Our Books

Unused Power: Thoughts on Curt Green

Unused Power I was born during a period of history when many World War I veterans were still alive. Of all those old men, the one that sticks out was a veteran named Manuel “Curt” Green. Curt Green was one of those country men who had never been anywhere, nor desired to, until World War I broke out. He traveled …

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The Evening Holler: from Africa

The Evening Holler This group of Zulu (South African) boys are giving the “Dry Creek Hoot Owl Call.” I’d been in their village the week before and shared “The Evening Holler.” They greeted me with it when we returned. It was a neat experience. To read this story– the first one in my first book (Stories from the Creekbank) click …

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Researching History: A Spent Bullet

Research Question A rose by any other name is still a . . . I’m starting a new manuscript tentatively titled, A Spent Bullet. It takes place in SW Louisiana during the large La. Army Maneuvers of August 1941, and involves the evolving relationship between a young La. schoolteacher and a soldier from Wisconsin. I’d appreciate reader input about what …

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Chapter 1 Commentary: “A Good Place”

A Good Place Chapter by Chapter Commentary Chapter 1 A Good Place begins with a hurricane. Author Notes: My experience with riding out Hurricane Rita in September 2005 led to the writing of this chapter. I was in charge of a camp full of 300 evacuees on the night Rita moved in from the Gulf. Even though Dry Creek is …

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Sample Chapter A Good Place by Curt Iles

A Good Place Readers: How you can help. Part of the joy of writing is working with friends and readers to improve our stories. I need your help on the name of one character. Curt Iles’ new novel, A Good Place, follows the story of Joe and Eliza Moore. Moving ahead ten years from their story in The Wayfaring Stranger, …

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Burned yet Blessed

Burned, yet Blessed, by the Fire… “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is today.” We’re just finishing burning season in Southwestern Louisiana. Five days of rain and the greening of the grass ended one of the driest winters we’ve had in years. The following story is from my 2004 book, Wind …

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A Friend named Ivory

A Friend named Ivory From the book, The Mockingbird’s Song by Curt Iles “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing … not healing, not curing … that is a friend who cares.” –Henri Nouwen “A …

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Sugar and Ivory

Ivory “guarding” the office.   “Sugar and Ivory” From the Curt Iles book,Hearts across the Water It’s odd but I will always think of two dogs when I think of the long night that Hurricane Rita struck Dry Creek Camp.   We had 350 people on our grounds. They had been moved and bedded down in our most solid dorms …

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“Branding Dogs” Mistranslation

“Branding Dogs” A case study on a misunderstanding Eddie Anyone who knows me is aware of how much I love dogs. One of my older friends always said, “Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like dogs.” One of my writing priorities is to include a good dog in every book I write. I don’t just like dogs. I love dogs, especially …

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The One and Only, Rusty Thompson

Rusty Thompson on the highway In the coming weeks, we’ll be blogging our funniest stories. Some will be new and others will be old favorites. The following one, entitled “Rusty” is from my third book, Wind in the Pines. It’s a favorite story of my friend Peggy Benoit. Let us know your favorite funny stories from my books, and we’ll …

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Roy Greene’s Door

Roy Greene’s Door This is a warning: Be careful with the doors at the Lake Charles Civic Center! I was there last week and as I entered the men’s room, I recalled Roy Greene’s story. The Lake Charles Civic Center opened thirty years ago. Amazingly, it was constructed on sand pumped out of the adjacent lake that gives the city …

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Why I Write

Why I write I write for influence. The written word can travel into places– and hearts– far away from where we are. This is a picture of Josh Miller, a great great great great grandson of Joe and Eliza Moore. Josh is a student at Pitkin Elementary where I visit yearly for their Family Reading Day. Josh is looking over …

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An Enduring Marriage of 77 Years

76 years of marriage—no, make that 77. They were always together. In my fifty years of knowing them, I can seldom recall seeing one without the other. And that’s how Uncle Gordon and Aunt Letha will live on in my heart. With the recent death of my grandmother’s last living sibling, Letha Reynolds, a marriage bond of 76 years was …

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“You’re the Man”

“You’re the Man” I wonder if they’ll give Captain Sully his “Broken Wing” award. It’s a special aviation award for safely landing a disabled aircraft. As you are aware, Chelsey B. “Sully” Sullenberger III is the pilot who saved the lives of 155 passengers of US Airways Flight 1549, when he safely landed the large jet in the Hudson River. …

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