This Ruinous Obsession

I feel like a junkie who’s been deprived his junk.

During 2015, I fished exactly twice: One in the hills of Louisiana and once in North Carolina. For a guy who escapes to wild places as often as he possibly can, that’s pathetic. Continue reading This Ruinous Obsession

“Finding Lazarus” The first book of Askuwhetea: Days of the Watcher series

Finding LazarusLazarus Smith is the only name he ever knew, but it is not truly his. Whatever he was called before, whoever gave him the gift of a name, exists only in dreams of fire. For seventeen years he watched a world he could not comprehend or touch from high windows and behind the iron gates of an orphanage. Then he was set free, and he took to the road, with only vague recollections of people who loved him, and a name scribbled on paper: Lawson Mountain. Somewhere within the mountains west of Charlotte he believes there are people like him. People who know his true name, and perhaps what happened to his family. Though he runs afoul of sinister forces along the road, his quest also brings him true friendships and perhaps first love. A beloved, larger-than-life Native American from ‘The Lawson’s Peak Stories’, the boy who will become Lazarus Askuwhetea embarks upon his own life story in this new series by Roger Emile Stouff.

Elections, Rain and Addiction

Well, that was an interesting election. It’s been a long time. Despite the fact that nearly 62 percent of St. Mary Parish voters didn’t even bother, it was still interesting.

Congratulations to the winners, and commendations to those who didn’t place; offering yourself for public service is always commendable, and you’re to be applauded.

Continue reading Elections, Rain and Addiction

Green Stuff

One of the most pleasing occurrences over the last year was that I planted a garden last spring for the first time in nearly two decades.

Now, I’m not a row-gardener. In fact, I almost didn’t become a gardener at all because in about 1993, I got the urge to plant some veggies. I spoke with the wisest old timer I knew, my father, seeking to gather some of that old-time mojo on the subject.

Continue reading Green Stuff

Well, Hello There!

Well, hello there. Long time no see.

I take all the blame, so don’t chew me out too badly. It’s one of those things we go through in life, I guess. Changes, eventides. It happens. Sometimes we’re surprised by it, sometimes now.

Anyway, just wanted to drop in and say “Hey.” So, “Hey!” Hope everyone’s doing fine. Things are good with me, can’t complain; nobody’d listen anyway. Trust me. I’ve been complaining for decades, and so far, nobody’s listened. That’s fair enough. I seldom listen when anyone complains either.

Continue reading Well, Hello There!

“Those Who Carry Fire” The Second Lawson’s Peak Mystery

cover2Deep in the back country of the southern Appalachians, a small settlement of Native Americans has existed in self-imposed isolation for three centuries with little contact with the outside world. But when someone, or some thing, burns Madeline Day Star’s cabin, and her with it, Sheriff Gordon Bredenbury searches for a murderous arsonist while desperately trying to keep the secret of that hidden village he’s kept safe for more than fifty years. When the home of Carolina Proud Horse is also burned a few days later, Gordon reaches a horrid realization: there is an Indian killer in Yona County, and it appears to be the resurrection of an ancient indigenous spirit. Gordon pursues a killer, flesh or spirit, and soon learns there are also other fires: the fires carried in the hearts of those he holds dear.

“Dead Witch in the River” The first Lawson’s Peak Mystery

cover300wideMountain sheriff and city cop pursue a killer… Wilda Proud Horse was Cherokee, but many in Long Valley called her a witch. She was rumored to cure sickness, cheat fate and sow love. When two boys find Wilda’s body beneath a sheet of ice in the river, Sheriff Gordon Bredenbury takes on his final case before he retires. But he has never investigated a murder; Long Valley has always been tranquil and free of violent crime. Gordon turns to a hard-boiled, jaded city detective for help, but indigenous spirits may stand between them and the killer.

A Place for Everything…

Over the course of dang near 34 years in this sordid business, I have always maintained that if I should criticize, I should be equally eager to commend. This week the St. Mary Parish council on an 8-3 vote denied development of an apartment complex in Garden City. Local opposition likely led to that decision. The developer has reportedly indicated he will sue. Both are within their rights. If you think about the process critically, the very progression of rezoning the property—any property—from agriculture to multi-use residential, then subdividing it, and then submitting a development plan, all require permission of parish boards and finally the parish council itself. Now, I don’t claim to be an attorney, but this more than implies a procedural succession where boards of the parish council approve (if warranted) requests and then pass them on to the full parish council which then votes on the final disposition. That means that the parish council has the right to vote to approve or disapprove. So again, the parish council was within its authority. The developer is also within his rights to file suit. I make no allegations regarding his intentions or credibility; I simply point out that . . . → Read More: A Place for Everything…


Two casts from the bank and I’ve got something: a seventy-foot pine tree. – Nick Lyons, Bright Rivers.

Nearly a month ago I wondered if it was nearly spring. After a brutal winter (by Louisiana standards) it did warm up a bit, but the rain defiantly came late in the workweek, every week, ruining plans for weekend forays into the wilds.

Then came the first spat of nice weekend weather, but that was the Bayou Teche Wooden Boat Show, and I was stuck. I crossed my fingers and hoped for as good or better the following Saturday. I got my wish.

I was on the road by six and arrived at a favorite flow by nine. There were lots of people out; people who were as wrung-out by cabin fever as me, so I really couldn’t disdain them.

My fishing bud and I strung up rods and waders. Yes, waders. A quick jaunt to the clear and sparkling creek and a hand in the abundant flow proved it to be toe-bluing cold. This was nearly our undoing.

We headed downstream away from the others, but a family of three had gotten ahead of us. We usually walk until we . . . → Read More: Finally

Just Published: “A River Named Vengeance”

A River Named Vengeance‘Things aren’t always what they seem…’

A family journeys home in the wake of tragedy. David Bromley and Garret Bredenbury return to the flood-ravaged valley below Lawson’s Peak where a man they both loved destroyed everything he cherished to save it. But questions loom above the grief; why a man like Matt Bromley left such inconceivable devastation behind. How he hid the enormity of his plight from his only remaining family. And why, in the end, did he walk off into the mountains he so loved for the last time. As Sheriff Gordon Bredenbury wrestles with the demons of blame and guilt, Garret and David search for answers and soon understand that the only place they’ll find them is in the heart of the man who caused all the pain: Howard DePalmo.