Tag Archives: readers

From Rebecca: Yes, another one from me

As Joe wrote yesterday, he has a follow-up doctor’s appointment for the foot he hurt in a fall last week, so I am bringing you today’s blog post. It seems like I have been doing this a lot in the last couple of months, for one reason or another, starting with Joe’s annual trip to Bear Spring Camps in Maine and then both of us have had some personal appointments on Thursdays. I like writing here, but I am aware that regular readers probably come for Joe’s unique voice and what he shares on this blog page.

Those of you who are long-time readers know that this is not our normal pattern, we usually go a month or so between From Rebecca posts, and Joe does both the entries each week. Life is hectic for us right now, and Joe’s job at a fast food restaurant has pulled a lot of his energy and time, but I do expect us to go back to the normal writing schedule soon.

I first met Joe in high school and we remained friends since then. I became his writing assistant in 2010, mainly to type for him as his cerebral palsy makes it slow and difficult for him to do that task for his writing work. He started this blog in December of 2011, with him dictating, me typing, and both of us editing. We have a good system down that we have used to put at least one new blog entry on this site every week for almost six years. I am very proud of that, and I know that Joe is too. When I post this entry, if will be the 654th one on this blog site.

We see from this site’s statistics that daily views are steadily getting higher. Joe has big spikes in views once in a while, usually when he writes something about Bear Spring Camps and links it to their Facebook page, but it looks like some people are staying around after the surges. To all of you who are long-term readers, thank you so much, we really appreciate you coming here so long. To all of you who are newer readers, welcome, and we hope you enjoy the voice and topics so much that you stick around.

Joe will be back next week, and as far as we know now, he will do the blog entry for both Wednesday and Thursday. As he would say, until then, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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We began blogging 5 years ago on Thursday!

Greetings, readers. I got a notice on my WordPress.com page that I have been blogging, with Rebecca’s help, for five years now. Wow! Time sure does fly. With almost 600 entries completed, we’ve no end in sight. We have blogged on a variety of topics, from plane crashes to R.I.P.s to reviews of video games and everything in between. Are we going to keep going? Of course!  🙂

I’ve said before that I try to stay away from blogging about politics. This coming year, I might take a stab at it. I’ve always been shy about sharing my political opinion, until this year around the election. In years past, people have told me that my candidate was the wrong choice, or that my beliefs were incorrect; I shouldn’t believe this, I should believe that instead. Every four years I get a headache so terrible I feel my head will explode. Well, I have opinions and I can stand by them. I can write about them in this forum.

Other topics that we’ll be blogging about will include what’s going on in the news and R.I.Ps to famous actors, actresses, singers and other people of note.  Rebecca also suggested that perhaps I blog about other episodes of the show Air Crash Investigation that I have watched and particularly enjoyed. The original entry, Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories, is still the one that has the most views of all the other blog posts put together. The post I did after that on one of the episodes, The Air Crash Investigation episode on The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crash, also gets regular views. The entry, In memory of Air Florida Flight 90, is very popular, too. I know I have a morbid fascination with airplane wrecks, so I will try not to choose this topic to often.

No matter what topics I write about, I look forward to another year of sharing them with you. I am grateful that you take the time to read my words, and that some of you respond with your own thoughts in the comments.

Before I go, I want to wish Rebecca well. She’s been a tad under the weather. I’m happy to say that she is doing much better and will be back with us next week.  I shall put up another blog entry either tomorrow or Friday.  Until then, take care, have a great day and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: The blog is all mine – for a week and a half

Braa-ha-ha! (evil laugh, in case I wasn’t clear.)

Hi, Joe’s readers. Regular readers, you know that Joe goes away to Maine every year in August and that I update the blog while he is gone. New readers, you may not have seen one of my entries yet, especially the new influx of Bear Spring Campers we welcomed recently, but I am Joe’s assistant Rebecca. I do about a dozen blog posts throughout the year, though I haven’t done one in a while.

Usually my posts while Joe is away are updates on how he is doing on his trip or how his cat Keekee is doing back here. She misses him so much when he goes away; I come in on my work days and a couple of other days to feed her and give her some company, while I do a little work. Some years during this time, I manage an entry with a good topic that will be of interest past the vacation, and I will try to do that at some point this year, too.

Joe and I were surprised that one of my vacation posts that was pretty much an update has been viewed a bit more than we expected over the years. Regular readers know that Joe and I are fascinated by the viewing statistics for this blog, which show which posts are viewed each day. From Rebecca, a little bit in a hurry will show up occasionally. It is a nice piece I wrote in August of 2012, but I don’t know how it can be compelling after all this time. Oh, well, it makes me feel good that people like my work. Another post that keeps coming up in the views, a lot, is the Top ten list of modern conveniences. It has been viewed 940 times since it was posted on February 22, 2013, including 5 times this past week. Our best guesses for its popularity are that a lot of people in the world are curious about modern conveniences, or that it is being used in a class exercise to teach search techniques on a computer. Though really, who knows?

So, if you are a regular reader or a new one, I will be the one posting on this blog until Joe comes back from Maine in a week and a half. Until Friday, as Joe would say, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Greetings, readers. Especially, the new readers. Yesterday we had a five-star gold banner blog day. 115 views, by far the most views ever in a 24 hour period, excited me no end. When I checked the stats page at 11:30 last night I almost screamed. My average views per day is around 20, so you can see what a huge jump this was.

The blog entry Top ten list of things I like about Bear Spring Camps was not only fun for me to write, but my idea to link it to Peg Churchill’s camp Facebook page really did the trick. My idea was to share my good memories about this wonderful place with other people who go there. I did not expect so many people so quickly to read the entry, but I am most pleased and thankful that they did. I would like to welcome all my new readers and invite them to stay on board if they wish to. I have written about Bear Spring Camps in the past and will continue to do so. For those of you who checked out the archives, you’ll know that I do blog about many other topics as well.

A special thank you goes out to Peg Churchill herself and her husband Ron for creating the Bear Spring Camps Facebook page. It is a truly wonderful way for all the campers to keep up on news and look at gorgeous photos dealing with Bear Spring Camps.

Please do check out my tabs and let me know via Facebook or my blog’s comment section on a topic that you would like me to cover. I’m always open to new ideas. One thing I’ll let you know in advance, I really don’t do politics, because whether I bash the Democrats or the Republicans, it just makes me angry. I write my blog to feel good, not get upset.

Until Wednesday, have a fantastic weekend, take care, and as always happy reading.

I plan to read and edit Four’s a Crowd today

Greetings, readers. The other day I was inspired by Rebecca’s husband Darren. As a lot of you may know, Darren is turning my play Kimberly into a novel. The third draft of Four’s a Crowd is finished. We were looking for readers, with what we call fresh eyes. That way they can pick up on any flaws in logic. So far no luck with readers.

I have decided to take on this section of the project to critique and edit it. Admittedly, I probably know the story too well, but I will try my darndest to stay objective and keep a close eye out for anything that needs correcting.

I don’t have goals very often but I have one now. The goal is to have the thirteen-chapter book read and critiqued twice by August 5th. I leave for Maine a day or two after that. While I’m gone, the project will be turned back over to Darren to make corrections and we will call that the final draft.

The step after that will be to communicate with lawyers, draw up contracts, and then find an agent. I’ve decided that this book is too good to be self-published and sit on shelves because we don’t know how to market it. Between now and August, Rebecca and I will look at a possible list of agents. We will have to have a query letter and also a sample of the finished work ready to send to the agents.

If this book is as good as I think it is, we may be sitting on the launching pad. I don’t think it is going to hit Oprah’s top ten list, but I see it selling much better than my first three books did, which were self-published. Darren’s worked hard on this project, as I did years ago. I’m hoping that Four’s a Crowd will at least get us on the map.

On to other things, my kitty-cat Keekee is looking me right in the face meowing for her dinner. Before editing, I’ll probably give in and give her what she wants. I am pleased to say she got a clean bill of health yesterday at the vet’s office.

Tonight I have very simple plans; reading, reading and more reading. Even though my eyes become strained quickly, I want to finish at least through chapter five tonight. I began using a color coded system in my editing process but that slowed me down tremendously. I think I will grab a tablet, have that next to me, and make my notes there rather than constantly changing font colors. To me the use of that time was counterproductive and I could have gotten more done.

On a whoo-hoot note, I signed my letter of intent to stay here at Arnold Addison Court apartments for another year. Yes, it is small and yes the Penn State crowd can get loud sometimes, but in the end I really like my place. I have no immediate plans to leave. If I’ve counted correctly, I’ll be starting my tenth year here come October. How time flies.

It’s time to get onto other work so I will wrap up with my usual ending, bidding you a good day, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

My latest simulation craze: iRacing

Greetings, readers. I have written about hobbies like Flight Simulator and Train Simulator before. Thanks to search engines and YouTube, I have found that in the last few years there is a simulation game for almost everything. Granted, some are more realistic than others. There is Farming Simulator, Euro Truck Simulator 2, and my new personal favorite, iRacing.

Today let’s talk about iRacing. Oh my goodness. It is a pay site, and for approximately $12 a month you have access to driving in virtual race cars (with accessories), on real tracks that are perfect in every detail. You can also do things like host races, create your own racing team (and color your cars any colors you wish), invite friends to join your racing team, watch others race, and practice in the virtual vehicles. Yes, you do have to purchase additional cars and tracks, that is how iRacing makes its money. It is definitely worth it, however.

The graphics are absolutely amazing, and new tracks and cars are being developed all the time. Coming soon is the legendary Nurburgring test track.

I should not get into iRacing, because I will have to purchase a steering wheel, shifter and pedals. It is impossible to play this game with mouse and keyboard only. The controller package ranges from $60 up to $200 or more. That is a chunk of change.

Right now I think I shall be content to watch people practice. I might cancel my subscription after this month, and watch all the enthusiasts on YouTube that are into iRacing. I can just see myself in a couple of years driving a virtual stock car around the Daytona International Speedway. And knowing my luck, crashing it horribly. Ha ha.

In weeks to come, I shall watch YouTube videos of Farming Simulator, Construction Simulator, and any other type of simulator I can find. If I deem them exciting enough to blog about, I shall certainly do that.

With our 400th blog entry quickly approaching, if any reader has a topic that you would like me to blog about, chime in, in the comments section, and I will certainly consider it.

Until next week, take care, enjoy the early summer, and happy reading.

From writing assistant Rebecca

I want to say hi to everyone reading Joe’s blog, especially my dad. Hi Dad! I know that he is a regular reader, because when I start to tell him stuff that Joe and I accomplished at work, Dad will say, “Oh, yeah. I read about that in the blog.”

My dad has been very supportive of Joe’s work while I have been working with him. When we published Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories last year, my dad ordered some for the family and to give Joe some business. Thanks Dad.

I know we have other readers, specifically from Facebook, and I want to thank you as well for your support of this blog. We see the statistics of how many views per day and how many came from Facebook, so we know that we get visits. We don’t know how many are the same readers, but I expect some of you are regulars. If you want to say hi to us in the comments and put in your first name, we’ll know you to thank you.

So thanks to Joe’s readers, and to my dad who is blushing and thinking that I didn’t have to do this. Have a great day.