Twisted Writing

A few Saturdays back, I was sitting in the middle of a shopping mall, behind a skirted table, which had been positioned beside the mall’s showcase attraction: a beautiful but rather noisy fountain. I practically had to shout at potential book buyers, which would have been uncomfortable, had there been any.

However, I did manage to convince – perhaps coerce would be more descriptive – a few passers by to break their stride and pause momentarily at my table, even if more than a few of them stopped only for the free candy with which I tempted them. Never offer chocolate to a mall walker. They’ll take it every time. At least a half dozen or so succumbed to my pleadings, however, only a few of them should be mentioned: a man who wore a hooded sweatshirt that was the color of tomato juice, and a grease-stained ball cap, a lady who’d just started a diet program, and an unusual gentleman dressed in a southern Civil War military uniform. Now this guy was unnerving. Sporting a three-day growth of beard and a big grey mustache, he never spoke, just nodded, and with the realistic uniform, complete with boots, hat and suspenders, he really looked the part. When he finally walked away, I could have sworn dust, puffed around his footfalls. But let’s get back to the lady. Being in the business of selling my books for more than a year now, I’ve heard a plethora of excuses, or reasons as to why one could not, at the time, buy one. However this lady’s originality must be commended. She kindly picked up one of the books, flipped it over and read the back cover, then placed it softly back on the table. Afterward she smiled and told me that she’d love to have one of my books, but she’d been to a doctor who had put her on a diet, and the medicine he’d given her had left her allergic to many things with which she’d never before had a problem, and one of them was the pages of books.

If you would like to own an autographed copy of my mystery novel, Twisted Perception, send me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let me know how to personalize it and where to ship it. Oh, yeah, include a check for $17.00. I'll pay the shipping. If you would like to read a sample of the book, go to my website at where you can read chapter one.

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Even more Twisted

Hello, everyone.

As a result of my hobbies, I’m familiar with many Oklahoma towns, but lately, being busy with this and occupied with that, I’d almost forgotten how special these national treasures are. However, with many of the book signings and speaking engagements I’ve experienced lately being situated in rural communities, my appreciation for small-town life has been reignited. How could you not love library meetings where the main topics, shying away from things like drugs, terrorism, and drive-by shootings, lean more toward more pleasant undertakings like frog jumping contests, turtle races, and ice cream socials: Things for the children.

Getting back to a more serious note, let me share with you some of what I’ve experienced while manning booths at some of the craft fairs across Oklahoma. It seems that wherever I go people who share an interest in writing stop by to talk about such. Normally this is an enjoyable affair. However, depending on the individuals involved, things like this can get uncomfortable. On one of my outings, a young man strolled up and asked me if I wrote poetry. I had, I told him, in my early years, but had since abandoned such notions, having fallen in love with fiction. I can only speculate that, being filled with excitement, he only heard the first part of my sentence – that portion leaning toward the affirmative – for he produced a spiral notebook, which seemed to appear from nowhere, sort of like Felix the Cat’s bag of tricks, from which he commenced reading various verses he had penned. I listened politely, however, while this was going down, potential business walked on, passing me by – a man wearing blue denim overalls with no shirt beneath, a lady with a tattoo on her leg that seriously resembled an open wound, a girl carrying a rock in one hand and a corn dog in the other, a boy with a monkey on his back that was clutching a large potato, and finally a lady, who actually ignored my guest and stopped. She’d just purchased a turkey leg, and she wanted to trade it for a book. I was hungry. I almost went for it. I could go on, but I won’t.

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Just Twisted

While attending the OWFI conference at the Embassy Suites in Oklahoma City, I went to the vending machine on my floor to get a soft drink. In a dark corner, I found a Pepsi machine, but as I fed my dollar into the slot, I noticed the machine was filled with Coke products: I could tell this by the selection labels. I stabbed the button designated for regular Coke and a twenty-ounce bottle fell into the tray below. There was only one problem. I couldn’t get the bottle out of the slot: It was too large. I don’t know what the other customers did. Perhaps I was the first to try the cross-genre cola experiment. You know what they say: you can’t roller skate in a buffalo heard, and you can’t put a Coke in a Pepsi machine.

Again in Oklahoma City, I was attending the Oklahoma Book Festival where I met an old friend. I also saw something unusual… perhaps bizarre would be more descriptive. It was a dog that only had two legs, the back ones, which it walked on quite handily. The dog didn’t hop like one might expect in such a situation, but it actually walked, like some forgotten humanoid species, or an alien from another world.

Back in Tulsa, I saw an old Camaro parked alongside the road. It had two flat tires and an inscription written across the rear window. It read: Just married. Off to a bad start I’d say.

My family and I had heard of this new restaurant called – I better not put the real name here – so we decided to give it a try. I knew something wasn’t quite right when I saw the décor. I’m not sure how to describe it. Let’s just say they were trying for the mix-and-match look and overachieved their efforts with stellar proportions. Being led into a dining area that might have been better suited for an automobile repair shop, we were seated beside a large white-painted buffet. The doors of the buffet were open, showing not only bottles of catsup and mustard, but also blue signs taped inside the doors that read: Please keep doors closed. But the fun was just beginning. We had just ordered from a one-page, plastic-coated menu when one of the employees began to walk through the area. If you can imagine a vendor at a baseball game, hawking his wares, only with a lot less enthusiasm – I mean a lot less; we’re talking just this side of manic depressive – then you’ll get a pretty good idea of how it went. I can’t say that I blame the poor guy. He had to walk around the restaurant announcing “fried okra” to the backdrop of Country music, Merle Haggard no less, wailing, “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee.” I still have nightmares about it.


Twisted Book Tour

Hello, everyone. Beginning October 14th I start my Hastings tour, signing books across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. Please check my website at for details.

Later that day, I saw an old car with its headliner hanging loose. There was a child in the backseat, having to hold the material with his hands to keep it from covering his head. The car had a bumper sticker on it that read: If you’re not appalled, you’re not paying attention. Pretty appropriate, wouldn’t you say?

Two weeks earlier, I was aboard a giant cigar with wings, flying to Tucson Arizona for a book fair in Sierra Vista. About halfway into the flight, a man fought his way through the narrow isle to the front of the aircraft where he began to struggle with the bathroom door. I was beginning to feel embarrassed for the poor soul before he finally got it open. To make matters worse, a sign, positioned so that everyone in the cabin could see it, announced in bright red letters that the necessary room was occupied.

Quite a bit of time passed, but then strange noises ensued, and the light began to blink, phasing between dormant and occupied. I figured, being that the guy had trouble getting in, that he was likewise experiencing a difficult go at getting out. I could actually hear him thrashing around in there. The guy finally busted out, his hair sticking up, a frazzled look on his face as he approached a flight attendant. Seconds later, the flight attendant keyed the intercom and announced that the light in the lavatory was malfunctioning. She asked that we refrain from using the facility, but added that if it got to the point to where you had to go, to please see her and she would loan you a flashlight.

More to come.


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