Homegrown Stories

 

127   (2021)

There’s this wonderful bit of statuary in downtown Nashville that has probably inspired other folk to write stories before. Of course mine had to be a darkly fantastic story of love. Sort of. This is another one that sat in my idea book forever before it finally grabbed me by the throat and demanded I finally write it. It’s gotten some good notices from the folk that have read it, so maybe I did okay...?


SIRENS OF DESPAIR   (2021)

Be careful what you do to the ones who love you...they might come back to haunt you. Literally. Yes, this was (sort of) inspired by actual events in my life, but I’ll leave it to you to decide what is truth and what is fiction. Suffice to say, I really enjoyed this one, and it’s definitely a shade or two darker than anything I've done lately.


THE QUEEN OF HORSE CAVE   (2020)

Sometimes it happens that you cross paths with someone so...extraordinary, that you just know there’s a story waiting to be written. It took almost thirty years, but I finally forged what I think is a very special story out of rthe experience. I'm not really sure how to describe this one, except to say that, you must read it to appreciate it.


GRACE, IN TERMS OF ‘FOR EVER’   (2020)

Life, being Life, decided to lay some changes on me. Among those changes was a sudden desire to start hammering away at stories again, and madly at that. Among the ideas I got was this piece, a love story unlike anything I've ever done before, and before you wonder, yes, there is a paranormal element to this. I think I am as pleased with this as anything I've ever done.


JUST POSSIBLE ENOUGH   (2014)

Here’s an oddball, a brief snippet of a rewrite of a story from many, many years ago. It may or may not ever see the light of day...I got about 250 pages into it and ran out of talent. But this first bit was so inspired and wonderful that I just couldn’t throw it into the digital dustbin, and I share it with you here. As it never really had a better name, I just picked something random as a title.


FLESH AND BLOOD   (2013)

As I look back at some of this stuff I’ve compiled over the years, it seems to me there’s a lot of material I’ve started and never finished. Well, this isn’t just such a thing...it’s actually kinda sorta done. Kinda sorta. If you were to read it you will find things which need to be edited, clarified, or cut, but as a whole it’s got a beginning, a middle, and, for a change, an end. So here you can see a story as it flowed out of me, still embryonic but mostly grown.


NO SUCH THING   (2009)

Another rewrite, this time of something I did some thirty years ago, and while bigger is not always better, I think this time it is. A lonely caver meets an equally lonely landowner with a cold, dark secret…the perfect story for a rainy night, popcorn and cocoa. Mmm…vanilla! The third new short story of a very productive second half of 2009.

 

CLOSE TO THE SKY   (2009)

A love story that is actually based on true events. It's amazing what you can do when you simply believe. The title was suggested during a hiking trip with my nephew Weston Bishop.

 

FEED   (2009)

Something that I encountered on the trail years ago that has stuck with me ever since; there’s even a picture of the exact site this story was conceived on my Picture Pages. The gist of this one is, sometimes being out on your own with nothing around but nature and your imagination is a good thing. Sometimes it isn’t. You decide…

 

UNFINISHED, OR, THE BIG YARD SALE   (2008)

Another NaNoWriMo project…amazingly, complete (more or less) in less than a month! At the time, probably the single most productive twenty-six days I've ever lived, this is based on characters from pretty much all of the stories listed below, and it kinda explains the thought process behind each.


A BRICKYARD DREAM   (2007)

No, this has nothing to do with bricklaying, though that is certainly a noble occupation. No, this is about another Brickyard, the one at 16th and Georgetown in Indianapolis, and specifically about one not-so-young man’s dreams about it. Originally a NaNoWriMo project.


THE PEACH TREE   (2006)

This actually started as a bit on a guy hearing voices coming out of the receiver from the baby monitor in his infant son’s bedroom, but time and circumstances morphed it into a, “I’m not much of a father” story, sort of a verbal self-flagellation. Maybe one day I’ll get around to writing the baby monitor thing.

 

CROSSES   (2006)

You’ve seen all those roadside memorials, I’m sure. Did you ever wonder what about the stories behind them? Might there be more there than meets the eye? I did, and after about a week’s frantic work, here’s what resulted…a great concept which still needs polishing...

 

LEMON DROPS FOR THE GREEN LADY   (2005)

A hiking trip, a general store, and an elderly woman with a pet goat…and a story. Set in Tennessee’s spectacular South Cumberland and inspired, if you can believe it, by an XTC song. I mostly wrote this during a slog down Fiery Gizzard Cove during a stupendous thunderstorm.

 

MEADOWS OF FOREVER   (1990/Present)

My first truly “complete” novel, still not exactly finished over twenty-five years later. It exists in one form or another in several homes. It’s kinda schmaltzy and poorly done it places, but it’s basically good-hearted. Besides...I could tell so many stories about the creation of this piece...suffice to say, it made me what I am today.

 

RIVER OF JORDAN   (1985/Present)

The never-ending story, the book I cannot seem to finish. Originally started over 30 years ago, it’s into its third iteration now and shows no sign of ending. It’s intended to be the second of the Breckinridge Books, although sequentially-speaking it sorta wraps around Meadows. God only knows when it will be finished, but till it is, here are a couple of excerpts…

 

ADVENTURES IN SURVEYING

This is actually a short segment (not even a chapter) which spilled from me during a Great Plains Development class in Fargo, North Dakota. I wrote when I probably should’ve been studying but there you go. It introduces three of the main characters of the story and details one of their adventures.

 

SOLILOQUY

Another segment of River of Jordan, this one taking place several years and another identity (soon, all will be made know!) subsequent to Adventures in Surveying. If you haven’t already, read that one first; otherwise, enjoy.

 

GYPSIES   (1986/Present)

A long time ago I began a series I called the Breckinridge Books, because they all took place (or began) in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. Well, I have since eschewed the “series” as hackneyed and trite...it’s okay to write books that link, but to sell them as “book one, book two” etc. is bad marketing. This was to have been the last (well, maybe) of the Breckinridge Books and would bring the epic to a more-or-less logical conclusion. Based in no small part on true events and real people, believe it or not.