For Dad

January 29, 1934 – April 17, 2018

Dad, you gave me a love of the water. My favorite times were in in our first little wooden boat, named for each of us. When Kadie plowed through the waves, the floorboards jumped and rattled. I held on tight and giggled with glee, delighted in the feel of the spray on my face.

I still love that feeling. I love being in a small boat, as close as I can be to the waves, where I can run my hand through the water. The squeal of gulls overhead, the smell of crisp air and seaweed, the lapping of waves against the hull: these small delights give me clarity.

What I saw these same delights give to you were smiles. And peace. The water was home to you. It was your birthright. And I feel a sense of wholeness knowing you’re home. You’re where you belong, where you can find peace and completeness, plying the waves to Valhalla and beyond.

I miss you here beside me, but all I need do to feel your hand in mine is to run my fingers through the water.

Go with peace, Dad. Delight in the feel of the spray against your face and the squeal of gulls…or is that just the sound of giggling little girls riding your wake?


Bonanza settee chic!

For anyone looking to recreate a reasonable facsimile of Ponderosa ranch house decor, check out this settee discovered at Basement Vintage in Plymouth, Michigan:

Frontier Tales

My western genre short story, “Unmasked,” will be appearing in the May edition of Frontier Tales. I hope you’ll check it out, along with May’s other offerings.

And please vote for your favorite, even if it’s for a different story by another author. Western literature is a dying breed, but Frontier Tales aims to keep it alive. I hope you’ll consider helping out by reading and voting.

Short Story sets the Stage for More

My new short story, “Unmasked,” introduces two characters who each have stories to tell. I anticipate these two to inspire a novel, or at least a collection of additional short stories in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned for more about the U.S. Marshal with a tragic past and the grieving sheriff’s boy he’s escorting to prison.

Unmasked is available now via Smashwords, and coming soon to other ebook retailers, as a free download.

Free Short Story: Umasked


Unmasked is available today via Smashwords, and coming soon to other ebook retailers, as a free download.

William Charles Milton Wilcox II left a life of privilege to round up outlaws on dusty trails. As he tells his latest charge, “Everyone changes who he is at one time or another.” But true change requires something more than truncating his name and pinning on a marshal’s badge. One night the ghosts of his past catch up with him when he shares his campfire with an outlaw unlike any other he’s been duty bound to escort to prison. Now U.S. Marshal Milt Wilcox must confront the man he is, and discover the man he wants to become.

Frontier Tales

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I saw my fair share of cowboy westerns, and I gained an appreciation for the genre. As years and decades passed, the western genre faded into near obscurity. I’ve missed those old shows. The Cartwrights of Bonanza, the Barkley’s of The Big Valley, and even Marshal Dillon and his Dodge City friends of Gunsmoke fame provided entertainment that included a strong sense of family and camaraderie, and as much humor and pleasure as drama and angst. Sure, those old shows could be laughingly melodramatic; I miss them, nonetheless. The recent western reboot, with shows like Hell on Wheels, are far too dark for my tastes. it seems we’ve gone from sugar-coating frontier life to slathering it in blood and guts. Surely, there’s a middle ground?

The best thing I’ve found to fill the void in recent years wasn’t even a true western. Firefly was a short-lived science fiction series that explored the frontier of space while paying tribute to cowboy westerns. The cast was a group of misfits who fit together beautifully as a pseudo family. The show gave me everything I’d missed for so long: Family, camaraderie, humor, pleasure, drama, and angst. Sadly, the network pulled the show with only 13 episodes in the can. And, for me, the void persists.

Enter: Frontier Tales.

Since I have been unable to fill the void with TV, I’ve looked to the printed word, instead. In the early 2000s, I discovered an active community of Bonanza FanFiction writers, and even entered their ranks, publishing under the pseudonym of Freyakendra. Truly good writing amongst the ranks of FanFiction authors is tough to find, but there are some real gems if you look hard enough. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Frontier Tales, a webzine dedicated to keeping tales of the west alive. I’ve read two stories there so far, and enjoyed both enough to find the desire to post reviews (coming soon; stay tuned). I’ve also discovered a novel, which I’ve already purchased and sent to my Kindle, thanks to a review posted there.

Soon to come: Reviews of tales from Frontier Tales…..