A 38 Day Education – Character Interview: Cassandra Owinger

Cassandra Owinger, Arts Editor for The Scope newspaper from “A 38 Day Education,” (now available through Solstice Publishing) has agreed to “drop in” for a visit and answer some questions.

Hi, Cassandra.  What would you be preferred to be called?

Actually, I prefer “Cassie.”  I hate “Cassandra.”  I think my mom had a mental moment naming me that.  As you know, Cassandra was from Greek mythology as the person who warned of calamity and nobody listened.

Okay Cassie, did you ever warn The Scope of doom?

*Sigh* All the damned time.

What do you love the most about South Central College?

It’s a small college, which is what I wanted.  I thought about going to the University of Georgia or Clemson, but couldn’t really choose.  So I went with South Central.  It’s close to home, it’s affordable, has a good teacher-to-student ratio, and some cute guys on campus, which never really hurts.

Are you currently dating someone?

Not really.  I have a guy I like who I’m kind of seeing, but nothing serious.

Do you want to get married someday?

Really?  Married?  Why the hell would you ask me that?  I’m just trying to survive my classes.  Next question, please.

How long have you been working for The Scope?

Three months.  I came on just before Jay took over.

How does Jay compare to his predecessor, Terri?

That’s hard to say because I didn’t work too much with her.  Terri pretty much let me do my own thing as long as I filed my articles on time and was at the meetings.  I can’t really get a read on Jay as a boss, only as a friend.  We met in class.

Well, then what’s it like being friends with Jay Ferragamo?

Okay, I really like him, but he’s cocky, to say the least.  He’s also extremely intelligent, which kind of offsets the cockiness.  It’s actually scary to watch.  He’ll be so confident once moment, then so insecure the next.  I think he tries too hard.  At least his heart in the in the right place.


Well, I’ll give you an example.  I was terrified I flunked an important English Literature test.  It was one of those “white knuckle” things.  Jay just reminded me that I’ve got what it takes, and that it’ll all work out for the best.  He kept me at ease, even though he was terrified about the newspaper’s survival.  Oddly enough, I got a 96 on the test.

If you could go on a date with any man right now, who would it be?

Eh, I can’t say for sure.  There aren’t any celebrities I really like.  I’ve probably say Matthew Perry from “Friends,” but that’s just kinda’ tossing out a name.

Is there anyone on campus you don’t like being around?

Not really, everyone I know is cool to me….no, I take that back!  I wish I could stuff our Student Government President, Danny Winters, into a rocket and launch him into space.  He’s just that sort of annoying cocky you just want to slap him, you know?  I can’t stand that shit!

Who’s your favorite person in your life?

Well, that would be my dad.  He’s the person I most admire.  Aside from that, this is gonna’ sound so weird – it’s Jay.  He’s just a lot of fun to be around, and he needs someone to keep him calm…well, a girl to keep him calm, I mean!  Craig does a good job, but something about me that I know soothes him.  Who knows?

Any plans after college?

Really, I haven’t thought about it.  I’ve tried like hell to understand what my life is supposed to be about but I just can’t figure it out.  It’s like a jigsaw puzzle with a bunch of pieces missing.  I guess get a job, find a man I love and have some kids, but that’s just tossing shit out.

Let’s get fun.  Favorite color?

I have a few.  I love electric blue, but I also like purple and black.  Brown looks the best on me, though.

Favorite food?

Seafood, hands down.  Any kind, except Maine Lobster.  I just don’t like it for some reason.  Love crab, though…figure that one out!

Favorite song?

Save the Last Dance for Me, the original by The Drifters.  Among modern stuff, probably would have to be Somewhere, Out There from American Tail.

What’s your dream car?

You’ll think I’m such a tomboy – I dreamed of owning a monster truck, mostly so I can drive over all the cars of the prissy little bitches I knew in high school.

Did you have a crush growing up?

Yeah.  I knew this one guy in elementary school I really liked.  He was so cute and I kissed him on the cheek once. He screamed “gross” and ran away.  I still tried to sit next to him in class every chance I got.

What’s your biggest fear right now?

That our country is getting so damned partisan we can’t see the forest for the trees.  Everything in Washington is about impeaching someone!  The only thing anyone seems to want to do is throw their opponent out!  It’s so damned stupid, and people wonder why voting rates are so low.

If you could do one thing before you died, what would it be?

Probably drive a race car at the Daytona 500.  I like fast cars, but only when I’m the one driving!

Describe your dream date; not the man you’re with, but how it would go:

Hmmm…probably would be a nice candlelit dinner somewhere, preferably where there’s a sunset we could watch together.  We’d hold hands for a while, talk about our hopes, dreams and listen to some nice music.  Maybe afterwards, we take a walk together on campus, mostly because South Central has some gorgeous green space and walkways.  Then we’d drive down to one of the rivers and watch the stars and maybe the moon, if it’s out.  He’d take me home, be a total gentleman, and give me a kiss goodnight.

So nothing further?

I don’t sleep with a guy on the first date, no matter how much I have the hots for him.

Okay, last question:  if you could leave an impact on the world with one act, what would it be?

Oh wow.  Well, if there was one single thing I could do, it would be to write a book, an article, or just do something that would open enough eyes to really help the hate and anger in the world melt away and we could focus on taking care of each other.  We are, after all, one big family and if don’t get that right soon, I’m worried there won’t be any family left to take care of.

Profound stuff, Cassie.  Anything before we call it a day.

Yes, one thing, and it’s to Kenny Strasburg, our Sports Editor:  quit setting the A/C to 60 degrees – I know what you are trying to do, and it’s getting old!

The Man Who Drew the Picture

Awesome poem! Reblogging 🙂

Cpl Kerkman Reference Guide

Deep in the heart of Los Angeles,
there was a man who wore a worn grey hat,
and a green ripped up jacket
the grey beard on his face covered the highway blues
his eyes were red, bloodshot, torn.
He looked at me with a genuine, crooked smile and said,
“You are beautiful, may I draw you?”
as he pulled out his sole possession:
the paper and pen.
When the portrait was finished, my first thought was,
“Man, that is a beautiful picture.”
I said to the artist, “This is great, man but I ain’t got any money.”
He smiled, and touched my shoulder.
“It is a gift! From me to you!”
Then he wandered off,
and I never saw the artist again.
I kept the picture, and would look at it from time to time
to remember who I was.

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Flash Fiction Friday: Two Business Men, Two Friends, Two Different Directions


Saturday fog wasn’t uncommon for this time of year in Atlanta, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  The mist kept temperatures balmy, and Cody’s morning walk, normally a pleasant stroll down Peachtree Street, was a veritable paradise.  There was hardly anyone on the street at seven in the morning, and this allowed for a relaxed, enjoyable pace he usually didn’t have while on his half mile hike to work.

While walking down the west sidewalk and passing the Bank of America Plaza, Cody caught a light breeze.  It was just enough to make him feel like he was at the beach, despite the fact Savannah was nearly five hours to the southeast.  Cody took a moment to stop and admire how the clouds simply hovered over and around midsection of the superstructure.  He marveled at the way the mist hugged the trees, but somehow wisped around the lamp posts.

A voice with a light piedmont southern accent called out from behind.  “Hey Cody!”

Spinning on his heel, the middle aged businessman from Detroit was shocked to see his old friend, Bryan Pollinger, standing behind him. A veteran of several major merger deal, Pollinger had become something of a household name in Atlanta for his philanthropic efforts.  Cody came up to him and, as they embraced, he thought of all the wild business deals, nights of debauchery, and overall crazy moments they endured together.

“Bryan,” Cody smiled.  “You look great!  I haven’t seen you in forever!”

Pollinger shook his head, clucking. “You obviously don’t watch the news.  I’ve been a busy man helping others.”

At that very moment, Cody decided the time was right for the most important question he ever asked.  “Well, you may be the right person, then.  I need help?”

Pollinger was now quizzical of his friend’s motives. “With what?”

“Rebuilding my life.”

The 20 Ways you can tell someone went to Georgia Southwestern in the mid 1990s


In honor of the release of “A 38 Day Education,” here is a list of 20 ways you can tell someone went to Georgia Southwestern in the mid-1990s.  The novel itself is set at South Central College, a small school based largely on Georgia Southwestern (or “GSW”), in the decade of Bill, Monica and just straight up craziness.

1. When someone asks “Hungry, Man?”  You may actually say “yeah, I ate there!”

2.  You donate your old furniture to Goodwill to come “full circle.”

3.  If you know someone named Pat and he/she asks you back to their place, you immediately think beer and pool tables.

4.  You tell someone the Sports Section is where the football scores are, but the Sports Page is where Walmart now is.

5.  Giant domed arenas just don’t have the same appeal as a musty, rickety old-school basketball gym.

6.  You insist on all your post office boxes being idiotic combination locks not requiring keys.

7.  Life just doesn’t feel right if you can get more than three radio stations in clearly at your home.

8.  Bradford Pear trees, when in bloom, smell like a taste of paradise instead an awful blast of poop.

9.  When you hear about a shooting on campus, you wonder how fast the stupid ass bragged to his friends.

10.  You have an innate distrust of government and check to see how many of your council members or county commissioners are former Junior Leaguers.

11.  You immediately assume your local newspaper editor is an cocky, arrogant Floridian with a desire to shake things up!

12.  When the local high school Homecoming Court is announced, you expect a sit-in.

13.  You still expect the local bookstore to mark up used books by 300%.

14.  Seeing the words “fire ants” brings back good memories.

15.  When you hear the letters “GSW” on a TV medical drama, you get temporarily confused.

16.  When you see the Statue of Liberty, you immediately want to recommend an appropriate adult toy to New Yorkers.

17.  When you see a speed bump, you think “May The Odds Be Ever In My Favor!”

18.  You dream about last-minute, heartbreaking halfcourt shots.

19.  You scream bloody murder that your favorite first-run movies aren’t $1.

20.  When you heard “A 38 Day Education” was released, you immediately bought a copy to see which character was based on you.

“A 38 Day Education,” inspired in part by Georgia Southwestern State University and its student newspaper, The Sou’Wester, is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Solstice Publishing.