Saturday, June 20, 2020

First review of SWAY, Sheldon Birnie calls it "dark as a moonless Appalachian night"

Author Sheldon Birnie offered his thoughts and they were fantastic. Among other good points he discussed he mentioned that my short story "Pepper" was "one of the finest baseball stories" he'd ever read. It's one of my favorites from the collection, so that was very pleasing to hear. 
The first review of my new short story collection out recently from Cowboy Jamboree Press was sent my way this past week. 

In addition to this, Birnie (a fine writer himself with a great first name) found several of the stories that worried me the most among the best in the collection. What a relief, seriously. I've been taking my short fiction into some different places over the past year or so and it's great to hear good things about those risks. 

Hey don't take my word for it, just go read his review here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

My new short story collection SWAY published today by Cowboy Jamboree Press

It's publication day for my new short story collection Sway from Cowboy Jamboree Press. This one is my favorite collection so far.

Below is the link to buy it at Amazon, which I would greatly appreciate, and a link to add it at Goodreads, which I would also greatly appreciate.



Sunday, April 5, 2020

A lesson on the Compton family tree

Here's Sunday and I'm starting to feel a little trapped, or bored, to be more accurate. I've not felt bored in years and years. But I've not written a word of fiction or nonfiction in three days. No poems, either. The last thing I wrote was a book review. The words have slowed down a bit.

I'm still reading, though. Working through Wolf Hall and also Men Without Women and the Peter Orner book about reading and Russell Edson's The Tunnel. Yeah, still reading. A lot. And also watching The Tudors when I get tired of reading.

I have an ancestor depicted on that show - William Compton. He's my ancestral grandfather. Compton's are big in England. But it's a good show so far. I have to say that it parallels a lot with Wolf Hall. I often wonder which one came first because of this. But then I guess history is pretty set that way.

So how did my line end up in Podunk Kentucky? Well, my ancestor Henry Compton, the Bishop of London at the time, sent his ward, a son of his brother, my ancestral grandfather, named John Compton, to the estates and lands in the Colonies that had been given to him by the king. This was Maryland. Henry instructed John to build a church and continue the good work there. I suppose he did, but at some point we started filtering south, and the line eventually landed in Kentucky. Just so you know, there are honestly about forty John Compton's in my family tree.

But I'm a little bored. And this even though I'm an essiential healthcare worker and get to keep going to work every day. It's the weekends that are rough. So I probably should stop complaining. I get to get out five days a week for entire work days. I guess I'm lucky, but I sure wish something would give with this. I wish there were more news stories about where they're at with a cure. I'm tired of stories giving all these huge numbers of those infected and dead. I get it...we're in a bad situation. Give me something to look forward to why don't you?

Friday, March 27, 2020

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of my poetry mini interview with Thomas Whyte

Here are the links to the five parts for the full interview Thomas Whyte did with me over at poetry mini interviews. I'm so appreciative that he talked with me. Thomas has a great thing going over there.


       PART 2

              PART 3

                     PART 4

                            PART 5

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

I noticed it's quiet around here again

Noticed from the stats that it's slowed down here some. That's fair. It's all fair. But every time it does, I become compelled to stretch and walk around a little.

I'm always talking about writing. I tweeted recently the only time I get to talk about it is with the folks on there, but I'm always having a discussion with myself about writing, storytelling, literature. I've been doing it every day since I was ten years old. That's thirty-four years this April. Now, walking around in here in this emptier space, I wonder why for the first time. The very first time, if you can believe that.

The thing is, I'd always thought it was general hubris to a certain extent. It was something I could do pretty well and I wanted people to see that I could do it well. But all these years later I've accomplished more than I would have thought I would. I'm not famous or rich due to my writing, but I have published numerous books I believe were as good as a could write at the time they appeared. Before 2009, not one word I'd written had been published anywhere. So to go from that low status to seeing seven books, nearly 200 short stories, a host of poems and essays published is more than I ever figured would happen.

So hubris ain't it. I've got nothing else to prove to myself. Or anybody else, as far as that goes.

So why am I still having conversations with myself about this thing called literature? Still working for hours each day in hope of creating it at some level worth someone reading?

At this writing, I still don't know. Lately I've come to the basic realization that I'm driven forward by it. I still remember the first time I sat down to write a story, a real story. I found a spiral bound notebook and a pencil and cleared off the coffee table in my grandparent's living room. It was winter and dark. The house was quiet, exactly the way it is here now. I don't remember thinking before I started writing. All I know is that I started that December night and have not stopped since.

Saying it that way, though, I feel I should explain that there's nothing magical about it. I long ago stopped romanticizing the act of making literature. So now, without hubris and without romantic notions, I just keep going. In an empty room, forever alone, I would write and keep writing and keep writing because I simply enjoy it. Why do you?

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Part three of the interview with me @ poetry mini interviews

The third part of my interview at poetry mini interviews, very short interviews with poets, curated by the generous and enterprising Thomas Whyte.

Sheldon Lee Compton: part three

First review of SWAY, Sheldon Birnie calls it "dark as a moonless Appalachian night"

Author Sheldon Birnie offered his thoughts and they were fantastic. Among other good points he discussed he mentioned that my short story &q...