I grew up in Allen County, Ohio, and Franklin County, Maine. Since 1977 my wife and I have made our home in Penobscot County, Maine, north of the 45th parallel. Our children and grandchildren are not far away.
My fascination with languages and linguistics began as early as third grade, when I won an award for a book report. Spanish was a mandatory subject when I was in fifth and sixth grades. I submitted to two years of Latin in ninth and tenth, and two years of French in eleventh and twelfth grades. Then I took a Russian basic course as a college freshman (at a conservatory of music, where I was preparing for a career as a concert pianist until I accidentally severed my right-hand index finger).
When I volunteered for the Army during the Vietnam war instead of returning to college, I took the Army Language Aptitude Test and aced it. No one aces that test, I was told, and I was required to take it again, this time with a monitor in the room. I came one answer short of acing it again. This earned me a year of Russian immersion at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and an Army Security Agency assignment as a cryptanalyst in Europe.
With a later degree in wildlife management, I went on to salaried careers in the paper industry and health care administration, and now I enjoy limited self-employment as a Registered Maine Guide in fishing, hunting, and recreation.
Some may argue that I have lurched and careened through life, prompting any panicked creature in my path to run both ways at once, tripping circuit breakers in others’ brains, and leaving a trail of confusion through a world otherwise aspiring to be orderly.
Along the way, I have written. A lot. Stories and novels, diatribes and screeds, discourses and elucidations. These are scattered across the internet, throughout my computers, and in the pages of pre-internet magazines and newspapers.
In 1999, after writing two novels and numerous short stories, and after publishing articles in newspapers and magazines, I began to discover the impossibility of penetrating the phalanx of literary agents engaged by publishing houses whose role, it seems, is to sacrifice good literature in favor of finding the next sensational blockbuster.
I even wrote to Jimmy Carter after reading one of his books and received a handwritten reply with his agent’s name. I queried the agent, who didn’t read my stuff but replied that she was not interested in the subject of my work at that time. The book I wanted to submit to her was Fire, Wind & Yesterday.
That was my impetus to start my own publishing enterprise Damn Yankee Publishing, centered on a web site I built myself at DamnYankee.com. My objective there was to make an end run around the book publishing industry. I published one title, Three Naked Ladies Playing Cellos – An Arpeggio of Sixteen Unique Pieces (short stories by sixteen different authors). The book is no longer in print or available on line, but to my knowledge it was the first book ever published as an ebook and in print simultaneously.
Since I was engaged in a paying vocation at that time, I set Fire, Wind & Yesterday aside and waited more than ten years before preparing it for publication at Amazon.com. Since then, DamnYankee.com has evolved into the site you are visiting now. I have chosen to continue with Amazon as the publisher of my subsequent books.
This site exists so that I can present all of my worthy work in one place, pointing to where one can purchase the works that are commercially available, and so those who wish to do so can read some of of my work free of charge and at their leisure right on the web site. (See menu items for articles, family, and links, as well as some portions of my books.)
I will scrounge my archives for missing pieces and add them into the collection here. There is no theme to the collection. It includes fiction and non-fiction, pieces for adults and juveniles if it can be classified at all, and the sequence of its appearance here will depend on my whim.
I wrote every bit of what you will see here except for two items of significance which I did not write and they are so identified, Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God) and Kate Gardner’s Diary. On the home page I also recommend The Narrative of Henry Tufts and have dedicated a paragraph to promoting it. As for my own work, I hope a few people enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.