance was all about. The only thing that could have made it better was if she’d pulled out a saw at the end.

Olivia and Val rarely disappoint. Or rather, Val rarely disappoints. Olivia is just along for the ride, but what a ride. Their paso was what I felt like I was waiting all night for. It was good old fashioned, damn good dancing. She worked that skirt like nobody’s business. I felt a sense of control in her that while Val was leading, she was the one in command of the floor. He was required to dance to her tune. And I loved the music. I have no idea what the movie was about. I also don’t know what the judges said because the show was interrupted for a weather alert. Crap.

Suni is finally dancing like she means it, but just can’t seem to catch a break. She and Sasha brought out a proper tango, done the way it should be, with plenty of style and drama. She already has the tango face anyway. I just loved the flow of it. And all the judges can say is “ho hum”? They were robbed.

Gotta put the Miz in as a favorite dancer. He comes through every week. I just like him. That paso was made for him. He kept the intensity strong, but in check, and stayed in character. The movement flowed and he had no funny foot work. He knew his steps. I like the Chris Isaacs version of the song better, but they have to make do with the house band. Not a big fan of Pinhead, but I love the Miz.

After those four, the night was a series of “what the hell?” and a WTF?

Biggest WTF of the season was 40 for Iman. What? NO! It was episodic and lacked flow. Both last week and this week it’s obvious they are judging Daniella’s choreography and dance ability rather than his. The highlights of their dance was all her. He was just a lumbering scaffold for her to work on. I did like the airplane move. That was well done. Again, I had no idea what the movie was about.

Halfway between WTF and WTH was JoJo and Jenna. I found it a total misfire. I thought they were supposed to go for scary. I read IT and it scared the bejesus out of me. This routine looked like a kid capering about with a clown at the circus. I’ve been kind of scared of clowns since Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and IT solidified it. This clown piece wasn’t scary. The music was absolutely ridiculous. I guess the moves were okay if you like jazz, but it had no mood, no menace, no fear. A total dud. The judges are idiots.

Another WTH was Jimmie. Now everybody knows I love Jimmie. I think he’s one of the best male dancers left. Since the theme of the piece was silence, I was amused that the name of the song they used was Say Something (I’m Getting Over You). I love the song and it has a lot of stars on my iPod. But the contemporary they did was dry and emotionless. It was a big blah that didn’t reach me. Maybe if I had seen the movie. I think the extra points came from the tears. Carrie Ann will cry at the drop of a hat, and she always adds points for that.

This was the week I was hoping Cody would strut his stuff. Well, he did. In a way. But it looked so awkward. I missed the package and part of the dance because of another weather alert. I guess the local affiliate couldn’t pause the show because of the voting thing, but it was a mess. Not Cody’s dancing, but the weather alert. The judges fell all over themselves to congratulate him, but I wasn’t a fan. I saw American Psycho; the dance really didn’t evoke the movie at all. And I hated the way Cody’s belly stuck out like an old man on his cross overs. Still, you can tell Cheryl has been working on him. If he can hang in another week, he might make something of himself.

Melora’s jive just showed her age. There was no energy to it. She even looked tired as the dance began, and then went downhill from there. No kicks and flicks. WTH? And I read Cujo. Once again, no evocation of the story.

While it was time for Kenya to go, Iman should have preceded her off the show. Her Argentine tango was nice, and props to Brandon for getting her off the ground. She doesn’t look light weight. She just seemed to be on her tippy toes the entire dance. Len said “It captured the flavor of Argentine tango” but he often says stupid stuff when he’s off his meds. The fact that it DIDN’T capture the flavor the Argentine tango is what bothered me most. But nice leg extension.

I don’t know what to make of placement if the judges are going to be as irrational as the voting audience. Iman needs to go. He’s a nice guy, but not a dancer. Cody, the Miz, Melora, and Jimmie are on a par and should go next. I don’t think Suni has the legs to finish and will come in fourth. JoJo is the runaway winner. Amanda and Olivia can duke it out for second place. Or rather Alan and Val can duke it out. Val is the better dancer and choreographer, but Alan has shown he can pull it out his ass at the last minute.

As for the floor show, I found Derek’s routine less than a showstopper. Poor camera angles and too many extra dancers just got in the way. I could never get into the music, so the piece just didn’t work for me.

Next week is Queen. I hope it’s as much fun as Grease. Scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the Fandango?

Now go read my story “Welcome to Hell” at talltaletv.com. Just in time for Halloween.

Welcome to Hell

My short story Welcome to Hell has been published on the Tall Tales TV podcast. The host of the podcast reads the story to listeners. My thirty-minute story is about a nonbeliever who finds that hell is a very real place, and maybe not as bad as people fear. The host has some interesting insights into the undercurrents of the story. Stick around for his comments at the end. And check out TallTalesTV.com for other great SF and Fantasy stories. Enjoy.

Here are some links:

YouTube

Facebook

https://fb.watch/8ShBfglfJy/

Website

MP3 (Podcast)

DWTS Week 4.1 Heroes

I’m pleased to announce we made it through the first night of Disney without any awful dances. Some of them may be counted as a series of unfortunate events, but the only thing truly dreadful was Tyra and her wardrobe. That monstrosity she came out in made her hips look as big as my grandma’s wide-butt washing machine. I’m taking bets that tonight she comes out as Cruella de Ville.

The ladies have taken over the show this season. The bottom seven were all the men plus Kenya. Jimmie did get a bump over Mel C. when he got the 2 extra points for the bizarre Mickey challenge. The highest scoring male was The Miz. For some reason, I love The Miz.

The two unarguably worst dances of the night were Brian Green and Matt James.

Maybe Matt should have defrosted his Frozone before putting it on the floor because it was the stiffest Quickstep I’ve seen recently. The silly outfit did him no favors, just showed off his big booty, and the insertion of the Mickey moves was awkward at best. Yuck.

Brian’s waltz was not impressive. The waltz is supposed to be romantic and Brian and Sharna claim to be in love. I see no evidence of it in this dance. It was flat and flavorless. I’m with Bruno in thinking it should be more. Technically he had no rise and fall, and they both flubbed the Mickey move. He never clapped under his knee, and Sharna only swatted her hand at her knee. Much as I love Sharna, these two guys need to be the next to go. I imagine Bachelor Nation swings more clout than old 90210 fans so I expect it will be Brian getting the boot. He and Sharna can snuggle at home and watch the rest of the season.

I truly wanted to love Cody’s jive. I mean he’s our homeboy and has been battling Covid. Who doesn’t love an underdog? But alas, it was a disappointment. It lacked the energy of a jive and was short on content. Like the judges I wanted more kicks and flicks. If you have a few minutes here’s a look at what I expect from a jive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWarrvF4nSE

Kenya’s contemporary routine was utterly forgettable. Brandon showed off and outdanced her. The transitions were rough and the choreo was pedestrian. Twenty-nine points was too kind.

I really like Jimmie Allen and Emma as a pair. They seem to be fun together. It’s a shame he won’t make it very far. He’s got great dance instincts. From his earlier rumba I knew he was good at lines and had great shaping. I thought paso doble would be his dance. Emma just didn’t give him enough to do. I liked how they worked in the Mickey moves and made them actually look like paso, but in the end it lacked the passion and aggression, the subtle menace that paso requires. Jimmie just isn’t scary enough. And what’s with all the tears? He’s cried on three of the last four shows. Maybe that’s why he’s in country music – all the songs are sad. On a side note has anyone else noticed that he and the hip hop dancer Fikshun (got his start on SYTYCD) must have been separated at birth? They could be twins.

Iman surprised everybody, maybe even himself, with his performance of the foxtrot. He was so graceful and light on his feet. His body just sang with the music. Until he and Daniella came together. Then he hunched over to make up for the height difference and stuck his butt out. He began clomping and lost all semblance of body flight. That ruined the dance for me. But I did like his backstory. Dr. Shump delivered his own kids. I can understand the first time, but the second was more like a Britney Spears Oops I Did It Again.

I love The Miz. I so wish he could make the finals. He’s the best male contestant this go round. And he’s so personable. He comes across in the wrestling world as a villain, but it’s so cool when you find out the villain has a heart of gold. Kind of like a few years ago when Jerry Springer gained redemption on DWTS. So his Quickstep wasn’t the most graceful ever and there were weird little baby steps at the beginning, it was so much better than the other blue guy. What’s the deal with Quickstep and blue? The Miz is such a showman and really sold it. He makes me laugh. And he moves so well for a big guy. Love me some Miz.

Mel – Jazz. I don’t do jazz. It’s not ballroom. From what I could tell it was a frenetic mess and Gleb needed to wash his face.

Amanda had one of the best dances of the night in my opinion. She made the rumba romantic and sexy without it turning into vertical sex. They even made the weird Mickey moves look elegant. But that last little jump was way out of sync. Just a few seconds into the dance they did a series of synchronized turns that made me shout. It was so cool. Loved it. But why was Alan wearing his Pirates of the Caribbean pants and not a Ron Ely style loin cloth/mini-skirt?

Val looked great in his samba with Olivia. Great hip action. Now she needs to do the same thing. I loved the samba rolls and real samba moves. It made me smile, but it was all about him. She’s got the makings of a top-notch dancer but he needs to make her do it rather than grandstand and drag her through.

JoJo’s Viennese waltz was nice but it never reached escape velocity for me. It was clean and sharp but lacked something. Maybe it’s just that I’m old fashioned and think every dance couple needs a Y chromosome. A quick internet check reveals there is a whole culture of same gender couple dancing, even competitions. I remember a few years back a same gender couple (men) tried out for So You Think You Can Dance. They were not very good. Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy made fun of them and said some rather homophobic things. He actually apologized on air the next week for what he said, but it was perfunctory rather than heartfelt, just because of the producers. So I know JoJo has faced challenges since coming out, and I applaud her courage. Someone sent me a TED talk some time back that went over Liquid Lead. It was about a way of dancing that switched the lead back and forth between partners. Rewatching it has given me a better perspective on appreciating JoJo and Jenna’s performances. I recommend it. Maybe JoJo and Emma should try exchanging leads. I bet it would wow the judges and the audience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mq-HqRnngc

Melora was the surprise of the night. That was a Quickstep for the ages. It’s how the dance should be done. Kudos to her and Artem. But I’m not all that surprised at what Artem can do with a partner. He’s won a mirror ball already. I loved the Roaring Twenty’s flavor of the dance and how Melora kept up with Artem’s energy. I absolutely loved it and it was probably the best dance and my favorite of the night.

The season is still young and it’s any woman’s prize to take. Sorry guys, but y’all are out. Melora may be a flash in the pan. We’ll have to see. If she keeps it up, I see a four-way run at the title between JoJo, Amanda, Olivia, and Melora. Suni could step up her game and make it a contest. And Amanda or Olivia could fade in the back stretch. The only thing I feel certain about is that JoJo will be in the finals. Let’s see what happens tonight.

DWTS Week 3

Britney night. Why? I know she’s made a lot of music and is in the news now, but do we really want to celebrate a person who publicly self-destructed so completely they had to assign her a keeper? Too bad they didn’t do that for Justin Bieber while they were at it.

And what’s with all the tangos? Seven of them. Most of Britney’s music is club music so I was expecting hustles and swings. I was disappointed they didn’t play “Break the Ice”. It’s a great west coast swing. And the video is all about Girl Power.   

Anyway, I guess it was supposed to be a celebration of Girl Power and man, was it ever. The ladies threw down the gauntlet. The guys just stood around scratching their crotches, mumbling, “Did somebody drop something?” The highest scoring dude was The Miz at 22, two points higher than any other male. The lowest scoring ladies were 21. I agree with the numbers. Other than The Miz, the men were universally bad. A real mess. We had only one real stinker and two that smelled bad. Otherwise a good night of dancing. The stinker has to be laid at the feet of Iman and Daniella. His dance was simply awful. Who is voting for this guy? He stomped around waving his arms and called it a tango. He frequently looked like he wasn’t sure what came next, then yanked Daniella around. It’s time he was invited to leave.

Much as I love Sharna, I’d have to hold my nose to vote for Brian Austin Green’s tango. It was better than last week, though. He actually got in character and used his acting muscles. But the head whips were sloppy and he had this Terminator 2 “I’ll be back” look going on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZdVWKM1ILs

The other mess was Cody and Cheryl, but it wasn’t of their own making. I’m glad they didn’t get the boot because I don’t think he’s had a fair chance yet. And keeping a gay man from the dance floor on Britney Night is just plain cruel. I don’t understand why they can’t dance together from a remote location. They got the virus from each other, so their systems have adjusted to that version. I don’t think they can re-infect each other – or can they? I don’t know beans about jazz except jazz hands. It was a cool concept and well executed, but just not what it needed to be. And in the opening sequence, he WAS Britney – kinda creepy.

Matt and Lindsay were another unmentionable mess. Something about his legs bothered me. Looked like he was scrambling to keep up. And his vacant stare made it the Dance of the Zombie. Halloween is still a few weeks away, folks.

Jimmie Allen is one of my favorites and I so want him to do good. His salsa was a mixed bag. On the funky parts, he was working it. But on the salsa parts it looked like a beginner class. Nice lifts and tricks. Granted, the song sucked and the day-glo fuchsia burned my eyes, but we were promised a salsa. And I can’t believe Len thought the steps were too big. Where has he been the last two weeks with all the giant steps everyone has been doing in the salsa?

That kinda wraps up the bad for the night. Everything else was most enjoyable. The real standout among the men was The Miz. I loved his salsa and I love The Miz. He gave tango face and did some cool samba moves, but the salsa part actually looked like salsa. He even had those hips working. The aerials were spectacular.  A rotten tomato for Len. They can toss all the other men over the coming weeks but keep The Miz for a while. He’s fun to watch.

Of the three tied for last place among the women (all had 21), two were in the bottom and the judges had to pick. I agreed with Carrie Ann and Bruno to keep Kenya. Oddly, Len wanted Christine. There was nothing wrong with her execution, in fact it was pretty good. But she needed paso face. It’s hard to channel the fire and aggression when you’re grinning like a monkey. And her kid is no longer a baby, so why do they continue to call him Baby? Will someone tell her not to put him in a corner? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28A9Jgo92GQ

On the other hand, Kenya’s tango was one of the best fifty-year-old tango’s I’ve seen recently. Brandon left her behind a bit on the run down the floor, or maybe her foot snagged on her dress, but she caught up. She never extended her legs, though. And she has such nice legs.

It’s surprising to me that Suni remains an also ran. Her shot on DWTS is fast becoming a misfire. Her foxtrot lacked the grace and elegance I expect in the dance and Sasha’s suit was a disaster in search of a place to happen. Her lines were abbreviated, no shaping (it’s like she can’t bend), and no maturity in her dancing. It may just not be her year.

I had mixed feelings about Mel C and Gleb’s tango. Usually I like his smooth choreography and this one started off like gangbusters. But then she got ahead of him, overshooting the lead and then she flubbed or forgot the steps. And for some reason, I hated his blue shoes. They just looked unnatural.

Melora’s cha cha was her best dance so far. But already crying and it’s only week 3? She got the body rolls and hip work and there was wow factor, but it lost steam about halfway through. Then it picked up again for the big finish.

The other three, along with The Miz were my favorites of the night. Amanda started things off with a bang with that killer cha cha. It was perfect for her great legs. It was fun and flirty and had some great body rolls. Unfortunately, other than a New Yorker and splits there wasn’t much cha cha content. I wanted more.

JoJo’s Argentine tango was one for the ages. Damn, it was good and you could see her leading it. I agree with Len that it looked too ballroom and I’ll pass on the plaid.

That made Olivia my number one pick for the evening. It was absolutely flawless. Of course, Val is the king of tango, but she came through. It looks like Val’s looking for a spot in the finals. More performances like this will put them there. It was obviously one of the best performances of the night and Len said to them to “Listen to the crowd roar” or words to that effect. But there was no crowd. All the cheering was canned. Kind of disingenuous, wasn’t it?

I expect Amanda and JoJo to continue to top the leader board every week, but Olivia has shown that she’s also a contender. None of the guys can compete except The Miz, but he’s not in the same league as the three top ladies. Cody is still a bit of an unknown. If he’s got any talent, Cheryl will showcase it. I look forward to them being back in action. Next week is Disney. It may be un-American, but I hate Disney. I’ve never seen a Disney movie other than Snow White when I was five, so I don’t know the songs. And everybody gets all goofy (pardon the pun) like it’s great art. And we have to have TWO nights of it? Well, at least Halloween isn’t far away, and that is always my favorite week of the competition.

Little Green Men

My short story, Little Green Men, just showed up on The Worlds Within online magazine. Here’s the link:  https://theworldswithin.net/little-green-men

I’m not 100% satisfied with the magazine. Some of the dialogue is hard to follow since they didn’t always start a new line when the speaker shifted. That takes some getting used to. They also dropped a few lines here and there so the transition is awkward. Still, I had fun writing the story and hope you enjoy it.

Update on publications and DWTS

“Little Green Men” is slated to show up on Worlds Within sometime this month. At least that’s what they tell me. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll post a link when it happens.

I managed to place “Welcome to Hell”. You’ll remember it was to be read on the podcast What the Writers Wrote, until the site went dead. I still don’t know what happened there. The least they could have done was send me notice like Sound of a Quiet House did. Anyway, I remembered that a friend I met on Scribophile told me he had placed a story on Tall Tales TV. (His name is Andy Houstoun and you should check his work.) I marketed my story to them, and they accepted it. No word yet on when it will be read. Again, I’ll post a link when it’s announced.

The countdown has begun for Dancing With the Stars 2021. It starts September 20. I’ll be posting my thoughts on the misfits, rogues, and actual stars they dig up for this garish annual sideshow. Keep an eye out for my thoughts.

Win Some, Lose Some

Or one step forward, two steps back. Two of my stories slated for publication are the two steps back. Welcome to Hell was supposed to be read on the website What the Writer’s Wrote on June 28. It looks like sometime in April or May the site went inactive. Old postings are there but nothing new since April. Emails have gone unanswered so I guess they’re kaput.


The other loss I’m truly mourning is the anthology Noise of a Quiet House has been cancelled. My story Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep was to be included. The editor sent me a note saying the project had been cancelled. He further said my story was a good one and should find a home somewhere. So I’m marketing both stories again. Should they find homes, I’ll link them here.


On the positive side I have placed Little Green Men with Worlds Within, an online SF magazine. It will appear sometime in September. And of course, I’ll link it here. LGM is one of my longer stories, over 9,000 words. An editor I recently sent it to said it was too long for his site but that it was good enough to have a whole issue devoted to it. The story of our first manned flight to Mars went through many permutations before I had it just the way I wanted, but now I’m particularly proud of it. Cheers.

Story on Amazon Kindle Vella

I have a story, 8 episodes long, on Amazon Kindle Vella which just went live this week. It is a sequel to a story I had published a few years ago. It was titled The Corn Field. It was inspired by the Melissa Etheridge song “We Got No Place to Go”. The song was so sad and plaintive that it moved me to write a story about two people who had no place to go where they could be themselves. At least one editor liked the story and published it. In Vella it’s titled “Somewhere in Iowa” and follows the lives of the boys until the end of high school. You can find it by clicking on this code B093D8YP4C It will take you directly to the story. I’m doubting general perusers will find story as it’s buried under pages and pages of other stories. But use this link and leave a comment about it on Amazon. Here’s a quick link to the Vella page: Amazon.com/kindle-vella

I just got a note from Amazon that this is also a direct link to the story. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093D8YP4C