Sunday, 30 October 2011

Just who is Kenneth Weene anyway?

Life itches and torments Kenneth Weene like pesky flies. Annoyed, he picks up a pile of paper to slap at the buzzing and often whacks himself on the head. Each whack is another story. At least having half-blinded himself, he has learned to not wave the pencil about. Ken will, however, write on until the last gray cell has retreated and there are no longer these strange ideas demanding his feeble efforts. So many poems, stories, novels; and more to come.

So far Ken has two novels published by All Things That Matter Press and a third will be out soon.

The first is Widow’s Walk, the story of a woman restarting her life and her two adult children. Widow’s Walk is a tale of love, sexuality, religion, and spirit. A box of Kleenex is an essential accessory when reading this emotional and meaningful novel.

Memoirs From the Asylum is set in a state psychiatric hospital. Full of tragedy, humor, and pathos, Memoirs reminds us that there are many forms of asylums and that it is all to easy to give up the most essential human freedom, the freedom to choose who we are. More than anything, Memoirs From the Asylum is a book for people who love words; it is a book that asks to be read aloud.

Coming soon is Tales From the Dew Drop Inne: Because there’s one in every town. The folks who hang out at this neighborhood bar are struggling to know that they too belong. This is a book of intersecting stories that illustrate the humanity of us all and our search for a place in which to belong.

Trained as a psychologist and an ordained minister, Ken knows that the human heart is the most elemental place to begin any story. Having also written a good amount of poetry, he strives to make the language of his books unique. Ken also brings the clear-eyed realism of a born and bred New Englander to his writing. The overall results are books that are especially moving and well-written.

You can learn more about Ken at

A good link for more about Widow’s Walk is:

For Memoirs From the Asylum visit

Both Widow’s Walk and Memoirs From the Asylum are available in print as well as Kindle and Nook.

Friday, 28 October 2011

  Just who is Salvatore Buttaci anyway?

A retired teacher since 2007, I spend much of my leisure time writing and submitting my poems and stories for publication. It’s not something new to me. I’ve been writing and promoting my work since my first publication in 1957 at age 16. It was an essay entitled “Presidential Timber” which was published in the Sunday New York News.

Writing has always been my favorite pastime. I enjoy the excitement of writing down the first draft. I even like the work required, delivering that first draft to a final one after revising and editing. With every completed poem or story, article or novel, I feel a grand satisfaction. Ironically, though I love words, I cannot adequately express the joy that writing brings me. That unexpressed joy seems to be the driving force that keeps me writing. A strong believer in a God Who gives us all certain talents to use and develop, I thank Him for His gift by writing everyday.

I had spent a good number of happy years teaching writing skills to middle-school and college students. To become writers, I explained to them, they needed to learn the skills of language, make use of the imagination, practice writing daily, build their own self-confidence, and submit their work for publication. Many of those students are still writing today. I meet them on Facebook all the time.

Of course, I follow my own good advice. I know that the writing craft, like any craft, requires knowledge, practice, and action. I keep myself involved in writing projects so that I am always learning, practicing, and promoting my work to those I feel confident would enjoy reading my poems or stories in journals and on the Internet, as well as those book buyers who are looking for their brand of reading pleasure.

In addition to writing, I am an avid reader of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I believe reading and writing go hand in hand. After all, I never met an author who seriously claimed he or she never spends any time reading a book. As for readers, I have heard many speak of the book inside them they hope one day to write.

Some of my other interests include studying languages and history, doing volunteer work at church, and spending as much time as I can with my wife Sharon, my life’s greatest inspiration. Since my retirement, the two of us live in “Almost-heaven” West Virginia and are loving it.

What do I most love to write? Inspired by the comic books of my 1950s youth, I have been writing flash fiction for more than half a century. Short-short stories under 1,000 words appeal to me, just as they appeal to so many readers out there who search the Net or for flash collections and anthologies. Flash fiction reflects our modern times in the sense that society moves at a faster pace and readers looking for a complete story can find it in as little as three pages of a book. It is the quick read, the fast tale, one of many desserts in a literary buffet. And because the stories are short-short, a reader can return to them and re-read them again and again.

In 2010, All Things That Matter Press published my first collection of short-short stories Flashing My Shorts. The book, as well as Kindle edition, contains 164 flash-fiction stories that run the gamut from A to Z,  adventure stories to zany stories and all other genres in between.

In 2011, ATTMP also published my second flash collection 200 Shorts.

I know there are many flash collections out there. I also know how difficult it is for book buyers to decide which of those collections to purchase. As the author, I suppose it would be politically incorrect for me to climb up on a soapbox and try to persuade you to buy my two books. However, judging from customer comments and reviews at and elsewhere, I would say you would not be disappointed. The stories will stay with you long after you have read them. I wrote them all with that intention in mind.

200 Shorts Kindle Edition Print Edition:
Barnes and Noble Nook Book: 

Flashing My Shorts
Amazon. com Print Edition: Kindle Edition:   

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Just who is Jean Rodenbough, anyway?

Let me tell you:  I was eight years old and we were in Honolulu, Hawaii.  My father was an Army doctor.  Early one morning in December our family woke up to loud sounds that first seemed like the Navy practicing their firing.  But it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The days following were the beginning of a time that changed everything for me.

Many years later, I thought of that time, of the effects on my psyche from the nearness of that war.  I wondered then what must it have been like for children who were living in the midst of war?  And I began researching stories, gathering stories from friends I had known recently, and those from my own childhood, about how they experienced World War II.

The book that resulted, Rachel’s Children: Surviving the Second World War, was published in 2010 and has been read by those who lived through those times, and those who were born long after such a war.  The book describes the tragedy and outrage that wars carry in their paths.  My stories are commented on by brief poems and reflections, to provide some distance from the pain of those years. 

Now in my late 70’s, I feel some release for my own emotional reactions.  It is in telling our story and reliving the experience not only of our own lives, but the stories of others which verify our own, that make us whole.  I am glad to have made the effort, and appreciate All Things That Matter Press for publishing it.

Now I work on another collection of stories, this time of animals who have been tragically abused, mistreated, abandoned.  The stories tell of the caring human beings who have taken these animals into their own lives and made pets of them.  Poems will be the commentary for the situations that at last have given peace and love to these creatures: dogs, cats, birds, and all four and two-legged beings.

Who is Glenn Parkhurst, anyway?
Glenn Parkhurst surprised himself when he started to write. Glenn was more of an outdoor enthusiast, fisherman, hunter, father of two boys who looked at life through the eyes of Ward Cleaver. But life took him to places he didn’t expect. Divorce, death, and sobriety all impacted his outlook on life. Travel, volunteerism, grandchildren and new friends rearranged his outlook. A fear of wasting life drives this man.  He has a belief that you can either focus on one thing and become very good at it or you can dive into many things and enjoy a little of all of them. So, in addition to writing Thrillers, Glenn writes humor, does photography, travels, works a full time job, takes care of his house, and dips his fingers into any opportunity. Glenn pulls from the well of his past to fill his novel Bled Out with visual clarity. See the Amazon and his website reviews.

Website -

Facebook -!/glenn.parkhurst   

Bled Out The Book Facebook -!/BledOutTheBook

All Things That Matter Press - 

Friday, 14 October 2011

Who is Mark Lewandowski anyway?

I did not go to Alaska because I wished to live deliberately; I went to make money, hopefully enough to fund a trip to Sweden.   The plan was to work in a cannery for the first half of the summer, and then fly to Stockholm, hometown of Hans, a college buddy from the University of Kansas.  Things didn’t work out that way.  When we arrived in May salmon wasn’t running yet; jobs at the fish processing plant in Homer were scarce.   By the time the jobs arrived at the end of June, Hans, his girlfriend, and her brother had given up and left Alaska.  I stayed on for the rest of the summer, sometimes working 18 hour shifts “sliming” salmon for many days in a row.  I never overslept, even though I didn’t need an alarm clock.  Before I went to bed each night I popped some Tylenol.  Like clockwork I’d wake up five hours later, once the Tylenol wore off and the pain returned to my hands.  By the end of the summer things so striking before, like the bald eagles as common as crows in the Lower 48, or moose lumbering down the main street, clogging up early morning traffic, had become the norm to me.

In August I started a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Wichita State University.  I arrived in Wichita in the middle of the night, about four hours before Orientation was to begin.  The second story I wrote for my first workshop was called “The Slime-Line Queen.”  It became the first story in my collection, Halibut Rodeo.   Like all the other stories in the book, “The Slime-Line Queen” was inspired by the jobs I did, and the people I worked with at Seward Fisheries.

That was 1988.  I planned on going back to Homer the following summer, but in March 1989 the Exxon Valdez  spilled its load into Prince William Sound, setting back the Alaskan fishing industry for years.  Seward Fisheries had no immediate use for slimers.   Full time residents found work scrubbing oil off of sea rocks with paper towels.  I never returned to Homer.  But I continued to visit places outside my comfort zone.  I lived in Poland as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and in Lithuania as a Fulbright Scholar.   I travel just for fun, too.  My experience traveling infuses all my writing, both short stories and essays.  I like to believe that I have a keen eye for “place.”   In all my narratives setting plays a primary role.  

Now I am an Associate Professor of English at Indiana State University, with a modest list of publications in numerous literary journals.   Halibut Rodeo came out 22 years after that summer in Homer.  When I think of how much time has passed, I recall a conversation I had with a single dad I worked with on the Slime-Line.  He had just finished his first year of classes at the local community college:
                “You know why I’m going to college?” he asked.
                “So I can get a job where no one looks over your shoulder and tells you to go faster.”

I think I took his words to heart.

Buy the paperback version of Halibut Rodeo:
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