Four More Books Accepted into Library of Congress

I am thrilled and honored to have four more of my books selected by the Library of Congress, accepted into General Collections, and assigned Library of Congress Control Numbers:


Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires
LOCCN 2023448306


The Augmented Man
LOCCN 2023448307


The Inheritors
LOCCN 2023448305

Get 20% off Empty Sky or Tales Told 'Round Celestial Campfires
Empty Sky
LOCCN 2023448304

The Family Dines With Friends

Post the (US) holiday food coma (for those so fortunate. it’s a pity people don’t realize two-thirds of what they consume could go to the orphan, the widow, the hungry, the weak, the infirmed…
…but this isn’t the time for preaching…) it’s good to remember the joy we had with good friends gathered around the table.

In my case, that was at the Campbell’s in Middleton, Mass. My family would gather there every year for good food and great stories, a game of Chinese Checkers or Scrabble, perhaps Mrs. Stockton would play the piano and play for us.

I didn’t know at the time that Al Campbell and my dad met working in Boston and became friends. It never seemed odd to me that this New Brunswick, Canadian immigrant and my first-generation Italian-American father would hit it off.

Years later Al, who was heavy for as long as I knew him, lost an amazing amount of weight. I didn’t know if it was health or something else. Blanche, his wife, was also a large woman and lost some but not all of her weight.

Mrs. Stockton, Al’s mother, once confided that Al and Blanche would never have children because they were cousins.

My mother understood. I, somewhere between five and nine years old at the time, didn’t.

One day Blanche called us to let us know Al had left her for some woman in northern Maine. How he met her, I don’t know.

Blanche received a letter (handwritten. ah, those were the days) from Al asking her to box up some of his things and to leave them somewhere he could get them.

She did. Being Blanche, she also included an apple pie. Al loved apple pie.

Years later she received another letter from Al telling her how much he treasured that pie. It was one of the kindest things anyone’d done for him in years, he wrote.

My mother made sure we – especially my father – knew the woman Al “shacked up with” beat him regularly, as did her two sons, and that he had to eat that pie in the outhouse because the woman, if she’d known he got it, would’ve taken it from him and beat him all the more.

My mother made sure my father knew this because (as I found out much later) what brought Al and my father together wasn’t work, it was whoring.

Al, according to mom, even hit on her once. While she was pregnant, too! Oh my!

Such are family stories.

Blanche and Mrs. Stockton were good Christian women. Years later I studied biblical matters and they invited me over for dinner. I hadn’t seen them in years.

They were still Blanche and Mrs. Stockton, still knew how to cook, still gracious and kind people.

I would like to say I stayed in touch with them, but I didn’t. My path took me elsewhere.

Way elsewhere.

I hope their Christian belief brought them peace.

And meanwhile, the family dines with friends.

Enjoy.

 

My ‘Sanctuary’ in Writers Co-op Production’s The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey Anthology

I asked fellow The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey anthology contributors to share some things about themselves prior to publication and those generous enough to do so will be appearing here for the next week or so.

Each entry gives a taste of their contribution, a little about them, how to contact them, how their story came about, and definitely a link to The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey (which you should purchase because it would make each and every one of us happy.
you do want to make us happy, don’t you?
i mean, considering what we wrote, you want us to know you’re a good person, right?).

Let’s start with an introduction to the anthology as a whole:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emerson’s point has been echoed by many, but in the Land of the Weird the question arises, “A journey to what destination?” At the same time, you might ask, “Is the journey therefore the destination?” The journey may well be an individual’s destination, because it will define them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And in the Land of the Weird, that journey can take twists and turns that amuse, sadden, or horrify.
This trip into the Land of the Weird offers you 39 unique trails to follow, assisted by 35 different guides, each leading you down their own singular paths, manifesting their own view of journey as destination, some laughing, some weeping, and some, eyes wide with fear, shaking as they point out the spectral footpath for you to follow on your way down The Rabbit Hole.

A Writers Co-op Production
Stories by: Chere Taylor, Brian R. Quinn, Arthur M. Doweyko, Donna J. W. Munro, Tom Howard, Kayla Whittle, Leslie Muzingo, Pete Barnstrom, Emmie Christie, Thomas Nicholson, GD Deckard, Richard DeRobertis, M.C. Schmidt, James Dorr, Rosalind Goldsmith, Margaret Karmazin, J.W.Wood, James Rumpel, Bill McCormick, v.f. thompson, Fran Tabor, David K. Slay, Joseph Carrabis, Jane Frankel, Alice Baburek, Susan R. Morritt, Bobby Rollins, Lee Clark Zumpe, Denice Penrose, Stephen McQuiggan, H. Donovan Lyón, Anna Ross, Michael Pudney, Beth Gaydon, and Tom Wolosz.

My second contribution is Sanctuary. Here’s the opening:

There is a planet on the scanners. It is large and round and red. The sun is yellow and warming, and the planet is in the sun’s life zone. The gravity is slightly stronger than Earth’s. The air is a bit richer, and there is abundant water under the surface.
The red coloring comes from two things. The surface of the planet is covered with red vegetation and their spores are everywhere. The ground is also red, although not with spores but with clay and slate like so faraway Connecticut.

How the story came about:
Sanctuary was written in the mid-1990s and originally appeared in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 8. Of all my flash pieces – probably of all my work – it has received the most visceral reactions from readers, everything from “F’king Brilliant!” to “I hate you for writing this and I never want to read another thing you’ve written!”
Amusingly (to me), that same person finished their acid bath with “And that fact you could get me this pissed off in 900 words tells me what an incredible author you are!”
Hey, I take ’em where I can get ’em.
Sanctuary is about environmental concerns and sacrifice.
I think.
Continue reading “My ‘Sanctuary’ in Writers Co-op Production’s The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey Anthology”

My ‘The Seduction of Cyrynda Strong’ in Writers Co-op Production’s The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey Anthology

I asked fellow The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey anthology contributors to share some things about themselves prior to publication and those generous enough to do so will be appearing here for the next week or so.

Each entry gives a taste of their contribution, a little about them, how to contact them, how their story came about, and definitely a link to The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey (which you should purchase because it would make each and every one of us happy.
you do want to make us happy, don’t you?
i mean, considering what we wrote, you want us to know you’re a good person, right?).

Let’s start with an introduction to the anthology as a whole:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emerson’s point has been echoed by many, but in the Land of the Weird the question arises, “A journey to what destination?” At the same time, you might ask, “Is the journey therefore the destination?” The journey may well be an individual’s destination, because it will define them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And in the Land of the Weird, that journey can take twists and turns that amuse, sadden, or horrify.
This trip into the Land of the Weird offers you 39 unique trails to follow, assisted by 35 different guides, each leading you down their own singular paths, manifesting their own view of journey as destination, some laughing, some weeping, and some, eyes wide with fear, shaking as they point out the spectral footpath for you to follow on your way down The Rabbit Hole.

A Writers Co-op Production
Stories by: Chere Taylor, Brian R. Quinn, Arthur M. Doweyko, Donna J. W. Munro, Tom Howard, Kayla Whittle, Leslie Muzingo, Pete Barnstrom, Emmie Christie, Thomas Nicholson, GD Deckard, Richard DeRobertis, M.C. Schmidt, James Dorr, Rosalind Goldsmith, Margaret Karmazin, J.W.Wood, James Rumpel, Bill McCormick, v.f. thompson, Fran Tabor, David K. Slay, Joseph Carrabis, Jane Frankel, Alice Baburek, Susan R. Morritt, Bobby Rollins, Lee Clark Zumpe, Denice Penrose, Stephen McQuiggan, H. Donovan Lyón, Anna Ross, Michael Pudney, Beth Gaydon, and Tom Wolosz.

My first contribution is The Seduction of Cyrynda Strong. Here’s the opening:

It was done and she felt herself relax.

 
Michael stood where the parking lot pavement met the beach sand and gazed up into the clear evening sky. “Care to go for a walk?”
She thought for a moment.
Pros slid into cons faster than she liked: she liked him, he was cute, he was a gentleman, he listened to her. It was their first date, there were some beach houses within screaming distance with lights on, the beach was deserted, he might turn into a monster – two arms, two legs, and a dick. She remembered a joke a friend told her, “…I’ve already got one asshole in my pants, I don’t need another.”

How the story came about:
The Seduction of Cyrynda Strong is part of a women’s triptych I wrote from 1992 to 1994. I worked as a therapist specializing in trauma recovery. For reasons I didn’t understand, women came to me more often than men and I documented their stories in fiction (asking to make sure my “translations” were acceptable, of course). One of the three, Rachel, Above the Clouds While Flying, appeared in Across the Margin and in Rabbit Hole IV Descent Into Madness. The second piece, Striders is yet to find a home. Cyrynda Strong is the third piece of the triptych and was originally entitled “The Raping of Cyrynda Strong” because I dealt with so many individuals who were first psychologically and emotionally violated (victimized) and that violation/victimization led to consent to the physical encounter.

Another, similar piece, Eliana’s GiveAway, came later towards the end of my practice and appears in my The Shaman and on BizCatalyst360.

Hope you enjoy.
Continue reading “My ‘The Seduction of Cyrynda Strong’ in Writers Co-op Production’s The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey Anthology”

My ‘Binky’ in WordCrafter Press’ Midnight Roost Anthology

I asked fellow Midnight Roost anthology contributors to share some things about themselves prior to publication and those generous enough to do so will be appearing here for the next week or so.

Each entry gives a taste of their contribution, a little about them, how to contact them, how their story came about, and definitely a link to Midnight Roost (which you should purchase because it would make each and every one of us happy.
you do want to make us happy, don’t you?
i mean, considering what we wrote, you want us to know you’re a good person, right?).

Let’s start with a Hallowe’en-themed introduction to the anthology as a whole:

Binky is the third of three of my pieces in Midnight Roost. Here’s the opening:

Marino sipped cold coffee from a white Styrofoam cup. He stood in his corner of the clinic staff’s office. A bricked-up fireplace ran along the wall nearest his desk, his clarinet on the mantle. Each day started with a little klezmer or polka, something to amuse the staff before the day began.
He nodded and smiled as they came in—”Morning, Dr. Marino.”, “Morning, Janet.”, “Yo, Peter.”, “Yo yourself, Brian.”—performing a headcount.
He was one shy. Who…
Pahtmus’ and Officer Houle’s voices rose above the chants and hollers of protesters beyond the clinic’s perimeter fencing.

How the story came about:
Binky is another story which evolved over time, and also from 1994. I always knew the story was about a haunted inner-city health center and was never comfortable with the traditional concept of “haunting.”
I also a proponent of a woman’s right to choose while simultaneously believing all life is sacred (a theme further developed and explored in Empty Sky).
The title was always “Binky” and I never knew who, what, or how Binky played a role.
And as they say, one day it all came together.

Enjoy!
Continue reading “My ‘Binky’ in WordCrafter Press’ Midnight Roost Anthology”