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Wayne Stinnett

Is an American novelist and a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Between those careers, he’s worked as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, Diver Master, taxi driver, construction manager, and truck driver, among many other things. He lives on one of the Sea Islands of South Carolina Lowcountry, near Parris Island, with his wife and their youngest daughter. They also have three grown children, five grandchildren, three dogs and a whole flock of parakeets. He grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has also lived in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico.

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2 hours ago

Wayne Stinnett

Welcome aboard Write of Passage, our new Beneteau Oceanis 41.1. ...

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3 days ago

Wayne Stinnett

So, I haven't been on here much. NINC work, getting the new boat ready, and planning her maiden voyage to bring her home from Charleston, has eaten into my time. But the important things haven't been overlooked. Rising Spirit, which will be released on Thanksgiving Day is now about 25% written. I'll finish it before the NINC conference in September, then it will undergo ten weeks of editing, formatting, and recording, while I start writing the next one.

Y'all aren't going to believe this. Jesse is wearing a jacket.

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2 weeks ago

Wayne Stinnett

Rising Spirit

Chapter One
Fall, 2019

The late summer air was crisp and cool as a light breeze out of the northeast rustled the leaves. Muted shades of orange, yellow, red, and green covered the hills of the Shenandoah Valley. The breeze seemed to swirl the colors around, some becoming more or less intense as the wind moved the many differently colored leaves. It was the time of year when the sun began to relinquish control of the sky, yielding more and more time to the moon as the days got shorter following the autumnal equinox.
The sparsely planted trees along the town’s busy two-lane streets tried to mimic those on the forested hillside. Their leaves were the same color but they couldn’t quite match the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the valley, what with all the buildings, cars, and people around.
The town had been laid out long before traffic jams, malls, fast-food, and rush-hours, and the buildings had been erected with a lower populace in mind. They were built in such close proximity that the streets would never be more than two lanes with narrow sidewalks and minimal parking. Unless the mostly historic buildings were torn down, and that wasn’t going to happen. So, the busy town endured the narrow streets.
The colonial-style building on the corner of Augusta and Johnson Streets in Staunton, Virginia had been built in 1901, when there were still hitching posts instead of parking lots. The new circuit courthouse had replaced the previous one on the same property. In fact, there’d been a courthouse of some kind or other on that corner since 1755. The current two-story, red brick building had a wide portico in front, supported by four pale-yellow brick columns. Above and behind the courthouse entrance was a domed cupola, topped with a statue of Lady Justice, blind-folded and lifting her scale high to proclaim equal justice for all. At her side, she also gripped the hilt of her long broadsword, a powerful representation of authority.
Kamren Steele stood on the corner across the street from the historic building, waiting for the light to change. “Imposing,” he commented to the woman standing at his side.
“Arrogant, if you ask me,” Sandra Sneed replied. “Built by slaves.”
He smiled at her. “It’s not quite that old.”
“Built at the turn of the last century,” she argued, staring venomously at the building across the street. “By freed black men who had been born into slavery and lived under Jim Crow laws for half their lives.”
A young African-American couple hurried past the courthouse, crossed Augusta Street, and entered the Union Bank building on the opposite corner.
“The times, they are a changin’,” Kamren said, stepping off the curb after the crossing light signaled it was safe to walk. “Come on, let’s get this done.”
She stepped out beside him, shaking her head but smiling. “Only you would quote Dylan in a town like this.”
Kamren Steele was the leader of Earth Now, an environmental group made up of likeminded people who abhorred overdevelopment, and the unadulterated stripping of the land. He was tall and ruggedly handsome, with black hair graying at the temples. His face was clean-shaven, and at 55, lines had begun to appear at the corners of his eyes. Equally comfortable wearing a business suit in a board room, or boots and jeans on a hiking trail, he’d opted for the former for this preliminary hearing.
Sandra Sneed was an attractive woman from the North Carolina coast. She was not as tall as his 5-9, but she was close, with blond hair, a slim figure, and long shapely legs. She’d been a permanent fixture at Kamren’s side for twenty years and was equally at home in the conference room or deep in the forest, though she much preferred the latter.
The two had met in 1999 at the dedication of James River State Park, east of the small town of Amherst, Virginia. At the time, she’d been divorced for nearly a decade; a single mother of two girls, aged ten and fifteen. Kamren had never married, had no children, and never planned to have either. The two had quickly discovered their shared passions for endurance hiking and protecting the environment, spending days together in the wilds of the Appalachian Mountains, her kids packed off to her parents or off to boarding school.
With her kids grown and now living in Florida, the couple had more time to pursue their common interests. Earth Now was a growing organization and Kamren found himself more at the forefront these days, wearing the suit. The couple had started Earth Now ten years earlier, along with a few friends, and the ranks quickly swelled to over 5000 members, mostly in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. They worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for endangered species and the vital importance of wetlands and woodlands. They picked up the slogan, Think Global, Act Local, and carried it into small towns and villages all around the tri-state area.
The judge who would be hearing the preliminary motions they’d come to file, would listen to both sides of a dispute over water pollution in the upper creeks and streams that flowed into rivers, and eventually reached Chesapeake Bay. It was common sense legislation and both sides of the aisle were behind it.
The matter was quite simple, as far as Kamren and Sandra were concerned. All that was needed to stem half the pollutants flowing into the bay was for livestock to be kept out of the upstream creeks and rivers.
During hot summer months, roaming livestock sought out the cool water and often worked their way along the banks, eating the abundant grasses that grew down to the shoreline. The animals defecated in the water and their waste had been proven to be one of the largest contributors of pollution in Chesapeake Bay. All that was needed to reduce this pollution was for fences to be installed to keep the cattle out of the water. Some farmers adopted the new policy as a matter of course, but others couldn’t be bothered. Those farmers were the reason Kamren and Sandra came to Staunton.
Within five years of implementing the new policy, Earth Now’s scientists predicted there would be a noticeable change in the amount of dissolved pollutants in Chesapeake Bay, and they projected that within twenty to thirty years, fish populations would return to pre-industrial numbers.
Kamren held the door for Sandra and together they entered the courthouse, armed with words and scientific data.

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