Joe Doyle (Upcoming Book Sample)

Meet Joe Doyle. A character in my upcoming book who’s story is based on my Grandfather, Joe McNally. A proud Irishman and American. Doyle stood and walked over to a window that looked out on the Hudson River. He leaned against the frame and crossed his arms.           “Soldier to soldier. I have spent my entire life fighting against tyranny.” He suddenly slipped into a heavy Irish Brogue. “I was just a lad in Donegal when I saw my first act of terror. It [...]

Would you like a bag for that?

I’ve been asked that question three times this weekend. First time was when I was checking out at the grocery store. The bagger held up a plastic bottle of ketchup and asked if I would like a bag for it. I looked at her with disbelief but refrained from responding that I would like to carry the ketchup in my hand as I walked out to my car. I said yes. The second time was later that afternoon as I [...]

I don’t know if I like that guy

I’ve heard that a lot about the main character in my first three books. In fact, most opinions are more definitive than that. He has been called; moral center, toady, hero, shyster, genius, drunk, liar and savior. It mainly depends on who did the reading and thus did the defining. So what do I do with this guy? I can’t make him go away. He does make people form opinions, and if they hate him or love him; they care [...]

Garbage Pickin’

I put out the recyclables last night and this morning I saw a man on my Manhattan street who collects cans. His cart was an engineering marvel. Blue bags hanging at odd angles from his shopping cart. Each bag looked like a half deflated Thanksgiving float. It was early, but his cart was already overstuffed to its limit. I didn’t look down on the guy, I identified with him. As a child I was him. I was taught my life’s credo while [...]

Harder than it seemed

"That was harder than it seemed." How many times have you heard that? A lot I would think. You know what I never hear? "That was easier than it seemed." There's a reason of course. There are very few tasks that one could describe with such a bold statement. If it was so easy, you wouldn't bother saying anything about it. But there is one activity that has inspired me to shout that phrase aloud after accomplishing it. Skiing! Now stay [...]

Take the Stairs

Frank sat on a bench looking out at the Hudson River. He was in rehab, again. The facility was just north of Beacon in the Hudson Valley. His first time was around twenty years ago. He had fallen into the life of booze and coke with the late eighties Wall Street crowd. Down to the seaport for a gallon of beer than a few lines for the drive to the Hampton’s. Soon enough he started to miss the ride to the [...]

DRIVE – The Volunteers Trilogy (Preview)

DRIVE - The Volunteers Trilogy Episode One by JOHN NUCKEL “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how a strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who [...]

It happened to be Music

Recently I was crying in a synagogue in Prague. It was the music that got to me. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Played by four violins a cello and bass, accompanied by a trumpet. Let me back track a bit since I wrote the last line first. If you would have told me as an Irish Catholic kid growing up in the welfare apartments of my town that I would be crying in a synagogue listening to music I would have stopped [...]

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