In Miguel de Cervates’ epic novel, The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha, Don Quixote comes upon a crowd of windmills. Sworn to fight injustice wherever he finds it, the chivalrous knight exclaims to his servant, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. This is a righteous war.”
Like Don Quixote, I am occasionally inspired to attack hulking giants or windmills. I have written tributes to my favorite authors, including John Steinbeck, O. Henry and Edna Ferber. I’ve mused about Houdini, fire investigation, Jihads, the frustration of finding a parking space, or robins in the spring. I have even contributed stories about the joys of retail (The Happy Store) and serialized several books. My goal as a columnist is the same as it is when I write books: To entertain. To precipitate thought. To view things from a different angle. Most of all, though, it is to have fun.
My newspaper columns are published in The Evening Sun and HuntingtonNews.Net
Although I had been writing articles on fire investigation for The Forensic Examiner for many years, it was not until 2011 that I gave them my first story. The magazine wasn’t accustomed to publishing literary fiction, and I wasn’t used to writing short stories, but it turned into a perfect marriage, enhanced by the beautiful layouts and artwork imagined by Brandon Alms. Brandon also designed the book cover for The Man with the Glass Heart and The Boys of Sabbath Street.
Subsequently, my Forensic Examiner stories were republished in The Evening Sun and HuntingtonNews.Net Eventually, I compiled them in a collection called Dabbling in Crime.
Since short stories were my first love, I have continued to write them, and most recently, forty-six stories about working at The Happy Store appeared in both of my newspaper columns.