A Bigger Piece of Blue
is the debut collection of stories
by Dan T. Cox.
An excerpt from A Bigger piece of blue
So I was out there late one afternoon, and I heard a commotion back in the orchard where they’d already picked up the nuts. Back beyond where I could see, where the canopy is dense as hell, and sounds bounce off the tree trunks in crazy directions. It was a confusing echo of something. It set the hair on the back of my neck on end.
Instinctively, I grabbed a stick. I walked straight back from the road, lifting my feet cleanly off the ground to avoid making noise, hunkering down for a better view, trying to get a sense of the trouble. I stopped to listen.
The sound came again, only it was different now. Less of an alert and more of a response. Like something, whatever it was, went from prey to victim. Like a rabbit, maybe. Caught in the teeth of a predator. Wounded, maybe. Knowing it was about to die, no way to escape, no energy to fight, all out fear taking over. Shrieking between final breaths and desperate to live. Drenched by another critter’s saliva, licked by another critter’s tongue.
Finally, I saw something off through the trees. Something blue. Which made me think it was a jay scrounging for nuts, but it was too big for that. Then I thought it looked something like a peacock’s blue neck, but that didn’t make any sense, not out in the orchards. Plus, the blue wasn’t moving.
Weird thing was, that sound was not coming directly from the blue thing I was watching. It came from further back, off to the right a bit. My stick still firmly in hand, I began moving toward the blue.
Reviews for Bigger Piece of Blue
Writing with tact and precision, Dan T. Cox presents the subtle truth of real life, exploring the imperfection of each person in the stories contained in A Bigger Piece of Blue. This unpretentious way of writing makes the characters believable and enhanced my ability to identify with each of them. Dan T. Cox does a great job in creating vivid characters whose stories left a deep impression on me, such as in Night Paving, where Elsie Bly ponders on the thought of her death and becomes convinced that not even her own father, Frank, would grieve if she died. Additionally, In All New Dancers, Celia cannot even consider going back to her father to ask for help in her time of need. Each scene is gripping and contains incredible depth. Overall, the book is well-written and recommended for any reader with a love for short stories.
—Five Star Review from Readers' Favorite, by Edith Wairimu
A well-crafted debut that explores intended and unintended consequences. Cox creates an impressive array of characters and voices…and he pulls them all off elegantly. His characters are imperfect, often scarred, and always struggling—and therefore believable. Cox not only constructs immediate, vibrant scenes, but also widens his focus to show the effects of specific choices over lifetimes.
I enjoying reading history, particularly about the Northwest and the cast of characters that settled and grew the area. Historical fiction is a new interest that I'm starting to dabble in. A Bigger Piece of Blue is a collection of short stories that I've found fascinating, mostly placed in Oregon and Washington, the two states that I've lived. The short story format works particularly well with my busy schedule. Mr Cox provides me a quick "time out" from the real world, taking me to another time and place that seems familiar and comfortable, like I've been there before. Each short story is well written, and they all have a start and an interesting ending. I never really knew how much I'd enjoy short fiction until I read this book.
—Five star Amazon Review
This may be Dan's first book, but he obviously has been doing a lot of writing and honing of his foray into the English language to perfect the colorful palette he uses to create just the right words to use to convey the exact meanings he wants to present to the reader. When the dictionary doesn't provide the words he wants - he invents his own to give the desired effect. My favorite: I would have written, "His boots made a crunching sound as he left the alders." Dan tells us," He boot-crunched out of the alders". The variety of characters and their situations keeps you turning the pages to see what's next (and they all have a background in the Pacific Northwest which is by far my favorite place to live) with very unexpected results. One of the better books I've read in a long time.
—Five star Amazon Review