I'm the son of an immigrant, the great grandson of another. There's a Horatio Alger story in this somewhere, I'm sure, but I'm still looking for it. I see TV miniseries in the future. In the meantime, I save scraps of me for my eventual Museum of Me, like old shoelaces that have broken in half. On paper, I write their story, with the idea that one day this will be appended to a piece of cardboard and the shoelaces encased in a plastic box, and people will wander by in the Museum of Me and look at them and read the plaque and nod, and this all for a donation or maybe for five dollars or whatever the museum's proprietors can get away with.
I operate on love and air. A lack of the former means I have nothing better to do. I might as well write. Maybe it can go in that museum.
In no particular order, great books and authors include Richard Brautigan's "Trout Fishing in America," Raymond Carver's short fiction, Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son," Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," Joan Didion's essays, Richard Ford's short stories, Paul Bowles's "Sheltering Sky" and his many short stories, Jane Bowles's "Two Serious Women," Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises," Nabokov, Cortazar, Borges, "The Edge of Marriage" by Hester Kaplan, Kerouac, Cheever's short stories, Truman Capote, Larry Brown's "Face the Music," Mark Richard's "The Ice at the Bottom of the World," Kate Braverman's short stories, Stewart's "Ordeal by Hunger," Stegner's essays, Eugenides' "The Virgin Suicides," and Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby."
Thank you, Jon - hope all is well!
Jon, thanks for your comment about the character in "Breathless." It was drawn from a memory of a woman I merely saw across a room at a meeting.
Thanks for your comment on my "Bumper Repair," Jon. I understand the reluctance of many to embrace nano/micro-fictions. I feel that some of these works can veer toward the gimmicky. It is a challenge to make the form work well suggestively, as in some hint fiction, and I'm glad my piece appealed to you. Cheers!
Thanks for the support for the noses story! I made it private because I submitted it tonight. I did get your comment though, and I thank you. I'm so glad you like it!
Great comment on "The Bed", Jon. Always love getting your feedback. Thanks!
Hi Jon - Thank you so much for your nice words on "The Last Swim" - I'll have to check out the band :)!
Thanks for comment on Reginald #1
Jon - thank you for your nice comments & the fave on "Where You Lay Your Dreams"!
Hi Jon - It's been a while :)! Thank you so much for your nice words on "Christina Heppel" - hope you are happy & well!
Jon, thanks for reading and commenting on "She said." Appreciate it.
Hey, Jon. Thanks for your comment on "Rugby Poets of Suburbia."
Thanks for commenting on "Big," Jon. No, nothing ominous is going to happen. My dad was a hunter. He liked knives. A knife is an object of beauty to me.
Thank you, Jon, for the read and kind comment.
Jon--Thanks for reading The Uninvited Guest and commenting on the birthday party scam. Having come up with that (though no doubt someone does it in real life) it was painful to cut from the novel. So I wrote the short story! Thanks also for your read of Descanso.
Thanks for your comments on "So You Want to Write a Screenplay for a Children's Movie," Jon. Much appreciated!
Thank you so much, Jon, for your comment on "21." It means a great deal to me.
Thank you, Jon!
Jon, thank you for reading and commenting on my story --- much appreciated! :)
Hi Jon - Thanks so much for nice words on "Nothing Good..."!
Jon so happy you read both Doug & Bond and that you found them weirdly entertaining, which is what I hope to accomplish. Life is weird. I am so cognizant of that and try to bring it to my stories. Thanks so much, Jon & Cheers! susan
Jon, thanks for reading and commenting on my story. I appreciate it!
Jon - thnak you for your kind comments on I Like It. Very appreciated.
Jon, thanks for the read and the comment on "Foreplay."
Yes, he could have tried. But would it have been ethical? HAHAhaha.
Thanks for the read, and the comment!
Thanks, Jon. Read all your stories. Good stuff there, man.
Jon, thank you - I always appreciate your insights and hope to read more from you here soon as well.
Jon it's so nice hearing from you and thanks specially for liking "oasis"
Jon -- thank you for reading "...Urgent Reply" Yes, admittedly, the poem came first and a spam message in my inbox gave me the idea to package...needed a little cover for the sacrilege of re-writing Frost!
Thanks for commenting on 'Highway Robbery' - I find few people read (and comment on) my longer pieces, so your diligence and attention is appreciated: you made it to the end!
Thanks for reading "Repair Man" Jon!
Thank you for your kind words about "Sundays." They are much appreciated!
Jon: Thanks for reading "New Friends" and for your comments.
Jon, Thank you. You're too kind.
Jon, loved what you had to say about "Moro". Thanks for that and the star.
Jon, I appreciate your reading "Wake Up." Thanks for the kind words.
Nice to meet you Jon. Thanks for your comments on Heartbreak Waiting To Happen... glad you liked the absurd/logical ending. I look forward to reading your work.
Characters is right. Thanks for the note re: "Secrets."
Yo, Jon. Your comment's perfect. It's the one I've been waiting for, because you've described exactly what I intended to do with the story. Thanks, man.
Thanks Jon, much appreciated.
No problem, and thank you for your comment on my story too!
Thanks so much for your kind comments about "Real Estate." I appreciate it!
Thanks for reading Thick with Memory. So happy it resonated 'true-ly'. Peace...
Jon, thank you for your kind comment on Tears of a Trucker. Martha
my pleasure, jon. you really have something there.
Thanks once more for the solid thoughts on Movie Stop. I'll try to return the favor soon.
Thanks for your comments on "Only losers reminisce...", and for appreciating the grade-school rejects in the piece.
Hey Jon, thanks for taking the time to read and comment on Eight States Away. Yes, airplane travel has changed quite a bit...
Thanks for the comments, Jon. This month's challenge is by far the most challenging prompt that I have ever seen. Awesome prompt, Jon.
Thanks for the comment, Jon. I haven't given up on the prompt. Tomorrow.
Edna says bless your heart, and Betty beckons.
Jon- thanks for reading and commenting on "Favilla", appreciate.
Thank you very much for your comments on "Radium"!
Jon, Thank you so much for reading -- and responding to Girl. I really appreciate it.
Jon, a HUGEly helpful review of "Look." Thank you very much. I am envisioning this story being about a 1000 words, and I need to slow things down a bit. If I keep it as a micro, your comments will be even more instructive than they already are. As usual, I'm awed by your detailed analysis and generosity. D
Hey Jon, thanks for your comments on Invisible Grime - I'm happy you liked it.
Ha, Jon, if you need a story misread I'm the guy to come to. Serioiusly, though, the story is almost there. I think tamping down a bit on a couple of those lines would be great. And, oh man, The Whale Hunter is an amazing story. It's stayed with me. D
Jon, I appreciate the comment about "The Birds"; glad you liked the micro.
Jon, thanks so much for your great edits to "Late Bloomer." Your edits made me realize I needed to make clearer the narrator was the husband/father, not father/grandfather. Your edits and insight really helped me focus on the key things during revisions and helped get this placed with Pear Noir, a journal I really like a lot. Thanks so much! D
No kidding, please let me know your PayPal info so I can wire you some cash. There is no way you can consistently provide the reviews you give in the workshoppy group de gratis. You make so many great points about "Late Bloomers" that I don't even know where to start. I feel sort of "cheap", like I'm posting drafts just to get all of your amazing insight before I proceed to the next version. Well, I know how I'll be spending my weekend. Oh, and it's really interesting to hear you took the narrator to be the hair-puller's father, not her husband. That has given me a lot of stuff to think about. I think this story may work better with the narrator as her father, not her hubby. I had just left it sort of vague, meaning the narrator to be some ninnyish husband who just sits by while all this stuff happens at home. But I like the idea of a father "dealing" with a daughter who is "dealing" with her son's neuroses. THanks again. D
Hi Jon, Thank you so much for reading my work -- I really appreciate your time and keen insight. It was helpful for me to answer some of your questions - and hopefully, after it all marinates some - I'll work it out.
Thanks for the kind wall post, Jon. I'm trying to step up my comments/editing game, looking to folks like you for inspiration. I never want to be one of those people who "hates" everything (or gives the impression from the comments) but, especially for stories looking for homes, I'm really trying to provide any assistance/insight I can (rather than just saying I like it).
True story, Jon. Happened just about fifty years ago. I did exaggerate the couple's feud a bit, however. We didn't fight all of the time!
Ha, John, funny wall post. Look quite forward to your Battered Suitcase piece in June. Without intending to sound sycophantic, your reviews in the workshoppy group are some of the most generous (with your time/insight/focus/questions/suggestions) I've ever seen. You are pushing me to become a "better" editor, or at least one who spends more time on each story before dashing off my thoughts.
Just checked out your website and confirmed you are the Jon Morgan Davies I read in Summerset Review. Great story, man. For some reason the "Morgan" threw me and I thought there were two Jon Davies in the small internet fiction world.
Jon: Wonderful edits, both. You're right, the "ominous" line is too much (and takes away from "you can't know that"). The direct quote from the kid about the house exploding is also problematic. I wanted to show it "in scene" but it actually doesn't "sound/feel right to me either coming as dialogue.
I can't thank you enough for giving all three story iterations such close readings and providing wonderfully helpful edits. You make the workshoppy group a great place to be. David
Thanks for your analytical read and in-depth response to "The Telling." I appreciate the investment of your time and energies.
Gives me lots to think about.
Hi Jon - thank you for reading "Shallow Grave" -- realized I should respond to your Q here rather than in the comment thread: I've been thinking about the 'man on the street' comments re. tragedies such as these or the response of the community when tragic events occur. Community members vs. actual family members. My note probably could be clearer, I think. Thanks though for asking.
many thanks for the feedback, man-- I really need it. i'm going to spend some time processing this thing and decide how and whether I want to change it for formal submissions.
Thanks for taking the time to comment on my workshop story, Jon. Exactly what I needed to hear.
You're a prince, Jon. And yes Staccato is a very nice journal.
Hey Jon, thanks so much. Yeah, I took it down for now, thought it might be a little to close to the publication date (just last week). Wish there was a way to make stories only available to Fictionaut members... I'll re post soon. Really glad you enjoyed it!
Really identified w/ your forum post on long vs. short stories. Was just having the same discussion with someone the other day about my inability to really connect with flash. I favor writing longer stories, but the market these days seems to demand 2000 words or less. It's frustrating.
Wow, Jon. A great compliment on "Peach," more so coming from you. Last lines are a bitch to write sometimes, so thanks for digging mine. Who knows where they come from--ether, sweat, fog?
Jon, thanks for checking out "My Sweet Warrior." Thrilled to hear you like it a lot. I second all of your edits and am making revisions. Always wonderful to get such a thoughtful, insightful review. David
Glad you liked my "Picnic" series. As for how the stories go together, your guess is as good as mine. I do it by feel and not by design.
Thanks so much for your feedback on my story, Jon. Glad you enjoyed it.
Thanks for the thumbs up for "The Jumpers' Pool."
I appreciate what you said, Jon, about The Line and I'm happy you took from it what I hoped a reader might. Thanks.
Oh, don't worry. I stopped writing well at least six months ago.
Don't be so nice. I'm gonna get all soft and spoiled. Jerk.
I mean thank you. I appreciate the kind words :)
really enjoyed your various blogs and sites just now...especially the late 'my week in hair' (for obvious, sad reasons, comrade). noticed your double emphasis on 'immigration' in your profile and wondered if you don't (at least subconsciously) qualify for the "second tongue" group where we entertain all types of linguistic or migratory confusion. cheers from berlin!
Haha, awesome comment. Thanks, Jon.
Ah well, the subcontinent is too big not to be represented everywhere! Thanks for the read and comment.
Thank you so much for your kind words about my story. They were almost as good as an acceptance letter! You really made my night. Glad you enjoyed the read.
Jon, glad you enjoyed "Island of Final Regrets." It was one of those stories that surprise the writer as well as the reader, which is why, I guess, I chose it for my first Fictionaut submission. Keep your eye out for a 'sequel-of-sorts' written a year so later. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Thank you for the lovely comments, Jon. The ending does seem underwhelming. The story is interrelated with others from a collection and perhaps I'm letting the other narratives do too much work. Thanks again.
Hi Jon - thanks for your comments on "Three dreamers." I was wondering about the dialogue as well.
Thanks so much for your help with my two stories in progress. I think they're finally ready to go out (so sad). Thanks again, truly. You were a great help.
Great points on my story. Thank you so much for taking the time to read/critique! :)
Hey, thanks for the suggestions on my story. Excellent things to think about. I appreciate it. Cheers, T
Thank you for the note! Just read "Clean" and enjoyed it very much--
thanks so much for taking the time to read my story. Love Cheever. Rally appreciate your comments.
Thanks for the kind words on Rod & Gun Club. I'm glad you liked it. Love your Museum of Me.
the obituaries? it's a nice party trick, but not so intriguing in the day to day. it's depressing in waves. but makes for good material, if that's not too terribly masochistic to admit.
Thanks for dropping by my page and for the encouraging comment. I'm pouring my self a Jammeson and getting ready to peruse your offerings ;)
Hi, Jon, thanks for your kind words about Debriefed, Believed. Appreciated, David
Hey! Thanks much for the comment on my story. I appreciate you reading it.
Post a Tiger in the Life Boat Story!
Thanks for your nice comments, Jon. I like that you liked the story. I like the word pithy. I like that my (over)use of the word "like" didn't make you poke your eyes out with a fork.
Thanks for reading & commenting on "Red," Jon- I really appreciate it.
Thanks for your comments on my "Baby Love" piece. I'd felt negative about that little story, but remarks like yours really helped.
Thanks for the kind words, Jon. Happy Holidays!
thanks for the comment--
to be mentioned in the same sentence as john fante is an honor--
all the best,
Thanks for what you said. I liked "Clean" a lot as well. Let me know how you're doing and what you've been writing.