There are city folk and there are country folk, and the most telling difference between them is the importance each places on the front porch.

Let me explain.

The front porch is relegated by city folk to be merely a place to wipe your feet and hang the occasional holiday decoration. There may be a flower pot or, if children are involved, a few stray toys. Otherwise it is merely a waypoint between heading out and coming home. A place to pass through but not linger.

But country folk are different. To them the front porch is an extension of their home, a way to bring the inside out. It’s a gathering place for both friends and not-yet-friends to sit, relax, and share.

And what’s shared? Truth mostly, though every good story has an element of fiction thrown in for effect. The truth about life and faith and people. About seeing big things in small things. And sometimes there’s a little struggling thrown in too, only because it’s best to speak of such dark things while sitting out in the sunshine.

One of the great things about the virtual world is that a person can have his front porch both any and everywhere. So whether you’ve stumbled by or found your way here on purpose, welcome. Pull up a rocking chair and make yourself comfortable. There’s a pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge, a nice breeze, and mountains we can look at.

We’ll sit a while and talk, you and I…


I’m a writer of four novels, Snow Day (2010) Paper Angels (2011), When Mockingbirds Sing (2013) and The Devil Walks in Mattingly (2014) with one more on the way by Thomas Nelson. That may make me sound smart and/or wise. Neither is particularly applicable. I count that as a blessing, because the great thing about wandering around in the fog is you never know what you might run into.

You can catch up with me here:

Gotta an indie bookstore!


Photo credits: Joanne Coffey
Site Design: Brian Gardner
Kathy Richards
Peter Pollock

My Come to Jesus Moment

You do stupid things when you’re seventeen. Things that maybe don’t make much sense later, but certainly do at the moment. It’s a scary age. You stand right on the pivot point of your life, teetering and tottering between the child you were and the adult you want to become. You try to find your balance, but more often just stumble and fall.

At seventeen, I stumbled and fell.


How to Take a Punch

Four years ago…

It started the way most good stories do, over lunch with a friend. This particular friend was named Charlie, an iron-fisted brawler disguised as a nerdy engineer who worked in the building next to mine.

“You should stop by tonight,” he said. “Great workout. It’ll make a man out of you.”

“I’m already a man,” I answered.

Charlie nodded and said, “Maybe. You ever been punched?”



The Long and Winding Road

Fifteen years, seven months, and twenty-three days. As best I can tell, that’s how long it’s been since I first picked up a pen and said, “You know, I’d really like to get a book published.”

If I had known then that it would take that much time to be able to write these words, I maybe would have reconsidered that notion.