A REGULAR OLD BLOG POST TO PLAY WITH
Dear website browsers and everyone!
I’m reaching out to you to follow my writing journey and perhaps find a place in your own journey for one of my novels, framed poems, or hand-painted notecards.
I apologize for being gone so long from a website I barely understood or knew how to revise. But lucky you (and me!), my wonderful, talented friend, Jena Starkes, has offered to get me back on track. My only excuse is that, at least, I’ve written two novels since my last posting in 2016: What Love Has Done (2017) and The Girl from the River (2018). As to my previous promises, I haven’t found the black African priests that are here in Montana or returned to the country of my first inspiration, Tanzania. I haven’t spoken to book clubs or entered any major contests. I did have one poem published in a respected Montana anthology, Across the Big Sky II. I live with my characters day and night and hope to reveal them to you as gifts for a dreary day or stars in a sleepless night.
If you are here with me for the first time, let me promise you my work is not of comfortably familiar genres or darkly quirky themes beyond the point of reason, but I’m not afraid to mine the depths of human relationships or honor our brilliantly diverse world. My characters are gay, straight, or “trying to figure themselves out;” Catholic, atheist, and “Oh god, spare me the dogma;” black, white, American Indian, Mexican, Guatemalan; literate and mute; self-assured and mentally challenged; some with violent minds, most with healing hearts; skeptics and believers; militants and pacifists, but sorry – no vegetarians.
I answer all emails and try to get books, etc. in the mail the same day as orders. I enjoy phone calls and will always return messages. Criticism is welcome (Oh, my gosh, there are no saguaros in Northeastern Nevada!). I’ve posted one or two chapters from each book, and I may post poems and short stories if there is an interest for that. Want feedback on your own poems? I love to give “mini lessons” in that area (free).
I hope you will look for my next two books: (1) a collection of true dog stories, The Dog Next Door and Other Tales, highlighting one special neighbor dog who blazed a foot-deep trail in the summer grass and winter snow between his house and ours, about a quarter of a mile, and sometimes spent the night in our garage, accidentally or on-purpose. (2) a novel, The Slaughters, that spans almost two hundred years and details the intersection of the lives of the white and black children (and many of their children) of a Southern plantation owner, Given Slaughter. The man dies on the first page but leaves a legacy of white and mixed-race children who loved him and hated him but cannot hate their white or half-black half brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles whose lives touch theirs over the years in surprising and profound ways.
What is fiction anyway? One of my characters wears a t-shirt with those words in tiny letters. (Caution: metaphor coming!) The words are tiny – difficult to read, difficult to answer – an enigma. My hope is that after you read a couple of my novels, you’ll have a surprising new answer. It might be different from mine. All the better to honor my belief in and love for the sparkling diversity in this irreplaceable world.