More Shop Talk

I am opposing and flouting centuries of tradition by making this declaration: If there are any websites, magazines or other platforms who wish to publish my writing, simply email me ( and I will return to you a selection of work from which you may choose. What I am pretty much going to STOP doing is cold submitting work to random venues—which are diminishing anyway, fallout from the covid quarantines. In other words, contact me if you want some work for your site or magazine and I’ll be happy to respond immediately. Otherwise, reading my work can easily be accomplished at and

Speaking of the virus and its intrusions into the public sphere, try finding a place to write other than your residence. Writing in public, another venerable tradition, has been victimized. Try finding an open café, coffee house, diner, bar or restaurant in which to write. Try finding an open library. Let’s face it: the literary life epitomized by public displays of writing was waning anyway. I’m afraid it has been obliterated.

On another topic, there was no bigger fanboy of Raymond Chandler than I back in the day. And I followed Dashiell Hammett and Tony Hillerman and Walter Mosely, a few others. But after every Census-designated place had its own private detective, along with every ethnic, sexual and gender category, too, it all got a little too precious for me. So I was really away from the detective fiction genre until Jo Nesbø, a Norwegian,was brought to my attention. How an author can sell 40 million copies in 50 languages and I’ve not heard their name is beyond me. But, better late than never in the discovery.

Thinking about my first, youthful yearning to write I remember I wanted to be a playwright but there is too much collaboration, too many cooks in the kitchen, for my comfort level. And, also, I’m not “by instinct a storyteller” as Thornton Wilder said a dramatist must be. And the truth of the matter is, I probably just wanted to get next to some actresses.

And in closing, from Laura Moriarity: “Poor taste is never enough.”

© 2020 Randy Stark

Please visit my website at and my page at Write Up The Road.