Best selling writer Jerry B. Jenkins (no relation to my recurring main charaster, Sam Jenkins, or to my maternal side of the family) has asked me to post a link to his new guide on how to write a book in 20 steps from beginning to end on my personal website. After doing that, I thought the AGT members might be interested in obtaining a copy. Here's the link to Jerry's site. https://www.jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-a-book/
Another tale of growing up in the south, written by my sister, Penny C. Lofton - please visit her website, https://growingupsouthern.net, to read more of her stories.....
OCTOBER 7, 2017 ONEPENNYTHOUGHTS
It was an annual tradition in our small southern hometown. Everyone gathered at the little lake in the middle of town for the annual 4th of July picnic, games and the ever important “Fishing Contest.”
Being a family of five kids, it was a free event that soon became the highlight of our summers. Sure we had a bigger lake for swimming, biking down the hills until we fell into someone’s front yard or the opportunity to go up the tower in town and spit down at the tourists, but it was this fishing contest that always became our nemesis. None of the kids in the family had ever won this fishing contest, though we tried with every kind of bait you could buy or make. We felt that the rule of using cane poles was what was holding us back. Whoever caught the big one with a cane pole? Worse than that was that one of the requirements was we had to build our own cane pole. Lord Almighty, insult upon insult.
One of my sister's short stories from her website, https://growingupsouthern.net - tales from our childhood.....JULY 13, 2017 ONEPENNYTHOUGHTS
It was another scorcher of a day in central Florida. The kind of day that when they said you could fry an egg on the sidewalk and you went and got an egg just to try it out.
We four kids were on the side yard, lying in the shade of the big oak tree. The grass was at least three degrees cooler there than in the sun, but it was three degrees we enjoyed. Our Mother, still pregnant, apparently decided to step outside and try to motivate us. “Why are you kids lolly gagging and dilly dallying around? Don’t you have anything better to do today?” she questioned. We knew better than to remark that she, herself, had been sequestered on a rocking chair most of the day. Her mood had not been what you would want to call happy since the rising heat caught up with her rising belly, so we stepped lightly. “We’re trying to think of something to do,” I answered, knowing that it would buy us some time. It worked because she went back inside, probably to the rocker, but I wasn’t gonna question her.
“I wonder,” I said aloud to no one in particular, “just who is lolly or gagging or dilly or dallying? If I had a choice, I want to be Dilly,” I announced. Well, I had their attention now because I saw their heads move. “What do you mean?” questioned the older sister. “Do you think Mom and Dad have renamed us these ridiculous names for some reason?,” I asked. “It seems as though she always calls us Lolly Gagging Dilly and Dallying. If she didn’t have intentions of calling us by our Christian names but rather by these somewhat silly names, I would think there has been a change that we don’t know about,” I explained to the heathen surrounding me. I felt like a lawyer in some of those Gunsmoke shows we watched. I turned to my side to get a better look at my audience.
(Something all writers can identify with - written by my sister, Penny Lofton.....I invite you to visit her website, https://growingupsouthern.net, to read her hilarious stories about growing up in the south)
I'm sitting here and I hear Simon & Garfunkel's song "The Sound of Silence" and thought... I could write a song to that music about writing! Here it is! Sing along to the tune of "The Sound of Silence" and have a laugh.
Hello keyboard my old friend I’ve come to type with you again ‘cause a story softly creeping Left its words while I was sleeping And the thoughts that were left are planted in my brain and still remain … until I write the story
Within my thoughts I walk alone I know the story must be done ‘Neith the shadow of my frenzied fright I know the words must be just right When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of the laptop light I curse the night … until I write the story
Wayne Zurl has written and shared with us a sad but powerfully moving story about guns in America. He has broad experience in this area and it shows in his writing. He describes in brilliant detail the pain and trauma suffered by victims of gun violence in our country. "Paper Trail" is a story about the senseless killing of children and adults at the hands of a psychopath and the frustration of law enforcement who must deal with the aftermath of such horrific acts. As the slaughter of innocents continues unabated, we should all be ashamed for we allow such carnage by not standing up and defiantly saying, "Enough!" How many of our children, mothers, fathers husbands and wives must die before sensible gun control laws are passed to limit the violence? This is a story for all of us.
My second novel, The Bit Dance, is now available in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.
After the recent Las Vegas massacre by a supposed lone gunman armed with multiple assault weapons, sevral people asked me for my take on the possibility that this individual really acted alone and basically what I think of common sense gun control. I'd like to wait for a final conclusion of the investigtors on the ground at the scene before theorizing too much about the first question, but The overall idea of COMMON SENSE gun control has always appealed to me. I DO NOT advocate banning all guns from civilians entitled and qualified to purchase and own them; any legislation pointed in that direction is nothing more than a waste of time and a disaster waiting to happen. However, the laws as now written are disjointed nationwide and in need of COMMON SENSE refurbishment. A quick fix would not be overly difficult, but should be addressed by people who understand statute law, the public's right to basic protection from incidents like these and the point of view of the average law-abiding gun owner.
Following the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT years ago, I wrote a novellette that I thought answered many of the questions people asked about how or why could such a thing happen. Unfortunately, the publisher I had at the time refused to handle it, stating it was too controversial. A few years later and a new publisher on the hook, she also declined to publish it for the same reason. Finally a publisher in the UK, uneffected by the taboos of mentioning US gun law inadequacies, published it as part of an anthology where the proceeds from the sales went to charity.
Now, I'd like to post PAPER TRAIL on my blog to allow anyone to read my thoughts about this ongoing problem. The procedures contained within the story are sound and based on my twenty years as a detective and police administrator. The laws, as existed at the time of the Sandy Hook shooting and still exist, are accurately depicted and based on my experience as a holder of a federal firearms license for twenty-three years.
This not a short story. It's 11,000 words. It should take an hour to read.
Good read! Appalachian murder tales by a transplanted NY police detective
Wayne Zurl brings us six stories of murder and mischief that showcase small-town police chief Sam Jenkins and his crew in Zurl’s second collection of novelettes. The relationship and banter between him and his amour, Kate, bring to mind Robert B. Parker’s characters Spencer and Susan Silverman. Sam himself, is an original, a NY transplant like the author. The plots vary from murder to a stolen statue of a cow and they kept me eagerly reading all the way!
Just a little trumpet sound to announce that the proof copy of my new book, The Bit Dance, has arrived. I am scouring over it now. Hopefully, I will have a copy to vet before the Guild soon. My early editors seemed to like it. I am hopeful you will as well.
I will be in Oklahoma and Utah for two weeks next month. One of those days includes a book signing in Salt Lake City. This will be the evening of October 10th in Wellers' Books at Trolley Square. I am extremely excited about this. I went to Sam Weller's often during my Utah days (in their old State St. location). They are a very old and established new and used book firm (almost 100 years) and I was thrilled when they extended the invite.
So that is the reason I will not be at the October meeting. See y'all in November! By then I'll know how my novels did in the Flordia Writers Association Royal Palm Literary award competition.