Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Novel Way to Write a Novel

My late friend Ross Spencer wrote five books without using any punctuation other than periods at the end of sentences and an occasional question mark. If you say it can't be done you'll have to take that up with the major New York publisher that released them all.
Should anyone think of trying to do the same be warned that Spence was a master of wry humor and had few peers in writing one liners. He also wrote a number of more conventional books.
The stories about a dumb private eye named Chance Purdue got a bit raunchy in places but only a true bluenose could be offended. I'm sure Spence would be pleased if a brief excerpt is included here so the way he did it is revealed:

Candi Yakozi swept into the room.
She embraced me.
She kissed me.
She looked into my eyes.
She said you are my hero.
She said love me and the world is mine.
I shrugged.

Each episode is separated by a quote from Monroe D. Underwood, a dirty old man. Fictitious, of course. One example: ". . . women takes longer to say less than practically anybody . . ."
A collection of the five Chance Purdue books was released as "The Compleat Chance Purdue." It's available for $10.19 on Amazon, as are many of Spence's other books at bargain prices.
The last thing Spence wrote in the series was a poem by the infamous Monroe D. Underwood:

Of all the great wonders God gave us to see
The greatest by far you will surely agree
Is the mystical magical alibi tree.
Its succulent fruit tumbles sweet to the tooth
A tonic for age and a blessing for youth
It renders the eater immune to the truth.
And rogue becomes saint as by Holy Decree
And wrong becomes right with God's firm guarantee
In the shade of the wonderful alibi tree.
Here in hypocrisy man may abide
Here he self-justifies - here he may hide
From the sins he has sinned and the lies he has lied.
Oh Lord take the lion the lamb and the flea
Level the mountain and dry up the sea
But spare if you will Lord the alibi tree.

Spence sent me a copy of "The Compleat Chance Purdue" inscribed: To Dick - a bird of my own feather (a sitting duck, probably). You called it, Spence.



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