Category Archives: Writing Samples


In the midst of a blistering ice storm, while trekking to another story in Austin, Texas, Hobo Bob, a dissenter journalist dog was suddenly apprehended by a group of fundamentalist hacks and found himself in a rather hopeless predicament: Beat up, crammed inside a burlap sack and stuck to a sheet of black ice on the shoulder of a desolate highway, far away from civilization. Writing in a voice without restraint, his latest article titled: “Americas Dark Secret” created quite a stir around the country, but unfortunately, while much of the American population sympathized with Bobs quest to write about things that most people don’t want to talk about, there is indeed “elitists” that want no part of change, whether right or wrong.  Possessing nothing more than one milk bone, an archaic Atlas (map), a small digital camera and pocket audio recorder, Bob peered through a small hole in the sack, contemplating what to do next? Darkness fell and he drifted into a deep slumber and dreamt about changing the world…




Human life in the world begins at home with loving parents that must support both their children and their teachers in the process. One of our biggest problems today is self-righteousness and people who alienate others that do not think the way they do, non-attentive parents and a school system run by big government that has moved away from moral-ethic teaching, the root of what prepares an individual to go out on his/her own. Lack of education, “dummying down”… affects all facets of our society. Education is not one of America’s priorities; look around, our children are slackers and currently place our future as a nation at risk.

But, there are many other factors. We’ve done away with the “Front Porch” from our homes, a much-needed social network of sorts. America once a diverse network of cultures living together and learning together, is now one giant gated community with alarm systems on everything; we’re attached to gadgets and obsessed with pretty packaged “things.” And, how can social media, one that moves faster than any manmade thing ever witnessed in recorded history replace intimate and personal interaction? Our society teaches us, “Live to work” not… “Work to live”. How does this affect the minds of our young and what do they have to compare things to? A far less healthy social environment…and, we’ve retreated, caged ourselves inward, oblivious to the consequences.

There’s a darkness looming, an absence of moral fiber, one that is predominately affecting everything in our society. Is Americas dark secret the failure to educate its people? Or, is it OUR problem, for NOT teaching America?

One thousand years from now, will people be looked upon as legendary seekers of the truth, advocates for change that propelled our kind forward? Or, will our planet be an inexplicable mad world, over run by those that allowed the land of plenty to gobble up their empty and suffocated souls with one eye open?

We’ll never know of course, unless we free ourselves from ignorance so prevalent in the world today.

Hobo Bob

The First Mighty Blast From The Island Hideout

After commentary by publisher Riley P. Dog on the piece titled: “Henry The Sea Gull”, I felt compelled to fire off this one.



Dear Riley,

For the record, I must bring something of the utmost importance to your attention, just in case something dreadful happens. You see, by the time International Falls, MN receives the hot dog in a box marked “Flammable” as you requested, Henry the sea-gull and I will be close to embarking on an offshore adventure. This is huge.

The southern flock has brought aboard three highly intelligent dolphins as “locators” to work amongst its crew on The Flammable Hotdog Project boat. The goal: find as many of the estimated 30 million pounds of “live” military bombs and chemical weapons that have been reflexively discarded and currently lying on the Gulf of Mexico sea bed, sell this valuable information to the U.S. government, one or all of the Gulf states or…to one of the many oil conglomerate and or chemical companies.

I must say, Henry is in “seventh heaven” at this precise moment and particularly driven by his latest brainstorm. Furthermore, he’s also convinced that these “groups” would much prefer to protect their interest and possibly a large portion of our population, then risk losing it all with one giant…snap. Additionally, he’s hopeful to secure the necessary funds through this masterful plan to save the planet no later than the end of the first quarter next year. The other creatures on staff are ecstatic about how well everything’s going however; I’m apprehensive and hold on to some serious reservation. I will not beat around the bush Riley and must express my concern that Henry is drinking entirely too much. He’s also flapping his beak around the island and seriously jeopardizing the entire quest; his thinking has skewed so “far to the left” from our original conversation on the beach last week that it may be too late to repair the damage. There is certainly division now, even amongst the higher power optimists in the community; our organization just cannot weather this kind of bad publicity and something must be done.

In short, Henry has created more risk than necessary. In any event, I did not sleep well last night. I had three very distressful nightmares and would appreciate consul from a well-known and trusted hotdog expert such as you before moving forward with this little “adventure” with flipper and the sea gulls. Let’s thrash this all about, shall we?

Tony Romano



Henry the Sea Gull

Published December 18, 2014, The Island Moon Weekly, Issue 557.

I’d just stepped outside of my vehicle and onto the beach of Port Aransas to breathe in some saltier air, squiggle my toes in the sand and think about life. Will this island village be my home or, is this merely a stopping point? Suddenly, attention was drawn to a laughing sea-gull slumped over a wooden bollard, spewing obscenities out of its mouth like a drunken pirate. It turned its head toward me, blinked its eyes and, spoke. “AHOY! Just so you know, I’ll never take vengeance on the likes of YA. But, remember this…we’ll never forget, for nothing lasts forever and tomorrows another day!

With a blank stare, I leaned against an adjoining pole, fearful to move, scared to breathe. Was this the early stage of something more serious like, mental illness? I probably shouldn’t mention this to anyone; after all, people already think I’m a nutty writer! So then, does this sea-bird have an agenda?

“AVAST, names Henry, I’ve been drinking grog for two days straight, don’t YA know. HA! Found a container on the beach YA see. ARRR, follow me, I want to show you something! “Sliding haphazardly down the bollard like most drunken sea gulls would do, Henry staggered toward the water’s edge, “Come on and get a move on YA, time is running out!”

Waddling behind the drunken bird, I found myself in the midst of a very strange and surreal situation and acting on an order from a talking sea-gull! Could this be another wacked out adventure piece, I thought; was I losing my mind or…could this possibly be, the beginning of the end?

Henry crouched down on the sand and motioned for me to sit. The feathers on his head moved with the wind as he looked out towards the vast water in front of us. “Beauty has value YA know and…once it’s lost is difficult to regain.”

“But Henry, I’m simply a…lost and confused writer, what is it you seek? And, why are you so drunk? ”

The wise gull peered deep into my eyes. And, with the tip of his wing resting upon the bottom of his beak, as if in deep thought, spewed out drunkenness, “Bilge! The flock had informed me there’s a writer on the island that cares; I’ve waited for your arrival to write about things most people do not want to talk about! Hell yes, I was born with the ability to speak to people. I’ve been chosen to lead the southern flock, YA know. Many humans are caring and kind like you but, you see my new writer friend…many of your people live without respect for authority, moral standards and have little awareness of the real world. For those uncaring people who think there is no such thing as doing something that doesn’t matter, they may not know it matters and maybe, don’t care. Maybe, some people can’t even imagine how it matters, but it does! Look around you; the aftermath of irresponsibility and disrespect, garbage is everywhere! It’s on the beach; it’s in the water, on the streets and in front of our quaint little shops on our lovely island! The flock and our marine friends do not understand the difference between eating manmade garbage and food that they can safely digest! I’ve been alone on this quest to help but it’s gotten the best of me and honestly, I’m drinking heavily whenever it’s available because it’s the only way I can cope. But today, AHH…it’s a new day and I’m counting on people like you, caring people, that can help make a difference and spread the word for change!”

Henry then bowed his head and slowly moved some sand around with one claw, in deep thought. He stared into my eyes, one lone teardrop dripping down my face; and, in that moment of pure clarity, both writer and beast were on the same level.

While, staring at the falling sun, Henry waved goodbye and flew away; I began recounting my own selfishness and concluded that man and all of his progress can indeed live with the beast without destroying the precious world we all live. But, it will take believing in something greater than us to remove one of America’s “Darkest Secrets,” self-righteousness; and, we must educate our people, that learning the difference between right and wrong starts with love when we are young. And that, money isn’t the root of evil, greed is. For, the beauty in our world is not a right; it’s a privilege and never can there be an excuse warranting stripping that beauty of value away from our young, from the old, from those that are weak, vulnerable and from future generations to come.

Quotes from Socrates, Courtesy of Riley P. Dog,  publisher…

“The mind is rightly called beauty because she does the works which we recognize and speak of as the beautiful?”

“Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind.”

“I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.”