Small Talk

A Novella

Ethan was about to be the drummer for a heavy and famous rock band, now that he was done with college and had bought his first used drum set. That is, once he got in a band, and once he found other musicians who could handle the hard drums he was going to play.

Then he could quit his mindless job at the investment bank, where he sat with middle-aged ladies who talked endlessly about stupid things like their children and wet burritos and who listened all day to Doris Day and Bobby Vinton on the radio.

Ethan was finally going to to be able to live his life the way it was supposed to be lived. There were only a few problems.

The ladies at the bank wanted to give him a promotion so he could work with them forever.

He finally met the woman in the apartment at the end of the hall, the one with the calliope voice, and she wanted him to talk with her.

And…he’d never been in a band or played the drums in his life.

Small Talk is a story about the dark musician in all of us, and how the right voice at the right time can make all the difference.



Boys Don’t Understand Lipstick

Very Short Stories

Charlie Close’s new collection of very short stories is a sexy, sassy, silly romp through the worlds of love and work, childhood and family, wanting, losing, and getting.

It’s also a meditation on the human condition, explored through an artistic form akin to haiku that prizes brevity and mystery.

Yeah! But mostly it’s got boys and girls and men and women chasing each other around and trying to fall in love and live life.

The stories are very short and they burst in your brain as they fly by. Read them quickly one by one…or slow down and look closely. Spend a little time with stories that can catch hold of something in your own life.




Falling in Love While Meditating

Very Short Stories

In his eighth book, Charlie Close gives us a new collection of very short stories, full of tiny bursts of life. From school children finding their way to adulthood, to coworkers struggling to get along, to men and women finding and losing love, Charlie shows us the human condition with compassion and a wry sense of humor.

Falling in Love While Meditating demonstrates again and again how big stories and intimate moments can be told in miniature form.




Before the Ripcord Broke


In his new collection of short stories, Charlie Close gives us people who try, succeed, and sometimes fail to connect with others.

He gives us a poor family celebrating its first Halloween in a rich neighborhood, a waitress trying to get the attention of the silent new man in town, teachers talking about their students’ crushes, a boy stuck in a car with the kid he beat up, a roadie who finally busts loose during sound check, a business consultant who assassinates her client, and a disgraced accountant who frames his wife for his own murder.

The stories are told with Charlie Close’s unique insight, compassion, and biting sense of humor. They are dark, comic, sweet, ironic, and…weird.

Read Before the Ripcord Broke and discover that, however different we may feel, we are not so different after all.



Childish Things

Childish Things

Stories of Growing Up

Stories of childhood aren’t just for children. Grown-ups need them too. Childish Things is a collection of seventeen short stories about the moments we remember all our lives.

The stories are rich in humor, empathy, and the struggles of childhood, arranged in a season’s cycle from the first day of school in September to a campfire scene at the end of August. They’re simple to read, yet invite rereading and bringing your own experience to them.

This book also contains a bonus story, “Burning Embers”, a comic look at these stories excerpted from Burning Embers and Others Stories of Marriage, Work, and Family.




Rough & Beautiful

Very Short Romance Stories

Every day needs a little romance.

Rough & Beautiful is filled with tiny love stories, each as brief as the moment before a kiss.

There are tales from the olden days, of princes and princesses, the young and alluring, and the cruel and rakish.

And there are contemporary stories, filled with writers and musicians, students and working girls, and husbands and wives grown apart.

The one thing they all have in common is boy meets girl and they find their happily ever after.




Kites and Weddings

Very Short Stories

Kites and Weddings is a collection of very short stories for people who think brief is beautiful. In these stories, each no longer than a single breath, you’ll find birth and death, growth and decay, love and loss.




The Art of the Very Short Story

A Guide for Readers and Writers

What if an entire story could be told in the span of a single breath? That’s what a very short story can do.

The very short story is an emerging art form whose possibilities have only begun to be explored.

This book is here to help newcomers read and write very short stories. Charlie looks at eleven different writing techniques using dozens of story examples. By the time you’ve reached the end, you’ll see things in very short stories that you never noticed before, and be able to write them with greater subtlety, punch, and clarity.

Buy this book to learn more about very short story writing, or just to enjoy the stories and commentary. There’s something in it for any thoughtful reader or writer.

Charlie is the author of two volumes of very short stories: Kites and Weddings: Very Short Stories and Rough & Beautiful: Very Short Romance Stories.



Sugar on Both Sides_600

Sugar on Both Sides

Selected Haiku

Charlie Close presents his first collection of haiku, including previously unpublished works as well as numerous poems that originally appeared in major American haiku journals.

Charlie is a poet in the English-language haiku tradition, taking inspiration from the interplay between the seasons cycle and the human condition.




Burning Embers and Other Stories of Marriage, Work, and Family

Burning Embers is a comic and not-so-comic romp of creative nonfiction stories that any husband or wife will recognize and lament.

Charlie and Kathy are a married couple. Charlie is a little simpler than he thinks he is, and Kathy is a little more patient than she ought to be. Charlie has written down, with Kathy’s permission, a few of the maybe-imaginary things that have happened to them and published them in a book that people can buy on the Internet. Neither Charlie nor Kathy understands why Kathy has allowed this to happen. (Maybe Charlie is the smart one after all…but probably not.)



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