A picture taken by my sister-in-law of Santiago Oaks Regional Park before the fire went through it.

While I try to finish my Nighthawk Awards for 2009, I want to point back to my novel sleep now the angels, that I published in full (though in parts) back between October and April.  Part of that is because I am almost done with my Top 250 Songs of the Eighties post (hopefully the third post after this one) and a number of the pieces in that post will reference the novel because I quoted a lot of those songs.  But the other reason is because of the town that I set the novel in.  I created a fictional town called Santiago Oaks, California, set in the hills between Sacramento and Reno, a mixture of Forest Grove, Oregon, where I went to college and aspects of California itself, where I was raised.  The town itself got its name, as I said in the introduction, from a regional park that is now mostly ash and dust thanks to Canyon Fire 2.

Canyon Fire 2, which has been raging in central Orange County, just east of Orange and Villa Park, where I lived from 1981 to 1992, has not been getting the attention that the fires around Santa Rosa and Napa Valley have been because the loss of property has been much smaller and the loss of life, thankfully, seems to be nonexistent.  But, if you go to the most recent article in the Orange Country Register, the house you see burnt to the ground stood just yards from the entrance to Santiago Oaks Regional Park, one of my favorite places.  The fire came closer to my brother and sister-in-law’s house that I am comfortable with, but thankfully missed them.  Still, it took down a large swath of land where I ran a lot of cross country during my years in high school.

Kayce at the Bat

sometimes people leave you, halfway through the wood
do not let it grieve you, no one leaves for good
s sondheim

I am really big on favorites.  Ever since I was really little, I have always had favorites of everything.  My favorite book is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  I love the way it dives back into the back story of Voldemort before moving forward with a plan of how to finally finish him.  But who knows?  The final book isn’t coming out until next year probably and I may love that one more.  My favorite song is “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  That’s the influence of my Uncle Kyle who has been playing Springsteen for me since before I can remember.  My favorite movie is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban because I love how it makes Lupin (who is my favorite character in a book) and Sirius come to life but a close second favorite is Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is definitely my dad’s favorite movie and which is probably the movie I’ve seen the most.  My favorite scene from a movie is the one that makes me cry every time: the ending of Spider-Man 2, because when Mary Jane says to Peter “isn’t it about time somebody saved your life” it reminds me of the last thing my mom said to me.  But my favorite comic book character is Batgirl.  My uncle has a lot of Batman comics and there’s a lot of Batgirl, and she’s cool and she reads (because she’s a librarian) and she kicks butt and she’s smart.  She’s awesome. (more…)

Hungry Heart


I can not stand.  I try for five minutes while he is in the shower.  I know his schedule, the preciseness of his timing, how he shaves first, filling the sink with water while lathering his face, then turning off the water.  It’s a safety razor and has been since the day I tried to use his razor blade.

He starts with his neck, moving from the right to the left, then does his chin, then his upper lip.  He then moves the razor to his left hand and does his left cheek.  Putting the razor back into his right hand, he shaves his right cheek.  He then lets the water drain as he dries his face.

He turns on the shower, then cleans the whiskers from the sink.  From the time he turns the shower on, I will have nine minutes before he will turn off the water and reach for his towel. (more…)

Where Angels Fear to Tread


I want to say it should be funny.  Irony is the advanced sort of humor, a dark way of looking at life and finding it funny.  Irony is the calling card of the cynics.  It just somehow never strikes me as funny.

My best friend is a cynic.  My husband is a romantic.  Yet, they both adore irony.  My husband would argue that’s because they are flip sides of the same coin, that a cynic is just a romantic who has been beaten down enough by life or love to accept certain bitter realities.  Or that the romantic hasn’t been beaten down enough.  But perhaps that is irony.  And I don’t appreciate irony. (more…)

Fallen Angel


When I wake up, I find myself alone in the house.  This should not be surprising, as I was alone when I fell asleep.  The days are beginning to grow longer again and the sun is still bright and high in the sky as it approaches five.

I have somehow stumbled into a life that should not belong to me.  This should be his life, going to sleep among the fruits of labor and waking to find an unfinished day beckoning beyond the window.

I’m thinking about the phone call I received before I went to sleep.  Would it have been a different conversation if Bruce had been here for the call?  Would I have reacted differently?  Shouldn’t this be happening to him and not to me?  Maybe that’s why I retreated into sleep in the first place. (more…)

a different corner

by rebecca logan
© Sun Devil Stories, Autumn 2005
it ought to be easy, it ought to be simple enough
b springsteen

“Kitty’s back,” I say to the others as they argue.  I turn to look as Luke rolls his eyes and yells at me.

“We’re not playing any Springsteen songs.  Especially not really fucking obscure ones.  How many times have I got to tell you that?”

“I’m not arguing with you about what song to play, dumbshit,” I yell back.  “Your girlfriend just walked in the door.”  All four of them look towards the door and see Kitty standing in the doorway, looking a bit lost and extremely out of place.

“Great.  Just what we need,” I hear Kirsten mutter under her breath. (more…)

mira a los ojos

by bruce yale
reprinted from short shorts – january 2006

“Mira a los ojos.”


“You gotta look in the eyes, man.  Look in the eyes.”

“I know what it means, Martín.  I’ve taken enough Spanish to at least know that.  But what the hell are you talking about?”

It was the first day of Psych, Freshman year at Pac.  Martín and I were coming out of the building along with the other hundred students.  Martín had suddenly started to babble to me.  That’s how it started.  Martín was babbling.  Martín was always babbling. (more…)

Winter Light


You must remember this.

A kiss is so much more than a kiss, everything and nothing all at once, time slipping into your soul and through your hands.  A kiss is a hope, a possibility, a step, a dream, a gift, a reach, a death, everything and nothing.  A kiss is just a kiss or so the song would have us believe.

You must remember this. (more…)

Night Falls Fast

I hold on.

We all hold on in some way or another, grasping at things just beyond our reach, trying to keep everything close when we know in the end that Yeats was right, that things fall apart, the centre can not hold.  But we still hold on.  Because there is nothing better that we have been taught and we all do what we have learned.  And this is what I have learned. (more…)

What Comes Naturally


Words are not necessary.  They seldom are.  A noise is enough, a sound, a riff, the strumming of a young Irishman’s hand across the strings of his guitar.  I know the riff, millions have come to know this sound and not just the millions who own the album.  It is a song and the song is called “Where the Streets Have No Name”, a desert song of mythical images that speaks of pain and rain and far off places where love turns to rust and it is the calling card for what Rolling Stone declared the single best album of the 80’s.

One.  That is what the track is.  Fifty is the number of minutes left before the album will be finished.  Three is the number of rooms between mine and Paul’s and one hundred would be the number of miles you would have to be away from this campus before you would be able to escape it at the volume which he has the stereo turned to.  It is more than an opus for the band, it is also the signal for Paul to let loose, to relax, to let himself fall into another world where no problems can reach him.  Most especially me. (more…)