Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

STORIES OF COMPASSION AMID DESPAIR

I struggle with ways to tell these stories ... 
A refugee camp in Chiapas, in southern México, the year 1998 - the mothers and children here were survivors of a massacre by paramilitaries. We met them and accompanied them on one of our human-rights journeys. The prevailing attitude of those who cared for them - radical Jesuits - was compassion. Compassion in the midst of despair. Sometimes that seems so rare.
Survivor Photo (5) - Young Tzotzil Mayan women and children in a Chiapas, Mexico refugee camp, survivors of the massacre of 45 kinspeople in Acteal in 1997, whom we accompanied back to the massacre site a year later for a commemoration of those slain by paramilitaries. © Wes Rehberg

Friday, April 13, 2012

JAILBIRDS STORY, HEAVY METAL, MR. BOJANGLES

Writing my "Jailbirds" story, I wondered whether the chunks of sound of barred-doors closing influenced "heavy metal."
I also thought about Jerry Jeff Walker's song Mr. Bojangles, who liked to dance, and in his cell "jumped so high, jumped so high, then he lightly touched down ..."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BRASS ...

Just laid out a paperback-size book of four short stories and five poems -- like a brazen neophyte ...
Might add a couple of other pieces -- still in process

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CUBA VISIT AND A U.S. PENALTY ...

I'll be writing a story about this at some time, too - nonfiction -- 


One of two intriguing visits ...

Monday, April 09, 2012

"JAILBIRDS" -- fictionalized nonfiction short story

   I've begun writing a fictionalized nonfiction short story drawn from murderers and events I encountered while doing prison ministry in an upstate New York county jail and a maximun security prison.
   Its tentative beginning is this:
   
   "The guard brought me to a tiny room with a wooden table and two chairs, opened the door, showed me the button to push if I needed help, and told me to take a chair. He walked toward the county jail wing where an itinerant young man was behind bars, accused of murdering a boy, 13-years-old. The charges indicated that the accused killed the boy after he keyed a scratch on the imprisoned man’s car door. I was there because he requested a prison minister ..."




    

Thursday, April 05, 2012

"TINA'S STORY" draft completed

   Wrote a draft of "Tina's Story," a short nonfiction piece about a woman my spouse Eileen I met in northern Nicaragua in 1992 who shared leadership in a base-community cooperative there. This was a region that constantly faced invasion by U.S. supported "Contras," who were also responsible for the deaths of her daughter and husband during an onslaught into Tina's cooperative and a nearby village. About 1,000 words. 
   Read the story aloud at "Wide Open Floor" at the Barking Legs Theater in Chattanooga, TN. It moved ...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"OPENING THE GATE"

     Thinking about putting together a book of fiction and nonfiction short stories and poems called "Opening the Gate" to try to launch my new effort in fiction writing and poetry and renew my nonfiction effort. The short stories are "Scooter," "The Fog," and "The Enduring." One of the nonfiction pieces is "Amanecera's Story." Two of the poems are scheduled for publication in "The Rusty Nail" electronic/print literary magazine. A curious amalgam, no doubt.
     The content may change as I work through this ... still very formative, especially the quality, but I'm learning, with help from the Chattanooga Writers Guild workshops.
     Also, I'm recirculating "Down Home With Dalton," 74-minute documentary film about Dalton Roberts, songwriter, performer, storyteller, and former Hamilton County county executive in Tennessee. This was filmed with songwriter-performers Martha Ann Brooks and Donnie Jenkins. This will be available shortly through Amazon.