Sittin’ Around, Feelin’ Groovy

John Clary (left) and J.D. Edge (Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 9:33 a.m.

It seems as if life is back to normal. For instance, take now. This Is Spinal Tap is on TV. I switched over from The Andy Griffith Show (how’s that for contrast?).

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

The writing of Lightning in a Bottle both strained and inspired me for three months. From the first words of the introduction to the acceptance of the finished product, it all flowed more efficiently than what preceded it. It’s the closest I’ve been to pleased.

Tax time is over. Repeat. Tax time is over. If spring didn’t start today, then it at least flowered.

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

I’m writing this blog. Then I’m going to write some fiction. Sometime soon – and by soon, I mean, within a week — I’ll mow the lawn. Yesterday I went in our new Dollar Tree for the first time. I bought some little cookies called Palmeritas. They are a product of Spain.  Spain didn’t get much profit from that dollar.

J.D. Edge is in town. He’s our musical prodigy, a fiddle virtuoso. Last night he showed up at a rustic cabin, where music is often played, and it would be called a clubhouse if we were all kids and not grown-ups who still want to be.

I wanted to watch the Red Devils play one of several sports going on. I wanted to watch the Red Sox in Toronto, but there was some place that I’d rather be.

You know how people always yell “Free Bird”? If you try that with J.D., he’ll perform the fiddle version.

J.D. went off some years ago to learn the music business and now tours the land with Southern Drawl Band. A solo album is in the works.

So many showed up that it wasn’t like any of us performed our whole catalogue. Otherwise, it was the same as usual: folks sitting around in a far-from-perfect circle, sipping beer, trying to follow the chords and, in my case, fooling around with a harmonica.

It’s fun to have a genuine, living-making, professional musician in one’s midst, sawing away at anything and everything anyone else played.

Wow. You know this song. How could you know it? I wrote it.

This night signaled the border between dealing with seasonal stress and returning to a more relaxed, less driven, life. Rather than coursing through a novel at an elevated rate, I’m letting gravity run the stream.

Slow down. You move to fast. Got to make the morning last …

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at (

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).




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