Wynn Parks was born in the southern U.S., and raised on Air Force Bases scattered from the Philippines to Turkey. Growing up as a "military brat" bred into him the love of travel that has motivated so many of his life choices, and piqued his fascination with with such famous travelers as Odysseus, Ibn Battuta, and Burton.
The author put himself through college at South Dakota's Black Hills State University, and later the Iowas Writers' Workshop by working summers as Driller's Helper in the eastern Wyoming coal fields.
After six months as a Dobey-Paisano Fellow at the University of Texas, he spent a winter in an Alaskan bush camp as an exploration geologist. There he managed to save enough for traveling expenses to get him to the Greek island of Paros, where he contracted to teach Creative Writing at The Aegean School of Fine Arts. Having lived in the Aegean as a boy, going to Paros felt like a homecoming. Though he forayed off-island to Europe, North Africa,and Iran,it was Paros that was his haven from the middle Seventies through the mid-Eighties.
In 2010, Parks was awarded a fellowship at the Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat, south of Edinburgh, Scotland. Two of the offerings published on Smashwords, originated at the Hawthornden Castle.
Several of the stories featured on Smashwords are excerpted from the author's "arabesque" novel, "Songs from Dinosaki's Jukebox". "Jukebox" grew out of the author's years in Greece and, earlier, Turkey, and his life-long sense of connection with the Aegean.
The author currently lives in the United States in Blue Mountain Beach, Florida.
Where to find Wynn Parks online
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Curious Critters Vol. II- Continues the audacious adventures of Boggs Pumpelly and Bud Ricks, in script form; tales of country boys living amid the hills and hollows of north Alabama. If there's a strange critter---animal or human--- anywhere in the hills, Boggs' and Bud's path seem destined to Cross with them. Episode V: The boys find just how dangerous spray painting numbers on ducks can be!
"Curious Critters" is the audacious, comic adventures of Boggs Pumpelly and Bud Ricks in script form; two country boys living amid the hills and hollows of north Alabama. If there's a strange critter---animal or human--- anywhere in the hills, Boggs' and Bud's path seems destined to cross with them! Vol. I contains three episode, the first of which is a trip to see a baseball playing chicken.
Songs from Dinosaki's Jukebox
"For palm reading?" Lily snorted, "One hundred Euros, plus what?"
"Plus tip, dear. Besides, who said anything about 'palm reading'? Sorry, but that's what I mean by tourist entertainment. I went through my 'palm reading' phase when I was a teenager. Now, I read the patterns someone makes swimming through the water--- or anything on God's green Earth. My trick is translating what the thing says.
Andy Alytis' father dies. Andy hits the road; ends up signing on to a tramp steamer;and finally living on a Greek island. Life there sweetens,until Andy's funds run low. So he sets out again to run down a chum who owes him money;and now sells reconstructed animal skeletons. He offers Andy work, with which Andy is okay, until it turns to digging up graves.But the alternative proves worse than that.
Barba Yianni ~Uncle Blood Sucker
In the Greek islands, a vrycolakos is a vampire. Unlike the Transylvanian kind,a vrycolakos is often hard to tell from the person they were when alive. They can be distinguished by two things: their prey is usually a family member, and their dessicated bodies make a drum-like sound when struck. The niece of a vrycolakos tells of her narrow escape from her uncle ... or not!
The Ballad of Lucius A. Bugbee
Lucius attempts to win a bet, and a wild mare by whom he is entranced. To do so he uses the Indian trick of "turning horse": stripping, washing, and rubbing himself with horse dung. A naked Lucius rides his own blindfolded gelding; never dismounting, day or night. But herd acceptance has its price. His transformation brings him a shamanistic experience of primal sex, and it nearly kills him.
Dancers of Epano
To trap an elusive partisan leader,foreign troops lay siege to Epano,his home village.An Englishman in Epano,Reginald Jordon,plots to escape---with his secret lover---from the village's desperate and bloody defense.When the partisan dies,trying to relieve Epano,the ex-pat imagines that he can stay uninvolved as his lover,and all,dance themselves,and their children off the sea-cliffs behind Epano.
Uncle Adonis - Ladies' Man
Though regarded in the village as something of a roue,Uncle Adonis is the closest thing Akis has to a father.Adonis and his cafenion cronies,provide the young island boy a window onto manly ways of the world.As a child,Akis takes Uncle Adonis' reputation as a ladies' man on face value. Later, as a know-it-all university student, he learns the tragic truth behind Uncle Adonis' reputation.
Manoulis Steals a Kiss
Manoulis had been born a child of Epiphany. To the village's old women, his birth season---the season of long nights, when the old and New Year meet---placed a part of Manoulis in the company of satyrs and ghosts and other creatures of the in-between. Yet Manoulis is a kissing fool, and his obsession may reprieve his sister from the convent!
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- Rhythm in Blue
on March 16, 2011
Whose kid was this hanging around the port, the cafenion, or the ex-patriot parties at all hours, and secretly recording it all with such merciless clarity? Would I be surprised to know? Whoever she is, she helps immortalize the artists' colony on Paros --- good, bad and ugly --- long before the Club Med types moved in and civilized the place. There is no happy-sappy Hollywood music score to Rhythm in Blue; nor silly dance routines down at the harbor. There's a stronger rhythm in the torturous dance between Shelby and Rick as their lives sway forward and back against the blue of Aegean Greece, or a blues from Rick's American band.
Rick and Shelby's story isn't just about a forbidden love affair against all odds, but an act of cultural exploration; a fulminating chapter in ex-patriot literature; at core, a why and how of the ex-patriot heart.
Whoever this kid was, she knows whereof she writes. I was there too...