Tag Archives: Chalone Peaks

All Black Lives Matter – Duck Plucking Time

The new anthology published by Saturday Writers

The centuries long struggle for racial justice and equality continues. I am honored to have two stories about this struggle included in the Saturday Writers’ new anthology, “Duck Plucking Time” and “Sockdologizer”. 

         Some decades ago, I recall sharing a campfire with an old friend. Campfire talk led us to recalling childhood experiences, his in a Jim Crow borderland state, mine in deep South Alabama. This conversation eventually sparked a fictional exploration of our shared history – “Duck Plucking Time”.

         Historian Jim Bishop did a stellar job of detailing the traumatic events surrounding Lincoln’s assassination in his book The Day Lincoln was Shot.

I saw a chance to employ his work in a fictional treatment of those events. By creating characters, adding dialog and basing my story on Mr. Bishop’s sequence of events I hoped to pull young readers into the history by putting them next to the characters, both historical and fictional. “Sockdologizer” is the result. It won first place in the Saturday Writers contest for youth fiction.

Please view the teaching materials I’ve prepared for Sockdologizer on TPT. I’ve made both scripts for the story and classroom activities:


Here are the classroom activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-teaching-activities-for-part-1-of-the-RT-script-4923109

Leave a comment

Filed under Front Page, published story

John Miller’s class at Chalone Peaks Middle School

“Chaos Gate” readers at Chalone Peaks Middle School!

John’s sixth grade class read “Chaos Gate” as their ending work of literature.  They invited me to come and read a few chapters aloud on May 31st and June 1st.  I did so and had a great time, even though it was a little scary.  Nothing can make you nervous like reading your own words to smart sixth graders.  It turns out I didn’t do such a bad job of writing, after all.  They liked it!

1 Comment

Filed under Chaos Gate