Friday, June 22, 2018


My story of Sam Paine has reached a point in which Sam is on the verge of escaping. He missed the opportunity to do so with money in his pocket. If caught before he achieves certain objectives, he will be returned, no questions asked. 

I can only write in short bursts. So I revisit the work countless times per day. Since I am retired, time is no big consideration.

Arlo 6

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day

I last saw my father at the age of three. Fifty years later, I learned he was murdered for his car, in 1948. After ten years spent with an abusive step father, I was left totally fatherless. Author Phillip Wylie became a sort of unknowing father figure to me, for many years. I grew up not caring enough about my father to check on him, for he and my mother had a rough relationship, before she ditched him to join the Okie flood to California. I think I was over forty before I began to feel a need to know the man. It was a feeling of being left unmoored on one of two pillars, the other representing my mother. I don't think one can feel complete without knowing both sides that contributed to their origin. I salute my father on this day. I hope he had a good time of it in the short time he had after we left him.

Arlo 3

Sunday, May 20, 2018

About the comic strip failed idea

I know this room is inadequate by modern nursing home standards, but I felt compelled to make it Sam Paine's room, if the comic had shaped up.

Friday, May 11, 2018

It's Taking Shape

I rarely have used wealthy characters. Sam Paine is wealthy but he's been shafted. I gave him a character that can be identified with by most right thinking people and so far have not found reason to kill anybody in the storyline. We can only hope. His wife is not wicked, but she and their daughter have been corrupted by the daughter's boyfriend. It's so far more of a righting a wrong tale than of revenge or murder. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Most comic strips go rather static

after a bit. Converting my comic idea to prose has freed it to an expanding plot that takes it beyond the confines of a nursing home. Lest it be confused with the plot of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, there is no Indian, no stolen good times in a bus, no protagonist similar to the one in Cuckoo's, no facing a tragic ending. I have a personal aversion to that book, based mainly on the final pages, anyhow. My character is no antihero. He has a life and a personal fortune and this will tell how he gets it all back. Many antiheroes do the same things as the other antiheroes, say the same things and in the end their originality has become stereotypical. So I avoid such a character if at all possible.    

Friday, April 27, 2018

Not Defeated

I had to admit defeat in the comic strip attempt. I have no trouble making up the props, but the characters require a fluidity that carries a storyline that I can't get right. I am at the point at which I found myself as a teen. However, all is not lost. In the moment of defeat, I realized my storyline would make a swell novel. So I began converting my material to prose.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sam Paine

I grew up on comics and cartoons, aside from the novels and biographies I enjoyed so much. The attraction was strong and it made me want to become an artist. My brother, Sam, was just naturally one. But it was a struggle for me and I gave it up by my teenage years.There have been sporadic reversions, but nothing so earthshaking as to brag about it. But now I have a concept for a comic strip, which means I need to come up with comic strip art. I made a drawing off Van Gogh's bedroom painting for his room, removing the table in the corner and giving it a chest of drawers. I have a face for him, but the body work is lacking. Still much groundwork to be done. There is a little levity in it, but it is no humor strip. It's the adventures of a man sent to a nursing home to live. Because he has most of his wits and gets around pretty well with his cane, he is no happy camper. I have the first week scripted, but need lots more for when I decide to share it with a syndicate. It's a tough market to break into, but I have to try. The character's name is Sam Paine, at this point. Sam, because my brother sparked the interest in doing a strip about the elderly. Paine, because he is expected to have a spirit similar to that of Tom Paine.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Riley Stevens

Riley Stevens carried murder as one bears a secret condom in the wallet, always available to him, never gaining the opportunity to use it, like a bomb with no place to explode. He left the subway on a midsummer morning, traveled up the steps, to be one with the sparse traffic moving along the Bowery sidewalk. As a visitor to the city, he made it his mission to see everything he possibly could. 

Monday, March 19, 2018


The bitter heart writes bitter songs, creating fragile beauty of almost indescribable sadness. He who sings the songs learns by osmosis the state of the writer, but if he sings and is himself the writer, there can be no redemption. The darkness that is his soul’s dwelling place is forming a rising pool that in the end must engulf the singer, who will drown in the silent blackness, the bitter heart to write no more.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Germ Named Orphie

Yesterday I worked at anthropomorphising a germ. It regards itself as "he" despite the fact there are no hes or shes in germ-dom. It bears a special attachment to a nine year old named Olive, who is oblivious of Orphie's existence. I got about a page in the rehab waiting room, in a spiral notebook. I hope to expand on it later today.

Friday, March 2, 2018


I submitted Spelville Story Collection today, to the first publisher.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


I'm about to wrap up the story about the chimp. Oh my goodness. Oh, well. Maybe I can come up with something a bit more genteel, next go around.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Shadow Planet Twarr

Invaders from the Shadow Planet Twarr

Price: $4.99
In this comic and action-filled tale of alien invasion, we meet Xmil and his Uncle Sneezer. We stand by to watch the amazing feats of Mohaw, the fugitive from justice, who befriends and aids our young hero. And then there is the advance crew, from the Shadow Planet of Twar, come to dismantle Sneezer's watering system and set the stage for a full-fledged invasion.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


The working title of my next. When a man retires from his job, he walks out the door with a test chimp named Grape, with nobody noticing. They live together and all seems fine, until Grape's criminal activity manifests itself and becomes a liability for the man. Well - we shall see how it all works out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Gearing Up

I was pleased to help old Darryl out. Emphasis on "out?" You will never know without reading it. I am writing as I can. Busy helping the wife after her surgery. I picked up a bug, probably in the hospital cafeteria. Life is tough on an old man, but it was also tough on a young man. I am contemplating setting a mellower tone in my next writing. Topic in the air.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Darryl again

I couldn't leave the poor old guy hanging like that. So I have been adding to his story.

Friday, February 9, 2018


Some years back, I put together a collection of all my writings. It encompassed virtually all, from the beginning, when I didn't know what I was doing, to the present of that time, where I was starting to get better. Much of the material is totally inept, but I wanted a permanent record of my progress. Brother Sam designed the cover and it is still available through Lulu and possibly Amazon.
Complete Short Works

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Another day or two and

The tale of Darryl, 75 yrs old and newly homeless, should be wrapped up tomorrow or Tuesday. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

springtime in houston

its springtime in houston my friends
the time the hot weather begins
the blue jays fuss and they bother
azaleas early martyr
sending blooms like comets to die
in lovely streaks before the eye
we make obeisance to the sun
like cats we make the hot tin run

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Long Pause

Personal events have prevented me from moving forward. For about a month or two progress will be sporadic. I have not lost the drive to produce my brand of literature. It makes me feel guilty to lay off this way. I will be back and continuing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Short story, about a man of my age, 75, suddenly become homeless. I am able to draw on my own past for background and color. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Arliss and the Alien

My short story about a stranded alien has been progressing like a snail on a frozen tin roof, but I expect it to pick up during today's session.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Rules of Life

My rules of life.

1. Eat no dogs
2. When cooking give your mate the nicest portion
3. Do for others.
4. Don't expect others to do for you.
5. Take charge of your own health
6. Try to answer antagonists with logic and humor. In a pinch, anger and sarcasm will do
7. Vote even if you have to hold your nose
8. Stand against perpetual wars
9. Take time for yourself where you can relax and ignore the world
10. Love friends and family in adversity as well as good times

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Almost threw a story away

Almost caught by Inkitt. I went so far as to put a story on their site, but then deleted it. I realized that for all their hype about making writers rich and/or famous, my work would be published for free and read for free, killing it for publishing companies. If anybody reading this knows better, I would be grateful.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I keep turning to that song, as vocalized by Bing Crosby, to be my anthem of the season. I appreciate Bing more these days than ever before. Chalk it up to nostalgia, a new appreciation of his talent - whatever. It fills me with warmth and sooths my troubled spirit. Last week, my sister and I had a divergence of opinion, which led to her disowning me, and ticking off all my bad traits and actions, ranging over the entirety of the past fifty years. I ended my last email to her by saying, "I am going to love you, whether you like it or not, and there is nothing you can do about it." It went to a seeming void, as she never replied. I possibly will not hear from her again, as she has written off other siblings in the same spirit.

Then, there is the action of today. It began innocently enough. My friend and co worker and I took a captured possum to the park for release. As we drove down the lane, a squirrel and then six deer crossed in front of us. The deer posed as we went by. I released the possum near the dumpsters, and the little guy made his dash to freedom. Our work got on track, and by lunch time I was thinking we would have a smooth time of it. As I stood by the microwave, awaiting my steaming roast chicken, a resident approached me. She was unable to get in touch with her uncle. I told the boss, and very shortly, we and the police went to his door. I was obliged to hop the patio wall, and then to break a window, so that I could crawl inside and unlock the door. Keys are useless when residents lock the upper, one sided dead bolts. He was on the bed, lifeless.

You might wonder that I was able to eat my lunch, but, I have always had to have my food, no matter the circumstances.

I began by writing about Christmas. I intend to have my joy this year, as every year. The human spirit needs holidays and aspirations for bettering life's circumstance. I compartmentalize disappointment and sorrow, separating them from my primary function of living for now in a positive way. And, so, I smile and wave, and sincerely wish one and all the best holiday possible.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee

I've just finished Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee. While I understand some people feel dismay to learn the original Atticus Finch was a racist, I have to say I was mesmerized by the whole story and will never regret reading it. She seems to consider the people of Maycomb a microcosm of the 50's south, overlooking lynchings and inflicting humiliations on the black folk as a matter of course, in other locales. Turns out, this book is most about Scout becoming her own person. It has been quite a few years since I last got so hooked on a book as to read nonstop until it was done.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Computer

A glitch with my new computer. After writing on "EOC," I 'saved' the story and then shut down the document it was in, preparatory to a restart. Later, when I tried to open it up for the next writing episode, an information box informed me that document had been deleted by me. It was fortunate that I had it saved elsewhere, all but three pages, which I was obliged to write over again. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017


In this little story, there's a story within the story: women being strong and organized, post EOC (End Of Civilization war). I'm just on the third page. Having computer problems these days.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Woe and Problems

Not so many months ago, I bought a new desktop. It was an Acer and it was made like a laptop. At first, it was a joy to use and naturally I loved it. I had some new stories on the word processor that have never been saved elsewhere. Because the machine was new, I thought there was plenty of time for that. But I just got a text from the repairman: motherboard fried. I have to pay him $170 to rescue my files. So here is a word of wisdom to all who would like to trust modern technology: It's out to screw you. Never trust any of it for an instant. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Collection: Items Expelled

Two of my short stories have been removed from the contents of Spelville. Try as I might, I cannot steer them away from being cliches. Perhaps if I allow them to stay in time out a spell, they may decide to cooperate. Meanwhile, time to get on with a new one, having completed Walk on the Sky, yesterday.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Books published by submitting to
Beyond the Dark Water is one that you will see there. But there lots of good ones to choose from.

Monday, November 6, 2017

I haven't plotted out Walk on the Sky at all.

I don't know what will happen next until I write it. Hope I get a clue in time to tie it all together.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Took time off to recharge the batteries

I plan to put my current work into the NaNoWriMo site. My user name there is Arlo Clyde. Current tale under construction: Walk on the Sky.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sleeping With Strangers

The title of my novel, Poppy Fields of Mars, is now, Sleeping With Strangers. Still trying to get some attention to this one.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

At Seventy Five

There is a calmness and satisfaction in older people's lives. I don't think we earn it. It seems to be a natural cycle, one of the many stages of life. But it is not altogether smooth sailing. Roiling the calm are poverty and/or infirmity, for many. Until recently, I had been completely certain that I would defy at least the latter. Then I learned that I have a damaged liver and that for years have been eating, always, the very foods that I should have avoided. Recently, for days I had gotten so lethargic as to spend most of the daylight hours either asleep in the easy chair or wasting time on social media. None of my stories progressed. It seems entirely logical that I might have fallen asleep and failed to awaken. During the last five days I have changed my diet and already my energy level is up, so I have possibly bought some time. I feel better now. Much of the mental fog has lifted and I have been staying busy all day, as of yesterday.        

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Our Great White Winter

Brother Sam and I were footloose through the last years of the 60s, except we were becoming settled, in Kansas City, in 1969. We rented a home in a boarding house and got jobs and an auto. He drove a delivery car. I worked at a plant that provided caustics for soaps and the like. As it settled into winter, we had lots of ice and some snow. I recall one day watching a thermometer go to minus eight. More than once, my feet skied out from under me and my butt slammed into the sidewalk.
After work, we two introverts would go home, and play records, into the evening. As one unhappy resident put it, walking past our door, "Clang, clang, clang." We had just discovered Leonard Cohen and we had Beatles, Judy Collins, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Donovan and the Band, and The Fugs. Sam discovered James Taylor. He loved Sweet Baby James. I never liked Taylor's delivery and ignored him, except later, when he sang Fire and Rain.
I had recently been in New York City and DC, to participate in civil rights and antiwar protests. I avidly bought the LA Free Press and other anti-establishment publications and collected R Crumb comics. R Cobb had some fantastic editorial cartoons in the LA Free Press.
Lately I had been staring at blank spiral notebook pages, yearning to write. Finally, Sam said to me, "Write a story about Wild Wormwood." Inspired, I began to turn out daily stories, all instigated by Sam. "Write about Nathan Warlock." And so on. Then we began to collaborate on a magazine, which never materialized.
This period I have called Our Great White Winter, because, in the ice and snow of Kansas City, we were inside, warm, and the artistic ferment seemed wrapped in a pure, white, secure, blanket. And the seeds were planted for the future.

Friday, September 29, 2017


A Murder of Clowns
'Nother to go in the collection.
I grew up a fan of clowns. Even the unfunny ones had a gentle humor that made me want to smile. Even now I salute them for working so hard to entertain. The evil clowns of today are as separate from my childhood clowns as Jekyll from Hyde. I reject them all. Which could explain why I wrote this story.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Quote of the day:

"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear." ~ Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 library

The Bookshelf

Through these people I found my publisher for Beyond the Dark Water. I am using them to push some more writings. I saw a few agents listed. Some of the publishers are Indie and I was approached by one who wanted to "partner" publish. So, if you are interested, please be careful to fully check them out.