Just posted is a verse on our father’s birthday, February 4th. Aided by imbibing a few fingers of Caol Ila, sentiment flows freely as well. Hope readers enjoy and can lend it to their own now gone. Just change dates and names as you wish.
Wylisc Press has just published three collections of my short stories, each with distinctive themes. Blossom Gold and other stories presents a cornucopia of contemporary tales: A young West Virginia girl trained as a boxer by her father strikes up a troubling, long-distance friendship. Hoping to live the dream, a master plumber crosses the ocean to compete for a fantastic prize. In a small city museum, an ambitious curator crosses paths with two aspiring artists at an avant-garde exhibit. Humiliated after dropping a fly ball, a disillusioned boy’s love of the game hinges on the actions of an old major leaguer. A young woman considering her tenth school reunion reminisces to decide. These stories comprise an array that mine the country’s cultural history during the past half century. Each offers vivid characterizations of common people and places as pieces in the puzzle of an ever-changing world. Insights abound in this wide-ranging collection well worth reading through and through.
Garbage in Space: Speculative Stories transports readers to new worlds and new possibilities. Travel through space with provisional immortals as they panhandle for treasure amid a million iotas of galactic trash. Reserve a front-row seat for truly heroic Olympic feats performed on the Moon. Land on a desert planet where an eternal being chances the immolation of her gray matter forever. Follow a troubled blue-collar worker as he experiences an ultimate epiphany. Join an ambitious researcher who risks his own consciousness by delving into the depths of the permanently comatose. Track the progress of professional sports in ever-shifting environments. Explore these and other alternate human prospects in this enriching, eclectic collection of stories. Each offers an original perspective on a broad spectrum of the probable and the possible. Together, they deliver an extraordinarily entertaining spectrum of what the future might hold.
Jury of Peers: City Stories investigates grittier episodes in life: Summoned to jury duty, a divorced carpenter finds himself neck-deep in a Philly mob case. In the high-stakes urban real estate trade, a young agent makes his move to join the heavy hitters. A housecleaner seeks a unique form of justice for her upscale clients only to run into unlikely speed bumps. Tired of his mundane work buying microchips, a computer tech road warrior stops in Las Vegas for twenty-four memorable hours. These stories and their companions cast stark light on various characters striving to succeed in circumstances singular to life in urban settings. Far removed from the natural world, people are the game and currency is the currency. For many of those shaped by society’s strictures, survival defines success. This collection reveals in striking fashion the means an assortment of individuals use to work out their own formulas for success in the city.
Hope you enjoy reading them!
On Judgement Day has just been posted, a poem that treats a bit of religious thought through somewhat gentle secular lens. Here’s hoping that readers enjoy it.
From 1969 to 1970, Jim O’Donnell found himself in Vietnam, drafted directly out of graduate school. Though opposed to the war, he felt fortunate for being assigned to the Army’s civil affairs unit charged with helping displaced locals. Sent to language school, O’Donnell learned Vietnamese that gave him greater access to the people. He discovered it to be a mixed blessing as he witnessed closely and deeply their terrible hardships.
Nearly fifty years later, O’Donnell decided to share his experiences in a novel about Vietnam. Maybe Tomorrow illustrates the harsh realities of the brutal ironies created by the Vietnam war in a unique and utterly moving way. Just published by Wylisc press, you can read the first chapter “Soldier of Fortune” now, posted below. Now available at Amazon, you can order your own copy of Maybe Tomorrow by clicking on the cover image shown on the right.
The loss of loved ones brings pain that seems ours for forever. We yearn in sorrow for a place where they still live with us. In Memory calls out for a cherished three just gone: Joan (Jet) Price, John Hetterick, and Hugh Conor McDowell. Long for them and for your own to be together again in such a place.