I've lived mainly in New York State and Wyoming (with some of their horses and blizzards), with notable time on the muskie waters of N.Y. and Minnesota. After Army service I mixed my own writing with conducting writing courses at Kansas State University, while sharing a small sheep farm with my wife and two sons.
Though I considered them of equal interest to adults my printed books were all published for children, receiving various reading list recognitions, two general awards, with three of them as Junior Literary Guild selections.
I also conceived and wrote the scripts for two half-hour dramatic films for an Xerox series, and have created and written the book and lyrics for two produced musicals.
And am continuing to be active outdoors and at a variety of folk- and other social dancing. Right now Sue and I are involved with our own Ragtime-Roaring Twenties era, choreographing steps to the Tin Pan Alley tunes of those years. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To begin, why these stories?
One answer is that stories provide experiences that otherwise would be missed, and experiences can be useful--for authors as well as readers. For example, the horse in "Morena Again" derives mostly from a horse my wife and I obtained while living in Wyoming. A very willing fellow once you got a rope on him, but that could be quite a game even in a corral. Twice he and I were whited-out by sudden spring snowstorms; I could barely see his ears. So I gave him his head and he got me safely home down through seven or eight invisible miles of ravine-carved hills. But what if he'd somehow gotten loose from me up there? I wrote the book to explore the possibilities and give me a better idea of what to be prepared for.
And what about "The Muskie Hook Re-Cast"?
Going out after muskie was one of my top joys when still very young. There was the building excitement of getting into a small wooden boat that would be pushed by a muttering 10-horse outboard slowly following a winding channel through some mystic flooded woodland to reach the open water and then the chance To Go For The Big Ones. Muskie fishing being what it is, we were as likely to come back through that channel disappointedly empty, but I always wanted to go for it again. And not many years later, on a North Woods lake, my mother, father, our guide and I encountered the same peril I set upon my characters in the story. I wrote it to offer an experience in muskie fishing for those unacquainted, and as a source of comparison for those who are.
First published in 1969 as a children’s book, this story of a day’s muskie hunting that comes near to deadly, told from above and below the water surface, and from personal experience, has been rewritten for a general audience, while staying within the era of the level-wind reel and the wooden Pikie Minnow.