My Work

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Introspection 2011

Lists, this time of year, are as plentiful as weeds in spring, so I will not add to the barrel.  That said, one should take a moment from time to time for introspection, and the new year stands as a beacon for one of those times.  My publishing career, with its major change from reporting and editing to that of writing fiction and poetry, and as the one doing the writing, is a change for the better.

Murder, political intrigue, rape, and incest are still the subjects at hand, but now, I can choose the characters, make them behave any way I wish, and see to it that the good guys win once in a while and the bad guys go down hard.  I can add flowery verse or doom and gloom, create fun characters, or evil, horrible ones at the click of a keystroke.  My choice.

None of that should put my long career as a reporter in a bad light.  I had the honor and pleasure of publishing and editing the Virginia City Legend weekly newspaper for more than three years, I had a grand time as senior editor at Nevada’s AdNews for several years, and most recently spent almost seven years as editor of the Nevada Observer, and being able to report on statewide events and happenings.

And, I can’t leave out my initial years in journalism as a broadcaster.  I spent many hours with McClatchy’s KOH in Reno, with DonRey’s KOLO in Reno, and with other radio outlets in Sacramento, Lodi, San Jose, and Watsonville.

I guess what that ends up saying is, I know murder, political intrigue, rape, and incest, and can have a grand time for many years to come creating fun, scary, hopefully interesting stories with totally fictional characters drawn from real life.

So, there’s my list, and may yours bring you as much pleasure.  Have a grand New Year, read good books, and stay regular.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Your Christmas Card

A Christmas Card from Jolly Old Johnny.  Please enjoy these tid-bits of poetic fun, have a wonderful, warm, safe Christmas, and may 2012 be one of the best years ever.

Each of these poems have my copyright, of course, but if you care to pass them on to others, just please also pass on the writer’s name.

by Johnny Gunn

Cookies and sweets, mixed, poured,
Baked and cooled, topped with sweet
Butter and more sugar, ready to be
Spread among neighbors and friends.

Tinsel, colored balls, lights and candles,
Hung, nailed, draped, lit and displayed,
While Bing and Ella sing of reindeer and elves,
and old Foggy himself tells about chestnuts.

Snow is swirling in a cold norther, leaves
Mixing in a jolly dance, icicles broken from
Eaves and floating in punch, it’s almost time
For a visit from Kris Kringle, the gift giver.

This season of joy and peace, warmth and love
Spread thick as a wool three point Hudson Bay,
Gives our hearts and souls a break from reality,
A reason to grasp and hug even some we don’t

Care to hug and grasp at other times.  Joy
To The World, the choir sings, voices swelling
In their glee, and our voices return the pledge, our
World, one day at least, safe, warm, peaceful.

Those Holly Jolly Blues
by Johnny Gunn

Here he comes,
            Dancin’ and shakin’ and laughin’ and givin’,
            Awash in the holly jolly mood, covered in
                        Wools and fur, reds and whites.

‘An here I am,
            Cryin’ and poutin’ and cussin’ and sad,
            Feelin’ sorry for me, not carin’ ‘bout nothin.
                        Ripped denim, dirty socks, not white.

In you walk,
            Dancin’ and shakin that bootie, givin’ me life,
            Prancin’ about in heels and net, covered in
                        Silks and gauze, reds, and sheer.

No blues tonight,
            Not with a princess in hand, Santa Claus smile,
            Santa Claus laugh, a holly jolly mood, us covered
                        In reds and whites and satin sheets.

by Johnny Gunn

            Plum pudding has no plums, while Yorkshire pudding has no
            little terriers swimming about in a sea of brandy.
            Actually, has no brandy.

            Why on earth would we work so hard to make something made
            from rendered beef fat and apples,
            And then call it plum pudding?

            Or work our little minds into a twit with flour and eggs and skim
            milk, baking the morsels to a golden bread,
            Only to call it Yorkshire pudding?

            Ah, glorious Christmas.  We kill trees and say we’re making them
            pretty, we create a gift giving elf, so in just a few years,
            We can tell children he doesn’t exist.

            Tradition!  Tradition!  Dance, ye merry gentlemen, and plunder the
            pudding, for in just a week, remember, Auld
            Lang Syne will prevail.

by Johnny Gunn

Snow flying wildly through the cosmos,
Santa facing heavy turbulence,
Cookies baking deliciously.

Offerings of nog and gaily striped canes,
A tree filled with garlands of color,
Oak burning brightly.

Friends and fellows and lovers gathered,
Singing of a coming, an offering, from above,
And believing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NTSB and Texting

The state of Nevada, along with others, passed a law making the use of electronic communication devices illegal to use while operating a vehicle, and now, the federal government is suggesting the same law.  This is one more example of government doing something that is best left to private enterprise, along the same lines as mandatory seat belt use, motorcycle helmets, and child seats.  It also proves a secondary point: private enterprise often prefers government intervention.

The use of seat belts, the wearing of helmets, the non-use of communication devices could all be handled with one very small statement on each insurance policy that is issued, if the buyer of that policy wished it.  All it would have to say is something along these lines.

“This policy is null and void if
(Seat belts not used, communications devices being used,
helmets not worn, child seat not used).”

If the owner of the vehicle had the opportunity to opt out, he or she would be doing so from a position of knowledge, not being bludgeoned by an overzealous government.  Like smoking, most intelligent people are aware it is a health hazard, and are equally aware that seat belts are a proven safety device, as are helmets and child seats.  The actual point of course has very little to do with whether or not Big Brother gives two hoots and a damn about your safety, the true concept is one more opportunity to fine you.

Example.  I flew as a private pilot for many years, actually owned a couple of pretty nice little airplanes, and there was not then nor is there now any law, state or federal, that mandates the pilot or passengers in a private aircraft be belted.  Why?  There are no air cops to pull you over and give you a ticket.

I would be willing to bet a lot of money, maybe not as much as Mitt Romney wanted to bet the other night, but a lot, that the insurance lobbies in Washington will be pushing for all they are worth to get that federal law passed.  It takes the burden off their shoulders, but it increases the overall size of government intervention.  If the insurance industry is really interested in keeping us safe, thereby not paying out for injuries and death, they would take a strong position on this, take the lead, and make the use of seat belts, the wearing of helmets, and the non-use of communication devices a part of their plans.

Then again, maybe this is just my Libertarian streak coming to the surface.  If the National Transportation and Safety Administration actually gets that law passed, the government then will have another hammer to use against the states, and in turn, us.  I would love to hear what Thomas Jefferson might say if the Continental Congress had passed legislation mandating the use of a safety belt in his carriages.  The guffaws from old B. Franklyn would be echoing today. 

Have a great day, read good books, and stay regular.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good News For a Change

This is starting out to be a great month.  Rope and Wire, the fine western story e-magazine,, has published one of my stories, invited me to have a blog on the site, which I have started, and now has created a book store within the site.  It will feature, among many others, my book, a collection of western short stores called, Out of the West … Tales of the American Frontier.

And …

I don’t know if you’ve ever run into the series of humor called Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader or not, but the anthologies are often screamingly funny.  My short story, “Cold is My Love”, will be in the next issue out, which they are calling Uncle John’s Flush Fiction.  A note from the associate editor, Brian Boone says the collection is “Excellent.”  Don’t know the publication date yet, and will keep you informed.

I now have five Simon Sol Dorsey mystery noir short stories written and am furiously working on the first Sol Dorsey novel.  Dorsey is a private detective lost in the 21st Century, acting more like a private dick from the mid nineteen hundreds.  More on this as things develop.

Have a great day, read good books, and stay regular.