Updated July 1, 2021

Photo by Author

Who is this guy?

I’m a full-time creative writer who, on Medium, is focused mainly on Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Personal Essay. I am also the founding editor of Found In My Journal. Currently, I am a Top Writer in Ideas, and Short Story.

I’ve selected a handful of published stories as a representative sampling of my 2021 work in the main genres I publish in on Medium.

Creative Nonfiction




As a person in long-term recovery, I also share my experiences and insight about addiction, alcoholism, recovery, and mental health. …

A lifeline in thousands of words

Image by jwvein from Pixabay

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose. — Janis Joplin in Me and Bobby McGee

It was my birthday, 2019, and I hadn’t had a drink in 38 days. Staring at my lifeless laptop, trapped in fear, and riddled with unrelenting anxiety, I slowly typed a title into an empty blogger story.

Hello Vulnerability

Hours later, I hit the publish button, sending a terrible piece of writing off into the world. Filled with glaring typos, grammatical atrocities, and weak adverbs, it was passable dribble. …


A love poem

Original artwork by Jamie Ehrhard

Your eyes deep and gleaming
pull my melting heart close enough
to hear your song
played in softened notes
upon a harp strung by pain
Strong and scarred — you
breathe gentle music
of hope

Your lips soft and quivering
call to something lost through hurt
I tried to hide away
under blankets of fear
to protect my battered soul
Frightened but smiling — I
dream nervous thoughts
of hope

Your words soft and comforting
dance from page to spin above me
stepping flying twirling
magic-wand footsteps
leaving pieces behind
Kind and loving — you
write sweet poetry
of hope


Peaches, brandy, sugar, and forever love

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay with us tonight, Dad?”

The left corner of Tom Smith’s wrinkled mouth rose to complete his normal, one-sided grin. He removed his hat, setting it on the stack of boxes beside the open front door, and waved at his daughter. She meant well.

“I’m perfect right here.”

“We’ll see you in the morning,” Linda said. “You just need both brown suitcases, remember?”

He knocked on his head, showing he did — a habit he’d picked up when the forgetting started.

In the open doorway, he accepted the goodbyes and watched them drive…


Knowing when to push, when to pull, and when to hang on

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

I’m an over-thinker with enough unhealthy ego to believe finding a better solution requires more complication. It doesn’t, and in my recovery from chronic alcoholism, nothing beats simplicity.

For me, sustained sobriety is a means to a greater end.

Alcohol use masked lifelong mental illness which wasn’t properly diagnosed and treated while drowning in rivers of vodka. Sobriety allows me the opportunity to manage my specific mental health challenges, which are complicated enough.

Over time, I’ve simplified my recovery by accepting 3 defined life-modes I function in. As long as I’m in one, my sobriety remains solid and I’m safe.



And the meek shall inherit the earth

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Mother sewed the dress cut from Lady Morgan’s throwaway clothes. In the last days before the Culling began, it was she who told her to run, handing her the small pack of old clothing, a handful of gold jewelry, and scraps of food.

With nothing else, she ran for her life, never looking back as the world ended for the meek and poor.

Through each precise snip of old scissors, labored stitch of boney fingers, and pang of arthritic pain, Mother sweated another drop for Rebecca Jane. Her wrinkled lips pursed as she whistled tunes long remembered from her own…


It’s not about the ride down

Image by Daren Mehl from Pixabay

As an innocent, young Canadian boy bundling up in my heavy snowsuit, wool gloves, and Toronto Maple Leaf tuque before pulling my toboggan up the steepest hill I found, it was about racing back down through fresh snow. The laborious climb, purposeful trudging, and the lifting of heavy, ice laden boots took forever. The exciting thrill ride down lasted mere seconds.

Life is like that.

My continued recovery climb back up my personal hill sometimes felt impossible. Mistakes, failures, poor choices, and alcoholism made hills into mountains. …


On writing, journaling, and a stubborn love poem

Image by ParallelVision from Pixabay

I sometimes wonder what I would be today without writing as an outlet, a mirror for reflection, and my clearinghouse for stubborn thought? When I look through old journals, scribbled prose, and even silly notes thumb-typed into my phone, I tell myself I might drown in madness.

If you are creative, I trust you understand.

The act of writing, shared or unshared, plays such a significant role in my life now. It cleanses, inspires, explores, and heals, giving me much-needed separation from powerful emotions bubbling inside.

For me, writing through life is simply dropping bread crumbs along my winding path…


A psychological adventure

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Smashed on pointed rocks, femur protruding from his twisted lower leg, death was mere hours away. Slow and brutal, the Angel of Death enjoyed every sadistic moment, devouring Robby’s conflicted soul.

The light above him, like his life, faded to black. 71 long hours, mind-bending pain, and festering infection pushed him past hope, and he begged for death’s freedom.

Each time heavy eyelids closed, he fought harder to open them. Soon, he accepted, the momentary drifts into unconsciousness would become permanent nothingness.

No! One more day. You can make it one more day!

But the pleading voice, echoing from a…

A lasting memory that didn’t get away

Photo supplied by Author

The dry pine crackled and popped, sending sparks of orange embers into the dark sky. Dad, tired and head bobbing from the late hour and double whiskey supplied by the camp’s mischievous owner, shifted in the sagging lawn chair. He looked old, but to me, he had changed little from my childhood.

Born late in his life, I arrived long after my closest sibling, increasing an already large family, bringing with me years of additional parenting responsibility. The youngest of 8, I occupied a unique place within the family dynamic. …

David Sales

Canadian essayist, fiction writer, and founding editor of Found in my Journal.

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