Monthly Archives: May 2012

Progress report on upcoming book

Greetings, readers. On this Thursday afternoon, the 24th of May 2012, I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out if I have missed steps in my book process. The whole writing experience has seemed to go much faster and much more smoothly. This is not necessarily a bad thing, unless I have forgotten a step.

I estimate the release of my second book, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories in thirty to forty-five days. I am holding slight hope that the release of the second book will rekindle enthusiasm for book number one. Both Rebecca and I are extremely excited and proud that we have accomplished this task in approximately nine months; a shorter time than the first book.

As for my summer plans, Rebecca and I shall work on a personal writing project not related to camp. My big news, however, is that starting in late August or early September, the third and final Bear Spring Camps book shall begin. It is tentatively titled, A Captain’s Remembrances: The Last of My Bear Spring Camps Stories. My buddy David Trost says I have a million camp anecdotes, but if I’m truly going to succeed as an author, I have to branch out and find a wider audience. Though writing about my camp experiences has been enjoyable, they are not going to make the New York Times bestsellers list. Perhaps some kind of mystery or romance novel is next for me. Time will tell.

I’m not certain if I will post a new blog entry tomorrow or not, so if I don’t get around to it, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Quick post today : )

Greetings, readers. Due to circumstances beyond my control, today’s entry is simply to let you all know that the first big blog of the week shall be tomorrow. My schedule got all bunched up. Tomorrow I’ll have the time to make a proper entry. Until then, take care and have a great day. : )

My top 10 favorite bad cars

Greetings, readers. This is my second attempt today to post this list. Thank goodness Rebecca is here. This is a list of cars that, even though critics didn’t like them, I thought were kind of cool. Let me know if you agree on all, some, or none of them. Here we go.

#10. The Yugo. [A miniature Volkswagen Rabbit. The quality however was just not there.]

# 9. The Ford Pinto. [Don’t get rear-ended! Oh …, they fixed that problem. It didn’t help sales.]

# 8. The Chevy Nova. [Doesn’t nova mean no-go in Spanish?]

# 7. The Chevy Vega. [Cute design, but I’ve been told by a number of people that they rusted out quickly. Not good.]

# 6. The AMC Pacer. [Round design in the back of the hatch for easier backing up and parking. I don’t recall that the Pacer was around all that long.]

# 5. The Chrysler and Dodge K Cars. [They helped put America back in the industry race back in the ’80s.]

# 4. The Volkswagen Beetle, Original Style. [From the ’40s through the ’70s that little lawn-mower-sounding vehicle was great though it had one flaw. No radiator. It was an air-cooled engine and boy did it just love to burn oil.]

# 3. The AMC Gremlin. [The name says it all.]

# 2. The Smart Car. [Smart look, but too small for me.]

# 1. The Ford Maverick. [Though nothing special about this car was ever mentioned, I always thought it had a cute design. That’s why it made number one on the list.]

Well, there you go. Let the debating begin. Happy reading, have a good weekend, and more blogs next week.

Writing update 5/16/12

Greeting, readers. Hallelujah. Camp book 2 is nearly completed. We finished with the imputing of the book in’s formatted blank. To my minor surprise, camp book 2 will be just about the same number of pages as camp book 1. I was hoping for a slightly longer second book. For those of you who are wondering if there will be a camp book 3, that will largely depend on my buddy Dave Trost, who has agreed to sit down with me this camp season and flesh out some story ideas. We shall reminisce, maybe take some notes, and see if a third book is possible.

As far as camp book 2 goes, some read-throughs now have to take place to make certain that when the proofs are in our hands, they look the way we want them to, before I click, “yes, make it for sale” on the website. Though I waited a whole year for camp book 1 to be available on Amazon Kindle, I’m not going to wait nearly as long for this book. Probably only a couple of months, if that.

With my new non-camp book writing project in its infant stages, I am happy to tell you all that I got inspired after reconnecting with a friend of mine late last week. The next time I communicate with her, I’m going to see if she will allow me to loosely base a character on her. With no real names being used, I probably don’t need permission anyway, but I don’t want to betray the friendship so I will talk it over with her. As I’ve been told by a number of people not to give away new project ideas, I plan on keeping this idea under wraps for now, but if all goes well, it will truly have promise.

Lastly, since Rebecca and I are now working fewer hours per week, I shall soon invest in a program that will allow me to talk into my computer so that all we will have to do is edit. I figure the more typing I can get done the more time we will have for smoothing and polishing. My online research for said product will begin this weekend. Until Friday, good day and happy reading.

: ) Reconnecting with friends : )

Greetings, readers. Last evening I had an opportunity to reconnect with a good friend of mine from years gone by. Although our chat was only about ten minutes in length, I savored every second. I’m fairly certain that she did too.

In my lifetime, I have reconnected with friends on a number of occasions; Rebecca, my writing assistant, for example. I’ve known Rebecca since high school. When I was married in the mid-2000s, contacting other women was taboo. So that, along with other reasons, put Rebecca and my friendship on the shelf. I should never have let that happen.

About a year or so ago, I ran into a friend of mine at our local Denny’s who recognized me immediately. I, of course, knew her. I’m going to keep names out of this blog entry, but if she sees my Facebook update and reads this, she’ll probably know that she is the person to whom I am referring. I told her that back in junior high and high school I was a shy kid. I also told her that now I have the confidence to say that she was a pretty girl and is a beautiful woman.

As far as my best buddy David is concerned, we never really lost touch, but there was a point in our friendship when he went to a prep school out of the area and our childhood everyday meetings came to a screeching halt. I adjusted and it made seeing him again that much more special. I’m certain that this is not the last time that an old friend will find me or I will find them.

Yes, readers, if you have an opportunity to reconnect with a good friend or a past love who you are in good stead with, I urge you to do so. It tends to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Top 10 things that make me a bit nuts

Greetings, readers. Well, the title today should say it all. Here’s my very first top 10 list. {things that get to me… in order from least annoying to most}. You may find some of them funny.

#10 – As a child, when my favorite show was preempted for something I had no interest in.

#9 – When one side of my favorite pair of headphones stopped working.

#8 – When city busses go on summer/reduced service.

#7 – Loud, downtown weekend evenings

#6 – Sore losers

#5 – Traffic jams

#4 – Nasty people

#3 – Mudslinging political ads

#2 – When I drop my cell phone in the water. {Once a toilet! Grr.}

#1 – When I can’t find a human being to talk to on customer service lines

The importance of music in my life

Greetings, readers. Yesterday, on three hours sleep, I tried to get as much editing done on the project as I could. As it turned out, I had to turn it over to Rebecca and basically pass out. That actually worked well, she said, for Rebecca was quickly scanning through the draft from top to bottom to find numbers, such as times of day, in digits or spelled out, so we could make everything consistent in the book. All times in digits, numbers under a hundred spelled out. Mostly a one person job.

Now on to today’s topic. There is an on-line service which I subscribe to through my PS3, called Music Unlimited. Here, you can search for songs or artists, and boy, have I found some “blasts from my past.” Music has always been a humongous part of my life. As a child, with my parents, traveling in Europe, I remember my old black cassette recorder and playing a tape of German folk songs, one of which was called, “Mein Gott, Walther.” It was recorded live in what sounded like a coffee house or small bar. Just a handful of people. Though I know little German, to me it was still funny because everyone else was laughing hysterically.

Around the age of ten or so, which would make it 1975, I did like the Jackson 5. I owned at least six or seven of their albums. Now I was, and still am, the kind of person who will select an album or a tape and play it for a week or two and then switch. Jackson 5 songs such as “Goin’ Back to Indiana,” “Dancing Machine,” and “Skywriter” were big favorites of mine. I was ten, my voice hadn’t cracked yet, and I could hit the notes.

Also that year my friend and next door neighbor hooked me on a group called KISS. Alive! and Hotter Than Hell were two of my early favorite albums from the band.

Although most songs that I have equated to different times in my life have been pleasant, some songs such as “Forever,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” were girlfriend songs. Usually when one breaks up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, not only does the song lose its special meaning, but also may be emotionally difficult to listen to. As the years pass, however, wounds heal and there really are only a handful of songs which I cannot listen to. I would say perhaps five total.

Thanks to Music Unlimited, I have found such American classics as the Kiki Dee Band’s “I’ve Got the Music in Me,” “Yell Help” from Elton John, and some classical favorites such as Mozart’s “Symphony No. 29,” and “Symphony No. 33.”

Christmas music is especially important to me. When I would go to Christmas Eve service with Mom and Dad as a child, I would always delight in singing “Joy to the World,” “The First Noel,” “Hark! The Harold Angels Sing,” and “Silent Night.” When the Christmas service was almost over the very last hymn was “Silent Night, Holy Night.” One of my most cherished childhood memories was of the lights dimming in the church, everyone taking their candles and lighting them and singing that beautiful song. I was always afraid that I was going to drip wax on myself, scream, drop the candle, and set the church on fire. Luckily that never happened. When the song was over and the lights would come up again, it would be midnight and Christmas morning.

Yes, music has played a big part in my life. From associating Bach and Mozart to my father, early KISS to my early childhood, or music on the jukebox list on my favorite PlayStation game, I’m always eager to make a connection to tunes.

Warmth is here! : )

Greetings, readers. Yes, late spring has finally arrived here in State College, PA. The last two days, those of us who enjoy warm weather have been treated to mid-70s temperatures with moderate humidity – not low by any means, but not stifling either. I have been waiting for this weather for several months. As much as I like snow for Christmas, I live for spring and summer.

Now on to news. My first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, went on sale on Kindle yesterday afternoon. I’m trying yet another way to generate some sales and get the book in more readers’ hands. After this blog post entry is finished, I shall begin editing the final story left to be worked on for book 2, Tales From North Bay and Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories. I am most pleased with the progress that Rebecca and I have made over the last two months. This project is way ahead of schedule. : )

I saw on the Yahoo! sports page today that the great Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera, suffered an injury that could end his career – torn right knee ACL. He is one of my favorite Yankees, and I do hope that he can at least attempt a come back next year.

Now, readers, for any of you who play or know anything about MLB 12 The Show, what is the cloud? One of the options on one of the menus reads that I can save something to the cloud. I’m still trying to determine what that is. Any ideas would be appreciated.

On to news about Keekee. She is learning more English words. The other day I was talking on my phone and just happened to mention the words, chicken and giblets. Keekee, when she heard me say the name of her din-din, dashed from her bed and proceeded to the kitchen. That is where her food bowl is. OMG. This cat is learning more words by the day. Such a nice companion to come home to and take care of. She also knows when I am low and does her best to cheer me up by cuddling close, purring, and acting cute.

Finally, as of 3:00 this afternoon, Rebecca and I will have finished our first week of reduced hours. So far so good. I made a schedule to keep to and that seems to be working very well. I shall keep you updated as to when camp book 2 gets to the next stage. I wish you all a great weekend and happy reading.

Another night of insomnia

Greetings, readers. It seems to me that every early Wednesday morning is my insomnia night. I have a theory for this. I meet a buddy of mine at our local Denny’s here in State College and pig out on ice cream and coffee from 7:30 until 9pm. Even though I’m extremely careful to switch to decaf after only one cup of regular coffee, I’m still hyped up from the evening. If I’m going to have a night of insomnia, it will be the Tuesday night until Wednesday.

From now on I think I shall choose something else to eat and forgo even that one cup of regular coffee. With my self-imposed book deadline drawing nearer, I can’t be up until 7 in the morning, and expect to function later that day. I’ve also pondered this theory – that I psych myself out. I say to myself oh dear it’s Tuesday. I’ve had too much sugar and caffeine. Now I won’t sleep. And as some of you will attest to, first you say it, then you do it.

On to something work related. Rebecca and I are beginning our reduced hours schedule this week. I actually used part of the time I was up this morning to type out a work schedule. It seems to be going pretty well. Today after blog entry will be the first draft of the new book’s dedication page and acknowledgements page. While we are on the subjects of my books, my first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Springs Camps Stories, will be available in Kindle format in 12 to 24 hours. I’m not certain how many of you read on the Kindle, but if you’d like to read my first book, this is the newest way it is available. When my second book comes out around July, I imagine we shall have it go not only to printed form but to Kindle form as well from the start.

Lastly, I have been studying the official web pages of Mitt Romney and President Obama, and I have not forgotten about doing a blog entry on them. Just like the tribute to my father on this blog which took me a while to compose, this one needs more time. That blog entry will be posted soon. My writing assistant, Rebecca, brought up a good point that not only should I have good facts, but it should also include my point of view. So stay turned, happy reading, and have a great week. Next blog post on Friday : )