Born February 2, 1947. Reared in Philadelphia, Pa. Raised by three women: Mary Mickles, nee Smith, March 17, 1882, Elizabeth “Bess” Crossin, nee Mickles, November 30, 1905 and Virgina “Ginny” Altieri, nee Mickles, July 4, 1908
I’ve decided to make this site to include my writings, including most of the major pieces I’ve composed over the last 40-some years. Recently I’ve updated a Memoir, “Inspirations and Humiliations,” a potpourri of stories made up of over 70 essays, a good deal of it being biographical, yet there are a number of stories and personal observations showcasing other impressionable folks and notable events. The title substantiates the collection when referring to the author isn’t all that flattering in some of the more revealing essays.
This “About the Author,” isn’t meant to read like a bio. Those reading my offerings will discover much about me, rather in personal quotes along with the varied dialogues stemming from my fictitious characters.
One might ask, “What makes writers, write?” “What makes me think I can write?” Neither one really matters. Writers don’t need permission. On the most part they are self-anointed. They just do it!
I have been writing seriously since 1987. Ten years prior I penned a weekly sports column in a Hawaiian weekly with a byline, Philadelphia Lou. I also published a rock-and-roll review tagging myself as one, Deacon Blues. At the same time I was tinkering with short stories and novellas. After accumulating a number of scripts and story lines I submitted a plethora of query letters and synopsis’ to agents and publishers. I entered writing contests and signed up for conferences. I earned a second place somewhere and received some other kudos but commercially, nothing really gelled. Agents sighed and moaned that I wasn’t a genre writer. Publisher rejection letters indicated they were looking for writers who had back up work within legal, mystery or vampire categories. Consider, my stories vary, as do plots and premises. Plot wise, I’m not a one-trick pony. For the record I’ve become disenchanted with writing contests and conferences chock with too many wanna-bes, and as for contests I find them too subjective.
No quitter here, in 1987 I quit my day job, my earning career, if you will, as a hard-driving businessman, selling off my assets and eventually divorcing a nice woman to further pursue writing. While in my 40s, for merit’s sake, I attended college to nail down the specifics of punctuation and composition smoothing over the flaws my parochial education didn’t point out or those warts I never took seriously. Over time, despite just a high school education, I’ve done my best to hone this craft as I attempt to breathe chutzpah into my stories. Fiction writers’ are licensed to embellish and to shamelessly expose characters, to take risks with slippery plots creating the conflict, and perhaps to arrive at a conceivable resolution
I have coined myself at times as “A Contemporary American Folk Writer,” who writes in blue-collar prose. I’m more like a body puncher who’s reckless, graphic, and sometimes brutal. I write about characters notorious in nature, who don’t just pontificate; they act and react! Some do so with rage and others with passion! Readers are privy to their private thoughts, the brooding, and remorse yet other characters evolve as living angels who soothe away the woes of others. There are sharing and joy and hopefully instances that might strike readers having them chuckling. Off-beat characters crop up who are outright pains in the ass. Their human weaknesses and strengths are apparent, yet often not! They don’t just make love. They fuck! They cry their eyes out! They bleed! They sweat profusely like bare-chested blast furnace feeders shoveling coal. They’re wracked with worry, weighed down with problems yet driving plots.
I like to think that even within my vilest stories I’ve created characters who boast socially redeeming factors by employing empathy, imagination or even finesse on the part of this writer.
“Kill ’em With Kindness,” published in 1994 was well received in Hawaii. Published before the electronic age. All the floppy discs have been destroyed or are unreadable yet my first full-length novel has been restored here. Used copies are available on Amazon.com.
Novels: “Mightier Than The Sword,”(1991) and “Throw Caution to the Wind,”(1995) are two ambitious and complete novels here as is the (almost finished draft) of “St. James Day,” (1992) mostly composed while residing in Spain in 1992.
Film scripts: “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” (1987) “Heart of a Champion,” (1995) and “Curse of the Gitano,”(1996) are too posted in full.
Two stage plays: “Loose Ends,” (2004) published and produced in 2005 and “Lou’s Conflict and Conflict Resolution,” (1994) are also posted on the blog.
My penchant for the Chinese zodiac is presented in “Profiles and Forecasts in Chinese Astrology,” (1989). Along with the skinny on the 144 crossover signs. Elements are identified within the 5,000-year social science stemming from the Orient. My pen name on these pieces is Madam Loo.
I have also been employed and commissioned as a reporter and essay writer and editor for various publications. One highlight was being one of just one-hundred essays chosen with 60,000 entries submitted in Tim Russert’s bestseller “Wisdom of Our Fathers.” My personal contribution, titled “Uncle Lou,” is the most expansive story in the book and I’m the only writer chosen who is listed as residing outside the States. (That was a hurdle to clear with the publisher).
I’ve held tight to a sense all my life that perhaps has held me at bay, a sense or feeling if you will, as if I never really belong. From almost Jump Street I had no mothering or a beaming father’s pride, a crying shame, yet not crippling in the long run, conscious wise, but undoubtedly there’s scar tissue. I’ve never been deemed 100% Irish, 100% Jewish, 100% Catholic, a Hawaiian, or a Mexican, or an intricate part of a close-knit lineage. Seems as if I’ve never 100% anything, nor have I embraced time-honored convictions like “An Almighty” by not being 100% sure of anything. I’m not complaining. I live in a foreign country pegging me as an alien. Even in the Army, as a draftee, the lifers chastised me as if I didn’t really belong referring to me as Christmas help. Seems no matter what I’ve always been the outsider.
Yet being an outsider is no deterrent. The peripheral has advantages. Not being thrust into the spotlight presents a silver lining, enabling the onlooker as to not become the victim of the centerpiece. I mostly stay put, play it safe, fully knowing dogs don’t bark at parked cars. The advantage observers have is to be able to study and then describe the subtle nature of events and people amongst characters and parts of plots, illustrating ticks and tells while writing about the sounds of their pitches, accents and colloquialisms, painting a picture and chronicling the atmosphere.
As far as being cathartic, true, writers do bleed their hearts creating gut-wrenching stories or tales of love, lust, and heroism at their own pace. Yet writing is the loneliest profession.
When one is the center of the action, on stage or within the action one doesn’t have a clear view of the action nor an objective glimpse from the outside. The chronicler or the regaling writer weaves observations as threads of stories, some fact other fiction, reporting and describing
Have a story! Have conflict. Have a goody. Have a baddy. Bring it all home. It’s all in the doing.
These stories and novels and scripts are all my children. I love each as much of the other while ignoring their warts and faults despite shallowness. I make no excuses. I can’t. They’re part of me, yet I ask and would be honored if some of you take them read them and sum them up on your own accord.
It’s time for you, my forgiving and understanding reader, to take over with all the stories being subject to what these stories might stir within you, to perhaps entertain or perhaps even educate. Do enjoy.
2021 update: As the principal writer of Show Daily Magazine for 21 years, coined as the bible of the world famous biannual Warrenton – Round Top Antique Fair, Lou can be now tagged as a Award Winning Journalist receiving the prestigious Best of Award, for the magazine contribution to the Fayette County business community in 2021.