Erotica, short stories

Addiction Salvation – excerpt

I have re-entered the world of competitive bodybuilding. Into the lion’s den, I have returned. Back to the very arena which sparked my addiction.

The photo shoot has just ended. I sit in front of the mirror. The expertly applied mask creates an outer beauty, conveying a fantasy for the world to perceive.


I cleanse my skin. With each pass, the make-up leaves my face and soaks the cloth. Layer by layer, away peels my disguise. No longer cleverly concealed, pockmark craters mar my features. The body may look young, but the face clearly shows the more than fifty years I have walked this earth. Each line, each crevice and each scar is well visible, and well earned.


As I sit here unadorned, it is just me. It’s Rita.


I smile. If those who compliment that which they see, knew the entire story. If they recognized what they see is merely the surface of a life-long, never-ending struggle.


I am happy with Rita, but that wasn’t always so. I think back to another time. —


When I didn’t like her.

A time, when I hated her.

A time, when even I didn’t know her.


I screamed into that mirror, “I want to fucking die! Why are you still here?”


That image, would only mimic my motions and movements – an answer it would never give.

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#bullying, school shootings, short stories

The Bully and The Bullied

BookCoverPreview tnt joe - Copy

For some, school is a nightmare. Each and every day made a living hell by those who are stronger, bolder, without kindness or compassion.

What happens to one who lives in fear?

One who is pushed to their breaking point?

One who simply wants to be accepted?

We can’t escape the headlines of mass murders occurring in our schools. The very place where children are sent to be educated. The very place where they should be safe and free from danger.

Sadly, school shootings have become the new normal. These horrific crimes and events lead us to ask –

Is a mass murderer born or created?
What makes a school shooter?
Is it availability of guns?
Is it mental illness?
Could it be something else?
Shouldn’t we look for a cause?

This novelette explores these questions.


Ernest Hemingway, short stories, Uncategorized, writer's block

Be Your Own Favorite Writer


I am a self-published storyteller, not under contract by a major publishing house and have sold a very limited number  of books. In the literary world I am insignificant. That is the truth, but that truth doesn’t change the reality that I am a storyteller.

Storytelling is my passion and drive.

Storytelling is my love and lust.

Storytelling is my wife and mistress.

I am influenced by both Hemingway and Poe, but my favorite writers are Joe Leonardi and Scono Sciuto. I am of the strong opinion that –  if you paint, you should be your favorite painter. If you create music , you should be your favorite musician.

I am on a handful of author and writer pages on Facebook, Scono Sciuoto is on quite a bit more. These pages are akin to the organizations Hemingway mentioned in the above quote. Writing is a lonely endeavor. It is us and a keyboard, typewriter or blank sheet of paper and our thoughts. Social Media has given a way for writers to connect, however I wonder if potential harm outweighs potential good. One of the reasons I tend to either shy away, or not comment much, is because of the inherent insecurity fostered on these pages. These pages act as enablers for the writer’s insecurities. Members ask questions not on style or technique, but seeking validation for their art. We are all insecure about our writings, that is normal. However, we should not seek the approval of others to pursue our passion.

When I write, I write to please and entertain one person, the person whose reflection I see in the mirror. I do desire others to enjoy and be entertained, but that is not the driving force. When I complete a story and ask others to read it, I never ask if they like the story – I ask if they think I told a good story.

My goal is not to write stories others will necessarily like — it is to tell that good story. I have read plenty of good stories that I did not like. The problem with many reviewers is that they are giving their opinion of what they like, not the quality of the story, and more importantly, not the value and understanding of the writer’s heart and soul.


short stories

Current Work In Progress

This current story is taking me longer to write than any other. The ideas are there, the story is there, the theme is what is difficult. I have to take a moment between some paragraphs and settle my mind. I know where this story is going and it is a very dark place.
I am hoping that once it is complete, combined with “Tortured and Tormented” & “War Springs Eternal” they will be read and have an impact on how we think about serious topics.
BookCoverPreview war springs eternal
BookCoverPreview tnt joe - Copy