“It’s impossible for white people to understand what walking around in black skin is like. It's difficult enough as an individual trying to figure out who you are without  the additional burden of being the poster child for an entire race of people. To the majority white population I will always be a black man first and then maybe Jim for those few who actually get to know me." 

      --from All the Lies We Live, Jim Williams


​Grandpa swerved up the lawn looking like Frankenstein in search of unsuspecting villagers.                                    

       -- from Normal Family

Henry sensed the journey was designed to both confuse and exhaust those already grieving, so when the price sheet came out, they would simply accept all terms, sort of like dealing with the back-room finance guys at your typical crooked car dealer. Except the car dealer guys have less class, no suits, no pocket squares. We are talking after all about death here.

-- Henry at the funeral parlor in No One Ran to the Altar

"Born black, always black. Now, why would God do that?”
“Because he’s black?” Lucy chuckled.
 “Yeah, right. You’re a funny one.”
“I’m trying. Maybe, because Black God knows only black people get into heaven?”
“Keep talking . . .”
“That’s all I got.”

--from All the Lies We Live, Jim Williams and Lucy


"It’s okay, dear,” my mother had protectively withdrawn from the room. The moistened index finger of her right hand circled the brim of her crystal water glass, producing a hypnotic hum that matched the wistful look in her eyes.    

          --- from Normal Family                       

Doctor Williams got up and walked to the mantel where he wiped dust from the poinsettia leaves with a graceful swipe of hand. It was a dismissive motion, loaded with symbolism, as if he wanted to wipe away all the evil from human existence. Henry could see his face reflected in the gilt mirror. He seemed to be struggling with what to say next. It was his job to provide actionable advice, and this was a burden that weighed heavily on him at that moment. He turned and walked back, placing a comforting hand on Henry’s right shoulder. “It’s one of life’s greatest ironies that the people who love us the most are oftentimes the ones who hurt us the most.”

   --All the Lies We Live, Jim Williams and Henry


His mother was someone who preferred to burn her bridges before she got on them.   


     -- from Normal Family

"We all are, in fact, just like sedimentary rock, with layers heaped upon layers over time, with some bad things getting trapped in the rubble."


-- Henry's therapy session with Dr. Williams 

         from  No One Ran to the Altar                      

"I’m out here in the future. I don't know how I got here. Time just went. I'm not even sure I know where here is. Or where went went."

      --from All the Lies We Live                      

"The ocean looked like a giant Tom Collins."

    --- from All the Lies We Live


Ned had purchased this plot decades ago for himself and Vicki, undoubtedly causing quite a stir in Hades when he added Bunny’s ashes to the mix.  One man and two women. A kinky underworld threesome. How fitting.

      --from All the Lies We Live




“So tell me. What’d you go and do that’s so bad?” he had piqued her interest.
“Did what all the island boys do. Married my childhood sweet-haht.”
“How old were you when you met her?”
Wilbur laughed. “Kindee-gahten.”
“Funny. Seriously . . .”
“ . . . I’m being serious. You’d be surprised with so few people on the island how early the matchin’ up stahts.”
“Maybe that was the problem. You had already been dating for ten years before you even reached puberty!”
“You’re a funny one, ain’tcha,” he smiled.
“How many children are in the school?”
“We have enough to fill one class per grade. About ten or so kids in each grade.”
“You only have one class per grade?”

--from All the Lies We Live, Chloe and Wilbur 


“How’s your daughter?” Henry asked.
“Great. She’s a write-ah,” Sasha was inhaling her lobster roll.
“Yes, I know.” Henry looked up. “Who isn’t, these days?”
“What does she write?” Laura asked.
“Excuse me?” Laura looked lost.
“You heard me. She writes the porn letters for Penthouse and other mags. And she’s damned good at it.”
“I bet,” Laura mumbled.
“Are you bullshitting again?” Henry asked.
“Don’t tell me you’ve become little parochial prudes out here on your removed island?” Sasha smirked.
“Of course not,” Henry went on the defensive. “I’m just a bit surprised, that’s all. Last I knew, Rachael was writing for The Guardian.”

--from All the Lies We Live, Sasha, Laura, and Henry 


Q: Why the pen name Don Trowden?

A: I got bored with myself. Maybe you will, too. Plus, why should married women be the only ones who get to hide out behind new names?