Goodbye February!

RayBradburyOnWriting

February 29th has arrived, the month almost over, and my birthday is six days behind me. I’ve finally come up for air after spending the entire month working on wips (works in progress) adding new chapters to the second book in my Celtic murder mystery series, fresh stories in new worlds for my second book of short stories, additional poems for publication, all the while juggling life’s daily (and necessary) interruptions.

Where has the time gone?

Who cares, I’m writing!

Author Event This Saturday

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I will be attending the latest Local Author Event Day this Saturday, December 5th, 2015 from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Nightbird Books store, 205 West Dickson Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet local authors, purchase great signed edition books for gifts, and support our local small businesses.

From Nightbird Books:

We are inviting our local authors into the store on December 5th to give you a chance to meet writers in our community and pick up some great autographed holiday gifts. Because of smaller space, we will have two shifts. The first is from 10:30 to 1:00 and the second from 1:30 to 4:00. This is always a fun event so I hope you can join us.

Participants include:

Sybil Rosen, John Walsh, Tom McKinnon, Susan Holmes, Jack Cotner, Carolyn Guinzio, Vance Clement, and Edmund Harriss from 10:30 to 1:00

and Denele Campbell, Radine Trees Nehring, JB Hogan, Paul Williams, Alexander Margulis, and Martin Jardon from 1:30 to 4:00

 

I hope to see you there!

Jack Friday Sales Event!

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Forget Black Friday sales events. On this blog it’s Jack Friday.

Actually, it’s a sales event that goes beyond just this Friday featuring the Kindle editions of both my short story collection and my Celtic murder mystery novel. They’re  on sale now through December 5th for just $0.99 each. From December 6th through December 23rd they will be half their usual listed price.

Grab a copy for yourself or purchase for family and friends.

 

One Year Blog Anniversary

Artie "Jack" Cotner, England, one week prior to D-Day Invasion of Normandy

Artie “Jack” Cotner, England, one week prior to D-Day Invasion of Normandy

It seems appropriate to use this date as the first post to my new blog.

On this date in 1944, my father, Artie C. “Jack” Cotner was a radio-gunner on the famous “Dee-Feater”, a B-26 Marauder and part of the Allied Invasion Force at Normandy.

I have written of his experience on that day in a chapter of my book Storytellin’: True And Fictional Short Stories Of Arkansas explaining how, according to his Group’s Historical Record, my father was the only known enlisted man in the U.S. Army Air Corps to make two bombing runs over France that day.

Here’s a picture of his plane with D-Day Invasion Stripes on the wings.

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“Dee-Feater” B26 Bomber Over England

 

Books In Bloom 2015

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I attended the Books In Bloom event in Eureka Springs, Arkansas again this year and am happy to report both weather and turn-out was good despite thunderstorms and heavy rains the two days previous.

Met some wonderful, interesting authors including the internationally best-selling author Tess Gerritsen who writes the Rizzoli & Isles series as well as many, many others. Her website is here http://www.tessgerritsen.com/

Kimberly and James Dean, authors of the children’s book series Pete The Cat, were very entertaining and drew a large audience, many of whom were young ones tightly clutching their personal copies of Pete’s various adventures eager for autographs. Listening to the two authors during their presentation, there could be no doubt Kimberly and James were in their happy, sweet zone doing what they love best. https://www.petethecat.com/about

Many regional authors also participated including Nancy Hartney (Washed In The Water); Abby Burnett (Gone To The Grave); Margaret Jones Bolsterli (Kaleidoscope-Redrawing an American Family Tree); Robert Cochran & Suzanne McCray (Lights! Camera! Arkansas! and Our Own Sweet Sounds).

For a list of all Books In Bloom participants both this year and past you may visit Books In Bloom, Eureka Springs.

I’m already looking forward to Books In Bloom 2016 on the grounds of the historic Crescent Hotel in beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Goodbye My Love, Goodbye

I recently wrote a short story about a young man, his high school sweetheart, and their less-than-desirable marriages (they tied the knot twice with each other before it all fell apart for good). The story, despite its description, is actually humorous and ends well. However, in some dark corner of my mind, I wondered: what if it hadn’t ended well? What if the man couldn’t handle the fact his one true love was unfaithful? That’s when this poem came to me.

Goodbye My Love, Goodbye

Retreating inward from the pain,

I smell the sweetness of her hair

As we move along the path. I strain

Uphill, dragging muddied weight to where

Headstones squat like sacred peaks between

Mowed grass where walked mourning crones.

Stoic statues weathered, weeping, still serene,

Guarding lengthy rows of buried bones.

 

We halt. Crows pass, loud caws abating.

A portal beyond the pale awaits, silent.

The gaping hole lies open, waiting, waiting

For my dearest here quiet, broken, spent.

Farewell, sweet beauty, unfaithful miss.

I weep. Red lipstick on blue, icy lips

Beckons. Entranced, I take one final kiss

Before tossing splendor into the dark abyss.

Goodbye my love, goodbye.

Book Review: Washed in the Water-Tales from the South

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Nancy Hartney’s book Washed In The Water-Tales From The South provides poignant, vivid snapshots in time and place of people and events in the South. Narrative is wonderfully crisp and memorable. The characters, their stories—moments of joy, suffering and perseverance—leave you wanting more. Great read.

About Nancy from her bio: Nancy Hartney writes about the Deep South of today wrapped in yesterday’s cloths. Her roots dig into the piney woods that she rode through on horseback into the sweat-soaked, hard scrabble farms, and into humid passionate nights. Her slice-of-life tales chronicle a time past that is poignant, vivid and sometimes brutal. The reader stares into the eyes of people struggling with living, grasping for understanding, doing the best they know how. Nancy makes her home in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Learn more about Nancy from her website at nancyhartney.com

May 2015 Be A Productive Year!

Back home  after an enjoyable holiday trip and already busy with two more short stories for my paranormal anthology, work on the second book in my Celtic mystery series, and additional rework and editing of last year’s WIP murder mystery first draft manuscript set in fictional 1950s Logan County, Arkansas.

In addition to  writing, I’m currently reading and enjoying three books: one a Christmas present, Bergoglio’s List, about the life and times of Pope Francis by Nello Scavo. The second is on loan titled Coronado’s Children by J. Frank Dobie. The third is a fascinating story by Irish author Ali Isaac titled Conor Kelly And The Four Treasures Of Eirean.

Coffee is ready. Back to writing!

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

― Stephen King

‘Tis The Season To Shop Local

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I will be signing copies of my books Mystery Of The Death Hearth and Storytellin’: True And Fictional Short Stories Of Arkansas Saturday, November 29, 2014 between the hours of 1:30 pm – 4 pm as part of Nightbird Books and the Local Author Day and Small Business Saturday.

“This is one of our best attended events each year so plan to make us part of your holiday shopping these days.” Nightbird Books, 205 W Dickson St, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Looks like it will be beautiful weather and a great day to shop local.

Hope to see you there!

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Beaver Lake, Arkansas

Finished another story for inclusion in a second book of short stories set in my home state of Arkansas.

This latest adventure takes place in a fictional recreation area on Beaver Lake.

The real lake is a man-made reservoir in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas and formed by a dam across the White River constructed by the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers between 1960 to 1966.

The main plot of my latest story deals with a landowner unwilling to leave peacefully when his land is seized under right of eminent domain to build Beaver Lake Dam.

Here are some pictures of just a portion of the beautiful lake and its surrounding area.

If you would like more information you may contact Beaver Lake Project Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2260 N. 2nd Street, Rogers, AR 72756

 http://www.swl.usace.army.mil/parks/beaver/or

Beaver Lake Project Office: 479-636-1210.

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