Tag Archives: blog book

A major writing idea has finally hit me

Greetings, readers. After pondering for many weeks about what personal writing project I will do, I came to a conclusion.  I was looking at an old proof copy of Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, the book with blog entries from my first of being a blogger. I realized one big mistake I made. I was charging people money to read what they could read on my site for free, with very little new content.

Last night the idea hit me: Since I love blogging, and I dare say I am fairly good at it, why not write blog entries exclusively for the new book? Does this mean I will give up writing in this space? Absolutely not. Rebecca and I will continue to blog here on WordPress on Wednesdays and Thursdays. And I/we will also create blog entries for the new book, tentatively titled Greetings, Readers 2 (subtitle to come later.)

This is the first that Rebecca has heard of the idea and I don’t know what she thinks of it. I have been told by a number of people to go with my strengths. We have been blogging for 5 years come December and we now have 550 entries. If I could create between 60 and 80 extra entries, exclusively for the book, that might be the ticket.

On a short side note, I already know what topic I will blog about tomorrow. I’ve been watching very bad B movies on YouTube recently and I will share my experiences about some of them with you tomorrow.

Please, readers, if you wish to leave a comment, suggestion, or a thumbs up or down, about my writing project idea, please do so in the comment section or on Facebook. If there is a topic you want to see me cover, here or in a new book, let me know.

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

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I can’t believe it’s only a month and a half until vacation

Greetings, readers. Yes, the first week of August is quickly approaching. Before I know it, it will be the 4th of July, and that won’t leave me much time to prepare to leave at end of the month. This year I cannot wait; more so than in years past. Lots of plans are going to be made for this summer. Some plans for here in State College, including preparing for a performance in September, while other plans are for camp.

While at camp, my friend Dave and I are going to sit down and have one of our usual evening chats. Usually we just shoot the bull and it’s laughs galore. This time, however, I will have a serious topic for him. During the year, something has happened that I want to get his view on and we always have our best heart to heart talks face to face. The other evenings I am sure will be filled with story time for the kids and campfires. I’m not sure how many years I’ll still be going to Bear Spring Camps, so I am going to make a point to enjoy each second as much as possible. I remember when I returned to camp in 2009 after a hiatus, that I paid extra special attention to how beautiful the trees and lake looked and how soothing the birds and crickets sounded. I plan to have that same appreciation this year just in case it’s my last.

But getting back to this summer. I waited all winter for it, and here we are approaching late June already. As Norman Thayer, Jr. from On Golden Pond would say, “Good God.” Now some of you might correct me that summer hasn’t even officially started yet. For me, once the Indianapolis 500 has taken place, it’s the summer season. I go by my own calendar.

The biggest thing I’m going to do at camp this year will be the taking of detailed notes, because this is the final year that I will let pass without working on a book. Whether that is camp book 3, blog book 2 or other, that remains to be seen. When Rebecca and I begin work again on August 13th, we’re going to cook and book, no pun intended.

Enjoy the pretty weather if you have it, stay safe if you don’t, have a great weekend and happy reading.

It’s a hodgepodge day #2

Greetings, readers. Another work week has begun. It will be a slightly shorter one, because I’ve given Rebecca Valentine’s Day off to spend with her husband, Darren. Speaking of Valentine’s Day – not my favorite holiday – I think I will drown my sorrows in a tall, cold glass of beer from the bar across the street. That is what I did last year.

On to a topic related to my new writing project. The extra time which I have spent at my computer, while looking through my bifocals, has caused extremely tense neck muscles. It’s my body’s way of saying, “Hey, we aren’t used to this. Go back to playing your video games.” I have to fight that temptation. I am finally on a roll and I do not want to let my momentum stop. Although I did not type any new pages in the last couple of days, I did figure out where I’m going to be taking the story next. So, tonight or in the morning, I’ll be ready to go once again.

The weather is still brutally cold here in Central PA, and we are bracing for a winter storm now clobbering the south. It could dump as much as four inches of snow along with freezing rain by the end of tomorrow. Not good. We got that much snow this past Sunday and the roads were treacherous in some places. If ice is coming, the road crews will have to do better. I think I will be getting a few items from the corner store this afternoon and pretty much staying inside tomorrow except for an appointment. That will suit me just fine. I’ve two appointments in the next couple of days, and hopefully the weather will not interfere with either of them, especially my haircut appointment. I am beginning to look like one of the Beatles from the late 60s; too much hair and beard.

As I approach my 300th post, Rebecca and I will soon be discussing the possibility next year of a second blog book. I’ve not decided for certain, but if we do put one out, there will be more added material than I put in the first blog book.

That is all my news for today, so as always, have a good day, stay warm and healthy, take care and happy reading.

I had my first homework assignment since college

Greetings, readers. Yes, it is kind of sad to say that a 48-year-old has homework. But, with this terrible writer’s block and rut I’ve been in, Rebecca and I are doing writing exercises. Hopefully these will prime the pump and get the creative juices going again. The homework assignment is this:

I asked Rebecca to come up with one or two sentences to open a scene. Then I, before next Wednesday, am going to write between three and four pages to finish the scene. Her husband, Darren, came up with a doozy for the idea and we have decided to use it. If any of you want to chime in with your own ideas of where the story could go from the opening, feel free to put it in the comments section. Darren’s opening line is:

When I woke up in that cold, wet alley, I realized two things. One, it had gotten dark. And two, I was bleeding.

I already have a few ideas for where I could take this.

It was actually Rebecca’s idea a number of weeks ago to do writing exercises to get me out of the rut. At first I balked at the idea, figuring that the brilliant new writing idea would come any day now. Well, seeing as it hasn’t, it’s time to figure out a new way to get the brain engaged. I think these writing exercises will definitely do the trick. Yesterday we did a shortened version of what my homework assignment will be and I could already feel myself getting better at finishing the paragraphs and filling in details by the time we were done. I knew it was working when I exclaimed to Rebecca that this was, “… actually fun.”

Actually, to me, writing should be fun, just like reading should be. If writing is a chore or a burden, or you dread doing it, it’s time to either stop, take a time out, or do something to change it up. I think that by the beginning of the new year, after the holiday season and my personal holiday blahs are over, Rebecca will have to keep up with me, rather than the other way around.

Finally, on a book related topic, there still are many blog entries just waiting to be used in a second blog book. The first blog book sold sporadically; maybe number two will be a bigger hit. It is nice to know that we can put something out before August if we really need to. Suffice it to say my writing career is not paying the bills at the current moment. But as the eternal optimist and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, he went after Moby Dick in a row-boat and took the tartar sauce with him.

Until next week, enjoy the nice weather if you have it, have a great weekend, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list will come over the weekend

Greetings, readers. With Rebecca and I on such a hellish roll on proofreading, we have decided not to put the top ten list up today. With our weekday being over at 3pm, we are going to keep on trucking. I will post it Sunday evening or Monday, as Monday is my completely free day. On a slight side note, by then I will be 48 years old. Whoo-hoot.

Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Working with Twitter

Joe and I spent some time today working on new material for the blog book; after that we started working with this blog’s links to social programs. Joe noticed that the last blog entry he did, a short note on why there were almost no blog entries these last two weeks, did not show up on his Facebook page. We went into the blog settings and re-linked it to his Facebook page. If this entry shows up there, we will know it worked. Then we got bold.

Recently, Joe has been dabbling with Twitter. We have been researching it, and it looks good. Twitter can be used for personal fun and also can be a business resource. Maybe, possibly, we can sell a few books from connections on this source. I am excited about the possibility of finding research materials for future projects through Twitter links.

Today, we looked up how to connect Joe’s Twitter feed to this blog. It took a few tries and the help section of WordPress, but we did it. If you scroll down the page, you should see a box on the right hand side with Joe’s latest Tweets and a link to his Twitter account. Good for us!

Please keep in mind, though, that Joe is just getting started with Twitter, and the box might not be full or have new entries in it for a while. He is putting one toe in the pool to check the water out, before he dives in.

If you see any problems with the feed, or anything else on the blog, feel free to let us know.

New project’s coming nicely

Greetings, readers. My creative juices are flowing once again. Thank God. While Rebecca and I are doing our A-Z read through for the blog book project, I have begun working on what is tentatively going to be an independent film script. My first few attempts at screenplays have been less than stellar, but so far I am having a lot of fun.

For several months, I was actually worried that new project ideas weren’t coming as easily or as quickly as I would have liked. But the other day I sat down with a book on mystery writing which has a wonderful section on how to create characters, and before the afternoon was finished I had my female lead all but created.

I’m keeping the screenplay project basically under wraps for now until I get it off the ground. My list of priories writing wise are as such: #1. Getting the blog book put out; #2. New entries for the blog; and #3. My screenplay project. Come September, when the book is out … hopefully on time … the order may change.

On another note, heartfelt prayers go out to the families and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. At some point I will write an entry about this. At present I am too angry. I’ve learned from past experience that if I cool down before writing about something that upsets me, my writing on that topic is better. Also prayers and thoughts go out to the families who lost loved ones in the factory explosion in West, Texas.

Until next week, take care, have a nice weekend, and happy reading.