Dwight Norris is an author of novels, short stories, memoirs, and a long time ago, poetry. He believes that language is a tool for learning, inspiration, building courage, and changing a course of action. When a writer tells the story of an individual, he honors that person and shows respect for their life. He also allows other people to learn from their actions.
With writing, we preserve history, leave a legacy, and honor one another. Dwight believes that the most mundane aspects of life can be recorded with class and sophistication, and can even evoke joy and laughter. Dwight is the single father of two grown children, a daughter and a son. As of this writing he is privileged to be serving his seventh term as president of the California Writers Club, High Desert Branch.
Dwight is willing to do Zoom meetings.
Sandy Armistead passed away recently at the age of ninety-nine and a half. His grandfather was a slave. He once made the statement, “I am where I am today because I had wonderful parents. Some of what I learned in life I don’t see much in society today. It sure would be nice if we could get back to some of the things that worked not that long ago.” This is a story of values and practical experiences that resulted in success and happiness in our lifetimes. Maybe they can work again.
Being capable of making an effective oral presentation separates the men from the boys and leaders from followers. When you can speak well before a live audience it changes your life in ways you can’t imagine. Winston Churchill said this. There is nothing like oratory. It turns a commoner into a king! Why not give it a try? When you know what to do, it’s not even hard!
When you’re writing a book that takes place in a different time and place, human nature doesn’t change, but the details of daily routine and life do. To make your writing interesting and real, you must learn to be historically accurate and culturally authentic. If you’re writing about the coal mine wars of Matewan, West Virginia in 1920 and ’21, you need to know who the president of the United States was at that time, and the governor of the state. Did they take action or make a decision that impacted the setting where your action is playing out? And culturally, you need to know all about the environment in that time and place—geography, topography, climate, social conditions, laws, company housing, means of communication, customs, food, law enforcement. The list is long. I can show you how to be efficient and thorough in your research and to keep it organized. This helps you to determine what is relevant and what is not so much. Some items deserve a mention, others a fuller description. When you get this just right, your reader makes a pleasant visit to a new place and your book comes to life.
This is the life story of Sandy Armistead in his nineties, as told to Dwight Norris, after an accidental meeting with the author. Sandy attributes his happy life to wise and loving parents, and imparts to the author some of their strategies and loving actions. Sandy shares these techniques with Dwight in hopes that the young people of today will embrace these concepts and start incorporating them into their lives.
Johnny McCarthy is a third-generation coal miner whose father and grandfather lived out their lives in Ireland. Johnny and his young family now reside and work in Matewan, West Virginia. Johnny digs coal out of the mines for the Stone Mountain Coal Company. The year is 1920. Miners and their families are exploited and abused at every turn. The miners constantly fought for their survival and dignity. They risked their lives for union representation. This book is the story of one miner’s adventure that takes him beyond the Matewan Massacre to finding out who he really is.
What starts as a delightful wedding and honeymoon cruise in the Caribbean turns into a nightmare when one morning thousands of guests wake up to the reality that a hundred Somali pirates have taken charge of the cruise overnight. What animates the lead pirate, Inferno? What do the pirates want? Who lives and who dies? Can Dusty and Sam, retired police detectives and former partners figure a way to keep themselves and several thousand other innocent people alive through the ordeal? This is the ride of a lifetime, and a cruise like none you have ever taken.
A serial killer makes the rounds as a gentleman host on cruise lines, preying on unsuspecting single women and dispatching his selected targets overboard at midnight on the last night of the cruise. A hard crime to stop or even detect with no victim left behind and no witnesses. Only someone missing after the cruise has ended. This continues for many years until a couple of retired detective partners, Dusty and Sam, come out of retirement to apply the skills that made them heroes in the law enforcement community.