The Pebble

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The Pebble Cover

The Pebble

By Patrick Dorn

–This colorful, whimsical, rhyming religious picture book tells the story of David and Goliath from the stone’s point of view. The Pebble is lowly and meek, mocked by nearby stones and boulders because it dreams of flying. As part of God’s creation, the Pebble trusts that it has value, meaning, and purpose. Suddenly, a hand reaches down, picks up the Pebble, and propels it into history. Parents and children will love the rhyming narrative and the attractive, simple images. The book includes recommended Bible references and questions encouraging conversation about the value and purpose of each of us, as the beloved of God.

Paperback: $9.99 (24 pages) available on CreateSpace

Kindle e-book: $2.99 available on Amazon

Don’t quit your day job!

Crested Butte 1During the Thanksgiving holiday, my wife Abby, our rescue dog Frankie and I headed to the high country of Crested Butte, CO for three days and three nights of rest and recreation.

To quote Tina Fey from 30 Rock: “I want to go to there.”

What a beautiful town! For this southern California boy, Crested Butte is the perfect embodiment of everything I thought Colorado was supposed to be, with snow-capped peaks, low-key lifestyle, and hiking trails galore. It reminded me what an inspiration John Denver and “Rocky Mountain High” had been in my youth.

Now, 30 years after actually moving to Colorado, I’m thinking I’d like to retire from my chaplain job and live in Crested Butte year-round as an indie-author-playwright-internet marketing entrepreneur. Abby likes the idea, too.

Frankie isn’t talking, but at least he didn’t say “no.”

Then I remembered Jesus’ sage advice about “counting the cost” (Luke 14:28) and the embarrassment that comes from leaping into a project you can’t finish.

So I looked at a few Crested Butte real estate pages. Oh, wow. So that’s what “Rocky Mountain HIGH” REALLY means!

Okay, no problem. All the webinars and podcasts and blogs I’ve been following about living the lucrative life of an indie author/internet marketer assure me that I can easily make five or six figures every month, and I don’t even have to put on pants [pic not available].

No matter that I have already published five Kindle books so far and NONE of them sold a SINGLE COPY in the past month.

By playwright standards, I’m pretty successful. I have 39 published plays, after all. If you divided my 2015 royalty checks into twelve monthly payments, it would add up to about $500/month.

All I have to do is build that up to $12,000 per month, and a work-from-home life in Crested Butte is a real possibility.

Crested Butte 2Okay, not impossible. But not imminent, either.

Besides, I LIKE being a chaplain.

And I’m too young to actually retire.

I’ll give this indie author thing five years. Five years of strategic hard work, planning, learning as much as I can and implementing everything possible.

Produce a lot of content. Build an e-mail list. Come up with a marketing plan and launch calendar for new works. Do guest posts. All of it.

I’m in. All the way.

Because…Crested Butte.

Crested Butte 3

Fiction: The Bunny and the Big Black Dog

Dear Readers:

After the catastrophic loss of all my website data a couple weeks ago, I’ve started re-posting some of my most popular posts. Please feel free to share this story with others.

(Based on an actual event, as refined through theological reflection)

By Patrick Dorn

Early one cloudy morning, a big black dog trotted along a narrow dirt path, sniffing the air and enjoying the freedom that comes with a retractable leash.

Frankie on walk 6-20-15Without warning, a bunny dashed up the path, directly toward him!

“Good morning, Bunny,” Frankie (for that was the big black dog’s name) said. “Would you like to play chase?”

The bunny did not reply, so Frankie lolled his tongue and grinned a toothy, winning smile.

He repeated the invitation. “Chase?”

The bunny continued straight toward him. A collision seemed imminent.

The big black dog was taken aback. Typically, the bunnies he saw on his daily walks ran AWAY from him. But here was this bunny with pert ears and a bouncy stride coming straight at him, and not slowing down.

Frankie braced for impact, hoping the bunny wouldn’t be injured when it bounced off his big black body.Bunny

With an agile grace that Frankie could only admire, and secretly covet, the bunny performed an abrupt left turn, sprinted across a lush patch of grass, and under a bush.

“I guess he changed his mind,” Frankie said to himself. “But why was he in such a hurry?”

The big black dog looked up and saw, only a few yards above, a falconits angry beak gaping, notched wings outstretched against the clouds.

The falcon tucked away its talons, spun and circled upward, perching on the jagged top branches of a long-dead tree.falcon

Frankie glanced at the bush where the bunny crouched and shivered. The poor creature was hunched into a ball, making himself look very small indeed.

“By golly, if I hadn’t happened along, you might have become a tasty morsel for that falcon,” Frankie said. He tried to sound amiable, to calm the agitated bunny.

The bunny twitched its nose.

“You may have saved my life,” the bunny said. “But that doesn’t make us friends.”

The bunny turned, and in a flash of fluffy cottontail, disappeared into the dense undergrowth.

Frankie sadFrankie felt sad as he continued his walk. But he knew the bunny was right. It was a wild bunny after all, running loose in a world of falcons.

It had never known the kind of reassuring freedom that comes with a retractable leash.


SYMBOLISM ALERT: If you like to figure things out for yourself, READ NO FURTHER. However, if you’d like a hint to aid in deeper reflection, consider this: who is the implied character on the other end of the leash? That’s right. The Master. Now you take it from there.

‘Thin Skinned’ seeks reviewers. Free copies available from author.

Thin Skinned:

Thin Skinned Cover

In the barren, unforgiving desert outside Las Cruces, New Mexico, a sadistic Irish immigrant exacts gruesome revenge on the English lord who wronged her family.

Thin Skinned is a very short (about nine pages), gory horror/western mashup and is available on Amazon/Kindle for 99 cents, or FREE if you contact me and ask for a copy!

No, it’s not a western with horses and cattle drives and shootouts and saloon girls. Instead, it’s a character study of an abused woman who carries a lethal grudge and a carpetbag full of kitchen utensils.

And just because I’m feeling rebellious, I am proud to say that this story, which is unlike anything else I’ve ever published, has so far received a grand total of one, one-star review on Amazon:

“Do not read…Would not recommend it at all..”

I’m especially gratified by seeing not just one period but two periods at the end of the one-sentence review, presumably for emphasis.

So here’s the deal. If you feel like reading something short and nasty, very descriptive and also historically, geographically and otherwise accurate in the telling, order a FREE COPY from me by e-mailing or purchasing it for 99 cents on Amazon, and say what you did or did not like about the story, what worked and what didn’t work.

‘Cause how else is a writer supposed to improve?