Interested in Viking Berserker stories? My Bogerd is a berserker, but a decent one and a grandfather, too – perhaps something like Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd in his declining years? I thank editor Michael Pennington for including it in this issue of Aurora Wolf!
No American soldiers offered greater courage or suffered worse conditions than those who fought in World War I. Our country suffered 320,000 casualties (116,500 killed) in little more than a year of combat. Those sacrifices are mostly unremembered now, tragically so. Stern lessons, dearly purchased, were learned in the trenches and recorded by great writers: Rupert Brooke’s poems, “Good-bye to All That by Robert Graves, Remarque’s “All’s Quiet on the Western Front”, Vera Brittain’s “A Testament of Youth” and Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms”. More recent writers have also shone light on the conflict’s darkest ditches: Mark Helprin’s “A Soldier of the Great War” and – especially for me – Paul Fussell’s “The Great War and Modern Memory”. I wish Americans would read these books. I wish Americans would learn from what others have sacrificed to teach. I wish Americans would learn to remember.
The United Kingdom lost a generation of young men to The Great War. That loss is suffered still and several years ago many ceremonies and activities commemorated the hundredth anniversary of its beginning. Among them was a writing competition conducted by the Saveas Writers’ Group. A story of mine about World War I was awarded a prize and has at last been published in the competition anthology. The Bigger Picture: Reflections on the Great War is now available on Amazon. It’s worth your time.
Joined in respect at the cemetery
Our Civil War teaches lessons still, important ones about honor, sacrifice and the price of freedom for all. Teachers and re-enactors created a dynamic civics classroom at San Lorenzo Park on May 12th. The students of Chalone Peaks Middle School entered it with energy and intelligence. They emerged with experiences they’ll remember their entire lives, experiences that will be the seeds of good citizenship. We began our day at King City Cemetery by honoring Civil War veterans buried there. Students read “Shiloh”, a great poem by Herman Melville. President Lincoln offered remarks about the difficult, crucial service the soldiers rendered. A rifle volley and taps ended our ceremony. We then marched on to battles, seminars and the Gettysburg Address.
Dave Park took great photos of the day. Please enjoy his work and the efforts of our students.
On the march
Honoring those who served
Pickett’s charge on the 3rd day of Gettysburg
Meeting the charge
Joined hands at war’s end
The Esselen Tribe lived in southern Monterey County near the headwaters of the Arroyo Seco River for many thousands of years. As with most of California’s Native Americans, their way of life disappeared – along with most of them – in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. This story is set before the great disruptions and attempts to offer a glimpse of Esselens as they once were. Its unlikely hero is a young boy who confronts one of the greatest dangers to his small tribe – an engraged grizzly bear.
Art Salvagno and I had a great time working on this story back in 1981 and again when we revised it in 1995. Ed Haskell offered patient and indispensable service in creating this Kindle edition. Sadly, we had to lose some of Art’s great double-page illustrations when converting the story to the required format. We’ll tinker with our effort in coming months and try to wedge some of the drawings back in – I promise!
By the by, Flower Tumbles won the Salinas Californian’s 1981 John Steinbeck Award for best fiction – not too shabby!
It’s free on Kindle unlimited and otherwise $2.99. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y5NSHX4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1491901764&sr=1-1&keywords=flower+tumbles+walton
Teacher Pals, here’s a link to lesson plans posted on TPT. They’re good, if I do say so myself!
Honored poet Hardeep Sabharwal offered a review of Dawn Drums on his blog. I’m most pleased to share it with you!
Abraham Lincoln speaks with Chalone Peaks students.
Source: Dawn Drums ( A must read book)
Principia Ponderosa (Third Flatiron Anthologies Book 18) just came out today. “Welcome to the “Principia Ponderosa,” land of wide-open spaces and
dark dreams. This new anthology from Third Flatiron features 17
stories that combine elements of the Western with other literary
genres, including steampunk, fantasy, occult, and horror. We invite
you to mount up and ride with us into the sunset.” My “La Loca” is included, though it takes place somewhat after sunset!