An essay from “The Abundance” @Substack

My stint as a would-be singer-songwriter in the my college years: beat-up Levis, denim work shirt, a Jerry Garcia beard, hair nearly to my shoulders, a head full of ideas, and a six-string Yamaha I purchased years before from the money I made delivering newspapers. I truly thought I might be able to run with my heroes, playing college coffee houses would surely put me on the road to Madison Square Garden.

I was delusional. But — stealing a line from Hemingway — isn’t it pretty to think so.

That old guitar now sits…


A personal essay from The Abundance

The essay was first published in The Abundance @Substack and is in the spirit of the the author’s forthcoming novella: Sandman: A Golf Tale from Roundfire Books, UK due out in June, 2022.

I had not planned to play on a holiday. It’s usually too busy, crowded, slow. …


The Strider and the Regulus by Tricia D. Wagner

A line in the first chapter of the new YA adventure book by author Tricia D. Wagner signals that there is something deeper here than what one might expect from a fantasy story.

“…some feelings are like driftwood, liable to burble to the surface no matter what you do.”

Those “feelings” are what drive the narrative of this daring quest along the mystical Welsh coastline and the Celtic Sea, feelings of redemption, of youthful exuberance and determination, and the belief that adventure can forge a path to finding one’s way in…


Baseball, golf, boxing, and other games that have scored legendary narratives

Photo by Mike Bowman on Unsplash

When most English literature teachers or university professors speak of the classics of great storytelling, their discussions never include sports-centric books. Sports doesn’t fit into the canon. Sport is not, well, literary enough, some might say. It’s too “popular” or it’s too “parochial” or “trivial.”

Nonsense.

There is plenty of superb literature based around sport. Below is a short list of several novels of great renown, award-winners. What’s not listed here are the magnificent short stories focusing on sport. That’s another list for another time. (My favorite is “Ferrel’s…


A Father’s Day Flash Fiction

Photo by Heather Zabriskie on Unsplash

Somewhere in the house was his father’s watch. It was an old Timex, a workingman’s timepiece of stainless steel with one of those old-school expandable bands. Not worth much, monetarily at least. Martin knew he had it. But where? Some drawer. Maybe in a storage box in the basement. It had been a decade since his father’s death and years since he’d tried to find the watch. Probably with his father’s old leather wallet, he thought, the one that held the decades-old, tattered black-and-white photograph of a high school girlfriend. Of course, that’s another story…


Go to places unknown and rejuvenate your creative self

Waldo Canyon Road. Cerrillos, New Mexico

My wife and I were heading back to our casita in Cerrillos, New Mexico late at a night after dinner in Santa Fe. She had never been to the magical city in the mountains, so we had spent the day there, exploring after disappearing for a couple of days in the desert hills near Waldo Mesa not far from the quirky town of Madrid. It was New Mexico dark. No lights anywhere. The sky as black as the inside of a cowboy hat when it wasn’t illuminated by the flashes of…


Why thanking everyone is the corporatization of writing

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

I recently watched a YouTube video of author Rachel Cusk reading from her book Outline and then taking question before a small group of readers at a bookstore in the U.K. She wondered aloud about all the books on her desk from women writers who profusely thank people on the books’ acknowledgments pages. Thank you to my editors, my writing coach, my teachers, my beta readers, and on and on, as if to admit, Cusk said, that what the writer had written could not have been accomplished alone, without all that “help.”


The four best songs to learn about the power of words

Photo by Weston MacKinnon on Unsplash

In honor of Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday, every writer should take a close look at the Nobel Laureate’s best lyrics. Yes, for their musicality, but more so for their storytelling wonder.

Below are four songs that should be studied endlessly. The lyrics will not be printed here for copyright reasons. But what is provided are links to sites where you can see and hear their performances. …

David W. Berner, The Writer Shed

Award-winning writer. Author of memoir and fiction. Editor of Medium publication: THE WRITER SHED.

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