Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hard Luck: A Short Story

I've decided to release a few more individual short stories from the Hard Luck anthology. This story, Hard Luck, from which the anthology gets its name, is now available in the Kindle Unlimited program. I plan to release 3 to 5 more of these gritty, crime-ridden stories in the near future. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

My Feet Hit the Floor

My feet hit the floor.
Groggy, fogged mind.
Shower, then coffee,
then sit to write.
Now I’m awake and realize I feel mildly depressed.
No rational thoughts tell me why.
It yanks me in, the depression,
and I do not resist.
Death makes me sad.
I think about it,
knowing someday my son
won’t have me around.
Death, you make me irritable,
you fucking cunt.
Perhaps you could spare my loved ones and I?
Perhaps live forever?
Perhaps not.
It’s okay. Sometimes words are forever,
and bodies are not.
Beating hearts are not.
Make words count.
Make life count.
My body feels the weight of time.
I’m not an old man, yet. Not in years.
Stiff back and neck every day,
but I don’t bitch…too much.
A real job,
a real life
makes for real writing,
for real art.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Check Out CJM


It seems the fine people over at Cowboy Jamboree Magazine have accepted one of my stories and will be running it in their spring 2018 issue. I couldn't be more thrilled.
If you enjoy a little down and dirty grit lit, click over and check out their latest issue.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Few Words About Moonshiner's Justice

"An excellent story of southern back-woods justice," is what one Amazon reviewer had to say about my short novel, Moonshiner's Justice. The story of Frank, Raymond, and the rest of the Jamison family was once merely, as some of you probably remember, a standalone short story called Faith, Love and Moonshine: An Appalachian Tale. After five years of thinking and wondering, I expanded their experiences and adventures, brought in new characters, and created what is now Moonshiner's Justice. I spent many early mornings at the kitchen table before going to the day job writing, re-writing, and refining what finally came to be this book. For those who haven't checked it out, I hope you give it a read. And for those who have read it and supported me along the way, I thank you kindly. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Townes Van Zandt

You can't go wrong with Townes Van Zandt. Have a listen. Storytelling at its finest.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Wishing Lantern

Image result for old couple and wishing lantern

The Fourth of July had come and gone and Foster couldn’t bring himself to the task. This had been his and Tessa’s tradition. Except for when their kids were young, it was a moment he and his wife had shared with no one else. But now she was gone and the children were grown and had moved away many years before.
From his back porch rocking chair, Foster gazed out to a clear starry horizon, the wishing lantern resting in his lap. His old hound lay beside him on paint-faded boards. A loyal friend and once a fine tracker, but like Foster, the dog had also retired from his formal duties.
Foster leaned up from his rocking chair, extended a hand that was once used for hammering and sawing, a hand that had helped build many fine structures in all of Southern Indiana, patted ol’ Dylan on the head, and stood.
Down the steps, across the manicured backyard, Foster walked to the edge of the hill where the old home place sat and looked beyond as far as his ancient eyes could see. Overlooking the horse pasture, out there to the twinkling speckled sky, he saw memories from long ago. He saw a shy young man of sixteen asking a girl of fifteen to accompany him to the annual spring dance. She had said yes in her delicate, soft voice. He had walked her home and wanted to kiss her goodnight, but didn’t have the courage. He would gain that courage eventually. In the backseat of a station wagon, going on another family vacation, he saw four impatient children who couldn’t wait to arrive at their destination. He recalled his daughter’s wedding day in this very backyard where she once ran and played as a child. He would never forget their father-daughter dance together.
He concentrated on one particular star and thought of his sweet Tessa, so frail and weak, lying on their bed, looking up to him with love and affection, telling him everything would be okay. He agreed with her even though he really wasn't so sure. She was his world and all he’d ever known.
Foster spread the chute of the wishing lantern and lit the wick. As the chute filled with the hot air that would send it up and away, he thought of his life now and the question that kept haunting him: how would he ever be able to go on? He was unsure but deep down knew that he would. He would for Tessa.
The chute expanded and Foster felt it becoming lighter. Eventually, it took flight and slowly gained altitude. The lantern rose higher and higher and Foster felt a cool summer breeze on his neck. He watched and waited. It floated over the pasture until it reached the farthest tree line where it too resembled a twinkling star.
Just before the lantern disappeared, Foster closed his eyes. Then he did what he and Tessa had always done together.

He made a wish.