The Official Site of Author Joseph Heywood The Official Blog of Author Joe Heywood
12 Jan

Love Letters of An Author (Or is It To, or At an Author?)

Got this note from a reader in Chesapeake VA.  Came in the website yesterday but didn’t see it until this morning.  No greeting or salutation. “My husband and I enjoyed your books but he died two years ago from lung cancer tho he had quit smoking 22 years before. It is not fun to read about a character lighting up all the time. If your protagonist is so smart why doesn’t he stop?”

My response: Dear Ms.— Thank you (I think) for your somewhat astonishing (and entirely unique) note. You seem to be confusing fiction with reality. My character is not real flesh and blood, only written to simulate same, which means weaknesses, warts, and all, just like real human beings. Sorry to have disappointed you.

I put it up on FACEBOOK to see what reactions my friends and other readers might have. Here’s what I’ve seen back so far:

Henry Kisor Unfortunately, working class Yoopers are smokers. You’re just being realistic, Joe.

Jeff Counts You’re a writer, not a sociologist or a health reformer. The job is to write the truth, not portray some politically correct version of it. Political correctness is the Islamic terrorist loose in our society.

Tom Sweet Joe, We know all Game Wardens are perfect. We have no faults…and no bad habits. lol.

Judy Parsley-Shisler Even smart people make bad decisions.

Zael Lutz Once worked at a company where the substance abuse counselor was a chain smoker, and also an M.D. Smart doesn’t help much when you are severely addicted.
 Sue Ackland Unfortunately, I haven’t the mind nor inclination to be as charitable as the previous posters. I’d just tell her to ‘kiss my ass’.
Robert Schneider I would tell her that you have discussed this with him many times but he refuses to quit smoking. You are very concerned as a dear friend about his health, but you have no control over his actions. You will be very sad if he gets lung cancer, but it will be the consequence of his own bad decision.
Henry Kisor As a former smoker I know how hard it is to quit, and feel very sorry for the uneducated folks who get hooked.

Terry Trepanier So here’s my take: The character is portrayed in a time where smoking is accepted. And especially returning from Vietnam on a combat tour, smoking is a part of his life. Now, think about this, 50 years from now someone will develop a character that eats at fast food outlets consistently and someone will say, “Why did your character eat fast food all the time, didn’t he know it was bad for him

Cindy Markham The woman probably felt instantly better once she wrote the note. I think it was just part of her healing

Steven Burton You should have wrote her and said “my pain in the ass partner from the UP used to get on my ass all the time over the same issue.” That be m

Joseph Heywood Yes, Steve, this is true. 

Rick Wylie Sorry for your loss ma’am, part of every real character is the flaws that they bring to their person. I hope you will continue to enjoy the stories of a flawed man. Just my suggestion. 

Jeff Nelson Tobacco Killed both of my parents. To define a character one needs to add flaws that we may dislike.

07 Jan

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

07 Jan

Another One Done

This morning I emailed BUCKULAR DYSTROPHY, the 10th Woods Cop novel to my agent in New York. Publication fall of 2015.  Next assignment, finish updates and new essays for a re-publication of COVERED WATERS later in 2015. The third Lute Bapcat story  is forming in my head no.  Next actual publicatio , March 1, HARDER GROUND. My second collection of short stories. It’s great to be in a productive streak but a little break is welcome too. Will probably spend some time painting this winter. Been too long, and I miss it.

07 Jan

Reading in Richland Next Up

 Next Event on my schedule,  reading at the Richland (MI) Library, Wednesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. No admission charge. See you there.

31 Dec

2014 Animal Count

As of today we had 191 days with rain and 90 with snow (235 with rain and/or snow) for 64 % of the year. The 2014 animal count follows (2013 nos in parens)


2014 ANIMAL COUNT v (2013)

 32,520 Hummingbirds (610)

800 Downy Woodpecker (323)

762 Redbelly Woodpecker (634)

726 Cliff Swallows (0)

675 Northern Flickers (123)

601 Pileated Woodpecker (342)

300 Deer (520)

270 Hairy Woodpecker

235 Turkey (258)

138 Nighthawks (0)

130 Sandhill Crane (854)

109 Dead deer (175)

68 Bald Eagle (215)

75 Pats (43)

58 Skunk (20)

57 Orioles (0)

53 Redtail hawk (101)

42 Loon (87)

36 Porcupines (51)

24 Yellowheaded Blackbirds (0)

22 Rabbits (14)

17 Coopers Hawk (39)

14 Blooeys (16)

13 Roswebreasted Grosbeaks (0)

12 Great blue heron (41)

11 Indigo Buntings (0)

10 Greater Yellowlegs (39)

10 Woodchuck (3)

 9 Miscellaneous Hawk (5)

 8 Osprey (15)

 8 Yellowbelly Sapsucker (1)

 7 Northern Harrier (9)

 6 American Redstart

 6 Cedarwaxwings (0)

 6 Bear (11)

 6 Moose (0)

 6 Snake (12)

 6 Longear Owls (0)

 5 Wolf (9)

 3 Weasel (0)

 3 Turtles (19)

 2 Fox (10)

 2 Coyote (9)

 2 Kingfisher (61)

 3 Northern Goshawk (3)

 3 Misc Owl (0)

 3 Common Yellowthroat

 2 Golden Eagle (3)

 2 Broadwing Hawk (2)

 2 American Bittern

 2 Muskrat

 2 Martin

 2 Fisher

 2 GG Owl

 2 Humoths (38)

 2 Merlin (1)

 2 Evening Grosbeaks (0)

 2 Beaver (31)

 1 American Coot (0)

 1 Fisher (2)

 1 Sharpshin Hawk (0)

 1 Sprucies (7)

 1 Raccoon (4)

 1 Purple Finch (0)

 1 Least Chipmunk )0)

 1 Mink (3)

 1 Blackburnian Warbler

 1 Carolina Wren

 1 Horned Lark


 1 Redheaded Woodpecker

 1 Spotted Sandpiper

 1 Upland Sandpper

 1 Salamander

 1 Snowy Owl (0)

 1 Peregrine Falcon (0)

 1 Redshoulder Hawk (0)

 0 Black Ducks (4)

 0 Otter (3)

 0 Possum (3)

 0 Pheasant (0)

 0 Gray Jay (6)

 0 Bard Owl (5)

 0 Great Horned Owl (1)

 0 Scarlet Tanager (0)

 0 Lesser Yellow Legs (0)

 0 Elk (0)

 0 Great Gray Owl (2)

 0 Whipoorwill (33)

 0 Beaver (31)

 0 Black Cormorant

 0 Snowshoe hare (13)

 0 Scarlet Tanager (0)

31 Dec

2014 Reads

As every year, here’s what I read in 2014. 

(1)Carolyn Ells, Michael G. Flaherty, Eds. Investigating Subjectivity: Research on Lived Experience. (1992) [NF]

(2)Welker Givson. Tough, Sweet & Stuffy: An Essay on Modern Prose Styles.(1966) [NF]

(3) Mary Ann Glendon. Rights Talk:  The Impoverishment of Political Discourse. (1991) [NF]

(4)Edward H. Crane, Intro. Speaking Freely: The Public Interest in Unfettered Speech: Essays from  Conservative Research (1995) [NF]

(5) Websters. Picturesque Word Origins. (1993) [NF]

(6)James Salter. There & Then; The Travel Writing of James Salter. (2005) [NF]

(7) Greg Grandin. Fordlandia.(2009) [NF]

(8) Jane Emery. Rose Macaulay: A Writer’s Life (1991) [NF]

(9) Tad Tuleja. Foreignisms. (1989) [NF]

(10) Marshall McLuhan. The Gutenberg Galaxy. (1962) [NF]

(11) Ford Madox Ford. Parade’s End (1924-25-26-28)

(12) Richard Davenport-Hines, Ed. Hugh Trevor-Roper: The Wartime Journals.(2012) [NF]

(13) Hugh Trevor-Roper. The Letters of Mercurius. (1970) [NF]

(14) Adam Sisman. An Honourable Englishman: The Life of Hugh Trevor-Roper. (2010) [NF]

(15) E.B. White. Essays of e.b. white. (1977) [NF]

(16) Phillip Lopate. Portrait Inside My Head (2013) [NF]

(17) George Packer. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. (2013) [NF]

(18) Elizabeth Raum. The Aztec Empire. (2013) [NF][Juvie]

(19) Allison Lassieur. The Battle of Bull Run (2009) [NF]

(20) Allison Lassieur. The Middle Ages. (2010) [NF]

(21) Scott Andrew Selby. A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin: The Chilling True Story of the S-Bahn Murderer. (2014) [NF]

(22)Amir D. Aczel. The Jesuit& the Skull: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man. (2007) [NF]

(23) Robert M. Gates. Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War. (2014) [NF]

(24) John Dos Passos. Three Soldiers (1921) [NF]

(25) Marcel Proust. On Art and Literature. (1954) [NF]

(26) Hilton Als. White Girls (2013) [NF]

(27) Rimbaud. Illuminations and Other Prose Poems (1946) [NF]

(28) Paul D. Staudohar. Baseball’s Best Short Stories (1995) [NF]

(29) Michel de Montaigne. The Complete Essays. (1994/1568) [NF]

(30)  Diane Osen. Ed. The Book That Changed My Life: Interviews withi National Book Award Winners and Finalists (2002) [NF]

(31) Jincy Willett. Winner of the National Book Award (2003) [NF]

(32) Edmund White. Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel. (2008) [NF]

(33) Logan Pearsall Smith. Unforgotten Years (1939) [NF]

(34) Stillman Drake, Trans. Discoveries and Opinions of Gallileo (1957/1610-13-15-23) [NF]

(35) Ann Roiphe. Art and Madness: A Memoir of Lust Without Reason (2011) [NF]

(36) Grace Tiffany. Paint. (2013) [NF]

(37) James McBride. The Good Lord Bird. (2013) [NF]

(38) Jim Harrison. Brown Dog. (2013) [NF]

(39) John H. Ritter. The Boy Who Saved Baseball. (2005) [NF]

(40) Liza Picard. Elizabeth’s London (2003) [NF]

(41) Neil MacGregor. Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of An Era in Twenty Objects (2012) [NF]

(42) Gail Kern Paster, Intro. Shakespeare: The Essential Guide to the Life and Workds of the Bard (2007) [NF]

(43) Neil MacGregor. Shakespeare’s Restless World: An Unexpected History in Twenty Objects (2013) [NF]

(44) Emile Zola. The Ladies’ Paradise (2008) [NF]

(45) Maxine Hong Kingston. Tripmaster Monkey: His Face Book (1987)

(46) Ian Mortimer. The Time Traveler’s Guide: Elizabethan England (2012) [NF]

(47) Paul Dickson. Words from the White House (2013) [NF]

(48) John Smolens. My One and Only Bomb Shelter (2000) [NF]

(49) Albert Camus. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays (1955) [NF]

(50) Jim Nye. After Shock: Poems and Prose from the Vietnam War (1991) [NF]

(51) Norman F. Cantor. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death & the World It Made (2001) [NF]

(52) Leo Damrosch. Jonathon Swift: His Life and His World. (2013) [NF]

(53) George Simenon. Maigret in Holland. (1940)

(54) William Benzon. Beethoven’s Anvil. (2001) [NF]

(55) Robert Mason Lee. Death and Deliverance: The True Story of an Airplane Crash at the North Pole. (1993) [NF]

(56) Jim Wallis. God’s Politics: A New Vision for Faith and Politics in America. (2005) [NF]

(57) Neal Stephenson. Snow Crash. (1992)

(58) Willa Cather. One of Ours (2008)

(59) Jamesd Dale Davidson & Lord William Rees-Moog. The Sovereign Individual: How To Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State.(1997) [NF]

(60) Rory Muir. Wellington: The Path To Victory, 1789-1814. (2013)[NF]

(61) Joseph Heywood. Harder Ground: Stories From the Distaff Planet. (2014) [SS/draft]

(62) John Sugden. Nelson: The Sword of Albion. (2012) [NF]

(63) Neal Stephenson. Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing. (2012) [NF]

(64) Neal Stephenson. In The Beginning Was the Command Line. (1999) [NF]

(65) Neal Stephenson. Reamde. (2011)

(66) Joseph Heywood. Man in Sky Judging Sin  (2008) [Draft]

(67) Phil Klay. Redeployment. (2014) [NF]

(68) Peter Geye. The Lighthouse Road.

(69) Joseph Heywood. Harder Ground. [MS] [SS]

(70) S. Andrew Swann. Zimmerman’s Algorithm (2000)

(71) Lydia Davies. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. (2009) [SS]

(72) Joseph Heywood. Brown Ball. [MS]

(73) Leo Tolstoy. The Death of Ivan Illyich,(1886) (1981)

(74) Dorothy Gardiner, Kathrine Sorely Walker, Eds. Raymond Chandler Speaking.[NF]

(75) Burton Bernstein. Thurber: A Biography. (1975) [NF]

(76) Jim Fisher, Ed. The Writer’s Quote Book: Authors on Creativity, Craft, and the Writing Life. (2006) [NF]

(77) Arthur King Peters, Pref. Jean Cocteau and the French Scene. (1984) [NF]

(78) Paul Horgan. Things As They Are. (1951) [NF]

(79) Joseph Heywood. Brown Ball. (2014) [MS]

(80) Paul Horgan.A Certain Climate: Essays In History, Arts, And Letters. (1988) [NF]

(81) Paul Horgan. Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History. (1984) [NF]

(82) Robert L. Willett. Russian Sideshow: America’s Undeclared War, 1918-1920. (2003) [NF]

(83) Christopher Clark. The Sleepwalkers.

(84) Dennis Gordon. Quartered in Hell, ANREF 1918-1919. (1982) [NF]

(85) Hilary Hemingwaqy & Jeffry P. Lindsay. Hunting With Hemingway. (2000) [NF]

(86) Denis Brian. The True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Hemingway By Those Who Knew          Him. (1988) [NF]

(87) Tarashea Nesbit. The Wives of Los Alamos.

(88) Edvard Raqdzinsky. The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II. (1992) [NF]

(89) David Abrams. Fobbit. (2012)

(90) Stephen Greenblatt. The Swerve: How The World Became Modern.(2011) [NF]

(91) Lorrie Moore. Bark. (2014) [SS]

(92) C.J.Box. Stone Cold. (2014)

(93) Robert Mason Lee.Death and Deliverance: The True Story of An Airplane Crash at the North Pole. (1992)[NF]

(94) Robert Thurber. The Last Flower: A Parable in Pictures. (1939) (2007)

(95) Joseph Heywood. Mountains of the Misbegotten. (MS)

(96) Christopher Fowler. The Invisible Code. (2013)

(97) Pete Hamill. A Drinking Life: A Memoir. (1994) [NF]

(98) Hannah Arendt. The Last Interview, And Other Conversations. (1965) [NF]

(99) Tom Piazza. My Cold War: A Novel. (2003)

(100) R.C. Collingwood. The Idea of History. (1946) [NF]

(101) Sharyn McCrumb. Bimbos of the Death Sun. (1988)

(102) Lorin Stein and Sadie Stein, Eds. Object Lessons: The Art of the Short Story.(2012) [SS]

(103) Mark Ford. Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams. (2000) [NF]

(104) Stephen Jay Gould. Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections on Natural History. (1983) [NF]

(105) Lawrence Grobel. Conversations With Capote. (1985)[NF]

(106) Sharyn McCrumb. If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O. (1990)

(107) Sherman Alexie. Flight. (2007)

(108) Cynthia Griffin Wolff. Emily Dickinson. (1986) [NF]

(109) Robert Harris. An Officer and a Spy.

(110) Catherine Drinker Bowen. Francis Bacon: Temper of a Man. (1963) [NF]

(111) David W. Wagner.Death in the Dolomites. (2014)

(112) Hillary L. Chute. Outside the Box. Interviews With Contemporary Cartoonists. (2014)[NF]

(113) Charles P. Pierce. Idiot America: How Stupidity Became A Virtue in the Land of the Free. (2009) [NF]

(114) William S. McFeely. Portrait: The Life of Thomas Eakins. (2007) [NF]

(115)Joseph Heywood. Mountains of the Misbegotten. (Proofs) (2015)

(116) Ray Bradbury.Fahrenheit 451. (1951)

(117) Edvard Radzinsky. The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II. (1992) [NF]

(118) Capt. Joel R. Moore, Lt Harry H. Meade, and Lt. Lewis E. Johns.  History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviks: US Military Intervention in Soviet
Russia, 1918-1919. (1920) [NF]

(119) Geroge F. Kennan. Sketches From A Life. (1989) [NF]

(120) Stephen Greenblatt. Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. (1980) [NF]

(121) Jon Young. What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World. (2012) [NF]

(122) George F. Kennan. Russia Leaves the War.(1956) [NF]

(123) Sheila Burnford. The Fields of Noon. (1961) [NF]

(124) Stefan Fatsis. Word Freak: Heatbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players.(2001) [NF]

(125) Neil Gainman. Anansi Boys. (2005) [NF]

(126) Godfrey J.Anderson. A Michigan Polar Bear Confronts the Bolsheviks: A War Memoir. (2010) [NF]

(127) R.G. Collingwood. The Principles of Art. (1938) [NF]

(128) John D. Stevens. From the Back of a Foxhole: Black Correspondents in World War Two. (1966) [NF]

(129) Grace Tiffany. My Father Had a Daughter.(2003)

(130) Col Robert L. Smalsewr, USA. The Siberian Expedition, 1918-1920. “An Early Option Other Than War. (1994) [NF]

(131) Richard Goldhurst. The Midnight War: The American Intervention in Russia, 1918-1920. (1978) [NF]

(132) Philip Roth. The Plot Against America. (2004)

(133) Ignacio de Loyola Brandao. Teeth Under The Sun. (1976)

(134) Clifford Kinvig. Churchill’s Crusade: The British Invastion of Russia, 1918-1920. (2006) [NF]

(135) Paula Young Lee. Deer Hunting in Paris: A Memoir of God, Guns, and Game Meat. (2013) [NF]

(136) J.D. Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye. (1951)

(137) George F. Kennan. The Decision to Intervene. (1958) [NF]

(138) Neil Gaiman. Smoke and Mirrors. (1998) [SS]

(139) George F.Kennan. Tent Life in Siberia: An Incredible Account of Siberian Adventure,Travel and Survival. (2007) [NF]

(140) Isaac Asimov. In Memory Yet Green: Isaac Asimov, 1920-1954. (19790 [NF]

(141) Charles Kuralt. A Life On The Road. (1990) [NF]

(142) Carol Brightman.Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World. (1992) [NF]

(143) Hannah Arendt. The Origins of Totalitarianism. (1950) [NF]

(144) Rick Atkinson.  The Guns At Last Light, the War in Western Europe, 1944-1945. (2013) [NF]

(145) Mary McCarthy. The Stones of Florence. (1956) [NF]

(146) Mary McCarthy. Venice Observed. (1956) [NF]

(147) Bernard B. Fall. Street Without Joy:The French Debacle in Indochina. (1961) [NF]

(148) Cynthia Owen Phillip. Rhinecliff: A Hudson River History: The Tangle Tale of Rhinebeck’s Wataerfront. (2008) [NF]

(149) Mary McCarthy. On the Contrary. (1961) [NF]

(150) Frances Fitzgerald. Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. (1972) [NF]

(151) Bernard B. Fall. Hell in a Very Small Village: The Seige of Dien Bien Phu. (1966). [NF]

(152) Mary McCarthy. The Writing on the Wall, And Other Literary Essays. (1962) [NF]

(153) Lucinga Gosling. Brushes & Bayonets: Cartoons, Sketches and Paintings of World War I. (2008) [NF]

(154) Lyndsay Faye.  The Gods of Gotham. (2012)

(155) Marja Mills. The Mockingbird Next Door. (2014) [NF]

(156) Mary McCarthy. Ideas and the Novel. (1980) [NF]

(157) Lindsay Faye. Seven For A Secret. (2013)

(158) Thomas Babington MacCauley. Lays of Ancient Rome. (1842) (NF]

(159) Ingrid D. Rowland. From Pompeii. (2014) [NF]

(160) Charles Lamb. Selected Prose. (1985) [NF]

(161) Thomas P. Macaulay. Critical and Historical Essays. (1850/2006) [NF]

(162) Douglas Brinkley, Ed. The Reagan Diaries. (2007) [NF]

(163) B.G. Burkell and Glenna Whitley. Stolen Valor. (1998) [NF]

(164) Ann Scott Tyson. American Spartan. (2014) [NF]

(165) Roy Lamson & Hallett Smith. The Golden Hind: An Anthology of Elizabethan Prose & Poetry. (1942) [NF]

(166) Pat Dennis, Ed. Who Died in Here? (2004) [SS]

(167) C.J. Box. Shots Fired. (2014) [SS]

(168) Beth Macy. Factory Man. (2014)

(169) William Hjortsberg. Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan. (2012) [NF]

(170) Donna Tartt. The Goldfinch. (2013)

(171) Evgeny Morozov. To Save Everything, Click Here. (2013) [NF]

(172) James Wood. How Fiction Works. (2008) [NF]

(173) V.S.Pritchett. The Living Novel & Later Appreciations. (1947) [NF]

(174)Remni Browne & Dave King. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. (2004) [NF]

(175)Charles Baxter. Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction. (1997) [NF]

(176)James Wood. The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel (2004) [NF]

(177) John F.Barber. Richard Brautigan: Essays on the Writings and Life (2007) [NF}

(179) Nancy Farm Mannikko, Ed. Memories and More: An Informal History of Herman, Michigan. (2001) [NF]

(180) Richard Brautigan. In Watermelon Sugar. (1968)

(181) Richard Brautigan. Loading Mercury With A Pitchfork (1971) [P]

(182) Richard Brautigan. Rommel Drives Deep Into Egypt. (1970) [P]

(183) Ricahrd Brautigan. Revenge of the Lawn: Stories, 1962-1970. (1971) [SS]

(184) Richard Brautigan. Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942. (1977)

(185) Philip F. Gura. Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel (2013) [NF]

(186) Richard Brautigan. An Unfortunate Woman. (2000)

(187) Alan K. Hoagland. Mine Towns. (2010) [NF]

(188) Charles R. “Butch”Farabee Jr. National Park Ranger: And American Icon. (2003) [NF]

(189) James Wood. The Fun Stuff. (2012) [NF]

(190) Granta Issue. American Wild. (Summer 2014)

(191) Douglas Bauer. The Stuff of Fiction: Advice on Craft. (2000/2006) [NF]

(192) Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard. Killing Jesus: A History. (2013) [NF]

(193) Susan Jacoby. Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge. (1983) [NF]

(194) Francine Prose. Reading Like A Writer. (2007) [NF]

(195) E.M.Forster. Aspects of the Novel. (1927) [NF]

(196) Thomas C. Foster. How To Read Literature Like A Professor. (2003) [NF]

(197) Matsuo Basho. Basho: The Complete Haiku. (2008) [P]

(198) Thomas McGuane. Nothing But Blue Skies. (1992)

(199) Thomas McGuane. Gallatin Canyon. (2006) [SS]

(200) Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian. My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Colleted Poetry of Jack Spicer. (2008) [P]

(201) Robert Claiborne. Our Marvelous Native Tongue: The Life and Time of the English Language. (1983) [NF]

(202) Alexander Woollcott. While Rome Burns (1934) [NF]

(203) Peter Gizzi, Ed. The House That Jack Built: The Colleted Lectures of Jack Spicer. (1998) [NF]

(204) David Landis Barnhill, Intro, Ed. Basho’s Journey: The Literary Prose of Matsuo Basho. (2005) [NF]

(205) Paul Ebendamp, Ed. The Etiquette of Freedom, Gary Snyder, Jim Harrison and the Practice of the Wild. (2010) [NF]

(206) Richard Brautigan. The Tokyo-Montana Express. (1980)

(207) Peter Brooks. Reading For the Plot:Design and Intention in Narrative. (1984) [NF]

(208) Dylan Thomas. The Collected Stories. (1986) [SS]

(209) Peter Brooks. The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama and the Mode of Excess. (1976) [NF]

(210) Charles Cumming. A Spy By Nature. (2001)

(211) George Orwell. A Collection of Essays. (1946) [NF]

(212) Gehard Boch and Blaine Hill, Eds. Conversations With Grace Paley. (1997) [NF]

(213) John Gardner. The Life and Times of Chaucer (1977) [NF]

(214) Tom Robbins. Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of An Imaginative Life. (2014) [NF]

(215) Doris Kearns Goodwin. The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, Wm Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism. (2013) [NF]

(216) Simon Winchester. The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible.   (2013) [NF]

(217) Grace Paley. The Collected Stories. (1994) [NF]

(218) Grace Paley. Enormous Changes At The Last Minute. (1974) [SS]

(219) Denise Kiernan. The Girls of Atom City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped    Win World War II. (2013) [NF]

(220) Mary Doria Russell. The Sparrow. (1976)

(221) Christopher Hutchins. Mortality. (2014) [NF]

(222) Peter Mendelsund. What We See When We Read. (2014) [NF]

(223) Robert Shepard and James Thomas. Sudden Fiction (Continued). (1996) [SS]

(224) Hannah Pittard. The Fates Will Find Their Way. (2011)

(225) Laura Claridge. Norman Rockwell: A Life. (2001) [NF]

(226) Janet Malcolm. Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers. (2013) [NF]

(227) Philip Caputo. In the Shadows of Morning: Essays on Wild Lands, Wild Waters, and a Few Untamed People.(2014) [NF]

(228) Charles Cumming. The Hidden Man. (2003)

(229) Elizabeth Wein. Code Name Verity. (2012)

(230) Paul Collins. Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living. (2014) [NF]

(231) Edwin Way Teale. Autumn Across America. (1956) [NF]

(232) Elizabeth Wein. Rose Under Fire (2013)

(233) Richard Kellogg. Wall of Silver. (2004) [NF]

(234) Elizabeth Wein. The Sunbird. (2004)

(235) Joan Dunning. The Loon: Voice of the Wilderness. (1985) [NF]

(236) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo. Cop Killer. (1975)

(237) Edwin Way Teale. The Lost Woods. (1945) [NF]

(238) Edwin Way Teale. A Naturalist Buys An Old Farm. (1974) [NF]

(239) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo.The Fire Engine That Disappeared. (1970)

(240) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo. The Man Who Went Up in Smoke. (1969)

(241) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo.Murder At The Savoy. (1971)

(242) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo.The Man on The Balcony. (1968)

(243) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo. The Laughing Policeman. (1970)

(244) George Kennan. A Russian Comedy of Errors. (1923) [NF}

(245) T.W. Charleton. The Art of Fishing. A Poem. (1819) [P]

(246) Keith Abbott. Downstream of Trout Fishing In America. (1989) [NF]

(247) Keith Abbott, Intro. Richard Brautigan: The Edna Webster Collection of    Undiscovered Writings. (1999)

(248) Louise Penny. The Long Way Home. (2014)

(249) Brian Turner. My Life As A Foreign Country: A Memoir. (2014) [NF]

(250) Bernard Du Boucheron. The Voyage of the Short Serpent. (2008)

(251) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo. Roseanna. (1967)

(252) Joseph Heywood. Harder Ground. (2015) [SS-Page Proofs]

(253) Joseph Heywood. Buckular Dystrophy. (MS)

(256) G.R. Kastys. Petroskey: A Leelanau Portrait (2008) [NF]

(257) Park Homan. Cristopher Marlow: Poet & Spy (2005) [NF]

(258) James Shapiro. A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599. [2005] [NF]

(259) Bryan Gruley. The Hanging Tree. [2010]

(260) Linda Mugglestone. Lost For Words: The Hidden History of the Oxford English Dictionary. [2005] [NF]

(261) Patti Polk. Collecting Agates and Jaspers of North America. [2013] [NF]

(262) John McPhee. Encounters With the Archdruid. [1971] [NF]

(263) Sigurd F. Olson. Runes of the North. [1964] [NF]

(264) David Quammen. Wild Thoughts From Wild Places. [1998] [NF]

(265) Atwood Manley and Margaret Manley Mangum. Frederic Remington and the North Country: An informal Biography of the Artist of the Old West. [1988] [NF]

(266) Betsy Burton. The King’s English:Adventures of an Independent Bookseller [2005]          


(267) Warren Chappell. A Short History of The Printed Word. (1970) [NF]

(268) L. David Mech. The Wolf. (1970) [NF]

(270) Jerry Dennis. A Daybreak Journal. (2014) [P]

(271) Joseph Heywood. Harder Ground (2015) [SS-Proofs]

(272) Toshiko Kobayashi. Insight Track (2014) [NF]

(273) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo. The Terrorists. (1976)

(274) Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo. The Abominable Man. (1972)

(275) Theodosius Dobzhansky. Mankind Evolving: The Evolution of the Human Species.   (1962) [NF]

(276) Joseph Heywood. Buckular Dystrophy.[Final Draft]


30 Dec


I’ve finished clean draft of BUCKULAR DYSTROPHY  (Woods Cop #10) and now Lonnie is reading the manuscript, the normal progression.  One day from the end of the year it is time to play with language and ideas outside any restraints. There  is rhythm in language even in newspaper obituary headlines. You often need to read language aloud to appreciate the cadence and rhythms and sheer joy of expression.

Once it was $cores from ballgame$, voting outcome$, or fi$hing report$ from around the $tate but now we in our dotage read the obit$ (if we can find an actual new$paper). For year$ I’ve collected obit$ of notable$, thinking $omeday I’d piddle with all of thi$ and create $ome $ort of purple$h pro$e thing. $o, let u$ begin with some prelim$, $traight from the headline$:

($elect Any name You Want for the Obit you want to write) and $tart cataloging…Who Made Hou$ecalls to the Vulnerable, la$t of a college football breed, journali$t in Jeru$alem and author, Pacific war $ubmariner, Navajo word-warrior, $wiss chemi$t who won the Nobel, prolific my$tery writer, handicapped fire buff, pa$$enger on the Titanic (Aboard the La$t Lifeboat), Bubble Gum inventor, a key $oviet defector, inventor with eye$ on Future (a hor$e that ran regularly and predictably in pack-back$ at $anta Anita but always$ filled the field and parlay card$), thi$ per$on $o accompli$hed it defie$ des$cription, nevermind (nevermore?)  economy, he being a $mall but $killed Ranger (on ice, not in park$, though he no doubt played on pond$ in hi$ Quebecoi$ youthhood), rocketry pioneer, arti$t who taught cele$tial navigation (indeed some art is one and same, and need we add Twinkle, Twinkle or Fir$t $tar $eenTonight?), $oldier, $cholar, mini$ter, rebel (thi$ $ounds like a John Le Carre title, not Y.A.), we are confounded here by $hallow paper head$ over deep, long live$, gold miner’$ daughter, conqueror of Evere$t (the mountain, not the cemetery), Lincoln’$ la$t kin, la$t $kin in the $kein one might $ay, and on Chri$tma$ Eve, talk genetic lo$er-bummer$ in timing, $talag 17 $urvivor, de$igner of A-bomb trigger (a new character candidate for Big Bang Theory one think$), lover of the high life, he held many job$ (OTBE, indeed), succe$$ful and colorful NA$CAR pioneer, Bataan Death march $urvivor, inventor of DAY GLO paint (no tripper him$elf, he paved the way for L$Dietie$), re$pected by All John Hiigh$cccaampp All to be preci$e, an ice cream expert,  ver$atile actor-comedian, $elf-$tyled king of the Gyp$ie$ verywhere (except perhaps$ for the next de$tination,  this wi$ely left un$pecified in the obit), fought Team$ter$ for reform (not the $chool),champion of $oviet Jew$ (exact event unnoted), architect of witty design$, fighter for native fi$hing right$, danger-loving e$cape arti$t (one pre$ume$ he fell one $hort of perfection), drawn to Forbidden Dateline$, helped launch PLAYBOY, teller of $keleton’$ tale$, left acting to aid Ethiopian$, maker of photographic narrative$, out$poken medical editor, expire$ of $peaking out (one wonder$?). All Die alone, most unknown, even tho$e feted in the shallow water$ of paid obituarite$.


23 Dec

The Wolf Who Saved the Deer

My publisher has asked me to “update, COVERED WATERS: TEMPESTS OF A NOMADIC TROUTER. This will go to press sometime in 2015. The piece that follows will be part of it. This is the roughest of drafts, but gets the message across.

Flashback to sometime before 1965 and  my friend and teammate Bill Haeger and I have trooped north to hunt rabbits. We are staying  at his family  cottage on the north end of Torch Lake, and hunting a swamp between Torch and Lake Michigan, a nasty tangle of jungle home to a large population of rabbits. This is a yearly winter trek for us.

All morning we took turns  beagling, one man bouncing on piles of brush, the other posting to await runners. We were serious pot hunters to be sure, and looking forward to frying rabbit in a pan, and to some cold beer to wash it down.

            Bill and I played on the same MSU lacrosse team line as forwards (attackmen), with our pal Dave Wagner.  Wags was our finesse man.  In our senior year the three of us were tri-captains. Bill and I were then both 6-4 and in the range of 210-230 pounds, solid as raw steaks.  We were gritty, sandy people and made this trek every winter from East Lansing, just the two of us.

            We played the same style of game, one with an excess of aggression and a modicum of touch, both engaging the opposition with a kind of steely no-quit determination that isn’t easily described to those who don’t have it in their marrow. During the season we were inseparable, together constantly, and in the off-season as well, often with beers in hand, and Coral Gables bar bands blasting in the background.

            It was a “Basho kind of day”: Winter solitude/in a world of one color/the sound of wind. We have just pounded our way through the deep swamp and thigh-deep snow. We wore boots, but not snowshoes. Too much climbing around and over brushpiles for les raquettes.  They were for other times and other places. It was nearing noon (or maybe it wasn’t). The day was sludge-gray and we were within sight of Lake Michigan and winter swells heaving relentlessly onto shore, stacking up ice castles.

            “Something’s out there,” Bill said, squinting at the lake. He always squinted, helmet on or helmet off.

            I looked and saw it, a speck of dark in the swells, a log perhaps?

            “It’s a deer!” Bill whispered tensely.

            We immediately headed for the ice shelf and sure enough there we saw a doe riding the swells. We watched the wave action bring her to the undercut shelf, suck her down into the undertow, and spit her back to the lake. How this would end seemed clear, the only question how long would take. We could see that she was oh-so-close to being able to flop up onto land again, but we could also see her tank was almost empty, and the big lake had no intention of letting go of her.

            No discussions took place. There was no need. We were friends and teammates, and just as we were on the playing field, we instinctively know what each other was thinking, and likely to do next.  We looked hard at the ice shelf. Bill said, “I  can reach her.” Not I think I can, but I can, simply stated, intent born of the gut and ironclad will. That’s Bill.

            He got down on his belly and crawled forward. When he got to the edge, he  stretched his long arms over the razory lip of the  shelf and waited as the deer rode toward us. I got down, and took  hold of his boots, getting one under each of my arms, the anchor in this play. There we lay in silence,  college boys, hearing only the cold thunderclap  of waves up and down the beach and feeling the fine spray in the air, coating us. If we stayed too long or fell in, we knew we would be frozen into the beach until spring breakup.

            My friend made a stab but missed. The deer went under again, pushed by waves and gravity down the sloped shelf beneath us. We waited and saw her pop up again about thirty yards out. She immediately begins again to swim toward shore.  When she rises on the next wave — a millisecond before she will be flung under again, Bill grabbed her ears and her neck and head and with one mighty heave jerked her to his right onto the ledge and his adrenaline heaved her to skid on her side past me. I pulled Bill back, and we get up, both of us grinning.  We looked at the doe, who was stunned and not ready to get up. We had done all we could do.

            He looked at me with his stupid grin, said, “I don’t think we have a future in the circus.”

            We did not linger out on the ice.  Clearly the deer was in a place that calved and we did not want to repeat her bad luck. Our clothes were drenched from the snow and slush, and the spray and water puddles on the ice itself. We were, after the adrenaline dump,  wet and cold and both know hypothermia could hit fast, with a very negative outcome.

Our packs and shotguns were left on the edge of the swamp during the rescue effort.

We marched back to the swamp edge,  and immediately began hunting for dry firewood from deep under the rabbit-piles where some dryness was sustained. After a while, we gathered enough to make a fire, and with some fire starter from our packs and some dry moss pulled from a spruce, we made fire.        

We are focused only on getting dry and warm. We are too far from our vehicle to hike out. We needed to get warm and dry first and quickly. The fire began small, buttook, and we fed it little by little, until it got going on its own, gulping the seashore air.

            It is about this time that we noticed the doe was at the fire with us, watching our every move. She stood between us as we took off wet wool coats and wool sweaters, put them on sticks, and jury-rigged them close to the fire. We are there perhaps an hour, can’t say how long for sure now, because we weren’t paying attention to time, then and all the while our doe remained with us, looking from him to me, to the fire, and occasionally we saw her glance out at the rollers that surely would have killed her.

            When we were finally warmed enough to think clearly and the fire had dried the wool coats a little, we donned our gear, grabbed our shotguns, slid into our packs, and started hiking east, paying no heed to rabbits.

The doe walked beside us all the way out to the Corvair and we kept trying to shoo her away , but she refused and stayed with us.   We opened the trunk and stashed our packs and unloaded guns, and tried again to shoo her away from the road, but she still refused to move and our last look was that doe standing where the car had been, watching us.

We know deer are not human, but in a strange moment like this had been, you had to wonder what was going through her mind.

            This is one of those things you seldom talk about. I hadn’t even thought about it until MSU had the 50th anniversary of the lacrosse program and we all came from all around the country to be together again as a team and friends and Sandy Haeger (Bill’s wife) said something about the deer and Bill mumbled “nobody would believe it,” or something along that line and the story went untold. I think.

            We took no lives that day in the swamp and had a lapin-less dinner of eggs and bacon and toast, or something.  And beer, of course.

            Today is the day before Christmas Eve Day, 2014. I was standing outside this morning in a cold icy mist and this memory came flooding back to me. My friend Bill Haeger graduated from MSU in 1965, as did Wags and I. Bill served in the Army and afterwards joined the automotive industry, where he rose to be a senior executive with Cadillac. He married his college sweetheart, Sandy, and they are still married, more than a half century later. Wags joined the Foreign Service and made a career of it, also marrying his college sweetheart Mary and they too are still together and he, like me is now a novelist.

            The heading on this story may seem confusing until you know that Bill Haeger was known by his friends and teammates  throughout our college years as Wolfman. As a lacrosse line we were The Wolf, The Wags, and the Wood.

Those who’ve never had the challenge, privilege, and intense pleasure of joining that dance of ferocity and compassion that was and is lacrosse (and later that of flying) will never quite understand the unbreakable bonds that are forged, bonds that endure over time.

Shakespeare knew.  

It’s corny, but I love those guys from those beat-up playing fields, and the crewmates I flew with in another time and place. But flying is a story for later in this recounting, and this tale is now almost ended.

I am reminded again of Matsuo Basho, that sage poet of Seventeenth Century Japan. He was (as I am) the son of a samurai. Wrote Basho, “A man infirm/ with age, slowly sucks/ A fish bone.” We are all of us from that long-ago time, now infirm with age.

 The fishbone is memory. 

23 Dec

Some Thoughts on the Process of Personal Choice

Tonight I finished my next to last edit of the draft of BUCKULAR DYSTROPHY.  Next up, type in the changes and tweaks and reread it one more time, and shoot it off to my agent before the New Year comes in.

I have been reading various things (as a break from revising) and ran across something from David Quammen in WILD THOUGHTS FROM WILD PLACES. Quammen gives us the following look at personal values and all that  endless subject entails. He doesn’t state explicitly that these are his values. I read this more  of an exemplar of what a personal testament might look like.

He writes, “Personal ethics involves the drawing of lines. I will go as far as this boundary, here, but I will not go beyond. I will defend myself against personal menace, but only pacifically. I will fight if attacked, but I will not kill. I will kill if my family is threatened, but I won’t aggress. I will squash an earwig in the kitchen but not a beetle in the yard. I will eat plants, but not animals. I will eat tuna but not dolphin. I will eat goat, but not pig, fruit but not vegetables. I’m a Jainist, I will harm no living thing – except when I breathe or walk down the street, and then only unintentionally. There’s a fuddling welter of such crisscrossing strictures, each observed by its own faction of conscientious people. We all draw lines in different places, at different angles, and for different reasons, each line’s position reflecting a mix of individualized factors that include sensibility, emotion, experience, and taste (both in the broad and narrow senses of that word), as well as sheer righteous logic. Moral philosophy, unfortunately, is not one of the mathematical sciences.”

I don’t share many of Mr. Quammen’s beliefs, but I greatly admire how he lays them out, and more importantly how he has come to them thoughtfully and largely on his own. How we each come to our own personal ethics is a sum of all the factors that influence our life choices.  Quammen lays this out for us, and more to the point seems to describe the real world in which we have to find our own place and comfort level among an amazing array of  increasingly expanding  choices. Not everyone will choose what we choose.  So be it. That’s a pretty good definition of freedom and as long as choices fall within the definition of the law,  they should be honored as  rightful personal choices people are free to make.

Life ain’t an easy hike. Never has been, and never will be.  It is what it is and we each have to do our best to cope with what is before us.


22 Dec

A Good Man Gone From Us

My Uncle Harry died Dec. 18.

Harry Heywood

Harry B. Heywood

RHINECLIFF – Harry B. Heywood, 85, a resident of Rhinecliff since 1931, passed away at his home on Thursday, December 18, 2014.

Born in Elizabeth, NY on August 11, 1929, he was the son of Harry and Mary (Hamill) Heywood .

Harry graduated from Rhinebeck Central Schools and served in the U.S. Navy from 1949-1952; he was a graduate of the U.S. Naval School of Salvage Divers in 1951.

On October 18, 1951, he married Anne Cardell; together they have three children, Donald C. (Nancy) Heywood of Rhinebeck, Robert A. Heywood of Red Hook, and Sharon (Tony) DiBenedetto of Stewartsville, NJ.

Harry was an Excavating Contractor and the owner of Heywood Brothers, Inc for 35 years.

An active member of the Rhinecliff and Rhinebeck communities, Harry was a member of several local organizations. He was Life Member of the Rhinecliff Fire Department and Commissioner of the Rhinecliff Fire District. He was also a former member of the Neighbors Rod and Gun Club as well as a Charter Member of theBPOE #2022, Red Hook. Harry was a Communicant and former Trustee of the Good Shepherd /St. Joseph’s Parishes in Rhinebeck and Rhinecliff. Harry was also an active member in the American Legion Montgomery Post #429 in Rhinebeck.

In addition to his wife and children, Harry is survived by a brother, Roger W. (Phyllis) Heywood of Rhinebeck; grandchildren Sarah C., Rachel C., and Nicholas A. DiBenedetto; nieces Kerry Lynne Wery Hoeft, Sandra Heywood DiMarco, and Lori Heywood; nephews Joseph, James, and Edwin Heywood as well as several grandnieces and grandnephews.

Harry was predeceased by his parents, brothers, Edwin and Joseph Heywood and sisters, Marian Heywood Wery and Clara Heywood.

Calling hours are Sunday December, 21, 2014 from 4 to 7 PM at the Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, 51 W. Market St., Rhinebeck. Members of the American Legion will conduct services at 6 PM and the Rhinecliff Fire Department will conduct a service at 6:30 PM .

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, December 22, 2014, at 10:30 AM at St. Joseph’s Church, Rhinecliff. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

Memorial Donations in honor of Harry may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Attn: Tribute Department, PO Box 1000 Dept 142, Memphis, TN 38148 or to Feed the Children, PO Box 36, Oklahoma City, OK 73101.

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