Knowing Jack #1

Okay, so if you don’t know Jack…it’s time you learn. Following the advice of the sages, I’m putting my s**t out there. So now you have a sure defense against the charge, “You don’t know Jack s**t.” Rest assured the wild and crazy right-wing comments on politics, religion and life in general will continue, but as the essays they are and not as chatter on the blog. I will try a little CPR on the Raven and Owl and get the characters back to life.

I am anticipating the pre-release today of And Come Out Fighting, Tales of Guts and Glory, an anthology published by Tiwaz Press that includes four of my short stories. I am particularly proud of these stories because I feel they are some of my better work.

White Owl, which will be the first story in the anthology was written as a tribute to my father that I wrote a couple of years after his passing in 1997. Originally titled Once Before We Die, the story was part of a creative writing course exercise in which I was to write a description of a person. My instructor liked the description of Elmer Levesque and encourage me to turn it into a short story. She liked the finished story and told me to shop it around for publication. It only took me twenty years to decide it was good enough for people to see.

Requiem is the one of two stories written specifically for the anthology. It is a shout of thanks and a reflection on the service and sacrifice of our armed forces in Viet Nam, especially the nurses. There are no psychotic, PTSD crazed loose cannons, no massacres, no manufactured angst about America’s role, and no glory. It is simply the tale of many battlefields of fighting, dying, and those who were there trying to salvage a bit of themselves.

The Holy Nail is the other story written specifically for the anthology. If I was Catholic, I could have done a whole lot less research. So, for my Catholic friends I ask your forgiveness for any errors in titles assigned to the clerics in the story. My editor Elain Anderson rescued me from many slips in that regard. Thanks Elaine. I have always been fascinated by the Knights Templar and knew very little about them until writing this story. I love history and this story has open yet another avenue for my curiosity.

Baptism of the Wild: The Blue and The Gray is more my area of historical study. This was one of the very first stories I ever wrote. Originally it was one of five short stories I was welding together in a novel about a group of aircraft mechanics sitting in a truck during a rain storm and telling each other weird stories…as we called them, war stories. The novel never came about, but all the body parts are scattered in my notes waiting for the zombie apocalypse. Baptism is the only one to be reanimated so far. This story served as backstory for my first novel Death Rides the Red.

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