Jose R. Rodriguez
I was Born in Caracas, Venezuela to Spanish parents. I came to the U.S. in 1980 to study; my parents were glad to buy me a one-way ticket and helped me pack my bags. B.S in Aeronautical Engineering and M.S in Aerospace Engineering. Since then I have worked as an engineer and a computer programmer in the structural timber industry. I'm a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Colorado.
I used to skydive until I busted a knee in my 985th jump. I took up bicycling and now I'm an avid mountain biker having busted a few body parts and cracked a few helmets on rocky, steep Colorado trails. I enjoy cross country riding at night and down hilling at ski resorts during the summer days. I race BMX. I used to fly small airplanes but let private license expire because it got expensive.
Published work: “The Tomato King,” Summer 1994, Saint Joseph’s Magazine, Jersey City, NJ. “Guacaipuro’s Gold,” Vol. 7, No. 2, Chiricu, Indiana State University, Bloomington, In. “Moonstruck,” Spring 1995, Saint Joseph’s Magazine, Jersey. “Old Tales,” No. 18, 1995, Latino Stuff Review, Miami, Fl. “Tramps,” New Texas 95, University of North Texas, Denton, Tx. Winner of the 1995 Betty Greene Fiction Award. “El Norteno,” August 1996, Hispanic Magazine OnLine, America On Line. “Pedro Orozco,” October 1996, Hispanic Magazine OnLine, America On Line, winner of their first literary contest. Has written six unpublished novels in the past few years . Winner of the 2010 Dirt Rag magazine literary contest with "King of the hill" short story (see October issue).
Where to find Jose R. Rodriguez online
After an eventful day at the office that included fighting a man with a knife, what was supposed to be a relaxing mountain bike ride turns into an epic escape on the Colorado Trail. In this short story our lonely rider is running away from … something, chased by his own fears.
King of the Hill
A short story about BMX racing and the odd relationship of sorts between and old guy and a punk kid. Winner of Dirt Rag Magazine's 2010 Literature contest.
I Have Monkey Butt
In this short story a mountain biker struggles uphill. It is not just the steep climb, but his age, asthma, and monkey butt that he has to overcome to make it to the top. Along the way he briefly meets other riders who come and go seeking their own two-wheeled happiness. The reward for long climbs is sweet descents that make the pains and doubts of the uphill struggle all worth it.
A Dozen in Denver
In this short story a private investigator is hired to find out who “killed” and old servant bot by smashing his head with a pipe. His snooping leads to the conclusion that another robot is the culprit, which is not possible as robots are non-violent machines. His suspicious are confirmed when he finds and confronts the culprit bot. The social order as he knows it becomes suspect.
Mister Danger is my Name
An American expatriate living in a small town along the Caribbean, an escapee from alimony payments and pesky IRS tax men, becomes the unexpected driver of an ambulance carrying a dying kid through the dark jungle night. Besides a rough dirt road full of pot holes, river crossings, and no headlights, he has to deal with a spooky companion riding shotgun.
The Alien's Luggage
A short story about unfulfilled expectations. Two cousins think they hit the jackpot when they run into a crashed UFO, only to find out that what they though was their ticket to fame and riches is just another of life's disappointments.
Unhappiness can be self inflicted when we fail to appreciate what we have or get sidetracked by worries that are not worth our time. In this short story, a young boy who is poor but doesn't know it, who is happy with his simple life, has that life tarnished by worries that, while look to him insurmountable, are small peanuts. Death and a missing love one reset the boy's priorities in life.
Dave is paralyzed by terror every time he jumps out of an airplane. Despite a string of bad jumps that make Frank, his instructor, ground him out of concern for his life, Dave finds ways to keep on trying to get that one turning point jump that will free him from his terror and botched performances. Skydiving is unforgiving of errors, and Dave makes plenty of those.
A Holly Trifecta
Three short stories specifically written for publication in religious magazines. Two out the three got published in 1994 and 1995. Years later, after re-reading this early work, I have to admit that these stories are tearjerkers. I didn't set out to write lachrymose stories, but sometimes stories write themselves. I have bundled these stories in this trilogy, for those of you who like spirituality