COMING SOON!!!

COMING SOON!!! The Cary Grant Sanatorium and Playhouse - A disgraced Hollywood starlet, Donna Darling, and two-time German Army deserter, Séamus von Funck, meet in 1942 at an idyllic Ohio home for unwed mothers—or a Nazi abortion slaughterhouse, depending on whom you talk to. Their love endures despite the efforts of a power-hungry congressman, an overzealous religious tabloid, and Donna's Hollywood past. (Psst, it includes Cary Grant.) They prevail despite Séamus being a suspected Nazi spy and America's first prisoner of the second World War—and also the first to escape.

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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

On Bastille Day

So I'm sitting at my desk yesterday, nearly evening, having had a very productive day. I look out occasionally at the gathering crowd outside my window but the live music fails to raise me from my chair. Suddenly a shrill, obnoxious voice announces the next band: THE SUICIDE COMMANDOS!!! They start in on “Sixteen Tons” and in no time—so fast I leave a KitKat melting on my dictionary—this recluse is not only across the street but 30-35 years back in time. The Longhorn Bar, a Speed Wiener show at the Keystone in Palo Alto, X-Boys shows at the Uptown. Something about a Chris Osgood guitar solo—standing on a milk crate to be seen—can get even me out of the apartment. Happy Bastille Day!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Handcuffs and Handcuffs On

Got handcuffed by the police last night while walking home from work. I'm walking that unlit stretch on the north side of Lake Street between the Calhoun Beach Club and Lake of the Isles. [For those of you unfamiliar with the area, just play along.] I'm looking into headlights coming at me, then a spotlight as the car slows down. By now I can see it's a police car. It slowly passes. I think little of it until it stops and makes a u-turn—now eastbound against three lanes of oncoming westbound traffic. It pulls up next to me—still pointing in the wrong direction—and I walk up to find out what they want.
Take your hands out of your pockets,” calls a woman's voice from the driver's side. I oblige and she asks: “What's your name?”
William Tinkham,” I say.
She's out of the car now, still fifteen feet away from me. “Oh,” she starts, “we thought you were...um, um—”
Sorry to bother you,” the male cop says from the other side of the car. They get back in and drive off. I continue my walk home, puzzled how they knew I wasn't the guy when they never got close enough to get a good look at me. About the time I reach the bridge over where Isles & Calhoun meet, I notice two police cars heading eastbound on Lake, turn left at the light and swing back towards me, lights flashing.
Let's see some ID.” It's the female cop again. I reach into my pocket to get it and she yells: “Keep your hands out of your pockets!”
I can't do both,” I say, holding my hands about chest level.
I'll get it,” she says and starts to check my pockets while the male cop puts my hands on top of my head and pats me down. I'm telling her that my ID's in my front right-hand pocket and suddenly the guy pulls by arms down and slaps handcuffs on me. About the time I hear the click of the cuffs, she has my ID out. “He's right,” she says, “William Robert Tinkham.” And the handcuffs come off. “Sorry, you look like a guy we're after.”
What did I do to warrant the handcuffs?” I ask, trying not to sound as pissed as I am.
The guy we're after is armed,” the male cop says.
But you had already frisked me.”
No we didn't,” he says. “Sorry to bother you,” he says, again. And they drive off. Again.
If anyone hears of the police capturing a weary man in a suede, Goodwill sport coat, let me know. I'm curious as to what they thought I had done. And what they were so afraid of? I could understand if they'd come with guns drawn—I was supposed to be armed. But to pat me down and then slap on the cuffs. Did he need the practice? They weren't even on for ten seconds and, just like that, I'm a law-abiding citizen again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Back Surgery, C. Diff and Other Holiday Complications

I know this is a lame excuse for not posting here in nearly three months, but: Just before Thanksgiving I developed back pains which sent me to the ER, an MRI, then hasty back surgery. That would prove to be the least of my problems. During surgery I contracted the C. Diff virus. Google it... I found an article that said that, in 2010, 9% of the reported cases ended in death. The article was about what little had been done over the years to stop the virus. In my case it hit my heart, my lungs and my plumbing. In the twelve days following the surgery I gained 41 pounds—without eating. In the next three weeks I lost 59 pounds.
Days before Christmas I was sent to a rehab facility to regain my strength and receive IV antibiotics. One week into my stay there and the insurance company said I had used up all the physical therapy they were going to pay for—that I was too healthy for anymore rehab. A week later—after being cleared to go home and administer my own IV meds by my infectious disease doctor—the same insurance people claimed if I was sick enough to need the drugs then I was too sick to go home.
After a month not rehabbing in the rehab facility, I returned to work last week. I bus to work and cab home as I'm still regaining my stamina. Monday's cab was running a little late so I poked my head out the door and heard voices. I stepped outside to find three guys getting into my cab out on the street. I headed down the driveway screaming that it was my cab, stepped into some freezing rain and went airborne—eventually landing smack on that surgically repaired back I spoke of earlier. Remarkably, I survived the fall with no further injury and, even more remarkably, the would-be cab thieves paid for my fare home.
Hope your holidays went well...