June 23, 2013

Salvatore Buttaci and His New West Virginia

The writing bug that bit me when I was nine continues to do so today, more than sixty years later. I’m not complaining. When the desire to write, which is daily, gets under my skin, the only way to relieve the itching is to find my pad and pen and write.

I was fortunate in growing up. My parents and teachers encouraged me to learn the writing craft, to love English, to have fun with words, and to thank God always for giving me the gift of creating little worlds in the lines of my poems and stories. It is no small gift, believe me. Writing has saved me from many of life’s sorrows that I’ve managed to dilute in the ink of my work. It has become for me a kind of mighty weapon that keeps me joyously standing after whatever stones life tosses my way.

In addition to my poetry of which I have written several books, flash fiction has caught my interest and resulted in two flash collections published. The first is called Flashing My Shorts, which is also now in audio book. The other is entitled 200 Shorts and is likewise enjoying a good sales run for those who find these short-short stories under 1,000 words the ideal kind of reading suitable to today’s fast-paced life. No story exceeds three pages; some fit on half a page!

Currently I am editing two of my novels: Carmelu the Sicilian and Under the Dome of Noonan.

In 2007 I retired from teaching Language Arts to middle-school children as well as writing courses to college students. While I enjoyed it, teaching left me very little leisure to spend at my writing. Now I have the time to write daily and also promote my work at the various social and business Internet venues.

The year I retired was also the year my wife Sharon and I relocated from New Jersey to West Virginia. I was fifteen years old when I first visited there. My older brother had just married a girl from Beckley, WV, and came to New Jersey to introduce her to the family. They invited me that summer to drive back there with them. I recall one cool night in August predicting to my brother that one day I would return and live in West Virginia. He chuckled and yet fifty years later my prediction came true. I too married a woman from the Mountain State; in fact, she lived about two hours from where Alfonso’s wife Celia Ann had lived. Sharon and I resided in Lodi, New Jersey, for eleven years and then headed south to her old state where we now live in Princeton, the county seat of Mercer County.

West Virginia is truly “almost heaven.” The people are down-to-earth folks, friendly, God-loving, and humble. We would not want to live anywhere else.                                                           

A Flash Story Contest:   Anyone who visits this site and leaves a comment may submit a flash story exactly 50 words long (or short), something called a half-drabble, to me at salvatorebuttaci@yahoo.com. Mark the subject line of your e-mail message “HALF-DRABBLE” and send your flash to me in the body of your e-mail. Do not send an attachment! You must begin the flash with the following words:

The winner whose flash is most interesting and most original will receive a copy of my book Flashing My Shorts.

My books are available here: http://salvatorebuttaci.wordpress.com
or Amazon.  
(Photos provided by Author)


  1. It's too hard to write stories that short! I once entered a contest that limited the words to 1,000 and cutting it down that much took so much away from the story! Kudos to you that you've found your niche!

    I've been to DC, but never really visited West Virginia. Fun to learn about places I haven't been to...yet.

  2. If it were easy, who'd be impressed by Sal? For my part, I love his flash - personal and fiction.

  3. I like short stories, but I prefer stories of more than 1k words. Hard to get to know the character(s) in such a short story. But that's just me.

    My experience with WV is just a drive-thru state with a stay-over-night on my way back & forth from NC to MI. I do that drive twice a year and unfortunately, I don't pay that much attention to the state itself. I never get off the highway to see what I can see.

  4. I thank you, Annette, for posting today's blog about me and West Virginia. And I thank all those of you who visit this site.

  5. Congratulations, Sal!

  6. Isn't the world a tiny place? You do mean Princeton, NJ? There can't be Princeton, WV also in Mercer County, can there? That would be too unreal. Until I retired from NJ State Gov't in 2002 and flew away at Warp 10, I lived only a hop, skip and a jump from Princeton, in East Windsor, NJ. What I've seen of WV it is a beautiful state. You have found a fascinating niche and I might try my hand at submitting a shortshortshort. Keep flashing.

  7. Fran, believe it or not, there are three Princeton (county seat) in a county called Mercer: NJ, WV, and MO. When I lived in NJ, I conducted poetry seminars are the Princeton University Bookstore. Sharon and I since my retirement from teaching in 2007 live in Princeton, WV.

  8. Fran, thanks for entering my half-drabble flash contest. Will let you know results when they're all in.

  9. I spent many years of my life traveling from North Carolina through West Virginia to visit relatives in Pennsylvania. My dad liked to travel the back roads and I'm glad he did because we got to see the real beauty of West Virginia, its winding roads through picturesque landscape.
    Good things to your corner of the universe.


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