Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Guest Post: Wil Morgan. . .Lumberjack

I live deep in the tall pines of Northern Minnesota where I spend my winters writing. One of the main characters in my books is an old lumberjack named Wil Morgan. Wil and I were close friends. He was a little older than me, almost 60 years. He could cut trees, cuss, run a team of horses, cuss, shoot guns, cuss and spit tobacco. Did I mention that he cussed some?

In the town where I grew up, there was a boarding house not far from my home. The lumberjacks didn’t work in the summer and most of them holed up in boarding houses until the snow came again. It was a pretty quiet existence for them, at least until it got on toward dark. Then someone would start a campfire out behind the boarding house.

One by one the old lumberjacks would shuffle downstairs and out the back door. They’d sit down and just watch the fire. It must have seemed more natural for them, having a campfire.

Every once in a while, one of them would break out a jug of cheap fire water and pass it around.

As the whiskey started to loosen their tongues and bring back memories, the stories went around from one man to the next. Each story was outdone by the next and I’m convinced that the old adage “The first liar don’t stand a chance” originated right there. I was never sure which stories were true but after hearing them over and over for a few years, it didn’t matter much.

The years went by with me attending as many lumberjack campfires as possible. In the spring, I’d see a little wisp of smoke from up the hill and I’d know that my friends were back.
When I turned eleven, Wil Morgan didn’t come back. He’d been killed that winter by a widder-maker. I later learned that a tree limb fell on him.

I learned a lot from old Wil, like how to spit, how to shoot and how to cuss and some other important stuff too. Sometimes I really miss my old friend but ya know, if I try real hard, sometimes I can still hear his gravely voice from across the fire, laughing and carrying on, just like he did sixty years ago.

Today I write stories about old Wil Morgan, remembering the things he told me so many years ago. I have a website, and a blog that keep me pretty busy. I have a good friend in Australia who does all of my formatting and cover design. Please take a look at his work at Covers Are Us. My books are all available on Amazon Kindle in digital format:

1. The River Calls
2. A River of Seasons
3. River Chase
4. Brothers by Fire
5. To Waltz with a White Horse

Most sincere thanks to Sean for allowing me to talk about my books.

Very Best Regards,
Ron Shepherd
Northern Minnesota

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