Slain Phantoms: A Forthcoming Collection

Although I write books, a poem or two has been known to leak from my pen. So have a couple of short stories. I’m in the process of cobbling them into a book, Slain Phantoms. They showcase some of my issues and fears, and how their exit from my brain to the page set me free. I’ve even made room for a true story, something I experienced that was just too crazy to make up.

Here are some lines of verse to give you a general idea:

Sunny Blonde was the girl I’d be
Yellow towel tight to my head
I don’t want that black doll
I said to my black mother
Laughable uproar at Barbie’s ‘assets’
When commercials were golden long
pretty blond hair
Oh well if your head hurts

Recently a friend raved to me about how threapeutic it was for him to write down his thoughts. When he found out that I have three books published and outlines for 20 more, he said “You must be a well-balanced and rational person.” Uhh, sure. But I got his point. The phantoms are hard to kill, and always manage to procreate before dying. But at least I know how to take them out.



Chapter One of Cress on the Bay

I’ve been workin’ on the sequel…all the live-long day…

A few posts ago, I put up the opening pages of Cress on the Bay, my sequel to Cress in Waterbee. While I plug away on the rest of the book, please enjoy the rest of Chapter 1, ‘Lily Jansen’:

Beneath the smoke of steam and burning coal, the Calistoga Chief headed north. Mothers and grandmothers cooked on small stoves, knowing the ‘pledged to comfort’ rail company would provide no such thing in the emigrant car. It was a place for everyone the rail company considered un-American—Indians, Mexicans, Chinese and colored. This, among other subjects, livened conversations while the scent of roast chicken filled the air. Continue reading

On the way: Cress on the Bay

I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on Cress in Waterbee. It’s great when people see the vision you see, isn’t it? I’m currently working on the second novel in The Cress Series, entitled Cress on the Bay.

1887. Now ten, Cress Steward is on her way from Waterbee, Vermont to Frimond Bay, a town on the Lost Coast of California. As a biracial child in the Victorian age, Cress is told little about her origins. A man Cress knew as Mister Jake is related to the white family that first took her in. When Cress finds out that Mister Jake is her father, she is certain he cares nothing for her.

Yet a letter invites Cress to spend a year with Jake in Frimond Bay. Knowing little about her white father, and even less about her black mother, Cress accepts the invitation. And while the letter was signed ‘Jake Steward’, he is not the person who invited her.

Here’s a sample. Enjoy!

“Figures.” Jake grumbled. From the window of his study, he watched a rainstorm darken the Pacific. When Jake first bought his estate, its view of Frimond Bay and the harbor pleased him. He was often told that the sight of his home gave greater comfort than the lighthouse. One time his sister-in-law overheard the compliment and said ‘You certainly have the look of a hero.’ The memory of her smugness returned Jake to his desk. Continue reading

New and/or Improved

The title of my next book is She Rose High. Set in the early 20th century, a multiethnic orphan girl is hired to work for a couple with a riotous marriage and a gifted son. The girl is eighteen, about to leave England for the first time. The ship she sails on is also on its maiden voyage.

This next venture is in New Adult territory. It’s a weird market, because the main characters are in their late teens or early 20’s. How is the most exhilarating time of your life so overlooked Continue reading

Short Story – C4 and the La Paloma

    image      I hate the way it smells in here. It’s like every grandpa in America decided to die in the lobby. Tim would’ve been more into it. ‘It’s our history,’ he’d say. ‘Our family crest.’

            Capote starts at 8:50. I sit in the box office, ask a couple how many tickets they want even though there’s only two of them. They look like they’re in college and too cool for a normal theater. Continue reading