Richard Lloyd Spanier   Story Teller


Rick lives in Tucson, Arizona and writes fiction. His work has won awards from the Philadelphia Writers' Conference and the Society of Southwestern Authors. 

Descending Gods, a collection of stories was published in December, 2013.

Works in progress include Empty Chairs a collection of stories based in his idiosyncratic thoughts on the lessons of history and Cold Call, a novel derived from his experiences as a salesman confronted by "the longing for love and the struggle for the legal tender." Both Empty Chairs and Cold call are scheduled for publication in 2014.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended the University of Wisconsin studying with Isaac Bashevis Singer for a semester. At Temple University he studied Philosophy of Education publishing in the Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior and Focus on Education. He and wife Wendy moved from Philadelphia to Tucson in 1993. They have been together since the earth cooled.

Excerpts: Descending Gods

In the Days Before Rock and Roll

Over the years, Errol had learned to face the fact that he was consigned to the shallow end of the far left side of the bell shaped curve of musicianship. He would drum his knees only to recognize he was hopelessly off beat, whistle pitifully along with favorite songs aghast at the sounds coming from between his lips. A sea otter had a better chance of playing a tune on clam shells held on its belly than Errol had of playing a tin whistle in time to Auld Lang Syne.

Descending Gods

A flaming red meteor streaks across the night sky. Did the meteor make a sizzling sound? Was that his imagination? The waves breaking on the beach in front of him are moving too slowly, appearing more like thick roiling milk than breaking sea water. High above the moon, he watches Venus grow larger and larger, impossibly bright, golden.. Now Venus is larger than the full moon and has a face. But the face is upside down. Stein twists his neck, trying to see it properly. Not good enough. He turns his back to the enormous face, bends over and looks up into the night sky from between his knees. This is better. The face familiar. It looks like Xavier Cugat wearing an Indian headdress.


What Errol hopes will be the final cutting of the year begins with a long series of coaxings and swearings. Manic muttered mantras projected heavenward accompany his stubborn attempts to waken the emphysemic diesel tractor and move it out from its stall in the equipment barn onto the gravel drive. “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, do it, do it, do it, start you bastard, c’mon, c’mon, do it, do it, you son of a bitch, c’mon, c’mon…” The engine finally catches and struggles to remain alive with rude coughs and violent farts, filling the air with clouds of stinking white exhaust.

Javelina Stew

Bud’s homebrew is cold and rich with the wash of hops and malts men have fashioned throughout time, the pot is bubbling and we have the hunger of men in the open. Men beside a fire, senses open to the world around them, at peace with their world yet alert to the potential of danger all about. And I, pondering the meaning of meaning, the nature of human nature, eternal puzzles, dip my spoon into the bowl Bud has handed me. I bring the rich mixture of meat and rice and beans and spices and vegetables and whatever else Bud has thrown into the mix to my lips.