**As a warning to younger readers, such as my daughter, I would give this story a rating of at least PG-13, with some R-rated language.

I sorted through a couple of old stories and a few poems. The story that follows, Pops , was originally entitled, LISTEN, A VOICE, which was a bit clumsy, so I have changed it to the name of the main character. It shares elements of my two previous stories, dialogue similar to THE BALL, and imagery, music, and coming of age theme from TO DAWN.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my effort and the end result. While not perfect, and again a bit simplistic, I think some of the metaphors and images ring true, and reading as objectively as possible, I care about the characters.

I wish I could say the same about my other story, a poorly developed cross-cultural study of two heavyweight fighters. In the end, there is a sense of sameness that runs through the entire story and the main character remains essentially unchanged by his experiences. Some of the dialogue made me cringe upon review, so sadly, it is destined for the scrap heap.