My Blog Week, Things to Try, music, slide show, links to Pinterest boards




A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

Nortie Cat, Torsade’s Site Ambassador









Oil painting cameo emaciated figure face of dismayed resignation

Gremot had stepped forward two paces, before offering this remark. He scanned the empty horizon. Dupuy felt needled once again. He felt he ought to defend…he dismissed the thought. Gremot knew nothing; no man of knowledge doubted the superiority of the French guns. Yet, in the heart pained a moment ago by an unfathomable envy at the exhilaration of racing wings, Dupuy felt a fresh stirring of unease.


(Excerpt, Battlefront)








Virtual cover for novel Inimical

The puzzle was not for Greta to solve. She and Mrs. Branstadt ought not to sit talking to each other…she wished her mentor had clued her in. Again, with less finesse than Van Nest would have approved, she prompted Doris.

“What you figure? Al bought a pearl and hid it in a field.”

“A raffle ticket?” Doris shrugged. “Or…um…”

“Try to keep a secret,” Mrs. Veidt put in.

“So, then, what happened?”

“Al,” Mrs. Branstadt said, “kept trying to get up in the middle of the sermon. I had to take hold of his sleeve and make him be still. He said he didn’t like the way everyone was staring.”

“You mean…all that was your dream.”  


(Excerpt, Chapter 6)



Virtual cover for novel Sequence of Events

But…on that day he’d stood over the blonde, Elsie’s old friend, cricketing away.

She sipped twice at her gin cocktail and played it safe. “The stairs?”

“Stairs.” Rascka repeated the word, said no more…and Rob began to imagine himself part of an experimental dialogue. The doctor sat between Rob and the blonde, three bodies on a leather sofa. At length, he added: “But, things are hidden under stairs, certainly. My father, when he visited the embassy, left his messages in just that way.”

Ethan nodded and smoked, the blonde finished her drink; both acted as though Rascka’s statement was an old thing, well known. Rob felt provoked.

“Your father.”

“Yes, as I say.”

“Your father was a spy, is that what you mean?”

“My father had made an affair, an intrigue, with one of the typists of the embassy, so he had reason to call there, and if he was evasive about the matter…well, it would not be much, only an embarrassment, to explain. But, from Budapest, they could send coded messages by the telegraph…the embassy, you see…and these were enough for the secret police. Having decoded these, they supposed they had learned everything the embassy meant to hide. They met in the closet under the stairs.”

“The police?”

Rascka smiled, and did not play.


(Excerpt, Chapter 11)










Click Player Below to Hear Figure Theme One



Slide show: A Figure from the Common Lot


See also:




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Click Player Below to Hear Figure Theme Two



 How Does It Work?



My Blog Week




October 18 to October 24

October 11 to October 17

October 4 to October 10

September 27 to October 3

September 20 to September 26

September 13 to September 19

September 6 to September 12

August 30 to September 5

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August 16 to August 22

August 9 to August 15

August 2 to August 8

July 26 to August 1

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December 22 to December 28

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January 6 to January 12

December 30 to January 5



Jump to 2018





Find more on Author page: About this blog


The Cartoon House:


The cartoon cast and crew from The Cartoon House



Howdy Page
Table O’Contents





Novels: Read ’em here!


Virtual cover for novel Inimical

Virtual cover for novel A Figure from the Common Lot

Virtual cover art for The Totem-Maker with volcanic eruption

Virtual cover for novel Yoharie

Virtual cover for novel Sequence of Events













The Nitty-Gritty
(if you’re my age, you’re thinking of “Turn the Beat Around“)


So, I’ve been touting my novel, A Figure from the Common Lot, and I’ve been touting my blog. (Check All Things Torsade, a Pinterest board that tells a lot about where I’m coming from).

How does this work? I create and post original art, poetry, fiction and non-fiction…now cartoons, on Torsade’s sister blog, The Cartoon House. On the slide menu, top right, you’ll find several pages: these are the “homes” of the Torsade exclusives. The Table of Selected Contents is an easy guide that takes you through a list of books (a couple for sale on Amazon, links provided) and ongoing stories.

Sign up, and you’ll start getting emails with every new post. Each post takes you to the page, acting for you as a bookmarking system. For example, if you had been following my novella, “Are You Alienated”, you’d have got a series of posts, each with an excerpt in the neighborhood of five hundred words, ending with a link to the page, where the story can be read as a book, wide-screened and fully formatted, as the image below indicates.


Slide of text from novella Alienated



Another feature is the links I attach to many of the images. These take you to such sources as Atlas Obscura, Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, where information supplemental to the content may be found. I sometimes throw in a song link from YouTube. Three examples: Annie Lennox and Al Green’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”; Jars of Clay’s “There is a River”; Earth, Wind and Fire’s “That’s the Way of the World”. If I mention a work by another author, or a magazine article, I generally link to it in the text.

I have made a number of Pinterest boards with images to illustrate the historical periods in which my stories are set, as well as places and props associated with the stories. (Also What I Think Is Good, all my fashion choices; No Kale Shelter, snacks; and Volcanoes, because…volcanoes.)





Torsade Presents:

(Other Pinterest Boards)


A Figure from the Common Lot
The Folly
Are You


I know people haven’t got money to buy all the books and journal subscriptions they’d like. I know (I’m there), many can’t afford the cost of entertainment at all. Torsade is free. I do ask a busker’s fee, in the form of a donation through PayPal, and I provide a safe utility for doing so.

Thanks! See you on the blog!





Things to Try


The Folly (poem)

The Big Pants (short story)

Hammersmith (novella)

La Catastrophe de la Martinique (translation)

Cats Gone By: Guilty Parties

The Nutshell Hatches (page)

Gravity Hold the Moon (poem)

Fallen Short (flash fiction)

Uneasily Enthused (essay)







Book formatting!


Torsade now has a serif font. Most of my fiction takes place in past times, and this feels more apropos. I was once a sans person myself, and I know strong feelings collect about font styles, as they do with commas and semi-colons, and other punctuation/formatting issues.

The text is right-justified, to give the feeling of reading a physical book.



A word on justified text.
Is there really such a peeve as “rivers”, and if so, you don’t think these random patterns are cool? I kind of do, myself. I think also, that this “problem” started to have attention called to it, and that got people fussing, where they would not have fussed before. To my eye, ragtails at the end of every line look worse. Besides which, we don’t speak or read robotically, so varying word spacing is actually a reflection of real speech rhythms. One more thing, getting rid of egregious gaps (two spaces is fine), is just a mathematical puzzle to solve, and can be solved in several ways: font family, font size, different use of punctuation, different word order or choice…change the size of your image… It’s not such a bad thing to exercise your mind this way!



Mad linking!


Now all posts that feature 1-5 pages of a story will have a link to the page and next section; so again, the reader can follow through the complete text, as with any normal reading experience. TOC links will take you down the page, but most links open a new tab. That’s because sometimes page loading can be slow, and sometimes your browser gets caught doing two things at once, as it were, and backspacing doesn’t get you out of it…and then you’re stuck, unable to see the link, unable to go back to reading. So I try to keep my readers from experiencing this.


Poems matched tidily to images!


Visit the post on the blog, and you will see a sleeker presentation, single-spaced, stanzas separated.


Not changing:


(The late but well-loved) Nortie cat, with his friend Seymour, continues as site ambassador.






December 23 to December 29

December 16 to December 22

December 9 to December 15

December 2 to December 8

November 25 to December 1

November 18 to November 24

November 11 to November 17

November 4 to November 10

October 28 to November 3

October 21 to October 27

October 14 to October 20

October 7 to October 13

September 30 to October 6

September 23 to September 29

September 16 to September 22

September 9 to September 15

September 2 to September 8

August 26 to September 1

August 19 to August 25

August 12 to August 18

August 5 to August 11

July 29 to August 4

July 22 to July 28

July 15 to July 21

July 8 to July 14

July 1 to July 7

June 24 to June 30

June 17 to June 23

June 10 to June 16

June 3 to June 9

May 27 to June 2

May 20 to May 26

May 13 to May 19

May 6 to May 12

April 29 to May 5

April 22 to April 28

April 15 to April 21

April 8 to April 14

April 1 to April 7

March 25 to March 31

March 18 to March 24

March 11 to March 17

March 4 to March 10

February 25 to March 3

February 18 to February 24

February 11 to February 17

February 4 to February 10

January 28 to February 3

January 21 to January 27

January 14 to January 20

January 7 to January 13






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