At the Risk of Being Taken the Wrong Way …

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, January 5, 2018, 8:49 a.m.

At some point, this feeding frenzy has to run its course. As with all feeding frenzies, some good has been achieved. Tides of frenzy sweep along with them some rampaging tyranny.

By Monte Dutton

To this very day, I am kind to women who wait on me at restaurants because, when I was a boy, my mother waited tables at the steakhouse our family once owned, and I watched her being tormented by patrons who were snide, belligerent, and drunk, most often all three. If I get poor service, I usually, unless I’m in one of those rare bad moods that afflict me, keep my silence and don’t go back.

I’m getting a bit more cranky as I grow older. About a month ago, for the first time in my life, I refused a prime-rib dinner because I ordered it medium-rare and, if it had been any more well-done, it would have come with barbecue sauce instead of horseradish. The manager came, I told her I wasn’t paying for it, got up and left, and had a seafood special, for which I was not in the mood, at the next exit.

I think I was particularly annoyed because my finances do not allow for many steak suppers, and I wanted it to be perfect. To me, well-done is not well done.

Thank God for small favors. Were I not poverty-stricken, I’d probably be eligible for sexual misconduct charges. I’ve noticed that one does not even have to have sex for there to be misconduct. A woman I know recently asked if she could touch the fluffy white hair on the beard I am now wearing for the first time in more than thirty years. I told her she could ruffle my beard any time, and, immediately, I wondered if anyone could detect any innuendo in that.

Since I work for myself and not very successfully, I think I’m in the clear. I’ve not yet seen this on the CNN “crawl”:

IMPOVERISHED SPORTSWRITER ACCUSED OF HIRSUTE MISCONDUCT

When I was seven years old, in the playground of Hampton Avenue School, I struck a little girl on the shoulder. My timing was imperfect as my father pulled up at precisely that moment. He tanned my hide in much the same fashion as the prime rib fifty-two years later, but I learned a lesson and didn’t do it again until I was in college and very drunk, and it was a reflex action, because a young woman slapped me and, before I thought about it, I slapped her back. I regret this incident deeply. I’m cringing right now, just thinking about it. As incredible as this may seem, I cringe about many episodes of my collegiate youth.

Two days ago, in a phone conversation, a friend remarked that I should run for Congress. I told him that no one who has read one of my novels would vote for me. Characters in my fiction have been known to use vile language, partake of illegal drugs, and, occasionally, even have … sex.

Commit murder? Not a problem.

If I had a lick of sense, I’d scrub the hard drive of this laptop because, on occasion, people have taken what were then known as “gag photos” with me in them. Many people don’t get such gags anymore.

 

“What did you mean by that?”

“I meant to be funny.”

Al Franken recently resigned from the United States Senate because – I’ve heard this term over and over – he was accused of “sexual misconduct.” The most damning evidence was a “gag photo” in which Senator Franken, before he was a senator, posed next to a woman who was apparently sleeping. In my opinion, based on carefully looking at the photo, he didn’t touch her. Somehow this was “sexual misconduct.” To me, it seemed more like poor judgment.

Surely this will run its course. Surely, before every male anyone has heard of has been told he “will never work in this business again,” regardless of the business, some reasonable boundary will be established. I’m all for reasonable boundaries. I’ve no desire to defend Harvey Weinstein. I feel sorry for Al Franken. My reasonable boundary is somewhere between those two.

Jesus preached the doctrine of forgiveness. If he espoused zero tolerance, I can’t find it in the New Testament.

As Mark Twain is alleged to have said, “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir … mighty scarce.”

(Monte Dutton sketch)

I shouldn’t divulge this, but, on rare occasions, I have known women who were, and I write this with the full knowledge that someone will deem it sexist, flirts. Some of these women were capable of getting me to approve of almost anything they asked. Nothing scandalous, mind you. Nothing more untoward than agreeing to edit their copy, or give them advice, or provide a source, or pump their gas at the Gate station.

By “pump their gas,” I mean, literally, pump their gas. Into their car. Gasoline. At a pump.

That doesn’t make me a monster. Does it?

This may be a bad time to mention it, but in the off chance that you are amused by my writing, please consider a small pledge to the site where I derive some income from people who, astonishingly, enjoy what I do. Click here.

If I haven’t scared you off, please consider my considerable selection of books here.

Signed copies of three of my novels – Cowboys Come Home, Lightning in a Bottle, and Life Gets Complicated – are available in uptown Clinton at Emma Jane’s and L&L Office Supply.

The Barrie Jarman Adventures (Gabe Whisnant photo)
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Two Trains after the Last Football Game

(Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, November 20, 2017, 12:45 p.m.

On Saturday night, something occurred that I had never seen before in my hometown. Maybe it’s because I’m not often out driving on Saturday nights.

By Monte Dutton

I had been at Presbyterian College all day. I brought a pot of chili to the tailgate party before PC ended its season with a 31-21 win over Gardner-Webb. For five years I have been watching the Blue Hose play with a group of alumni and parents of players. Most of those players will be graduating next year. As the season wore on, rumors began spreading that the school was going to phase out the awarding of football scholarships. The rumors became official on the day after the final game, which made it something of a Pyrrhic victory at the end of a Pyrrhic season.

So we celebrated the win of a game and commiserated the loss of a tradition, and when it got dark, and the Georgia game ended on TV, many headed to the comfort of the Hampton Inn lobby, there to sip wine much better than I had the sophistication to appreciate and tell tales regarding the secrets behind several bottles of expensive bourbon. I stuck with the wine. For the bourbon, I didn’t feel worthy, but that’s another tale for another day. I drank for free because the booze was too excellent to buy.

It’s not a world I often frequent. I’m a starving artist, which I wouldn’t have minded when I was 24. I might have idealized such an existence. It’s more complicated and bittersweet at 59.

Life Gets Complicated, Lightning in a Bottle and Cowboys Come Home are available at Emma Jane’s and L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton.

I headed from Bailey Memorial Stadium, feeling as if it ought to be Football Memorial Stadium, and stopped for a freight train at the interception of our little bypass and Highway 76. Then I drove on to the Hampton Inn, where I realized I’d left my backpack at Tailgate Central. Tailgate parties have gotten too big for tailgates. We congregated around a motor coach, the type of vehicle I normally associate with NASCAR drivers and bands. Race drivers call them buses, and that’s pretty much what they are, only designed for comfort instead of capacity.

I went back to PC and picked up my backpack. When I drove back to the intersection, another train was passing through. Two freight trains in fifteen minutes! I don’t remember that happening before. My mother doesn’t remember that happening before.

It must have been an omen. I haven’t noticed or figured out what kind yet. The second train wasn’t loaded with football scholarships, as best I could tell.

 

(Gabe Whisnant photo)

Most of my books — non-fiction on NASCAR and music, collections that include my contributions, seven novels, and one short-story collection — are available here.

Winning Would Be Indescribably Delicious

The Citadel exercised many options. (Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, September 10, 2017, 1:38 p.m.

I can’t imagine a better place to watch a football game than Presbyterian College, that is, if you don’t mind it if the Blue Hose lose.

By Monte Dutton

It’s early yet. Yes, Presbyterian has been been outscored 99-13, but Wake Forest and The Citadel are stiff competition for a liberal-arts school of 1,300 students playing in the lower subdivision of NCAA Division I.

A year ago, Presbyterian hosted four games at beautiful Bailey Memorial Stadium. This year, thanks to the threat of a storm leading The Citadel up to Clinton, eight games will be played here. Campbell visits next week and Cumberland the week after.

It’s almost impossible to park more than 200 yards away. Lovely shade trees abound in the green lots. It’s tailgate-friendly, kids-friendly, and, unfortunately, visiting teams-friendly.

The Citadel is ranked 13th in the nation, Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and the state’s military college wore their “Duty” uniforms, which meant lead-gray jerseys and pants and white helmets. The Bulldogs wear white helmets every week, but the jerseys vary from gray to navy to light blue to white. College football has gotten awfully complicated. One cannot reliably walk through the gates of a stadium anymore and be sure he or she can tell which team is which. Some teams wear camouflage jerseys, the ostensible point being they couldn’t be identified at all.

Life Gets Complicated, Lightning in a Bottle and Cowboys Come Home are available at Emma Jane’s and L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton.

Presbyterian does not play on the road again until November 4. I kid you not. I hope the Blue Hose get better and have a decent year, which the past two were not. On Saturday, they had their moments. At one time, it was only 14-7. The Citadel (2-0) only outgained the Blue Hose by 310 yards.

The Blue Hose beat their next opponent, Campbell, last year. I don’t know anything about Cumberland other than Georgia Tech beating a Cumberland, 222-0, but that was in 1916, and, presumably, the Phoenix have risen from the ashes of that. I’m familiar with Lebanon, Tennessee, having met a friend for dinner there on at least two occasions.

All else being equal, I’m guardedly optimistic about the Campbell and Cumberland games.

I wrote a free-lance story on The Citadel’s unexpected visit, and because of the professionalism that journalism requires, I enjoyed no frosty beverages until the story was safely written and my friends, Presbyterian football variety, commiserating the setback across the street.

Libations are marvelously useful in the aftermath of victory or defeat.

As I drove home, knowing that a stock car race from Richmond, and football games from Clemson, Columbia (Mo.), South Bend, and Los Angeles would soon be on at the same time, I hummed the theme from Green Acres.

Keep Manhattan / Just give me that countryside.

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Life Gets Complicated, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise). Or, just drop me a line and you can pay through PayPal.

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

I’ve written seven 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.

(Gabe Whisnant photo)

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.

Life Gets Complicated follows Barrie Jarman as he moves up to FASCAR’s premier series. He and Angela Hughston face discrimination for their interracial love affair, and Barrie has to surmount unexpected obstacles that test his resolve.

(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).

Write me at hutdut@duttonm@bellsouth.net or “message” me through social media.

 

I’d Batten Down the Hatches if I Had Any

Charleston, the Holy City. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, September 7, 2017, 12:15 p.m.

A week ago, a large chunk of Texas, which itself is a large chunk, caught the largest amount of rain ever recorded on the continent.

By Monte Dutton

Now the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever is curving toward, eventually, here.

How many “once-in-a-thousand-years storms” are going to have to hit this decade before we figure out that the climate just might be changing?

Maybe that’s the silver lining that glistens on the edge of swirling clouds that are 420 miles across. If only that silver could be mined … the electricity would still go out.

Life Gets Complicated, Lightning in a Bottle and Cowboys Come Home are available at Emma Jane’s and L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton.

Here in the Carolina foothills, we have been fortunate. The hurricanes that have recently hit our coast have generally bored inland and curved to the right at about Columbia and headed for Charlotte. Gulf hurricanes are considerably weakened by the time they blow through. We’ve gotten wind and rain but no direct hits.

This time all bets are off. Not just in weather, now that I think about it.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I thought about all my friends in Florida. I thought about the Keys, where I’ve spent some time during and after stock car races in Homestead. I thought about the maddening Miami airport, and the Everglades, and Lake Okeechobee. I thought about Daytona Beach, and Orlando, and Jacksonville. I thought about how my home isn’t going to flood but is a decent target for an unruly tornado. I thought about drinking water and how I need to go to the grocery stores, where I wouldn’t be surprised if the bread and eggs are gone already. I thought about Aunt Linda, who just lost Uncle Maxie last week. I thought about Ella, my niece, and here three beautiful little boys near Columbia, and Ray, my nephew, and Jessica, with their three-year-old boy and one-year-old girl and another whose arrival date is next February. And Vince, at whom I fussed unnecessarily yesterday, and Jake, living near Lake Greenwood.

I thought about how glorious the eclipse was here in town, and miracles never cease, but some miracles are wondrous in their fury instead of their peace.

The Citadel and Presbyterian College have moved the Saturday football game here, and it seems like such a good idea to stroll over to PC and have a good party because, two days later, all hell is liable to break loose another way.

Eat, drink, and be merry!

I prayed an inordinate amount because I awakened an inordinate number of times, and I asked for forgiveness because I can’t help but hope all that wreckage in the Caribbean takes the starch out of that monster before it gets here.

Irma. What an inoffensive name for a monster. It ought to be named Butch. Irma La Douce was a beautiful Parisian prostitute, played by Shirley MacLaine, opposite Jack Lemmon, in the movies. Erma Bombeck was a humor columnist. Laurens is playing Irmo High School Friday night.

The view from here. (Monte Dutton photo)

This morning the local weather gurus seemed less hysterical than they usually are when wind, rain, heat, cold, sleet and/or grandly exaggerated hail approaches. Maybe they’ll come around and tell me about the bowling-ball-sized hail that was spotted in Pacolet.

Finally, I thought of the inspiring words of the late Jerry Reed, who sang, “If I’m not out of gas in a pouring rain, I’m changing a flat in a hurricane. Lord, Mr. Ford, what have you done?”

 

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Life Gets Complicated, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise). Or, just drop me a line and you can pay through PayPal.

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

I’ve written seven 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.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(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.

Life Gets Complicated follows Barrie Jarman as he moves up to FASCAR’s premier series. He and Angela Hughston face discrimination for their interracial love affair, and Barrie has to surmount unexpected obstacles that test his resolve.

(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).

Write me at hutdut@duttonm@bellsouth.net or “message” me through social media.

 

 

A Sheer Microcosm

 

(Monte Dutton sketch)

I haven’t had time to write short stories recently. With a seventh novel on the way to publication, and an eighth in an ongoing state of repair, I’ve been excising episodes from the latter manuscript. It’s hard to remove items that are amusing but unnecessary. It occurred to me that I could turn them into short stories. This short exercise in trivial description is the first.

On Monday, the eighteenth day of July, Mickey Statler thought his biggest problem was underwear. Underwear was, however, just a foreshadowing of what was to come because it involved his balls, and his ass was hard to keep clean.

By Monte Dutton

The older a man gets, the more he appreciates reliability, and underwear must be the most reliable of his garments. Mickey, like most men, tended to wear underwear right up until the dryer started sucking up the lint to the point where the briefs began to disintegrate. Then he kept them a while because, well, they were clean, if no longer wearable. Indecent underwear – and not just drawers but also tee shirts – turned into one-use wash cloths for filthy messes. Mickey had adapted to some modern developments in underwear design. He’d come to love the modern compromise, the boxer brief, which was built like briefs, only boxier. They were longer briefs, or, perhaps, briefer longs. Mickey had reached the progressive point where he wore all “boxer briefs” except when they were all dirty, at which point Mickey reluctantly turned to the briefs he kept in reserve. These he was wearing when he decided it was time for reinforcements and drove to Costco. In addition to a ridiculous amount of Sweet ‘n’ Low for his coffee and a half-gallon container of shampoo – with a convenient pump! – Mickey bought nine pairs of boxer briefs, each in packs of three, and took a leap of faith that they would be made up of the same reliable cotton he had come to know and love.

 

The next morning, when Mickey put these cutting-edge facilitators of support and efficient waste disposal on, they were not what he expected. Three of them had no “doors” in the front for his “release.” All nine were made of a sheer, elastic material, undoubtedly a synthetic with an origin derived somewhere in oil.

They were slick. They were slippery. Mickey felt like he was wearing panties. He had invested nearly thirty dollars in these sappers of manhood, and that was sufficient an investment for him to realize his manhood was in jeopardy. He would just have to adapt to the unfrilled panties, because, by the next time he purchased any underwear, they would undoubtedly be standard, universal, and, quite possibly, decorated in marijuana leaves. He would die in a car wreck, and an autopsy would be conducted to analyze his coagulating blood solely because of the underwear he was wearing. Perhaps he would live long enough for cannabis to be legal and everyone’s clothes would be decorated with sly green leaves, not just the ones bought in surfside beach outlets.

 

 

 

(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 montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(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.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(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).

 

 

 

Mass Communications, or Lack Thereof …

Mixed messages. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, August 4, 2017, 9:45 a.m.

Let’s say I want to get in touch with you. The options are endless. It doesn’t mean any of them work.

By Monte Dutton

I could send you an email. You would likely do what I often do: um, delete, delete, delete, save, delete, delete, delete …

Then I might – maybe, if I’m bored – read the one I saved.

When I send out information about my novels, I’m painfully aware that most get deleted without a glance. I try to write a slug that will draw attention.

A sequel! In the works!

Perhaps I should write it in all caps.

A SEQUEL! IN THE WORKS!

After all, many people around President Trump were apparently non-plussed by an email with the slug: “Re: Russia and Clinton – Private and Confidential.”

Ah. Nothing to see there.

I could leave you a message. If it’s on your office or home phone, on obsolete “land lines,” you’ll probably listen to it by the weekend. When I see you, maybe you’ll say, “I didn’t have your number.”

The one I left in the message. My home number’s “in the book.”

The book? What book?

A hurricane stole the “I.” Hurricane Donald. (Monte Dutton photo)

The phone book. The one you apparently go through at the even more obsolete mailbox. Throw away, throw away, keep, throwaway, keep …

I leave a message on your cell, too, or would, except that the mailbox is full because the last time you checked the messages, the Easter Bunny was hop, hop, hopping along, or imaginarily, the actual bunny being made of chocolate.

I could text. That’s the most reliable way. The down side is that you may well want to converse via text, which is aggravating. I’ll probably have to decipher acronyms I don’t understand.

His PLX is thru roof. PLX-adj. more killer. Nowumsayin?

No. I don’t nowumsayin. It’s probably best just to type LOL. Or LMAO. Or, on special occasions, ROFLMAO.

As all skilled texters know, ROFLMAO stands for “flounder on roll, extra mayonnaise.”

You may be lit. Or turnt. You may think my idea is chill. You may send a fashionable redundancy.

Mike Trout is good at baseball.

So many are the methods of communication that they are all used sparingly. Endless options are eschewed endlessly.

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Post on your Facebook page? Oops. Who knew? We aren’t “friends” on Facebook, even though we have been “friends” (old definition) since grammar school. I send a “friend request.” It is approved almost instantly. I send “a direct message.” Three days pass. I write an actual Facebook post.

I really need to talk to you. I sent you a direct message earlier.

Huh. Thought I sent message back. Must not’ve hit send.

Must not’ve. A likely story.

If we communicate anymore, there won’t be any communication at all. I can remember when the way to avoid someone was to push the shopping cart – or as we used to say, the “buggy” – around to the next aisle.

Go to the book section. You’ll never be detected there.

 

 

(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 montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(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.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(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).

Lacking Motivation

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 1:08 p.m.

Some days are diamonds. Some days are stones.

Etc.

By Monte Dutton

Yesterday morning, I awakened, and Keith Jackson could have been announcing the occasion. Whoa, Nellie! He came to the living room ready to write! Get some coffee in him, and it’s Katie, bar the door!

Keith was always good with the women.

I was clicking. Why people click in such moments, I have no idea.

I wrote the seventeenth chapter of an upcoming fiction project that is to be called Life Gets Complicated. That’s because it does. I then added layers of detail to my outline, and that is penance for the sarcasm I have just unleashed on an unsuspecting, and only mildly interested, future readership.

The world has too many writers who begin consecutive paragraphs with “I.” I am duly embarrassed. Not enough to rewrite one.

I also wrote a NASCAR column for a website. Then I went to Dollar Tree and spent the money.

The Red Sox won. Jon Ossoff lost. The Sox play the rubber game in Kansas City in less than an hour. That’s another reason I’m not getting much done today.

I have, however, watched an exciting episode of Columbo, and, recently, between YouTube videos and looking up Gene Kelly on Wikipedia, witnessed English horse racing from Royal Ascot.

I proofread and edited a chapter of another project called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s going to be the shining star of today’s firmament.

I forgot to change channels, and now some fishermen are pulling sting rays out of water. This is the sixth paragraph beginning with “I” in the past eight. The others started with “The.” I know its definition exactly as well as Bill Clinton does “is,” which is well indeed.

By the time Mookie Betts leads off, I should have this posted.

 

 

(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 montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(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.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(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).