Relative Originality

(Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 12:15 p.m.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ / Though the streams are swollen / Keep them dogies rollin’ / Rawhide! / Through rain, wind and weather / Hellbent for leather / Wishin’ my gal was by my side / All the things I’m missin’ / Good vittles, love and kissin’ / Are waiting at the end of my ride …

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

Oh, I feel this way. Not because I’ve been on a cattle drive.

Writin’, writin’, writin’ / Mind is struck by lightnin’ / Mental fish are bitin’ / Push on! / Dirty clothes are waitin’ / Outline needs updatin’ / A chapter is formattin’ in my soul / Some of it needs cuttin’ / Written down for nuttin’ / No one will ever know but I …

Another novel is racing toward conclusion. Twenty chapters down. Nearly fifty thousand words. A hundred eighty-nine pages. My mind is ahead of my fingers. The rest of it is now all wrapped up. I just have to write it. That’s why I’m going so fast. The outline is only so useful. I’ve got to get it down while it’s fresh, and then I’ll start over, but I don’t think an edit will take long.

Another project is in the editing stage. I’m not sure which will be published first.

I was thinking about this yesterday. Writing is an art. Editing is a craft. Writing is like painting a picture. Editing is like building a model airplane.

It’s entirely possible that this works only for me. It’s doubtful, though. The world has too many people in it. The odds of originality are long. The best to which one can aspire is personal originality. Someone else did this, but I didn’t know about it.

Sometimes I post on social media, and someone replies, “Is this yours?”

Best I know, sir. If someone else said it to my knowledge, I stick his or her name next to it.



(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.

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

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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