Tag Archives: Short story

“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:


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Moroni visits the Palisades

Middle Palisade, Sierra Nevada

A climbing mishap on the North Palisade glacier thirty years ago contributed to this story. It turns out the crawling headfirst into a crevasse, even in pursuit of expensive sunglasses, is a bad idea.  The actual adventure ended in laughs all around, but possible consequences have haunted me ever since. I’ve elaborated on them in Moroni.


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“Sockdologizer” takes first place!

Abraham Lincoln entered Ford Theater on April 14th, 1865 and walked down the dress circle’s aisle to his doom.Historian Jim Bishop did a stellar job of detailing the events surrounding Lincoln’s assassination in his The Day Lincoln was Shot.

I created characters, added dialog and based my story on Mr. Bishop’s sequence of events. I hoped to pull readers into the history by putting them next to the characters, both historical and fictional. I was a great fan of Walter Chronkyte’s show “You are There” and tried for the immediacy that was one of its most powerful elements.

I’m most pleased to tell you that this story just won first place in the Saturday Writers “Everything Children Contest”. I hope this story, once published, will find a YA readership.


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Star Noir

Working with Flash Fiction Magazine’s strict word limit was tough, but I’m happy with the result. Eric had this to say on the Flash Fiction Magazine site:

“This is a slick piece of writing. Sam Spade – a tough PI from past detective pulp reborn into futuristic skirmishes . Mickey Spillane would love it if he were alive. A sexy cover for a book with Angel splashed across the front with a smoking gun in her hand, a thug under her foot and foggy dew-drops in her hair.”

I’d buy it.Take a peek and see if you are too!


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Filed under Front Page, published story

A First Place Award to share

Saturday Writers awarded first place to my “Duck Plucking Time”, a story based on incidents in the Jim Crow South. I thought I’d share it with you all.

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Duck Plucking Time recognized


My short story Duck Plucking Time was awarded first place in the Saturday Writers March contest. I’m most honored and also pleased that it received a nice writeup in their current newsletter. Look in the “Decades Ago” article if you wish to read what they had to say. Here’s the link:


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Saturday Writers awards “Duck Plucking Time” first place!

Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos, at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

I’m pleased and most honored that “Duck Plucking Time” was awarded first place in Saturday Writers’ March short fiction contest. I’m looking forward to the autumn publication of the contest anthology and will let all know when it comes out. I should add that this story was based on a true incident. Old friend Ed McKean  spent his childhood in the Jim Crow South and a campfire reminiscence of his planted the seeds of the story in my mind. The ghosts of Jim Crow that now stride openly across our land impelled me to write it. I’m ashamed of what happened before and fear what may happen again. The contest judge’s comments:

“This story flowed well from beginning to end. The voices of Jessie and Emma mirrored the voices of black people during that era perfectly. The reality of how they lived and what they lived withand through is real in every sense of the word based on past historical references.”

Here’s a link to Saturday Writers in case you wish to support their worthy efforts:


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