Scene excerpt from the draft of THE COMPANY OF MASTERS

A Snippet...

Brandon has one year to break the curse before it’s permanent. If he can’t, he’ll wish he was dead. But by then he won’t—can’t—die. Those he loves will. Character-driven and atmospheric adult fiction that blends history and legend with the tension and intricacies of contemporary society. Strong, compelling and complex characters. Thoughtful, evocative and page-turning; […]

The 12 DOVES of Christmas

I like dark chocolate and sometimes have a piece in the morning with my coffee. There’s a brand of individually wrapped pieces called Dove™ that includes brief thoughts and statements inside the wrapper. With our preparation for the holiday season each year, my wife buys bags of them and–one year–I thought to begin on December […]

THE THANKS GIVEN Short Fiction by Dennis Lowery

The Thanks GIVEN (Escrire)

The eBook is Available Now

A heartwarming little story about how sometimes life does not get back on track until we appreciate the things we have that others do not. We should turn from our regrets and give thanks for the good things in our life.

NOTE FROM DENNIS:

My favorite holiday of the year and so much more important to me than Christmas, which gets more focus. I hope that you–my readers and visitors to my website–all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. And that you’ll share your thoughts about this story with others who may enjoy it too.

THE THANKS GIVEN Short Fiction by Dennis LoweryWhat some of my early readers had to say about this story:

“You were born to write, Dennis Lowery and that shows in every word. What a beautiful celebration of family. Lovely. Truly lovely writing.” –Sean Cowen

“Wonderful, as always.” –Sherry Thompson

“A Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.” –Bernice Joe

“Loved it… it’s beautiful! Me encantó! La traducción era soportable. Felicidades, es precioso…” –Elsa Bornay Delgado, Madrid

“A story from Dennis Lowery, do take a couple of minutes to read his wonderful words. For me they always conjure perfect images of the story as if I were running a movie clip in my head. I highly recommend checking out more of his excellent work.” –Fay Handstock, United Kingdom

“Beautiful.” –Deanna Elliott

“This touched my heart in many ways for I can relate in many many ways. I cried when I was reading this. For I feel the exact same way. And reading this with my three yr. old laying in my lap falling asleep… I look at her and am truly blessed in every way. Thank you for helping me see that again” –Brandie Chavez

“Dennis, this is a beautiful piece of writing. I love it. And it made me think of my own memories that HAD power over me that I did not realize until reading this. Thank you.” –Vera Athans

“Heartwarming and cozy, like a hug by the fire on the hearth. We need to be constantly reminded of what’s worthwhile.” –Liz

“I so enjoyed this!” –Lena Kindo-Kamara

“Hermosa. Lagrimas en mis ojos. Beautiful. I’ve tears in my eyes.” –Merchi Sananes

“Dennis, that is beautiful! I love it.” –Joyce Swindall Jacobs

“I’ve seen this story play out in real life, just different names. It’s wonderful that you can put it on paper, the way you do. I loved it.” –Karen Gross

“A great and heartwarming story.” –Annemieke Reffeltrath, The Netherlands

“This is lovely. I love how you describe the sounds and smells and sights. Great!” –Nina Anthonijsz, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Love it, Dennis! Your writing is awesome!” –Sylvia Sotuyo

“Perfect!” –Cilla Cantrell

“Beautiful, thank you.” –Tracie Parker

“Great and worthwhile read Dennis, and I especially liked how your story and postscript worked together to create a message that is both as beautiful as it is true and meaningful. Hopefully the core of it sinks in to every and anyone reading it.” –Michael Koontz, Sweden

 

‘TIMMY’ [2018 Halloween Installment]

My How 'Timmy' Has Grown...

Realtors try to sell a house, only to learn the house is still ‘occupied’ and they won’t leave. DISCLAIMER: No cats, small boys or Realtors were harmed while writing this story. Early morning — 5:22 AM (according to the time stamp on my file) — October 29, 2015, while drinking my coffee I came across […]

Of a Death and a Life - A Vignette by Dennis Lowery

Of a Death… and a Life (FREE SHORT NONFICTION)

My mother called me the day before she killed herself.

I’d like to say I remember every word of our conversation.

I’d like to believe it was chiseled in my memory forever. The sound of her voice something to lessen the pain of how I still miss her. How I wish she had been a longer part of my oldest daughter’s life and could know my three daughters born after she died, could read the stories I’ve written of them and about being their father and how my life’s become so much more than I ever imagined.

I’ll always carry the sorrow of how my daughters will never know her.

When world-shaking events take place, and you see or hear of it the first time… you remember that day and details of where you were, who you were with and who said what. You remember. But that call from my mother didn’t come on a life-rattling day, and I don’t. It was just mom calling to chat, probably asking about my—then only—daughter, soon to be five-year-old Karen.

That Saturday, August 28, 1993, I didn’t know I would never talk to her again.

Two days later I got the call I remember.

Shock is too thin a word. The hardest hit to the most sensitive part of a man doesn’t come close to conveying how I felt when my brother called me at work and told me my mother had shot herself the day before.

She was only 61.

Of a Death and a Life - A Vignette by Dennis LoweryA death like that is a void that never fills. An emptiness that still hurts.

But it gives me context.

One of my clients told me something once that surprised me though I’ve heard similar statements before from those I work with. But not with the depth of meaning behind this one. It touched on something I feel about my mother’s death. She—my client—said, “You helped me fight my demons and win because you showed me the way with your kindness and patience and most of all, your compassion. How do I ever repay you for giving me a reason to appreciate what I have and look forward to what the future will bring?”

Moved, I replied, “I gave you only what you deserve… the people that care for you do so because of who you are. You’ve earned their love and respect because you’ve fought your inner battles, and while doing that you gave to and care about others. That’s not a character trait that appears… it’s something there all along. A strength that is a wonder to behold and you telling me you’ve ousted those demons… that’s the best ‘repayment’ I could ever hope for. The future is bright; brighter still because you will be part of it!”

You may ask yourself why am I sharing this with you.

This woman—my client—had dealt with challenges and adversity most people never face. And through it, all strived to provide for and take care of her family as best she could. Though in the twilight of her life she still cared for and gave to others.

The regrets and recriminations we heap on ourselves can sometimes be too much to bear. That sense of futility… that your life just does not matter… can overcome even the strongest of wills if they are fighting the battle alone (even when that is not reality). But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The past can be painful to write about. But I know it can also be cathartic and carries with it the power to heal and resolve lingering issues from the past.

In a TIME magazine article by Mary Pols titled:… The best memoirs of loss and tragedy teach us universal truths. The worst just teach us suffering. The article starts with a question, “At what point does an individual’s grief move from the chaos of misery to a vessel of wisdom worth passing along?”

It’s a question a writer of a memoir needs to ask as it pertains to the intent of the book It’s about context. There are lessons and those universal truths to pull from even the most tragic of lives. Crafted into a story that becomes redemption or healing for the person the book is about.

That is what I wanted my client to understand; I wanted her to know her life was not a waste and sharing her story was important.

A redeeming quality of humanity is there are those who work through challenges and adversity and never let them bring their life to a permanent stop. The beauty of the human spirit shines when people continue their lives—despite heartache—despite obstacles and tragedies, despite when their life takes a dangerous turn for whatever reason. Their stories resonate and can be the catalyst that enables someone they don’t even know, a reader, to carry on and not give up. That books have changed lives goes without saying. Most, if not all, of us, have been moved by something we read. Stories that lift those who need help and move them to take a step forward, then another, and another…. making their way to a better attitude, a better place, and better life. Countless books have done that for people.

My mother had a difficult life; it was hardscrabble for much of it. I never realized how dark her thoughts, how tired of it all she was. How I wish she had had someone that touched—reached—her… to convince her life was worth carrying on. I failed to do that as her son, but I’m blessed with her compassion and the spirit that existed in her before its final surrender lives on as part of me. And that spark has helped me with my writing and publishing, and those efforts sometimes make a difference in other lives. I think it helped save someone.

Life can be hard and is often a grand experiment. For those of you who have ever thought of someday telling your story, pursue that and make it happen. Don’t give up and never surrender.

Stories and books can make a real difference in people’s lives. If you have a story in you… write it, let it be told… it can make a difference.

My client who told me what I’d done for her, is living proof of what that means.

At the 100,217-word mark (Historical Fiction)

Client Work - Book 1 of 4 of a Multi-year Project

Began writing mid-January 2018; just passed the 100,000-word mark. Historical fiction (my fourth story/project in the genre) for publication Spring 2019. The Rome he has been trained to serve, the Rome of Augustus and Germanicus, was gone. In its place stood Neronopolis, ruled by a megalomaniac brat.” ―James Romm, Seneca at the Court of Nero […]

The Center That Holds

I answered the phone, and after the “Hi, how’re you doing,” he had started the conversation: “I believe many of these students have already formed the way they view life. If they don’t have basic honesty as part of who they are…” It was Tom Faught, one of my clients on the phone; he’d emailed […]

‘The Wrong Man…’ Scene Excerpt [M]

Draft Scene for a Pulp Fiction Story in Development

I had seen her a few times. What she was doing in this hole wasn’t my business. But she didn’t fit in. Nice clothes; her face, an un-inked ivory oval framed by dark hair, caught the dim lights in the bar. Eye’s that if the light was better would have probably been a bright blue. And curves; the kind to make a train jump the tracks. Distracting, follow her every move just to see things shift under her clothes, kind of curves.