Creative writing workshops can be tailored for beginner-to-advanced writers, addressing the needs of specific groups. Workshops incorporate interactive exercises to encourage students to develop skills specific to their writing goals. Students engage in various activities to improve ability and inspire confidence within a fun, nonjudgmental environment. Workshops cover fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, exploring story and poetic elements such as plot, character, voice, dialogue, description, setting, pacing, and point of view. Some of the techniques utilized include:
Exploring events in students’ lives as inspiration
Exploring writing as a positive outlet
Examining situations through multiple points of view
Focusing on subject development
Developing a story from first draft through final revision
Chris has served as a fiction writing instructor for Writer’s Digest School and has conducted numerous workshops for continuing education programs. Chris offers free single-class workshops to K-12 public schools.
Educational presentations and musical performances on Native American flute explore the mythology, history, crafting, and music of the ancient and modern versions of the flute, dispelling popular but erroneous information of the flute’s development and true place in history.
Popular mythology portrays the Native American flute as an instrument used solely by men to court women, but the flute was and continues to be an instrument played by both men and women in numerous activities, from simple enjoyment of playing to use in fertility rituals honoring gods of harvest and more.
The presentation includes an overview of existing flute creation myths, flute history and use, crafting and structure information, and performance. Presentation length can be tailored to needs.
Chris is a craftsman and musician of the Native American flute. He has published two books on the history and crafting of the instrument and recorded/released three CDs of native flute instrumentals currently available under the WindPoem title. For more information or to arrange a presentation, please contact Chris.
~ A Vietnam veteran whose mother’s love proves worse than captivity…
~ A musician who employs music to resurrect his dead wife…
~ A boy who flees an abusive father to land in a circle of demented faeries…
~ An Iraqi War vet who discovers compassion in a tortured, decaying phooka…
~ A sexual assault victim who burns for her victimizers…
~ An angel, wounded and imprisoned by a father desperate for divine healing of his physically and mentally deformed daughter…
~ A suicidal woman who discovers salvation in a Tokyo street vendor’s box…
More than 30 years in the making, Walking after Midnight is a literary trove, collecting 61 tales of critically acclaimed dark fantasy, southern gothic, science fiction, horror, and mainstream fiction that mine the depths of character–how we fail and triumph, accept and reject others and ourselves, and light the darkest recesses of our souls.
On sale now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats and soon to be available in paperback through most bookstores. Get a 20 percent discount if you order through Createspace. Use the code NA8BMLHK at checkout.
Hush, Puppy! A Southern Fried Tale
“Who doesn’t love a good children’s book encompassing a sweet message, exquisite, color imagery, and a dog gifted with the ability to whip up southern cuisine! Not only is [Hush, Puppy!] a delightful read of fantasy and enchantment, but [readers] will be astounded by the illustrations provided by Beth Young, who uses brilliant color to enhance the author’s story.” ~ Suzie Canale, Three Lights in the Attic book reviews
Ever wonder how fried cornbread came about? I did… Thus begins the story, Hush, Puppy! A Southern Fried Tale. “In celebration of good people and tasty food,” the book is appropriate for all ages, available from most bookstores.
TheiBooks version features full print-book layout AND read-along audio, perfect for iPad and other devices.
Beth Young is an award-winning artist with an extensive background in commercial, creative, and instructional art.
It can take a long time to grow up. For Josh, six centuries isn’t enough. Enabled by Big Daddy’s fast-past gadget—a 1966 Mustang—and a device for communicating with the dead, 16-year-old Josh and companion Keala flee into a bizarre future six centuries hence that ends up looking a lot like home.
“Wry wit on socio-political problems … a refreshing look through the eyes of a youngster on the verge of manhood.” ~ MyShelf.com
“A special novel that will captivate readers and linger in the mind.” ~ Two Lips Reviews
“Action alone will keep you reading. The story contains a moral, but will humanity learn its lesson? A fun read.” ~ Coffee Time Reviews
Spanning nearly three decades of C.S. Fuqua’s literary career, White Trash & Southern collects 232 poems—an exploration of life’s challenges and rewards. Download an excerpt.
“With an eye for the particular and an ear for the music of everyday life, C. S. Fuqua shares with readers his brave and lyrical view of human experience. An unflinching examination of the sorrows and joys we experience while moving through the world, White Trash & Southern is a fine collection of poems.” ~ Dr. Wendy Galgan, Editor, Assisi
“White Trash & Southern is an exhaustive book of powerfully emotive poems that explore a lifetime of wounds still present and gaping. By not looking away, by taking stock and inventory of all that we’ve been through, we come to discover that we’ve become strong, hardened, and wise for all of our hardships. This is a wonderful book of poetry, and a fine achievement that will greatly enrich its readers.”~ Devin McGuire, Editor of the Unrorean and author of After the Hunt (Encircle Publications 2013)
“… gritty, insightful, humorous, tragic, and celebratory … begin anywhere, skip around, or read it from back to front … a well-written, coherent collection … however you read it.” ~Jonathan K. Rice, Editor/Publisher, Iodine Poetry Journal
“A poignant, very strongly emotional collection of poems ~ one I intend to return to …” ~ Judith B. Glad, author of Improbable Solution
In 2009, cancer took two friends. Joe had a good job that provided health insurance, but the insurance company refused to fund “experimental” procedures that might have saved his life. Rob was a waiter, working for low wages and tips, unable to afford insurance and not covered by an employee insurance program. Both men experienced inexcusable desperation and suffering–one because he had no insurance coverage, the other because he did. Many of the poems in this collection explore Joe’s experiences over the last year of his life and his family’s experiences the year following his death. All are meant to honor these two friends, both deeply cherished and missed.
Interest in crafting the Native American flute has grown steadily since the 1980s, but reliable, specific crafting instruction has been as scarce to come by as reliable accounts of its history and development. Native American Flute: A Comprehensive Guide ~ History & Craft updates and combines into one volume the two previous books, The Native American Flute: Myth, History, Craft and Native American Flute Craft, to present a comprehensive history of and crafting guide to the native flute.
The Native American flute is popularly known as a “love” flute, an instrument used by males in courting, but it is much more and has been played throughout history by children, women, and men. The commonly accepted mythology of the native flute does nothing but reinforce the negative view of native women as subservient to the male. Take, for example, entries on various internet sites that claim that only men played the flute—no matter the culture or tribe—that its power is completely destroyed by the slightest touch of a woman. Such stories make for appealing chauvinistic myth, but not for accurate history. While hunting and courtship were, indeed, associated with the flute, its uses numbered many more than courting, were more diverse in intent, and certainly were not restricted to the male.
Native American Flute explores the documented history and mythology of the Native American flute, debunking the popular belief that the flute is only a man’s instrument.
Native American Flute provides an in-depth, fully illustrated, step-by-step manual for crafting one of the most stirring instruments ever invented. Learn the flute’s celebrated history and build it in all its forms, from the ancient end-blown flute to the modern two-chamber flute, drone, and more.
Native American Flute’s detailed history and thorough, easy-to-follow crafting instructions provide novice and pro alike the tools and understanding to craft personalized Native American flutes from a variety of materials, including wood, bamboo, PVC, and more while honoring the flute’s cherished journey from ancient times to present day.
Discover the true history and mythology of the Native American flute and learn to make your own, including the ancient and modern versions.
From Dexter Johnson’s garage studio to James Joiner’s “A Fallen Star,” Tune Records to FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound studios, Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones and the Black Keys, from the beginning to present day—Muscle Shoals: The Hit Capital’s Heyday & Beyond is an updated, expanded version of Music Fell on Alabama, the original book-length history of the Muscle Shoals music industry, first published in 1991, chronicling the cooperation of black and white producers and artists during one of the most volatile times in U.S. race relations, cooperation that produced many of the most celebrated and enduring songs of all time.
Much has been written about the Muscle Shoals music industry and even a movie produced since publication of Music Fell on Alabama, most accounts crediting the area’s phenomenal success to some mystical power divined from the Tennessee River. Myth makes for good drama, but Muscle Shoals: The Hit Capital’s Heyday & Beyond details the true source of the industry’s success: the tenacious determination of talented individuals obsessed with the desire to make a difference in music.
And what a difference they made…
Notes to My Becca
“C. Stephen Fouquet writes about his newborn daughter with sensitivity and grace. This is a compelling, honest book.”~ Bob Keeshan, TV’s “Captain Kangaroo”
In 1995, Notes to My Becca introduced a wide audience to the societal trend of at-home fathers. NTMB is a touching, practical look at parenting on the wonder—and anxiety—of becoming a father. All editions are currently out of print, but the book may be offered as a free digital download in the future. If interested, please contact C.S. Fuqua by clicking on the email icon.
The collection of poems documents intimate moments of the author’s daughter from birth into adolescence, contemplating the challenges, sacrifices, and rewards of parenting, The Swing elicits “thoughts and feelings from many experiences. A must for any (parent).” ~ Willie Elliott for Myshelf.com.
The Swing: Poems of Fatherhood, Uncial Press, 2008, EPIC winner for Best Poetry Collection.
“Mama’s Boy”: Honorable mention in Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 6.
“Mama’s Boy”: Year’s Best Horror Stories XXI selection.
“Old Lady Campbell, She is Dead”: Honorable mention, 1990 Year’s Best Horror & Fantasy.
“The Sharps and Flats Guarantee”: Year’s Best Horror Stories XX selection.
“Undertaker II: Drowning”: Honorable mention in Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 7.
“Walking After Midnight”: Year’s Best Horror Stories XIX selection.
Novels & Fiction Collections
Walking after Midnight, Cooperative Ink, October 2016. More than 30 years in the making, Walking after Midnight is a literary trove, collecting 61 tales of critically acclaimed dark fantasy, southern gothic, science fiction, horror, and mainstream fiction
Big Daddy’s Fast-Past Gadget, Cooperative Ink, 2015. First published by Awe-Struck Publishing in eBook format as Big Daddy’s Gadgets, 2006. Republished in 2011 in paperback and eBook formats by Mundania Press. “For some, it takes a long time to grow up. For Josh, six centuries isn’t enough.” Big Daddy’s Fast-Past Gadget is science fiction social satire, set in present-day Hawaii and six centuries into the future. Available from online bookstores and most local bookstores by order.
Hush, Puppy! A Southern Fried Tale, Cooperative Ink, 2013. Ever wonder how fried cornbread came about? I did… Thus begins the story, Hush, Puppy! A Southern Fried Tale, the fictional history of how an excitable puppy and a tiny baker create the southern treat, hushpuppies. Hush, Puppy! A Southern Fried Tale is available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.com and in Nook/ePub format from Barnes & Noble. Full production read-along audio for both print and eBook editions is available as an mp3 download from Amazon.com.
Rise Up, Mundania Press, 2012. C.S. Fuqua’s second collection of short fiction, collecting two dozen short stories that span nearly thirty years of Fuqua’s career, features ghosts and faeries, the macabre and mundane, rich and poor, and distraught and jubilant, exploring the motivations, actions, and consequences that force ordinary people to become extraordinary. Sometimes we recognize evil’s approach; sometimes we don’t. Rise Up explores the consequences. Out of print.
Trust Walk, short fiction collection, Mundania Press, 2010. The 35 stories collected in Trust Walk explore the motivations of the human spirit, the qualities that lead us into temptation as well as deliverance, that make even the most ordinary among us extraordinary. The unabridged audio version was published in 2013. Out of print.
Butterflies Die, audio novel, Books in Motion, 2001. Currently unavailable.
Flight of the Omni, audio novel, Books in Motion, 1998. Currently unavailable.
Deadlines, audio novel, Books in Motion, 1998. Currently unavailable.
Death in Service, audio novel, Books in Motion, 1997. Currently unavailable.
Cancer, Cooperative Ink, 2015. A collection of poems celebrating two friends who died from different forms of cancer in 2009.
White Trash & Southern ~ Collected Poems, Volume I, Cooperative Ink, 2014. Collects more than 200 previously published poems, spanning three decades of C.S. Fuqua’s writing career.
If I Were, I Would!, Cooperative Ink, 2014. (A different version, entitled If I Were, was published in eBook format by SynergEbooks, 2011.) Promoting vocabulary expansion and parental interaction, If I Were, I Would! inspires deeper awareness and respect as it takes readers on an extraordinary ride into imagination. Embark on fantastic adventures in a whimsical universe of poetry and art where everything is possible. Explore and celebrate the wonderful and diverse world through imagination! And if you see the authors there, wave!
The Swing: Poems of Fatherhood, Uncial Press, 2008, EPIC winner for Best Poetry Collection. Poems that document intimate moments of a child from birth into adolescence, contemplating the challenges, sacrifices, and rewards of parenting, The Swing elicits “thoughts and feelings from many experiences. A must for any (parent).” — Willie Elliott for Myshelf.com.
Native American Flute: A Comprehensive Guide ~ History & Craft, Cooperative Ink, 2018. Native American Flute explores the documented history and mythology of the Native American flute, debunking the popular belief that the flute is only a man’s instrument. Native American Flute provides an in-depth, fully illustrated, step-by-step manual for crafting one of the most stirring instruments ever invented. Learn the flute’s celebrated history and build it in all its forms, from the ancient end-blown flute to the modern two-chamber flute, drone, and more. Native American Flute’s detailed history and thorough, easy-to-follow crafting instructions provide novice and pro alike the tools and understanding to craft personalized Native American flutes from a variety of materials, including wood, bamboo, PVC, and more while honoring the flute’s cherished journey from ancient times to present day.
Native American Flute Craft ~ Ancient to Modern, Cooperative Ink, 2015. Interest in crafting the Native American flute has exploded since the 1980s, but reliable, specific crafting instruction has been as scarce to come by as reliable accounts of its history and development. In 2012, Cooperative Ink published C.S. Fuqua’s The Native American Flute: Myth, History, Craft, which explored the instrument’s true history and mythology while also providing a section on crafting, geared primarily to experienced woodworkers. In response to the continuing success of that book, Fuqua has written Native American Flute Craft, an in-depth manual for crafting the Native American flute in all its forms, from the ancient Anasazi flute to the modern two-chamber flute, from the traditional to the drone and more. Easy-to-follow illustrated instructions provide thorough instruction on crafting personalized instruments from a variety of materials, including wood, bamboo, and PVC.
Muscle Shoals ~ The Music Capital’s Heyday & Beyond, Cooperative Ink, 2014. From Dexter Johnson’s garage studio to James Joiner’s “A Fallen Star,” Tune Records to FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound studios, Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones and the Black Keys, from the beginning to present day–Muscle Shoals: The Hit Capital’s Heyday & Beyond is an updated, expanded version of Music Fell on Alabama, the original book-length history of the Muscle Shoals music industry, first published in 1991, chronicling the cooperation of black and white producers and artists during one of the most volatile times in U.S. race relations, cooperation that produced many of the most celebrated and enduring songs of all time.
Notes to My Becca, Second Edition, Cooperative Ink, 2013, features an update, new photographs, and expanded entries, offering a touching, practical, and thoughtful look at parenting from a dad’s viewpoint while addressing the miracle, anxiety, fear, and wonder of becoming a parent. Notes documents the fear of a possible third miscarriage, tumultuous extended-family situations, and normal post-birth parenting stress. But more, the book describes the joy of father regarding his new daughter, from first breath to first feedings, first words, and first steps.
The Native American Flute: Myth, History, Craft, Cooperative Ink, 2012, separates flute myth from flute fact to provide a better understanding of the Native American flute’s true place and function in history and in today’s culture. The book details the development and use of the native flute by both women and men, as well as the myths that have grown up around its use. The book’s final section provides readers with detailed instruction on crafting both the ancient, end-blown native flute and the modern native flute.
Alabama Musicians: Musical Heritagefrom the Heart of Dixie, The History Press, 2011. Alabama Musicians details the history of “musical” Alabama, from the state’s contributions to folk music, jazz, country, rock and more from the 1800s through the present, featuring biographies of dozens of Alabama music stars who have had and continue to have profound effects on music. Although much of the book’s information is now outdated, the publisher refuses to take it out of print or contract an update.
Notes to My Becca, First Edition, Fairview Press, 1995, charts a new father’s concerns, feelings, and hopes during his wife’s pregnancy and through the first year of their daughter’s life. The late Bob Keeshan, TV’s “Captain Kangaroo,” wrote, “C. Stephen Fouquet [C.S. Fuqua] writes about his newborn daughter with sensitivity and grace. This is a compelling, honest book.”
Divorced Dads: Real Stories of Facing the Challenge, Fairview Press, 1996, is an unusual glimpse into the lives and relationships of some extraordinary divorced fathers, providing an intimate portrait of fatherhood beyond marriage, an exploration and examination of post-divorce failures and successes as “Dad.” Out of print.
Music Fell on Alabama, Crane Hill Publishers, 1991; reprinted by New South Books, 2007. The first book-length history of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, recording industry from its inception through the 1980s. These two editions are now out of print. The content has been updated and expanded, published as Muscle Shoals ~ The Hit Capital’s Heyday & Beyond
“The Addict,” 3PBS Radio, Melbourne, Australia; Rick Kennett, producer; 1986.
“Crane,” In the Eye anthology by Thunder Rain Publishing Corp., P.O. Box 87 Alamogordo, NM 88311-0087; 2007. Proceeds from this anthology went to “Habitat for Humanity” to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
“The Soft Touch,” Bath & Domestics, 75 SE 4th Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33444; 3rd Qtr, 1980.
“Sparking Revolution,” BusinessAlabamaMonthly, P.O. Box 66200, Mobile, AL 36660; Oct 1988.
“Suppository,” The Writer’s Exchange “Favorite Faux Pas,” The Writer, posted on the magazine’s website, September 2008.
“Staying Country in the Country,” Western & EnglishFashions, 2403 Champa St., Denver, CO 80205; Jan 1981.
“This Alabama Wholesaler Works on a First Name Basis,” BeerWholesaler, 75 SE 4th Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33444; 2nd Qtr, 1979.
“Triumph’s First Postwar Roadster,” CarCollector/CarClassics, Box 28571, Atlanta, GA 30328; Vol. IV, No. 3, March 1981.
“Unattended Children: An Engagement Policy that Works,” Wilson Library Bulletin, Bronx; Vol. 62, No. 10, June 1988.
Various basic reading stories; CriticalVocationalReadingSeries, Instructional/Communications Technology, Inc., Huntington Station, NY 11746; Sets VA*A, VA*B, VA*C, 1981.
“Water Heating in the 1980s,” Maintenance & BuildingManagement, 287 Mokauea St., Honolulu, HI 96819; May 1983.
“When One Man’s Hometown Changes,” HometownPress, 2007 Gallatin St., Huntsville, AL 35801; March/April 1988.
“Yagoda: 45 Years of Success,” BeerWholesaler, 75 SE 4th Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33444; 4th Qtr 1978.
“Youth and Experience Pay Off at New Orleans Beer Wholesaler,” Beer Wholesaler, Delray Beach, FL; Sept/Oct 1980.
Selected Nonfiction Periodicals
The Writer; Ad Astra; The Old Farmer’s Almanac; Honolulu; Business Alabama Monthly; The Wilson Library Bulletin; Alabama Magazine; Hometown Press; Hawaii Remodeling; Naval History; Freelance Writer’s Report; Hawaii Foodservice News; Hawaii Automotive News; Apparel Industry Magazine; Hawaii Real Estate Investor; Brake and Front End; Eastern Automotive Journal; Army/Navy Store & Outdoor Merchandiser; Professional Housing Management Association “Pronotes,” Kids Fashions; Tack ‘n’ Togs; Western & English Fashions; Christian Bookseller; Bath & Domestics; Beer Wholesaler; Veternarian Economics; Pet Dealer; Pet Business; Car Collector/Car Classics; Creative Crafts; Play Meter; Hawaii Maintenance & Building Management; Hawaii Building Industry Digest; Hawaii Food Show Guidebook; Social Issues Resources Series, Inc.; Critical Vocational Reading Series; Hawaii Filipino News.
With four decades of experience in every facet of the publishing industry—writing, editing, layout, design, finished product—I can assist you in making your current project the best it can be. If you need coaching, proofreading, detailed editing, ghostwriting, layout and design, or publication of your project, contact me to see how I can help.
Ready-to-submit electronic and print file creation
Indie author vendor accounts setup
Determine clear objective and goals
Define remedy and plan of action to overcome obstacles
Assist in organization, defining timeline for completion (research, first draft, revisions, completed manuscript)
Assist in developing clear plot, voice, tone, etc., for intended audience
Assist in adapting personal experience into creative process
Basic Manuscript Evaluation
The basic evaluation will assess a manuscript’s overall readability, addressing:
Strengths and weaknesses
Point of view
Overall grammatical structure
Proofreading and Editing
Grammar, spelling, punctuation
Grammar, spelling, punctuation
Mechanics of style
Basic manuscript formatting
In-depth book editing
Grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Mechanics of style
Consistency and logic (plot and characterization)
Manuscript standard submission formatting
Basic reorganization and/or rewriting of content
Elimination of jargon and/or cliché language/phrases
Other non-mechanical editing as needed
Research (optional), writing original material, checking or correcting reading level, and/or creating/reformatting tables and figures
Create new manuscript from client’s rough draft, utilizing client’s research and content
Develop client’s idea into marketable manuscript, utilizing client’s research
Basic Manuscript Evaluation
The basic evaluation will assess a manuscript’s overall readability, addressing:
Strengths and weaknesses
Point of view
Overall grammatical structure
Detailed Fiction Manuscript Critique
Evaluate and offer specific critique on strong and weak areas, with suggestions for improvement regarding:
Characterization and character development
Point of view
Mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation)
Detailed Nonfiction Manuscript Critique
Evaluate and offer specific critique on strong and weak areas, with suggestions for improvement regarding:
eBook Formatting & File Creation
Formats include Nook, Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, etc. (price dependent upon length of book and use of tables and/or illustrations; query for specific price quote for your project)
Audio iBooks creation (optional cost dependent on scope, audio source, and length)
Vendor account setup and publication through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, and partnered distributors (optional service, cost dependent upon selected vendors)
Print Book Formatting & Creation
Full formatting (price dependent upon use of tables, illustrations, and other specialty design requirements)
Printer-ready formatted file
Optional publication and distribution through CreateSpace/Amazon (channels for worldwide distribution to online and brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries)
Full cover design specific and unique to your book, using graphic or photographic background
High school and college class essay editing: I will not research or write a class essay. That would be cheating. I will only edit to improve a paper’s appearance and readability. In some cases, I will make suggestions for further research and expansion to improve content.
Public relations and other business writing
Advertising pamphlets, booklets, and flyers, cost dependent upon project scope; includes printer-ready formatted file
Other services: Have a need? Let me know, and we’ll discuss possibilities.
Small projects, payment accepted at beginning of assignment.
Major projects/services, 50 percent down payment, 50 percent upon completion (payment plans available)
Payment via conventional check, PayPal, or (preferred) Dwolla
Background & Qualifications
I began writing professionally in 1979 while still in college, freelancing for magazines. In 1980, I became a newspaper journalist and later moved into magazine staff writing and editing. In the late 1980s, I turned to full-time freelancing, publishing nonfiction, fiction, and poetry in regional, national, and international publications. Please click here for a publishing bibliography. Click here to open and download my press kit.
Nearly two dozen books published by traditional large and small publishers, including novels, poetry collections, short fiction collections, and nonfiction books
Professional Background: Chris has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, book editor, English tutor, substitute teacher, janitor, respiratory therapy technician, gas station attendant (when such things existed), salesclerk, musician in a Mexican restaurant, writing instructor, and more. After graduating college and a few stints as a daily and weekly newspaper reporter, Chris moved to Hawaii where he served as a magazine writer/photographer, both on-staff and freelance. In the mid-1980s, he turned to full-time freelance writing, specializing initially in nonfiction before transitioning primarily to fiction and poetry.
Chris’s work spans a broad spectrum—historical, musical, and social nonfiction, and dark fantasy, literary, and science fiction and poetry—appearing in hundreds of publications worldwide as diverse as Bull Spec, Main Street Rag, Slipstream, Pearl, Bogg, Chiron Review, The Year’s Best Horror Stories, Cemetery Dance, Christian Science Monitor, Honolulu Magazine, Naval History, and The Writer. His published books include Native American Flute Craft ~ Ancient to Modern, The Native American Flute ~ Myth, History, Craft, Trust Walk and Rise Up fiction collections, The Swing: Poems of Fatherhood, Big Daddy’s Fast-Past Gadget, Muscle Shoals ~ The Hit Capital’s Heyday & Beyond, Cancer, White Trash & Southern ~ Collected Poems, and Notes to My Becca.
Birth: 1956 in Andalusia, Alabama, City Hospital, a two-story building on East Watson Street near the intersection of South Cotton Street, built in the early 1900s, later named Covington Memorial Hospital before being abandoned in the early 1960s. The hospital’s now gone, razed, nothing remaining, not even a splinter. Chris swears he is not responsible.
Education: BA in communication arts/journalism from University of West Florida where he learned to write news articles shortly before 24/7 cable and internet “news” annihilated journalistic ethics, reliability, and professionalism.
Other Pursuits: Chris is an accomplished musician of several instruments, primarily guitar and Native American flute. He has recently produced the WindPoem series of CDs, featuring Native American flute meditations and World Fusion compositions. Other music projects are in pre-production. His music can be licensed through Pond5.com for use in other creative projects. He also crafts Native American flutes. For more information about his flutes and music, please visit the WindPoem page.
Latest release: Different Direction is the seventh WindPoem album release, representing a different direction in WindPoem music. The first six albums feature Native American flute meditations. Different Direction features multi-instrument compositions, blending the music styles of Native American flute, rock, bluegrass, blues, jazz, and folk into an inspirational World Music sound. Available from Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon.com, and more, and streaming via Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, and most music streaming services.
Great stories, good music ~ no more, no less
[C.S. Fuqua] writes … with sensitivity and grace … compelling, honest. ~ Bob Keeshan, TV’s original Captain Kangaroo
Working on the [New Mexico Review] is such fun as I get to read and review such great work like the poem “Gibson” from issue 7 by C.S. Fuqua. Just as the subject of the poem speaks out about life, line by line, so, too, does it speak to me. ~ Christina Litherland, New Mexico Review
Good horror … isn’t about gore but about the unexpected … Fuqua is a master of prose. I found his writing crisp, filled with details that make a story come to life. ~ Diabolical Plots
…[R]eminded me a bit of Manly Wade Wellman’s Silver John stories. I can think of no better praise than that. ~ SFRevu
…a lasting impression on the reader. ~ Sensawunda
Wry wit on socio-political problems … ~ MyShelf.com
C S Fuqua handles the themes of love and death with beautiful simplicity: what else is there to life? ~ Kalyna Review
With an eye for the particular and an ear for the music of everyday life, C. S. Fuqua shares with readers his brave and lyrical view of human experience. ~ Dr. Wendy Galgan, Editor, Assisi Literary Magazine
C.S. Fuqua’s [poetry] paints an entire story with a Tom Waits brush. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it. ~ Ken S., Editor, Spank the Carp literary magazine
…a feeling of hope and the certainty that happiness and goodness are still out there. ~ Cynthia Harris, author
… gritty, insightful, humorous, tragic, and celebratory … ~ Jonathan K. Rice, Editor, Iodine Poetry Journal
Fuqua’s, then, is a mind that’s not mired in or bogged down by horror, but one that appreciates the possibilities dark fantasy provides in terms of language and ideas, symbol and emotion. ~ David Bain, author/editor
Walking after Midnight ~ Collected Stories, with eight “year’s best” honors, has something for every reader in your life, from dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction to slipstream, southern gothic, and literary.
Stream C.S. Fuqua’s WindPoem albums and Sinner’s Suite EP on Pandoraand Spotify.
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Recent heinous acts by extremists, motivated by intense critical rhetoric, have set the media abuzz, with pundits defending and condemning critics for denying responsibility for their words. Critics have come a long way, applying their observations to every facet of private and public life with strident rhetoric that has elevated them to a level of prominence and power never before possessed. American journalist and satirist H.L. Mencken warned long ago that “Criticism is prejudice made plausible,” something that every writer with work to come under a critic’s damning gaze had already realized by the time of Mencken’s observation. “Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics,” English playwright John Osborne confessed, “is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.”
Plato may be the one responsible for infecting society with criticism as a profession when he condemned poets and poetry in his work The Republic. Aristotle didn’t help matters with his critical counter response in Poetics. He, instead, ensured someone would write a counter-counter-response, which ensured a counter-counter-counter-response, which ensured a—well, you get the idea—until a good number of complainers figured out that, by condemning or praising someone else’s work, they could make a buck. Critics have since gnawed their way through the arts to infiltrate every aspect of life with the blather of critical analysis and condemnation twenty-four/seven.
Critical analysis, whether the topic is literary, musical, political, social, or whatever, is made through and delivered from a specific person’s worldview of reality, just as this essay is written from my own personal and quite prejudiced viewpoint. The problem arises when the critic expects or, increasingly, demands that the audience accept critical analysis without question or examination, to see and judge the subject of the analysis through only the critic’s narrow viewpoint.
My book Divorced Dads: Real Stories of Facing the Challenge explored how divorced fathers in uncommon and extreme circumstances maintained close and positive relationships with their children, offering pointers and solid, productive advice to fathers in less extreme situations. The point, as detailed in the book’s foreword, was to provide perspective for divorced fathers and examples of fathers who, in uncommon challenging circumstances, maintained healthy relationships with their children, no matter the forces working against them. The intent escaped one critic who called the book the best gift a vindictive divorced woman could present to her ex-husband if she wanted to finish him off emotionally. The critic was certainly entitled to his opinion and to his inability to comprehend the book’s message, even when stated outright, but was he entitled to inflict his views on others, to mislead and prevent some fathers from improving their situation by learning from the fathers detailed in the book? Yes, he was. It wasn’t his responsibility to be honest or fair. It was the reader’s responsibility to think independently.
An extraordinary genre magazine debuted last year, featuring some up-and-coming authors whose stories proved extraordinary. Every critic reviewing the magazine admitted as much, but each felt compelled to point out something “wrong” with the magazine and/or the stories, no matter how far-reaching. While one admitted that the technique of flashback worked extremely well for a particular story, he didn’t like the technique personally and, thus, concluded the story suffered because of that. Another suggested that the premises for most of the stories were thin, sacrificed for the sake of plot and characterization. Perhaps the critic thought the same about classics that employed such thin premises as persons physically transformed into wolves by a full moon, or the presence of gravity on starships zipping through a weightless void, or impressive kabooms when death stars explode in the vacuum of space, or some alien monster uncovered after centuries under arctic ice, able to change its cell structure to match its dinner, or maybe some mad scientist whose potion turns him into Piltdown Man. Thin premises, it appears, result in extraordinarily entertaining stories, critical analyses notwithstanding.
Critics today have surpassed the danger level with their analyses, threatening to lose any ability to provide unbiased or sound guidance about their subject. The majority of today’s critics cheat, fool, berate, and belittle listeners and readers into believing and thinking as they tell us to, suggesting and even convincing us that their views, sound or warped, are our own views. We forget we have choice. We forget we have voice. We forget we are individuals.
Remember the 1976 movie Network? It accurately predicted the demise of journalism, particularly television journalism, into a clown act of entertainment, audacity, and critical extremism. Peter Finch’s character, Howard Beale, the veteran journalist who became the movie’s messiah of broadcast news, upon realization of the social harm being perpetrated by the new “news media,” urges his huge TV audience to go to their windows and scream, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” And he tells them to turn off TV, to turn him off, to think for themselves.
It’s time we listened to Howard Beale, even if he is a fictional character. We all benefit by turning off the critic—TV, radio, print, internet. Eliminating the relentless palaver of negativity can decrease the acts inspired by insipid and vitriolic critical rhetoric. By using our own intellect, we can better choose our entertainment, our politicians, our brand of body lotion, our cars, our futures. We can contemplate, comprehend, and decide on our own once again, defining likes and dislikes based on our personal and individual realities and worldviews, not the views of others.
At the same time, we must put the challenge to critics to tone down their rhetoric, to approach subjects calmly, rationally, to take the same advice as Thumper took in the 1942 movie Bambi: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Or, at the very least, be constructive and respectful.