How I took up travel writing

Image by jimaro morales from Pixabay

I ran into a guy the other day who billed himself as a “travel writer.”

He was on a bike starting across an intersection just as I turned right. Landed mostly on his backpack, so it didn’t hurt him much. He was wearing a helmet. I told him we could fix that bone sticking out of his ankle with some Gorilla Glue I had in my trunk. Good stuff. Only other medicinal thing I had was an old can of Off insect repellent. Figured it had to have some antiseptic ingredient in it.

That’s when he told me he was…


He also sells used Chevies.

“It’s a classic,” he said. “Worth more than I’m asking.” Photo by Jorgen Hendriksen on Unsplash

I’ve been a contributor on this platform about a year and a half, but never invited to sit at the Cool Kids Table. I’m confident (arrogant) enough to say most of my content is better than some on the A List. Still, my stuff just never seems to please Lord Al Gorithm.

I read a Medium piece a while back on how to get in the K Range of views/reads/comments; how to touch that holy grail of social media called “Going Viral.” Regrettably, I don’t recall the author and haven’t been able to track it down to give credit here…


1 boy, 1 dog, 1 old coot

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Bentley and I don’t see eye-to-eye.

The reason? Bentley is a brown-eyed Boxer/Shepherd/God-knows-what-else mix and I’m an old coot. He’s now eight, so that makes him 56 in dog years. Younger than me, but he’s catching up.

My oldest grandson and I rescued Bentley five years ago. The eleven-year-old boy had just found out another baby would invade his house in less than a year, and he was livid. He’d already suffered through two other babies in his life — his four years younger brother, and a sister not yet a year old. This last one was a surprise to…


A short story

Photo by Sophie Lavoie on Unsplash

Author’s note: Here’s another story dug up from the past. Sometime in the Eighties. It was first published in a small literary magazine — Potpourri. Later nominated for a Pushcart Award. Literary ain’t my usual style, but I was young back then, Vietnam was still fresh. Took things more seriously, I suppose.

Petey hated his sister.

The recollection appeared as precise and clear as an October sun in Kansas. He could see the boy. He could hear him think.

He hated Marcie. Just once he’d like to catch her doing something bad so she’d get whopped. She never got whopped.


25 things I tell my teenage grandchildren

Image by Ana Krach from Pixabay

I’ve always felt passing on wisdom to my grandchildren is an inalienable right. So, I do it every chance I get. The younger ones usually listen because to them I’m still a god. A god easily manipulated into breaking parental rules. But the adolescents? Lordy. The only known benefit of my advice and wisdom (a subjective term base solely on 7 + decades of learning) to these creatures is the strengthening of their eye muscles from all the eyeball rolling.

Here’s 26.The title says 25, but another one popped up at the last minute. Better for the eyes. …


One small step for me, two small steps for the series

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For my fellow novel writers out there, you probably know what I’m going through. The writing part is hard enough with fits and starts and then the procrastination thing as if we live outside this universe where time doesn’t affect our lifestyles.

I’ve been at this novel writing thing for twenty plus years now, and this sixth one wasn’t any easier to crank out than the first. I think I’ve gotten better, more skilled, but not quicker.

I greatly admire those authors who can poop out scads of books…


A short story

Image by Shazib Nadeem from Pixabay

Author’s note: This is the conclusion of a biographical fiction piece I wrote a few years back imagining my paternal grandparents as young teen lovers, young marrieds, young parents. They were pioneer stock, him a hard as nails railroad man, she a spirited young girl and a no-nonsense mother of four. Both born in the 1870s, this is my tribute to them. Some of it is true — the house turning — but most of it is supposed.

After a year in Springfield, Minnie agreed to marry Henry, but only because Mag and Grant got hitched first. Nine months and…


A short story

Image by Shazib Nadeem from Pixabay

Author’s note: Never really knew my paternal grandparents. I remember them as old folks. They both died when I was around five. When you see old people as a kid, that’s the only way you regard them.They’re difficult to picture as young and vibrant. I see that from my own grandchildren. As far as they know, I’ve always been old.

In that spirit, I took a look back at my grandparents, imagining them as young teen lovers, young marrieds, young parents. They were pioneer stock, him a hard as nails railroad man, she a no-nonsense mother of four, who as…


A short story

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Author’s note: I wrote this tale thirty-something years ago when my son was eight or nine so it might be a little dated in spots. I updated it some to post here, but it’s based on my own life experience as a young father using a not-so-serious point of view.

I put together a collection of these, my short stories, in a small volume titled Skins Game.

“Hey, Dad,” Christopher yelled at me. “I wanna go camping with the guys! It’s gunna be neat ‘n you can go too.”

So it began. The day my son came home from a…


But not like us

Photo by Benyamin Bohlouli on Unsplash

It’s an old cliché: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not out to get you.”

I try to repress those feelings. Medication helps. But sometimes I get forked right in the eyeball of my frontal cortex. As I understand it, that’s where we crazy old people are most vulnerable. No, I’m not a psychiatrist or schooled in any other way to make that diagnosis; however, as a writer I am by default, crazy. You can look it up.

But enough of this crazy talk. Here’s where I’m going with this.

Yesterday I received the following email from <yourfriends@medium.com>, …

Phil Truman

Storyteller & Humorist. Want to read crackling mystery fiction & ROFL off-the-wall humor? Free e-book: Skins Game, and other short fiction — PhilTruman.com

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