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Dickens and Childhood Poverty

My new essay in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle






Book Review: A Burnt-Out-Case by Graham Greene


Graham Greene, I believe, was a writer who put more of himself – his thoughts and feelings, his inner conflicts, his desires and defeats – than most into his fiction, in such a way that the end work is not only painful to read, such is the vulnerability and reality of the emotions expressed, but impossible not to read. That said, A Burnt-Out-Case, a fast, compact book, feels more confessional than story. But what a story – a renowned architect, Querry, drained dry and numbed by society and success, tries to lose himself in Africa, ending up at a Leperosie where he falls in with an atheist doctor and a group of missionary priests who are working to heal and give dignity to these afflicted souls. To his astonishment, Querry also finds himself “recovering” as he helps to build a new hospital for the lepers. His reawakening, however, comes at a cost, reminding us all that happiness, in any shape or form, is fickle and fleeting and altogether precious.

Is Social Media the New Big Brother?

The Trial – The Word Count Podcast, Episode 71


Check out this collection of Halloween-inspired stories.

The Descent into the Maelstrom, Wordcount Podcast, Episode 70

An Edgar Allan Poe inspired story.



The Call of the Wild – The Word Count Podcast, Episode 69


Imprisoned or Free, it all depends on your mindset.

Of Human Bondage – The Word Count Podcast, Episode 68

The prompt for the latest episode of R.B. Wood’s Word Count Podcast asked that we use the month of July and the picture below in our setting. Of note, R.B. Wood took this photo while hiking in Zion National Park, Utah. This is the beginning of the Narrows hike, where previous hikers sometimes leave their walking sticks […]

Of Human Bondage ~ A story by John McCaffrey and Jack Gwaltney for the Word Count Podcast —