Update of September 12, 2020: My Short Story “A Semblance of Normalcy”

Eating at an Italian Restaurant in Midland, TX
Eating at Ray’s Italian Bistro in Midland, TX, 2019. Photo by Francene Kilgore-Slattery

I managed to come up with an idea as to how to fill a gap in the story and wrote a synopsis in the spot where it should go, but I have to flesh it out today. Hopefully, the finished story will be about 2,500-3,000 words long. This is horror.

The original title, as I conceived of the story a few years back when I started the first draft, was “Apocalypse”. When I took it up again recently, I changed the title to “The Final State of the Union”. “A Semblance of Normalcy” is the latest title an I will probably stick with that one, because of the irony between it and the plot of the story on completion.

The story is about a US president who delivers what will be his final State of the Union address after a nuclear war and a pandemic have devastated the world. The catch is that everyone in the audience and in the White House are dead, just decaying cadavers, which he talks to as if they were alive. He continues to deliver the State of the Union (which was held in the White House during the war vs. before a joint session of Congress), because he wants to present a “semblance of normalcy” to the world. However, not all is at it seems and there is a wicked twist at the end.

I will let you know when and where I will have it published.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow.

Hasta luego.

President McMillan
President McMillan in “A Semblance of Normalcy” (based on a photo of JFK)


Off topic: Good video on How the Current Pandemic May End

I am veering away from literature and writing as a topic tonight and moving on to something of vital importance to everyone in this nation: Coronavirus and Covid-19. I saw this video tonight and thought this was an excellent video that as many people as possible should see. It does not take a political stance one way or the other. Joe Scott avoids the hype and political finger-pointing and sticks to the facts.

Joe Scott is one of my favorite YouTube stars. He speaks mainly on scientific topics, which he does with a disinterested, “facts matter” approach rather than much of the opinions you hear these days which try to push the viewer to one political viewpoint or another and whose facts are either missing or distorted. Joe tries to get to the facts in any situation, poking a little fun/disdain toward those who are not after the facts and have some sketchy, if not downright weird, ideas.

Joe does not have a science background, but his videos seem very thoroughly researched. Follow this link to his LinkedIn page for some biographical and background information.

In this video Joe discusses how he sees the Pandemic ending with our lives returning to something like normal probably sometime in 2022 (even if a vaccine is available in early 2021), though as he points out, our lives will never be completely like they were, because Covid-19 will always be in the background.

Now Accepting Submissions Inspired by the Coronavirus Pandemic

Phil Slattery portrait
Phil Slattery
March, 2015

I am now open to publishing stories, poetry, and other literary genres and material inspired by the Coronavirus Pandemic. I am not looking for journalism or documentary material. There is no pay or other reward except the honor and pleasure of being published on my website.

I feel there are people out there whose voices on the pandemic need to be heard.

I am not looking for anything dismal, depressing or horrific. I want just true heartfelt fiction and poetry that may help others in their struggle, even if that help is just in letting them know they are not alone.

All stories and poetry should be submitted in accordance with my existing guidelines.


Photo of woman in red turtleneck with face mask
Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Follow federal, state, and local guidelines. Use common sense when the guidelines are insufficient.