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Bay CityDavid Wilson-Burns, author of Whiff and My Wife Says I’m Complicated, offers his gritty and emotionally potent debut novel, Bay City Runaway, a story of two runaways finding each other in their escape from abuse and tragedy.

James, a thirty-something software wiz with a drinking problem, runs away to San Francisco to escape a tragedy in his home state of Oklahoma. In front of his favorite pub one night, a teenage girl with a nasty bruise on her face asks for a cigarette. He sees her several more times and gives her food and smokes. She appears to be living on the street, running away from abuse. Late one night, the frantic teen, Amy, shows up at his China Town apartment. Having nowhere else to go, she seeks shelter and protection from her abuser, who could show up at any time. They form an unlikely and complicated friendship.

Wilson-Burns’ moving and engaging novel brings to vivid life the struggling, lonely alcoholic, the precocious, street-wise teenager, and the sexually-charged complication of a would-be girlfriend, Kyra, as their lives become intertwined.

He also captures 1990s college life as he tells the story of how a new friend, Zach, helps James win back the girl he will marry, leading up to the tightly kept secret of the tragedy that puts him on a plane to San Francisco in 2007.

In gripping detail, Wilson-Burns delves deeply into how alcoholism can grow from little seeds into a tragic and disastrous bloom.

Wilson-Burns uses his expressive, straightforward writing style to create an emotional experience for the reader and brings a deep sense of redemption and faith in humanity into his characters and story. Those who have experienced alcoholism in their lives will identify powerfully with James and Amy’s struggles. He shows how love, friendship, and faith can redeem the running, lost, and hurting.

The Puddlegulch Post is live!

Posted: November 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

Welcome to The Puddlegulch Post !

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Puddlegulch celebrates the 150th anniversary of Possum Day

On a blustery December morning in 1869, word came to the town councilmen of Johnson Gulch of an encroaching army of rogue civil war soldiers who had not realized that the Civil War had been over for four years. No one knows which side they had been fighting on, and many suspected that they could not remember.

Mayor Sowser gathered the men of the town to come up with a plan to avoid a massacre. A young man named Nathaniel Puddle talked at length of the amazing properties of possums, known as the Possum Address, and a plan was quickly devised to “play possum”. Puddle and the other men went from door to door advising the residents to create scenes of death for each household in an attempt to convince the soldiers to pass on. Thinking that the town was already massacred, the marauders did pass on and massacre the neighboring town of Taylorfield (aka Bloodfield). Johnson Gulch has since been known as Puddlegulch in honor of the legendary Nathaniel Puddle, and the day will forever be known as Possum Day.

Festivities will be held in the town square on December 6th. The judging of the most creative family death scene competition will begin at noon. Bundle up and bring your possum pride!

 

 

I’ve read this book several times, but this is my first listening experience with it. I’ve never been satisfied with any other portrayal of the Count, but the original Bram Stoker novel. What brings me back to it over and over is the old world experience, especially Harker’s journey to Transylvania. There were some oddities to the reading, and I think that I’m on board with them. Some of the actors used accents when quoting other characters and some did not. Mina always did her best to give the impression of a Texan, Dutch, and male voice, where Dr. Seward never did. But I’ve decided that we’re all that way when we tell stories. Some people just have the gift of impressions and some do not.

The voices are very similar to the ones in my head from having read it several times. Mina, having said to have the brain of a man but the heart of a woman, is thus portrayed….both exacting and courageous, but also movingly compassionate EVEN toward the count….all conveyed well by the actor.

Unrelated to the performance, I’ll say that I’ve always struggled with Van Helsing. He seems like that lonely fellow that upon making friends for the first time gets a little too attached, pledging life long love and such. He is also terribly long-winded. I sometimes zone out once I get the gist of what he is saying.

Also, the beauty of this novel is in the intimacy. Reading diaries and letters satisfies a certain desire for voyeurism! Give gives you such a sense of atmosphere both internally and externally.

51UCCn0xDfL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Before I review, let me say that Pat Conroy is one of my favorite writers.  His writing is greatly influencing the novel I am writing right now: The Belly of the Church.  I’ve read many of his books.

Review

While it is true that “South of Broad” is a love letter to the city of Charleston, it is also a love letter to the English language. Never have I read an author with such a comprehensive mastery of English. Whereas many writers may attempt to connect with their readers by using a common denominator of sorts in their use of vernacular, Mr. Conroy boldly and poetically embraces his vast vocabulary to create the richest possible world that words can create. However, his language alone could not make this novel as powerful as I believe it to be. He uses his substantial powers of imagery and literary precision to tell a story that borders on epic. His writing is honest to the degree of astonishing beauty, profound human wisdom, and harsh brutality. “South of Broad” is as strong a novel as Pat Conroy has written and perhaps the culmination of his writing prowess.

What a great story. Our main character is a puzzle, obsessed with scent to a somewhat alarming extent. The story has some twists that caught me by surprise and left me hopeful for this misunderstood misfit.
The references to his (my) hometown will make any Normanite proud. Ah, Sooner Dairy Lunch french fries…
I look forward to David’s next book!

Some have asked if Jim is an autobiographical character.  He is so specific that I think he seems real to people.  He is not, but the idea for him comes from my life.  When I was four, my family moved from Austin, Texas to Lonoke, Arkansas for my father’s first preaching job.  Before we left, my mother took my twin brother and me to the post office.  There at the counter I saw a little girl and became instantly smitten.  Later, in Arkansas, we went to the post office and it smelled exactly the same.  I got a rush of butterflies for the girl.

From then on, I became more aware of smells and how they affect me.  I wanted to visit that post office because of the smell.  It made me feel good.  It’s an odd thing that a post office should give a little kid butterflies, but perhaps I was an odd kid.

So I thought, what if a man’s good feelings were so strongly associated with the smells of the past that he could no longer experience positive experiences in the present.  What if the only way he could feel good was to re-experience the smells?  It’s a sad sort of person, but also interesting.

Check out Whiff on Amazon