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.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gregg Allman: A Quick Memory

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

Release Date for Hard Luck

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

The Write Stuff: Local Starts Fourth Self-Published Book

(This interview was written by Zach Spicer, reporter for the Seymour Tribune, Seymour, Indiana) zspicer@tribtown.com

The 40-year-old Crothersville native who now lives in Austin has self-published three books and currently is working on his fourth.
Going the self-publishing route, Perry said he did a lot of research and joined an online writing forum, and that helped him ensure he was putting out a quality product.
“I always want to put out a product that if my book was lying next to somebody’s book that was published from (a well-known publishing company), they wouldn’t know the difference as far as quality goes,” he said. “I just strive to put out a good, entertaining book.”
He may receive a lot of positive feedback, and there may be some critics, but that’s the way it is with any kind of art or medium, he said.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you write, there’s always going to be somebody that doesn’t like your stuff,” he said. “You’ve got to have thick skin in this type of thing because you’re putting your stuff out there for the whole world to view.”
Perry’s first book, “Brothers of the Mountain: Heart of the Frontier,” was released in 2011. The collection of short stories had a good response, including purchases made through amazon.com in the United States, Canada, Mexico and United Kingdom.
The seven short stories follow a couple of brothers from eastern Kentucky who are mountain men.
“They are searching for their pot of gold, so to speak,” Perry said.
Then in 2013, he wrote another collection of short stories, “Under the Willow Tree and Other Stories.” The 10 short stories are different genres and aren’t related.
“It’s just kind of a mishmash, a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” Perry said.
His latest release, “Moonshiner’s Justice,” came out in 2016 and was his first chapter book. Set during the prohibition era in the 1920s, it’s about the trials and tribulations of a moonshining family in eastern Kentucky.
He had released the first two chapters as a standalone short story in 2011, and it received good response. It wasn’t until last year that he expanded on those two chapters.
“The seed was planted, so to speak, with people requesting more of the story,” he said. “I had other projects going on, so I didn’t really get too involved in that one right way, but eventually, I came back around to it and kind of closed out that particular story as far as the characters, the family, that sort of thing.”
His next book will be a collection of short stories, which he said is his favorite medium. He hopes to release it later this year.
“I like to write them, and I like to read them,” Perry said. “I don’t like these big, huge novels. When I read, I like either a collection of short stories where I can stop at one and put it down for a while. It’s not like when you’re reading a book of 300 pages and you get bored of it and put it down.”
Perry said his interest in writing started when he was a student at Crothersville High School.
“I was big into basketball my freshman and sophomore years, and I did a lot of journaling then as far as how practicing went, my performance that particular game,” he said.
“I wrote all of that kind of stuff down.”
That evolved into poetry and general notetaking.
“Back then, I didn’t make any money doing all of that stuff, but I did it,” he said.
“It’s an outlet. It’s just something I enjoy as far as the fiction part of it goes. I’ve always been a huge fan of storytellers and that sort of thing.”
After graduating from high school in 1995, Perry studied at Indiana University Southeast with an emphasis on U.S. history.
Several years later, he decided to become a professional writer and took online courses through Penn Foster Career School. He earned a freelance writing career diploma in 2012.
Once he had his first book written, it was a matter of making it visible.
He shared his writing thoughts through a blog on his website and also let people know about his books.
“I think with the internet, the shelf life is infinite,” he said. “It goes on and on and on. It never gets removed from the shelf like a physical bookstore. No matter how many you sell or you don’t sell, it will always be there.”
He hopes to write at least one book a year, but he stays busy with his family and his new full-time job as a maintenance technician for Village Apartments of Brownstown.
“I try to carve out a little bit of time each day, but my ideal goal is to write a couple of pages a day, 500 to 600 words,” he said.
He plans to continue focusing on his love of writing.
“I don’t stop. I can’t stop,” he said, smiling. “Even if I didn’t make any money, I couldn’t stop. I didn’t find writing. Writing found me. That’s just kind of what I am.”

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Working-Class Writer

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.