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.
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”.
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:
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!
Harriet Tubman teaches.
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: