Dusty Kohl has taught as a classroom teacher and reading specialist for nearly two decades. He has written poems and short stories since his own elementary school days. Dusty is one in a long line of storytellers of oral traditions from family history. When he isn’t remodeling, landscaping or kicking back with his dogs, he’s out people watching and interacting. His goal is to keep his storyline characters realistic while his plots take twists, turns and surprises.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing stories and poetry in fourth grade. I don't think I realized that until my father gave me a box my mother collected of my works over the years. Her memory box included my first meaningful poem in the local paper. My teacher had it published. She said that I showed "conservation of words." I doubt she'd agree with that assessment now. I can still write much about great ideas using few words, the way she said of me. Now those are buried within my story lines. I have been fortunate to have people in my life at the right times to encourage my writing. My high school teachers always seemed amazed at my writing ability that I took for granted. My assignments quite often were showcased as exemplary to the dismay of my friends and to my embarrassment. Through high school, college, and beyond, I kept journals which included my own poetry, short stories, and tales of life my grandmother told me as a youngster.
I have always been a story writer. I come from a long line of storytellers, Dad, Grandma, Great-Grandpa and even Great-Great-Grandpa have passed family and social stories to me through the generations. Many of those stories I intend to share and I'm currently writing. My own creations, however, are based on personal interests. I write to entertain, so I hope people find that in my efforts.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first whole story I wrote was in fifth grade. Actually, it was more of an epic poem about a young boy and his dog trading lives. Each learned to see the world through the other's eyes.
For over fourteen years, Nellie has wanted to go home to Whitehouse, Texas. She finally gets her desire, though only for a short visit. “Back home” has many disconcerting revelations for her. In this book, they move to Oklahoma City just prior to 1920. She makes a new home for her children and secures income to support them with the support of close friends. Their business and hard work pay off.
In 1909 at the age of thirteen, Nellie camps with her family in the new State of Oklahoma. They fled crop failure at home in East Texas. She loved her parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. All of them believed they could pull through the worst of circumstances. Instead, they barely scraped by with enough to eat. The book provides detailed background of her family life in those days.
Nellie is dragged along when her husband fears death at the hand of her father. From boardinghouses, to cheap hotel rooms, and then a winter in a boxcar, she’s had enough and demands a decent roof over their heads before the baby comes. Nellie makes many new friends along the way. Her trail of friends irritates her spouse, except for whatever he can get from them.
At less than twenty years old, Nellie birthed three children. Her friend's husbands return from the start of WW 1, dead or mortally wounded. When the draft board sends for her husband, he loads the buckboard and takes them out of civilization. She must find ways for them to survive. Living off the land changes the way she looks at her marriage and it forever changes the way she looks at herself.
Diving in Deep isn't about the water, but about Shane’s life. His path takes unpredictable twists to outgrow his need of a life swim coach. Shane’s job, Director at Dawg On Adult DVDs, challenges his private relationship and redefines his morality. Tougher players of opposing ethereal battles arise demanding a leader. Few believe he is up to that task.
Shy 18 year-old Shane struggles in a vicious home life. Friendship and love prove valuable while surviving unfair circumstances. Life seems to give him only two choices: Swim or Drown. While being coached to overcome his aqua phobia, he discovers learning to swim isn’t about the water. Local legends and revenge carry a heavy price, as he is forced to choose self-destruction or self-acceptance.