Monday, October 28, 2013


The leaves are falling all around, the Sox are in the World Series, I've got a beard, I'm trying to punch up my road trip memoir, I need to contact publishers about my children's book, I need to finish a short story for Jim Corrigan's latest anthology, I'm gonna look for work as a ghostwriter, I want to rock and roll all night and party every day, I wish I could run again, I have fantasies where I play pick-up ice hockey, and I also think about getting back into baseball, although my hip/groin/back tell me I'm a fool, I can't believe how quickly my kids (and your kids) are growing up but I wish they would go outside more, I'm reading Looking for Przybylski and enjoying it especially the parts about traveling through Texas and New Mexico because they line up amazingly well with my impressions about that desolate part of the country from my memoir-in-progress, I'm way behind on "Boardwalk Empire" and gave up on "Nashville" because it was too much soap and not enough opry,I recently added music by The Vibrators to iTunes, I need to recruit people for my other blog, The Backside of America, I'm resurrecting my old web site, ("Where Dave Brigham Meets Dot Com") and am taking suggestions for how to make it awesome, I spent some quality time today at the National Archives in Waltham scanning in photos from U.S. Government chemical warfare manuals and brochures, I now know how to properly put on a gas mask, I'm free-forming....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Back On the Beat

I had hip surgery 11 weeks ago, and got off crutches five weeks ago. I've been doing physical therapy for the last seven weeks. With each passing day and week, I feel steadier on my feet.

I've been walking Amelia to school most days, and Owen to school (a much shorter distance) just about every day. I'm also doing about 45 minutes' worth of stretching and strengthening to help my hip, groin and lower back.

Another milestone in my recovery is getting out and about taking pictures. I've snapped a bunch lately while on subway trips with Owen. It was during our most recent jaunt that I got inspired for a new subject. While cruising along the C branch of the Green line, I noticed (not for the first time) numerous apartment buildings on Beacon Street in Brookline that have names, i.e. Wexham, Stonehurst, Wenham.

I haven't gotten back over there on foot to take pictures yet, but I did make the rounds of Watertown Square and Newton Corner earlier this week to take pics of a few named buildings. You'll be able to see these photos and more at my other blog, The Backside of America, in the near future.

Below are some church photos (another subject I've taken a shining too in recent months) from Watertown and Newton.

St. John's?

(I love this door, which is on the St. John's United Methodist Church in Watertown.)


(Just down the street is this beautiful building, which was converted to condos several years ago.)

Small Grace

(This is the chapel of Grace Episcopal Church in Newton.)


(And right around the corner is Newton Presbyterian Church.)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bottle On the Brain

The story I wrote for the short story anthology Movable Feasts is called "The Bottle." Set in the late 19th century, the story is about the pettifoggers who peddled curative tonics, and their struggle in the face of a public who was becoming wise to their ways. I just realized that my story would have been much better if I'd used "pettifoggers" in it, because it's one of the best words I've ever found via

Published earlier this year, the collection was edited by my good friend Jim Corrigan. Not a man to let grass grow under his feet, Jim solicited stories for another anthology soon after. Whereas the theme for Movable Feasts was "eating out," the unifying concept for the next book is "travel."

I certainly took some liberties with the the theme the first time around, and wrote too many words, but I felt pretty good about "The Bottle." I published my own collection of short stories, (C)rock Stories: Million-Dollar Tales of Music, Mayhem and Immaturity in 2010. All 15 stories were centered on music (and one of them was called "Message In a Beer Bottle" -- go figure), so I wanted to do something different for Jim's premier collection.

When Jim asked if I was on board for his upcoming travel-themed collection, I of course said yes. I had no idea at the time what I would write, but I knew I'd come up with something. I'd been outlining a collection of stories about the town where I grew up, and realized that one of the ideas I had could be molded to fit the travel theme.

One of the characters from my childhood was someone one of my friends dubbed Lady Death. I sketched out a basic idea for the story, and knew that once again my interpretation of travel might be a little loose, but I liked the idea of the story and started working on it.

I've plugged away on and off over the last few months, and have mostly completed a first draft. As I got toward the story's climax, I did a little research that led me to some important information that fit perfectly into my story. I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that, quite unexpectedly, I've ended up writing another story in which a bottle plays a role.

Unlike in "The Bottle," the glass vessel in my new story (working title "Lady Death Trip") isn't a central component. But it certainly plays an important role.

Once I finish the story and things move along toward publication (Jim is working with several authors, and is in the reading phase right now with some of them) I'll offer more details, and let you know when and where you can buy the book.