Sunday, October 1, 2017
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
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.
Monday, May 29, 2017
It wasn’t one of the legendary shows at the Fillmore East from the early 70s, but I did have the privilege to see the Allman Brothers in 2001 at Louisville Motor Speedway. It was hot as hell that day and the stage sat facing the sun. I remember Gregg Allman had a stack of white towels beside him on his piano, one stack replaced by another as the scorching day progressed. He wore a long-sleeved shirt, rolled midway to his forearms. I kept thinking to myself that he had to be miserable up there playing. However, he made no mention of the heat between songs. He grabbed a towel, wiped his face and hands and went on, thanking the crowd after each deserving applause. Gregg Allman was a class act. And if you’ve seen any interviews of him, you’ll recognize right away that he was also a humble man. He was one of the good guys.
Friday, May 5, 2017
I’ve finally pinned down a release date for my upcoming book. HARD LUCK will be released on July 11, 2017. This book is a mix of seventeen stories that weaves through the realms of dirty realism, contemporary realism, and the often gritty country-noir genre. If you’re into sex, drugs, crime, and a touch of humor here and there, (Sounds like a tearjerker, doesn’t it?) this book might be for you. With all that said, I’m giving away several Advanced Reader Copies. If you would like a PDF copy of your own, shoot me a private message with your email address and I’ll send it to you as soon as I can. Simple as that. Many thanks and I hope you enjoy the book.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
I wake up every morning around six. I make coffee, maybe cook breakfast, and try to squeeze in a few words before I venture off to the day job in my 1998 Ford Ranger, which I’ve been driving since 2006. The truck has no heat or ac and needs a universal joint replaced, all of which I cannot afford to have repaired. During the day I’m a home maintenance technician, which is a fancy, politically correct way of saying I’m a maintenance man—more specifically, a maintenance man for two apartment complexes. It’s far from being a glamorous gig, but it’s an honest one, and it pays the bills and allows me to continue my writing endeavors.
I’m not embarrassed by having a day job. It doesn’t make me a failure as a writer, or inferior as an artist. In fact, if you are one who works your ass off at a full-time job, helping to provide for your family, and are still striving to fulfill your writing dreams, or any dream, I admire you. I really do. I’ve held many jobs throughout the years. I’ve called myself a machinist, a metal fabricator, delivery driver, and when I was fifteen I bagged groceries, and all the while I made time to write. It’s a disease, writing, I’m sure of it, but a disease of which I hope I’m never cured. I am a writer, an artist, that’s my job, my life’s passion. My writing doesn’t pay all my bills, but it's what I do and it’s who I am.
If you’re a writer then you know you can never stop writing. I couldn’t if I tried, no matter how many other jobs I had. On the days I don’t produce words, I feel a lingering gloom. It’s an emotion that will pass only when I place pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. If, one day, destiny calls and I become a fulltime writer and I’m able to work from the cozy confines of my home, I will consider myself very fortunate—but I’m a realist. If I’m forced to continue waking at six in the morning to head to my day job, then so be it. I’ll continue writing just as I have all these years, with conviction, obsession, and psychotic impulses that are out of my control.