There’s always something to howl about

Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie goes straight — to jail. Meanwhile, he has a new book of short stories out for Christmas.

William F.X. O’Connell — that’s Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie to you — has been making a game effort to go straight over the past few years. This paid off in abundance this morning, when he finally managed to get himself arrested.

Meanwhile, just yesterday Willie published a collection of his outrageously brutal Christmas stories at It’s Kindle-only, but every smartphone and tablet computer has a Kindle reader by now.

These are the stories, all of which have been published here in various versions over the years:

The season’s greetings
A dumpster diver’s Christmas
A canticle for Kathleen Sullivan
A future more vivid
A father for Christmas
Merry Christmas, Princess Peach
A Costco family Christmas
How to slay dragons
Courtney at the speed of life

Cathleen and I did the line-edits on the final manuscript, and it was interesting to me to see how well the thing holds together as a collection. Separately, the yarns are almost too brutal, but taken together they have that certain cathartic something that left me feeling cleansed — beat up, to be sure, but better for having endured the punishment.

Anyway, y’all could do a favor or three for our jailbird friend:

  1. Buy the book — or give it as a present. At around 20,000 words, it’s a lazy afternoon or a cross-country flight in length.
  2. Review the book. It would be nice for Willie if you have good things to say about the stories, but it will be better for everyone if you simply tell the truth.
  3. Tell your friends. Here is code you can link from:

Willie has an account at, so we can hide and watch to see what has to say about being a fully-processed citizen of the U.S. at last. In the mean time his presence at puts him all the way into the establishment, like it or don’t.


7 Comments so far

  1. Patricia Ackerman December 13th, 2011 9:28 am

    It won’t be too bad for O’Connell. I’m sure that he will have another set of fans..soon.

  2. Dan Connolly December 13th, 2011 6:36 pm

    I don’t think you are charging enough.

  3. Brian Brady December 13th, 2011 7:21 pm

    “Costco is absolutely the most American store that could ever exist”

  4. Greg Swann December 13th, 2011 8:59 pm

    Dan: > I don’t think you are charging enough.

    That’s a sentiment that might work well in an book review. 😉

    Brian: > “Costco is absolutely the most American store that could ever exist”

    The Kindle reader lets you select text you like and share it with others by Twitter or Facebook.

    That’s my argument, both ways, that there is no reason that these stories, if they’re any good, could not hit a lot of heads between now and New Year’s Day, if the book can find enough people. I’m not interested in money. I want to change the world.

  5. Teyona December 14th, 2011 11:40 pm

    Regardless of the things happened while publishing the book, I think the content of it is very interesting. I hope to get one copy soon.

  6. Brian Brady December 25th, 2011 8:59 am

    Free Willie!

  7. Greg Swann December 25th, 2011 9:10 am

    Sprung from the hoosegow yesterday afternoon, bugged out last night after midnight mass.

    Merry Christmas!