There’s more at my Fans and Gamers blog.

If you enjoy the board game Scrabble, you might find my Scrabbled Short Story challenge interesting.


At my Fans and Gamers blog, challenge yourself to unscrabble several words presented on a Scrabble board.

Interpret the words as they stand into a short short story.

The challenge is good (and entertaining) practice in cutting down your stories to the bare bones of showing, rather than telling.

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

A Fourth Place Tie in Short Story Writing

My Writing Life Xposed

I’m pleased to announce my short story Normal Things received a Fourth Place three-way tie award in Amazon best-selling author Dan Alatorre’s March 2018 “Word Weaver Writing Contest”!

Dan’s scanned award proclamation follows:




Normal Things will be featured during the last week of April at Dan’s blog. In the meantime, hop over to his place and enjoy reading the No. 1 awarded story, What If, and some of the other winners, day by day.

Great writers, here at WordPress, and great stories to share!


My Amazon Author Page is:

Gunsmoke Is Comfort Food

For many Americans of the Baby Boomer generation, the old TV show “Gunsmoke” is “comfort food”, according to statistics in viewing conducted by Robert Seidman, producer of “Sports TV Ratings”.

Seidman created ratings comparisons involving gunning “Gunsmoke” viewership against audiences today that glue themselves to sports debate shows. His conclusion: “With the people who watch ‘Gunsmoke’, there’s just not a lot of stuff they can do that reminds them of what life was like 50 years ago, and for a lot of people I think that’s just comfortable (watching Gunsmoke)”. He explained, “It’s comfort food for certain people…”

Hmmmm…I would say he has a good point. Near 71, I’m an avid “Gunsmoke” fan. And, frankly, my dear reader, modern reality TV has little value, or reality, for me. In contrast, I find real life appeal in the stories of “Gunsmoke”, and those from other shows of the ’50s and ’60s.

But is one’s life all wrapped in what one grew up to learn in a certain time frame?

Photo courtesy of