Joaquin’s Gold

This is the paperback cover created by Emily Schwartzman.

My Joaquin Murrieta stories are now published in a Kindle e-book with a paperback coming shortly! Hidden gold, bloody bandits, vengeful miners, mad ghosts, shipwrecks, rattlesnakes— all these and more are to be found in these tales about Joaquin Murrieta. This book is set in Central Californian locations — what is now Pinnacles National Park, the Santa Lucia Mountains, Jolon, Old Mission San Antonio de Padua, San Francisco, among others — and blends 19th Century historical characters and events into the action as I’ve intentionally aligned its content with California Social Studies Standards. Its readability is above 90% on the Flesch scale and varies between a 2.3 and 2.9 in grade level, so most young people should be comfortable reading the stories on their own. 

            Allow me to mention that I first became intrigued by Joaquin Murrieta while teaching about him to my middle school students and wrote “Joaquin’s Gold”, the first story, many years ago to enhance my teaching. This worked so well with the kids that I included the famous bandit in other stories over the years. The individual stories have all been published separately and several have won contest awards. I’m proud to share them with you in this collection and hope they will open California history for you and yours.

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Filed under Front Page, published story, Western Tales

One Stone

“One Stone”, a very brief Civil War story based on actual events, was published recently in the Barely South Review. It offers a glimpse into both the end of slavery and the fighting around Atlanta. I thank the editors for including it.

May I add that those who object to the teaching of anything critical of slavery or systemic racism are those who would like to put them in place again. Our Civil War promised liberty for all. Keeping this promise is a process and knowledge of what happened then is crucial to it. I hope my story adds to our shared understanding of those events.

Here’s the link:

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Filed under Front Page, published story, The Civil War Remembered

Sister Carmela’s Passing

It takes me a long time, often years, to smooth the flow of a formal poem. That’s true of Sister Carmela’s Passing. I began it more than ten years ago after an unexpected experience south of Carmel. I sent the resulting villanelle to the Braided Way three years ago and forgot about it. The editor dropped me a note informing me that she published it. I’d like to share it with all of you.

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Filed under Front Page, poetry

Half Moon and other poems in Verse Virtual!

Moon silver!

Half Moon and two other of my poems were published in Verse Virtual today. I’m most honored to have them included alongside those of some amazing poets! Please take a peek at mine and all the poems in this month’s issue. Here’s the link:

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Filed under Chaos Gate, poetry

Pull My Finger

“A lantern’s golden light . . . “

Old friend and raconteur Ed McKean used to amuse my sons (and numerous other young ones) with his campfire story “Pull My Finger”. I won’t go into details, but it was always a hit. Thinking back on those happy times while worrying about fires, smoke and climate disaster, prompted me to use his story’s title for one of my own. Originally published in the 2019 On Loss: An Anthology, Ab Terra’s editors graciously included it in their Issue 4: Climate and Environment. Scroll down a bit to find my story. Here’s the link:  


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Filed under Front Page, published story

Vintage SF! The Resident Sommelier

Neil Hogan’s new anthology

Pour yourself a glass of  Chateau Latour (or at least Opus One), settle into a comfy chair and enjoy my “The Resident Sommelier”. It’s included in Neil Hogan’s new Alien Dimensions #20 – #21 combined edition. Sip your way through some great SF! Here’s the link:

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Filed under Front Page, published story

Last Date – Again!

Noir stories for real!

Pete Noyes, retired newspaper and TV reporter, wrote a great book about his experiences in L.A. during the sixties and seventies.  It’s called “The Real L.A. Confidential”.  I befriended Pete through mutual friend Ed Foley. “Last Date” fictionalizes one of Pete’s more shocking investigations. Originally published in 2014 by Every Day Fiction, I’m happy to tell you that it’s just been republished on the Spillwords site:

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Filed under Front Page, published story