Relationship advice from a friend and a racing camel

Photo by Nina Luong on Unsplash

**audio available on Kris Keppeler’s podcast, click here!**

“Tom Marley is a racing camel,” Ahmed said. “The fastest in all of the Sinai.”

Tom Marley?” I asked. “Not Bob?”

Ahmed appeared somewhat surprised by my ignorance, but the stupidity of tourists is known the world over.

Ahmed patiently explained that Tom Marley, the racing camel, was named after Tom Marley, the world-famous country and western singer from America.

America, Ahmed pointed out, was my country.

He stopped short of accusing me of ignorance, but the implication hovered between us in the desert air.

I looked at my girlfriend, Bev. …

A woman lifting weights looks to her left with a skeptical expression on her face.
A woman lifting weights looks to her left with a skeptical expression on her face.
Photo by ŞULE MAKAROĞLU on Unsplash

It all started with windmills

Balls to the wall has nothing to do with testicles. Neither does balls out.

Both expressions mean working at maximum effort or speed, and the balls in question are part of a device invented in the 17th century — the centrifugal governor.

Please, allow me to explain.

Centrifugal governors had some balls

James Watt designed the most widely known centrifugal governor in 1788 to prevent his steam engines from running out of control.

On the diagram below, the balls (labeled #3) are attached to lever arms linked to a vertical shaft. The horizontal shaft is the engine’s drive shaft.

Thanks to the reviewers for their kind words

Courtesy of the author. Click here to check out Noon in Florida on Amazon.

I published a digital chapbook containing 12 pieces of my best flash fiction. It’s a one-hour short-read available as an e-book and part of Kindle Unlimited.

Stephen Dalton posted a review here on Medium. Here are some other reviews taken from the book’s Amazon page:

A great read you can squeeze in between longer novels.

Although short, Jim Latham’s Noon in Florida packs a punch. Each of these short stories illuminates an aspect of what it means to be human. From a son connected to the nuances of his relationship with his dying father via the beeping of a heart monitor in “Keeping Time,” to an “old guy” doing what…

A travel dream that’s almost a nightmare

Photo by Camille Minouflet on Unsplash

Wanderlust is invading my dreams. The pandemic shelved six weeks on the Camino de Santiago, but the other night my mind decided to depart without me…

The inn is far enough off the Camino de Santiago to be lightly visited, even at the height of the pilgrimage season. No matter: I seek lunch, not salvation.

The floor is flagstone. The beams in the ceiling are oak. The windows are leaded glass and lend a graceful distortion to the gentle rays of golden sunlight making their leisurely way through the still afternoon air.

An old man in a beret sleeps slumped…

Surfing the Skies with Audrey Wells

Boozy Astro-Chat #1 : The Basics

Photo by Greg Bevacqua on Unsplash

Audrey Wells is prepping for the launch of her astrology column on the soon-to-be-unveiled OutpostFive. Until that’s ready, Fringeologie has the exclusive scoop on Audrey’s sky surfing…so be glad you got in on the ground floor.

Audrey’s got plans for a podcast, vids on YouTube — the whole nine yards. T-shirts and other merch are in the works; the bobblehead dolls are about to be green-lit.

You’re gonna want to hold on tight, it’s gonna be a helluva ride.

When Audrey and I chatted about doing a series of interviews via Zoom or Facetime or what-have-you, she warned me to…

100 Words

Thrifty Words 100 Challenge #19: Plasma

Photo by JEFF VRBA on Unsplash

Kira’s looking gloomy when Roger gets home from base. “Uh-oh. You got a problem, Babe?”

“A big one, Roger.”

“You know what I say.”

Kira nods. Smiles patiently.

“Ain’t no problem can’t be solved with the proper application of high explosives.”

Kira holds up a sheaf of medical printouts. “It’s a different kind of problem, Roger. I need plasma transfusions, not an invasion.”

Roger frowns. “Got a plasma cutter…”

“Different kind of plasma.”

“Driving out into the desert and blowing shit up always makes me feel better.”

“Doctors say to rest.”

“Fuck ’em. You feel better, you’ll get better.”


Jim Latham

| Micro, Flash, & Short Fiction | He/His | Lots of flash fiction at

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