Monday, December 30, 2019

Most viewed blog posts from 2019--

2019---In like a lion, out like a train wreck---but I note the most viewed blogs of the year every year (based on hits), so here goes. Note: not one of these made the all-time blog most viewed. I must be slipping 

Top Ten Viewed Posts from 2019

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

What I learned from Marguerite Gager 012/11/30-12/25/19

This isn't a eulogy, nor is it meant to be. Marguerite Gager died today. She was an artist, a teacher, the daughter of Italian immigrants. She was my mother.

      What Marguerite taught me was that art is important. It was what she received a BFA in Fine Arts at Pratt Institute in New York during the fifties. She always made art. Her paintings were on the wall of our home, as well as some reproductions of classic arts. She had four children, seven years apart, and she still created. I was the fourth born, so I was often occupied with clay, water colors, pencils, pen and ink etc. I wasn't very good, in fact, think stick figures and obtuse perspectives.

       While in high school, I remember her finishing a short story on an old type writer, and the fact that short stories could be created, left a strong impression. There was always great, books at home, written by wonderful writers, but here was my mother making something out of nothing. Art and writing were something that she did, but it wasn't for me. Writing assignments in school were just writing what other people wanted. Hell, I couldn't be told anything, let alone pleasing others with words.

      Then something horrible happened in my life when I was in my twenties and I needed to journal about it. I certainly didn't need therapy, and talking about it was not on my personal menu, so that was my outlet. I wrote every day for a couple of months, and then when I felt I was healed, I stopped writing in my journal. Then a week later, I found I missed writing, so I sat down and finished my first short story. But this isn't about me.

      My mom wrote and continued to write all throughout her life. She submitted later on, and received some very encouraging rejections from very large, popular, and well know literary journals. Being rejected didn't stop her from continuing to create. She had a few poems
published, and some short stories were included in a journal from writers living on the south shore. She was a good writer. She hosted a poetry group for the residents of her elder condominium complex. Nothing too heavy, or about death, as these people are old she once told me. She was in a writing critique group until early last summer when she received her terminal diagnosis of stage four cancer.

In November I wrote a poem with my mother. She provided off the cuff thoughts, and sentences, and I crafted something out of them. We ended up with a poem which was quite meaningful to me.

Near Leaves and Light

Even the leaves were threatening.
The orange ones especially
when she saw, she shivered,
felt as if she could pluck
the light from the branches.

The noise deafening.
think about this, think about this
Thoughts more important than words,  
in those thoughts, God is very near.
Then, there was singing.
 -Marguerite and Timothy Gager 11/21/19

      Early in December, as I sat by her at Harbor House in Hingham, where she received hospice, and began notes for this very post. Then it struck me that she could have a laptop and write while she was there...nothing new, just something to write on. She received this news positively, and I hoped to read something by her---but she didn't produce anything. I knew God was very near. 

Birthday cards created by M. Gager

Sunday, December 15, 2019

2019- My Year in Publishing

As 2019 winds to a close, may all of your publishing dreams come through in 2020 and may all your challenges in life be minimal. Here's a list of what was published by me in 2019. I also continued to read fiction for Wilderness House Literary Review (click the link for ALL of them).


Spreading Like Wild Flowers, October 2019, Big Table Publishing


"The Four Kings of Harmony" November 1, 2019 Better Than Starbucks

"The Four Kings of Harmony" November 1, 2019 Better Than Starbucks (print edition)

"Inside the Mind of Brad's Therapist" July 31, 2019 The Very Best of Big Table Publishing Volume 2

"Jack" July 31, 2019 The Very Best of Big Table Publishing Volume 2

"Happy Birthday from Grand Slams" July 31, 2019 The Very Best of Big Table Publishing Volume 1

"Beautiful Prayers" May 1, 2019 Freshwater Literary 


"Existential Crisis"
November 1, 2019 Broadkill Review

"This is Where I Am (When Here)"
July 31, 2019 The Very Best of Big Table Publishing Volume 1

"The Dark Corner of a Theater"
June 30, 2019 Ibbetson Street 45

"This Poem Is Like a Bruise"
May 10, 2019 Live Nude Poems

"When I Found You in an Old Diary"
"Brookline Village at Night"
March 11, 2019 Anti-Heroin Chic

"College Dining Hall"
January 7, 2019 Nixes Mate Review


November 5, 2019

Writers at Work Lecture
February 5, 2019


Joe the Salamander
Semi-Finalist 2019 Holland Prize

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Very Best of Big Table Publishing, Volume One and Two

      These two volumes, released recently in all their iridescence, have the very best writings of Big Table Publishing. I am honored to have two pieces in each. Robin Stratton has run Big Table for fifteen years, and the place feels like home and the writers feel like family. In Volume One I have a poem This Is Where I Am (When Here), from Chief Jay Strongbow is Real, and an excerpt from my novel Grand Slams: A Coming of Eggs Story, entitled Happy Birthday from Grand Slams.

     In Volume Two, Robin picked the flash piece, Jack from Every Day There is Something About Elephants. Also included was the excerpt Inside the Mind of Brad's Therapist from The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan. 

Here's the rest of the Family
List of contributors, volume 1
 Timothy Gager, Lawrence Kessenich, Phillip Temples, Annie Stanzel, John Cuetara, Brad Rose, Christopher Bullard, Brady Peterson, Jane Banning, Mark Saba, John Stanizzi, Jim Gustafson, Karen Kelsay, Elizabeth Szewczyk, Lyle Roebuck, Robert Hilliard, Paul Beckman, Judith Blake, Nancy Scott, Nancy Stohlman, Thomas Lyons, Tina Barry, Rodger LeGrand, Laurette Folk, Vic Sizemore, Amye Archer, Burgess Needle, Jennifer Jean, Susan Hodara,, Joan Potter, Lori Toppel,Vicki Addesso, Michael C. Keith. Glenn Bowie, George Ovitt, Christopher Reilley. Jon Sindell, Robert Scotellaro, Carol Lynn Grellas, Jennifer Martelli, Martin McCaw, Liz Ciampa, Rebecca Leo, Richard Fox, Cindy Lurie, Keith Tornheim, Cheryl Pallant, Judy Hogan, Steve Klepetar, Meg Tuite, Nancy Gerber, Zvi A. Sesling, Tony Press, Lorraine Davis, Craig Fishbane, John Gifford, Brian Fanelli, Rex Stockton, Rob Dinsmore, Ebby, Lois Cuddy, Nina Bingham, Zack Kopp, Renuka Raghavan

 Table of Contents, volume 2

Amye Archer, Brady Peterson, Doug Holder, Richard Fox, Cindy Lurie, Jon Sindell, Keith Tornheim, Jim Gustafson, John Stanizzi, Jennifer Martelli, Cheryl Pallant, Judy Hogan, Steve Klepetar, Laura Rodley, Phil Temples, Robert Scotellaro, Meg Tuite, Tina Barry, Nancy Gerber, Glenn Bowie, Zvi Sesling, Tony Press, Chris Reilley, Lorraine Davis, Craig Fishbane, John Gifford, Brian Fanelli, Elizabeth Szewczyk. Rex Stockton, Jennifer Jean, Laurette Folk, Rob Dinsmoor, Lois Cuddy, Rodger LeGrand, Robert Hilliard, Nina Bingham, Liz Ciampa, Zack Kopp, Christopher Bullard, Michael Keith, Renuka Raghavan, Maureen Sherbondy

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tomorrow will be Nine years of here's my story, and also an appearance on podcast, Recovery Happy Hour

 So tomorrow is another day, but it's also a day that I'm nine years sober, and on a great podcast,  hosted by Tricia Lewis!

Listen to a podcast that came out today called 
Recovery Happy Hour 
(click the above link and listen. I come on at the 7 minute mark)

--------------Now, here's my story-----------
I came out of a blackout here at The People’s Republic in Cambridge. It was November 6, 2010, 1:30 AM, and it was, in fact, right on the stool slightly to the left of the bar tap. I always liked sitting in the corner.

The very seat is back left...

      I didn’t know where the  friends I came with were but the next day they were no longer my  friends on the account of my behavior.  One of the people that left me during that night, a night that I hardly remember, went home and overdosed.

     Today, all I know, because I can look it up, is that I hosted The Dire Literary Series that night which featured Victor David Giron, Michael Atwood and Leo Racicot.

     I also know that my drinking had been bad for a long time. I’d been blackout driving for the past year. People would call me the next day saying they’d been on the phone with me during these times and were worried that I was going to die and probably take people with me.  During one of these phone calls I told someone I was entering the Mass Pike in the wrong direction.

     I survived that night but I had taken people with me. Besides alienating friends, my children told me that they were afraid to spend time with me. I had swings of anger. I embarrassed them when I was drunk.  On November 6, 2010, I woke up feeling horrible and desperate. I decided to give it a honest attempt at becoming sober.  I attended a 4 PM meeting in Needham and so far, I have never had another drink.

     Since then, I’ve been happier. My moods remain for the most part pretty stable. I have support from others. I am a better person. I have some good friends I can tell anything to. Most of all I’m not afraid to be honest. This is the greatest gift. Being honest isn’t that bad at all and by doing so, life is much easier.

     Tomorrow will be nine years without alcohol, but it’s not about the years, it's about living through each day--all    of them. Keeping the thoughts to only one day is pretty easy. In hindsight, I should have held off posting this until another six days, but I get very reflective upon things that happen to me.

     There have been some big challenges recently in my life, which in the past would have been devastating and destructive to me personally. Instead, I’ve been able to think about how grateful I am for my life, rather than focus on the negatives, such as what I have lost or almost lost.  These recent events in my life have really sucked. They have made me upset angry and most of all, sad. I am able to see that these are real and honest emotions. Life is full of real events. Not every day is good and often it is far from it, but life is life, and I can't control that either–but I’m here…I’m alive…and I love.

Friday, November 1, 2019

New work out in "Better Than Starbucks," "Broadkill Review," and a nice review for "Spreading Like Wild Flowers."

So November brings a few things that I'm grateful to be involved in. First a flash fiction called The Four Kings of Harmony is out Better Than Starbucks.
     Personally, I'm a Starbucks drinker, so being better than my cup o' Joe is damn good. Of course, if it means that they are rubbing things in Starbucks face---I'm okay with that too. Better Than Starbucks is available in on line format (link above) and also in two print versions which you can purchase. 1)  Economy and 2) Premium.  
     The story behind this story was that I was in my office talking to a co-worker about THIS MILLS BROTHERS SONG., so my mind goes to records and '45's, which are vinyl things you play music off from a thing called a record player. Then it leads me to '45,' our 45th President. Well read the story, it's veiled politically (well, okay, not really)

Also in their November Issue
The Interview: Tendai Rinos Mwanaka & Five Poems. Featured Poems: Barbara Loots, AM Roselli, Evan Guilford-Blake, Xuanjie Huang. Free Verse: John Grey, Emily Strauss, Susan Richardson, L.R. Harvey, Doug Pinkston, Luis CuauhtĂ©moc Berriozábal, and more. Haiku: Gerry Fabian, Sarah Calvello, Andrea Cecon, Paula R. Hilton, Tate Lewis, Goran Gatalica and more. Formal & Rhyming Poetry: Richard Wakefield, Alfred Nicol, Aaron Poochigian, Jennifer Reeser, Jean L. Kreiling, Chris O’Carroll, and more. Free Verse: Heather Brett, Yahia Lababidi, and more. Poetry Translations Janice D. Soderling, Michael R. Burch. International Poetry: Kushal Poddar, Zohar Teshartok, and more. African Poetry: Lazola Pambo, Emmanuel Stephen Ogboh, Ibrahim Sorie Bangura, and more. Poetry Unplugged Arthur Powers, Sonia Beauchamp, David Gershan, and more. Experimental & Form Poetry: Stephen Bett, James Swafford, and more. Fiction: Jonathan Ferrini. Flash Fiction: Clive Aaron Gill, Timothy Gager. Creative Non-Fiction: John Haymaker.


     Also out today is a poem Existential Crisis, in The Broadkill Review out of Milton, Delaware. This is a "found poem," from an on-line message conversation, where my friend was talking about her day's existential crisis. I love borrowing---borrowing Mills Brothers lyrics to make a political story, and the awesome words from others, telling me about their lives (with approval, of course.)

Linda Wlodyka

A few weeks before my book, Spreading Like Wild Flowers was released, I read with amazing poet Linda Wlodyka at the Great Falls Word Festival. held in Turners Falls, Massachusetts at The Shea Theater. When the book was released she bought a copy, and reviewed it on Amazon.
The review was delightful and I greatly appreciated the time and effort from any reader, but from another poet is extra special. 

October 30, 2019
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Happy Nomination, Sweet Sixteen

My newly birthed book, Spreading Like Wild Flowers ( PURCHASE IT HERE) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Big Table Publishing. It was nominated with these other fine people and books. Overall it's my sixteenth Pushcart nomination. A nomination, some might say, isn't a big deal.  In fact, John Fox says so. Well, I think it's an acknowledgment of all the work published by any given publisher, that out of everything they saw and reviewed this year, yours was one of their best. I still list it in bios (sorry John Fox), because, you know, sixteen nominations is good stuff. Thank you to Robin Stratton, Editor and CEO at Big Table. She's the absolute best!

Tina Barry for "Beautiful Raft"
Timothy Gager for "Spreading Like Wild Flowers"

Christopher Reilley for "One Night Stanzas"
Rob Dinsmoor for "Toxic Cookout"
Jon Sindell for "The Pugilist Poets of Venice."

Sweet 16

Friday, October 11, 2019

How to purchase my latest book, Spreading Like Wild Flowers----

You can buy, Spreading Like Wild Flowers
using the suggestions below, but you can also buy any of the books below

Every Day There is Something About Elephants

Chief Jay Strongbow is Real,

Grand Slams: A Coming of Eggs Story

The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan 

or any of my books 

                                              the exact same way 

1. Through me, Paypal, ( $15.00   on my website (paypal)

You make out with no shipping, I don't charge any.
Author makes out from you buying direct.
Paypal takes some of the money, unless you use the gift button.

2. Though me, Credit Card, $15.00

You make out with no shipping, I don't charge any.
Author makes out from you buying direct.
Paypal takes some of the money, because this option is through them

Contact me with your credit card numbers (sounds a little sketchy, I know. Sorry).


3. Though me, Venmo 
@Timothy-Gager, $15.00

You make out with no shipping, I don't charge any.
Author makes out from you buying direct.
Paypal takes some of the money, unless you use the gift button.

4. Though me, Check, $15.00 (google the word check if this confuses you)

You make out with no shipping, I don't charge any.
Author 's best option.

Contact me for my mailing address.

5.  Through your favorite Indy Bookstore $15.00 + brief wait

You make out by getting the book. Ask store to order with  ISBN-13:  978-1945917363 
For other books Amazon page has the number
Author  makes out by  very small royalty.

6.  At Amazon $14.99 + shipping 

Kindle $7

You make out by getting the book.
Author  makes out by sales number increase on site and the very small royalty. Can you say a dime?'
If you buy from a outside seller listed on Amazon, author gets ZERO

7.  Though Barnes and Noble,  website $15 + shipping, store $15

You make out by getting the book.
You pay a penny more
Ask store to order by ISBN number   ISBN-13:978-1945917363
Author  makes out by sales number increase on site and the very small royalty.

8.  By coming to a reading or appearance. If you don't,  I'm sure I'll have some hanging around, if you bump into me. The trunk of my car. My closet. At work.

You make out by getting the book, saying hello, and hearing an entertaining read. I'll get to thank you. I'll even sign it..
Author  makes out by you buying direct, getting to say hello to you, and receiving all my gratitude--and no shipping cost for me.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Upcoming Readings 2019-2020

With Spreading Like Wild Flowers due out in late October, here is my line-up for appearances---more to be announced. 


Sat., October 12, 2019 Turners Falls, MA

Great Falls Word Festival, 4:00 PM

Upstairs Shea Theater
71 Avenue A
Turners Falls , Ma

Featured poet reading with Tom Timmons, Terry S. Johnson
Jon Wesick and TBA

Book Release Party
Sat., November 9, 2019 Somerville, MA

Center for the Arts at the Armory, 4:30 PM

191 Highland Ave
Somerville , Ma

Book release for Spreading Like Wild Flowers, with Special Guests

Fri., December 6, 2019 Dorchester, MA

Unearthed Song & Poetry, 7:00 PM sign up, 7:30 show

Home.stead Bakery and Cafe
1448 Dorchster ave,
Dorchester , Ma

Featured poet reading with featured musical act

Sun., December 22, 2019 New York, NY

Great Weather for Media Event, 4:00 PM

Parkside Lounge
317 E Houston St,
New York, NY

hosted by George Wallace

 Thur, January 23, 2020 Roslindale, Ma
 Rozzie Reads Poetry, 7:00 PM
 Roslindale House, Community Room
120 Poplar Street,
Roslindale, Ma.

Featuring with Pui Ying Wong

Sat., January 25, 2020 Boston, Ma

Boston Italian American Writers Association Event, 6:00 PM

I AM Books
189 North Street,
Boston, Ma.

Featuring with another Italian-American writer
hosted by Julia Lisella and Jennifer Colella Martelli.

Wed., March 25, 2020 Lynn, MA

Speak Up at the Walnut Street Cafe, 7:30 PM

Walnut Street Cafe
157 Walnut Street,
Lynn, Ma

Featuring at this wonderful series, with an open mic