My Arkansas, Then And Now

My Arkansas, Then And Now

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pre-publication publicist flyer

For the soon-to-be released book,

“Storytellin’: True and Fictional Short Stories of Arkansas”

An interesting and intriguing collection of true Cotner family tales and original, entertaining short stories inspired by a variety of actual people and events in the River Valley and Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas.

The author’s grandfather, a railroad bull for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Line Railroad in the 1920s was the inspiration for “He A Friend Of Yours?” the uplifting tale of a young boy, a midnight train and the importance and value of friendship.

Many Cotners made their living by working with stone, the author included, and they inspired the chilling “Reba’s Stone” a story about a young dead girl and the gravestone that worked to set in motion the wheels of justice.

In the eerie “Grave Voices” a shady, prominent preacher is taught a lesson about honesty and being careful what you wish for—a story evolved from an actual event in the United Methodist Church in Booneville, Arkansas in 1923.

‘See a penny, pick it up’ is an old and familiar saying but it takes on a completely new meaning in “Pretty Penny”, the story of greed, sacrifice and lost love inspired by a walk the author took with his mother in the early 1950s.

A shiny, new red and white tricycle for Christmas at the early age of four years led to the unusual and completely weird tale of a playful yet destructive robot in “Pookie, Man Of Steel”.

With numerous fishing adventures around Logan County, Arkansas and interaction with the denizens of deep, murky waters to draw from comes “On The Prominent List”, the frightening yet oddly funny tale of a legendary snake called Old Fang of Black Pond and the man who would kill it.

And for something truly frightening, there’s nothing like the excitement of prowling around in a big, two-story ancient barn especially if you’re a twelve year old boy free from school on a hot summer’s day—the heat, the smells, the random encounters with spiders, snakes and who-knows-what. It’s the deadly who-knows-what lurking in the story “JackOBones” one needs to watch for. It’s a creepy, bloody tale of a butcher, his family and retribution.

These and many more stories wait within…take the journey!

Anticipated publication and release date for “Storytellin’: True and Fictional Short Stories of Arkansas” is December 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I’ve completed the cover artwork and inside picture additions for the book of short stories titled “Storytellin’: True and Fictional Stories of Arkansas”. The formatting and editing work on the completed manuscript is currently in full swing. I’m planning on posting the book cover artwork here once the editing work is completed on the manuscript. If all goes well, the book will likely be published just before Christmas.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Día de los Muertos

October 31, 2010 has come and gone marking both my beautiful daughter’s birthday and Halloween. It’s a great time of the year. November 1st and 2nd marks the Mexican Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos —a colorful, festive and celebrative time. “It is a holiday with a complex history and fusion of old traditions. This view of death started with Meso-American cultures such as the Olmecs more than 3,000 years ago. Meso-Americans believed that during this time of the year, the boundaries that separate the living and the dead weaken and that the deceased could visit the living. Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life, as a blend together cycle. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.”

Here’s a Cotner Collection Art poster I did in 1998 commemorating the holiday.