Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
yesterday i got an email from the huffington post telling me that a short story i submitted was accepted. not just accepted but in their opinion, one of the finest stories they've received. I will be published in the huffington post within the next few months with my picture and biography. needless to say i'm speechless and stunned. i thanked them very much and told them i had to read their email several times to realize that it wasn't the nicest rejection notice i've ever received. so look for it. its the first 5000 words from my book, "Okiehomeland." i started it the other day and it's going famously. oh, by the way, look for my book, "Riding Buffaloes" this month. busy busy busy.
at 9:02 PM
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Sunday, September 1, 2013
I am now into the rewrite phase of my up coming book, "Riding Buffaloes." I came across this:
Young Johnny Journeycake squatted where Lucille and Earl Dean lay on the dirt floor of the cabin. The morning light rays angled through the cracks and crannies of the old home place and speckled the ground. Dust boles danced in the beams of light. Lucille and Earl Dean huddled together under Earl Dean’s jacket, her head resting on his chest. Young Johnny wandered over to the old home place on foot after his breakfast and now he eyed the couple with his head cocked to one side in a curious manner as they slept. Without a sound, he dug into a small flour sack with long knuckle-boned fingers and brought out a floury biscuit and he nibbled at it. With his head cocked the other direction, he marveled at how they slept through the frantic songs of the house wrens vying for nesting territory around the cabin. He sniffled. Lucille’s eyes cracked opened and she peered at the Indian boy. His stoic coppery face stretched into a broad toothy smile.
at 12:34 PM
Sunday, August 11, 2013
In the story, "Riding Buffaloes," Earl Dean has come to yet another fork in the road in his marriage to Lucille. Now moving closer to a resolution, he ponders the latest set back . . . and the buffalo.
Earl Dean was astounded by his hesitation. He should have balked more, but then he also felt defeated that he was so quick to capitulate. His life was truly not his anymore―seeming to be in total ruin. The ride home was a nightmare. Although careful not to malign Lucille in anyway, his aunt and uncle let their feelings and thoughts on the matter be known. Their voices swirling around his ears like the wind coming through the open windows―catching a word now and then―nodding his head in response―grunting out an agreement. But in his mind he had two choices―give up his wife or fight to keep her. He settled on fighting to keep her. But then he wondered if it was to save his marriage or to wreck his good-for-nothing cousin’s aims. He knew in his heart the buffalo was all that mattered to Lucille. Then he shuddered at the thought of it with a bullet between its eyes. If they found it dead it would be as though he pulled the trigger himself. In the midst of the entire debacle, a satisfied smile crept across his face. It occurred to him that he might be as drunk on the whole messy state of affairs as if he were drunk on moonshine.
at 9:55 AM
Friday, August 9, 2013
This is from the last chapter of the book:
“Look-it what I found,” Little Orive declared holding up a jar of amber colored liquid.
“Hey, that’s uncle Benny’s personal stash. He won’t favor you getting’ into it,” Woodrow said. “You leave it be now, ya hear? He’ll skin you alive. He won’t care if you are kin.”
Little Orvie put the jar back in place, but T.W. was always the adventurous one and so he opened it and took a sniff of the liquid. Little Orvie stuck his nose over the lip of the jar. T.W. handed it to him and with a quick jerk of his chin he indicated that he should try some of it. Little Orvie cut his eyes to Woodrow who was sacked out. Only his boots could be seen and his feet looked like he was asleep.
“We could dip our beaks in every jar here and refill them with water. This shit’s so strong it might improve it,” T.W. whispered.
Little Orvie tipped the jar to his lips and took a swallow. Sweat broke out on his face―the wildcat whiskey that his uncle used to cut the beer taking his breath away. His eyes bulged and his face became a contorted mask from the burning effects of the liquor. He clamped his eyes shut, furrowing his brow to fight back the headache that came on him.
“Purty good stuff, huh?” T.W. said grinning.
“He’s flavored it with apricot,” Little Orvie said.
T.W. tipped the jar back and took a big drink and repeated the same contorted antics that his brother went through. The two men snorted and giggled. Before they knew it, the jar was near empty and they were both roaring drunk.
Now into their second jar, the boys settled back and smoked. Little Orvie pulled a tarpaulin off their uncle’s still and was looking it over when T.W. made the comment that he should try riding the buffalo since it was so tame. Little Orvie was hesitant but with sufficient prodding, he was persuaded to sit on it while it was hemmed in the stall.
“What’ll I hold on to?” Little Orvie asked.
“Shit, just pile on and grab hold a-his horns, that’s what I’d do,” T.W. said.
“Well then whyn’t you just go ahead on and do it then if you’re so brave?” Little Orvie said.
T.W. stifled a laugh. “Cause I ain’t near as drunk as you are,” he whispered.
“Well, all right, then,” Little Orvie said and he went to the stall and climb it. Standing above the buffalo, he lost his courage and tried to back down.
“Shit,” I knowed you wouldn’t do it,” T.W. taunted.
“I’ll show you,” Little Orvie declared and tossed his burning cigarette to the side. It landed in the wooden crate that held the jars of choc packed in hay. The dried material went up fast, but they did not notice it because Little Orvie let out a loud Indian hoop and holler when he threw himself onto the buffalo’s hump.
The buffalo bellowed and fought to get away, but it was hemmed in so all it could do was buck in place. T.W. jumped to his feet to go the aid off his brother who lost his grip and slipped down into the stall. He screamed for help and Woodrow sat up in a start. Unaware that the barn was now on fire, T.W. struggled to open the gate to the stall, but it was wired shut to keep the buffalo in. The horses were screaming with fear and fought against their tethers. The barn filled with smoke as Woodrow went to set the horses free.
“Open the god damn barn door, T.W.” Woodrow yelled out.
T.W. left the stall where Little Orvie was being stomped to death and ran for the barn door. Woodrow untied the panicked horses and they reared and charged for the door, too. At that same moment, the buffalo busted through the stall gate and charged through the frightened horses and was on top of T.W. before he could unlatch the barn door. The buffalo hit him head on and pushed T.W. through the splintered door followed by the horses thundering over him.
Woodrow staggered out of the smoke and fire dragging Little Orvie by the arm. Now engulfed in flames that dripped from the roof like water, the three boys lay on the ground wondering why they were still alive.
“You alive, Little Orvie?” Woodrow said and then he coughed.
“It’s hard to breathe,” gasped Little Orvie.
“Probably a broke rib or two,” Woodrow said. “How ‘bout you T.W.?”
“I’m okay,” he said sitting up. “Skint up some.”
Woodrow could tell T.W.’s shoulder was dislocated because it hung lower than the other one. Also, his left ear was hanging off his head by a piece of skin. Most of his clothes were torn off and he was covered in scrapes and cuts.
“Yeah, you look fine to me,” Woodrow said and then he looked back at the burning, smoking rubble that once was their uncle’s barn. “Boy’s we best head for the hills. Uncle Benny’ll be gunnin’ for us for sure now.”
“Let’s not tell him we did it,” T.W. said.
“You was always the smart one,” Woodrow said. “I’ll see if I can run down the horses and then get us to a doc.”
“What about the buffalo?” T.W. said.
Woodrow laughed and waved his a hand at his brother as he limped away following the tracks left by the fleeing horses.
at 12:33 PM
Saturday, July 27, 2013
When Earl Dean and Lucille emerged from their tent early the next morning, Spud stood in the corral with the saddled buffalo looking like he was readying to leave. A water bag was tied to the back of the saddle. Earl Dean was too concerned about his own busting head to mount any kind of a resistance so he held back. Lucille approached him.
“What do you think you’re doing, Spud?” she asked.
Spud put his boot toe in the stirrup and swung his leg over the saddle. The saddle groaned and his spurs jingled―the buffalo grunted. He gathered up the reins and then he straightened his hat before he spoke. He looked into the coming dawn. “I been up all night mullin’ things over. Here’s what I come to―I’m gonna ride this here buffalo to my ma and pa’s place.”
Lucille did not respond. She was too tired.
“I figger there’s only two things you can do now―either turn ‘em lose or hide ‘em―so I’m-a gonna take the old skutter home and hide ‘em for ya.” He watched Lucille’s face. He was pleased to see her eyes glimmer with tears. “The old buff’s rested up good and he’s grained good, and so am I,” he said and then he smiled and patted his stomach. “We’re cuttin’ cross country,” He moved his hand in a dramatic sweep. Lucille smiled. “. . . Gonna avoid towns and most folks. Don’t know how long it’ll take―travelin’ light. Shoot my supper if I get that hungry. That is if you’ll give me back my cartridges.” He smiled at her.
Lucille reached into a pocket and handed him five .45 caliber cartridges. He juggled them in his hand and then he pulled the gun from his belt and opened the loading gate. One at a time he inserted each cartridge―the cylinder clicking as he turned it. When he finished, he spun the cylinder and then stuck the big gun back into his belt.
“You an Earl Dean just go on back home for now. I’ll get word to ya,” he said. And then, moved by his dramatics, he leaned over to kiss Lucille. The buffalo reacted to the shifting of his weight in the saddle by grunting and sidestepping away―leaving him grabbing for his hat and saddle leather to keep his seat. “Haw now you old son of a bitch,” he yelled out to the buffalo and then he quieted himself. “Tell Earl Dean I didn’t mean nothin’ by tryin’ to shoot him. I warn’t gonna kill his ass.” He took another read on her face. “You take care, now, ya hear?” And then he reined the buffalo around and headed for the gate.
Lucille went ahead and opened it. She watched them trot away―the buffalo’s tail swishing with every footfall. A knot filled her stomach. The sun was coming up. Time was wasting if they intended to strike camp and head back to Vinita. Lucille smiled and wiped her eyes with the palms of her hands. “Well, futz,” she said to herself.
Earl Dean parked his weary bones on the running board of the car with his head weighing heavy in his hands. He said in a whisper when Lucille approached, “Where’s that son of a bitch going to with your buffalo?”
“It’s time for us to go home, baby,” was all Lucille said about it.
Earl Dean turned his bloodshot, swollen eyes to her and a bewildered expression washed over his bloodless face.
“I’ll tell you all about it on the way home. You rest and I’ll break camp and we can go,” she said. “I’ll drive.”
“Does this mean the honeymoon is over?” Earl Dean asked.
“Yes, baby, it’s over,” Lucille said.
“Good,” Earl Dean said with a defeated sounding chuckle. “I don’t think I could have lived through another day of it.”
at 4:31 PM
Sunday, July 14, 2013
. . . . It's been a while since I last blogged... but I've been busy writing... My latest book is titled, The Rotundo Bros. It's a cookbook of sorts... how my best old buddy, Al Kidwell, Jr and I developed a "world-class" spaghetti sauce." The hardest part was learning how to consistently spell, "spaghetti." Check it out on my web site. If you would love to have a fabulous Rotundo Bros. spaghetti dinner with friends and family, the whole thing is there for you. It's like getting a secret of the universe.
at 10:31 PM