In 1974, a lady I had never met and would never meet again advised me, in a chance encounter in New Orleans, to try my hand at writing. Her advice came to mind again and again over the next quarter-century. In 2002, I started writing short fiction and nonfiction pieces in my spare time. I joined the South Carolina Writers Workshop in 2003 and have been an active member ever since. I served as the chairman of the Aiken, South Carolina, chapter in 2007-2009 and was a member of the state board of directors in 2010-2011. In 2013, I received an Honorable Mention for Novel First Chapter in SCWW's Carrie McCray Literary Awards. This excerpt, titled "Parthian Shot," introduces my novel-in-progress The Vials of Wrath.