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The Dead Mule @deadmule writer, thinker, advocate for an ethical society, publisher www.deadmule.com online for 25 years.

Breaking up is hard to do

Creative non-fiction about turning my life around

Dinah’s Landing. Photo by author.

Used to be, if we didn’t want to talk to someone it was simple. Let’s see, how far back shall we go? To answering machines? 1980s. Then you just looked at the number glowing on the machine and thought “I’m not going to answer that, it’s Mabel.” If there was…


The past, the present, the future

Back to old style blogging about my day

it’s a gray day. photo by author.

What today is all about.

It’s about reading Apple News and finding out the Stimulus Package, whatever they want to call it, won’t be enough to stop the evictions.

It’s about knowing we’re safe after spending three years in PTSD-induced poverty. Finally getting compensation from the VA, the Air Force…


We have to listen if we’re going to make them hear

The deaths are not real and other madness

Unable to imagine a suitable image for this essay, I opt for chickens. photo by author

This is a honest to God conversation I had yesterday with friend, a young man who sat over ten feet away from me, on my front porch, telling me why Covid is not real. He agreed to social distancing and sitting outside because I told him it was the only…


True story, happened yesterday

Jane’s boots. Photo by author.

My daughter Jane went surf fishing last weekend. Came home from the beach, rinsed off the salt water from her wading boots and left them on the front steps of her house to dry — about ten feet from the sidewalk. Two hours later, they were gone.

These were distinctive…


An Uncle Virgil story

Fiction: the stuff of legend

Deer Camp groundscape. Photo by author.

The deer camp is about five miles from Thornton. It’s a hunting “lodge” in the middle of a passel of acres of pine plantation mixed with old growth forest. There are no other houses near it. This is Arkansas. The South. USA.

The wood frame farm house, built around 1910…


creative non-fiction

Living in the moment

My grandsons make me laugh. photo by author

An odd time to stop taking anti-depressants, that’s what my therapist said. But he went along with it, helped me to titrate my dosage down to naught and let me talk about myself through the change in my mental state. I’d become numb over the years. …


Flash Essay

World War II and one member of my family

WWII Assemblage: work in progress by author

On December 3, 1944, my Aunt Helen wrote a letter to my mother. Mom was in Cincinnati, Ohio and Helen was following General Patton’s Army though Europe. She was a Red Cross volunteer. Young and idealistic, Helen joined the Red Cross seeking adventure. She wanted to contribute to the war…


GiaB prompt #3: seasons — essay

Trying to get ready to go for a drive. Forget washing the car. photo by author

Mom said “colors in nature match, always” and it’s true. The greens and golds, the reds and oranges of autumn never clash. It’s true in pottery too. Clay sucks up a glaze the same way nature offers her palate. All colors combine into a concrete whole. Each season appears with…

Valerie MacEwan

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