My Craft Stories

Feeling Hungry on the Southwest Chief

He jumped on the Southwest Chief as it picked up speed at the Alvarado Transportation Center. The porter swung him into the car and waved to the engineer to aim the train to Los Angeles. He wandered past the seats, swiped a blanket from a baby carriage, and slid into an empty row. He pulled the blanket up to his neck and watched the mesquite trees out the window until he fell asleep. When he…

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My Craft On Writing

Book Review – The Ultimate Hero’s Journey: 195 Essential Plot Stages Found in the Best Novels & Movies

Well, that’s a mouthful and they had to use an ampersand to make it all fit. However, Neal Soloponte provides 195 plot stages to consider in shaping a novel so the title needs some heft. The Ultimate Hero’s Journey: 195 Essential Plot Stages Found in the Best Novels & Movies delivers so many plot stages that I fell into the rabbit hole Soloponte took in writing this book. Like my favorite, Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys…

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My Craft Stories Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 8

Cranberry Juice The emergency room at the county hospital seemed a bit too busy for a Tuesday morning. Tucked in every corner sat screaming babies with frantic mothers, homeless suffering from the heat, foreigners nursing hangovers, and Cindy with a gunshot in her arm. She sat in the middle of a bed pushed into the hallway with her legs dangling over the edge. A gauze pad with a red circle of blood covered her arm.…

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My Craft Poetry

Be a Maker, Not a Taker

Some shout no to corporate welfare And spit on those who say otherwise. Tax loopholes seem unfair, To those who minimize Their day-to-day and scrutinize The monthly budget. The craftsmen yowl this advice, Be a Maker, Not a Taker. An artisan lists out what’s true and fair; A list of various jobs and supplies. To complete his family’s share Of fruited endeavors reprise. The labor like clockwork unifies The sons and daughters sextet. The craftsmen…

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Author Readings My Craft

Author Reading: Sincere Advice for The Man of the House

You spent all day working, tossed the ball with the dog, watched some TV, and now you want to sleep. You nod off quickly only to awaken at midnight to the howling of your dog. Then your dog does something unusual: it starts talking to you. What happens when you suddenly get life advice from your dog? Do you take it? Do you listen? Those are some of the questions I tackled in this short…

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My Craft Stories

Sincere Advice for The Man of the House

At midnight, Charlie woke the only human in his life, the one who fed him, kept him in water, and let him lead them on an romp past the marigolds on the corner every day at three, with a long howl. It bubbled up from below his belly somewhere near his tail and felt more like an itch in a space he couldn’t reach with his nose. A long, frightful howl, which made even Charlie…

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My Craft Stories

I Wander Away – A Collection of Short Stories

I started writing again as an exercise for my hands and my brain. For many months after my stroke, I couldn’t hand write my letters, let alone type. I spent many hours tracing the shapes of letters with my right hand. It took awhile because my brain failed to move my hand. Anyway, I practiced like a child and hoped for the best. All of this went on as I tried to get my world…

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My Craft Stories Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 7

Paramedics wheeled Charlie out of the club through the mess of wires, broken glass, and water. A medic taped gauze on Cindy’s arm where a bullet broke the skin leaving a bleeding gash. Cuts and scratches covered her legs. “He’s going to make it,” Wallace said. “How he didn’t die is anybody’s guess.” How they all survived, nobody could tell. A flash of gunpowder played again in Cindy’s mind as the bullet sent a cascade…

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Conversations My Craft

Take a Bath, Already!

A Conversation “I trained all of them. Just put your nose under the big top so you can see.” “There’s no big top. Just a bunch of dirty hair.” “Humor me; if you dig in there you can see the center of the tent. That’s where they perform.” “I can’t get past the smell. You need a bath.” “Forget about me. Focus on the stage.” “I see them. They’re all just sort of sitting there.”…

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