The Double Shot. (for Louis L’Amour)

The man came into the border town at dawn.  He sat tall in his saddle, and he was a tall man.  A handful of inches over six feet, but slim and wiry.  He was some dirty, and a week’s worth of stubble smudged his rawboned face.  Behind him, the desert heat was building and the red sun was rising like a phoenix.  It had been a hard ride, but Thane Johnson was a man used to hardship.

He sprang from the saddle and threw his reins over the strangest looking hitching post he had ever seen.  Looking up and down the quiet street, he realized that it wasn’t just the hitching post.  This was the strangest town he had ever seen.  And he had seen many. Continue reading “The Double Shot. (for Louis L’Amour)”

I am writing this under duress. Send help!

JD "Iron Man" Mader

I always wanted to be a gun for hire.  So, when Stephen asked me to join him and my pal K.S. Brooks as a contributing author with the Indies Unlimited team, the decision was easy.  I strapped on my six-shooters.  And by six shooters, I mean pants.

It didn’t require any thought.  Stephen and Kat are good people.  I like to do the thing where my fingers make the words in my brain come out.  I like to have lots of outlets for my work: blogs, stories, music, novels, graffiti – you name it, I’ve done it (except for the graffiti part).

I’ll be throwing up a few posts a week.  Wait, that sounds painful and disgusting.   I’ll be posting a few things a week.  Stephen was kind enough to give me a lot of leeway.  Until I inevitably abuse it.  So, it may be an article like the one I posted recently about writer’s block (here).  It may be a story like ‘She’ that was featured exclusively on IU (here).  It may be a shopping list if I get desperate.  Or a list of people that I need…some of you fine people to, um, pay a visit to. Continue reading “I am writing this under duress. Send help!”

Blocking Writer’s Block by JD Mader

Author JD Mader

I want to talk for a second about how to deal with writer’s block – don’t. Writer’s block is a myth. It is a psych-out. I have been writing for half my life and I have taught enough writing workshops to honestly believe that writer’s block does not exist…unless you let it exist.

Let me qualify that a bit. There are times when I am blocked on a certain piece, certainly. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write. Writer’s block is fear, pure and simple. And it is easy to let that fear dominate you. But it is easy to avoid, too.

I write every day. Usually around 500 words. A lot more lately. There is never a day when I ‘can’t write’, because I don’t try to force it. If I am working on a novel and I feel jammed up, I write a story. If I can’t think of a story, I look around me…I start describing something. Usually, that leads to something. Sometimes it leads to 500 words of description. So what? Continue reading “Blocking Writer’s Block by JD Mader”

“She” by JD Mader

Today, my buddy JD Mader shares a story with us. He has a soulful noir style that just so beautifully accesses the pain and emptiness and loneliness and darkness that is part of the human experience. See for yourself:


By JD Mader

Author J.D. Mader

She was the kind of girl who could laugh when no one else was laughing without appearing foolish. She was tall. She wore tall boots and clothes that fit just right. She made you feel terrible about yourself, and you loved it. She was six feet of fierce intimidation with just enough vulnerability to really make the backlash snap. You loved her. You loved her for the moments of tenderness that slid like a greased ace between the overwhelming drama that coated both of your lives.

Some people know how to smoke cigarettes and some people don’t. You can’t smoke a cigarette furtively. You can’t do it brazenly. It has to hang off your fingers. It needs to look like it could fall at any moment, but won’t because it is an extension of your hand. You need to smoke it gently. The smoke needs to become your shroud. Your veil. She knew how to smoke cigarettes. Continue reading ““She” by JD Mader”