I call myself a “Storyteller” for a reason


Re-titling my webpage as “Roy M. Griffis – Storyteller” wasn’t done lightly.  But I felt honesty demanded it.   Novelist” or “Artist” seemed kind of pretentious, like  business resumes proclaiming “Thought-leader”.

See, I have all kinds of ideas.  Some work best as novels (about 13 – 15 of those in my head), some as screenplays (two or three of those kicking around in the subconscious), some as comic strips.  I’d like to think I’m not a slave to a genre or a niche: I’ve written historical fiction and slightly satiric alternative history.  There’s the filmscript about a man hunting the seductive female vampire that slew his wife, and I’ve won some awards for my short stories and plays.  …

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Departures and new realities

My mother passed away at 1240 am on Friday, April 25.

It was a mercy, as she had been struggling with dementia for years and had barely been able to recognize anyone in the final months.

Physically, she had been in good shape until the very end.  My father worked very hard to keep her in their home of over 30 years and he cared for her with great attentiveness and love.

My brother moved to within two miles of their home, and he visited her almost every day, giving my father some breaks and looking after them both.

His dedication was commendable and heroic.

I was able to be there on her last day.  She was on hospice, and …

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Treasure is where you look for it

…and what is important to you.
Alisa and I finally have been able start the leveling process on “back 40” of the historic home we’ve been working on for 2 years.
There is a pond out back…likely dug to drain the water off the majority of 1.4 or so acres back there. The pond area had been so desperately overgrown she and I had been unable to walk all the way around the place.
So we took a stroll last night and marveled at pieces of land we’d never really seen before. And found two bottles in the mud by the pond.
The middle two I found last night. The outside two I uncovered in about 30 minutes of digging
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There is so much crap out there…

…that I think it’s important to praise excellence.  To spread the word about creative achievement.  In a word, we must

Pimp the good stuff, my people!

But I digress.

My wife is likely fighting the Wuhan Virus.  So we have spent time inside this weekend.  And we watched a delightful, accomplished, and exceedingly fine film called Emma.  Released in 2020, it’s a sumptuous, funny, sweet, and ultimately very moving adaptation of a Jane Austen novel.


Not an Austen purist myself, I’ve never read the source material.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the film and as soon as it is available on BluRay, it will be mine.

Currently, it can be streamed on Amazon Prime, and this …

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Muscle memory can be a bitch…

As a fiction writer, I end up reading a lot of non-fiction. Some of it is pure research (see my By the Hands of Men series for novels that required a wide variety of source material to make the story feel real and lived-in). Often one text, or even a throwaway line on a single page, will lead me to others.
This book, by Dutch psychiatrist and early PTSD researcher Bessel van der Kolk, is one such happy (and sobering) discovery. A memoir of a woman’s recovery from alcoholism mentioned her experiences with therapeutic massage. The masseuse touched a spot on her back, saying something along the lines of “This is where we store sorrow,” and the writer reported that
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Plus a Bonus Personal Demon

Lovely way to start the year:

Got my writing desk set up, the office cleaned, and then ran across a couple of really nice 5 star reviews for By the Hands of Men:

“Absolutely incredible!

“I have always been drawn to historical series, because I needed to know how each character developed and finished his or her role in the story-telling. I was not disappointed with any facet in this series! Robert and Charlotte faced and survived unspeakable hardship and horror, yet their love for each other never wavered. Please read this series.”


In an age where debauchery and ugliness is the norm, this book brings truth and goodness and beauty. A story of real love –
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Grief is not a gentle mother

And it has viciously kicked my ass most of this month.

Grief turned out to be kind of a reverse Trojan Horse:  it detonated in might and power and inevitability like Shiva the Destroyer, but there were gifts (perhaps even a kind of rebirth) to be found in the rubble.


The most gut-wrenching part of the loss has started to subside and, to almost no one’s surprise, I will write more about it later.


In other writing news, my High-School English teacher and I reconnected this summer after losing touch for a few years.  She was a tremendous educator and I was so blessed to have her in my confused young life as a High School Senior.   She …

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Very tough week, friends.

My high-school girlfriend, a long-time friend and encourager of my writing, died on Monday.
I had dreamed about her Sunday night, and it struck me as odd, since I don’t generally remember my dreams and I hadn’t dreamed of her in a long time. Then I received the news that she had passed away sometime Monday morning.
She was a gifted artist, loving, kind, compassionate, and wounded by life as are we all.
I am very saddened at this loss.
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Random rambling…

Below, my mostly squared away desk, including the keyboard tray I made from original house baseboards.


I feel like I’ll be able to start writing again, now.  I’ve found a cluttered desk is the death to productivity.  Read up on it, apparently your brain feels like it needs to check everything in the environment before it can focus on the task at hand.

Or, it’s a hold over from my Coast Guard days, when I had to have my Rescue Swimmer gear organized so I could find life-saving equipment at a moment’s notice in the dark, while dripping wet and slightly hypothermic myself.

Speaking of those days, here is a class photo from Coast Guard Aviation Survivalman School.


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