Tag Archives: Joaquin Murrieta

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. https://www.amazon.com/Joaquins-Gold-other-Tales-California-ebook/dp/B09QFRCT4N/ref=sr_1_1?crid=7ZDR13RZAH9P&keywords=Joaquin%27s+Gold+and+other+tales+of+old+California&qid=1642269095&s=digital-text&sprefix=joaquin%27s+gold+and+other+tales+of+old+california%2Cdigital-text%2C153&sr=1-1

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Llorona on TPT

I’ve long enjoyed writing Joaquin Murrieta stories for middle schoolers. I completed “Llorona”, the tenth such, this year and was greatly honored when it won the recent Who’s Afraid of the Dark contest on Scribophile. I’ve since created reading fluency activities for it and put them up on TPT. I encourage all you teachers out there to take a peek: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Llorona-reading-fluency-for-middle-school-6216001

“Llorona” was recently honored by being included in the Bewildering Stories 3rd Quarterly Review of best stories. 

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/anthologies/anthos2019/814-825_antho.html 

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Llorona wins first place!

I belong to Scribophile, a writers’ group which fosters peer review for writers seeking their best work. Alex Cabal, the group’s administrator, sponsors competitions to provide members both incentive and focus. I entered “Llorona” in the “Who’s Afraid of the Dark?” contest and just learned that it was awarded first place.

Here’s a link to the story provided by Bewildering Stories Editor Donald Webb: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue869/llorona.html

Here is what the contest judges had to say:

FIRST PLACE –

Llorona – by Robert Walton

We were quite simply enthralled by this spooky western featuring the imperturbable Joaquin Murrieta, a gray-shaded hero who faces evil and brings goodness where it’s needed. We absolutely loved that this piece, though short, went for the interplay of light and dark within humanity and succeeded in doing so with subtlety, charm, and adventure. Interesting, nuanced characters felt authentically real as they inhabited a near-tangible setting for an entertaining take on the classic ghost story, celebrating the light that empathy gives us, and how it can be used to both mitigate and snuff out darkness.

I thank Alex, the judges and all those who entered for helping me find my best story!

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Ageless Authors Award

I was most pleased to receive this in the mail today!

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“Navidad” is honored by Ageless Authors

Larry Upshaw, editor and founder of Ageless Authors, sponsors yearly contests for folks who are past fifty. I imminently qualify! This year’s contest theme was “Coping with Crisis”. My story Navidad was a finalist among hundreds of entries. It’s one of my Joaquin Murrieta stories and is a personal favorite. I based it on local history, a sad occurrence far up Reliz Canyon a hundred and forty years ago. I am very pleased by the recognition and hope that the story will be included in a future anthology. If you can’t wait, I’ve put a PDF of this story on TPT, along with the lesson plans I’ve created for it. It’s free. Here’s the link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Navidad-short-story-text-2845796

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“Llorona” is one of the best!

 Bewildering Stories just included “Llorona” in its Third Quarterly Review, a collection of the best stories from all its summer issues. I’m most pleased that Joaquin Murrieta’s encounter with the famous ghost was so honored!

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/anthologies/anthos2020/861-872_antho.html

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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.

http://www.bewilderingstories.com

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

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