Skip to content

Category: Stray Ally

The Holiday Spirit

Dudeism.svgThis year I have already written about the Holiday season: the fun it is to track Santa, but also how scary it is we are giving the big guy (and many other people) about us. It seems we are in a giving mood year round, whether we know it or not.

I also wrote about how important it is to show kindness and grace this time of year, and really all year long. It’s a post I hope goes just as viral as my post about Four Spiritual Lessons We Can Learn from the Big Lebowski, which had over 4400 shares on Facebook alone. The Dude Abides, indeed.

I’ve had the privilege the last half of the year to write about teachers, libraries, and business, sharing what I have learned, and bit of my writer’s journey with other people.

You see, I have been blessed, and learned a lot this year about not being such a workaholic, but still working hard. About love and family, and what those words really mean. I’m still learning: if somehow you are offended by my journey, or part of it, stick with me. I’ll get it right eventually.

I’ve been thinking about doing something, a little different author event. The idea started a couple of years ago, in a bookstore. It has been sitting in the back of my mind.

Then this summer, while in California, I took some things a little girl said, and fulfilled my ambition in a really small way. I wrote her a story, on the spot.

I took some things she said about herself, and I crafted her a unique tale. It starred her, and was built with her thoughts. She loved it.

So this year, I am making you a special offer this Holiday. Click here to find out more about it.

Because one thing I never want to stop doing is giving back.

In that spirit, if you Subscribe to my newsletter between now and the first of the year, I will give you a free e-copy of Typewriter Repair Shop. Subscribe, and I will be in touch to ask you want format you need.

They’re both my Holiday gifts to you, my readers. Happy Holidays.

Stay tuned for more Troy Lambert thrillers coming 2016.

Comments closed

The Muse is Free

Book Cover 1You put someone in a box long enough, without light, food, or water soon they embrace darkness, and it becomes part of them.

But that’s not what I did. A part of me revealed itself, and I let it play in the sunshine, let it run around in the light, smell the air, laugh and love.

Then I told it to go away. Childhood was over, and it was time for real life to begin.

“Oh, the desire is noble. And we love your creativity,” the anonymous they declared. “But your stories, they’re a little dark, aren’t they? Maybe you are right. Maybe it is what God intended you to be. But answer me this: what are you going to do for a living, young man?”

RedemptionfinalAfter all, everyone knows you can’t make a living as a writer.

“You should be an engineer. Or a scientist. Maybe even a pastor, a soldier, or a social worker. You need to find God’s will for your life,” they told me. “Stay away from that writer thing. You’re wrong. That can’t be all God made you to do.”

It’s not a joke. The sanctimonious ‘they’ told me those things. And I listened. What else was I supposed to do? Surely they knew what they were talking about. Pastors, teachers, counselors.

You ever try not to sneeze? For over 20 years? Oh, every now and then one gets loose. A sniffle, and allergic reaction. Use a tissue. Move on. When the only thing you were built for, the only thing you really know how to do, the only thing that when you are doing it you don’t feel like you should be doing something else, is sneezing?

TemptationNewYeah, that’s me. I was built to tell stories. Nothing else really matters.

My muse came bursting out of the closet, abused, beaten, bruised and starved, and took over my heartbeat, my breathing, my will, and saved my life. Saved my marriage. Saved my sanity. It would have been easier to jump. Swallow the pills, drink too much alcohol, just to get him to shut the fuck up.

But he wouldn’t. Like George Takei at a gay pride rally, he determined he would be, must be heard. And for once, I listened.

At first it was short stories. A collection of Broken Bones, bite sized pieces of emotion I stuffed inside myself, the only thing I gave him to eat. He raved like a starving monster at first.

Stray Ally by Troy Lambert - high resThen he wanted Redemption. Hardly satisfied, he then spoke of Temptation.  In between were short stories, better written, articulated with one thing in mind: keep the muse happy. Confession came last, and a chapter in my life closed.

I now approach the shore of a great ocean. The beach is peaceful. The waves calm. Off to the side, a dog runs, my Stray Ally. On the corner of the beach, two couples play A Dangerous Game. Under the water, at the edge of the sand, I see something.

It is a body, the corpse of a young girl by the look of it. In her dead and frozen hand, she holds a yellow flower, perhaps a symbol of hope.

In my mind, I know soon a Revival is coming. At last, my muse is working, and at peace.

Comments closed

Houston: No More Problems

January 1999

It was a horrible time. I was confused, depressed, and felt rejected by family, friends, and seriously doubted my sanity. Good things came out of that time: I found the woman I am married to still, I started writing again, and I got a new dog. For nearly 10 years, he was one of my best friends.

A friend offered me a room for rent in Prescott, Arizona. She came to pick me up from where I was staying in Phoenix, and had a dog with her. He had no place to sit for the hour and a half journey but on my lap. A friendship started. One eventually filled with hours of fetch, walks, petting, and old age.

Houston was a mutt. I’m not sure how old he was when I got him, and different vets had different guesses, but he was about 3 or 4. I’m sure he was abused, by the way he flinched the first time I grabbed a broom. He didn’t like to be inside much, preferring the freedom and the smells of the outdoors. But that dog would fetch anything I threw, and play the game until I made him stop. His nose was amazing. I even got him one of these.

HyperdogNovember 28, 2008

It was my birthday. Black Friday, and Houston is almost blind. We were living down the street from Walmart. He still played fetch, still managed to find his way around, but this morning he got out of the back yard, and I couldn’t find him.


Someone already had. A lady in a Toyota, on her way to find a bargain. She hit him, and took him to the humane society down the road. At least she did that much. He didn’t make it.

My other dog, a lab named Indy, helped me deal with Houston’s passing. It took me a long time to get over it.

September 2012

I was challenged to write a novel. It turned into a thriller about a man and a dog. The whole time I wrote it, I thought of Houston, and how much he helped me through a dark time in my life. A dog named Sparky jumped out of my imagination and onto the page.

March 2014

Stray Ally will be released this spring by Tirgearr Publishing. A strange accident on the freeway, accusations of murder, and an encounter in the Idaho wilderness all propel Todd Clarke into a new friendship with a dog named Sparky. But Sparky is no ordinary dog, and there is more going on than Clarke could have imagined.

A military commander he investigated for Aryan activity and links to domestic terrorism is after him, and he’s not sure why until another chance encounter provides the answer.

With Sparky and the help of his canine friends, will he be able to figure out the Colonel’s plan and stop him in time? All Clarke knows for sure is none of it would be possible without the help of his Stray Ally.

And now, when you read the dedication, you will understand who I am talking about.

To my dog, Houston. You were my best friend for a long time, and have been gone for a while, but I still miss you. Here’s hoping you are chasing a ball somewhere in doggie heaven, where there is no more doggie blindness and your nose is a strong as ever.


1 Comment