BONUS MAN is an offbeat piece of Americana, destined to become one of the three greatest unpublished novels I've ever written. It goes like this: ¶ Adam Bonifacius doesn't know the two women are pregnant. He doesn't know they've met at a home for unwed mothers. They don't know they are after the same man. ¶ Adam, a former Great War medic, loves Hazel and vows to return to her once he finds money for medical school. It's the Depression and he's hopping freight cars. He hops the wrong one and a guy claiming to have killed the Lindbergh baby has a knife to his throat. Before it's all over the guy's dead in a ravine and Adam has a fistful of ransom money. He spends it and is pretty sure that makes him an accomplice or an accessory or something. He can't go back to Hazel and involve her. ¶ He hides out in a small town and blends in. Over a summer he meets and falls in love with Caroline. Then the body in the ravine is discovered. The guy had stolen Adam's wallet; Adam fears they'll be connected and runs. ¶ Adam runs smack into a John Dillinger prison break. His skills as a medic earn him a gunpoint invitation to stay on as sawbones to the gang. When a G-Man pulls a gun on a mobster in a bar, Adam is there to pull a bullet out of the agent. It makes all the papers. He's a hero but the Feds want answers about the Lindbergh baby—and the two women want last names for theirs.

Bonus Man

Bonus Man
Hey, I'm Adam Bonifacius, aka Bonus Man. I guess they stuck Gary Cooper's mug here 'cause he was asked to play the title role when they made a movie of my life. (He passed. Good move. It was crap, from what I hear.) They made the movie after I had taken bullets out of a couple G-Men and delivered a bunch of babies. Oh, and they made a big deal about me living with two women. You'd think Hollywood would have better things to do.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On Lake Bemidji

Aerial121 Looks like I'm heading to the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference up on shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji in late June. They take 13 people for their fiction workshop and I'm one of 'em. (Hoping they had more than 13 applicants.) Sheri Joseph (Georgia State Univiversity and fiction editor at Five Points) conducts the workshop--I must read her books and get acquainted. A guy from Milkweed Editions will also be there. It'll be nice to get out and go somewhere, even if it does involve a round-trip bus ride and nine days in a dorm room.

Monday, March 17, 2014

On MAYBE being in Saint Paul Almanac

EDIT: Just got an email from these folks clarifying that: "Sometimes a story or two gets dropped for space or other reasons." Okay, at least I know somebody read this post or my FB page...Found out yesterday that an excerpt from Bonus Man will be included in 2015 Saint Paul Almanac. Very happy about that (I think they even pay!). This ends a streak of seven straight stories published by magazines/editors outside the U.S.—two in Australia, three in UK/France, one in Canada and one selected by an Irish guest editor at a Wisconsin mag. Nice to know my particular form of Americana finally works in America.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On Strength

Wednesday at work I went up to help an old woman who called to say she'd fallen. She was laying there on her floor between her bed and a potty her son and his wife had set up. They were setting up a hospice for her. I told her I should call 911 (like I'm supposed to), she said she wasn't hurt and rolled over onto her knees. She started to push herself up, I held her to make sure she didn't fall back down. She pushed herself up to the edge of the bed. I held her to make sure she didn't fall back to the floor. She squirmed her way back into bed.

The son and daughter thanked me many times for my help. When I said I hadn't done anything, they didn't seem to believe me. They said she didn't have the strength. Today she found the strength to get to her patio door, open it and pull herself up and over her 16th floor railing.

Friday, November 22, 2013

On 1963

I was in 1st grade, back in '63, and heard the news through the speaker on the wall that we got all our news from. School closed and we were hustled out of the building to our buses waiting at the curb. Our bus's crossing guard—a 6th grader, probably very popular—kept singing that song with the line: “Deep in the heart of Texas.” I remember thinking how she seemed to think this was terribly funny.

Of course, they had only said he'd been shot—sparing grade schoolers the fact that a chunk of JFK's head had been blown away. I guess it would've seemed doubly funny to her had he been shot in the heart and in the heart of Texas. I wonder (every year at this time) if she remembers that bus ride the same way I do. I remember that—that and getting home and finding my mother crying on the floor in front of our little black and white tv.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On sale now!

The Skive Magazine “FAREWELL” issue is out! I'm very proud to have a short story in it and very sad that it's their last issue. Many thanks to Matthew Ward and the wonderful job he's done on Skive over the years. Click for details.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On and on and on...

Today I unveil a bright, shiny new website! Actually, it's the same cluttered mess made all the more cluttered by the addition of an introduction to my third—and just completed—novel, BONUS MAN. And some pictures!

Presidents Hoover and FDR were nice enough to join us for the parade. (I'm sure they'll make speeches later.) The novel concerns Adam “Bonus Man” Bonifacius and kicks off with the Bonus Army March of 1932. Despite a peaceful protest, Hoover decides to turn to the Army. General MacArthur negotiates with tanks and tear gas before burning down the veterans' camp. Roosevelt? Well, his only contribution to the book is that Bonus Man's son, Young Adam, learns the carpentry trade through FDR's National Youth Administration out-of-school program.

Truth is, neither of the Presidents were even invited to the parade—but you know how those guys are...

Friday, September 13, 2013

On another publication

Found out this morning that my short story, “The Difference,” will be published in Skive Magazine in their FAREWELL November issue. Skive is out of Australia and a few years back published an excerpt from my first novel. It's their last issue, which is a shame, but I'm thrilled to be a part of it.