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A word about all-nighters: They should be pulled only when you are in the most undire of situations. They should be completely your choice, free entirely of all pain and guilt.

If you have a lot of school to do, then go to bed.

If you have nothing to do, stay up. And do something.

Last night was my first official all-nighter. It has been pulled.

I now exist in a strange dream state where the past day is still existing. It has not stopped existing. I have not passed on into that dark ether; it has not past on in death.

I once pulled a half-nighter. I told myself it was to bring in the First Snow, to consecrate the Winter. I had plans to go on a snow walk at 2 in the morning. Really, the point was to finish reading for the class in the morning. This pressure contributed to the feeling of standing on the edge of a cliff. Or, maybe, I felt like I had already fallen. I did the very not good thing. I actually took the little step forward.

Last night was my first official all-nighter.

I used it to read On Writing by Stephen King.

What a gorgeous day!

I am now at a coffee shop and I cannot help but see everyone as a potential character. This is not something King mentions at all, but I feel a hope in my legs. Maybe they are falling asleep, or maybe I am again realizing the possibilities in front of me. Anything can be written about - and with love! Who cares about the man who wrote 500 mystery novels and not a single one was born out of a specific love?

Do you want to know how to deal with someone who is annoying?

Look at them like a character in a novel.

I could have gotten annoyed, but instead I laughed and bantered.


He had a bear for a dog, I mentioned. Yeah, so much when he took his dog to Yosemite National Park, four little Indian girls jumped out of their car and pointed and said, "Bear!" And they wanted to take a picture with his dog, so they could go back home and show all their friends that they got a picture with a bear.

"You could have told them that it was Yogi." A woman with short cropped hair and a yellow blouse with an over-sized stitched flower on it said.

"Should'a put a hat on him!" I said as I walked away. He didn't hear, but she did and she laughed.

The man reminded me a lot of my grandfather. Perhaps back when he had to work - say, thirty years ago - he made things. He might have built a screened-in porch off the bedroom for his wife. He wore rectangular glasses and was somehow confident wearing pulled-up tube socks and short denim shorts...

like my grandfather; the man, I have been told, who I resemble so strongly in mannerism and thought. One key difference is our sock drawers. He had one drawer chock full of unmatched white socks. I also do not own as many knives nor do I share his passion for bacon grease.

This new man - a distant reincarnation, perhaps, of my grandfather - sat facing an empty chair. He talked to the empty chair.

"Yeah, we are going on a grand adventure. Ten months in Europe...You know, people who visit France always complain that they are not treated nicely, but I just had a fine time in Paris! The Parisians and us got a long fine...my daughter, she, you know, got her degree in Germany and says that in the local area of her college..."

I thought he was talking to his bear of a dog, that black and shaggy oaf. Don't worry, he doesn't bite. [insert other cliches]

Upon closer examination, he was talking to a woman behind him, who also faced an empty chair. He talked to her like she did not exist.

After a further discussion of his past visits to Europe and train problems during riots, she said, "Well, I better get back to my books."

"Yeah, me too, I have my little computer here to do things..." he said.

"Yeah..." she laughed.

What an end! Fireworks everywhere! The end of a dialog the likes of which the world has never seen.

I love you, hun, the old man with stale muffin cheeks said, patting the underside of the bear.

I sat in silence and in the morning sun, waiting eagerly to see who would be his next conduit for information.

A woman entered.


I must go take a nap now.


A Prayer of Someone Who Knows He Cannot Write Well

Day by Day 66