Monthly Archives: April 2012

Writing plans for the near future

Greetings, readers. Gold star day today. I picked up my first check at Appalachian Outdoors here in State College for the sale of my book. Copies of my first book are on sale there and also at a local bookstore, Webster’s Bookstore Cafe.

I am doing some research for not only my next writing project but also for my upcoming blog entry tentatively titled “Obama vs. Romney.” Not only do I want to have an accurate, informative blog entry, but I wish to study these two men, so that come November I can make an informed choice. If this blog entry does not appear by the end of the week, I shall make every effort to get it up as soon as possible.

Yesterday I was down and out, for it was root canal day. I must admit my dentist did all he could to make it as painless as possible. For people in State College, Pennsylvania, I would highly recommend Dr. Jeff Senior. He and his staff are excellent. I actually felt well enough yesterday afternoon to get some much-needed editing done.

Today, writing assistant Rebecca and I will be working on the new book’s back cover information. Such as the author biography blurb and the book description. If there is any time left after that, I shall want to use it to work on the final two stories which were added into the book at the last minute. I’m happy to say that Tales from North Bay and Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, shall be slightly longer than its predecessor. That was my intent for this book all along. I told myself long ago that each book that I would write would be longer than the previous ones. I’m not saying that I want to write a book as long as War and Peace, but I would like to one day author a work in the 200-250 page range.

Mostly clear and cool here in State College. What’s it like where you are? I guess just look out the window. Haha. I shall keep you up to date on any pertinent goings on for the weekend in tomorrow’s blog. Until then, happy reading and take care.

Back to work we go on a Wednesday

Greetings, readers. Today, the 25th of April, is a cool day here in Central Pennsylvania, though sunny. The local elections were held yesterday. As I understand it, turnout was extremely light. As promised, though later in the week, I’m going to write my first blog entry dealing with politics. This will be where you will see just how little I know on the subject. Haha.

I must use all of my powers of concentrations to keep focused today since the old insomnia bug bit me again last night. Oddly enough, and here’s a chuckle, this came only hours after I gave my dear Godmother advice on how to get to sleep. I didn’t work for me.

Here comes kitty cat Keekee to see me, looking cute and adorable as always. The only problem I have with her right now, is that she is going through her spring shedding. Around my apartment I can collect enough hair to make a clone of her. As most of my regular readers know, I have one picture of Keekee up with more to come. Sometime in the near future, I want to put my picture in the banner where the books are now, but I have to figure out how to make the photo not look stretched.

As for the rest of this week, writing assistant, Rebecca, and I are getting down to the nitty-gritty. It’s the last full week of work before reduced hours kick in. Starting next week and beyond, we’ll only be working 9 hours a week instead of 20. We shall have to learn to cram more work related things in a shorter amount of time. I already have some ideas on how to accomplish this.

I think what I shall do instead of straight dictation is either to write out or type a rough draft of whatever I’m working on and have Rebecca edit it when she is at the office.

In approximately 20 minutes, when this blog is edited and posted, we shall continue editing what Rebecca calls the A-Z file of my latest book. This means a complete read through and edit with the stories pretty much in the order that they will appear in the book. Thinking about my new project has made me a bit nostalgic. I hate when that happens because I spend too much darn money. I go to E-Bay and try to find the things that I used to have.

Until Friday, when my political piece will be posted, take care and have a good week.

Saturday weekly update – 4/21/12

Greetings, readers. Today, Saturday April 21, 2012, my writing assistant, Rebecca, and I are hard at work editing the final few stories of my second Bear Spring Camps book. I am extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made over the last month. Very soon, Rebecca and I will be decreasing the number of hours a week we work and I suppose I’m trying to get as much done as possible before that time arrives.

On to some other topics of interest. Today is the annual Penn State University Blue/White football game. ‘Tis the end of spring practice. Our new head coach Bill O’Brien hopes to have his team ready to contend when the real season begins in late August. But the annual scrimmage is, for some players, their last chance to prove that they belong on the team. {From Rebecca: I always thought that the game was also to find out which players should play which positions.} I have noticed a great increase in traffic today, as well as numerous blue and white flags on cars traveling to Beaver Stadium.

Also some exciting news. Webster’s Bookstore Cafe is now open again. Welcome back Elaine Meder-Wilgus. Whoo-hoot! Rebecca and I stopped into to see her and we inquired as to whether she would like to carry my first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories. She happily agreed : ) She has copies of my book on consignment, that are either for sale now or will be soon.

Lastly, I visited my Godmother last night for supper and all in all things went well. However, achoo-achoo! My allergies drove me nuts. Can anyone suggest anything better than over-the-counter allergy meds? They just don’t seem to be working for me this spring. We had steaks for supper with mushrooms and onions, spinach souffle, and baby red potatoes. In one word: yummy. Unfortunately I did have to cut my visit short due to the old nose.

For next week’s blog posts, I shall give my point of view on what is now quickly appearing to be Obama vs. Romney. I don’t think and Republican can catch Mitt at this point. As my regular readers know, I tend not to talk about controversal topics such religion and politics. But next week I shall give it a go. I wish all of my readers a pleasant weekend and look for me on Wednesday.

R.I.P. to the Great Dick Clark

Greetings, readers. I heard from my dear Godmother yesterday, and saw that it was confirmed in our local paper today, that one of my favorite TV celebrities has passed away. The remarkable Dick Clark. From American Bandstand to the $25.000 Pyramid to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Mr. Clark graced TV sets for well over 40 years.

One of my favorite childhood memories was New Year’s Eve, when my parents and I would watch Dick Clark count down the final seconds until the ball dropped in Times Square to ring in the new year. I was able to have a sip of champagne as we made resolutions for the bright shiny new year. Later, on the re-runs of the $25,000 Pyramid, I remember shouting answers to the contestants, jumping up and down when they would win. Yes, I did tend to get a little excited. I am not certain the years that American Bandstand ran, but I do have vague memories of watching it. Dick Clark would highlight all the up and coming musical talents.

When Dick Clark suffered his stroke a number of years back I thought for certain he would give up. I was wrong. This man apparently told himself, no, as long as I can speak at all, I am going to be part of the New Year’s celebration until the very end. And that is exactly what he did. That is a source of inspiration to me.

For those of you who checked yesterday for a new blog post, it was a crazy day around here. I still hope to have at least one more new one later this week. So until then, take care and happy reading.

R.M.S Titanic 100 years later

Greetings, readers. It’s hard to believe that the great unsinkable Titanic sank 100 years ago tomorrow on her maiden voyage. I’ve always had a special fascination with Titanic. And yes, there’s my morbidity shining through again. Perhaps fascination is the wrong word, so I shall try to explain.

I have seen many films depicting the events dealing with the ship’s final hours. My favorite was called The Titanic, with George C. Scott as Captain Smith. It was a CBS made-for-TV movie shown over two nights. Very well done. But what isn’t well done that George C. Scott stars in?

As far as the particulars of the accident, several things are universal in the storytelling. Point number one was that the Titanic was thrown into reverse. If the ship was simply turned at the first instant of the iceberg’s spotting, the incident never takes place and the Titanic has a long and illustrious 30 year career. Point number two, from my understanding about the way the ship was constructed, if it had hit the iceberg head-on, perhaps only one or two compartments would have flooded and the ship could have limped to New York harbor. That would have been a minor inconvenience, but the Titanic would not have sunk. Point number three, and to me the biggest boo-boo of them all, when the wireless operator took the message that icebergs were spotted in the area, he should have stopped what he was doing and taken that message directly to the captain, and made certain he saw it. If this had been done, Captain Smith slows the Titanic, the ship has extra time to pass the iceberg, and everyone laughs at it as they go by. The Titanic crosses the Atlantic hundreds of times. I think you now get my point.

Yes, I’ve pondered all the ins and outs of the Titanic tragedy, all the things that could have happened but didn’t, should have happened but didn’t, oh, if only I had a time machine. For the survivors, they were truly blessed to be at the right place at the right time, and I suppose at the right age. Remember women and children were allowed to board lifeboats first.

Having seen most of the Titanic documentaries, where underwater submersibles dive down to the depths to find Titanic and come across eerie shadows of the great ship that was, it is humbling to see the mighty ship, a twisted wreck on the bottom of the Atlantic. Now filled with barnacles and bacteria growing out of every open port-hole, the remains of the great vessel is 10 to 20 years away from collapsing in on itself due to her steel being weakened.

Over the years, much memorabilia has been retrieved from the site. I’m going out on a limb here to say that I think that is wrong. I know I will probably peeve off some Titanic buffs, but remember we are talking about a gravesite here. I’ve now said my piece.

With Friday the 13th and the morning the Titanic went down soon behind us, my blog entries will go back to normal for a while. They will consist of me writing about my kitty cat, my books, the goings-on in State College, but don’t worry, when there is something which makes the news or something I’m reminded of, that ignites my passion and fury, you will all know about it. Until soon.

Oh yes, it’s Friday the 13th!….. + one day : )

Greetings, readers. Happy Friday to you. I am not certain just how many of you believe in the Friday the 13th bad luck thing, but I know that this morning one of the first things I did was stub my bare toe. Moments later I looked at the calendar and said, “Oh, yes, that’s why it happened.” Of course, that’s not why it happened, I just wasn’t watching where I was going.

Now on to some news of the day. Here in State College, Pennsylvania, it is a gorgeous but cool day. Shortly, I will begin editing Camp Book 2, fresh off the good news that I had a local sale from Appalachian Outdoors here in town. Receiving that news made yesterday a gold star day.

I was so pleased to be able to tell my Godmother the news of the book sale because I knew it would cheer her up. I found her to be in good spirits.

Kitty cat Keekee is sitting on the arm of my chair, taking a cat nap and looking cute as always. Quite recently, she has learned a new word. Not only does she completely understand the word treat, but she jumps down with excitement when the dinner is mentioned.

As far as the Friday the 13th thing goes, I’ve never been too superstitious. But I can just imagine that all of the Friday the 13th movies have been rented at Netflix,, and places of the like. Were those good films? The first two perhaps, but how many times can you keep killing Jason? Time to invent another boogeyman.

Speaking of time to invent, I am now off for an editing session and also to create the final new story for Camp Book 2. As far as my new personal project goes, that’s not been put under wraps or killed by any means. It’s just in the hanger and any moment I could step into the cockpit, taxi down the runway and take off with it. Until soon, have a great day

This entry is a day late due to tech probs. Sorry about that.

Here is another excerpt from my first book

Greetings, readers. As I did once before, here is a second story for you all to enjoy from my first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories. As mentioned, Bear Spring Camps book 2 is well on the way. And since it’s going to be an easy day here at the office, I thought it might be fun to give you all another small taste of the first book. This is from a chapter I titled “A Basketful of Stories.” One of the smaller ones which wasn’t quite long enough to be its own chapter.

The above title is linked up to the book’s order page on If you are interested, I have a sale going on until the end of May. Two dollars off the $9.99 list price. Hope you all enjoy and a new blog entry will be posted Friday or Saturday. Until then, take care and happy reading.

            Falling Asleep at the Pole – Another humorous story was about the time that I very nearly lost my fishing pole due to my unplanned late morning nap. As in the previous vignette, the weather was quite warm and without a breeze, and the fish weren’t biting, setting the right conditions for me to nod off to sleep. Dave and I were sitting at the stern of the boat in our usual spots, Dave in the left hand seat and me in the right. As time went by without action, I felt myself becoming drowsy, and decided to put my pole in a side compartment next to my seat. I nodded off. I can’t say for certain rather I was completely asleep or not but I was close enough. At a certain point, I was quickly awakened by Dave’s words, which I shall always remember. “Joseph, I highly suggest you pull back on your rod, now!”

            Grabbing my pole with my right hand, still half asleep, I pulled back and by some miracle did manage to set the hook. So here I was trying to fight a fish while fending off the sandman. Dave netted the fish, as he always did. I thanked him for the assist, for had he not spoken when he did, the fish would not only have taken my bait, but my rod and reel as well. From that moment on I vowed never to fall asleep in the boat again.


Ouch, I hurt

Greetings readers. I have had a rough few days. Apparently from what the ER doctor told me, I have a few kidney stones. Though I’m feeling a little bit better today, the past 72 hours overall have not been fun. Most of the time it felt like there was a knife in my right side at my waistline.

I was at gaming night on Monday and it finally got to the point where I had to tell my friends, sorry but I need to go to the ER and get this checked out. Oh, what an experience that was. I saw a variety of people with problems ranging from a broken wrist, a terrible cold and some young college student who literally threw up on the floor several times. Eek.

Sometimes I wonder, when people have a mild health issue, if they don’t get sicker when they visit the ER, but I rolled the dice and took my chances. So far so good. After my ultrasound and CT scan, I was given some pain medicine, nausea medication, and an antibiotic. The antibiotic is one step away from a horse pill. Not fun to swallow.

As I recover, I am not certain just how many blog entries Rebecca and I shall produce this week, but we shall try for one more. Next time, I shall get you updated on how the book projects are coming. So until then, take care and happy reading.

Update about Bear Spring Camps book 2 and weekend plans

Greetings readers. To start off with, I’d like to thank all the people who clicked over to my site yesterday. 41 views! Second highest all time. Today will be a little hodgepodge of work related stuff and some personal notes.

First off, Bear Spring Camps book number two, tentatively titled Tales from North Bay and Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, is a good couple of months ahead of schedule. At first I wasn’t going to rush this book and I set September of this year as the month of release. However, such wonderful progress has been made recently that I am ahead of schedule. This is mainly thanks to Rebecca, my writing assistant. Now I can definitely see a July release date as a distinct possibility.

On Sunday, I’ll be going to my Godmother’s house for Easter Sunday dinner. I am certainly looking forward to that, as is she. We talk often and I visit as often as I can, usually Wednesdays and Sundays. For those of you who celebrate Easter, have a happy one. For those who don’t, good weekend wishes.

My late weekend plans will include doing some note taking for my new personal project, as well as getting ready for Monday’s Dungeons and Dragons gaming night. I have been a D&D gamer now for about a year and I enjoy it very much. I’m not as good at it as I could be, but I’m learning. I shall also try my hand at a game of MLB 12 The Show baseball on my PS3. Perhaps I might even win.

Here’s another random thought. I have a small picture of my family standing in front of our old Lincoln with our house in the background. I am planning to take that photo to a local drug store and get it blown up. From there, one day soon, I will take it to the local frame shop, so that it can be hung on my wall for easier viewing, instead of the small picture which now sits on my credenza.

Keekee’s picture, which I put up the other day, did work and looked fabulous. One of these days quite soon, I’m going to take a picture that I have of myself and include it in a blog entry. Possibly if I can figure out the sizing of it, my picture might be at the top of my blog instead of the row of books that are there now.

In just a few moments, my editor and I are going to attempt to save three stories that are remaining in the camp book 2’s to-do folder and whip them into shape. These are the three that have been giving us the most trouble, but I am not expecting too many problems. If we can get through today’s computer dilemmas, we should be just fine. Have a great weekend. Hope it is sunny and warmer were you are. Here it is sunny and cooler. Take care.

Spring cleaning has begun

Greetings, readers. As mentioned several weeks ago, the task of spring cleaning was soon to be at hand. Well, that hand has grabbed me and said it’s time. So today, I got out my lightweight shirts and pajamas and have begun the first of many loads of laundry.

Here’s a little information about me on a personal level. I’m a bachelor and live in an apartment that has two small rooms. If I have mentioned this before, please bear with me for it bears repeating. My family owned a big house and with parents gone and house sold, naturally I wanted to keep as many belongings as I could. Well, I kept too much. Now, things have to be sorted through and either gotten rid of, donated to my apartment building’s community room swap table, or have a new home in my apartment found for them.

Also, kitty cat Keekee is shedding tremendously, as her spring coat comes in. This means that extra vacuuming and dusting has to be done. Somehow there is hair where I don’t think hair should be, such as on my jackets, which are hanging on my coat tree by the window. Readers, does anybody have a suggestion for me how to efficiently get cat hair off things? I have tried products such as sticky-tape lint rollers, which are full in three seconds; non-sticky lint brushes, which don’t do a thing; and rolled up tape, which just seems to pull at the fabric. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

On the subject of Keekee, my friend Rebecca and I have finally figuree out how to get pictures from my cell phone camera to my computer. So, cross your fingers. Here she is:

Lastly, YAY, it’s baseball season! Even though I was unable to watch the first game of the year yesterday, I did see in today’s paper that the newly named Miami Marlins lost their first game in their brand new stadium. If Marlins Park looks anything like it is portrayed on MLB 12 The Show, OMG.

I hope to have one more new blog post before the end of our work week. So until soon, enjoy and take care. Keekee says hi.