Hemingway’s Six

There is an interesting discussion about Hemingway’s famous six word story here.

I started thinking about this and I wondered if Hemingway’s particular ordering of those six words were the best possible ordering. I wrote a simple (six line) C++ program to permute the six words and print out all 720 different combinations of the words “For,” “Sale,” “Baby,” “Shoes,” “Never” and “Worn.” I couldn’t even begin to be able to figure out what to do with the puncuation so I left that as it was. I then scanned through all 720 variations of the six words. Except for “Baby shoes: for sale, never worn” which was pretty good here is my conclusion: Hemingway is a great writer.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Not a story
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T-Shirt Fiction

This is a cool idea. I think one of my online reviewers suggested that one of my pieces of micro fiction would fit well on a t-shirt. So the idea, which I coin here, is T-shirt Fiction: write a piece of fiction short enough to fit on a t-shirt

It’s at least as cool an idea as hint-fiction which fiction no longer than 25 words long that hints something much larger.


I present here and give into the public domain my idea for a new puncuation mark. I call my creation the semi-comma. Due to the fact that I just invented it – it’s use has not been codified but I propose that it be used at the end of any sentence wherein the speaker has forgotten, half-way through, what he/she was going to say.

The top half of the mark is made up of the top half of a question mark, the bottom half of the mark is made up of a comma, thus:

An example in dialog:

Mary:        Hi John. How are you?
John:        I’m fine – I was just going
Mary:        What?
John:        I don’t remember where I’m going so I quit speaking in mid-sentence.
That’s why, implicitly, with my voice, I inserted a semi-comma in that last sentence.

Please accept this mark as my gift to the world of literature.

Weirdest Spam Ever

I’ve gotten some really weird spam in my life. I’ve been using email for about twenty years so I’ve gone from no spam whatsoever – to getting spam from someone and feeling it was my responsibility to respond back to that person saying “It is really not appropriate to send unsolicited commercial emails” in a polite way assuming that they just did not understand the etiquette of the Internet. Back then we distinguished between unsolicited commercial email and unsolicited non-commercial email. These were the good old days in the early ’90s. Unsolicited non-commercial email with the whole point.

Then I started getting emails that were clearly sent knowing that they were spamming but apologizing for it in the opening of the email: “We know we’re not supposed to do this, but we’re sure you’ll agree this is an exception…” Somewhere along the line people started calling this Spam. At some point the floodgates opened. As a result of all this spam email I’ve learned a lot about Nigeria and have become an expert on penis enlargement (not that I’ve ever tried it – didn’t need too — he says, polishing his fingernails on his coat lapel).

Today, though, I got the weirdest unsolicited commercial email I’ve ever gotten.

It was from some Taiwanese folks who are apparently interested in chicken parts. All types of chicken parts. Legs, thighs, wings. Any part. They were interested in forming allegiances in the United States (and with me related in particular) regarding the importation of chicken parts into Taiwan. It’s quite lucrative, I hear. I did not know that. I’ll have to look into that. I’ve been looking for alternatives in case this whole “Jay Rush Becoming a Writer” thing doesn’t pan out.

Animation of “Robert Frost is Lazy”

A movie made from my poem Robert Frost is Lazy at a website called xTra Normal.

Click on the image to play the video.


Robert Frost is lazy.
Stopping in the middle of the night,
Listening to snow,
What a colossal waste of time.

What has he ever done to make things better?
Has a single hungry child been fed?
Has a single battered wife been comforted?

Go home Robert.
Be with your wife and kids.
Do something useful.
Instead of lazing around in the snow.

And why are you always going off in your own direction?
Stop being such a pain in the ass.


What Not To Do With Your Blog

  • Don’t post things about how bad your day was – it sucked for you – why would we want to hear about it.
  • Don’t post things about what you’re going to do in the future – stop writing blog posts and go do these things.
  • Don’t post things about going to the dentist or grocery shopping or any other mundain task that you wouldn’t even bother your spouse with – they don’t want to hear it for a reason – its boring.
  • Don’t expect your readers to know anything about what you wrote in your blog ten million years ago – as if we’ve been following you – we haven’t.
  • Don’t say your going to post somthing every day and then post for three days and then tell us, six weeks later, that you haven’t posted in a while and that you’re falling behind. We could not possibly care less.
  • Unless you have something interesting and unique to say don’t tell us all about your inane political beliefs. You just clog up the cognitive brain space that could be used for illuminating thoughts of someone who knows what they are talking about.
  • Don’t post pictures of your grandchildren. Your grandchildren are ugly.
  • When you’ve forgotten to post for two weeks don’t post a single line saying I like this youtube video of a cat dancing on the head of pin sticking out of a dogs buttox. We’ve seen it.
  • Don’t post a picture with a link under it saying see this picture in full size and then when I click it the picture is the same size. It doesn’t make any sense and its annoying and you’re waisting our time.
  • Don’t call your blog “Daily grunts from someone trying to become a writer”. First of all – you’re not a writer. Second of all – its not daily. Third of all – “grunts”? Please.

Watch the Glue

Brooke, my brother and the general contractor for a huge renovation I made to my house in 2006, and I were reviewing the design of a bookcase in the basement of my house.  Jerry, one of Brooke’s workers, had already spread some glue on a peice of plywood on the floor where the bookcase was going to be built.  Brooke and I were both, in turn, waving our arms and saying things like “No – it should go here”, or “Yes – that is what I mean”.

The entire time we were there one of us would move towards the glue on the floor and the other one would put his arm up, pulling the first back away from the glue, saying “Watch the glue”.

Our conversation when something like this: “I think the bookcase should be wider”, “Watch out!”, “I saw the glue – stop”, “No, I think it should be taller”, “Watch the glue”, “I saw it.”.

After about three or four such exchanges we realized what we were doing and started laughing.  I said that Jerry, who was standing off to the side and watching us, shaking his head, would probably walk over and show us what he thought about the bookcase and step right in the glue.

It was pretty funny.  We finally agreed on a design for the bookcase and Jerry bent his head to the task again and finished contact cementing the plywood.  Contact cement must ‘set-up’ for ten minutes before you can use it.

After about 9 minutes Don Rush, the painter, came down into the basement.  I innocently asked him what he thought about the bookcase…..