The Seeds for a Story

sandy and MM

This article provides the background for a novel I am currently working on which involves an old house harboring dark secrets, adultery, murder and ghosts.  The original blog post from everthedreamerblog can be viewed here.

© KoppingAnAttitude, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.




Life, Photography

The Best Revenge


Excitement on the Home Front

Z FullMoon

We all have those moments when life throws us a curve.  Some situations are harrowing while others have a bit of humor tossed in.  Our household had enjoyed pretty placid–some might even call them boring–lives for most of the summer on into fall.  Last week, however, one of our more colorful neighbors decided it was time to liven things up.

Abie loves a good time.  The only excuse he needs to party is that it’s Tuesday. . .or Wednesday. . .or–well, you get the picture.  With Halloween just days away, he figured he’d commune with the spirits–the liquid variety, that is, and he communed whole-heartedly.  But spirits tend to possess a person, and the outcome is never good.  After downing heaven only knows how many, he jumped in his truck (probably to buy more) and went screaming down a backroad highway faster than anyone would have believed that old ’83 Ford could travel.  Mind you, he was in control–he’ll swear to that; but these blamed vehicles sometimes have a mind of their own, especially this time of year.  (Remember Christine?  And let’s not forget The Car!)  At any rate, the devil got into the old Ford and it headed off the road, taking out a hundred feet of fence and hitting a power pole with enough velocity to sheer it off, treating the neighborhood to ten to fifteen seconds of lightning and fireworks before plunging the countryside into darkness.  Luckily, no one was hurt, although the story would have been far different had anyone been driving up that road.  Abie didn’t even appear all that shaken and would have continued on his merry way, except the Ford got hung up on irrigation pipe and mired in mud.  Anyway, Abie was there waiting when the sheriff arrived and, after he blew up the breathalyzer, got carted off to jail while crews cleaned up his mess.

Halloween evening we visited Grandma Lydia, a prim and proper white-haired lady of 93, at the nursing home.  She was sitting near the lobby with several other residents, most of whom held bowls of candy to pass out to the trick or treaters who visited the home each year.  Unfortunately, the staff had run out of candy and a half-dozen residents had nothing to hand out.  One old gentleman looked particularly forlorn and, since Grandma Lydia had plenty of candy, she gave him a handful.  Before the children arrived, however, he had eaten most of it, which got him yelled at by the nurse.  Anyway, we watched the parade of ghosts, goblins and superheros passing through.  The residents genuinely enjoyed themselves, especially Grandma Lydia, who positively beamed at each child while she complimented their costume.  But even before the trick or treating ended we noticed Grandma Lydia getting pale.  When she asked to be taken to her room, we knew she was really sick.  As we helped her into bed she complained of chest pain, with the pain radiating down her arm, and burning pain in her stomach.  Fearing the worst, LPN’s and orderlies hovered over her while I went for a nurse.

The head nurse talked with Grandma Lydia a few minutes and then left, soon returning with a glass of liquid, which she instructed Grandma Lydia to drink quickly.  Somehow Grandma got it down and then for a few seconds just sat with a funny expression on her face.  “How do you feel?” the nurse asked.  Grandma Lydia opened her mouth, but no words came out.  Instead, there rumbled forth a burp that would have done the toughest roughneck proud and elicited a rousing ovation from the staff.  Gas, not a heart attack, was the culprit.  Grandma Lydia turned beet red but the nurse put it all in perspective.  “Hey,” she said.  “At 93 you’re entitled to a good belch!”

© KoppingAnAttitude, 2016  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.




Planting Time


While springtime and any thought of gardening are still months away, there is another kind of planting we can–and should–engage in year round.  I first saw this article, written by Lee Pitts and entitled Planting Time in America, in THE PRAIRIE STAR magazine, but you can read it online by clicking hereDefinitely food for thought.



Autumn Scene

Tranquil autumn scene.

This post originally appeared on my other blog, everthedreamer.

I absolutely love autumn! Having grown up on a farm, I view the season as the time for winding down.  The crops have been harvested and the fields tilled, ready for a well-earned rest under a fluffy blanket of snow.  Yet, while the land settles down, the cooling air invigorates and propels me outdoors to indulge my adventurous side in a final spree of hikes and explorations before winter arrives, when again my creative side kicks in and I return to writing in earnest.  With luck I should be wrapping up the final book of my Dark Lords of Epthelion trilogy by January.  Stay tuned!

For any of your sword-and-sorcerer buffs, the first two books, WarriorQueen of Ha-Ran-Fel and A Dark Moon Rises are available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com.


Life, Photography

Sparks Well

SparksWell Sign

Deep in the southern Idaho desert, twenty miles from anything, lie the ruins of an old homestead called Sparks Well.  I had heard of the place but, finding the area grottos and caves more inviting, never ventured any farther.  Then about a month ago my youngest brother showed me pictures of the site and a story plot came to mind.  Wanting to explore my idea further, I persuaded him to take me out there.  We made the trek a couple of weeks ago, navigating the bone-shaking trail through dust and heat across the Great Rift in the Craters of the Moon national monument.  As we traveled I had to wonder why anyone would want to live in such a godforsaken place.  Wild, windswept, and sunbaked, mercilessly hot during summer and bitterly cold in winter, this is no place for the timid.  The treacherous terrain would humble even the proudest.

SW SouthButteSW Brushy Expanse

At last we arrived.  I found the place intriguing and a little spooky.  Only the crumbling walls of two lava rock buildings remain, surrounded by rusty remnants of bygone days.  I wished they could talk.  Imagine the stories they might tell!  My fertile imagination kicked into high gear as story ideas grew.

SW FrontEntrance of House

SW RockWall Brush Grass

SW Back Wall Windows

I walked through the front door, ducking under a tall sagebrush as I entered the house.  Mounds of earth, a beam that must have supported the roof, and a few tin cans littered the ground.  The wall above separated this room from what appeared to be an addition to the house; little of that part remained.

Leaving the house, I walked to the west end of the site where, ravaged by time and bullets, this burning barrel kept a silent watch.

SW Trash Barrel

These items, forlorn and forgotten, lay scattered around the broken walls.  Whatever happened to the people living here?  The plot thickens!

SW Unknown

SW Stove

SW Rusty Cans

SW Debris

SW Cans Junk

SW Bedsprings


This type of place fascinates me!  I tried finding some history on Sparks and his well, but my search yielded little.  Apparently, in 1937 well drillers found gold-bearing gravel some 800 feet down.  Local legend holds that Sparks’ son was lowered into the shaft in a barrel.  Tragically, something gave and the barrel plunged to the bottom.  He was brought up alive but died on the way to town.

SW WellCasing

This is Sparks Well.  Rocks tossed down its shaft echo eerily as they fall.  I found a YouTube post that nails it perfectly.  Click here to listen.

The ideas are coming fast and furious, and hopefully I can pull the story together in the next few months.  Stay tuned!