Memoirs are all about making connections, and so I couldn’t have been more pleased to see a link on one of my Facebook pages to a blog written by Tad Callin (

When Marty’s twin sister Mamie reminisced for our collaborative book, Some Memories – Growing Up With Marty Robbins, she talked about a school friend named Nancy. I recorded what she related, but it never occurred to me that I’d find out any more about Nancy. After all, so often childhood friends turn out to be ships that quickly pass in the night.

So I was surprised and delighted to read the Facebook comment from Tad, who is Nancy’s grandson.

Apparently he’d come across the book and read Mamie’s anecdotes about Nancy. According to Mamie, their first meeting was not promising. Nancy began by asking Mamie what her name was, and “laughed, saying it was the funniest name she’s ever heard. I happened to agree with her, but nevertheless I started to cry. Later she became my best friend during the years we went to Peoria School.”

Like Mamie, Nancy had a brother who could be intimidating for the girls. While Marty’s teasing and practical jokes reduced Nancy to tears on more than one occasion, Mamie remembered Nancy’s brother Richard as “cruel and scary because he was a bully.” Even Marty couldn’t recover Mamie’s nickel, she said, when Richard took it from her on the school bus.

Tad notes that Richard grew up to be a Maricopa County judge. So perhaps Mamie’s verdict was a little premature.


Many thanks to editor Rebecca Dyer for running excerpts from two of my books in the online magazines Blue Guitar (from my novel Shine Like The Sun) and Blue Guitar Jr (first chapter of The Trouble Upstream).
On Sunday (Oct 27th) at 12:50, I’ll be reading from The Trouble Upstream at the Arizona Consortium for the Arts’ free Fall Festival, at Arizona Historical Society Museum, Papago Park, Tempe.

Ebook distributor Smashwords is running a promotion through July for authors to discount or give away their publications.

Readers of my non fiction (by Andrew Means) and fiction (by A.L.Means) can take advantage by going to links as follows:

Non fiction:


The non fiction titles are biographical works about novelist and essayist George Orwell and rock group Pink Floyd, and a memoir about country music great, Marty Robbins.

Fiction features my novel Shine Like The Sun, children’s story The Trouble Upstream, and short stories Foreign Ways.

Additionally, I’m listing someone close to me, Notlyn Sneam, whose short stories and other ramblings can be downloaded free at

Could country music legend Marty Robbins soon get official recognition from his hometown, Glendale, Arizona? Hoping to find out more when I sign my memoir, Some Memories – Growing Up With Marty Robbins, at Krispy Creations, 7013 N. 58th Avenue, next to Murphy Park in downtown Glendale, 1-3 Saturday (June 22nd).

The format may be digital, but the thrill of seeing one’s work on public display is tangible enough no matter what the medium.

I’m among the creative spirits featured in the Spring 2013 issue of The Blue Guitar, an Arizona-based ezine that takes its name from a Wallace Stevens poem, “The Man with the Blue Guitar”.  

As always, I look forward to reading the work of fellow contributors and hope that they find similar enjoyment in reading the featured excerpt from my novel, Shine Like The Sun.

Sometimes it seems that the book world is altogether too preoccupied with celebrity and sales. Of course most of us want recognition. But a publication like The Blue Guitar is a reminder that the essence of creativity is close to home. The themes may be universal, but the details and the passion are right in front of us. And that’s why local support counts for so much. So thank you editor in chief Becca Dyer and her talented team.

Home for Beaver is a wild river in Arizona, and like Ratty in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows he can think of no better place to live than somewhere surrounded by water.
The snag is that the river seems to be drying up and someone needs to do something about it. The Trouble Upstream chronicles the adventures of Beaver and his friends Skunk and Ringtail as they trek to the river’s source in search of a solution.
In their journey they tangle with a succession of creatures native to the area — each with an impact on their mission. Pack rats, ground squirrels, a rattlesnake, javelinas, coatimundis and a Gila monster are among the more prominent characters.
As in the human world, difficult decisions have to be made and the result will not satisfy everyone. But, in fighting to preserve their homes, the creatures are surely following a justifiable precedent.

Read about Sav Scatola, who created the cover illustration, at