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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Saturday, May 19, 2007

AMAZON SHORTS - A Couple of New Ones

Not that the world is going to be thrilled to hear the news but I have a couple of new stories on Amazon Shorts. Those who have never heard of Amazon Shorts, and that means nearly everyone, can see the cover of one by looking to the left.
It works like this: by shelling out 49 cents you can download a Short by typing in the writer's name, seeing a list of everything he's written that Amazon has for sale, then clicking on the story you want. Forty per cent of that 49 cents ends up in the writer's pocket so you can see it is a quick path to riches.
But about those new stories. Actually they are old stories written a quarter of a century ago. They didn't fit any particular niche so they never were able to find a home. Until now. I can't honestly say that either of them ranks among my favorites. That is not the cover of one of the new ones but it was the easiest to call up and I wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of time on this.
Anyway, one of the new old stories is "The Crime of Loving Someone." It's about a couple of people from Indiana who retired to Florida expecting it to be the answer to their dreams after a lifetime of hard work. Instead it became a nightmare. Each decided to do something about it but in far different ways.
In writing it this story took a couple of twists and turns so it didn't end up quite the way I had planned. While looking it over after Amazon had acquired it I suddenly realized it was a takeoff on O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi." That's not what I had intended but at the very end the old guy in the story kind of took over and that's how it turned out. By the time this dawned on me it was too late to do a thing about it even if I had wanted to. People who believe the characters don't take over a story and guide it toward the finish have never written much fiction.
The other story dusted off after long years in a desk drawer is "Dunivant's Christmas." It's a fictionalized account of a true incident concerning two GIs in Germany shortly after the end of World War II. I was the narrator when the true version was written but I am not Dunivant in the fictional account.
Dunivant is loosely based on a man I knew who had been overseas for four years. He was among the first to be shipped out to Iceland even before the United States was involved in WWII. From Iceland he went to Northern Ireland, England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Germany. He could have gone home months before he actually did because he chose not to. Why? Because shortly after he left home his wife died in childbirth. He had a daughter who was nearly four and he had never seen her. He worried about how both of them would react to the meeting. I appreciated his anxiety.
Four years overseas in a single tour - think about it.