A New Direction

When I first started this blog back in 2009, I did so for the primary purpose of having a medium to keep my writing skills sharp during the academic year when I didn’t have time to work on a book or stories. The secondary purpose was to reach my readers on a more direct level so that we could interact. From the outset, I approached this blog with the simple guideline that I wrote about whatever I wanted on any given day. Any subject was fair game. I feel like I wrote some pretty strong pieces through this medium, and for the most part I have no regrets about the blog itself.

However, times have changed, as have my circumstances. During my incarceration, I thought long and hard about what I would like to do here once I got out. At heart, in addition to being a writer (I will always consider myself a writer first and foremost), I am an educator, someone who thrives on helping others expand their own skills and improve their lives, but when I left the system in 2014, I left permanently because of the soul-crushing bureaucracy and the insane for-profit business model overtaking higher education. Now, with the stigma associated with my current situation, I couldn’t return to the profession if I wanted to. But that doesn’t mean I cannot still teach on my own terms.

To that end, I am going to turn my blog into an online classroom of sorts. I will have at least four new weekly segments dedicated to the craft of writing. First and foremost, there will be a video lecture series in which I share some of what I know. Each video will be roughly 10 minutes in length and will cover mostly the material I used to share in the classroom. Second, there will be a day dedicated to vocabulary. Each week I will share 20 or so new words with definitions, usages, and etymologies. Third, one day a week, I will open up the blog for questions on the subject of writing and will offer the best feedback I can. PLEASE NOTE: I will not read and critique manuscripts. I do not have the time or energy for that. Last, I will also share a weekly book review of a novel I feel is worthy of study by aspiring writers. These reviews will be done solely at my discretion and will be limited to books already published (and usually fairly successful and/or acclaimed). These four segments will be the meat of my new blog, and if popularity warrants, I will continue for as long as possible. I may still have a fifth segment where I have a weekly Rambling on some topic of my choosing, but I’m not certain of that yet.

There are two primary reasons why I want to make these changes at this time. For starters, as I said, I am still at heart an educator, and as such I still feel a burning passion to share my knowledge with others. I love language–the sound of words; the power of a well-constructed sentence; the ability to evoke emotions, challenge assumptions, and affect persuasion. I want other to partake in this great dance and find their own voices to add to the chorus. The second reason for these changes is more selfish. I feel like this new format will help me reach a broader audience, not just for this blog but also for my own writings. Only time will tell if that proves true.

I will continue to write and publish my own works. Book five of The Brotherhood of Dwarves series is already in progress. In addition to that, I intend to write more Sam Skeen novellas. I also have a futuristic urban fantasy series that I will begin as soon as I finish book five. Finally, I have decided to revisit some of my older writings and see if anything can be salvaged from that scrapheap. If people like it, I will continue to develop those ideas; if not, I’ll march forward with the other three series.

There is much work to be done–on the blog, with books, around my home, and in my personal life. It may take another week or do to get the new format launched, but it is coming soon. I want to have the first couple of videos finished and ready to upload to YouTube before giving this site its makeover. Please, stay tuned for all that’s coming, for the future feels promising to me for the first time in many years. Finally, thank you for all of the love and support you have shown me over the last week. My heart is full and I am blessed beyond measure by all of the messages and comments I’ve received. With you behind me, there is no limit to how far I can go.

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The Hardest Piece I’ve Ever Written

For some of you, this post will prove to be quite a shock, while others already know some of the details. On April 6, 2015, I was arrested on one count of aggravated statutory rape. For the last 15 months, I have been incarcerated in the Hamblen County Jail. On Thursday, July 14, 2016, I agreed to a “Best Interest” plea bargain, which means that I do not admit guilt but accepted the lesser charge of statutory rape in lieu of risking a harsher sentence and possibly time in prison. From that plea bargain, I am now a registered sex offender. I would prefer you to hear it from me directly than from elsewhere.

I’ve had ample time to reflect, gather my thoughts, and contemplate this entire situation. To dispose of the obvious, jail sucks. The privations and unsanitary conditions are grossly inhumane, an inherent byproduct of overcrowding and underfunding. The noisome environment goes beyond anything reasonable for administering punishment. For my part, I have no interest in reliving the worst of the ordeal, so please, do not ask for details. I will not discuss what I endured during my durance, so please, respect my privacy on that subject. I survived and ultimately that’s all that matters.

Now, to dispense with the negative. Because of the accusation, the arrest, and now the plea bargain, I’ve lost many people who were precious to me–family, friends, a woman I loved very much, my sons. There are people who have spread outright lies about the situation, exaggerating my charge to monstrous proportions. There are those who rushed to judgment based on sensationalized media reports and gossip, and those who believe I was not punished harshly enough. I have no control over any of that. All I can do is live my life to the best of my ability and conduct myself in a manner which exemplifies the content of my heart. I wish nothing malevolent on anyone. There are people I hope to rebuild a relationship with and others who are permanently erased from my life, but for my part, I am trying not to carry any animosity in my heart towards anybody.

To the people who have reserved judgment or checked on my well-being or sent kind words of encouragement, from the deepest part of my soul, you have my eternal love and gratitude. To the handful or so who took the time to send me letters and let me know that I was in your thoughts and prayers, I owe you a debt I can never repay, for you will probably never know just how much your words meant to me.

To everyone, I apologize for putting myself in a position even to be accused of this crime. While I still maintain my innocence of the sex crime, I made stupid decisions and showed terrible judgment by allowing myself to be in a situation where the accusation had even a hint of credibility. I do accept responsibility for all of the hurt, embarrassment, friction, confusion, and anxiety I have caused the people who love and care for me. Even though I know some people will never forgive me or believe in me again, I do hope that some of you will allow me an opportunity to redeem myself and prove the true content of my character.

Fifteen months in a tiny cell allows for plenty of introspection, and the most important realization I gleaned during this time is that I have allowed anger and acrimony to control too much of my life for the last 8-9 years. Over the past few months, I have labored diligently to let go of the negative. That’s not to say that anger doesn’t bubble up. It most certainly does. I cannot control whether or not the emotion surfaces; however, I can control how I react to it and whether or not I allow it to control me. My life has been spent in service to others, and I want to be remembered not only as a talented writer but more importantly as a compassionate person full of love and kindness. Anger does not fit into that equation, and holding onto it will only destroy the man I truly am, so a I strive daily to let it go.

A long, steep, difficult climb awaits me. My name and reputation are ruined; of that I have no delusions. There are many fences I must mend and much, much work to catch up on. Living in compliance with the registry will not be easy, but I will make every effort to abide within those parameters. If you are someone who does not want me to be part of your life, please just tell me. I have no desire to make anyone uncomfortable or to impose myself on where I’m not wanted. At this point, my top priority is to rebuild the relationship with my sons. Beyond that, I also hope to get my health in order and reclaim something of my tattered career. I have no idea what the future may hold for me, but I intend to face it with as much courage and dignity as I can muster.

Yet Another Venting

I don’t want this post to come across as self-pity because I don’t mean it as such. I’m simply trying to sort through my circumstances and make a little sense out of my life as it currently stands. Right now, the only word that comes to mind is disenfranchised. I feel completely and utterly powerless to impact my own future. With this illness, I can’t fend for myself, and our disability system is a travesty. Civilized societies wouldn’t treat sick pets as poorly as we treat our disabled. Our elected officials are worthless except for photo ops, sound bytes, and empty promises they have no intention of ever fulfilling, and the entire system seems rigged against people like me.

I’m sick of conservatives and their hypocritical phrases like class warfare and entitlements. I’m sick of their willful ignorance of science and reason, their disdain for intellectual progress, and their active defense of overt racism. Their perverse need to punish underprivileged people is a huge part of why I’ve been left with no healthcare and virtually no income for eight months, a timeframe that could’ve allowed me to already be on the road to full recovery and a return to productivity. Instead, I’ve needlessly suffered through months of spasms, fatigue, pain, and shame.

Not that liberals are any better. I’m just as sick of their perverse need to punish me for being a white, heterosexual male, as if my very existence is to blame for the world’s problems. Because of some imaginary privilege I’ve supposedly enjoyed my entire life, my circumstances aren’t worthy of note. My suffering isn’t as real as some other group’s. That dehumanizing way of thinking is the root of most ill done in society, and I’m sick of being made to feel as if my voice and my life are insignificant.

This shame and embarrassment I feel for what my life has become weighs on me every second of every day. I was a good teacher, but the stress and toll of that career is a big part of why I’m broken down now. My writings currently have 98 five-star reviews on Amazon (out of 166 total reviews), but I can’t sell more because I don’t have the money to advertise enough to reach a wider audience. All of my hard work feels like failure because I’ve been reduced to begging for help from family, friends, and even strangers. I would not wish this situation on my worst enemy, and I’m trying to get through it with a shred of sanity and dignity left, but every single day, my hope for tomorrow dims a little more.

I’m tired of feeling disenfranchised, of feeling worthless, of feeling insignificant. A person’s life shouldn’t be reduced to this sorry state. The part of me that put myself through school and juggled two and three jobs over the years wants to fight my way out of this predicament, but my body simply won’t allow it. And I’m not even going to get into how badly I miss my sons and how badly my pride as a father has been damaged by my inability to be active in their lives. That part is simply too painful to discuss. For now, all I can do is try to hang on for another day, but the view from down here is mighty bleak.

Low-Down, Desperate, & Damned

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Here are the early reviews of The Unquenchable Fire:

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great story about redemption and realizing one’s purpose in life, even when that purpose seemed no longer viable. I did find the bible verses a bit canned, but that’s something I’m dealing with in the real world as well so it was only a minor hitch that did not take away from the prose. Sam Skeen is certainly someone I’d like to get to know better.


5.0 out of 5 stars Some of D.A. Adams’ best work! March 3, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
D.A. Adams has done it again. He has used his great storytelling, richly developed characters and intense battle sequences to weave a tale of excitement, adventure and redemption in this supernatural western. If you were a fan of the ‘Preacher’ comic by Garth Ennis in the mid/late 90s, this is right up your alley. Fantastic work!


5.0 out of 5 stars Great story! March 1, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pale Rider meets Supernatural.

I seriously enjoyed this story. Great western story with paranormal elements and a few philosophical struggles to thoroughly stir the pot. I hope to see further adventures from these characters, as well as some back story for one Mr. Sam Skeen.


Disability Appeal Update

Here’s an update on my situation. The last few weeks of winter have been fairly difficult. The severe cold temps have made my symptoms flare up just as bad as before, so all of my gains from the paleo program have been wiped out. I’m not giving up on the dietary changes, and I’m hoping warmer weather will bring about some improvements to my health.

My appeal for disability has been filed, and my information has all been sent to the attorney’s office, so hopefully there will be some movement on that front soon. On a related note, anyone who has known me since before all of this started, if you would be willing to write a letter on my behalf describing the diminished capacity you have witnessed, please contact me. I need all of the evidence I can get.

In case you missed it, I have a new release that came out Saturday. The Unquenchable Fire is a novella for the Outlaws of Fiction and the first release of the Sam Skeen saga.

I still need to raise more funds to get through the next couple of months. The brutal cold made me turn on the electric heaters along with the wood stove, so my upcoming electric bill is going to be pretty steep. If you can please help out by donating or sharing the link around, I would be most grateful.

Once again, thank you to everyone for the love and support you have shown. It’s truly kept me from sinking into utter despair, but as long as you all believe in me, I will continue to fight and scrap to regain my health.

Just for fun, here’s a pic from a photo shoot we did before the symptoms got the better of me:

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New Release


I have a new release, available exclusively for the Amazon Kindle. The Unquenchable Fire is a stand alone novella that’s part of the Outlaws of Fiction serial Low-Down, Desperate, & Damned. Here’s the blurb:

After losing his faith during the Civil War, fallen preacher Sam Skeen now serves the leaders of the seedy river town of New Port, handling business outside the law like protecting the town’s brothels. His dreams are haunted by the horrors of the war, and Sam wants nothing more than to drink away his misery. But on Stone Mountain, a strange evil torments livestock and terrifies the farmers. Sam is hired to investigate, and what he finds will transform his life forever.

You have a voice! Let's find it.

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