Words to live by.

In a completely out-of-character move, I’m writing.  Please, don’t have a heart attack or anything drastic like that.  Just listen (tangent: what’s with the silent “t”?  I suppose “lissen” just looks funny).

The past 13 months of my life have been a roller coaster ride of various emotions and experiences.  “For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.”  That feels like the right way to describe it.  I made a single choice a year ago, and it feels like my life has been defined by this choice since that day.  I can’t undo what I did; all I can do is live my life the right way and learn from my mistakes.

I’ve reached a point in my life where some of my family no longer has my best interests at heart.  That’s not to say that they’re being malicious towards me; it’s more like they don’t realize that what they’re doing has and will continue to hurt me.  If memory serves, there’s a cliche about a road to hell and good intentions.  Like anyone else in the world, my family members have their own ideas of what’s right and what’s best.  But they started pushing and pushing; telling me that I have to do this and that I can’t do that.  The worst offender is my parents’ views on who I’m allowed to date.

You see, my parents decided to take a lesson from Henry Ford when it comes to their approval of a potential future daughter-in-law; I can date anyone I want as long as she’s Jewish.  Now, I get where they’re coming from with this.  They’re both semi-orthodox and want to make sure that people go on believing in their brand of big, fluffy God.  I used to be in that camp right along with them but I eventually stopped having invisible friends, so I’m more concerned with making sure my potential mate shares such traits as my appreciation for dark comedy and enjoyment of Ethiopian cuisine.

So what happens when my parents find out that I’m dating a girl whose parents believe in a different invisible friend than my parents do (but who does not share the beliefs of her parents)?  They begin a six month campaign to convince/coerce/force me to break up with her; as I was still under their roof until I saved up enough money from my new job to move out, I got their lectures and questions on a regular basis.  Now, why six months?  Because that’s how long it took for them to finally break me down to the point where I broke up with her.  I dumped this amazing woman I was seeing, a woman that I had so much in common with and loved being with, just because our two sets of parents believed in different fairy tales.  Add a little murder and suicide and there’s a new treatment for Romeo and Juliet somewhere in there.

It took finally moving out and away from them, a ruined friendship or two, and a failed attempt at dating their way to finally realize this truth: Do what makes you happy.  As long as you’re not hurting anyone else by doing it, you don’t have to answer to anyone.  I wish I had a redo.  I wish I could go back and have a second chance with this girl, but that’s not how the world works.

The life I’m living now isn’t the life I was hoping to have.  My social circle is a little smaller and I find myself despising my parents a bit more than I probably should.  I feel like I gave up on the best woman I’d ever dated because it’s what other people wanted, and now I can’t really bring myself to care about trying to meet someone else.  To say that I regret breaking up with her is an understatement, but all that I can do is keep moving forward and making sure that I don’t make the same mistake twice.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized, Updates


Portfolio-type Thing

These are a few articles written for Cheat Code Central, demonstrating my abilities as a writer on the subject of videogames.

Co-op of War:

What if the RROD Had Never Struck:

X-Men Destiny Preview:

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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


“A Brutal Poetry” Has Been Pulled

Out of respect to FortyOunceBachelors, who accepted the story for publication, “A Brutal Poetry” has been hidden on this site.

Luckily for you, FortyOunceBachelors is a free electro-literary magazine, and you’re able to read my story, and other excellent pieces, at their website. I urge you to check them out and “like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

– Shelby

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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Updates



The pavement cracks beneath me. Always so hard, immovable. For it to break… That has to symbolize something, right?

Wish I knew what.

Each breath burns my lungs, caustic atmosphere stinging worn musculature, urging it back to action. I can smell the lactic acid through my pores, on my sweat, in the blood that runs in jagged lines down my arms, drips from the tips of my fingers and bursts within the concrete’s newly-formed cracks.

So prominent is this, so powerful this sensation, that my feet seem numb, legs leaden, nothing but dead weight hanging from creaking joints and a heaving torso. Just the smell, just the taste and the sting.

Just the crack of two knuckles against my ribs, splitting them and crushing the organs behind, expelling air past my teeth. Bile coats my lips, sour and bitter on my tongue. I cough–involuntary–and bring a hand to my chest, wince at the fresh surge of pain.

I see it all: the foot arcing in, the heel snapping down from above, the air distorted around my chin as the two parts collide at odds, dull clatter of bones splintered in my jaw and teeth ripped free of my gums. There’s copper filling my mouth, even as I see it dribble from between lips barely parted, bright red and mixed with clear spit. Something strikes my chest from within, jerks cracked ribs into searing motion, beats again and nearly goes silent, provoking a scrambling fear in a rapidly dimming mind.

The cracks in the pavement widen under my bulk.


Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Writing


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“What the fuck were you thinking?”

The shmura matzah lies, edge broken, on the table. It’s still in its plastic bag, wrapped in Israel and sealed all the way to us. I release it, fingers tentatively dangling above it, deciding whether to continue trying to return it to its box.

“The package says ‘to Mr. Ronald Reiches.’ That’s my name, not yours.”

He’d opened it mere moments before, spacious yellow envelope with this simple, square box within. I’d removed the matzah from the box, to show him what shmura is. Thirty seconds ago, he’d had no concept of hand-pressed matzah, individually baked. A minute ago, he hadn’t even known we’d had matzah in the house.

I pick up the box once more, carefully return the matzah to the package and seal it back up, holding my tongue.

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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Writing


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Temporary Service Interruption + New Link

I apologize to those following along for the lack of updates on Pariah. This week has been surprisingly busy and very tiring, but productive in other “quality of life” ways. I promise I will be caught up on Pariah long before Sunday.

You might also have noticed a new section on the sidebar. It’s a section for the blogroll and, though there’s only one so far, it’s a doozy.

Script Bird Fiction is the eponymous author’s repository for short fiction, which she’ll be updating weekly. I’m sure she’d appreciate if everyone who came here popped on over there and offered her comments and support as she leaps full-steam into the world of internet blogging.

I swear, I’m not as lazy as I seem,


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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Updates


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Pariah (ii)

They sit on the edge of a small patio, attached to the body of the dojo and facing the waterfall, the forest above it. The town’s wall, tall stalks of bamboo that has yellowed with age, terminates at the woods’ edge. Kiori dangles his legs in the air, kicks them back and forth with the impatient energy of all children. He looks up at the waterfall, over to the trees and down the road in turn, his attention never remaining in one place for long. His father simply stares straight ahead, feet planted, but knee twitching uneasily.

“You’ve fallen behind in your training, again.”

Kiori’s legs stop moving, then begin again with increased speed and intensity, but his eyes are focused straight down at the stone walkway. They remain there, as though stuck, while his father takes the rare opportunity—his youngest son, listening!—to continue speaking.

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Writing


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