Tag Archives: camp book

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.


We must be true to who we are

Greetings, readers. I have always been an overly outgoing person. This opens me up to one potential problem. When I am walking down the street, or having my morning coffee at Panera cafe, and say good morning to someone, every once in a while I’ll get a look that just screams, Oh, look at the mentally challenged person. I’ve always been self-conscience of this. When I was in eighth grade, I befriended a person who was mildly mentally challenged, and as where I saw the opportunity to make someone happy, others jumped to the conclusion that I had the same challenges. My junior high social life never recovered.

The way I conduct myself is what I call the Bear Spring Camper way. For those of you not familiar with my books, let me briefly explain what I mean by that. At camp, everybody knows everybody else. Greetings, smiles, hugs, and laughter are commonplace. Plans of the day’s activities are openly shared and fun stories abound. I’ve come to realize it might not be the smartest idea to use that approach with people in my town here in Pennsylvania. Many times I’ve told myself just sit down, drink your coffee and shut up. But before I know it, I’m saying hello to one of the nice folks who works at Panera. The bottom line is I just have to be me, and overly nice guy is who I am.

For those of you who are reading this and wondering if I am about to turn into someone who is unfriendly, the answer is no. One time I had a discussion with a friend of mine about this topic and she said she found it refreshing that I could open myself up to ridicule. She also agreed that people must be who they really are deep down inside. I’m a firm believer that the Lord made me just the way He wanted me to be; outgoing, compassionate, trusting to a fault, and lovable. I will always be in Bear Spring Camper mode and do so proudly.

On a quick side topic, Rebecca and I are back at it this week, now that all doctor’s appointments are behind us, and there will be another blog entry up on Friday. Until then, take care, dodge those rain drops, have a good day, and happy reading.

Mixed feeling day – sad anniversary and exciting book news

Greetings, readers. As the title implies, I have mixed feelings about this day, June 15, 2012. On this date in 2003 I lost my dear mother, Dr. Dorothy Greiner Kockelmans. It was one of the saddest days in my life and changed my life forever. I was what you call a momma’s boy and we were joined at the hip. She was over protective of me because of my cerebral palsy, and I was used to it since that was all I knew from my early childhood days.

When I came home one day and found that she had passed away, the follower had to become the leader. Two things happened within moments of each other. First, to make absolutely certain, I lifted her left eyelid and saw no one looking back at me. Second, I had to go and tell me dear father that his wife had died. To make matters worse, that particular June 15th was Father’s Day. Time has marched on and day by day my routine without mother gets stronger. Though still every mid-June is still difficult for me. Love you Mom.

Now on to happier news. Rebecca and I were at a local bookstore today where my first book is for sale and learned that someone did indeed purchase a copy. Whoo-hoot. The store owner is interested in my new book, due to come out next week or so and wants six copies. Big thumbs up. To all my readers, I know sometimes I post links here on my page which may or may not be of interest. However, when the second book is for sale, I shall put the two easy links for both books.

On a sports note, congratulations to the LA Kings for winning the Stanley Cup. Also the NBA finals are in full swing. As I am not a big basketball fan, I shall just say good luck to both teams. I believe it is Miami and Oklahoma City.

On a quirky note, I won my very first full length baseball game on PS3 the other night. I was the Baltimore Orioles and the computer was the Washington Nationals. I hit three home runs. Yay me. I do not remember the final score because this game took place at 6:30 in the morning while I was suffering one of my frequent insomnia nights.

Lastly, for next week I hope to have at least two new blog entries go up. I don’t really want to talk about the Jerry Sandusky case, but I might. Or politics, but I might. You get the idea. I know I had promised a blog about Romney vs. Obama. I still hope to have that come out one day very soon. I guess I am just afraid of any hate mail I might receive. Rush Limbaugh or Chris Matthews, I am not. Until next week, have a good weekend and happy reading.

Writing update 5/16/12

Greeting, readers. Hallelujah. Camp book 2 is nearly completed. We finished with the imputing of the book in CreateSpace.com’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.

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.

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.

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 CreateSpace.com. 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.


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.

Exploring the latest version of MLB12 TheShow

Greetings readers. Tonight, just a short entry about my evening, seeing just what all the newest version of MLB12 The Show can do. What has intrigued me the most is the ability to change, upload and download rosters. So far I’ve successfully traded players, created players, downloaded other people’s rosters, but I just can’t seem to learn how to upload my own roster that others can use.

That’s why this post is up a few hours later than I wanted it to be. I’m going back to the game shortly to see if there’s anything in the online instructions or the website; Theshownation.com

By the way, this is one of my few posts without my writing assistant, Rebecca. I shall do my best in editing. : )

My next entry will be up on Wednesday or Thursday. Besides that, plenty of editing on my second camp story book, as well as creation on my brand new project. Details on that to come soon. Until then.

Update The original title of this entry was: Putzing around with MBL12 TheShow. Today, April 3, 2013, I discovered that the word putz is a yiddish slang word referring to a male sexual organ. I am not comfortable using this word, especially in the title of a blog entry. I changed the title for this reason.

We get a gold star today : )

Greetings, readers. Oh, yes, today Rebecca, my writing assistant, and I have earned our gold star. After looking at what we call our Done/Done folder, I see that I have 11 stories for my new book edited and ready to go. This puts us ahead of schedule. Whoo-hoot!

I actually had been worrying quite a bit about the sales of my first book as well as how well book 2 would sell. I’ve decided to not worry about it any longer. Worrying does not sell more books. All it does is keep me up at night and turns my hair gray.

Today we edited two pieces, a longer story which did not get finished, and a shorter one which did go into the Done/Done folder. Call it a sense of urgency to get finished, or perhaps our stars aligned, we have had an exceptional two weeks of work.

So please, everyone, keep you fingers crossed and throw good thoughts our way as we strive to maintain our pace to get this book out before the end of camp season. See you all Friday with Pop’s blog entry.