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Home | Tag Archives: El Paso Herald Post

Tag Archives: El Paso Herald Post

HP FlashFiction: Reckoned I’d Bring My Pistol

As part of our on-going effort to give local writers/artists/poets/creators space to share their works, HP FlashFiction was created.

The works are presented and will be placed ‘as is – as the author wrote’ with out any editing on our part.

In this edition, we present a short story by B.A. Johnson.  To submit your works, simply send them to


They told me he was comin’ back. I would’ve sworn he was dead, but they said it, and I didn’t aim to disbelieve ‘em. The others had figured it wasn’t true – they’d been the ones to bury him – but they’d been strung up, one at a time, all except The Kid. Nobody knew who by…leastways nobody’d say what they reckoned, so I figured they were wrong.

When he was around, folks would say, “Sooner or later, everybody’s gotta meet the judge,” and to young’uns, “Shush, or you haf’ta see the judge.” So, when I heard ‘em say he was comin’, I reckoned my time was sooner – reckoned I’d bring my pistol.

He used to live in a house on the edge o’ town next to Ol’ Jeb’s.

When I got there, I saw Ol’ Jeb diggin’ outside…he was always diggin’.

They said Jeb was the first man in town – bought all the land west o’town, far as Scrag Hill some three miles out, for prospectin’ – blamed fool. May have been true; lookin’ at him, I’d believe it. He was skinny as a bird-picked coyote; skin so tight around the skull with sunken, black eyes starin’ down the spade handle. You’d think a corpse was out diggin’ its own grave.

He must’ve dug up all his land, as right then he was on the line between his property and the judge’s, turnin’ over a patch ‘neath a big oak bough with a rope scar ‘cross the top, six feet out from the trunk.

He saw me, but didn’t say a word.

“Howdy, Jeb.”

He didn’t stop diggin’. “What’re you doin’ here? Haven’t you heard the judge is comin’? Comin’ up fast.”

“I heard.”

“He ain’t in there,” said Jeb. “Comin’ up fast though.”

I told him I’d see for myself and went ‘round back the judge’s house where the backdoor was hangin’ wide open. I peered in.

The windows were still hung with old lace, tied back as though opened that mornin’, dust gray, just like the moth-eaten furniture.

Everything was quiet, ‘cept Jeb’s shovel – Schik. Schik.

I crept in, floor groanin’. I went through every room and in the last one found The Kid, sittin’ in an old chair, staring out the window, gun in his lap.

“What’re you doin’?” I asked.

He just smiled strange-like. “Ol’ Jeb, still at it.”

“Yeah. You heard?”

“Everybody’s gotta meet the judge sometime. Comin’ up fast…you ever listen to diggin’?”

I stared at him. He just looked out, listenin’.

Schik. Schik.

“Funny what you can tell from a shovel…can hear a place’s been dug before – sounds smooth goin’ into the dirt ‘stead o’ harsh n’ clangin’.” He sat there a long time.


“Comin’ up fast.”

The shovel stopped. Nothin’ made a sound. Then the floorboards groaned and The Kid went white.

“Jeb?” I called, figurin’ it was Ol’ Jeb. Then came the sound of a shovel outside, diggin’ into the dirt, not as smooth and easy as before.

The Art ON Writing: Troubleshooting Writer’s Block

When I first began writing my first screenplay, I went through what every writer goes through, that dreaded “writer’s block!” It’s an irritating problem for us writers because it doesn’t just hinder your writing, but it keeps you from writing!

When it gets you, it gets you and it causes you to stop and possibly start a new writing project. Well, it did to me. You see how I said, “did?” That’s because it doesn’t happen to me anymore. I’ve found a way around that pesky nuisance. I call it a “loop hole” in the quantum entanglement parallel dimensional torsion field generator collider mechanism we call our brain.

If you are having trouble with writer’s block, I have some great ways to get you around it and finish that book, script or whatever it is that you’re writing. This is what I do. I don’t think of what to write next. You see, that’s the problem. You don’t need to writer what’s going to happen next. You can always come to that later. And trust me, it WILL come to you later. Just begin writing over that bump in the road and come to it later.

That’s one of my techniques. Here’s the other, and it may sound crazy to some of you, but hear me out on this one. When I began writing, I was just trying to write what I’ve either read in books, heard on the radio or saw on TV. You’re only trying to copy that structure. STOP! You don’t have to try to match someone else’s storyline.

When I write, my characters actually come to life. They have their own lives, talk their own talk, walk their own walk and run freely. I just follow ‘suit. I run with whatever my characters do. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Think of it as Dr. Frankenstein creating his monster. He finds the parts, puts the pieces together and at the end, he gives his creation LIFE! IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!

If you have fun with your writing, the possibilities are endless on overcoming that writer’s block, which is just a silly bump in the road. Put an “X” on it and come back to it later. The best way of coming up with a way to resolve your block is simply not thinking about . How many times have you forgotten someone’s name only to remember it when you’re not even thinking about it? It COMES TO YOU! Like Karma; in a good way.

Don’t follow structure. Forget about following the rules, Think outside the box. If you’re still having problems. Just get up, stretch, have some food, go outside and take in the outside world to clear your mind, then go back in and sit down and just simply begin writing. The words will pour out of you like sweat on a horse. Wait… Well, you know what I mean. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just clear your mind and write.

I find it that listening to music clears my head. Especially music that deals with what I’m writing. Let’s say I’m going to write a 1930s detective noir. I listen to music from that era. Or if I’m writing a story about baseball, I listen to baseball on the radio or on TV if it’s playing or listen to old Harry Caray (RIP) sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”

Do what you must, but don’t think too much or that dreaded Writer’s Block will surely make a mess of you.

If you have any questions about writing, filmmaking, writing, television, writing, movies, or anything paranormal, yes, paranormal; I’m a ghost investigator as well, just leave a comment and I will try to answer them “asbestos” I can. 🙂

Hola Amigos! Welcome to the New El Paso Herald Post

Sunrise: Visual reminder of new day
Sunrise: Visual reminder of new day

Hola, Amigos.  It’s a new day in the Borderland.  A day full of the unknown, both good and bad.  And we’re back to help El Paso focus on the good, amplify that energy and build on the long, proud tradition of reporting and journalism that the Herald Post always stood for.

But, why bring the Herald-Post back?

The Herald-Post cared about El Paso. You looked forward to getting the afternoon paper, because things had happened in your city since the morning paper was printed at 2am.  The news you read in its pages had a connection to you and your family.

In those pages, you cared about what you read, and your opinions mattered. It was neither gratuitous nor unnecessarily invasive in mindless detail.

It all went away in 1997. And we began to drift, pushed by the currents of breaking news, normal weather now branded as ‘dangerous’ and ‘look-at-this’ reporting.

Then 9/11 happens, live on TV, and that type of coverage is cemented into our brains, a new template for all to follow – like it or not. News has to be BEYOND immediate, and you need to see this thing right now. All of it a visual competition, with each bit attempting to outdo the previous story/link/video.

Planes into buildings not enough for you? How about this traffic cam footage of a drunk driver plowing into the back of a cheerleader’s car, killing her?  Ok, now look at this, here’s a rollover, and another. Do you have a picture of a wreck? Send it in! Tell us what you think about it!

We all got caught up in the visual aspect, following it up with obvious reporting (“How do you feel now that your brother-sister-relative-friend is dead?) rather than asking the larger question: how does reporting on a negative make things better?

Opinion has fared no better, being reduced to 144 characters or a meme involving a Minion or some other cartoon character.

And in the shadows of the towers of useless data streams and the cacophony of non-stop videos, El Paso has soldiered along. Much in the same way it has for the last 400 years:  periods of genuine progress, hampered by the more-than-occasional abdication of vision to others, both locals and out-of-towners.

Hence, the return to the past; dusting off a familiar name, and re-tooling it for the 21st Century.  We need informed opinion on events that matter, not just someone screaming at the top of their keyboard lungs “CONSPIRACY.”

While TV news has only a minute, ten seconds to give you a story, the Herald-Post will have all day to tell you a story about the news – and start a conversation. It will be news when you want it, not holding back details until the early evening.

When it comes to Lifestyle, we’ll have people talking about subjects that take you to new places – be they on the movie screen, the rest area right up the road that you never stop at or that restaurant around the corner you’ve never been in.

Our Sports coverage will bring you the most vivid pictures our crews get, putting you right at ringside or on the sidelines.  You’ll not just hear about who won, but about the person that helped get that win.  And our coverage will be local first, not national.

The Herald-Post is local people, covering local news, asking you to consider their opinion and politely asking for your view. Because informed opinion leads to discussion, which leads to action and change.

That’s why the Herald-Post is back. So, what do you think? I look forward to the conversation.



Spring Training 728
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