Tag Archives: chalone peaks middle school

Llorona is in Bewildering Stories!

Central California historical anecdotes and local legends have inspired and informed many of my stories, especially those including Joaquin Murrieta. The Los Burros gold mining area has many ghostly tales and it is the setting for this story. Joaquin rides in to Manchester, a mining camp in the Santa Lucia, to search for a missing woman. He finds her and a treasure, as well.


P.S. A spoiler – Manchester really did burn down, but no one knows the true cause.

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Filed under Front Page, published story, Western Tales

The Wreck of the Annabelle Lee

This story was accepted for publication more than three years ago. Publisher Alternating Currents hit many bumps in the road while getting its “Footnote 4” anthology of historical writing out, but here it finally is and I am most pleased. “The Wreck of the Annabelle Lee” won a prize in Moonlight Mesa’s western fiction contest a decade ago and I used it subsequently in Chalone Peaks Middle School’s reading fluency program.  I never dreamed it would take this long to see print. It continues Joaquin Murrieta’s adventures in a most civilized setting: San Francisco of the late 19th Century. I had a great deal of fun researching and writing the tale. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!  Here’s a link where you may purchase “Footnote 4”.




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Filed under Front Page, published story

Beware! Take Care! He wants your head tonight!

The older kids are amused – Photo by Ed Haskell

The Headless Horseman, Tailypo and the Yeti – favorites all – visited San Lorenzo Park last Saturday eve for the annual Ghost Story gathering. There’s nothing like a campfire to get me going! The kids, both old and young, seemed to be amused! I thank the MCCARLM folks for inviting me to participate!

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Filed under Author Visits, Front Page

Abe meets Muir in Yosemite

Third Flatiron’s new anthology focuses on the theme of longevity. Edtior Juliana Rew graciously included a story of mine among this collection of strong stories. “Abe in Yosemite” explores a major historical what if: how might Abe’s life have turned out had John Wilkes Booth failed to assassinate him? I got to spend time with Abraham Lincoln again, always a worthwhile thing to do, and I think I did some of my best writing. Here’s the Amazon link:


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Filed under Front Page, published story

King City High School Students help this author!

Creative Writing students perform "Assassination".

King City High School creative writing students perform “Assassination”.

Some of you might recall “You Are There”, Walter Cronkite’s great, long-running TV series. Cronkite served as host and interviewer in historical reenactments of critical events from our shared past. The show brought history to life with unprecedented immediacy. I’ve tried to capture that immediacy in a readers’ theater script about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I based my retelling on Jim Bishop’s excellent book The Day Lincoln was Shot.  By adding several fictional characters and some dialog to the events Bishop detailed, I hoped to create a narrative that would open history for young readers. I decided I needed to find some young readers and hear their thoughts!

King City High School Creative Writing teacher Ashley Russ invited me to share the script with her students. I made two visits to her creative writing class. On the first visit, advanced students Axel Solis, Irie Flores, Gabriela Valencia, Martin Delgado, Emma Deleon, and Gabriel Aguilar read the script twice and made editorial suggestions. I used their suggestions to revise my writing and took it back for a final reading. It went exceedingly well. Both the students’ performance and their intelligent comments afterward convinced me to go ahead and publish “Assassination” on TPT. Here’s the link to the script:


P.S. I also created vocabulary and reading comprehension activities to accompany this script. They’re also on TPT.Here’s the link for the activities:


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Filed under Author Visits, Front Page

The Civil War Revisited – Again!

The students and teachers of Chalone Peaks Middle School created a great Civil War reenactment last May. Deep learning about our shared history, superb teamwork and great fun defined the day. It was the 18th time Bull Run, Gettysburg and the Civil War camps of both armies were brought to life by all the participants. As usual, I learned from both the students and the history. I would have shared Dave Park’s wonderful photos of our 18th annual event sooner, but I missed the link back in May. Better late than never! Enjoy!



The doctor is in!


Brothers fought.

Lee listens.

Harriet Tubman teaches.

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Filed under Front Page, The Civil War Remembered

Fantasma Malvado

Tiburcio Vasquez, bandit

 My Fantasma Malvado was a finalist in the recent Arcanist short story competition and has just been published in the contest anthology. “Malvado” is one of my Joaquin Murrieta stories, based on Central Californian history and legend.  I had great fun introducing Joaquin to Tiburcio Vasquez and having them team up to go after buried treasure. I used this story most successfully with Chalone Peaks students for several years, so I’m especially pleased that it’s been published. I hope it will find many new friends through this fine anthology! Here’s the Kindle link:



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Filed under Front Page, published story