Some people aren’t meant to be grownups

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Bill Adler

“We don’t have any more space for your artifacts.” Static electricity popped along the carpet as Marie shuffled in her slippers to the bookcase on the far side of the living room. “Baseball mitt. Stuffed panda. Out-of-date globe with the wrong countries. Lionel train engine. Winnie the Pooh drinking glass.” She picked up each object as she named it. “Lego dragon.”

“Don’t touch the dragon!” Tony yelped. It took Tony over a week to assemble his first Lego dragon when he was eight, and then another week to construct this one as an adult. “It’s fragile.”

Tony hated it when…


Writing a novel is a mysterious process

Image for post
Image for post
Photos by Bill Adler

The bedroom clock blinked 4:35 a.m., its red LED at war with the white light radiating from my Kindle. As I powered it off, I felt a light go out in me, too. I’d just finished reading Dime Store Crime by Lynn Gardner, one of the most sensational novels I’d ever read, and now it was over.

Dime Store Crime, a thriller in which a homicide detective saves both himself and New York City from ruin, was a perfect balance of plot and character, action and exposition.

Though sleepy, I was hankering to start a new Lynn Gardner book. So…


A short story about language and war

Image for post
Image for post
Image public domain, courtesy of The British Library, modified from original.

“Did we miss?” Cūđbeorh asked Ælfþryð, his second in command, even though he knew the answer. Their relentless barrage of Greek fire, boulders, and arrows pummeled Tintagel Castle, and anyone inside should have been maimed or killed. He’d traced the weapons’ arc through the air with his own eyes.

They hadn’t missed.

And yet, nothing. Not a stone from Tintagel was damaged, not a cry of pain was heard, and no flames rose from the bailey.

Faint stars flickered above, offering scant illumination on this moonless night. Owls hooted, halflings howled, and ogres crushed entire trees as they traversed the…


Don’t mess with cats

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Bill Adler

“Mr. President, there’s a high probability of a terrorist attack in the United States today.” The national security advisor’s voice resonated sharply, even at 3:35 a.m.

The president glanced at his soundly sleeping wife, who was oblivious to the phone call and the urgent crisis that loomed over America. He hoped she was continuing his dream of the two of them sunning on the deck of a yacht somewhere in the Caribbean.

“Yes, Bob,” the president said.

“I can brief you in the Oval Office in twenty minutes, sir. …


Making the world safer through technology

Image for post
Image for post
Image courtesy of digitalcomicmuseum.com, modified from original.

Jeri walked through the scanner at the school’s entrance and it gave off an irritating screech.

“Please sit over here, Miss,” the guard instructed. He guided her to a row of twelve plastic chairs along the side of Windom High School’s lobby. “The nurse will be with you shortly.”

Jeri huffed and pushed her auburn hair to the side. She glanced at her watch. In first period history class she sat next to Prisha, the nicest, most gorgeous guy in tenth grade. She hoped she wouldn’t be late. …


Does love ever end?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Bill Adler

Dear Becky,

I’ll never know if you get this letter. I’ve handwritten three copies and delivered them to lawyers who I think work for long-lived firms. But I can’t say for certain. How could I? What does a veterinarian know about law firms?

At least being a veterinarian means I have a job, which translates to a home, food — a relatively comfortable life, all things considered.

I miss you. I miss our world, too, but I miss you more than anything.

I know you’re wondering where I’ve been, why I didn’t come home, and I’ll tell you in a…

Bill Adler

An American writer in Japan, editor of The Binge-Watching Cure books, author of the bestselling book, Outwitting Squirrels. Occasional pilot, 24/7 cat owner.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store