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Here you will find information, musings, and pictures about life, the natural world and writing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Owl on the Road to Medford

After three mystery novels with a mainstream mystery publisher--Poisoned Pen Press--I have embarked on a different fiction journey. I wrote a short story, it won a contest, and my muse said, "Let's do more of that!"

The original Owl on the Road to Medford was an experiment in voice and indirect story. (Yes, I just  made up that term.) You can read it HERE.  Calyx literary magazine picked it up after it won the 2014 Oregon Writer's Colony first prize for short fiction. Woo-hoo!

So I wrote six more short stories with the same narrator in the same setting--a wildlife rehabilitation clinic somewhere in western Oregon. I got to use a bunch of anecdotes from my zoo days and thereafter. The central character is an amalgam of men I have known and liked and sympathized with. Why a male voice? "Why not?" says the muse. Just because, say I.

These seven stories turned out to have a story arc, an adventure of the heart. Together, they seemed to me to make a novella--not as big as a novel, but not a short story collection in the usual sense.

As far as I can tell, publishers have no interest in novellas, so I set out to self-publish, as many authors are doing these days. After a short but intense struggle, The Owl on the Road to Medford is now available as an ebook. Click HERE to take a look. It soon will be available on paper, assuming that I figure out how to do that.

If you buy it and like it, do me a favor and post a little review. I'd appreciate it and my muse might, too.


When hope fails--a poem

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

"The Real Work" by Wendell Berry, from Standing by Words. © 1983, Used by permission of Counterpoint. (buy now)