Monday, August 8, 2022

After a short break, a book release and some are two sections of Joe the Salamander read at F-Bomb

 The Video Below: During a reading on Zoom for New York's F-Bomb series, I decided to simultaneously record myself live on Instagram. Check out the very beginning of Joe the Salamander and also I read a second section somewhere in the middle below by clicking the picture.

Some Background: Joe is my third novel, and this journey all started back in 1999 when I published my first book, an e-book of eight short stories. Back then I put book before craft, which is opposite of what I am doing now. Joe is probably my most focused work---but there were also outside issues I needed to clear first, before Joe even earned a spine. The first one was, as a person not diagnosed with neurodiversity or on the spectrum, I needed to be sure that if I was writing a character in a way to give it justice. Early versions of the manuscript were sent to some people with that diagnoses and some parents of those as well. The feedback was encouraging. It was important that throughout the book I never used the words, "autism", "neurodiversity", "spectrum", or any other label or diagnosis. 

Some Luck: One of the initial readers at Golden Antelope Publishing is, in fact, diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum. He loved the book and recommended that it be sent through to the next round of submissions of work to be potentially published by Golden Antelope. Well, it made it, but even before the book was published, I was reading from the manuscript every week at my series, Virtual Fridays Dire Literary Series.  I started on page one in 2020 and in the next few weeks this will be completely finished. As always, I thank people for the support I've been given, the work of my ART team who got the book up to #1 on an Amazon Best Seller List.


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Summer Issue of Wilderness House Literary Review---and yes, as noted, I'm on a hiatus the next couple of issues.


Yes, I'm taking some issues off, as mentioned in CEO Steve Glines column in The Wilderness House Literary Review.  Maybe it's to promote my new book, (third novel) Joe the Salamander   but maybe it's because I've taken on too much on my plate! 

I can reflect that the fiction I read is better and better, that's good! It also means that it's more difficult to get in, that's bad! More than half of what was rejected would have been automatically accepted even a few years ago. I credit the journal itself for getting itself out there and being a really great read. 

So here's what I picked. They really stood out!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Numbers: 2 Poems, 1 Flash Fiction of mine published in Tell-Tale Inklings #6 (and Joe paperback out July 4)

Mignon Ariel King's Tell-Tale Inklings #6 is out with a wonderful lineup: 

Featured Poet: CL Bledsoe

Tiel Aisha Ansari

Paul Brucker

Michael Ceraolo

Christine M. Dubois

Christine Fowler

Timothy Gager

Holly Guran

Chad Parenteau

You can buy it HERE

 Of my work included, 

Poems: 1) The Attenuation of Wide Ranges of Thoughts 

This poem is about how we live in fear of driving over bridges, sinkholes, booby-traps, cancer, and viruses. 

2) I am Alone

Watching Bad Movies during the Pandemic

after Fathers and Daughters

Ever watch a movie that the characters, what they do, and their motivations just piss you off because they are so poorly written? So I watched Fathers and Daughters a movie starring Russell Crowe and a made a poem out of the film review. 

Flash Fiction:  Hey, Benni 

This one focusses on PDA and a conversation around it, which is picked up by Siri, Alexa or any of those other spying AI thingys you want to name. 


Joe the Salamander will drop in paperback form on July 4 so I'd love for you to pick it up. Want a little push? Read the reviews already posted on Amazon I am extremely grateful and lucky. . 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

My Experience with Dar Dixon

This podcast was to promote Joe the Salamander but instead, the host, Dar Dixon and I got into all sorts of social issues, previous books and future books. To listen click this link, or watch the video.  Also, there are sign post times to move to subjects you want to hear about....for example the 10% of the podcast we do talk about Joe the Salamander happens at 32:45. (Also, the pre-release of Joe reached number one on Amazon--beating out a Kennedy)

About Dar Dixon: 

The Art of Being Dar - Hosted by Dar Dixon

Dar is a half Iranian/half American white boy...born in Tehran.

Yes, Iran.

He's moved over 80 times.

He escaped the Iranian Revolution with, literally, the clothes on his back.

He even found himself in a cult...

And through every crazy thing that's happened, against insane odds, he's been succeeding in life & in Hollywood, for almost 30 years.

People with boring lives have boring stories.

Nothing boring here.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

10 BY 10, Ten Flash Fictions by Ten Writers publishes "Beloved Do Us Part" in their Inaugural issue

    Zvi Sesling, Editor of the Muddy River Poetry Review, has jumped into flash fiction by having numerous flash pieces published. Then he decided to put out 10 BY 10 with ten unpublished works of flash by ten different writers. I was honored to be solicited---IN FACT, he wrote, "wait till you see who you are in with." 

   Well it's an all-star flash fiction lineup with : Paul Beckman, Jayne Martin, Robert Scotellaro, Renuka Raghavan, Michael C. Keith, Phil Temples, Francine Witte, Niles Reddick, and Kathy Fish. 
Thanks, Zvi. 

* * *

     Now the story behind the story, Beloved Do Us Part. I wrote this story mear the end of March, about a week after my father passed. It was a pretty dark week---so, as the mind expanded into the world of writing, I thought, what could be worse than going to a funeral?

   The answer involves an accident while delivering the urn to the service....and the protagonist arriving late, and having his wife drop one more bomb on him. 


Monday, June 13, 2022

REVIEW: Boston Small Press and Poetry and Joe the Salamander PRE-ORDER INFO


Second review (Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene)---and this text will appear in the print Somerville Times in July. Thanks Doug Holder
Doug Holder "At first glance it may seem that a novel about an autistic boy and his struggles, might not be a ripe subject for fiction. After all, this population is characterized by repetitive behaviors, and non-verbal communication, hardly the stuff for rich dialogue, and action-filled pages. But in Tim Gager’s latest novel, “ Joe the Salamander” the author brings an autistic boy named Joe alive, and follows him from a newly-slapped baby-- to his maturation as a man. This is a survival story in many respects because if Joe can’t adjust to a hostile environment, he would be doomed to be some ward of the state or even worse. Often the sins of our fathers are passed on, and as it happen Joe’s dad Adrian is autistic as well, and doesn’t have enough distance from the disorder to help his son. The women in his life—Millie his mother, and Laurie—a caring nurse, are the stalwarts in Joe’s travails.
Gager, who is a social worker, and who once worked out of a state office in Davis Square, Somerville, brings his knowledge of this disorder to the forefront. We experience the agonizing and grinding progress of Joe; we are able to get a fascinating look at his skewed thought process, and his profound confusion with emotion.
Joe when he was a young kid, often adorned a Superman costume. This is a great conceit Gager brings into play. The use of an all-powerful, flying superhero, transcending the fray—saving the day—breaking the nefarious bubble that surrounds our protagonist is inspired.
Not to give anything up, but in the end Gager ties things up beautifully."
Gager, to my mind brings the skills of a clinician to fiction, but this is not a dry, clinical work. Having worked in the mental health field at McLean Hospital for 37 years, this book rings powerfully true for me. This book is an accomplished work of fiction--but it should be required reading for aspiring mental health professionals, as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

What does it take to be part of Joe the Salamanders Advanced Reading Team?


Many of you have heard me reading from Joe the Salamander since May 2020 nearly every week at Virtual Fridays Dire Literary Series. With the book out in about six weeks, I need some volunteers for my Advanced Reader Team. (Some of you folks who attend regularly may not need the advanced PDF sent) If interested email me: or comment below

This is what it consists of:

  1. About two weeks before the book comes out I'll send a digital copy to your email
  2. When the Kindle comes out, there will be a .99 cent version for ART people only and you will buy it. If this would deter you I will Venmo/paypal anyone who wants reinbursement.
  3. A week later, post a review. It doesn't have to be comprehensive NOR is a 5-Star review required, but boy those are nice.
That is all. Those's an outide review

And the press release form the Publisher, Golden Antelope Press

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

First Outside Review of Joe the Salamander (due out July 2022) from the Mid West Book Review


Established in 1976, the Midwest Book Review is an organization committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. 

 Here's what they had to say:

Critique: With its inherent message promoting the value of appreciating diverse abilities, disabilities, and circumstances, and although "Joe The Salamander" is a work of fiction, author Timothy Gager's novel is solidly and soundly based on real-life conditions as experienced by thousands of children throughout the United States today. Entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Joe The Salamander" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Diversity Fiction collections. 
Editorial Note: Timothy Gager has published 16 books of fiction and poetry (including 17 of which were nominated for Pushcart Prizes). His work has been nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award, The Best of the Web, and The Best Small Fictions Anthology.

Friday, April 29, 2022

There is Some Gratitude to have two poems in Spring's Muddy River Poetry Review

You can read the poems HERE  and the rest of the issue HERE.  These are my first published pieces in 2022

     So why the "some" in the title of this blog?  I've not done the story behind the story of my work in awhile, but there is a story here, but it's just not about the work.  The story is about depression---and I'm extremely nervous and wary about posting it, but here it is. 

    Things have changed a lot since I submitted these poems in December 2021. I was about to leave to see my father for a pre-Christmas visit. It would be the last time I would see him at that Assisted Living location. The next time I would wee him would be March of this year at a Rehab/Nursing Home when he wasn't doing well. He would die a week later. 

     My story, not behind these poems, is grounded in my medical chart: Severe Clinical Depression: In Remission. How could I have possibly have anticipated the effect of loss. Well for awhile I pushed it down, and then it all appeared sideways, in ways I can understand at the most basic level regarding grieving, but I cannot understand why my high intensity/low frequency actions seemed to not be in control. And I own all of it---all the shitty behavior. Thus the spiral begins....having needs, but causing harm, and pain---leading to a depression I've not experienced in years. I've reached out--beginning therapy again, but meanwhile it's that dreaded dichotomy and questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and how to get back to getting through the very basic day-to-day things. 

    So the poems, both written in September at Writers in the Round at Star Island. The second poem, Not Perfect Does Not Make Practice is a completely fictious piece of work. I may have heard a true story about someone's mother crashing a car into the back of a garage, but it wasn't my mother. I interjected a need of a child to get somewhere via that car, but basically not much more to explain regarding that metaphor. Now the other poem...

Credit: Photography for the Star Gathering Website by Shoalers Sean D. Elliot, Charlie Nutting, David J. Murray, Tristan Bins and Lisa Santilli as well as

      Here's the  picture at the exact location I wrote The Holy Orchestrated on Star Island.  It was like a symphony how the birds stopped and rested on the monument located there  The movement, precision, sound and measure--within their own direction is magnificent beauty.  There is peace in location and within that metaphor, but that too seems like a far away location, as I've said here, a lot has changed. Can I get back....will I see or visualize those birds? I wish to get back, as the birds keep flying, circling and perching in a place that seems very far and difficult to get to. 

Monday, April 4, 2022

April Showers bring Spring Issue of Wilderness House Literary Review

 The entire issue can be read HERE. Enjoy the read!

And I had fun picking out the fiction....some really great stuff.

WHLR 65st  Issue (Volume 17, no 1)-April 2022

and all the rest

WHLR 64st  Issue (Volume 16, no 4)-January 2022


WHLR 63st  Issue (Volume 16, no 3)-October 2021

WHLR 62st  Issue (Volume 16, no 2)-July 2021

WHLR 61st  Issue (Volume 16, no 1)-April 2021

WHLR 60th issue (Volume 15, no 4) -January 2021

WHLR 59th issue (Volume 15, no 3) - October 2020

WHLR 58th issue (Volume 15, no 2) - July 2020

WHLR 57th issue (Volume 15, no 1) - April 2020

WHLR 56th issue (Volume 14, no 4) - January 2020

WHLR 55th issue (Volume 14, no 3) - October 2019

WHLR 54th issue (Volume 14, no 2) - July 2019

WHLR 53th issue (Volume 14, no 1)   April 2019

WHLR 52th issue (Volume 13, no 4)  January 2019

WHLR 51th issue (Volume 13, no 3)  October 2018

WHLR 50th issue (Volume 13, no 2)  July 2018

WHLR 49th issue (Volume 13, no 1)  April 2018

WHLR 48th issue (Volume 12, no 4)  January 2018

WHLR 47th issue (Volume 12, no 3)  October 2017

WHLR 46th issue (Volume 12, no 2)  July 2017

WHLR 45th issue (Volume 12, no 1)  April 2017

WHLR 44th issue (Volume 11, no 4)  January 2017

Friday, March 25, 2022

REPLAY CENTRAL: Winter Features at Dire January 2022-April 2022


Watch all the readings and interviews from January starting with DeMisty Bellinger, and ending in March with Marguerite Guzman Bouvard. Who is coming up this spring and summer? Check it out here

1.07.22 Jerry Stahl (no call, no show)

1.14.24 Renuka Raghaven

1.21.22 Jessica Cuello

1.28.22 Jen Knox

2.4.22 Daniel Biegelson

2.11.22 Alison Stine

02.18.22 John Rosenthal

02.25.22 Peter Crowley

03.04.22 Maggie Doherty

03.11.22 Erin Khar

03.18.22 Elan Barnehama (from Good Contrivance Farm)

03.25.22 Marguerite Guzman Bouvard

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

2022 Spring/Summer Schedule, Virtual Fridays Dire Literary Series

And as always, the best way to get information or link is to join FACEBOOK GROUP or email me at


1st- The all-open mic Two Year Anniversary Event, and 300th Dire of all-time!

8. Sara Lippman 

15 Easter Weekend- OFF

22. Robin McLean

29. Gregory Orr


6. Rich Murphy 

13. Diane Seuss

20. Ron Tanner

27 Memorial Day Weekend-OFF 



3. Aleathia Drehmer 

9. Christina Adams , A very Special Thursday Dire   

17. Sharon Appleman Greenwald

24 Star Island Arts-OFF 



8. Lucas Scheelk 

15 OFF

22 Joseph Milosch

29. Barbara Legere 



12 Ellene Glenn Moore

19 OFF

26. Vincent Cellucci and Chris Shipman