Monday, December 14, 2009

Arlee Bird and The Desert Place

A bit about Arlee Bird

Having been born into a show-biz oriented family, Arlee has traveled a fair amount throughout North America and has had a number of unique experiences. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but throughout his childhood years his family moved to Pittsburgh, PA; San Diego, CA; Crown Point, IN; and Maryville, TN. Though his father held a regular day job, he was always in pursuit of the “big break” for the family juggling act. We worked fairs, circuses, night clubs, and corporate events, meeting celebrities and continually being around an interesting array of characters who worked in the entertainment industry.

In the early seventies, Arlee attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, starting with a major in Psychology, but switching to English after the first year. After several years of meandering course taking, his college career ended when he joined a touring magic stage show in 1975. For the next nearly two decades he was involved in a number of entertainment jobs, with the longest running engagement acting as manager of a touring theatrical production.

In the 1990’s Arlee settled down in the Los Angeles area with his three children so they could enroll in school and they could all lead more normal lives. For eighteen years he managed the west coast branch of a wholesale costume distribution company until the office shut down in early 2009. That’s when Arlee decided to take up writing as a career.

Arlee has been interested in writing since the third grade. Throughout his life he has written stories, poetry, and essays and collected ideas for book topics. His few attempts at submitting his works to national publications during college were met with rejection, although he did have articles published in newspapers and specialty magazines.

In mid-September of 2009 he started his blog, which is his current writing focus.

He has recently completed his first novel, A DESERT PLACE, as his entry in the National Novel Writing Month challenge. In the immediate future Arlee will be polishing up this novel and shopping it around for publication. Also, he will be adding some additional material to a manuscript that his late father left him called AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A NOBODY. This is a personal project that he plans to make available to relatives and other interested parties.

A bit about the novel:


A novel which tells the story of a modern day Jonah who in trying to run away from God’s calling instead finds himself swallowed by an underworld organization of drug dealers and car thieves. In his attempt to escape the clutches of this evil monster, Joe Bloom realizes the catastrophic consequences of doing wrong and the redemptive powers of forgiveness and faith.

Synopsis: A Desert Place

Joe Bloom goes to the New Mexico ranch of an old friend whom he finds dead with a gunshot to the back. Waiting there for Joe is $350,000 and a mysterious satchel. Joe reflects upon his life and tries to solve the mysteries of his friend's death, the contents of the satchel, and the identity of a woman by the name of Rosalita.

A bit about the blog:
Tossing It Out

Since Arlee is a juggler, he has taken the theme of juggling words and phrases and ideas and tossing them out to his audience in hopes that they will toss it back to him. His blog is an eclectic mix of pop culture, human interest, controversial topics, and religion. His normal topic schedule begins with Bible studies on Sundays, exploring writing topics on Mondays, exploring pop culture and travel with reviews and feature stories on Tuesdays, the interviews and people stories on Wednesdays, which is his most populer segment, a mix of controversial debate topics on Thursdays, stories of the strange, mysterious, and scary on Fridays, and wrapping it up with a recap of the week and look ahead to what’s coming up with a bit of this or that thrown in on Saturdays. Arlee states, "More than anything I like to engage the reader to participate and I love for them to comment, whether good or bad. For me any comment is a good comment."

Thanks for visiting with us today, Arlee.
See you all in the postings
Elysabeth Eldering
author of the JGDS 50-state. mytery, trivia series


Unknown said...

Wow, fascinating life! With all your rich experiences, Im sure your book is full of exciting characters and situations.

I took a clown class and loved it! I was a dancer so I took lots of mime classes as well. It's soooo much fun!

Anonymous said...

A man of multiplicity. What an interesting, seasoned life Arlee and I wish you much success in your writing career. I'm sure your diverse experiences and talents will bring much to the table of your characters and stories. Never give up! A new journey has begun :)

Tana said...

I love the story of Jonah because he is the reluctant prophet. Great idea remaking it in modern day terms! Godspeed!

Jan Cline said...

Your desire to engage the reader is what makes you a great writer. The story of Jonah will be awesome. Blessings

elysabeth said...

I think Arlee may come by and leave a comment or two over here. E :)

Joyce Wycoff said...

Arlee ... of course you have to be a writer ... when life gives you that much material, it would be a crime to not use it! Best wishes for A Desert Place ... sounds like fun. I have Calling You, the theme from Bagdad Cafe playing in my head as I think about it.

Arlee Bird said...

Thanks Elysabeth, Karen, and VBT for giving me some promotion here on your blog. Appreciate the comments so far. I've been loving blogging over the past few months. I'm so pleased with my regular readers and look forward to all of the new ones that keep coming. I have gotten so much good information from so many of the other blogs out there.

Kathy -- Make sure you check out my Tuesday post which is about my mother, who started out as a dancer.

Life, Uncharted --Thanks for your continued support and encouragement, and always done so poetically.

T. Anne -- after I started writing it occurred to me that my the character of Joe was behaving similar to Jonah so from there I recognized the real theme of the story I was writing and decided that the chosen name "Joe" should be short for Jonah. Thanks!

Jan Cline -- something I've always learned to do in show business is get the audience involved. If they feel like they are part of the story and care about what's happening they are more likely to stay with you to the end. Thank you for your words-- they were very kind and uplifting.


Arlee Bird said...

Joyce -- thank you for your kind words as well. I do have a wealth of material to draw upon, but I think everybody does and sometimes they just don't realize it. Often we take our lives for granted and don't realize how interesting they might be to someone else.

Also I don't want to forget to give credit for the photograph that was taken for the above article. My thanks to Juan Velez at

Karen Cioffi said...

Great Post. Just want to mention that Arlee was another winner of the November Anniversary Tour!

Your book sounds wonderful, Arlee. I like it: you can run, but you can't hide!


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What an interesting background you have. I have a feeling you put it to good use in your writing. A Desert Place sounds good.

Tamika: said...

Arlee you are a blessing indeed. Your energy makes me smile, and the enthusiasm that drives you is evident. It's always a pleasure to see people operating in the area God has called them to. Keep writing- the best is yet to come!

Unknown said...

Having known Arlee for years, I am very excited for his literary career. I'm sure a higher power brought the similarities of Job into play. I look forward to reading it as well as Autobiography of a Nobody.

Arlee Bird said...

Karen -- thanks for having me here. It's been a pleasure.

Jane -- I did put a lot of personal background into my story. Hope I end up with something good.

Tamika -- you are always such an encouragement to me. It is indeed a blessing to have a blog friend like you and all of our other friends.

Lonnie -- Thanks for stopping by old friend. I'll be in TN from 12/26 to 1/1 -- hope to see you then.

Louise Gallagher said...

My oh my -- what a fascinating background -- what rich ground what appears to be wonderful story-telling!

Good luck with A Desert Place -- I found you through Joyce's blog -- -- and what a great find!

MCJART Fine Art Artist said...

arleeBird ~ congrats on this feature! Love your story ~ keep writing!!!

Thank you for your visits and comments to my blog ~ MCJ ~

Mike said...

arlee bird - I am learning more and more about my high school friend through these blogs. I hope you get your book published. I look forward to reading "A DESERT PLACE" and "AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A NOBODY". Keep up the good writing on your blog "tossing it out".

Thanks for doing this piece on arlee bird.

Kristi's Book Nook said...

Arlee, your book sounds like a really good read. I love anything that has to do with good vs evil. I am sure with all of your travels you have seen enough to write A LOT of interesting books.

kanishk said...

I was a dancer so I took lots of mime classes as well. It's soooo much fun!

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