Author Archives: James L'Etoile

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The Season of Trolling

You know that insurance commercial with the fisherman who pops up with a dollar bill on the end of his line, taunting his clients to grab it? Then he jerks the cash bait away at the last moment, saying “You’ve got to be quicker than that.” Most times, I am that person, the one who […]

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In Prison — Seeing Is Believing

What happens in prison usually stays in prison. Kinda like a bad Las Vegas honeymoon. Nobody wants to know the depths of the debauchery that goes on in either place. When I worked as a department of corrections administrator, we were often burnt at the stake when a criminal decided to do a bad thing. […]

An Outrager
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Why I Don’t Post About Politics

There are a few topics I try to avoid on social media. Religion, Sex and Politics–the holy trifecta of hot button issues. They are intertwined so deeply that you can’t tug on one, without pulling a thread on the other. But recent events in the political arena (arena as in circus) left me scratching my […]

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Wanna Go To Mars?

Originally posted on James L'Etoile:
We got this all wrong… I’m sitting at my keyboard and revising (as I’m supposed to do) and something shiny crosses the monitor and pulls my attention away like a moth to a flame. A news wire reports that over 200,000 people have applied to travel seven months through…

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5 Things I Learned in Prison

Time in prison is supposed to “teach” you things, right? That’s why it was originally called the penitentiary — as in penance. A place to reflect on one’s life and the path not taken. Some lessons are learned the hard way. The weak, meek and mild won’t survive in prison. Inmates quickly develop survival mechanisms […]

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You Know You’re Old When…

Originally posted on James L'Etoile:
The Universe is a mean little kid Every now and again, the Universe sticks its bony leg out to trip you. The trip and fall might be psychic, but the sting is real enough. And the devious little bastard thinks it’s just the funniest thing ever. The twit plays…

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Respect, and I’m not talking about the Aretha Franklin classic, but something just as deadly. Outside of drug deals, there are more stabbings in prison over respect, or more precisely the lack of respect, than nearly any other motivation. This very unscientific finding is based upon years of “picking up the pieces” after a stabbing […]

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Where Have All The Convicts Gone?

I grew up in a time of convicts. These days, a convict is hard to find. Convicts lived by a code that governed their conduct on the streets and in prison. Not that convicts weren’t dangerous criminals — they were, and their numbers included notorious murders, robbers and thieves. And they played by the rules. Rules? The […]

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How To Haunt Your Neighbors

There is a ghost in the machine. That’s exactly what a neighbor is thinking right about now. And they should, because I’m haunting them. Home automation do-dads are a neat little addition to take care of routine business. Automatic Roomba vacuums scurry about the house picking up the dust and dirt left behind by their […]

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Book Theft and Beignets

My inbox and timeline are flooded with posts following conclusion of the 2016 Bouchercon, the Granddaddy of mystery writing conferences. With over 1,500 attendees gathered in New Orleans, you’d expect a fair share of tales outlining the debauchery and hedonism in the French Quarter. While there was a conspicuous consumption of beignets and perhaps a few […]