Storyteller 2017 -part VI
I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.
Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.
This is the sixth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21, the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22, fueling the passion of the Storyteller on June 23, and Storyteller-the passion on June 26.
The first circle of stories draws on the early years of immigration and includes: Danillo, Honey Azrael and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.
The second circle of stories from retail experience includes: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.
The third circle of stories is from the media business; papers, newspapers, newsletters and magazines where ink used to be bought by the barrell. Since printing is also becoming a lost art, I decided to collect these short stories and publish them, all the while remembering the words of a city official:
“If it isn’t written, it hasn’t happened.”
As I wrote this I realized this was a great fit for the June 22 Daily Post prompt: paper.
These stories include: In the Shadows, Iron Horse, Foxy, Riddleyville Clowns and Chatamal.
My writing passion is coupled by my love of history.
I started writing for Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 with my own column, “Commentary Place.” That was also the only time I wrote in Czech language. It was a biweekly column about the issues pertaining to the Czech community living in the USA. I wrote essays as well.
My first official newspaper job was with the Kaechele Publications in 1997. I commuted 145 miles round trip to Plainwell. The editor Dave Trinka, who interviewed me, loved the fact that I had included the newspaper clips in Czech. Go figure.
I loved the hometown Union Enterprise newspaper based in Plainwell. Due to the distance of the commute, I found closer newspaper jobs, the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, Lowell Ledger, Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Grand Rapids Press.
Here is an excerpt from the “Iron Horse.”
“Everybody in the room was wearing yellow. The tablecloths on round tables were yellow. I bit my lips hard, so that a streak of blood appeared on them. I was hoping the blood wouldn’t drop on the blouse.
I closed my eyes and I could see the old township hall at the Shimmicon Corners.
“So, is this all you expected,” an angry farmer barked into my face.
His face was swollen and his Adam’s apple was rolling in his throat. He was wearing Carhart overalls smeared with manure. His hands were big with strong fingers.
I backed away. He smelled of hay and manure. A terrifying stench spread in the meeting room of the Shimmicon Township.
I looked around me. The township hall was packed. The latecomers were peaking in from the windows. Two policemen were standing by the door, their hands on their pistols and truncheons. I could hardly breathe because the air was so heavy with sweat. Somebody spat on the floor in front of me. There was straw on the floor.
The farmers were thumping their feet against the plank floor and shaking their fists. I sank into a chair in the first row right across from the supervisor’s seat. Everyone else was seated except for him. As minutes ticked by, the farmers got angrier. Finally, supervisor Ned walked in looking at the mob. His big eyes were protruding from its sockets. Ned was a medium built man with thick hair. He pounded the mallet to bring order to the room.
“Silence,” he yelled. “I said quiet.”
The angry farmers were shaking their heads, gesturing and talking. Pig farmer Frank was standing in the corner. Tall Frank with black mustache and hair was leaning against the wall wearing his rubber boots. He came directly from the pig pens. His hands were stuck in his pockets.
Supervisor Ned pounded the mallet again.
“I will use the police, if you do not shut up.”
This post is also about how to create in writing.
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