Stories Cultivate the Soul

My new book Tales to Cultivate the Soul: 11 alternative stories will be released January 20. Pre-orders are available for only $2. Presales are $1.50 by giving me your email on This connection gives you advance notice of print versions and new books. Get the book on our books page. The price goes up January 20.

Anthology of New and Known Stories

This new ebook refreshes some short stories which have been available individually for years and includes some new ones appearing in narrative form for the first time. All the stories were born in the spontaneity of theater which created environments to witness profound truths live as they passed by the audience. Adapting them to narrative forms for reading offers the opportunity to sit with the words, re-read them, chew on the ideas, and contemplate what the story means more than a one-time performance. And yet the theatrical origins make the stories easy for the reader to replay personalized “movies” of them in their mind. Thus the title about “cultivating the soul”.

From the Preface of the Book

“Cultivating is a kind of work that has been embedded in us humans from primordial time. It is work that teaches us wisdom by collaborating with the elements and wonder by witnessing resurrection. Even now though most of us are in cities doing work that is more technical than putting seeds in the ground, trees and flowers cause us to sense we are participating in something greater than ourselves. That is probably why I gravitate toward stories which deal in some way with death and resurrection. Seeds are cast to soil, many landing in unplanned places. Characters endure great losses and gain unexpected treasure. They face death and see its connection to Life.

“Stories are also primordial and when people rested from cultivating the soil, they huddled together telling what they had learned in their souls. They cultivated one another’s hearts with thoughts and wisdom encapsulated in words which merged with their imaginations, sunk into their souls, germinated more ideas and grew to bear new seeds. The stories in this volume are like seeds born in me from history’s “farmers of the word” and which in my time I cast across the world with the hope they will find cultivated ground in people’s hearts. There I am imagining them sprouting something that will bear good fruit in lives. The fruit these stories bear in the lives of readers is as varied as the ground they find in each person’s heart.”

The Writing Process

The process of morphing the stage scripts into narrative form has uncovered new perspectives revealing the stories’ deeper roots in Truth. As I have been breathing new life into these stories, they have been entertaining me again and reaffirming the wisdom I discovered in the original writing process. The characters come alive in their unique personalities. It has been reassuring to find that my original inspirations are still valid and grow more profound with more life experience.

All the stories were born of the desire to discover and show Truth. I “knew things” intellectually but writing it into the lives of characters was like meditating on it until the Truth passed from my intellect to my spirit and became my experience. “Performing” the stories for others in the words of this book is an offering to the wider community for conversation which I hope will open deeper meaning as it mixes with others’ perspectives. Plus, you will get a lot of great dialogue with these characters.

Table of Contents Sampling

  • Future Seed (2001) Contemplating my roots in the farming Midwest who were people of faith willing to risk their lives for others.
  • City Seed (1999) Jesus’ parable of the Seed & Soils lived out by a city pedicab driver and his customers.
  • Give Us This Day (2003) What will people in a small mountain town do when the nearby metropolis is attacked by terrorists?
  • Born Blind (2017) Based on the drama in John 9, we look more closely at the personalities and circumstances of Blind Benny, his neighbors, and the authorities.
  • You After All (2002) An experimental and poetic treatment of Laz, his two sisters Marta and Marie, and the odd spiritual adviser who seems too late to help cope with Laz’ death.
  • Campaign Supper (2004) By listening to the conversations and interactions between company members at their annual dinner we gradually realize the historic events that are unfolding.
  • Finding Peter (1987) He does not want to be found but unwelcome guests keep breaking in.
  • Where’s My Sting? (2001) A satirical sketch comedy set in the afterlife.
  • From Here to Kingdom Come (1980) Alice Wondrel’s old church culture falls apart when she is carried away to a world where metaphors become the real thing. This is the hilarious comedy that kicked off Horizon Gate Productions in the ‘80’s.
  • A Kid Knocks in the Night (1972-2022) The antics of a grouchy old man and a cheeky kid intruding in the night. Adapted from a scene in my stage play “The Spirit Fooled Christmas” first produced by Lamb’s Players in 1972.
  • The Lost Kids Spy Christmas (1990) Adapting Dickensian plot devices to the modern metropolis, we live through the crisis which changes an old crook and his gang of pickpockets.