Free Kindle Poetry Book – Under the Lone Pine 0

This week allow me to take you on a ride of the southwest and Mojave deserts with poetry collected from WordSmithHoller in my new poetry book Under the Lone Pine.

Under the Lone Pine is a poetry chapbook focused on the theme of finding lost people and dreams in the American Southwest. Each poem speaks to travelers seeking redemption, love, and happiness, while illustrating emotions, random thoughts, and dreams about people traveling through the desert.

Under the Lone Pine - Free Kindle Download

Download a Free Kindle Copy

Selections from Under the Lone Pine

In the Mirage

A rodent’s fate demise
I ponder the tan path to the tragic end

In the mirage

A fan palm hides rock art mysteries
A spear thrown ripples past a prize
Landing short of red rock bloodshed

A hunter stands apart from his band;
Defiant brave friend
I sit alone too stoic on my perch of granite gneiss

In the mirage

The Moment a Heartbeat Shifts Trice

Snow dusting the crest of Mount Tom,
Patches of orange and brown balm,
Cold air smell of jet metal-cased gneiss,
The moment a heartbeat shifts trice.

Valley awaits the brewing storm,
Sunshine blocked behind veil swarm,
An aversion to inclement vice,
The moment a heartbeat shifts trice.

Wakan Tanka Waits For Me

Staring at the tapered top
Of the ceiling seeing stars
Aerial above the black desert night
Musing about ghostly riders
Traveling the mother road
We dream in deep sleep slumber.

Twilight Settled Around the Texas Spoon

Hammer man tuned the piano, sunlight gave way to moon
Barmaid dried the glasses, as twilight settled around the Texas Spoon

He tipped his hat back, swayed over the loam
The girl he knew would be home
With a shower, steak, eggs, coffee and biscuits
To sober him up for the next day of excess

Back to the Future Too 0

Back to the Future

The silver car rose out of the driveway and backed out into the street.

“What are you watching?”

“Some old crystal from more than 100 years ago. Something grandma saved.” The man driving the car covered his eyes with chrome sunglasses. Zack paused the action.

“How clunky,” he said. “Why don’t they just see it.” Arya touched her temple and the movie floated in her view.

On the screen, the unkempt man adjusted his glasses. “Where we’re going we don’t need roads,” he said. Then the car vanished in a flash.

“A flying car,” Zack laughed. “Now, that’s funny.”

A fit woman walked out of the atrium, put her workout mat into the wall, and stood below a fan. A warm breeze dried her sweat.

“That was my dad’s favorite movie,” Clara said. “It’s quaint, right?” Zach looked up at Clara and his view of the crystal vanished.

“I can’t believe you were our age 100 years ago,” Arya said. “They thought our life would be so utopian.”

“Well, it kind of is,” Clara said. “I look like someone in their forties from that time.” Clara glanced at the watch imprint on her arm. “A few hours ago, I turned 134.”

“Happy birthday, grandma,” Arya said.

“But a flying car? Come on,” Zack said. “We don’t even need cars, we have the loop.” Continue Reading

The Gardener Longs for Spring 0


The gossip fails to interest him,
Real housewives provide no whim,
The endless chatter from the box,
Never topping spring equinox.

Transplanting flowers from the seed,
Small, pale, helpless leaves proceed
No April Showers, so May balks
Never topping spring equinox.

Finally, water pours over plant,
The pail neck leaks but a scant,
Of moisture fallen from shamrocks,
Never topping spring equinox.

Summer now, the garden delights,
Hummingbirds dab on nectar flights,
Still, he misses his garden smock,
Never topping spring equinox.

Want more poetry? For a limited time my poetry chapbook is on sale at Amazon:

Buy Under the Lone Pine Chapbook at Amazon

Cindy’s Sin – A Tall Tale of Sin Mystery Now on Kindle 0

Cindy's Sin

Take a flash of neon, add it to a young girl’s grief, and you have the beginning of a Tall Tale of Sin. Cindy’s Sin starts with a girl climbing off a Las Vegas-bound bus on a mission of revenge.

From the description:

Cindy Lash encounters danger the moment she arrives in Las Vegas to avenge the death of her father Tommy. But getting revenge will take a bit of luck, magic, and street smarts. An armed robbery wreaks havoc on her plans and shatters her only lead. Plunged into a frantic chase to find the killer, Cindy plunges into a nightmare of murder and corrupt greed. She lacks street smarts, but her luck may turn out to be her best asset. 

This book is now available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback. Order the paperback by special order from your bookstore or on Amazon.

On a side note, I wrote this book for my friend Stony Jackson, a legendary court bailiff and detective, who came to the aid of many people, Cindy for example, and he never asked for anything in return. Stony worked for Benny Binion in his casino before becoming the mayor of the Clark County Courthouse.

I Don’t Think That is What You Meant to Say 2

A Conversation

“I mean, it literally caused me to boil over in hives.”

“Your whole body?”

“Yes, literally.”

“Do you have pictures?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

“Wow. I thought you meant figuratively. That’s a bad case of hives.”

“I know. I literally scratched myself to death.”

Greyhound Arriving: Tall Tales of Sin 1

Cindy’s Sin is the first novella in the series Tall Tale of Sin. The book starts off with the chapter Greyhound Arriving as Cindy Lash arrives in Las Vegas to avenge the murder of her father. Cindy appears a novice. But she quickly learns some street smarts to carry her through to the end of her revenge plan.

greyhound arriving

Cindy Lash came to Las Vegas on the Greyhound Bus. So the first chapter of the novella is Greyhound Arriving. If you have ever arrived in Las Vegas in the summer who already know what Cindy feels the moment she gets off the bus; a blast of heat.

She’s in Las Vegas to avenge the death of her father Tommy. But getting to the killer will take a bit of luck, magic, and street smarts. She lacks the street smarts, but her luck may turn out to be her best asset. I feature the Las Vegas neon as a central character allowing the magic of the light to flow through Fremont Street and eventually landing at the Neon Boneyard.

When completed the entire series will cover a lot of mystery, surprise, and excitement. Currently, I am learning Klingon for a sexy romp at a space-themed marriage bureau that ends with the bride married to a different husband. I’m also working on a mystery taking place in the underground sewers where people live a stone’s throw from the Las Vegas Strip.

One of the tricks is to weave all of the characters throughout the series. I’m currently trying to find a way to keep all of the characters located near downtown. Hopefully, readers notice this as they read Tall Tales of Sin.

Cindy’s Sin started out as a short story and quickly became a much longer story. Many of my short stories could become bigger stories if I chose to write them.

The Document is Incomplete 0

A Conversation

“Do you have page 30 of the A-239 form?”

“It should be right there.”

“I don’t see it.”

“Well, it was there when I brought it in.”

“Without page 30 I cannot accept this.”

“Look again.”

“Listen sir, without the page the document is incomplete.”

“You didn’t look.”

“It’s missing sir.”

“I don’t think so. Look again.”

“It would do no good to look again. The paper is clearly missing.”

“Give them to me. I’ll look.”

“I’m sorry sir. Once the document is submitted it can’t be unsubmitted.”

“It hasn’t really gone into the hopper yet. Let me at least look.”

“Sir, this is highly unusual.”

“See, it’s just out of order: Page 30 was stuck after page 32.”

“I’ll have to start over again. Do you have the A-300 document?”

Author Reading: A Moment of Pure Truth 1

I took inspiration for A Moment of Pure Truth from a story in Smithsonian about an albino redwood found deep in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in California. It seemed like a gift from God; an expression of nature pure and good.

I spent a week in the redwoods around Crescent City, Calif. as a teen. I never saw an albino redwood, yet it never mattered because the tall trees filled me with awe and inspiration. I suppose if I came upon an albino tree I never would have left the forest.

I tried to capture that feeling in my story about a settlement conference referee who finds his job a bit underwhelming. He seeks reverence and meaning. I tried to capture his joy at seeing the albino redwood.

Here is my author reading of my short story A Moment of Pure Truth.

Snowville Coffee Might As Well Be 90-Proof 1

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah by Scott Jarvie. Used with permission of @jarvie through his Minnow Support Picture Catalog.He woke to the sounds of distant gunfire. Tom wiped away the frost from the glass window and peered at the semi sitting next to him. He shivered and rose the car seat from its reclined bed, held his head in his hands, and jumped at another gunshot. The opening day of the deer hunt in Snowville, Utah.

He spent the night in the car after an accident on the highway. In the Snowville truck stop, the self-drive trailer remained attached to his small two-seater. The adage, “the universe provides” certainly providing a heap of bad luck the night before. His trip from Idaho to Texas ended on the Utah border with the trailer pulling the car backwards down a grade and burning up the clutch. The car and trailer jack-knifed causing a two-mile backup. Once the wrecker arrived, he watched drivers go by and curse him for the delay. He rode to Snowville in silence convinced no one wanted to help him.

From his memory of philosophy, this clearly amplified the resignation of the ancient Greeks. The best he could do was smile and try to endure yet another trial delivered by the universe.

A bell on the door announced him as he stumbled inside the diner. “Just sit anywhere you want hon,” a waitress dressed like a pink tablecloth shouted his way. Hunters filled the booths more intent on blueberry syrup then sitting in a deer stand. He found a seat at the counter next to a heavy-set truck driver wearing a black leather vest, blue jeans, and a pair of Wellington boots.

“Pass the sugar,” the driver said. Tom pushed over the shaker and reached for a menu.

“Get the pancakes and eggs.”

The driver let the sugar pour into his cup. In the mirror over the counter, Tom watched a group of men in orange jackets and hats laugh and punch each other as they left the diner. He set the menu back on the napkin rack.

“The cook can’t mess up pancakes.”

The driver stared ahead. A waitress brought over a pot of coffee and refilled his cup.

“Coffee dear?”

The driver shot him a glance and Tom interpreted it as “don’t pass on the coffee.”

“Sure, fill my cup.”

The driver handed over the shaker and watched Tom pour a trickle of sugar.

“You’re not a hunter,” the driver said. “So you must be a traveler.”

“Car broke down on the highway,” Tom said. He dipped his fingers in his water-glass and tried to push down his hair. Tom caught the big man watching him in the mirror.

“Sleep in your car?” he asked.

“Woke up to gunshots,” Tom said. “I forgot it was the first day of the hunt.”

The driver looked behind him at the crowded diner. “They act like it didn’t happen last year. I’m Butch.” He reached out a large hand and Tom shook it.

“I’m Tom Washburn. I’m on my way to Texas.”

“Just left Lubbock,” Butch said. “I’m halfway to Seattle hauling truck parts.”

“I’m heading to Plainview. Isn’t that near Lubbock?”

“The middle stop on the Amarillo Highway north of the Hub City. Why there?”

“My girlfriend started the fall semester at Wayland Baptist.”

“Home to Jimmy Dean sausage and cotton. Not much else.”

The waitress refilled Butch’s coffee. He poured in more sugar. She refilled Tom’s too. Butch took a big swallow. Tom tried to keep up.

“You must be in the Honda with the trailer,” Butch said. “Kinda crazy to be hauling it with such a little car.”

“Burned up the clutch,” Tom said. “Cost me almost everything to tow it here. I’m trying to figure it out.”

“Well, if I was going back to Lubbock, I’d take you.”

Butch motioned for a refill of his coffee and the waitress returned with the pot. Tom finished his coffee and she refilled it too.

“I’m thinking about calling my dad,” Tom said. Tom wished Butch was going back to Lubbock. He didn’t want to admit to Dad he was still a kid.

“He’ll need to drive across Nevada from home. And then I still have to figure out the car. Maybe he’ll pay to fix it?”

Tom studied Butch for insight. The driver finished his coffee and pushed away from the counter. Tom took a last swallow, set down his last ten dollar bill, and followed Butch out of the diner.

“Well, I’ve got to go. I’ll stop and see if you’re still here when I get back from Seattle.”

Butch shook Tom’s hand, turned, and ran to his truck. The engine jumped to life and idled in the cold morning. Butch soon moved the rig to the highway.

Tom’s head felt like a helium balloon and his heart was racing. He stepped inside the telephone booth and made a collect call to his dad. Tom spoke fast explaining why he was in Snowville. Dad agreed to come to Utah to help him figure it out.

“Why are you talking so fast,” Dad asked.

“I tried to keep up with a Texas truck driver drinking black coffee and sugar,” Tom said. “This Snowville coffee might as well be 90-proof. I’m going to have a pounding headache tomorrow.”

Tom walked through the semis. He watched a truck drive by with a six-point deer on its bumper. He climbed inside his car, reclined the seat, and tried to take a nap.

The picture of the Bonneville Salt Flats is being used with permission and in partnership with @jarvie on Steemit. If you’d like to reach out to him with questions about his Minnow Support Picture Catalog contact him at

Buy Under the Lone Pine Chapbook at Amazon

The Importance of Writing Prompts 2

I think writing prompts work wonders for shaking loose the cobwebs. You can just write based on the prompt. Some writing prompts come with a time limit, which I think helps because it forces a writer to throw out all ideas and hope for the best.

Will every prompt lead to a story? Maybe. Sometimes the prompt just serves as engine oil for the writer’s brain. You need a bit of priming to lead you to the good stuff.

I try and write everyday in the morning before my breakfast. Then I think the rest of the day on an idea or something I have read that might lead to a story. Some of my ideas have been rattling around in my head for a few years.

In a previous post, I wrote a short story titled Greenhouse in the Sky.

The prompt reminded me of something I have been thinking about featuring an older brother and a younger brother. The older boy has a disease that makes him spend a lot of time in the hospital. And the younger boy is jealous of the attention his parents afford him.

In the story, the younger boy discovers another world where his older brother is revered and of course, he has left the kingdom, for a reason they don’t understand (he’s sick in his real world).

And that’s all I have of the story.

So, it’s one of those ideas I’m working on fleshing out the moral of the story, etc.

In the meantime, I wrote this short story about the greenhouse based on a writing prompt on Steemit.

In this video, I explain my motivation for the story and then provide an Author Reading. Enjoy!