Barry Rachin


About the Author

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Barry Rachin spent several years stationed in Yokuska, Japan as a Navy medic caring for casualties during the Vietnam War. He has studied at the University of Jerusalem, lived on a kibbutz for a year and holds a degree in clinical counseling from Simmons College. A self-taught woodworker, he presently lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.

Smashwords Interview

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is the creative process itself – never quite knowing how a particular plotline or character will evolve. Frequently, it becomes a process of personal growth and illumination. Writing creative fiction requires a certain degree of humility along with the willingness to ‘fight through’ all the hackneyed prose in order to find just the right metaphor or imagery. Over the years I have enjoyed a number of hobbies - woodworking, jazz cornet, beekeeping, etc. - but creative writing is, far and away, the most demanding.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans offer a small measure of validation that my shorts stories are finding an appreciative home in the reading community. I use the term ‘small measure’ because the sort of writing I favor (literary fiction), presently possesses a much smaller audience than it did back in the psychedelic sixties, when I was a college student. Still, a narrow group of readers seem to appreciate my creative fiction and I am eternally grateful for their support.
Read more of this interview.


Thyroids, a Love Story
Price: Free! Words: 3,210. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Can two young lovers with thyroid conditions - one in traditional therapy, the other holistic - find happiness together?
Mustard Fields
Price: Free! Words: 6,840. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Maddie Timberland just read A.E. Coppard’s The Field of Mustard. She plans to reread the sublimely beautiful story over a bottle of wine and then find a lover like the rustic gamekeeper, Rufus Blackthorn, to share her bed. The middle-aged woman already has someone in mind.
Still Virgin
Price: Free! Words: 2,030. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A year out of high school, Clarissa, who couldn't even score a date for the senior prom, is into tantric sex, Pablo Neruda and orgasms bordering on divine rapture. And she's still a virgin!
What Would Junie B. Jones Do?
Price: Free! Words: 3,570. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2010. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
"Mr. Jacobson, the old Jewish guy who lives on Bickford street, sniffs little girls' bicycle seats," eight year old Benjamin Carter announced cavalierly as though the topic made for polite dinner conversation. The family had just sat down to the evening meal. Grace Carter poured some gravy on her mash potatoes, cleared her throat and asked, "Where exactly did you learn this?"
Simple Hearts
Price: Free! Words: 4,070. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Foul-mouthed Marna Copparelli, who waitresses at Guido's Pizza on Federal Hill, wouldn't know a semicolon from a large intestine. Luther Buttafuoco writes books that get reviewed in the New York Times literary section. He wants a date with Marna Copparelli. Good luck, Luther!
Nothing as Whole as a Broken Heart
Price: Free! Words: 5,680. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Jerome Spellman, the simple schizophrenic in Grace’s eleventh grade class, acts like an extra in a B-rated horror flick - Night of the Living Dead. Grace prays for a miracle, while Dr. Rosen, the school psychologist counsels, “Think positive but plan for the worse.”
No More Piano Lessons
Price: Free! Words: 6,260. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Muriel Beagle was an awful piano teacher. An abomination! Thirty minutes - that's all she allotted per lesson, and most days she started late or was interrupted by one of her bratty kids bursting in unannounced. Lost time was never recouped on the back end of the lesson, and once, the music teacher even took a cell phone call and it wasn't an emergency. So unprofessional!
The Loveliest Girl
Price: Free! Words: 5,810. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Among the Old Orchard Beach cognoscenti, Cassie Moffat was considered the town slut. Whether her lurid reputation was justified wasn't really open for debate.
The Divined Comedy
Price: Free! Words: 6,850. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Ava Frick works second shift at the Texaco Gas Mart where, when business is slow, she reads Soren Kierkegaard and drops the I Ching. The other day she got five broken lines ( __ __ ) and one solid ( _____ ). Not a good omen!
Price: Free! Words: 8,140. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Nadia Rasmussen, the reference librarian at Brandenberg Public Library, is discovering that true love can be found at the Hoxie Feed and Grange just as easily as at the cheesy dating bars.
A Chinese Bar Mitzvah
Price: Free! Words: 3,580. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Mr. Chen’s shiatsu has a level-three heart murmur. Unfortunately, the widower lives on a fixed income and can't afford the added expense of a sick dog. The agoraphobic Ada Goldfarb, whose son is a veterinarian, needs an escort to her grandson's bar mitzvah. Maybe they can work things out.
No Bear, No Forest
Price: Free! Words: 6,170. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
According to Lester McSweeney, there are two things adolescent girls should never do: skip rocks when a fisherman is surf casting for stripe bass and make snide remarks about Louis L'Amour, the world's greatest cowboy writer. Tovah Moshel, the Israeli girl, struck out on both counts.
Call of the Beguiled
Price: Free! Words: 7,190. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Cheryl Oliphant doesn’t do well in social situations. The fourteen year old girl’s best friend, Nicolena, is a four-foot, South American tree boa and her parents are getting divorced. On the plus side, Cheryl just met Teddy Rasmussen who offered her a sympathetic ear plus an inch-thick slice of apricot, sour cream loaf.
Two Pockets
Price: Free! Words: 7,420. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
According to Hasidic tradition, everyone must have two pockets, so they can reach into the one or the other, according to need. In the right pocket are to be the words: ‘For my sake was the world created,’ and in the left: ‘I am dust and ashes.’
Price: Free! Words: 5,520. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Pearl Singleton, a forest ranger at the Pemberton Wildlife Preserve, is going to show eighteen year old Shawn Mariano her Osborne Smoke Finder, all six varieties of New England ferns, a beaver dam, and something he never bargained for.
Price: Free! Words: 7,360. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
When Ronda Wickford, the assistant manager of Brandenburg’s ShopRite Supermarket, inadvertently hires a middle-age man with a PhD in philosophy to run the fresh produce department, weird things begin to happen. As events unfold, she learns a thing or two about Wittgenstein’s linguistic theories, common decency and how to fix a leaky faucet.
The Cross-eyed Gypsy
Price: Free! Words: 6,640. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A straight-laced ex-nun must decide what to do with a stolen Sony Trinitron TV. The arrival of a Russian Jew in the apartment complex where she lives resolves the matter of the ’hot’ TV while opening another can of existential worms.
Time of Sorrow
Price: Free! Words: 3,610. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
While studing to become a rabbi at a yeshivah in Jersusalem, Peter Ostrowski witnesses a senseless act of violence that causes him to abandon the religious life. When he stumbles across the writings of Leo Pinsker, an equally disaffected seventeenth century, Polish Jew, Peter grasps what needs to be done to salvage his fractured humanity.
Just like Dostoyevsky
Price: Free! Words: 5,280. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Sylvia Mandelstam boasts what a wonderful time she had at the international literary symposium in Moscow. Truth be told, the trip was an unmitigated fiasco not unlike her marriage and personal life. She can lie shamelessly and dissemble to everyone - even Danny O'Rourke, the unassuming mason who arrives one summery day to repair her damaged brick wall. But not indefinitely.
A Trip to Tanglewood
Price: Free! Words: 4,320. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Marie Augustin, an Haitian nurses aide, is blindsided when one of her elderly clients, Peter Marsoubian, asks her to accompany him on a trip to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform in Tanglewood. Does the green-card immigrant, who witnessed first hand the endemic violence in her native country, follow agency protocol or bend rules to accommodate the absurd whim of a dying man?
A Waltz Yes, a Heart No
Price: Free! Words: 5,520. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Following his divorce, Dr. Stanley Gilford, chief of cardiology at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, restructured his life on the guiding principle of maximum gain, minimum pain. So what is the well-heeled doctor doing with Ruby, a high school dropout and waitress at the local greasy spoon, and what are his options visa vie the pallid, five year old boy whose damaged heart beats in three-four time?

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