I met James Nelson other wise known as SubRon on Hubpages. I found a very sweet and gifted writer behind the avatar. He is very supportive of other writers and I for one look forward to reading his thoughtful comments. I would like to share James biography and thoughts behind his works. You will find links below so you will be able to follow this gifted scribe.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” ~Albert Schweitzer
James W. Nelson was born in a farmhouse in eastern North Dakota in 1944. Some doctors made house calls back in those days. He remembers kerosene lamps, bathing in a large galvanized tub, and their phone number was a long ring followed by four short ones, and everybody else in the neighborhood could rubberneck. (Imagine that today!) He was living in that same house on the land originally homesteaded by his great-grandfather, when a savage tornado hit in 1955 and destroyed everything. They rebuilt and his family remained until the early nineteen-seventies when diversified farming began changing to industrial agribusiness (Not necessarily a good thing.) He spent four years in the US Navy, worked many jobs and finally has settled on a few acres exactly two and one half miles straight west of the original farmstead, ironically likely the very spot where the 1955 tornado first struck, which sometimes gives him a spooky feeling.
James has been telling stories most of his life. Some of his first memories happened during recess in a one-room country schoolhouse near Walcott, ND. His little friends, eyes wide,
would gather round and listen to his every hastily imagined word. It was a beginning. Fascinated by the world beginning to open, he remembers listening to the teacher read to all twelve kids in the eight grades. The first two books he read himself were Forest Patrol and On the Fur Trail. In the tenth grade, he read Swiftwater, by Paul Annixter, which Disney immortalized as Those Calloways. Other than school papers, though, writing held off until the navy, where he kept a sparse journal. But the memory banks were beginning to fill.
About 1968 he interviewed his family and got their recollections of the 1955 tornado. His first piece and immediately rejected by Reader’s Digest. But the vein had been opened.
(That story now resides in his memoirs “Dying to Live.”) His first novel became
a thousand-page behemoth (The Bellwether) “hand-typed” four times. Then an
electric—will wonders never cease?—typewriter, and two more drafts. The first computer arrived about 1980 (typewriter and monitor). One click and the story got typed automatically, but, still, one page at a time. The next three novels and about forty short stories came quickly. He now works on his tenth book.
“In 2008 a brand new Dell laptop and the internet arrived—Yea”!!! JN
What makes this wonderful man write? Lets take a small look into the heart of James!
“Reading and writing I love. First there was poetry, then nonfiction and letters-to-the-editor, finally my real love: Fiction: Stories about people responding and reacting to real life situations. I also love nature, gardening, photography, women (understanding them and loving them, that is) and learning new things. But there isn’t time enough in a day to do everything necessary and also learn new things. Maybe there isn’t time enough even in a life. So that’s why I love to write. It’s relaxing. As soon as my characters are on the screen and mostly developed they take over and do what they want. All I do is pound the keys and try to keep up.”
The Bellwether (The Mother of all Disasters)
My very first novel has become my most recently self-published book. Thirty-five years ago, at 1000 typed pages, it was a behemoth. Then it was reworked and rewritten twice more on a manual typewriter, then twice more on a brand new electric one, then it sat on typing paper—while I worked on other projects on my brand new Smith-Corona which was still a typewriter but with a screen where I could actually make corrections without Whiteout—until this past March when I finally typed it into my laptop, and condensed it to under 800 pages. It has been edited a minimum of 6 times since March. But what a job.” JN
“Many of my days I spend selling books out of the trunk of my car. Not kidding. I go to small coffee shops, large grocery stores, small town celebrations, etc., to offer autograph sessions, regularly.” JN
Winter in July (The end of the world…?) A novel about the possibility of nuclear war. During research and writing the first draft I sometimes experienced nightmares that went on night after night, which I then incorporated into the story.
Experiments (Pharmacological research gone berserk) My stint under lock and key, which became a medical mystery drama.
Callipygia (The utopian world of Callipygia…just a legend…?) A romance between two young women. (I rate it a very strong R.)
These last two novels have been written in the past year.
Daughters (The heartbreak of human trafficking)
Boat Sailors (Vietnam War action by fleet submarines)
In the meantime 26 short stories have appeared in two categories and two books.
Strange & Weird Stories (The unknown: as close as beside you)
A Collection of Short Contemporary Stories (Featuring the novella “Into Tilovia”)
And my memoirs:
Dying to Live (The life and times of Jimmy Nelson)
I would like to share one of James wonderful stories. Grab a cup of tea, sit back, and enjoy!
James W. Nelson
Think of the 1800s, the wagon trains, and the people who crossed the prairie looking
for a better life. Now fast-forward to the new millennium and the worldwide
economy totally crashing, causing unbelievable chaos and violence. Through
Native American prophecy, Aaron Hodges sees it coming and envisions building a
hidden colony to ride out the likely decades-long crisis.
When the crash came nobody could point a finger and blame a specific thing. The
United States and the world were locked in drought, stagnant economy, and
rampant pollution. Too many people were wasting too much, demanding too much
standard of living, and too much money created too much free time and
entertainment, for, as one height was reached boredom prevailed, and more and
greater thrills were demanded.
More wood, more metal, more food and drink, and more oil.
The oil flow stopped.
Then the flow of supplies stopped. The civilized world found itself trapped inside a steel, concrete, and plastic wasteland with no utilities, no food, no water.
And no gasoline.
Set in the near future, novel runs for two years. The main theme is a modern-day
wagon train with over sixty people driving sixteen covered wagons pulled by
four-horse teams for 30 days across 300 miles from southern Minnesota farming
country to northern Minnesota wilderness. Background themes include the
economy, environment, and a shadowy “master race” organization out to eliminate
the Native American. This novel is character-driven, just normal people loving
and finding love, surviving, and reacting to circumstances as best they can.
You will like the characters, you will care what happens to them, and at the
end you will cheer.
Dedicated to my late
(They never gave up
When I knew the late
Mrs. George H. Raveling Jr., of Valley City, North Dakota,
she was eighty-two
years old, alone in life, and herding forty head of fat, shining, Hereford
cows, their calves, a large Hereford bull with down-curving horns, and nurse-maiding
several 600-pound Poland China broodsows, with litters of up to 16 piglets
Chapter 42 “THE MATRIARCH” is dedicated to her
(Mrs. Raveling, may
you be resting in peace….)
Theses two scenes are taken from the end of Chapter 40
“The Great Novice Assembly” Aaron is the main character but he and Caroline
have never really gotten together because she considers his colony idea as
being unnecessary and dumb, so she has refused to go along on the wagon train,
even as she sees many bad things happening in the country. Old Paint is a
beat up van.
“For now just join me at my van about nine-thirty tonight, and bring both Carmen and
Jackie with you.”
“Thought we had a choice in this matter, Aaron,” Taylor
said from the passenger seat.
“Taylor’s right,” Brett stated from a crate behind Taylor, “We need to know what’s going on.”
Aaron glanced to his left out the window of the speeding Old Paint at a dark sky. The moon couldn’t have timed things better. What bothered him was whether he could have, could have done things better, for sure said things better.
“How about it, Aaron?” Carmen joined in from a turned over wooden box, “You didn’t have me bring this syringe of barbiturates along for nothing.”
“All right.” He finally answered, “I hope the barbiturates won’t be necessary but
there’s someone I want to go along and she refuses.” He glanced at Jacqueline
sitting on another crate between her husband and Carmen, “I’m sorry, Jackie.
“What? Aaron, you’ve had two years with Caroline. What’s wrong?”
Jacqueline didn’t sound too happy with him. When she learned all the facts she would be even less so. He wished there was another way. There wasn’t, “We haven’t made
much progress, Jackie. All we seem to do is bang heads.”
“Well, you aren’t putting a needle in her,” Jacqueline came back, her voice tight, “Is
that what you’re planning to do? Why on earth—”
“Jackie—” He interrupted, then stopped. He didn’t know what to say. After all. Jacqueline and Caroline were sisters and had not seen each other in ten years, “Your job in this venture,” he went on, trying to sound like it was just another job, “Is to pack Caroline’s stuff, what you think she’ll need and especially want.”
“I don’t understand. You’re talking like a fool!”
Aaron scratched at his unshaven face and glanced out the window again. Nothing but black. Oh, he was a fool all right, “You see, and I don’t know how else to say this, but, we’re going to kidnap her.”
The silence from all four was crushing. Aaron felt like he was sinking right into Old Paint’s seat, “Damn it, people,” he said, glancing back at each person in turn, especially Jacqueline, “I love her! And I’m almost certain she loves me, but we have this communication problem. She says she’s not coming along and I don’t have any more time to argue with her. She’s coming!”
Better say it all right now, “My plan is to approach her after she’s asleep. Gag her first.” That sounded kind of callous. He had certainly been a callous bastard lately, “Tie her hands and feet and put her in that canvas bag.” He turned, pointed, saw Jacqueline’s eyes gleaming at him from the glare of Old Paint’s dash lights, and swore he felt daggers striking him, “Blindfold her, and, last, if necessary, Carmen.” He reached behind, felt his hand hit Carmen’s knee, brush her thigh, finally find her left arm and tiny hand, and pulled. Carmen left the crate and got on her knees beside him.
“Carmen,” he said, squeezing her hand, “I’m the villain in this. Nobody will look at you, or be mad at you.” He squeezed harder, feared he might even be hurting her, “Carmen, please, if Caroline fights so hard she might hurt herself, you use the needle!”
He felt Jacqueline’s angry stare but refused to look at her. He was a brute, a cold, callous, brute, “Carmen,” he said fiercely, pleadingly, “I’m depending on you! Will you do it?”
Unnoticed in the dark, Taylor reached for and found, and gently squeezed Carmen’s other tiny hand.
“He loves her, Jackie,” Carmen said with deep conviction, “I believe him. I, I’ve only recently learned about true and real love myself. If I had to go away and leave Taylor any time, but especially now, if he would be in danger, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.”
Aaron released his grip on Carmen’s hand. Carmen slipped back to her seat. Nobody
said another word.
“It’s been forty-five minutes, guys,” Aaron announced, “Taylor, can you pick the lock?”
“In just a few seconds, little buddy.”
“OK, now you guys will do the subduing—”
“You aren’t even going to do your own subduing, Aaron?” Jacqueline interrupted,
“Can’t you even stand to touch her?”
Aaron spun, furiously, “Jacqueline, I don’t know why you’re being such a bitch
“Hold it, Aaron.” Brett said, “I think in order to get this kidnapping carried out
right, that you two, Aaron and my wife—”
“Sorry, Jackie. I don’t know either why you’re being so difficult, but you two bickerers are going to stay right here, while the rest of us get Caroline.”
Aaron was about to protest, but Brett raised his hand, “You put me in as second-in-command, Aaron, and now I’m taking that command. Neither of you are being realistic. Neither of you want Caroline to get hurt, so neither of you are going in. Caroline is going to fight. Taylor and I are going to subdue her, forcefully, and Carmen is going to use that needle to put her to sleep. You said maybe, Aaron, I say it’s necessary right from the start.”
This is a middle scene from Chapter 50 “The Lake of Embrace” Jennie, 9, Caroline’s daughter is having a memory of meeting a special boy when she and her mother visited the reservation two years earlier. She’s riding with Jacqueline, Caroline’s sister.
At first Jennie was satisfied sitting on Jacqueline’s left side as they passed the fierce-looking Indians, but then, as they approached the center of the mounted line, a boy, riding a smaller horse than the others and also carrying a gun, left the line, rode about twenty feet ahead, and stopped.
Jennie knew they would pass very close, “Aunt Jackie, will you help me get to your other side, so I can see better?”
Jacqueline at first appeared surprised, then tied the reins loosely and turned, holding out her hands, “Of course, Jennie.”
Bracing her stiff right leg, Jennie accepted her aunt’s hands under her armpits, then jumped as Jacqueline lifted up, over, dress ballooning, and down on Jacqueline’s right side. Flustered, Jennie quickly settled onto the wagonseat and smoothed her dress, then sat quietly, gazing wonderingly at the young Indian boy still about forty feet away.
She was sure, pretty sure, he was the same boy who had gotten her the pillow when she and her mom had visited the cabin by the lake two years ago. There had been two visits but she had not seen him the second time. He still had the red handkerchief tied around his head. His hair was longer now and braided, and didn’t have that just-cut-off-look at all. But she couldn’t remember his name. She had heard too many names that day and they all had two, or even three, names.
She remembered his grandpa, though, and as they got closer she saw that same look
on the boy’s face, just the way she remembered Long Bear, that she wasn’t completely sure they liked her. The other kids at the cabin at least smiled sometimes, but not the grandpa, and not that boy.
As their lead team came even with the boy he took something from inside his shirt…a headband, with a feather.
Their second team came even with the boy. He held the feather-headband up and was looking at her. Jennie still wasn’t sure if his expression was friendly, but she liked it. She trusted it, and trusted him, and remembered feeling extra safe when he sat beside her.
The boy raised his rifle and the headband and tightened his legs, seeming to nudge the horse forward with just his butt, and moved closer, and reached out with the feathered headband, and looked gravely at her, but still no smile at all, and handed her the headband, “For you, Face Of Sunlight.”
Jennie stiffened her legs on the wagonseat floor, held onto the wagon frame and reached out, her eyes never leaving the boy’s eyes. The headband touched her hand. She grasped it. Then they were past.
The boy didn’t follow, did not move at all, just kept looking at her. But his face was changing. The end of the wagon passed him—a smile! She knew he wanted to smile!
Jennie couldn’t help herself. She smiled.
And the boy smiled back.
This is the last scene from Chapter 53 “The Adolescent Man, and Woman” Allia, 11, and Terri, 9, are exploring in somewhat a dangerous place. Terri gets into trouble and Allia will have to be a man to save her.
More time passed. Hours it seemed to Terri, and the rain kept whipping against her, and the wind was no longer just occasional gusts.
She clung mostly to just the spruce now, but not too much for she felt sure it had pulled loose awhile back, and her left hand had started hurting more, just throbbing sometimes, so she had doubled her fist and just kind of kept it against the sharp projection.
It was getting dark, too. The only thing she could see really good was the white water. And the water sometimes seemed far, far, away, and other times it seemed to be right below her, beginning to remind her of a soft feathery white bed, and unbelievably she was getting sleepy. Her eyes had closed several times already, just for a second of course, she thought, and how could she even think about sleeping at such a time! And where is Allia?
Allia. Of all the things they had done before, more dangerous things sometimes, too, and nothing ever happened then, and all the fun times they’d had with Mister Friskop—if he were there he would have her off that ledge right away.
But Mister Friskop wasn’t there anymore. He had gone away, and all because of that fight between him and Aaron. She didn’t even know the reason for the fight but it must have been important, for them to have hurt each other so badly. She hadn’t watched, not much anyway because it was too awful, and she had felt bad that her too favorite men besides her dad were hurting each other. And the very worst thing, she had secretly stuck up for Mister Friskop. She had even felt guilty about that.
But Aaron had changed so much, and he must have done something awful to Aunt Caroline too because her mother had told her not to even talk to Aaron. And she
hadn’t wanted to anyway because he had changed so much, always shouting orders at people, causing people to get hurt, and killed, and she wasn’t even sure Aaron wasn’t to blame for whatever had hurt that nice lady Vivian so much. Aaron wasn’t at all like he had been two years earlier, when he told her all about his jobs and travels and the Indians he had met.
She whimpered. She wanted to cry. She just wanted to cry, cry, cry! And her hand hurt, it hurt bad, and she wanted to cry!…and she wanted to sleep.
She pushed her head against the boulder and banged it a couple times, and she hardly dared to breathe sometimes for fear of falling, and that white water kept looking more and more like a big soft feather bed, and she was so tired and sleepy and her hand hurt, and she just wanted to cry!
But she didn’t. Instead she wondered about her hand, whether there would be a scar. Of course there would, but that didn’t bother her. She was a pioneer woman now, a brave, strong pioneer woman, and someday she would marry a brave, strong, noble, pioneer man, and things would happen then that would make today seem like nothing.
Her eyes closed and her head bumped the boulder involuntarily. Her right hand
dropped the spruce; her left fist relaxed.
The pain from her palm cracking open shocked her awake. She cried out, just a whimper from the pain at first, then a realization of falling—she didn’t know where and then she remembered—then a hard sob as she gripped the sharp projection and spruce tree again—it loosened more! She felt herself going, falling, then primal instinct stiffened her whole body. She stopped falling and hung in mid-air, her left hand slowly losing it’s grip on the sharp projection…finally a loud, loud, angry, grunt from her as she willed her body back to the boulder face. She sobbed, but only once.
But now she really wanted to cry, more than ever, so darned bad—bad!—but knew she still wouldn’t, not till Allia came back for her, and he would come back for her because he loved her and she loved him, so he would come back for her. And then she would cry.
So she fought on, thinking of things, many things, anything to keep her awake because she didn’t know if she could keep herself from falling again, and remembering where she was and how alone she sometimes felt. She sometimes was not even sure if she still cared. She was just so darned tired! So she thought of Allia, that very day sitting on that pretty log reminding her of a map, with every country having a jagged mountain chain or a crooked river forming its borders, and her and Allia sitting on it together, only inches apart.
Tingly little feelings had started on her, all over her, her arms especially and her shoulders, and her neck. But her breasts too, breasts that only recently had begun making themselves known, just during the wagon train trip, growing and swelling and funny, different feelings in them for many days. But she had just actually noticed them growing the night before, when she and most of the women were bathing in that nice, real clear lake, when her mom had gotten sick. She would have asked her mom about her breasts then but had decided to wait till her mom felt better.
She wondered whether her mom was all right too, and then Aaron had come along and told everybody to get out of the water, and then he didn’t even close his eyes! He just stood there gawking for a second! And her mom had gotten sick before, but she always got well again!
And that dumb Allia! She had wondered too if he had also felt funny and tingly all over when they were on the log together. He must not have because he left her and went and found that crazy squirting rock and just left her sitting there, alone with all her tingles! And where IS he?
She knew she had heard voices, but suddenly she felt just twice as tired and sleepy. She just knew she couldn’t stay awake for another minute! So she banged her head on the boulder again, and again, again—Stay awake!
She tried answering. She moved her lips, didn’t think anything came out—so tired—she couldn’t hear herself. She tried again, nothing. They’d go away if she didn’t answer! But she was so sleepy, so close to that cottony feather bed beneath her.
Allia’s voice again, very close—sleepy—she felt something bump her—so sleepy….
“Terri!” Allia’s voice, real close.
Something bumped her again, and stayed. She could go to sleep now, soon only a bad memory—
“Terri! Don’t go to sleep!”
Only a memory—
That insistent voice. What did it want? She wanted to sleep.
Allia! He did come back for her. She gripped the scrubby spruce tree and sharp projection, and forgot her pain. She felt Allia’s hands and arms, but he kept moving back and forth. He wasn’t on the ledge. How could he do that? “Terri! Hang onto whatever you’re hanging onto but turn around! I’m going to keep a hold of you but you have to turn around! Did you hear me, Terri?”
“Yes, Allia….” She heard her own voice. She must be all right. If she could just stay awake a little longer. She began turning, feeling Allia holding her and gripping her and moving his hands as she turned. Then he was right there in front of her!
“Put your arms around my neck, tight!”
She could barely see him in the dark, but did as told.
“Hang onto my neck and when you jump over here wrap your legs around me. OK, jump!”
She did, and wrapped her legs around Allia, wherever he was, and felt his arms
“OK, Dad, pull us up!”
She felt herself going up, or somewhere different at least. With Allia holding her she didn’t care much, just felt herself swinging and bouncing and drifting and kept feeling Allia holding onto her and saving her, her face right next to his.
“Hang on, Terri.”
She did. She hung on, swinging, bouncing, drifting, going to sleep….
“My baby! My darling baby!” Her daddy’s voice. Then his big strong arms were around her, wrapping her in something warm and dry. She kept drifting—Daddy—she knew her daddy was holding her and hugging her, loving her, making her warm and safe…so darn sleepy….
End of chapter
James has a favorite quote and one from his very own words.
“I have loved; I have been loved; should I never love again I am fortunate.”
Below you will find the links to all of James work. Please take a look, you will not be dissappointed.
Kindle-ebooks (I have a very common name; recommend typing both the title and my full name.Or, for a signed copy of any, please visit my website
All nine books are listed digitally at Barnes and Noble Nook
Please enjoy James new writing site!
Thank you James for letting me share your wonderful life with the world and your creative gift. It has been my honor to make you shine.