Excerpt from The Book of Jake

The figure wore a white robe, which merged with the surrounding light. Its face was that of an older man, but one whose posture was very erect. His long hair and beard were shaggy and unkempt, and he wore a straw hat with its wide brim turned down in front. In his hand he held a gnarled staff with what appeared to be a Harley-Davidson logo on the handle. Despite the almost four foot elevation of the porch, the figure towered head and shoulders above Jake.

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A Mercy Killing and The Book of Jake published in anthologies.

I am pleased to announce the publication of my story, A Mercy Killing, in Corpus Christi Writers 2019. My story, The Book of Jake, was published in Corpus Christi Writers 2018, An Anthology. Both anthologies are published and edited by William Mays (MaysPublishing.com).

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Excerpt from A Mercy Killing

All Agnes had was her husband and her cat. At least she loved Fluffy. She had been married to Walter for forty-two years and had loved him for the first couple of weeks. She thought so anyway, but it had been so long ago she couldn’t be sure. Walter had never treated her with affection, except once for a few minutes in the back of a Chevrolet.

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Excerpt from Mike, from the Mail Room

If only she could know all the little ways that I make her life easier. Like how I wait in my car until her newspaper is delivered very early every morning. I pick it up out of her yard and toss it onto her porch so she won’t have to walk in the wet grass. She might get her slippers damp. If the yardman would just mow it shorter, it wouldn’t stay so soggy. One time the newspaper guy skipped her house, so I took a paper from a neighbor’s yard and put it on her porch. She deserved it more than they did.

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Mike, from the Mail Room published in an anthology of short stories


I am happy to announce that my short story, Mike, from the Mail Room, has been published in An Honest Lie, Vol. 3: Justifiable Hypocrisy. Thank you for your support of my earlier story, Ozzie the Clown, published last year in An Honest Lie, Vol. 2: Delusions of Insignificance. Your support was instrumental in my being awarded a contract for my own book of short stories tentatively to be published in the fall of this year.

If you would like to read Mike, from the Mail Room (a stalker who gets far more than he bargains for) order Vol.3 by going to http://ahlvol3vote.debrincase.com/. To purchase, go down to the list of names at the bottom of the page and click on my name. That way your purchase will be attributed to me (no, there ain’t no extra money in it for me; just credits me with the sale). For now the book is for sale only on Open Heart Press’ own web site. Later, like Vol. 2, it will be available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

There is an interview for Vol. 3 at:  http://lifeatohp.debrincase.com/. It is handled in a simulated round table format. I much preferred the individual interview format of Vol. 2.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Vol. 2, in which my story Ozzie the Clown appears, go to http://ahlvol2vote.debrincase.com/ and follow the same instructions as above for purchasing Vol. 3.

If you purchase either anthology and find the quality of its stories worthy of your support, I respectfully ask that you talk it up among your friends and colleagues who are avid readers. Again, thank you for your interest and support.

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I still make my bed because she’d want me to.

On June 17th, I lost my wife, Sharon, to cancer. In the ten months before she died she lost half her body weight, but not an ounce of her faith or courage. Being her care giver was the most difficult task of my life, but also its greatest honor. I will write about her when I am able.

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The Call

Wandering After Will-O'-The-Wisp

Wandering After Will-O’-The-Wisp (Photo credit: garlandcannon)

Hold on to your hats, folks. My friend and writing collaborator, Joanne Eddy, has finished her first novel, The Call. A few final edits remain, but this is a very polished work. A blend of Polish history and folklore, Tolkienesque fantasy, and just plain great story telling, this book is going to make itself heard and establish Joanne as a writing force to be reckoned with.

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Ozzie the Clown published in anthology of short stories.

Hello folks,

I am happy to announce that my story, Ozzie the Clown, has been published as part of an anthology by Open Heart Press. The anthology is entitled An Honest Lie, Vol. 2: Delusions of Insignificance. I have read the other 15 stories and can assure you that Ozzie is in good company.

(See ordering information below)

The Story:

Ozzie the Clown is the story of the downward spiral of a tortured soul who, despite feeling safe only behind his clown’s mask, still has a spark of yearning for connection with others. It is the faintest of sparks, though, and at his core he only wants to be Ozzie the Clown. Nothing more. Be careful what you wish for, Ozzie.

An excerpt:

I don’t know when I became Ozzie the Clown. Sometimes it seems like it happened over time. Other times, like it happened in a flash. Once, when I was very young, my mom took me to the circus. That was before she ran away with the real estate man…

Madmen and Fellow Travelers: A Collection of Short Stories (Ozzie’s home)

Most of the stories speak to the isolation we experience as individuals, how hard it is to bridge the chasms that separate us, and the lengths we will go or wish we had gone to cross them. Some characters fail entirely at building that bridge, some succeed only briefly, and others, the happy few, build bridges that last a lifetime. At their best and worst, those successes and failures shape their lives.

The stories are most poignant when the pain of the characters touches the pain the reader feels in his or her own life, a collective, shared pain. Sometimes they are right on the edge between alienation and humankind’s most basic need to connect. It is when the stories maintain a balance, without going too far in either direction, that they are most effective. While there is a hard edge to them, they still allow the reader to experience what the character is feeling or trying to feel.

Most of the stories have a recurrent character (no, it’s not Ozzie). Sometimes he is the protagonist, others times he is the foil for telling another character’s story. The reader gets to know this main character in bits and pieces, much as we come to know people in real life. (Folks we meet don’t hand us chronologically arranged biographies or resumes). The stories are not arranged chronologically, but rather present the main character at different ages, in mixed order. Other characters, including Ozzie, also recur in the stories.

Special Announcement: 

Ozzie the Clown is taking a leave of absence from the collection for his gig with An Honest Lie (although he makes cameo appearances in other stories). Ultimately, we hope he will share the benefit of his experience there to enrich the rest of the collection.

Ordering information:

Open Heart Press released An Honest Lie, Vol. 2: Delusions of Insignificance on October 31, 2010. You can purchase yours directly from the publisher by clicking here. Your purchase will be attributed to me and will contribute votes toward my winning a publishing contract with Open Heart Publishing for my collection of short stories. But don’t buy it for that reason. Do so because it is a damned good book of stories. The book will also be available for purchase from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com sometime in December.

Vote for your favorite author from An Honest Lie, Vol. 2: Delusions of Insignificance (no purchase necessary):

To vote for your favorite author, click on http://ahlvol2vote.debrincase.com/. Go to the list of names in a blue field on the upper lefthand side of the web page to vote for your favorite author by clicking on his (I hope my) or her (okay, I’ll consider a sex change) name. Once you’ve done that, click on “view results” at the bottom of the list which will take you to another page. Again, click on a name (I hope mine), and you will see a calculation of the current standings. There is also a neat map which you can click on to see the standings state by state and from abroad. You can vote more than once. If, when you go to the first page, you find a check by the name you voted for, you can click “view results” again and it will take you to the second page where you can click on my (I hope) name again. Hell, folks vote more than once in all elections here in my native Texas. Always have. So far, I am doing pretty well, but I will need your continuing help if I am to make a respectable showing. Most of all, I just hope you like my story and my friend Ozzie.

Note: If there is no list of names in the blue field in the upper lefthand corner of the page, click on “review results” at the bottom of the empty field and you will be taken to the second page with a list of names on the lefthand side. You can vote there.

If I can do it, you can too:

The theme for Open Heart Publishing’s 2011 annual anthology, An Honest Lie, Vol. 3, is “Justifiable Hypocrisy.” Stay tuned for submission information.

Interview by OHP:

Click here for interview of me by Open Heart Publishing.

Upcoming features:

Links to other writer’s blogs and websites, such as that of Joanne Eddy whose fantasy novel, The Call, based on Polish history and folklore, will, I predict, make her a household name and that of Marta Sprout, whose Homespun Valor, a non-fiction, historical account of the role women played in winning the American Revolution, is being considered by PBS for the production of a full feature film to be aired nationwide. Marta is a talented fiction writer as well. I’m hoping that, with the passage of time, I can entice these two very talented writers, and others, to participate on my blog as guest bloggers.

Bear with me, folks. This low-tech cowboy is learning as he goes. Please come back and visit again.

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