Friday, December 17, 2010

The Peasant who annoyed Death

Another story of mine has been published at Moon Drenched Fables called The Peasant who annoyed Death. This is a slightly humorous fable in which Death is kind of like the good guy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Daily Flash 2011
Cover Price $24.99
Published by Daily Flash Publications, an Imprint of Pill Hill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1617060106

DAILY FLASH 2011: 365 DAYS OF FLASH FICTION is a 2011 flash fiction calendar anthology, with a 500 word or less short story featured for every day of the calendar year. Filled with 365 short stories, this is a fun and practical anthology designed for busy readers.

One of my story's has been published in this neat anthology. It is called "The Danger of Not being Oneself"

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This is an art cafe that opened (with my help) in Odessa, Ukraine around the time of the Orange Revolution. The club is called Exit or Vikhod in Russian. The idea was to formulate a new mental direction or attitude in regards to art. One of the things we were planning were some unusual exhibitions, that never happened. My notebook is full of ideas, some of them, probably quite impossible to realize, like wind sculptures. Their purpose was to illustrate the philosophy that the group of artists, myself included, were aiming for. This new "art movement" consisted of "laws" that governed how a piece of art was created by governing the artist's internal state when creating it.

In addition to the "laws" there was also a history that needed to be created. It is my wish to someday post some of it here.

For now, here are some laws:

29. A state that precedes an object or act; is independent of the object or act and yet defines the object or act.

41. To be aware of that part of oneself which does not react to the world around us.

42. Any aspect of reality that one could just as easily dream but not an aspect of a dream that could just as well be reality.

49. A piece of art that is independent of thought and emotion, that is thoughtless and emotionless yet triggers thoughts and emotions which lead the viewer to an exit from thinking and feeling.

50. The understanding that one cannot understand what one sees or hears or thinks from what one sees or hears or thinks. (What is considered real is actually the most unreal part of the real thing.)

51. Understanding that one does not understand what one thought one had understood.

52. To become aware of what is unnecessary to be aware of for the daily necessity of living but not to become unaware of what is necessary to be aware of for the daily necessity of living.

54. A piece of art that is independent from the source (that is independent of the artist who created the piece and whatever influenced the artist) yet clearly shows, reveals and admits the source from which it sprang.

56. (v.) To finish before one comes to the end. This refers to the rare two-death existence of mankind.

From here on the rest refer to what is not Exitism...

105. The act of not understanding something (whether consciously or unconsciously) when one thinks that one is actually trying to understand something by either trying to attach words to the thought or not.

107. The misguided belief that one’s self is the source of all that one is.

108. A piece of art that is dependent on its subject matter to transmit to the receiver an impression that does not actually represent the subject matter as it is interpreted by the receiver.

143. A piece of art that is admired only because of the instruments that were used in creating it.

144. The act of doing something in order to no longer be what one was before one started to do something.

etc, etc...

UPDATE: The cafe is closing...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Chechen Fairy Tale

After translating Three Brothers - (Qo Vaša) it is now available together with the original Chechen language version. The site has a wealth of information about Chechen culture.

In case anyone is interested another translation of mine for the story Timor is available in this book: The Shamanic Themes in Chechen Folktales.

Interesting as well, there is what looks like a Spanish translation of Timor here that was taken from one of my stories that was once published at Fables.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Juggler and the Bet

The Juggler and the Bet is now available at Anthology Builder. The story originally appeared at Sun Oasis in 2003 and was written in the mid 1990's.


When a poor young man suddenly becomes successful juggling, it goes to his head in the worst possible way. He begins treating those that love him horribly until his wife makes a bet with him, one that he would be crazy to accept and crazy to refuse, for if he wins the bet he will become the most powerful man on earth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Been really busy the last while, working on two different books. So there hasn't been much time for much else. A new story came out at Mirror Dance called the Picky Dragon at the beginning of September. A nice journal of fantasy stories, worth checking out.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Witch and the Devil

The Witch and the Devil is a VERY simplistic fable that illustrates how evil and good are interchangeable terms. The story further demonstrates how the devil might be willing to do good (can do good) in the name of evil. That is, that no matter what evil a person does, they are committing it because it will do some good to themselves or those they love. Why shouldn't that include the devil?

This brings us to the question: Are good and evil relative? Can an argument be made that Good and Evil are simply mental concepts, mental constructions and have little value in an objective and external, non-mental reality? Are they subjective? If so, then everything outside of the mind is perfect at being what it is. If this is the case then it might be our interpretation of events based on a limited awareness of said events that determines good or evil. And of course, how much we suffer.

However this does not really have too much to do with the above story, published by Yesteryear a relatively new (October 2009) online journal. It showcases a new story every day.

The story itself was written in the year 2000, Odessa, Ukraine. One of only two stories written that year. The other is called the "Trumpet and the Oboe". However giving the witch a name was a recent addition.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Shoe (The Relics of Things to Come)

The Shoe can be found at Everyday Weirdness . This story was taken from a Soviet joke, as were many of the stories written under the collective title The Relics of Things to Come. Though this story is technically a part of the collection entitled The Leftovers of Things to Come.

It's interesting that this story (The Shoe) should be published at the same time the findings of this Armenian shoe were made public. Found in a cave, it is reputed to be 5,500 years old. This would make it the oldest shoe in the world.

So it is indeed a miracle to find a shoe.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Three Fairy Tales

Three stories have been posted at Fiction Press. They are all reprints that had been at one place or another in the past. You can find them here: The Peacock and the Pig, The Way of the Cow, and The Pot of Stew.

As well, The Man who loved his Cow more than his Wife can be seen at Short Bread.

Here is a blurb for "The man who loved his cow...":

The tale of a man who loves his cow more than his wife, so much so that his only wish is to become like a cow so he can understand it. His wife naturally grows jealous and begins thinking evil thoughts like taking the cow to the butcher's. Can the farmer learn to love his wife again or is the cow to pay the ultimate price?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fairy Tales from the Former Soviet Union

While living in Khabarovsk, there was a minor effort made to gather several collections of fairy tales. Unfortunately the books got left behind in Ukraine, though in good hands. At the time there didn't seem like there were many tales that were available online and certainly not in English. But much of this obscure material is slowly making its way online.

This site has fairy tales and fables from several ethnic groups that were a part of the former Soviet Union and although by no means a complete list, it does offer an interesting glimpse into the traditions of different peoples that once made up the Soviet Union. The problem for English speakers is that it's only in Russian language. However there are several tales worth translating, depending on how much free time there is my schedule. The aim is to try and translate one tale a week.

As well as a few Chechen fairy tales there are also Chukchi, Nenets, Buryat, Altay, Ossetic, Kabardian, Nanaian and others. Chechen titles include:

*Three Brothers, Three Clouds, Three Magic Horses and Three Princely Daughters
*The Wolf and the Ram
*The Evil Woman and the Monster
*The Mouse's Girlfriend
*Thanks, said the Wind
*Three Pearls
*The Sleeping Dzhigit

They are such simple stories and it is for that reason, amongst others, that they are so beautiful. Several Chechen tales were translated a few years ago but they got lost between computers. So now it's time to begin again. As they are translated, they will be posted here on the blog and with an update on the Chechen fairy tale page. Or maybe it will be necessary to add pages, for example a Chukchi page. Or maybe it'll be better to make one sprawling page for tales from all over the former Soviet Union.

Here is the beginning of:
Three Brothers, Three Clouds, Three Magic Horses and Three Princely Daughters

In an old saklia there lived a poor man. He had three sons. Together they went to the mountains and brought down wood for the prince. One day the old man caught a cold and took to bed. Feeling that he would rise no more, he called his sons, had them sit before him and said, ‘It has come time for us to part. Don’t grieve because of me. Live amicably. And let everyone remember: It is easy to be bad, difficult to be good. And on my tomb put a big salt stone. And yes, do not forget to visit the tomb.’

Then the father died. The sons buried him with honors, got a block of salt, squared it and put it on the tomb. Every day one of the three visited their father’s tomb. Soon the brothers began to notice, that the block of salt, day by day, became ever less and less.

More to come.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Way of the Cow

So, it came to my attention that a story published at the Glut in 2004, The Way of the Cow has been hacked up by Russian businessmen. Why Russian? They left some clues. Clues like: a Russian CD link next to my byline (blasphemy!). Then they desecrated my bio which opens with an ad: Moscow travel company Vodohod suggested russian river cruises to see all the sights of Moscow - followed by my humble bio and ending with a link to a hotel in Moldova. They probably advertised here because of the fact that the bio states the author was living in Odessa, Ukraine. Oh, well. An author should be flattered that they thought they could generate business by hacking into his story. Too bad nobody reads it. Ha-ha! The joke is on them.

The story is weird enough without the bad, cheap, glaring Russian ads hacked into it. From comments received and there were not many (Two. Okay that might be a slight exaggeration) there seems to be some confusion in regards to what the story is trying to say.

So allow me to elaborate in a rambling and vague manner.

It has always fascinated how people can get overly emotional about eating. Sure, we all feel better when eating but there are some of us that aren't, well, normal when it comes to eating. They hum and haw whenever the very subject comes up and their eyes fill up with water. If only they could harness that energy for something other than eating! Add to that the almost religious fervor society today invests in food. Massive supermarkets, free sampling, web sites, web blogs, books, seminars, restaurants, cafes, and finally advertising, which seems silly really. Really, we have to eat, it's not like people need to be sold on the idea of eating.

On the surface it seems that it is the only thing that matters. If we aren't eating then we are talking about food or thinking about food. The only time we give food a break is when we are full, which never lasts long enough. Soon we are hungry again and stuffing our faces. When we aren't eating or are hungry we grow irritable and when we are stuffing our faces we feel good. Food is mood.

Hence the story: The Way of the Cow, and the proverb at the end: "A steak is tasty and fun to eat, but to force an entire cow down your throat will surely kill you."

But don't take my word for it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Ukrainian Carol
By Troy Morash

This was written several years ago when Kuchma was still the President of Ukraine. There were a few feeble attempts to publish it but unless you have lived in Ukraine (and especially during this time) it probably won't make much sense so the only alternative was to post it here.

It was August 23rd; Independence Day Eve and Leonid Kuchma, the President of Ukraine was sitting in his office, making deals. Suddenly he got a phone call from the rotating President of the European Union who invited Ukraine to begin talks on becoming a partner and member of the European Union.

‘But there will be many things you’ll have to do, like improve roads, tax systems, human rights, health codes, fight crime and promote freedom of speech.’

‘Bah! We don’t need the European Union that bad. What do you think I am anyway, a philanthropist?’ cried the President and hung up the phone.

Shortly afterwords he received another phone call from the President of the Ukrainian dynasty in Canada.

‘We would like it very much to have the opportunity that in Ukraine citizens can have two passports like in Russia and other countries.’

‘Humbug! What for, so you can come here and make Ukraine like every other country? You abandoned us, so you can very well stay where you are for all I care.’

Later some people came from a charitable organization asking the President to create better social services for the poor.

He sighed. ‘What poor! Look around you. Look at this office for example, there is nothing like it even in the West. Go to my house, you will not see anything better. You will never see such success stories in America of a man from a poor village becoming the President and amassing great wealth. Go visit my friends. Everywhere I go in Ukraine the roads are paved and the buildings look nice. You are exaggerating; get out of my office.’

Then came members of the Party ‘Our Ukraine’, petitioning the President for honest and open elections.

‘But of course,’ he smiled.

That evening Leonid was sitting at home when suddenly a ghost appeared before him.

‘What the hell is this?’ thought the President.

‘I am Lazarenko, the good part that died long ago which is forced to wear these chains and automobile parts around my neck for the sins my bad half has committed, the part that only thinks about itself and money. But I am here to help you. You have a chance to escape my terrible fate. Tonight three ghosts will visit you,’ and with that the ghost of the good side of Lazarenko vanished.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Well, this post isn't very weird though it is weird to be posting again after so many years. The aim was to add little tidbits of ideas that were interesting or queer but didn't seem to fit into any story ideas. Lists were one such thing, especially about Ukraine. However many things have changed, for one Ukraine is no longer my home and new projects got started and this blog got left to the way side without really developing as originally planned. Now it seems time to try and contribute to it on a regular basis, mentioning anything new happening in my writing and posting little odd things that come to mind which just wouldn't fit anywhere else.

Since the last post, there have been a few changes, as mentioned above. The biggest of which was that a lot of the sites where you could read my work are no longer up. Fables was the biggest tragedy. It was sad to see that one go. Megan Miller was the only editor who never sent me a rejection letter, publishing a total of 8 stories with them. As well, there was tons of great work by other imaginative authors. The old version of the Rose and Thorn is also no longer available and so goes 'Metal, Bark and Whispers Soup' into oblivion, the one story that was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. It would also be nice to see 'What the Fisher did not see' up again. That is one of my personal favorites. It was briefly available at the Writer's Hood before they went down.

The reason that the Internet seemed at first to be such a great medium in which to publish was that work would always be available to those who sought it, but that isn't always the case. Any site can disappear and with it lots of great stories. All that would remain of them would be the few copies, if any, that were printed out or saved to a hard drive somewhere.

Then Geocities closed. After that my site with links to stories and translations was lost but thankfully most of the site was preserved at web rings.

Now the focus is on getting those stories that were previously published in places like Fables, and which are no longer available, made available again. The easiest way to do that would be to put them here but as no one reads this blog as yet, the tales would be better served if they were placed somewhere with more traffic. As new homes are found for them updates will be made.

As far as my writing goes, it's been mostly work on novel length stories, some of which are based on fairy tales that were written in the past. However, within the last couple of weeks, a lot of time has been spent reviewing my fairy tales stories. There are literally hundreds of tales written over a span of almost 20 years. It would be nice to go through them all, do some editing and rewriting and then send them out there so people can read them.

Anyway, If anyone out there does read this: well...thanks for taking the time.