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RECYCLE: Tin Cans into Cars or Deleted Scenes into Short Stories

 

Shake and Bake and Double-O Buckshot

By Wayne Zurl

 

This story was fabricated from an outtake which originally appeared in the Sam Jenkins novel, A NEW PROSPECT. I reworked it to create a stand-alone story. The scene was deleted prior to publication because it didn’t provide ancillary support to the basic storyline. It’s based on two actual incidents which took place in New York in the 1970s.

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Cheryl Peyton
Mesmerizing story with enough local color and details to put the reader in the middle of the action. I loved the interruptions in ... Read More
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 15:14
Kaye George
Lovely story! Thanks for the great read before I dive into my own work today.
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 15:55
Wayne Zurl
Thank you, Ladies.
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 16:07
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5 Comments

A Tribute to the Late Robert B. Parker

 

Whenever someone asks me what well-known author has influenced my writing most, I tell them the late Robert B. Parker. Parker in turn had been greatly influenced by Raymond Chandler. So, I’ll assume some of his style rubbed off on me, too. Characters like Spenser and Marlowe are good role models for any all-American boy.

 

In January of 2010, Parker passed away in his Boston townhouse. I was then attending an on-line writer’s workshop called thenextbigwriter.com. News of Parker’s death made the rounds of the daily forums and elicited many sad comments and kind words. A lot of people, me included, would miss him and the characters he created.

 

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Kaye George
This is beautiful, Wayne! I enjoyed it.
Thursday, 18 January 2018 10:33
Tilmer Wright Jr.
I absolutely love the image of the landscape being glazed over like a "cheap doughnut". That gave me a chuckle and made me like th... Read More
Thursday, 18 January 2018 10:47
Wayne Zurl
Thanks, Kaye & Tilmer.
Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:00
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7 Comments

Excerpt from my latest Alex Trotter Mystery, "Murder in Mobile."

This book is a departure from the format of my others in the series that follows the adventures of tour operator Alex Trotter as she conducts groups on vacation that's always interrupted by murder. Here, Alex is reuniting with four of her college friends in Mobile, Alabama for Mardi Gras, ten years after graduation from their women's college, Wood Hole, in Frededrick, Maryland. In this excerpt, Alex is remembering one of her friends as she makes her way down to Mobile. 

Note: This is a true-life incident that happened to me and my friends whose actual names I'm using for their characters in my book.

Rosemary shared a room with Millie, a pint-sized pixie from Ohio. Millie looked like an innocent child, but she was one smart cookie and was sophisticated beyond her years and life experience.

Although petite, her athletic build and feisty personality had proven her to be competent in handling whatever difficulties had come her way; but on one September night in their junior year, Millie showed her friends at Terrace House that she could protect them as well.   

As Alex drove into Birmingham and followed the signs to pick up I-65, she thought back to that incident.  She had been awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of someone yelling upstairs, followed by thumping sounds and a thundering of footsteps.  She and her roommate Josie had sat bolt upright in their beds, shared a shocked, puzzled look, then headed for the door of their first-floor room.  

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Wayne Zurl
Great beginning. I'm looking forward to reading this one. And Mobile is a great town to use as a setting. Good choice and good luc... Read More
Saturday, 25 November 2017 16:20
Cheryl Peyton
Thanks, Wayne. Your encouragement means a lot. Mobile does provide more than its share of history and ambiance.
Saturday, 25 November 2017 19:00
Susan L Kite
Too funny! Nice beginning and love the sweet revenge!
Saturday, 25 November 2017 19:00
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5 Comments

THE LAST GAME IN BROOKLYN

If my world hadn't changed in 1957 perhaps the outcome of the latest World Series would have bothered me. But the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn when I was just a kid and I vowed never to watch a major league ball game for as long as I lived.

A couple years ago a friend asked a few mystery writers to each give him a short story for his blog with baseball as the theme. This what I came up with.

 

LAST GAME IN BROOKLYN

By Wayne Zurl

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Tilmer Wright Jr.
Nice, Wayne! You told a lot in that small space - a rare gift.
Monday, 20 November 2017 13:46
Wayne Zurl
Thanks, Tilmer. I got good advice from Robert B. Parker. Less words, more story. WZ
Monday, 20 November 2017 14:06
Cheryl Peyton
When I finished reading this, I went, "What?!" aloud. It's possible this could have happened, but since you used your character's ... Read More
Monday, 20 November 2017 13:48
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I Want to Live When I Die

When I die, I want to live.  I want to live in the smell of my perfume on the pillow next to you as you wake in the morning.   I want to live on the bathroom counter as you move my makeup and hairspray around to reach your razor.  I want to live in the smell of the morning coffee as you pour it in your favorite cup.  

When I die, I want to live.  I want to live in the recliner next to you as you read or play with the dog on your lap.  I want to live in the shadows as you turn to say something to me, but I am gone.  I want to live in the everyday objects that remind you of me. That tell a story of our life together.  That show the love we shared all these years. 

When I die, I want to live.  I want to live in the air that you breath and in the memories that you have, before they fade away. 

When I die, I want to live as long as possible.   Until the last scent of me is gone. 

By Penny C. Lofton,  sister of Gale Frances
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Cheryl Peyton
This is pure poetry from a courageous woman who is in a fight for her life. I have no doubt that everyone who knows her will remem... Read More
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 21:38
Susan L Kite
Just lovely and I think the same sentiments reside in each of us. To live....
Saturday, 04 November 2017 11:05
Wayne Zurl
That's a beautiful thing. I couldn't write poetry if someone held a gun to my head. But this is excellent. Thanks Cheryl, for post... Read More
Sunday, 05 November 2017 17:19
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3 Comments

Phlash Phiction Phor Halloween

A few years go I entered a contest and one first prize. My big grand award: A free copy of the sponsor's Southgern Writers magazine. The rules were simple: Less than 200 words and the story must begin with, I've had wonderful holidays...

This what I submitted.

 

A Halloween Collar

By Wayne Zurl

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Cheryl Peyton
You won for your O Henry finish. I thought the scene was already amusing with the scruffy kid mouthing off to the seasoned cop who... Read More
Monday, 30 October 2017 12:03
Wayne Zurl
Thanks, Cheryl. Speaking professionally for Sam Jenkins, some times you win and sometimes you also ran. WZ... Read More
Monday, 30 October 2017 13:32
Susan L Kite
Way funny! Thanks, Wayne! Great job!
Monday, 30 October 2017 21:29
66 Hits
4 Comments

The Dreaded Thought of Gun Control

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.

 

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Recent Comments
Cheryl Peyton
This is a remarkable retelling of a senseless and, arguably, preventable mass killing of innocents by an unbalanced individual. It... Read More
Friday, 06 October 2017 22:08
Wayne Zurl
Thank you, Cheryl.
Friday, 06 October 2017 23:19
Sam Bledsoe
Wayne Zurl has written and shared with us a sad but powerfully moving story about guns in America. He has broad experience in this... Read More
Monday, 09 October 2017 15:20
126 Hits
8 Comments

Insights

 “Mr. Jerry, Mr. Jerry, guess what?” the four year old excitedly shouted as he entered the Sunday morning classroom for three –to-five year olds.

Several children were crowded near the door’s entrance as I stood there trying to welcome each one with the ritual hug. The excited child circled his arms around my leg and then looked expectantly into my face.

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Cheryl Peyton
Funny exchanges with children. You're a fine teacher -- you listen respectfully and don't over-react to emotional outbursts. Very ... Read More
Monday, 07 August 2017 11:38
Wayne Zurl
Very good, Jerry. You're an expert in child psychology.
Monday, 07 August 2017 13:03
Susan L Kite
Cute story, great reaction. Someone's mommy or daddy need to have their mouths washed out, not their darling's. ... Read More
Monday, 07 August 2017 22:15
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6 Comments

June's Predicament: A Short Story from the Book Women Among Men: The Story of three Sisters from Eastern Kentucky

Harlan County, Kentucky. One sunny Saturday morning in early August of 1943, June Brittian woke up feeling out of sorts. Her period was a week late and she was starting to worry. At first she hadn’t thought much about it; maybe she had miscounted. She counted the days again–twice; no, she had not! She went outside and sat on the porch, uneasily mulling over her predicament. What if I’m pregnant? What would Jim think about that, she fretted. And what would Momma do? Her thoughts frightened her. She couldn’t decide which was worse.

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Susan L Kite
Nice crisp dialogue, Sam. Good hook, too.
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 18:50
Cheryl Peyton
Wonderfully authentic characters and emotions seen in your dialogue. You were able to speak through the mind and words of a woman.... Read More
Sunday, 30 July 2017 10:30
Cheryl Peyton
This is a late notification of being a subscriber to the posting I've already commented on.
Monday, 31 July 2017 14:11
166 Hits
4 Comments

Ten, Nine, Eight...

7-19-rocket-launch-morguefile

The official launch date is tomorrow, July 21, for DAY OF THE DARK: Stories of Eclipse. Why July 21st? Because it's exactly one month before the total solar eclipse, the first one in North America since 1918. The last one across the continent was in 1900. To star-gazers (and sun-gazers, but don't actually gaze at the sun, OK?) this is big deal.

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Wayne Zurl
Congratulations and good luck, Kaye. Sell a million.
Friday, 21 July 2017 07:51
Kaye George
Thanks, Wayne. From your fingertips to the buyer's pocketbooks.
Friday, 21 July 2017 11:24
Kaye George
I mean the buyers' pocketbooks! I hope there's more than one. ... Read More
Friday, 21 July 2017 12:18
183 Hits
8 Comments

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