Little Things Mean … a Little

I chose this sketch because it reminds me that I haven’t played my song “Scuppernongs and Muscadines” lately. (Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, May 4, 2017, 9:49 a.m.

The world has changed in significant ways across the span of my lifetime.

Today I’ve decided to write about the insignificant ways. Significance is too intimidating for this day.

By Monte Dutton

No one whose cell has service needs “whatever happened to …?” stories anymore. Just yesterday I looked up Claude Osteen. He is, among other things, 77 years old. Among others I looked up were Marion Davies, Norma Shearer, and the 2001 movie The Cat’s Meow. Davies and Shearer are quite a bit less alive than the oft-overlooked southpaw.

The word “myriad” has changed from mostly a noun to mostly a verb. Once it was “a myriad of options.” Now it is “myriad options,” which is an improvement in the name of brevity on first look, as a preposition can be tossed aside, but “myriad” as a noun makes “options,” uh, optional.

Pets are worshiped where once they were merely beloved.

Many are so busy writing that they have no time to read. Once this might have been deemed counterproductive. The craft of writing slowly deteriorates because it has no underpinnings.

The seeming ignorance of history is more correlated to lack of interest than absence of teaching. A widespread belief is that nothing counts if the individual hasn’t experienced it. No one played basketball before LeBron James. No one played Longfellow Deeds before Adam Sandler.

I like sports. I like politics. I don’t like people who treat politics as if it were sports. It’s not.

Jesus did not get mean. Nor did His teachings. It only seems that way based on the way They are selectively disseminated.

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

I exist in the way of history. I write more and more for people who read less and less. The latest novel is about stock car racing. I find myself bidding for larger pieces of smaller pies.

The more I think about it, the more things are stupid.

A liberal arts education made me adaptable and conversant in many topics. Ultimately, though, it provided no greater options. It feels strange, at this age, to realize I’m down to one way in the whole world to make a living.

Write. Just write. Don’t worry. Just write. Do what you can do. Write. Surely, at some point, it’s going to take off. Write.

(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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