Back to Uncle Virgil, An Arkansas Tale

I am first and foremost a writer, an author of both fiction and non-fiction. The artist wants to make that clear from the very start of this post. I began writing in 1962 and I have never stopped.

There are three complete novels in my Documents folder. It is time to release them into the world (as my mom would say). I will begin with “Dancing With Uncle Virgil, An Arkansas Tale” — a novel completed around 1996 and re-edited starting now, June 1, 2012. In the next few blog posts you will find excerpts from this novel which I plan to format in iBook  if I can produce a suitable fiction/novel-type template. If  the template I seek cannot be found (and found for free, I might add), then I’ll switch over to the Kindle format, KDL, which I have not yet tried. The diverse possibilities for consumer interaction found within iBook Author makes it both fun and challenging. Since Uncle Virgil is a novel, it doesn’t require the whiz bang capabilities of iBook — and that leads me to believing the Dead Mule is better suited for iBook what with the interactive photography possibilities (I love formatting explanations for illustrative photos, more on that in another post).

With all that being said, it’s probably best just to move on to some excerpts, some very short bursts of Uncle Virgil to serve as trial text to poke your curiosity and perhaps lead you to want to read more. Ahhh, wait, first a bit of explanation about Uncle Virgil. The character is a compilation of various characters I knew in Arkansas during my 1962-1985 years there. Most of them are dead and so writing about them is much freer in 2012 then it was when I originally began the book in 1989.

Excerpt from near the end of the book:

He sat down at one of the tables, lit a cigarette, and surveyed the scene. A car pulled into the parking lot. The crunch of tires rolling slow over crushed rock reminded Theophalus of a distant memory that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. Before the car came to a complete stop, a young girl jumped out of the passenger side, allowing the door to swing open unbound and hit him in the shins.
“Hey mister! Hey! My mama wants to know — how much you take for that big ol’ Elvis head? It’s for sale, ain’t it? She said to tell you she’d give you ten dollars cash money for it.”
“Walp, I reckon that’s just about what you ought to pay me,” Theophalus replied. He walked over to the picnic table, grabbed the bust of Elvis by the neck and handed it to the girl as he watched the woman driver rummage through her purse. The girl hugged Elvis to her bony chest, cradling it in both arms like a freak head infant.
“This shore is heavy,” she said, glancing at Theophalus’s huge calloused farmer hands wrought with arthritis and shaped by years grasping the leather straps of his mule’s harness. “You picked it up like it was nothing.”
Her mama stuck a fist full of cash out of the car window. “Here’s your money. Thanks. Now Lenora, get your ass back in this car and hold onto Elvis real tight ‘til we get to MeMaw’s.” She thrust the handful of quarters and crumpled one dollar bills into his hand. Accelerating more quickly than the moment required, her tires spit a rainbow of gravel and dirt as she pulled back onto the highway.


One Response to Back to Uncle Virgil, An Arkansas Tale

  1. Yeah, I definitely want to read this book 🙂

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