How I Came to Write This Story

My friend Patti, who is an outstanding writer in her own right, was kind enough to host a little essay today on her blog where I talk about my story, “Blood and Sweetgrass: This Rez is Mine” from Blood and Tacos #3. I’m grateful she did, because it will get more eyeballs than it would have if I’d just put it here, heh. I’m happy with this particular story, and it was a ridiculous gas to write. I hope you find time to click over and check it out.


Monkey Justice by Patti Abbott

This book proves both the pros and the cons of “electronic only” book releases. It proves that there are fantastic books being released straight to the electronic format that are as good as anything being traditionally published by anyone. It also proves that some books are getting short shrift, at least to those of us who love the printed page, by being released only electronically. This is a book I wish I could have on MY shelf, so I could go back to it again and again. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that is possible (sort of) with an e-book, and I know one can mark pages to look up later, etc. But I like my dog-eared pages, I like being able to look at something I don’t need to keep charged. So I want a printed copy of this book. Sue me.

As for the stories themselves, Patti does an outstanding job of writing scenes of crime and mayhem without being gratuitous about it; not every character is a murderous drug user with no redeeming qualities. Most have heart, even as they are doing terrible things. Patti stays away from the tendency of many to attempt to out gross us out as readers when it comes to relating the tales of the downtrodden. For me, this book was an excellent palate cleanser proving that that uber-violent tendency is not what crime writing needs to be about to work.

Great stuff from Patti; definitely one of my favorite collections of the year. Can’t wait to be able to throw something of hers on my shelf, where it belongs.

Monkey Business

Last night right before I called it a day I read a wonderful story by my friend, Patti Abbott, in the final issue of Dark Valentine Magazine, an online publication that folded up, unfortunately, the first of this month. Patti’s story is called “Monkey Justice.” It’s not a crime story, or horror, or anything like that. It’s just kind of a sad little tale about a woman who will probably seem all too familiar to many of us. You can download the PDF of the magazine that has her story in it by clicking HERE.

You’ll also see how great a publication this was. There are a couple other stories in it I still have to read, particularly one by another favorite of mine, Sandra Seamans.

Patti’s story has capuchin monkeys in it, which reminded me, of course, of our trip to Panama last January. I dug up this video and uploaded it last night:

We were on a boat trip exploring Gatun Lake, cruising various little islands scattered about looking for wildlife. This island we were visited by several capuchins, and this is one (out of a couple) that got pretty close!