Halloween 2021

Happy Halloween!

To help you celebrate this American cultural event, which makes a party out of facing our deepest fears, I’m sharing some of the spooky short stories I’ve written over the years. The links are below. If you want to see a note about each story, you can access them through the “Spooky Stories” page. Enjoy!

Dark Friend

Spirit Nonsense


Jimmy Roe’s Big, Black Dog


Forgotten Dead

This blog is my fresh start. It seems fitting, however, to begin my new life with a goodbye to my old life. I have legally changed my name and consider myself, in a fundamental way, a new person. I have therefore written an obituary for my old self, whom I will call “J.”

Rest in Peace J

Obituary for J

J, beloved by no one, passed away last July, without those she loved noticing. She leaves behind five children but no mourners. There will be no funeral nor memorial for this woman who is already forgotten and will not be missed by anyone within her family.

J was born and raised in a middle class family in Southern California. She was an honors/AP student throughout school, earning top grades and awards. Her passion was singing, dancing and acting. She was constantly active in community and college theater. Her most notable roles were as Lady MacBeth in Shakespeare’s famous play, including in a production at Stirling University in Scotland. She lived in many states within the United States of America, and in Scotland, UK. She also traveled in many other countries. She was the author of several short stories and the award-winning “The Shaman’s Apprentice” series, under the pen name B. Muze. Having given life to five children, she served them not only as a loving, involved, devoted mother but also as their homeschool teacher and Girl Scout leader.

Though preceded in death by her parents, J is remembered by friends for her positivity, her optimism, her honesty, her kindness, her instinctive compassion, and her empathy. She drove herself toward excellence, with fierce determination and discipline, earning two Bachelor degrees, Comparative Literature and Drama, and an unofficial minor in writing from a prestigious university, while working her way through college. She went on to support her mother through a period of financial difficulty, then, later, she supported her husband in law school and afterward, until her husband demanded she become a stay-at-home mother.

Though some claim her abilities to laugh at herself, easily acknowledge her mistakes, and strive to correct them, were her greatest virtues, her oldest friend identified J’s most outstanding quality as her insistence on always seeing the best in others. This proved also to be her greatest fault, trapping her in an abusive marriage and losing her the love and respect of her children, whom she failed to protect from their father and his parents. Her commitment to honesty blinded her to the lies of others. Her unfailing loyalty and trustworthiness rendered her incapable of anticipating any betrayal. Her innate kindness made every evil unimaginable to her, leaving her unprepared for her marriage. In the end, she proved too naïve to survive.

She was, from birth, a deeply spiritual lover of God. We therefore entrust her to God, in the hope that the potential she failed to realize in this life may not be lost to our world forever.


In comparison, the following is the obituary I hope to earn. It sets a few, modest goals for myself. Since it hasn’t yet happened, all quotes are, of course, fictional, but I hope when I am finally done, there will be masses of people eager to testify to similar things about me.

Obituary for Aoife Aylya Mayze

Aoife Aylya Mayze passed in peace this morning at her home in *******, surrounded by dear friends and family. She was 125 years old and in excellent health until the end. She is survived by her loving husband, her 3 daughters and 2 sons, her 7 step-children, 16 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.

Best known to the public by her pen and stage names, Aylya Mayze and 2AMayze, she has been an Emmy and Academy award winning actress and writer, and bestselling, award-winning author. In 2017 she founded Wittily Writ Publishing, which had a profound impact on world-wide culture by bringing to us extraordinary, difficult to classify works, that had been commonly rejected by mainstream publishers in the past. These boundary-stretching works, primarily literary at first, expanded over time to include multi-sensory and interactive experiences, stretching the limits of our imaginations. Among the authors Wittily Writ promoted to prominence were B. Muze, whose best-selling series, “Jovai” and “Firebird,” Aoife edited, herself, then helped bring to screen in the Academy Award Winning and blockbuster series of films, and Anderson Kenyak, the somewhat controversial but always wacky and hilarious novelist and performance artist.  Aoife also published over 30 novels of her own, including “Mistress of Calistar” and “Majtega Maiden,” which both became Emmy award winning mini-series, and “The Escape of Motley’s Rose,” which was made into a hit musical on both stage and in film. Her novel, “Constantly Catherine,” loosely based on her first marriage, not only delighted readers with its wit and humor, but also expanded our understanding of such serious issues as Narcissistic Personality Disorder, spousal abuse, and child abuse. It is credited with inspiring needed reforms in divorce and custody laws and generally improving public understanding and compassion for those trapped in abusive relationships.

Above all else, her favorite accomplishment was the Step-Up Communities she founded world-wide. These not only sheltered the homeless, destitute, abused and lost, but also, through education and opportunities in a safe, secure environment, helped them raise themselves out of poverty and, in many cases, into tremendous success.

“Aylya encouraged and uplifted everyone around her,” said Marcus Niege, Founder and CEO of OS and a graduate of her Step Up program.  “She made it easy to believe in, then to do, what seemed impossible at first.”

“She never lost faith in me,” Bonny Tuffet proclaimed in her acceptance speech for her Nobel Prize, “even when I couldn’t find any reason to keep living. During the darkest period of my life, she was my light, my connection to God, until I could find it again inside myself. But it wasn’t just me, it was all of us. She loved and inspired everyone.”

Kanya Frank, former director of Doctors Without Borders, founder of MAMD, and former graduate of the Step-Up Community, wrote in her biography, “Aoife had survived things as bad as what we were facing, and she blessed God constantly for those experiences, partly because it helped her better know what she could do to help us. She recognized no reason for shame in failing or suffering because, to her, a full life always included both ups and downs. It was only normal. It meant the bad times would never last. Success was always just ahead while failure was nothing but a valuable learning experience. She would say that she loved praise, but she needed criticism – praise made her feel better, but constructive criticism helped her actually become better. It was the same with good times and hard times. Good times were wonderful, but it was challenges that stretched her, strengthened her, and forced her to grow. She believed one could always turn the bad to good, and she always had faith that we would. She inspired me to reach farther, work harder, and accomplish far more than I ever thought possible. That’s what her Step-Up Communities were about. She wasn’t doing for us, but encouraging us to do for ourselves, because we could. We were all worthy and wonderful in her eyes, even before we had realized our potential. Actually, I can imagine her chiding me for saying that as if our potential were a finite thing. She made us believe the truth that we all had infinite potential, if we only dared pursue it.”

“Mom was a deeply loving person. She loved people, children, animals, music, laughter, art, nature…the list of who and what she loved is endless, but the list of all she hated was short: injustice and cruelty. Well, she wasn’t a big fan of sardines on pizza either.” – ********, daughter.

With unfailing kindness and a sense of humor that delighted even in her own folly, Aoife Aylya Mayze once described her lifestyle as “a celebration of both God and humanity, and I’m the one dancing with a lampshade on my head.” We are grateful to have known her and look forward to meeting her again, as God wills.