The Gypsy Rose 

            Ensconced in her black velvet-lined shell, the Gypsy Rose reclines in a shady corner of my library.  For the second time in our relationship, I have abandoned her beauty and voice in the expediency of being ...(more)

How to Eat the Last Dove© Dark Chocolate Heart

Posted by PJBraley 

            You know you want it. For two days it has lingered in the candy dish alone. You stare in wonder as an errant beam of sunlight reflects off the metallic wrapper and, refracting through the crystal, casts a kaleidoscope of color on your wall. The magic of the moment captivates your thoughts yet again...(more)

(Some) Human Women are Stupid, too

Posted by PJBraley 

I know I just wrote that human women were the most beautiful and creative creatures in the universe and I meant every word, but sometimes even they get a little stupid. 

I was reading an advice column where a woman wrote in to say that she had found her ‘soul mate’ online and was basically asking permission of the columnist to go forward with the relationship regardless of her, um, husband…(more) 

(Some) Human Men Are Stupid

Posted by PJBraley 

I have reluctantly arrived at the realization that some (see, I am trying not to be overly judgmental) human men are stupid. 

I offer the following as evidence: I was shopping last week and overheard two women talking – one was explaining to her friend that her husband of 20+ years wasn’t being kind to her. The incident she used as an example was...(more)

Mistakes Were Made

Posted by PJBraley       

            When I began writing, everything I read about writing said, ‘if you want to be a good writer, then write’ (for Heaven’s sake!). In my library, I have a collection of English books on grammar (The Little, Brown Handbook), and composition (Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum), etc., left over from my many English classes – as well as the occasional lucky saunter past ‘free to good home’ tables where English professors had recently cleaned out their bookshelves – I use them for reference. Indeed, I have owned a copy of The Elements of Style for nearly a decade, delving into it only when I had a question. After all, I wanted to write, not read about writing.

            I can only compare such arrogance to driving a car without knowing the brake pedal from the accelerator; you may eventually arrive at your destination, but it’s going to take a lot longer...(more)

A Stressful Love Affair

Posted by PJBraley 

Two years ago, I fell in love with the semi-colon. 

We’d flirted off and on for more than a decade, but I was unsure if he would fit into my prose; he was uncertain as to whether he wanted to be a part of it. I understood his hesitation. After all, I had misused him in the past by making several faux pas of grammatical etiquette which he had yet to forgive.  However, it wasn’t all me – he came with a lot of baggage...(more)


Posted by PJBraley 

Even as I write this, I miss the scratching of the pen over paper – the inner joy of the perfect hang of the ‘g’ or ‘y’ when the tail of the letter curves gently upward, then, at the last moment, back again…looking almost like a piece of art.

I miss seeing the handwriting of an old friend or lover in my mailbox, the scent of ‘good’ paper stock, the varied hues of ink ... (more)