Bonjour et bienvenue!
Thanks for coming by. Welcome to my web site. Grab yourself a cup
of coffee and sit a spell. I’ll tell you a little bit about me, my homeland,
and about my writing.
South Louisiana Cajun country (Acadiana, as it is now called) is
beautiful. My favorite author, James Lee Burke, writes so eloquently about it. The ancient oak trees, some still all decorated up with Spanish moss, survive in spite of hurricanes and tornados, and the cypress trees, their knees protruding above the surface of the swamp water like humps on the backs of Brahma cattle, can still be found in a few spots. In the spring and summer, the azaleas and the hydrangeas bloom in a profusion of brilliant colors. On the bayous, pleasure boats and party barges wend their way among the many shrimp boats, oilfield boats and cargo barges. If you listen carefully on the bay, you can hear the excited whispering voice of a weekend recreational fisherman who has just come upon a school of sac au lait or shrimp.
I love the area of Theall, Louisiana, in southern Vermilion Parish. The little community was named for my grandfather, who was the first U.S. Postmaster of the area. That’s where I was born on a cold December night in 1932. As a youngster, I picked a little cotton, and walked through rice fields in water up to my chest pulling indigo weed growing among the rice. Crop duster pilots now do that work with airplanes and herbicides.
By and by, my family ended up in Abbeville, the parish seat, and way back in 1950, I was lucky enough to graduate from Mount Carmel High School, a private Catholic school. That seems like such a short time ago, even though it’s been over sixty years! I have so many memories of those early days, some good and some not so good.
After graduation from high school, I joined the U.S. Air Force, and planned on a military career, but you know, things don’t always work out as you plan. I discovered I was going blind in 1957, and I had to leave the Air Force and begin a new life. I happened to be in Omaha, Nebraska, at that time and I was offered a job, so I stayed there and went to Omaha University to get a much-needed education. I worked in Omaha for a long time as a controller/accountant in the music business and the wholesale frozen food business. But you never quite get Louisiana mud out from between your toes. I moved back to Louisiana in 1972 and again worked as a controller/accountant in Abbeville and Morgan City, in the milk distribution business, seafood processing business, marine transportation business, and several other oilfield related activities. Back I went to Omaha in 1990. My five children had all been born there, my roots were deep, and I had lots of friends.
I had retired and was completely blind by then, and blessed with time on my hands and a screen reader for my computer, I began to fulfill my love of creative writing. My kids were all married and scattered around the country and I ended up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in beautiful Longmont, Colorado. Let me tell you, cher, south Louisiana it ain’t! My lovely wife, Lorraine, sees to it that we keep busy with our writing, and that we enjoy the many cultural activities Longmont residents are blessed with. Lorraine is an award-winning author herself. Her first novel, “Beginnings” won the bronze medal in the Best Fiction category (Midwest Region) in the 2009 IPPI awards given at the American Book Exposition in New York City. Without her editing and critical skills, I couldn’t put a first grade primer together! She and I serve as co-presidents of the Longmont Writers Club. We’ve both written family histories, novels, contributed to two anthologies published by the writers club, and sold short stories to a regional Colorado periodical.
Lorraine and I visit Acadiana as often as we can, and you know, I don’t live in poverty, I have no mortgage or car payment, my bills are paid on time, Lorraine and I travel, and my taxes are paid, so you’re probably saying, “Heck Jim, you got it made! Why do you spend your time writing?” My answer is simple. Creative writing is my passion! I love writing about the fictitious Cajun characters I have created. Each is a composite of Acadian people I have known throughout my life. The fictitious small town of St. Magdalene, for some reason, closely resembles my hometown of Abbeville. Right now, I’m working on a mystery novel about a private investigator in Omaha, but Cajuns, their culture, and especially their food, is what I enjoy writing about the most. I would love to be a best selling author, but I only ask that you enjoy reading my books and give us a kind review. That fills me with gratitude and gives me great pleasure
Keeyaw, but I do rattle on! Why don’t you pour yourself another cup, and come back and have a look at my books. Oh yeah, by the way, I would love to hear from you. Please use the contact box to send me your comments.