Real and Imagined.

Life

April ACLU Fundraiser: Four Minutes

Thus far, the stories I’ve published in my series of ACLU fundraisers have been previously-written pieces that I’ve polished up before sending them out into the world.

This month, the story is brand-new. I finished it about a week ago.

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS STORY GO TO THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION!Four Minutes cover

The place: The suburbs.

The time: Tomorrow, maybe.

The situation: Ray is just trying to get by in the newer, greater America. With a wife and a new baby, he can’t afford to get mixed up in politics or the fight for civil liberties. But as the world shrinks and darkens around him, Ray finds that the safe harbor he’s crafted for himself and his family may not be big enough or strong enough to stand.

And then one night, there’s a knock at the door. Now there’s nowhere to hide, and soon Ray will have to make the hardest decision of his life.

With cold, relentless precision, Barry Lyga explores a future that is too close for comfort in what might be his darkest, most disturbing work to date.

“Four Minutes” may, indeed, be the most brutal thing I’ve ever written. And that’s saying something.

Give this story a chance. Buy it. Read it. Spread the word. Let’s put some more cash in the ACLU’s pocket.

You can find “Four Minutes” here:

Preamble Ramble

I’m neither a lawyer nor a Constitutional scholar, but I’m going to talk a little bit about the Constitution today anyway. It doesn’t seem to stop anyone else.

Recently, the Trump Administration unveiled its first budget, to the outraged horror of the masses. Included are massive cuts to just about everything that doesn’t involve fuel or gunpowder or both. The justifications for these cuts1 generally comes down to “We can’t ask the American people to foot the bill for X any longer.” It’s a very, very cynical ploy because as far as I can tell, no one has actually asked for PBS and Meals on Wheels (for example) to go away. But to hear the Administration’s drones tell the story, apparently this was Very, Very Necessary. [Read more…]



  1. A misnomer, really, as some of these are “cuts” the same way a screwdriver to the carotid is a “cut.”

Interview: Insecure Writers Support Group

Over at the IWSG, I can be seen blathering answers to questions ranging from my most prized comic book to my top piece of advice for writers. And I say stuff like this:

When I get to the end of the story and feel a sense of satisfaction, I know it’s done. It’s baked. Time to take it out of the oven and put it on a serving platter.

And this:

I just write what interests me and then cross my fingers and hope that it will interest others as well!

Go check out the entire interview!

March Fundraiser: “The Ideas of March”

This month’s fundraiser is shorter than the others, but I think what it lacks in length, it makes up for in punch. At the risk of sounding incredibly full of myself, I really, really love this story!

The Ideas of March coverA girl receives the most disturbing Valentines present ever. While everyone is talking about that, a famous actress adopts her latest child overseas, to the camera flashes of the paparazzi. And while sanctions in the Middle East cause chaos and controversy, ten teenagers are dumped from their sailboats into frigid water…even as another group of teens plans to rocket a giant mirror into space to protect us from global warming.

What connects these stories? How are they related?

Maybe they’re not.

But maybe, just maybe, they are.

As with all of this year’s fundraisers, “The Ideas of March” costs a mere $1.99 and all proceeds go to the ACLU.

Also, the story will only be available for the month of March, so go get it now! And please, spread the word to your friends!

February Fundraiser: “Loving the University”

As I said back here, I will be publishing a short story each month as a fundraiser for the ACLU. When I first came up with this idea, I picked the ACLU because I like that organization and because, well, let’s let President Andrew Shepard tell us:

 

So, yeah. Since those halcyon days of, uh, less than a month ago, the ACLU has proven itself to be every bit as necessary as I feared…and as effective as I’d hoped.

“Loving the University” costs only $1.99, and as with all of the monthly fundraisers, every penny I make will go straight to the ACLU. Please, buy the story and tell your friends to buy it, too!

Loving the University cover imageStavros has worked his whole life at the Pizza Emporium.

(Or has he?)

He’s watched generations of University men come and go, ever-changing, while his life has remained the same.

(Or has it?)

“Loving the University” is an intimate and intricate look into one man’s choices and the pains of mere living.

(Or is it?)

Buy here: