“In this polarized political world of the twenty-first century’s second decade, how does it happen that ten to twenty writers of different belief, background and financial status meet every week without rancor and with exponentially enlarging positive results?” –Harriet Freiberger
Welcome to the Steamboat Springs Writers Group!
Sheltering in Place
David H. Parish
The normalcy is what lingers now that we’re back, the groceries crammed into cabinets, refrigerators and freezers, all now bursting. Adding the newly purchased to what was already here, we have perhaps a month’s supply of food for four adults, I would guess. The dash to the market was a tipping point in my personal connection to the accelerating pandemic. Because while the western world threw its cinematic disaster cloak over its shoulders during the past week or two, just as China was doing the opposite, I’ve been toppled by sciatica, barely able to teeter or totter from one room to the next, pain radiating from hip to calf, let alone venture out to see for myself the oddly quiet streets, sparse store shelves and the awkward six-foot-distance-dance performed within five-foot wide supermarket aisles while the unconcerned who barrel through, invincible. My view of the crisis, until ninety minutes ago, was limited to the boundaries of my tolerance for watching news or reading about respirators, dire statistics and political grandstanding on this screen or that, as pop-up ads for 90-Days of Free Music from Amazon interrupt global crisis updates, amplifying the surreal feel of it all. Which is to say, not much.
Something Good About Everything
Friends give new meaning to generosity, a marvelous
discovery, and disbelief.
A daily confinement bedroom turns into a
Hurt and pain — Break a leg — an attention-getter with
its many faces.
To find a rainbow in my clouds in a lane
I didn’t choose.
Two coat worn raggedy moose traveled through my yard,
lumbering while munching bush tops
Long gangly legs lifted high into a light prance of graceful beauty
when they came to high brush –
My thoughts shifted from comically unsightly
to Nature’s gift of preparation and necessity
she learned to spurn – it caused concern
she ignored with contempt – but mellowed with hemp
then wobbled and fell in a fern
At The Altars of Money
Graydon Dee Hubbard
An award-winning novel and Amazon #1 Best Seller
FROM PART NINE, “TITANS’ NOBLE CAUSE”:
A meeting of the partners in 2002.
Arthur gaveled the table. “Let’s get back to the agenda and be serious. We’re sitting here planning a crime we’re not going to commit for another four or five years. Now that’s the ultimate premeditation. I don’t know about you two, but I still have a problem, a genuine moral dilemma. The investors we’re gonna rob haven’t done anything wrong, and—” “Remember, Arthur,” Fran interrupted, “to many people the possession of wealth is an outrageous form of social injustice, and it creates a presumption of greed, also a presumption of power improperly exercised for personal benefit to the detriment of others.”
“That doesn’t make it right for us to rob the wealthy.”
“Arthur, also remember you started us off with metaphors. Was it wrong for Robin Hood to rob the rich and give to the poor?”
“C’mon, Fran. Robin Hood was a fictional character.”
Fran wiggled a finger in his face. “Now, Aw-w-wthuh, don’t we often draw on fiction for our most compelling figures, our most revered role models?”
“Hell, I don’t know. I never thought about it. I hope you’re not saying I should read the book.”
“No, Arthur, I’m not. I know about your rejection phobia when faced with reading recommendations. But, without demanding biased answers from authors, doesn’t fiction direct us to important questions for our time?”
Arthur shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. “Goddam, I can’t believe this. So now we’re gonna take direction from fiction and present ourselves as Robin Hood and the merry men?”
Fran shook her head vehemently. “We won’t have to. Enterprising journalists are sure to do just that for us.”
Author inscribed copies are available at OFF THE BEATEN PATH bookstore.
Looking for Redfeather, a novel
Chapter 1 – Leaving Home
Ramie left Cheyenne in a hailstorm, tramping up the on-ramp to Interstate 25, right past the No Hitchhiking sign, his thumb in the air. A raging, purple sky hurled hailstones and forks of lightening at him but the boy pulled his hat down and kept on walking. A driving guitar rhythm from the off brand mp3 player in his pocket filled his head. The thunder of Audioslave matched the wrathful weather and infused him with energy and purpose, propelling his feet forward, lifting his thumb even as it lifted his heart. Hitchhiking was like knocking at a door; it felt hopeful, it was a question (going my way?) somehow more potent than lifting the middle finger, a digit he was more familiar with using. Fuck you had become a feeble cliché, a cheap shot in the dark.
Just as suddenly as it had come on, the storm was over, leaving the air scrubbed clean, smelling of wet dirt and sage. The sun reappeared like nothing had happened and a southbound semi roared by, throwing a rainbow of slush from its wheels. Ramie shivered, his wet shirt clinging to his back. Tumbleweeds skipped across the highway, piling up against a barbed wire fence. A shredded Walmart bag caught on a roadside thistle, how I feel. Hail stones, melting, crunching underfoot. His new shoes burned blisters with every step.
From, Looking for Redfeather, a novel by Linda Collison
The Sun also Rises
It’s dark now
Barbed wire’s strung tight
Lock-ed up and aw-ay along the Yampa
Trying to com-pre-hend
To focus, to fathom, to be…resilient!
That’s what’s called fer, right?
Victims in Love, Banished to Steamboat Springs in 1914
Linen in September
September 1, 1915
“The phone call is for you,” Maggie shouted from the kitchen. “Hurry up, we are on a party line.”
Who would be calling me? I have only used this new invention occasionally and only because no one was around to answer the ringing machine.
“Ah… hello, yes?”
“Julius, it’s Corina.”
“Oh, hello. How are you doing?”
“I’m fine and so is your god child. It’s so lovely in the evening. Can you join us at the bath house for a light picnic at low teatime?”
“Umm … sure if you wish.”
Maggie smiled broadly. She pointed at the telephone with a, ‘Get with it,’ motion as Corina said, “I do wish it, very much so.”
“I may not be done here until after supper.”
“You’ll be done at 5:15,” Maggie interjected.
“Alright, I’ll be there at about 5:30. I have to get my bathing costume.”
“No need to do that, I bought you a new one. We’ll change there.”
“Yes, really, I love you. See you soon. Bye.”
I stood with the receiver in my hand staring at the wooden box on the wall.
“Now you hang it up Julius,” Maggie instructed. “In the future, you should sign off with a closing salutation, like ‘goodbye’ or ‘I love you too’ would be a nice touch.”
It was once again a set up. I will not call it matchmaking, because Corina was married, but nonetheless, a covert attempt to get us together.
“My… oh my god, Maggie, where is this going?”
“Name dropper,” she chuckled, “I guess you’re going to find out.”
Feigning rectitude, I arrived on time and waited. Assuming an altruistic attitude was difficult, but necessary. It is awkward for a man to jilt a woman. But it was the right thing to do because she was a married woman and I was not keen on being six feet underground for her. It was just not going to work out. The women were not considering JJ’s certain anger. The memory of the gleaming knife returned.
Corina appeared with her conquering beauty, pushing a wicker pram and little Julius tucked inside. She wore a white linen suit, a red scarf, the ends crossed in a single knot which rested atop her breasts which bobbed up and down with each step. Her smart, modern hat tilted slightly to one side and the suit tailored to her hourglass figure. She looked stunning and my reserve began to melt. I felt thrilled to be alone with her.
“Will you excuse my wearing linen in September?” She said with a coy smile.
“But of course,” I replied matching her demure smile and thinking, Great opening line.
“It was on sale for fifty percent off at Steamboat Mercantile; I just couldn’t pass it up, even this late in the season. I didn’t wear a corset. Can you tell? I don’t look fat, do I?”