Mark Starlin

All my stories categorized for easy access and reading. Frequently updated.

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Max Langelott

I created this index for those who wish to read more of my writings. You can find everything categorized into topics. Click one of the topics below to see everything in that category and make me smile.

On my part

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Elisabeth Wales

Almost every day, at random times, I hear the 12-year-old girl next door practice batting. Her aluminum bat makes a distinctive “ding” sound repeatedly as she hits baseballs into a net.

I suppose some neighbors would complain about the repetitive, somewhat annoying noise. But I think back to when I was a kid, practicing guitar for hours on end. I made the same noises over and over again. My parents never once complained or told me to stop.

I am 60 now and have played guitar for almost 50 years. It has been one of the greatest sources of joy in my life.

I am thankful my parents (and neighbors — I sometimes played too loud) didn’t complain or discourage me when I was learning.

Perhaps someday, that girl next door will play professional baseball.

And I will remember those “dings.”

One photo. Three Three Line Conversations

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Jimmy Conover

Sometimes, a photo will give me more than one conversation idea. I came up with three conversations for this photo and couldn’t decide which one to use. So I included all three.

A scary thought, no doubt, but this is not what it sounds like.

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Brooke Cagle

WARNING: This story is mostly “self-promotion.” Although it is not a story that simply says, “Mark Starlin is great” repeatedly.

Which I would definitely consider self-promotion. I doubt anyone would argue with that. Not the “Mark Starlin is great” part. That statement is definitely arguable. My wife can set you straight on that if you have any misguided illusions of my greatness. But is it really “self-promotion” if I am promoting my writing? Wouldn’t that be “writing-promotion” or “story-promotion?”

Actually, I am self-promoting [ah, now I get it] a free weekly newsletter that contains my humor writing. So, if this…


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Mental Health America (MHA)

I have reached the point in my life where I am trying to cut back on commitments — especially self-imposed ones. I published a monthly “My Favorite Medium Reads” list for three years. I still enjoy recommending stories and supporting other writers, but I have to admit, the monthly schedule started feeling like a chore. So I stopped for a while.

I’m back. I plan to continue doing “Favorite Reads” lists, but I won’t be sticking to a set schedule. Instead, they will be, hopefully, pleasant surprises. Plus, I have to admit, my reading was way down in 2020. But…


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Ono Kosuki

Jeremy was a quiet man. Not the kind of man who gets noticed often. Except for Jenny at Sinker Donuts. Jenny noticed Jeremy. Not that Jeremy noticed Jenny noticing him. He wasn’t good at recognizing social clues, like Jenny’s personal questions or her smiles. Jeremy lived inside his own head most of the time.

After Jeremy left Sinker Donuts on his latest visit, Wanda, Jenny’s coworker, said, “Oh my word. Just ask the poor fool out. He obviously doesn’t have a clue you are interested.”

“I wanted him to think it was his idea, but you’re right. I need to…

What an exciting, maddening, joyous, disappointing, connecting, frustrating, heart-warming, obsessive, instructive, ridiculous, fun, crazy ride it has been.

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Mark Starlin

I’ve been writing on Medium for three years this month. But instead of the self-promotion typically found in these “milestone” stories (including my own for my first two anniversaries), I thought I would write about the emotional journey I have experienced writing on Medium.

I should mention that I am not a writer by trade and never seriously considered it as a career. Sure, I harbored the occasional dream of becoming a writer during my first year writing here. But the past three years have confirmed what I already learned through making music. …


About that name

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Aficionados from around the globe had gathered in New York. The conference was about to start…

“I am calling to order the first annual meeting of The International Potato Chip Historical League.”

A man abruptly rose from his seat and spoke.

“Sorry, mate. You can’t be serious. That mouthful can’t be our name.”

“It seems our brother from the UK objects to the name. Do you have a suggestion?”

“Let’s keep it simple. How about The Crisptorical Society.”

“I realize you call them crisps in the UK, but crisptorical isn’t a word.

“It is now.”

Thankfully, they didn’t like aluminum.


If you want to dance with danger, you better be a better dancer than me

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Pete Linforth

I watch TV. I check social media. I know what’s cool. So when I started comparing my humdrum life as a rotary phone repairman to the unimaginably cool lives of hackers, I knew a career change was in order.

But how does someone become a hacker?

My first thought was, I’ll become a cat. Cats hack up hairballs all the time. Then I remembered that I have never really enjoyed washing myself with my tongue.

I could take up smoking, was my next thought. Smokers hack a lot also. But, it’s pretty gross. And not in a cool gross way…

Mark Starlin

Old bones. Young heart. Focusing on a wide variety of creativity. @markstarlin

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