The Fictitious And The Less Fortunate


I look up from the fret board

Through a haze of river water and wine

And into your brown eyes

during that “slip away” line

That you know is about you

Our friends, attentive but unaware

You smile, making it more special

As my love for you swells in my chest

And I choke back emotions I’ve felt

This entire Memorial weekend

The highs and lows of living and dying

Dodging bullets and feeling bulletproof

But perception is wrongly so much of reality

We must step back and reassess

and responsibly finish the deal we started

unlike the songs I’ve penned trivializing

the uncommitted breakups

of the fictitious and the less fortunate.


© 2016


Stolen Moments


Was returned recently by way of fatherhood to that place,

Where youthful imagination was allowed to roam.

Too many blissful hours to even calculate.

Every inch covered by foot – or by fingertip.

Every pathway discovered.

Every emotion ripped open for diagnosis.

Every impulse explored.

Every blade of grass manicured.

Every curve of the water’s body traversed.

Every topic, shared words on lips.

Until only the elements spoke.

The moon danced across the sky,

Tiptoeing gracefully through the stars.

The ticking clock whispered

“Departure is a must.”

But a fence or a lamp post or a bench or a tree would say

“Not yet. Steal another moment.”

And the night birds would agree.

That was all the persuasion needed

For the magic of the darkness to continue.

© 2016

Long Shadow’s First Week


With Brandon Lowe cppdFirst-week  sales of my novel, The Long Shadow Of Hope, went pretty well considering it was available in electronic form only: 25 sales, three 5-star customer reviews, downloaded in at least 11 states including California, Nevada, Florida, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Missouri, West Virginia, Illinois, Texas.

Ended the week with an interview on The Brandon Lowe Show locally here in Charleston, West Virginia, which can be heard by going to click podcast, and click Wednesday. Or soundcloud:

Had a great time on the show and it was a good interview I believe. Brandon (above, right) has an innovative approach and is making a niche for himself here.

You can download The Long Shadow Of Hope by searching the title on If you’re a member, it’s also on Kindle Direct.  The print version will be available very soon at and If you get a rush out of the book, please share with other readers. We’re hoping to climb the mountain word-of-mouth, person to person.

Thankful for Joseph E. Bird’s review as well:

Football, I think it’s fair to say, is primal. Speed and strength and aggressive ferocity matter. Coaches like to talk about game plans and strategy, but nine times out of ten, the faster, stronger players win. And make no mistake, winning is everything. There may be talk of building character and lessons learned in losing, but such subtleties are just that – talk. It’s a man’s game, in every sense of the archaic phrase.

So it is with Andrew Spradling’s novel, The Long Shadow of Hope.

His prologue paints the scene. If you’ve ever watched a college football pre-game show, you’ve seen it. The fans, the cheerleaders, the tailgating – and the players who still display a naive enthusiasm for a multi-billion dollar business that masquerades as a game.

Spradling’s book is a behind-the-scenes look into that world. There’s no Rudy who sticks with the game against all odds. There’s no underdog team battling for a championship. It’s a story of how selfishness and greed can ruin lives and it’s told with the same direct, unflinching, fierceness that is on full display on Saturday afternoons every fall.

In Long Shadow, story is everything. It’s pretty clear who the good guys and bad guys are. In fact, Chap Roberts is one of the more despicable characters I’ve met in a long time and he has little time for inner reflection. And the men in Long Shadow, being the primal sorts that they are, are susceptible to the lure of illicit relationships and their encounters are described with direct clarity. Things are happening, surprises are brewing, and there are more twists in the story than the road up Lookout Mountain.

Like a good football game, you don’t know who is going to win until the end. It will leave you shaking your head, and hoping that college football isn’t really that bad.