The Vietnam Experience, the Domestic Life and More

The Vietnam Experience, Exploding Clothes Hangers, and…

It’s time to write something. Yes, it’s been a while. Sorry, kind readers. I was busy doing all those macho things ex-paratroopers

Shoulder Patch 82nd Airborne Division

do, like hanging the wife’s laundry. She bought all these fancy high-dollar clothes hangers coated with sticky felt or something. It takes me five minutes just to get a blouse and all its little strings, linings, shoulder pads and other weird accouterments straightened out to go on the hanger. Then there comes that hanger. That precipitates another two or three minutes spent fighting to get past all that clingy felt.

Me, I like the simple white wire hangers that come from the dry cleaner. Slap a shirt on one and shove it in the closet. When you’re ready for it, you grab the shirt and pull. If the hanger comes off the bar, no problem. Bend and reshape it, and put it back. Don’t try that with one of those fancy hangers. It’ll explode. Then you have to hide the remains at the bottom of the trash can in order to maintain marital bliss.

So, you guys are burning through my books faster than I can write them. And to answer the question that’s already been asked several times: No, I haven’t started the next one yet. The problem is deciding which genre to go with. The Vietnam War Series is doing very well, while my first shot at Southern Fiction, Tallahatchie, isn’t exactly lighting up the best-seller lists. All the Tallahatchie reviews have been very positive, so I am hoping in time it will find its audience. With some luck, maybe late next summer I’ll have a new one for you, perhaps two. I do very much appreciate your reviews and say “thank you” many times over to those of you who have taken the time to go on and to write your comments.

As it is with most writers, your words often serve to validate the hope that I am producing something worthwhile. I hoped to accomplish that with the latest Vietnam War Series novel, Valley of The Purple Hearts, but some readers miss the point that I refuse to write “war” stories simply for entertainment. My intent is to show the entire Vietnam experience as those veterans saw it. This includes some of the life back home and the element of Post-Traumatic Stress and its effects on veterans after the war.

One particularly notable effect of Vietnam on most vets was that of going from an adrenaline-driven high at Mach-II to ZERO inside of a few days. There was no “decompression” time, no buddies to ride home with, just an almost instantaneous return to a world that they could no longer relate to, and one which could not relate to the experiences they had been through. Most compartmentalized their pain. Many couldn’t.

In other news: I have a book-signing at Novel Memphis next Tuesday (10/17) at 6:00 p.m. Please, stop by and say hello. Two more events for next spring are in the works. One is a show for my photography at a local art venue. I’ll let you know more about that after we get through winter. I’ll try to write another post sooner next time.


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