Remembering a friendly spy

“An American university fellow in 1970s Cambodia begins to welcome the special treatment he receives as government agents scrutinize his every move.” That’s how Lowestoft ChronicleLowestoft Chronicle #43 introduces its Volume 43, which includes my memory piece, “Being Watched”. I was visiting the legendary ruins of Angkor War in Cambodia when the man assigned to keep me under surveillance apologized for being late, and asked me to tell him how I’d spent my day.

Lowestoft published another bit of Cambodian memories a few years ago, too. You can read the latest ==>>here at my blog, or at their website, ==>>here

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Learning Union Rules

I spent one summer of my college years making radiator hose at the B.F. Goodrich factory in Akron, Ohio. I came close to spending that summer unemployed, but I was blessed with a mother who stiffened my spine when I was nearly crushed by my own stupidity.

It’s a story of learning to speak up for myself, and — not just incidentally — learning union rules. For the second year in a row, the American Writers Review annual book includes my writing. I call this one Work Rules. You can read it ===>here

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Remembering elephants

A small Montana literary magazine, which had published two of my short stories, put out a call for submissions to its next issue on the theme “the great outdoors.”

I was reminded of a outdoor adventure I shared with Brad more than 60 years ago — an elephant ride through a forest on India’s Deccan plateau, and a l00k at working elephants. They liked “When Elephants Harvested Teak,” and you can read in now on page 45 of the magazine, by going ==>>here

(or read it here at my blog, listed under n0n-fiction)

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Non-fiction, blurrily

Montana Mouthful, a literary magazine basedin Mom’s home town of Helena, said it wanted stories for its next issue that somehow related to schooling. My mind immediately jumped to some of my Dad’s stories about the tough schooling he received 70 miles or so west in the Butte area. I sat down to write it, and it came easily.

Was it non-fiction? I’m pretty sure the broken-ruler event was real. I’m less confident in the absolute authenticity of the rest of the story. I’m not even absolutely sure, at this distance, that Dad told it first person.

Never mind; it’s a fun story. The Montana editors thought so, too. You can read it (flip through to page 32) ==>here

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The inevitable entropy of Alzheimer’s

Writers are urged to draw on their own experience, to incorporate ideas and events they know well.

Easy to say, but I still find it difficult to work Alzheimer’s into my writing. Nonetheless, I’ve been going through notes I made through those hard years, and managed to put together a piece remembering my dear Brad’s gradually diminishing ability to go anywhere by herself.

The editors of American Writer’s Review 2019 liked it. It’s out now, a thick anthology, and is available at booksellers including Amazon –$15(!!) in paperback, $2.99 as a Kindle book — or you can read it ==>here

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Elizabeth “Brad” Noel, 1930-2019

I was at her side when my beloved wife of 65 years died at 2:30 this morning. It is a huge loss, but a blessing for her: the final months with complications of Alzheimer’s were an increasing burden on her despite the best efforts of the caregiving staff of Seabury and the McLean hospice service.

Her obituary can only hint at the wonderful life we had together; read it ==> here.

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Back to Jamaican Roosters

In my 2007 memoir Near A Far Sea, I mentioned the neighbor whose roosters became such a nuisance that I began buying them to get rid of them — which proved a fruitless and endless project. I’ve embellished the account a bit, and it’s just published in the December 2018 issue of Spitfire, a new literary magazine.  You can read it (and other stories, fiction and otherwise)  ==>here

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