This is a good one, and so unexpected.


Lola almost turned back when she saw the darkened street filled with abandoned buildings. Love for her sister and a desire for a better life for both of them spurred her toward the address given by the woman on the phone.

48 Egasuas Ave. There it was. The building didn’t look like much; it appeared deserted, except for the freshly painted white door and intercom. Lola paused before pressing the button. Last chance to turn back.

Footsteps scuffled in the alley. A thin, hunched figure was approaching.

Shit. A junkie. Just what I need.

Lola slid her hand into her purse and felt for the smooth round security of her pepper spray canister. She jabbed the intercom’s call button.

“Yes?” A woman’s voice crackled over the speaker.

“Lola Cooper. I called on the phone. Can you let me in please?”

“Of course, Ms Cooper. One moment please.”

Lola wanted to…

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The Daily Spur Presents….Death Is A Pretty Woman In Sneakers.

Ohhhhhhh love this story!


Death walked down the street. But this was no skeleton king in a shroud.


This time Death wore a pretty woman’s face, a knee-length cape and gown, and high-top sneakers. Death’s scythe was tucked out of sight. She would pull it out when needed.

Death walked down the street, carrying a lit match between her thumb and index finger. She held it horizontally. The flame seemed to have consumed the whole top half of the match already. But Death knew that it was safe. The flame would never reach the opposite end, for it was an eternal match.

She walked down the street, unseen and unnoticed until it was too late. But that was the way that Death always operated. People believed that they were invulnerable. They were young. They ate and drank and did all of the healthy things. They were beautiful. They were famous. They were so…

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Artist of the moment…….California Impressionist Clarence Hinkle….

Diattaart Blog

In the gallery the first painting is by Hinkle’s first teacher, WF Jackson. The second if by Karl Dempwolf. The rest are by Clarence Hinkle.

Clarence Hinkle was a spectacular painter of the outdoors and a leader of artists that painted directly from life in California.  Hinkle was born in 1880 in the city of Auburn, California. His father was the owner of a business that painted carriages.

As a young man Hinkle was able to mentor under artist William Franklin Jackson. Jackson was the most sought after painter in Sacramento, California at his death and taught many students that went on to become well known in the California Impressionist scene.

Below is a signature work of Jackson’s and see the influence he had on Hinkle. Hinkle is also compared to Granville Redmond. Redmond was deaf since an early age as a result of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906…

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California’s old master

Wonderful article about one of my favorite painters.

Art Matters

Murals by William Keith hang in the Swedenborgian Church in San Francisco.
Photograph by Jim Karageorge


A great personality was evident to all who came in contact with William Keith. A rather thick-set Scot of medium height, with a head of true nobility — a broad face, wide forehead, kindly gray eyes, ample, well-shaped nose, a moustache and small beard hiding his lips, and a mass of tousled grizzly gray hair surmounting his Jovian head — such was the impression one got of him at first meeting. He generally wore a suit of fine checked gray, more often with the careless abandon of an artist than with the neatly pressed creases of a business or professional man.

To his intimate friends he was always gracious, although they sometimes found him in an exuberant mood and again utterly dejected and despondent. It all depended on whether…

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Bonkopalypse: A Red Darkling Jam


A glitchy robotic cat that bumps into walls and cleans its “exhaust port” in true cat style, sex pun sci-fi acronyms, and a cast of colorful and dysfunctional characters – what more could one want in a book?

You might or might not recall a book I recommended a while back – a riveting, action-packed yet comedic sci-fi adventure called Red Darkling.

Shoutout to Jason Kemp of Tenkara Studios, Toronto Ontario, for his stunning original artwork on both of these book covers!

The author, L.A. Guettler, has participated in several of my collaborative projects with the infamous WPaD (Writers Poets and Deviants) group. A pair of early tales of Bonk the cat can be found in WPaD’s sci-fi anthology, Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe.

Guettler is a brilliant writer, and her debut novel Red Darklingshowcases her talent for storytelling and warped sense of humor. The protagonist, Red Darkling…

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Kindle Freebies: Chill out With Some Cool Summer Reads


Nothing beats a shady spot and a good book to beat the summer heat. Short stories make for an enjoyable light read, and I happen to know of a few that are free all weekend long, until midnight August 2:

DysFictional 4 is free on Kindle until midnight tonight (July 30)

A collection of short stories by Mandy White, ranging from odd and creepy to downright weird. Free until August 2.

A paranormal-themed collection of short stories from the twisted minds of the Writers, Poets and Deviants group. Free until August 2.

A collection of holiday tales from the writers of WPaD. Free until August 2.

A second collection of holiday tales from WPaD; not just Christmas, but other holidays as well. Free until August 2.

A grisly little cat-astrophe occurs when a man finds himself paralyzed and his seven cats are getting hungrier and hungrier… Free until August 2.

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Please, Help Save Jake’s Life!

Please help out a fellow blogger and writer who does so much for the blogging community. Jake is such a wonderful kitty.

Writer's Treasure Chest

I’m in a really heartbreaking situation:



Thank you for your help, and for sharing!

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Your Heart Will be Mine


It’s that time of year again. You know the one –
that day with all the hearts and stuff…
I like to post this story because it’s the closest thing to romance I can seem to write.
Like I always say, when I try to write romance, someone always dies…
Happy V-Day! ~*~

You twist through my heart

Like a bolt through a nut

I am a nut

Think twice before you bolt

~*~ Your Heart Will be Mine ~*~

Megan wept, curled on her side in the tightest ball she could manage.

She had been curled up in the fetal position on her bed for hours – days, actually, doing nothing but cry. Barely moving except to use the bathroom and drink a bit of water. She couldn’t eat, she couldn’t sleep and the ache in her chest wouldn’t go away no matter how many painkillers she took.


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As promised, here’s the sequel to yesterday’s story about the coffee apocalypse.
~*~ Previously published in DysFictional 3 and WPaD’s Goin’ Extinct Too ~*~

“Are we there yet?”


“How much farther?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’m bored. Can’t we stop somewhere?”

“Will you stop harassing me? We will get there when we get there.”

“Don’t yell at the children, Dax. They’re just restless. They’ve been cooped up in this vehicle for ages. Can’t we find a place to stop so they can get some exercise?” Sky said.

“Where would you suggest?”

“I’m sure there’s someplace suitable around here. How about that place?”

“What if it’s no good?”

“There’s only one way to find out. Scan it.”

Dax entered the coordinates into the computer and read the results.

“Sounds ok, but might be some kind of tourist trap.”

“Well, we’re tourists, so it sounds perfect.”

Dax sighed. “I guess it wouldn’t…

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In the Folds of the Earth


~ Previously published in Creepies 2: Things That go Bump in the Closet by WPaD ~
and DysFictional 3: Down the Psycho Path by Mandy White ~

The rusty Ford pickup sputtered and then died. Dalton didn’t bother trying to start it because he already knew he was out of gas. He had been driving on fumes for the last ten miles or so, and was surprised he had made it that far. He seemed to have lost the cops when he turned onto the dirt road, but he knew it wouldn’t be long before reinforcements arrived. The sound of a distant helicopter confirmed that he was running out of time, and places to run.

To say that Dalton Jeffries was a wanted man was putting it mildly. The object of a nationwide manhunt, his flight had led him from one coast to the other, to his present location, deep…

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Who is WPaD?


Ten or so years ago, a bunch of like-minded writers got together and decided to collaborate on some short story collections. We chose a different genre for each, wrote some stories and published anthologies under the nameWriters, Poets and Deviants (aka WPaD).We donate profits to the MS Society.
2021 saw the publication of our thirteenth book, titledDeviant Shadows: Tales of the ParAbnormal,which features a fantastic selection of stories and poetry by our founders and some new members as well. We are also proud to present yet another phenomenal piece of cover art by our talented group member,Jason Kemp of Tenkara Studios, Toronto, Ontario.

Available worldwide in ebook and paperback:

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What we are talking about today: A Hateful Pope, Animals, Children, Love.

Vampire Maman

What I’m talking about with my kids today. My kids are grown. We all have pets. My children don’t have children of their own. If they have children or not is their choice, not mine, not anybody’s choice except theirs.

Pope Francis said that people who choose to have pets rather than children are selfish and a detriment to humanity and civilization.

Dear Frank,

That is the most dick move I’ve ever heard about. People who have pets rather than children are not selfish and not a detriment to humanity and civilization.

Overpopulation is a detriment to humanity and civilization. Poverty caused by people having too many children is a detriment to humanity and civilization. Grown adults (like priests who have no children) abusing children is a detriment to humanity and civilization.

Dogs and cats are so pure that I call them angels on Earth. I have seen dogs and…

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Christmas in the Apocalypse

A perfect story for the new year, or any year.


“I found some!” Scott banged on the metal door with a wrench, placed there for that exact purpose.

Metal hinges creaked as the door opened.

“Cool! Bring it in.” Libby held the curtain aside and helped Scott drag his bundles in from the tunnel.

“It isn’t exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping for a tree, but had to settle for trimming a hedge.”

“This will do just fine.” Libby held the cedar branches to her face and inhaled. “Mmmm… heavenly.”

Scott shouldered one of the bundles and Libby followed him, dragging the other down the narrow hallway.

Scott gasped when they entered the common room.

“You like it?”

“I do! You did all this?”

Libby dropped her bundle and sat down. She slung her prosthetic leg onto the tabletop with a loud CLUNK.

“What else am I going to do? I got plenty of time on…

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Share Your Pet Stories!

In 2022 we would love to feature your pet stories on West Coast Review.

Share your blog links, or send up your stories and we’ll post them here. Right now we’re gathering your favorite pet stories – your words. We’ll share them in 2022.

Send your pet stories to: westcoastreviewca@gmail.com


~ The Editors at West Coast Review

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