Reference

Books that made America

The key to this take on the well trodden premise is a simple fact not usually assayed: America is still being made and is not a static thing which was done at some historical point in time. The nation is not a baked cake that can be left out in the rain, but a salmagundi, a jambalaya, a gallimaufry, and a slumgullion, if not a farrago. The first America, the one at the time of the Declaration of Independence was not exactly the one that wrote the Constitution a mere twelve years later. The America of 1860 was certainly not the America of 1865. The general self-awareness of this nation has been shaped and reshaped–mostly by events, not by books. Events are hard facts to ignore. Books are interpretations. A national catastrophe like the Civil War defined us far more than Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for instance. The hubris of the author is that their words are important to the process—yet that is a determination that can only be made by the reading citizen.

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On Country and Music

My first awareness of what music was, was a cousin sitting on the front porch of my grandparents house in Spartanburg, South Carolina, playing away on an enormous guitar and singing in a voice which was not pretty, but made you listen.

I might have been all of seven years old, but I remember that his voice was not pretty, as well as I remember the realization at that moment–an early epiphany you might say–that music was made this way. Somehow this had escaped me until an age well after Mozart had written his first symphony. Before that, music was something that emitted from the radio.

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Latest Blog Posts

In mythos holt: a venture to the interior

At the loom of history: the sley The worst and most imminent danger of artificial intelligence is not that it will outstrip the mind of man, any more than we fear a steam locomotive for being more powerful, but that it will be used as a tool by some men to gain...

spell check vs author

How your automatic spelling checker is like a tyrant—an arrogator and a dictator, a control freak, a stickler, a monocrat, a fusspot, a pedant, a faux-purist, an anti-perfectionist, a saboteur, an autarch, a czar, a usurper, a disciplinarian, a despot, a vandal and...

Knox Books and Moby Dick

at play with words [A bit of flotsam from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which may be salvaged from elsewhere on this ethereal site.] So, about ten years ago, for lack of a more useful or rewarding project, I attempted to write a play set in a...

Washington defeats the British at the Battle of Bear Mountain

a little known victory retold [a shrift from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which can be found elsewhere in this ethereal site] Given my lack of success, I have been asked more than once why I wanted to write in the first place, much less continue...

All My Children are Apples!

but if the tree is on a hill, an apple can roll pretty far [another bite of the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which may be found elsewhere on this ethereal site] Of all the many failures for which I hold myself responsible, my children are the most...

Skinny dipping in the Glenmacnass

and the sins of our fathers [a lagniappe of the work in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which may be found elsewhere on this ethereal site] Peter Duggin was behind the bar. Doreen was on a break. It was a quiet Wednesday night. “What’s the latest screw,...

A veritable husband of imperfections

with a virtual wifeful of corrections [A riff from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which can be read elsewhere on this ethereal site.] I wrote this a few years ago: ‘He was a virtual husband of cute imperfections and she a veritable wife of helpful...

Scalloped again!

Wherein my education continues. [another trifle from my alms-basket of words, A Republic of Books, the novel in progress to be found elsewhere on this ethereal site] The door opens abruptly, only seconds after I’ve unlocked it. The customer is in a hurry and makes...

Mr. Popper’s Paradox

is killing ourselves to death [A mote from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, more of which may be found elsewhere on this ethereal site.] ‘I remember ye olde bookshoppe.’ This will undoubtedly be the subject of countless internet articles in the coming years...

What Sven Forkbeard means to me

and the consequences of lying [ being the latest driblet from the novel in progress, A Republic of Books] Writing is, fundamentally, a conversation with yourself. That’s it, in the nutshell. (The nut shell of your own head, of course.) Remember to listen to yourself...

At the postmodern multi-perplex

More screens but still nothing worth knowing (from the novel in progress A Republic of Books, more of which can be found elsewhere on this ethereal site) Reel life may be directed to a sharp technical edge in the age of CGI, but what real life we are allowed by the...

to a little cave in Abington

  where the grapes of wrath are stored [Another visit to the novel in progress. A Republic of Books My play about Benjamin Lay begins with a monologue, as he picks the grapes at the arbor just outside his door—well, not exactly. It is a dialogue, but between...

Novels & Novellas Available for Purchase

I Am William McGuire

I Am William McGuire

It’s a bloody Cro-Magnon world.
What’s a Neanderthal to do?

 

A Slepyng Hound to Wake

A Slepyng Hound to Wake

Leaving well enough alone is not good enough at all—not if the reason for a death is to be found in the life that was lost.
Hound

Hound

Henry Sullivan has made a simpler life for himself, finding and selling books. There is little room in it for either love or murder.

 

About

I have been informed by trusted authority that the short quip which I have placed here for the last year or so, by way of biography, lacks gravitas. “Over-paid by others for hyphenated jobs such as lawn-work, snow-shoveling, house-painting, office-boy, dish-washer, warehouse-grunt, table-waiter and hotel night-clerk–I’ve since chosen to be a writer, editor, publisher, and for most of my life, a bookseller, and even managed to occasionally pay myself. Hound is my first published novel.” And so it does. It is hard to be serious about so unserious a subject as oneself. But herewith, and keeping the ‘nasty bits’ (Brit expressions are so brilliant) to myself, I offer then, this ongoing post begun as posts at Small Beer Press. If anyone is interested, from time to time I will add something at the end to bring the epic closer to the present moment.

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