from JW Hendrix

Included on this site:


Lay Me Down Tomorrow  is a contemporary story of three individuals facing terminal disease.  At first they submit to their fate, resigned and desolate.  An intruder in their lives inspires them to do more than passively watch the clock tick down.  The results are darkly comic, indecent, and ultimately life saving.

If you have a particularly grim cancer diagnosis, you typically have two choices:  experiment with new drugs which have a low chance of success and horrendous side effects; or take an opioid-based path of surrender and dulled senses.  The characters in the story do something else.  Without taking the analogy too far, the dramatic events experienced by the characters are evocative of what ‘normal’ people in broader society today can have, in-between the deadening day-to-day existence for many and the chaotic and self-destructive attempts by others to avoid that kind of existence.

Along the way, the story touches briefly on themes which are known to many patients dealing with their doctors:  the frustration when talking to busy physicians; the jargon gap –for example, doctors will say “the patient failed the drug regimen”, instead of a more normal “the drug failed the patient”; and the gap between treatment intended for the “average” patient and the unique needs of any one actual patient.

The story is in three parts:

I              A Random Antidote
II             No Pageant Queen Here, Honey
III           What To Get the Man Who Has Everything

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The Willow Pond Café takes the reader through the four seasons for an older restaurant in the Boston suburbs.  The café is loosely based on an actual restaurant which was in the Concord area. 

The story follows several characters who work at the Café:  Eddie, the owner, who dreams of creating another Wolf Trap venue for performances in the outskirts of Boston; Beth, his daughter, who runs the café and would rather her father dream less and manage the café more; and Hank, her cousin, visiting from Los Angeles after personal and professional disasters. 

The Café is perennially at risk of being shut down by the Massachusetts Fish and Game Department, which zealously guards the bird preserve and wetlands that border the restaurant.

Throughout the year the restaurant staff must handle changing customer tastes, clashes between the townies and just about everyone else, and the ever present threats and mandates from the Fish and Game park rangers.

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