Serendipity and Circumstance

When I finally set out to write a book I, like many others, decided that I would ‘write what I know’. For most authors, myself included, this meant that my story would involve elements of my family, friends and the experiences I had undertaken in my life up to that moment. I’ve had the amazing and extraordinary experience of making and keeping a friend since before I had the ability to recall cognitive thought, which is a fancy way of saying that I have been lucky enough to maintain a friendship with my oldest buddy for one hell of a long time. In fact, our friendship grew to include one another’s families so that now, 25 or so years later, we act more like a family than friends with one another; this is something beyond special.

The book I originally set out to write was meant to be a  twisted version of the friendship that my buddy and I now share. I wanted to write a present day scenario in which we, the two friends, had lost touch with one another, but our families maintained the same friend/family contact we had grown up with. The raw emotional tension and literary possibilities were endless, but I struggled enormously when trying to devise ways in which we, the”characters” would have failed one another so enormously that we wouldn’t speak to one another for over a decade.

Luckily, when writing my morning pages, another, albeit a vastly different, idea for a novel to write appeared organically on the page in front of me and I decided to move forward with it. I felt odd leaving the fictional versions of myself and my friend behind, but I knew I had to follow my creative mojo and scrap my original story.

Fast forward to me being three months into writing the first draft and my wife and I are visiting my buddy and his wife in their home. As we amble about the city streets having one hell of a time, I finally tell my buddy about my original idea for my book, how I abandoned it and why I abandoned it. He, like me, found it difficult to imagine a way to create an antagonist/protagonist relationship between us, even though the characters would have been fictional versions of us. However, that night my buddy offered to edit the book for me when I had completed my draft. The moment he offered, I realized I could’t think of anyone else I would rather have edit the book for me.

The first printed version of the book was sent directly to him, and as I placed the pages in the package I realized that neither he or I could have written a more fitting story about how I came to write my fist book, and he came to edit his first book. His name is Andy Bird, and he and I have been friends for one hell of a long time.

Andy and I

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Thorn at Our Side – A Story of Adoption, Pt. 2

Part 2 of the tale of Thorn becoming a part of our family delves deeply into how amazed Amanda and I were by the facility, people, care, and attention provided to the animals at the Bellwether Harbor animal shelter. The people who work at, and volunteer for, this shelter are indescribably wonderful with animals, and people, and I knew that even if things hadn’t worked out with Thorn, that I would spread the word about their efforts. Click the video to hear more about our extraordinary experience at the shelter.(please forgive the random slide structure)

Part 3 of the story will be released on Monday.

To hear Part 1, click here.

Christmas Folk, An Original Audio Play For Christmas

This story has become something wonderful for me, not just because it marks the first time I was able to employ a full cast behind the mic, but also because creating it reminded me of the wonderful, innocent, beautiful magic that surrounds this season. I dearly hope you enjoy, and please, share with your friends and family.

Now presenting – Christmas Folk

Written, produced, and edited by Doug Dorda.

Pecos Bill – Dan Rickabus

Babe – Colin Ragan

Johnny – George Benson

The Spirit And The Sprite, An Original Story For The Fall

As a child, I was captivated by those who could tell intriguing tales. Huddled around campfires, gathered around hearths, under blanket forts lit with a flashlight; these are the places that my imagination sprang to life. I have aspired to tell the sorts of tales that I was told while growing up. I hope you enjoy this tale of why the leaves fall each year.