I'M A WRITER above all. Even when I focus on everything but writing, this is where I end back up.

I call these "Old Stories" because until I did, they cost me new jobs. That said, I don't blame anyone in 2016 for not hiring a guy whose "Writing" portfolio was a melange of Charles Bukowski, Don DeLillo and Ernest Hemingway. (Alternately, "a young, straight David Sedaris.") Either way, I had fun writing these and doing the things that inspired them. ("Inspired," because they're "fictional." Wink.)

When I'm not feeling outgoing (or funny) enough to do standup, I write "Essays."

This is Emerson or E.B. White blended with Raymond Carver's brevity, because I was tired of online writers putting 8000 words into subjects like Memphis Grizzles PF Zach Randolph (I'm looking at you, ESPN.)

And speaking of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and brevity...

In high school, Junior year English, I wrote 5 short stories based on passages from Henry David Thoreau's Walden.

Years later, I tried a similar writing exercise with a copy of Emerson's Essays. These were the ultra-brief (500 WORDS OR LESS) bits I came up with, whittled down to near nothing.

I'll add more as I write more.