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).

I’ve Still Got My Guitar and the Red Sox Going for Me

My favorite guitar, under construction. (Vince Pawless photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 8:54 a.m.

By Monte Dutton

Middle of the week.

Last night traded one kind of music for another. A trip to Charlotte to see my favorite band, Reckless Kelly, fell through, but I visited my nephew’s lovely children – held them, made faces, sound effects, tossed the older lightly in the air, anything to make him giggle – and then, on a lark, stopped by David Bagwell’s rustic horse barn, where folks are prone to sit around and play songs on Tuesday nights.

(Monte Dutton photo)

It filled the need of getting my mind off politics. I wish I’d thought to sing “Moaning the Blues.”

Where else could I sing harmony? Not here in the living room with Boston Red Sox Baseball on NESN on.

Now I’m writing a blog with All in the Family on. But soon I shall be working on a novel, once this – yes, this – gets me in the proper mood.

I got back in time to see the Red Sox break up a tie game in Saint Louis.

Here’s what’s changed this baseball season. During commercials, I used to switch to other games. Now I switch to see what’s the latest on our president. After Red Sox games ended, I used to switch to games on the West Coast. Now I check on Trump. Vin Scully’s retirement may have had a little to do with it.

Watching the news gets me down, so I watch the late-night talk shows to hear the hosts and guests joke … about the news. The upshot of all this is I seldom forget to say my prayers, even as I tumble to sleep with my eyes closed, listening to Seth Meyers.

Perhaps there is cleansing in this. It’s been a while since the country has been this passionate about politics and government. Perhaps some sense of reason will emerge from the unreasonable. Perhaps the middle ground will grow. At the moment, both sides say mainly to the other, “I’m smart. You’re not.”

On the other hand, I got to sing and strum.

And the Red Sox won.

(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).

 

 

The Old Snow Days Just Ain’t What They Used to Be

img_0233Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, January 7, 2017, 10:28 a.m.

The snow hasn’t completely covered the grass I probably should have cut one more time before it stopped growing. It fell in hits and misses, and here it mainly swung and missed.

It’s fallen in greater amounts most everywhere else, and TV tells me that one or two more bands – the Allman Brothers; Earth, Wind and Fire – are en route.

This morning I awakened to find snow falling, but the heavy stuff was on local TV, where two anchors and a weatherman left the WSPA-TV 7 studio to take turns sledding down a five-yard hill, and, out in the wild, a pretty young reporter rode around and around in circles in a golf cart. What could have made it even better were a dozen dwarves skipping and singing, in high-pitched voices, “Follow the snowy white road!”

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

WYFF-TV 4, recently returned to DirecTV after “an impasse,” offered more sober and sensitive coverage. Or, perhaps, that was based on the skewed perspective of what I saw.

Enough of this frivolity. Black Ice, which seems as sinister as the Black Plague, based on fervent admonitions from those advising us to stay inside and off the deadly roads, is bound to descend upon the asphalt-coated thoroughfares. Meanwhile, I consider making it to the mailbox without busting my ass.

An interesting term, “busting my ass.”

The rare snows of my youth were greeted with more reckless abandon. I wonder what would happen if, today, I hitched the tractor (I’d have to have a tractor, okay) to the upside-down hood of 1949 Dodge, and drug a load of my friends all over town, swinging it out wide so that my friends would tumble into ditches, and, and then, one of them would insist on taking my place on the tractor, so that I could be the recipient of The Big Payback.

Not only would we all be thrown in jail, but I would be committed to an asylum. I’m 58 years old. It would be justifiable.

No one ever got hurt back in the old days. We were limber youths. And the usual driver was my father, who’d had a little something “to knock the chill off.” Later, I learned that a man can sip brandy in the snow for hours without feeling the slightest bit impaired, then walk inside, sit down in front of the fire, and pass out in 30 seconds.

As I once told my mother, “They’d throw you in jail now,” and as my mother replied, looking at me over her reading glasses, “They throwed you in jail back then.

“But not your daddy.”

Rest in peace, Jimmy Dutton.

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, 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 five 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.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is on sale all January as a Kindle download at amazon.com.

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

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

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. 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.

 

(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).

 

 

Even Though It Don’t Hurt Nothin’, I Reckon …

The sun also rises. Supposedly. (Monte Dutton photo)
The sun also rises. Supposedly. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, January 2, 2017, 8:20 a.m.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I believe in resolutions when the need arises. I judge my resolutions on an individual basis, without regard for race, creed, national origin, or whether or not the football team is owned by Jerry Jones.

I am trying to curb superstitions.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

I’ve never been superstitious, which might come as a surprise to those who have seen me always put my right shoe on first, or eat all the split pieces before any of the drumsticks in a plate of wings, or sing the national anthem before a ballgame not because of patriotism, per se, but for good luck.

They’re habits. I have, however, known people I respect who swore by them. I cling to those habits just in case there’s something to them.

But that is ridiculous. Even though I persist in performing repeated acts of absurdity, at least I recognize it. I’ve got that going for me.

I try to reserve slots in my prayers for people I know. If I paid attention to Facebook, I’d never stop praying, and, frankly, it’s a job just keeping up with likes, loves, hahas, sads, shares, and, occasionally, even comments.

I really hope the kid in Idaho miraculously recovers from the dread disease. It gives me pause. I just don’t think Jesus consults his pollsters before He performs miracles. I’ll pray for people in general, even kids in general, or world peace, or even the softening of hard hearts. Prayer lists are much longer than Christmas lists. The world has enough stress without worrying over whether Uncle Earl’s nephew in San Pedro had to get his stomach pumped because I forgot to ask God to bless him last night after the ballgame ended.

This is hard. This requires discipline. If I have a rotten day and realize I didn’t recite The Lord’s Prayer, it’s going to be tough to pass it up the next evening. The Lord’s Prayer, in case you’ve forgotten, goes like this:

Ahfahthuhartinheavenhallowedbethuhname, thykingdomcomethywillbedone, onearthasitisinhebn, givusthisdayowdailybreadandforgivusowtrespasses, asweforgivosewhotrespassaginus, ledusnotinnatemptation, buhdeliverusfromevil, thinusduhkingdomthepowerandglory, foreverever, amen.

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

Actually, I hold the “amen” and then move into my personal entreaties of the Almighty. I always – always! – ask the Lord to forgive my sins, admitting that they have been many, and that’s not  superstition, friends, that is the truth.

I am genuinely religious. It’s just that my religion doesn’t match many others, apparently. I call – once again! – on the gospel of the great Tom T. Hall, who wrote:

Me and Jesus got our own thing going / Me and Jesus got it all worked out / Me and Jesus got our own thing going / We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about.

He also wrote:

I know there’s a lot of big preachers / Who know a lot more than I do / But it could be that the Good Lord likes a little picking, too.

I’m banking on Tom T.’s wisdom, but it’s never failed me so far.

This is going to be tough. Religion is just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, I’ve got to quit thinking that a coin flipped in my living room is going to affect a penalty flag on television of a game nearly three thousand miles away.

This flies in the face of the events of autumn 2004, when, early in my guitar-strumming career, I discovered that instrumentals ended New York Yankee threats and the great Harlan Howard tune “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down” ignited Boston Red Sox rallies. I could understand the instrumentals part because, truly, I could barely play at the time. “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down” was one of the few songs I could play without squinting at a sheet of paper containing the proper chords.

The Red Sox were a miracle of their very own in 2004. They would’ve won had I been playing “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog.” As proof, let it be known that “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down” hasn’t worked in all the years since. If it had, Furman University would have won a lot more football games.

I’m going to kick superstitions. Knock on wood.

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, 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 five 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.

Crazy of Natural Causes is on Amazon sale all December for $.99.

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

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

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. 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.

 

(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).

 

 

A Trucker, a Slugger, and a Bloodsucker

The new Captain Kirk.  (Monte Dutton sketch)
The new Captain Kirk. (Monte Dutton sketch)

Times are changing. The Republicans are acting like the Democrats. The Democrats are having a fine old time watching. Next week, I expect, the Democrats will act, in response, like Republicans used to.

And I’ll be glad that all I’ve got to do is vote.

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)
By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

I didn’t watch much of the GOP — when I was a little boy, I thought that must stand for Government of People instead of Grand Old Party — because there were more important activities to watch, such as the most interesting game Fenway Park is likely to host this year and trucks racing on dirt in behalf of God, country and Camping World.

I paid attention to what the Republicans were doing via Twitter, which is like Cosmo Kramer (of Seinfeld) hosting the NBC Nightly News.

C’mon and let me take you on a sea Cruz / Hoo-wee, hoo-wee, baby, hoo-wee, hoo-wee, baby …

I switched over while the Red Sox were changing pitchers for the fourth time and watched Mrs. Cruz being spirited out of the arena amid jostling and insults, and Donald Trump, looking like Broderick Crawford in All the King’s Men, waving bye-bye at Ted Cruz, looking like Christopher Lee in Dracula Has Rise from the Grave.

In Boston, an 8-0 lead had dwindled to 8-7. Near Rossburg, Ohio, Kyle Larson had gone from two laps down to take the lead. In Cleveland, thousands were booing a man for saying they should vote their conscience.

Hanley Ramirez hit home runs in his first two at-bats. In his third, a San Francisco pitcher beaned him. On the way to first, you could read Ramirez’s lips: I’m gonna get you. In his fourth trip to the plate, he homered off that right-hander, whose last name was Suarez. Crisis averted. The Red Sox won, 11-7.

I heard a good line this morning: The only thing in Washington disliked more than Ted Cruz is a cash bar.

Barack Obama marks the first time the United States has had a president younger than me. If Trump is elected, it will mark the first time the United States has elected a president who knows less than me.

That should make me feel proud. Somehow it doesn’t.

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

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs, absolutely free. Tell ‘em Monte sent you, y’hear?

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

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

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).