This documentary film is about Kathy Patrick, and the Pulpwood Queens Book Club. Featuring the work of musician Jeremy Vogt and photographer Natalie Brasington, you can watch the trailer here. If you’d like to order the film, it’s $10 and you can write to me at <William.Torgerson@gmail.com>.
Love on the Big Screen
Meet Zuke, a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-eighties romantic comedies such as Say Anything and Sixteen Candles. Read the first chapter of Love on the Big Screen as a (downloadable pdf). Listen to a sample from the audio book. Read a sample and purchase from Amazon or purchase a signed copy from me.
I’ve got a story in this sports anthology. Six years ago when I first moved to Queens, I worked at the cash register in the pro shop of a golf course. The events of this story are fictionalized but certainly were inspired by some of the cultural tension I sensed working at the course. You can purchase the collection from me here or through the website of the Main Street Rag.
Below you can listen to my reading of “Sanctuary,” a story in my novel-in-stories entitled Horseshoe. The catalyst for writing this piece probably first came the result of the death of a high school friend from cancer approximately fifteen years ago. I remember that there was a church service in relation to her illness. It wasn’t a service I attended, and I never talked with my friend or anyone else about what happened there. So the events of this story and the thoughts of the lead character are from my own imagination.
“Sanctuary” is in the novel-in-stories Horseshoe
I was interested in the subject matter because of my interest in what it means to be a person who believes in God and what it means to pray. I also drew on my experiences of the death of my grandfather and father in law, both also from cancer. It’s a story I couldn’t have written ten years ago before I met my wife and learned what it is to live in the world with daughters. It’s a terrifying and wonderful experience. Music is by the Jeremy Vogt Band. “Sanctuary” first appeared in the literary journal Sakura and was published most recently by Cherokee McGhee Press.
My father-in-law Jim recently passed away from cancer. Several weeks before his death, my wife received a call that her dad had checked into hospice. We began packing immediately and drove 800 miles through the night to North Carolina so that we could be sure to see him as soon as possible. In addition to our emotional worries regarding Jim’s health, there were a lot of practical matters to consider: Where would we stay? I had to get back to work. Would I rent a car or would we rent Megan one? For how long? At what financial cost? Who would help Megan with our girls?
All we focused on was getting to the hospice to see Jim, and before we even had a chance to start doing the math and thinking about money, Jim’s wife called with the news that her Sunday school class had met. Someone had an extra house outside of town that Megan and our girls could stay in indefinitely free of charge. We arrived at the hospice, spent the day there, and then another member of this Sunday school class met us so that we could follow her out to the home we were being lent. She did this after a full day’s work and the drive was at least thirty minutes out of her way, over an hour by the time she would get to her own house. When we arrived at the home, the owner was already there inside cleaning it and changing the sheets. Next, the two women took a grocery list Megan had been putting together and got ready to head to the store. On their way out, they asked if we had any need of an extra car. They paid for the groceries. Everything that had just begun to hang over us had suddenly been taken care of by these two women and the members of their Sunday school class. My family, especially Megan, was free to concentrate on what was important, to spend time with Jim. After I departed, this Sunday school group was in constant touch, offering to help, watching my girls, and just letting everyone know that they were around to love and help.
It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to church, and by that I don’t mean that my family doesn’t pray together, that we don’t talk about Jesus, or that I don’t read the Bible, but we haven’t been attending church as a family. What transpired in the day or so that we all rushed off to North Carolina caused me to begin to think just how much we were up on our own up in New England. We do have a growing group of friends, and I realize that it’s not just church folks who can rally around and help out those in need, but the kind people that were friends of Jim’s, those who came together as a part of Sunday school class, they all created for me one of the more convincing arguments I’ve experienced for church attendance. I thank them for their example of Biblical love. It’s an example I’ll be sure to try and put into practice myself.