Tag Archives: bear spring camps

Eight copies of the new book ordered for trip to camp

Greetings, readers. I know that eight copies of Four’s a Crowd doesn’t sound like many, but this novel is about 300 pages long and I can’t load the trunk of the car down with boxes and boxes of books. I’m going to solve that problem by bringing plenty of business cards as a backup. The cards arrived this morning and are perfect. I’ve not made up my mind yet whether I’m going to charge my Bear Spring Camps family the full price of $14.99 or the discount price of $10.00. I am leaning towards the discount price, but I will have to clear that with the co-author Darren Taylor.

I little something about Amazon.com. As it stands now, the book is three selections down from the top of the page. None of us knew that Four’s a Crowd was the title of an old film. That is first on the list. Scroll down until you see a yellow book with a toppled wedding cake. That’s our book. I am confused by a list of booksellers on the side of the page saying they are selling copies of the book, new and used, for many different prices. I happen to know that we have sold only one copy through Amazon, to someone we know, so they do not really have any printed copies to sell. Upon ordering, a copy will be made just for the buyer, from CreateSpace, so there is no warehouse with a lot of copies gathering dust. There is no hard copy version, since the print-on-demand version for this book only comes in soft cover. The list price is $14.99, so if you see any other price listed right now, it didn’t come from us.

The idea to make business cards just for this project was one of our better ideas. They look ultra professional and have all the information you need, including a short book blurb on the back. The blurb reads: “This is the story of an elderly couple who moves in with their son and his wife. When Alice begins to have health issues, it makes life difficult for the Detmore family. Join them in their journey through this period of trial and tribulation.”

I cannot believe that it is almost camp time once again. I’ll leave in only a couple of weeks. Good God, as Norman Thayer would say. I am going to have to update my list of things to take … which luckily I found on the computer … and check off all my items. Mom’s binoculars are going, as is the Yahtzee game, a copy of the novel for me to read, and most importantly, the computer. If I have any good ideas for writing projects, I can work on those in the evenings.

Speaking of writing, as soon as the blog is published, Rebecca and I are going to work on a list of ideas for a TV pilot script that I am thinking about writing. I’ve been watching shows On Demand lately and finding all kinds of good things. Then I get depressed, thinking, gee, why couldn’t I think of that? Maybe I’ll come up with the next blockbuster hit. Maybe I’ll call it the Y-Files. Lol.

Okay, that is what is happening today. Sorry this entry is up a little later than usual, but due to a morning’s doctor appointment our schedule was altered. There will be a new entry up tomorrow, so until then, take care, have a wonderful day, and happy reading.

Advertisements

My summer writing schedule so far

Greetings, readers. Although I have had a number of good ideas for writing projects, getting words on the page are like pulling teeth. I yank and yank and yank, and then say oh, look, there is one sentence. Back in my 30s, before all my petit mal seizures, my creativity was much better. Ideas just flowed. I’m not certain if I really do have brain damage because of the seizures, but I feel as though I do. My medications work fine for what they are meant for but they may dampen my creative process as well.

The other day I started the sequel to Four’s a Crowd and got about a page down on the computer. I don’t know if it was because I was using the speech recognition program, or the outside noise at the time, or if something else was in the way, but words would not come easily, even with these characters that I know so well. I must admit that depressed me for the rest of the day. Kimberly, Lyle, and the rest of the Four’s a Crowd clan should have inspired me, not dragged me into the mud. Thank goodness for therapy every three weeks.

Rebecca usually tells me to just keep plugging away at it, flex those writing muscles and eventually it will come. I hope she is correct. I have my entire day planned out already. We have work hours this morning, a brief stop for lunch and a couple of groceries, and then I am going to try to work with the speech recognition program again. One of the problems might be that it hasn’t quite learned my voice enough for me to dictate a novel effectively.

My friend Dave suggested I try writing a children’s book. He was most impressed with how I, a few years ago, told his young nephews and nieces stories around the camp fire at Bear Spring Camps. Not a bad idea. And I know someone who just might be willing to illustrate it if she has time. I have already started a story, The Secret House, and have posted the first two parts of it here. I hope to write more of it and share it with you in the near future.

I’m being a little mysterious here, because I don’t want to divulge my ideas. It seems like every time I do it is the kiss of death. One time I remember telling my Godmother a story idea and she stomped the flowers out of it until it was dead. I admit that it was after one of her strokes and some of her social filters might have been gone.

I have next to me what I call my inspiration pad. If I have a dream or a day-dream and it really hits me and I have a great idea I am prepared to jot it down long hand. For as I may have mentioned before, my short-term memory is crap.

There is today’s update. Next Wednesday Rebecca and I will be back with another blog entry and I have already chosen the topic. Unless something comes up, I’m going to blog about the legendary former New York Yankee public address announcer, the late Bob Sheppard.

Until then, I hope everyone has a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

As they used to say on Futurama: Good news, good news everyone

Greetings, readers. The novel based on my play, Four’s a Crowd by Darren Taylor, went live for sale on Amazon.com this past Saturday. It took a few days for them to finalize something, I don’t know what it was, but now copies can be purchased by anybody. I ordered two copies for myself, and they were shipped late yesterday afternoon. I’m going to talk to a friend of mine who owns a local bookstore and see if she will take three or four copies on consignment. I think she will. She took copies of my three books, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, and Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, so it stands to reason she will take this book too.

I can’t believe it is late June already and my trip to Bear Spring Camps is a little over a month away. Time is flying. From what I am seeing on people’s Facebook posts, the weather and the fishing have been good. Two big thumbs up for that. I’ve made all my preparations, I’ve booked the hotel rooms and rental car for the trip up and back. The only thing left to do it wash clothes, pack, and find all the electronic gadgets and equipment that I wish to take with me. I am ahead of schedule from last year. I’ll need to get out the old checklist and update it. I’ll also need to find a few things, like my fishing rod which I did not put it back in its usual spot. Not to worry, for as my mom used to say, there is always Wal-Mart, and a half-decent Zebco rod can be purchased for around $20.

I’ll be bunking overnight in Portland Maine this year, in a Motel 6. I’m very excited to be staying by Casco Bay. I tell you, if I ever move away from State College, it would be to Portland, Maine. I would get season tickets to the Portland Sea Dogs and would be that much closer to Bear Spring Camps for summer vacation.

On to a different topic, her royal highness, Princess Josie, the kitten, has been terrorizing my furniture and my legs with her sharp claws. Thank goodness I am taking her for her first check up on July 6th. A good nail clipping is first on the list. I don’t think she will need any shots, but since I took over ownership from someone else, I think I will check with that person to make certain. Josie has been acting like a young kitten recently, being rambunctious and spending quite a while in the penalty box, stretched out and sleeping on her towel. I also give her treats if she goes in by herself. I would love that to happen more often. Ha, ha, ha.

Lastly, I survived the hottest day of the year a few days go, with temperatures near 90 degrees F and high humidity. Although I will take it over freezing to death any day, it was quite a large temperature hike in a 24 hour period. My body did not like it. I dragged that day and went to bed early that evening.

Tomorrow’s blog entry is going to be an update on my writing projects this summer. It is not going as well as I hoped, but I still have some time to get those creative juices flowing. More details tomorrow. So until then, take care, have a great day, and as always, happy reading.

I am a genius – Lol

Greetings, readers. I told Rebecca yesterday that I had completely lost one of my gaming files, and an entire baseball league on Out of the Park Baseball 19 was gone forever. Then I remembered, I still have the link to last year’s version. Could it still be there? What do you know, it was. So I re-imported it. Everything is as it was.

I just love it when I do things like that because usually my gaffes are permanent. For example, if I had taken my time and made a thorough of list of everything I wanted to take from Mom and Dad’s house before it was sold, I would have taken a few more things, such as Grandma’s tea service. Obviously I couldn’t have taken everything, but I did not get everything I wanted. I did take some paintings that mean a lot to me.

This morning I tried to see if I could get my dead PS3 to work, with no such luck. The verdict is in, it is officially dead-dead. The Zipcars are finally back in town and I’m soon going to have to go to the gaming store and check on prices for a refurbished PS4. My only issue with setting it up is getting the log-in page filled in again, to give me access to games and other sites such as Netflix and YouTube. It was on auto-fill with a very old and now unused email account. I remember the email account address because I would see it every time I logged in, but the password … that is another story. Hopefully it is the one I used for other sites at that time.

I finally decided on what writing project I am going to do for the summer. I am going to work on a Charlie’s Angels fanfic film script, based on the original series. I know the characters very well and that will help. I just need to open the flood gates and get the creativity flowing. It is going to be tons of fun. Will it make money? Probably not. But who knows?

We’re down under 70 days before camp and all preparations are made except the rental car. I hope to rectify that tomorrow. I am going down to the office and speak to the gentleman directly. I am even going so far as to make an appointment for a specific time.

Lastly, my heart goes out to all the folks in Hawaii who are having their lives ruined by the volcano that continues to spew lava and ash everywhere. A neighbor of mine told me yesterday a good friend of his watched his lush mansion get totally destroyed in a very short time. I can’t even imagine that kind of devastation. Many prayers and good thoughts to you.

That’s the news for today. Rebecca and I will be back next week on Wednesday with another fun and exciting entry. So until then, enjoy your weekend, take care, and as always happy reading.

A small apology and top ten list of my summer plans

Greetings, readers. Before we begin the top ten list for today, I must apologize for not having the short story ready that I mentioned in yesterday’s entry. I wanted to use my voice recognition program while I sat at the computer with my coffee and breakfast. Wouldn’t you know, my back decided to choose this morning to go out. Back to bed I had to go with all lights off. What a pain in the grass. I’ll definitely try to post the short story either over the weekend or next Wednesday.

Now for the top ten list of things I’m going to do this summer. As I mentioned before, I have been granted the three months off from my fast food job beginning right after the Penn State graduation weekend. These are the things I am going to try very hard to accomplish before the end of August. Here we go.

#10. Take walks and get in better shape. [Even though I am not overweight, I have been having heart problems, and more exercise in the fresh air is always good for everybody. I think I can handle two loops around the block.]

#9. Not watch as much TV or YouTube videos. [When I’m in Maine, I do not have a TV. I’m very limited to my entertainment and I actually like it that way. I think for the summer, I’m going to imagine that I am in a woodland cabin by the lake. I think that will reduce stress and allow me to do a lot of writing.]

#8. Clean out my walk-in hall closet. [I’m going to need some help for this one, but I know where I can get it. This poor walk-in closet is my third, fourth, and fifth room. I’ll leave how much stuff is in it to your imagination. Lots of stuff I have in there I wish to keep, unfortunately not all of it is going to make the cut. I must trim it down by half.]

#7. Take back my bedroom. [Oh, dear readers, I’ve been trying to do this one for years. I take three steps forward, and slide five steps back. Keeping it nice is a never-ending process. With time off from my fast food job though, and with family coming in June, I should have plenty of time and motivation to get it at least company acceptable.]

#6. Eat better. [I found a couple of places within walking distance that serves healthy food. There is a Chinese restaurant close to where I live, and I think that all those vegetables can give me all the vitamins and minerals I am lacking. Also, The Corner Room at the bottom of the hill serves complete dinners. Man cannot live by ice cream and blueberry muffins alone. Lol.]

#5. Write short stories. [As mentioned yesterday, I have several story ideas on all four burners. I just need to turn up the heat and get them cooking. Again, the proper amount of uninterrupted time and relaxed atmosphere should do the trick in providing a writing frame of mind. The voice recognition program will help a lot too.]

#4. Train the new kitty. [This one goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. Tomorrow a new chapter of my life begins as kitty cat Princess Josie comes home. Of course KeeKee will always be remembered and loved, but I need a new support animal, and I think P.J. will fit the bill just fine. Of course, I’ll have to show her where the litter box is and teach her what she can and cannot scratch. Everything I don’t want chewed my first day out of the apartment will have to be put in the bedroom with the door closed.]

#3. Rest my feet and knees. [As I’ve told my co-workers, I’m not trying to be a wimp here, but I think these three months off will do wonders for my feet and knees. I’ll gladly trade-off a sore behind if it means plenty of pages written.]

#2. Get Four’s a Crowd published and selling. [This is a project that has been going on for several years and we are one proof away, I think, from having it ready to click for sale on CreateSpace.com. We have to find a way to publicize it though, I don’t want this new book to falter and drown like my books have.]

#1. Go to Maine. [I am reserved my cabin and am obviously planning to go to Bear Spring Camps again this summer. My week away from central Pennsylvania will recharge my batteries and get me ready for another year. It always seems to do that.]

Well there you have it, the top ten list of things I will do this summer. I’d like to thank everybody for the 21 views of yesterday’s post. Very encouraging. I hope you all continue to enjoy the blog. Until next week, I bid you a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.

My health, what is the worst that can happen? My heart could go splat

Greetings, readers. An incident happened yesterday afternoon which has seriously made me reconsider what is going on in my life right now. I am now making it publicly known that I am having some minor heart issues. At least I hope they are minor. I was sent home early yesterday from my fast food job because my irregular heartbeat would not calm itself. I am glad I am getting it checked tomorrow.

While I am at the doctor’s Thursday afternoon, Rebecca will be putting up the blog from home. I am taking off tomorrow completely to rest before my stress test. Let me explain the current phenomena. The heart goes wrong when I’m stressed, when I’m tired, or quite often after I sit down from an activity. The fluttering sensation lasts about 5 to 15 seconds and then goes away. If anybody can give me information about what this might be, please leave a comment in the comment section or catch me on my Facebook page. Any info would be most helpful.

I know that pessimism is a bad trait but last evening I could not help but think of all the bad things that could go wrong in the coming weeks. What is the doctor going to say? What is the stress test going to show? I’m so paranoid, I’m going to pack an overnight bag in case the doctor sends me right to the hospital. For those of you who want a chuckle, yes, I was a boy scout for one day and remember their motto is always be prepared.

I also began to do an overview of my life last evening, starting from an early age and going right on up through the years. I had a happy childhood, and high school was fine, then things started to go wrong. Because of my disability that no one in my family wanted to address, myself included, I did not graduate from Penn State University. I failed. Later on I got married. That didn’t work either. I failed. My writing career is not that much to speak of, less the blog and a few small completed works. I won’t call that a failure, but I’m not paying the rent with my royalties. I’m sure you can see the pattern here.

I also started to think about my time at Bear Spring Camps. Oh, the joyous childhood memories I have with Mr. Greco, Dave, and everyone who has camped there over the years. I consider them all my family. With this season’s camp week approaching in a few months, last night I asked myself just how many more years do I think I’ll be able to go? As a naïve youngster, I thought I would go until the day I died. Well, this camp season might be it for me. Perhaps not. But I don’t see myself going for another 25 years. Either health or lack of money will prevent that.

Yes, readers, times change, people’s health deteriorates, and the carefree happiness of youth turns into the hard reality of adulthood. I will have some of the test results by the end of tomorrow. With all the information in, I will be able to make a plan about staying at my job or having to give it up to take care of my health issue. I hope not, I actually love my job.

Well, this macabre entry has gone on long enough. I’ll close on a cheerful note. Views of my gaming channel videos have improved slightly. Rebecca told me this morning that I need to add my full name to the tags, as it will make it easier for people to find said videos in a YouTube search of just my name. Thank you very much to Rebecca.

Rebecca will chime in tomorrow and we’ll both be back as usual next Wednesday. Until then, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

I have decided to make gaming videos on YouTube

Greetings, readers. As we approach blog entry 700, I wondered if there was another way or medium I could use to be creative. The answer came to me a few days ago. I’ve watched many videos on YouTube of people playing various video games. Fishing Planet is a big one, as are the two truck simulators. I have most of those games downloaded on Steam and with a new app I got for free, I can now record videos. You can’t see my face, but that’s okay.

I have five videos up so far and have my very first subscriber. My channel, The JMK Gaming Channel, is up and running. I have three videos up of me playing the game Fishing Planet and two of Train Simulator 17. I’m impressed on how remarkably smooth my narration is; I’ve only stuttered a couple of times. Well what do you know, I have another forum on multimedia to show off my talents.

When I play Fishing Planet, I can actually imagine myself in Maine holding that rod. The ambiance of birds, insects, and a slight breeze makes the game incredibly realistic. You’re not in a speed boat, you are just standing on the bank or bridge, depending on your location on the map. I’ve always loved Train Simulator and the Portland, Maine run is my favorite scenario. My favorite game is Out of the Park Baseball 18 … and I’ve already pre-ordered OotP 19. I am in control of the completely fictitious Canadian Baseball League. I am the general manager of the Winnipeg Bluebirds. I raced through season one just to get a little history in the league and this second season so far I played every game. My team was one game away from winning it all last season. This season, with all of our injuries, I doubt we will make the playoffs. Within a week or so, I’ll be starting a series on the gaming channel for Out of the Park Baseball. Viewers will have to excuse me if I am 8/10ths of the way through the season; we will just pick it up from there. And season three will be a blast.

Other games I am going to play on my channel will be Fernbus Simulator with a coach bus driving anywhere in Germany, and Plague Inc. where I literally get to destroy the planet’s population. That one is a kind of a weird game, folks. A few months ago I also bought for cheap a game called House Party. The sole objective is to find the woman who you want to do it with and do it. It has one feature that will have Rebecca either laughing hysterically or rolling her eyes – this game, if you push the right button, you will hear the guy’s zipper unzip and you will see him pleasuring himself. That is when I stopped playing the game. I’m old school and things like that should be kept private. One cool thing about that game, however, is behind the young lady’s house is a big back yard with a fire pit which is very beautiful to look at.

With this blog entry being posted on my Facebook page and my Twitter page, some might say this is an advertisement for my gaming channel. I don’t think so, but I am going to link to the Bear Spring Camps page to let my friends there know that Fishing Planet, a remarkably realistic simulator, will be featured often.

Next Wednesday will be the 700th blog post. That is unbelievable to me. I want to thank everyone who has read us over the years and invite you all to stick around for the next 100.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

R.I.P. to Jean Bennett

Greetings, readers. This is a long overdue R.I.P. to a wonderful lady and fellow Bear Spring Camper, Jean Bennett. She passed away on January 6, 2018. Mrs. Bennett was a sweet lady and loved her entire family very much. There are many nice things I remember about Mrs. Bennett and this piece will be a tribute to her.

Though she was a reserved woman, she always greeted me with a warm smile and hello. She collected donations for the camp’s annual softball game to benefit Pine Tree Camp for mental and physically challenged children, and took pride in doing so. During said game, she was the score keeper. I remember every time the campers would not score during an inning, she would turn the zero into a frowny face. What fond memories the brain can conjure up; I haven’t thought about that score sheet in years.

When it was their turn to host happy hour, Mrs. Bennett was the supreme hostess. She and her husband Mr. Bennett had a nice selection of refreshments, hard and soft, for everyone to enjoy, as well as snacks, cheeses and dips. They had the largest cabin, with what I think is one of the best views of the lake.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are two of a handful of folks that I put in the category of ‘my mom’s crowd’. When I was growing up, just like I had my crowd at camp, she had hers. They are people in their 60s and up. If I continue to go to camp for another decade or so, I hate to say it, but many of my mom’s crowd that I knew as a child may be gone. I’m not saying anything negative about the new folks, but every generation has its own unique feel.

Mrs. Bennett, I miss you. I know you and Mr. Bennett are up there in heaven having a happy hour and keeping a watchful eye on your family. Thank you for your friendship of all these years and much love.

I’m taking tomorrow off as a personal day but next Wednesday’s blog topic will deal with my new fascination on YouTube. I’m currently watching Canadian Football League Grey Cup games from the mid-1970s. Rebecca will put up an entry tomorrow. It is too soon for me to do a post about losing my cat KeeKee, but I plan to do it next Thursday. So until next week, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe’s kitty cat Keekee passed away today

Greetings, readers. Keekee passed away this afternoon at 2:10. Joe will probably post a blog entry about this soon with his feelings and thoughts. I wanted to put up an entry with the news and a few photos of her today. She had cancer, and Joe didn’t want her to be in pain or suffer. She was at the vet’s for two nights and then today they put her to sleep. Joe was with her.

I am feeling sad, of course. I’m used to seeing Keekee every week when I go to work with Joe in his office/apartment. She was usually quiet while we worked, though every once in a while she would want all the attention in the room on her. I haven’t thought about it lately because it has been a long time since she did it, but once in a while she used to just zoom from one end of the room to another and we never knew what set her off. All work would stop for a few minutes until she calmed down again. A lot of times she would curl up on his lap when he dictated the blog entry, and then jump up ready to eat when he asked if she was ready for dinner.

Those of you who are long-term readers of this blog know that Joe goes to Bear Spring Camps in Maine every August and that while he was away for that week and a half, I would take care of Keekee. I made sure her water bowl had enough water, that her dry food was full, that she got half a can of moist food, and kept her company for a few hours. I would post entries about how she was doing and how much she was shedding (she shed so much when Joe was away!) By the end of the first week he was gone, she would want to be pet a lot. It was actually the only time I would pet her so much and for so long in one sitting.

I promised photos and here they are. I will miss Keekee very much.

 

 

 

 

I had to take Keekee to the vet

Greetings, readers. Today’s entry was going to be a R.I.P for Jean Bennett, who passed away recently, and I will write that soon, but something happened yesterday that is filling all my thoughts. I had to take my beloved kitty cat to the vet, for she had a lot of mouth pain. As it turns out she had two bad teeth which had to go … that was the easy fix. She also has a tumor on her tongue. That might not be able to be fixed.

She stayed at the vet’s office overnight and will be examined thoroughly today as well as operated on as necessary. They are also going to do a biopsy on the tumor, and the results won’t be back for five or six days. I’m hoping that one of the vets can simply remove it today. If they leave it in her until next week, which will facilitate a follow up appointment, I’ll have to watch her not eat for seven more days. That will make Joe’s stress meter run high. I just called a moment ago to see how she survived the night. Keekee is an indoor cat, and she is not used to being away from home for more than a few hours at the vet’s office. The nurse says she was hiding behind her little litter box, but other than that she was doing okay. She’ll be put under mid-afternoon and my vet said he will give me a call when the procedure is finished. I’m hoping she’s done today so I can go out and bring her home, because I have shifts at my fast food job the next two days. Keekee takes precedence however, so I may have to call off to pick her up and bring her home.

Last night was very strange, not having Keekee here, as was this morning when she didn’t come running for her breakfast after my alarm went off. I’ve never thought of Keekee as a support animal, but I suppose she is. My family and I have always had pets, and if it is Keekee’s time to go to kitty cat heaven, I will wait until after this coming camp and then look into perhaps getting another feline friend. Just to be clear though, nothing will ever replace Keekee. No other animal will have her exact habits again. There is still a decent chance that everything will turn okay and she will be around for many years to come. I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

To the Bennett family: Mrs. Bennett was a dear friend of mine and at Bear Spring Camps was one of my mom’s crowd, as I like to say. An R.I.P. in her honor will be written next week.

Until next Wednesday, take care, think warmer temperatures, and as always, happy reading.