Feb 222014
Angeling 6 | welcome to the have it all mall

Jonah didn’t know exactly what he expected to see when he stepped from the elevator, but he had a vague sense that it would be something mysterious and otherworldly. A wide-open space full of fog, mist, and lots of whites and light grays, maybe. Somber chant or choral music sung by unseen beings, that sort of thing. Or perhaps green pastures, bubbling brooks, and rainbows in a blue sky . . . the My Little Pony afterlife. To read Angeling from the beginning, see the table of contents at the Angeling book page. Which is why he was so shocked […]

 February 22, 2014  No Responses »
Feb 052014
Angeling | 5: dead people don't wear bellybuttons

The instant Jonah let go of his grandfather’s hand, his shadow jerked him backward, hard—like a parachute suddenly braking a skydiver’s fall, but in reverse. Okay, that was a bad move, he thought. To read Angeling from the beginning, see the table of contents at the Angeling book page. Instead of rising toward the Light, Jonah found himself being dragged down, swallowed by his shadow. Everything in him screamed to breathe, but there was no air, only a suffocating coldness. He had wanted to save his shadow-self; instead, he was drowning with it, and he had the sickening thought that […]

 February 5, 2014  No Responses »
Jan 122014
Angeling | 4: over the brink of eternity

“And that is why we always wear a helmet, people,” Campbell quipped as he stood over Jonah, who lay unmoving where he’d landed, slightly to one side of home plate, arms and legs splayed out. That is why we always wear a helmet, people, was something the coach liked to say; Campbell quoted the saying now as an ironic understatement. Peter was not amused. He bent down and shook Jonah’s shoulder. “Hey Jonah, you okay?” Jonah’s head wobbled slightly, and a moist choking noise rose up from his throat, but he didn’t respond. His eyes were open, but unfocused. “Did […]

 January 12, 2014  No Responses »
Dec 262013
Anna Fox: A Year of Snows

Anna should not open the door for the beautiful woman in black. How many times have her parents warned her against opening the door for strangers while she is home alone? Up until now, she has obediently ignored the various delivery people, politicians, salesmen, missionaries—and yes, even Girl Scouts, with their promises of Thin Mints—who have rung the bell at 12 Cherry Street. Then again, none of those people were nearly as beautiful as the woman at the door. None of them arrived during the blizzard of the century. And none of them carried a box wrapped in shiny gold […]

 December 26, 2013  No Responses »
Dec 032013
Leaving Ransom

Ransom was so small that the state highway department noted its existence only by the SPEED LIMIT 40 sign on the way into town and the SPEED LIMIT 55 sign on the way out. Lacey was on her way out, and she had no intention of keeping any speed limits. It was a summer’s morning just after dawn, the road was empty, and her windows were rolled down. She wanted to feel the wind on her face as she left Ransom, a small place for small people. She wanted to fly. Why she hadn’t left sooner was a mystery that […]

 December 3, 2013  No Responses »
Aug 202013

COMING SPRING 2014 . . . Jonah Wilder just wanted to get through the first day of school without getting expelled for fighting—again. Turns out, he didn’t even get through it alive…. Read early drafts Chapters in progress are posted weekly…read and leave your feedback at the Angeling home page. Spread the word Spread the word on your favorite social network, or by e-mail. Get Angeling news * indicates required Email Address * What kind of e-mails would you like to receive? News about new & upcoming books Published essays and articles Letters in Glass Bottles Short fiction Fortunately, a […]

 August 20, 2013  No Responses »
Apr 202013
Home on the River

Soon as it was night, out we shoved; when we got her out to about the middle, we let her alone, and let her float wherever the current wanted her to. . .. Yonder was the banks and the islands, across the water, and sometimes on the water you could see a spark or two—on a raft or scow, you know; and maybe you could hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. —from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain   IT IS DUSK ON THIS WILD STRETCH of the Mississippi between the […]

 April 20, 2013  No Responses »
Apr 052013

The crab apple tree was in full bloom, glowing white in the moonlight. Cathy stood underneath it, her small mouth slightly agape as she looked up into a galaxy of blossoms. She was dressed in a pink flannel nightgown and she could feel the dew from the grass soaking through her slippers. “Bruce!” she called in a loud whisper, peering intently into the tree. “Bruce!” She could hear him approach through the side yard. The beam from his flashlight made her  broad shadow dance around the base of the tree. Bruce, a jug of a man in a white t-shirt […]

 April 5, 2013  No Responses »
Mar 292013

She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. She would not wait for him any longer, even though Edward had said, “Stay at home, love, and wait for me,” because that must have been hours ago, and where was he? Out picking blackberries, she thought. Him with a bucket hat pulled over his bare head and a couple of pails, whistling something happy. Once, she would have gone with him. But that was before she fell down the stairs and everyone said next time she might break a hip, so no […]

 March 29, 2013  No Responses »
Mar 252013
The Catholic Worker is a Fool

Anyone who has ever joined the Winona Catholic Worker as a live-in volunteer has inevitably had The Conversation with his or her family and other relatives. With surprisingly few exceptions, the announcement that one is about to join the Catholic Worker sets off alarm bells. But how can we blame them for their furrowed brows and doubtful looks? Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re the brand-new live-in volunteer, breaking the news to your family. Remember the great expectations that your family had for you? Because “you have so much potential,” you know! And now you’re announcing your intentions to […]

 March 25, 2013  No Responses »
Mar 182013
Bury Your Dead

THE RIVER FLOWS SOUTH, AND ALL THE FLOWING WATERS OF half a continent run to it—morning dew, whole gray-white fields of melting snow, rain running down rooftops and cascading through the leaves of trees, rivulets in the streets, brooks and streams and creeks and tributaries—all wash clean over the people and the land, drawing together in the broad and heavy river that pushes south. Even teardrops move to find solace in the warm southern sea; shed too many tears, and they will bear your soul along with them. A loose enough body might follow, only half aware of the currents […]

 March 18, 2013  No Responses »
Dec 312013
Angeling | 3: without death, life wouldn’t be half so precious

“I’m going to kill that Grubinski kid,” Alaska muttered darkly. “Wouldn’t that go against your Quaker beliefs?” Jonah asked. Alaska wrinkled her nose. “I’ll convert.” Alaska and Jonah were playing with Mr. Berning’s tabby cat on a sunny windowsill while they waited for seventh-period biology to begin. Jonah had heard somewhere that cats had a soothing, calming effect on people, but even scratching the purring animal behind the ears didn’t seem to be doing much for Alaska. Two hours after their little meeting with Mr. Pincer and Bull, she was still fuming. “I can’t believe Mr. Pincer fell for Bull’s […]

 December 31, 2013  No Responses »
Dec 182013
Angeling | chapter 2: welcome to james buchanan regional high school

Jonah made his way into the school as quickly as possible without actually breaking into a run, dodging around packs of kids to lose anyone who might have followed him from the bus. By the time he was sure no one was after him, though, he was completely lost. He couldn’t find the green-eyed girl among the hundreds of unfamiliar faces crowding the hallways. He wandered around for ten minutes, map in hand, before the tone for homeroom sounded. Once almost everyone else had disappeared into classrooms, one of the adult hall monitors spotted him and took him to his […]

 December 18, 2013  No Responses »
Dec 112013
Angeling | chapter 1: o brave new world, that has such people in it

Four days before he woke up in the hospital able to see and hear things he shouldn’t, Jonah stood on an unfamiliar street corner waiting for the bus that would take him to his first day at James Buchanan Regional High School. He didn’t see his grandfather as he waited, nor any beautiful star-filled creatures shining with light. In fact, Jonah’s head was so busy imagining how the day might unfold that the list of things he didn’t see, hear, or feel as he stood at the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets was actually rather long: The tiny, curled-up […]

 December 11, 2013  No Responses »
Dec 032013
Angeling | prologue: the echo of a song

There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun. —Thomas Merton   It was the sound of his mother’s voice that woke Jonah Wilder from his drug-induced coma—the echo of a song, calling to him from the far side of a dark mist. In the mist there had been nothing—not even memories of the past or thoughts of the future. And without a past or a future, or stars above his head or ground beneath his feet, Jonah had been nothing, too. When her voice found him, he clung to it as […]

 December 3, 2013  No Responses »