Tag Archives: writing assistant

A major decision has been made

Greetings, readers. I have thought about my writing career long and hard, and have asked myself what are my options. Money to continue paying Rebecca is dwindling, though she earns every penny of what she gets, and the blog itself is not set up to make money for me. The book, Greetings, Readers, sold a hand-full of copies since 2013, so a book 2 of blog entries is not even an option. Between low funds, battling depression, and years upon years of seizure medication (and seizures) I’m coming to the conclusion that I don’t have the right stuff to be a writer any more. Maybe I never did and getting those first two camp books out were just because of my passion for Bear Spring Camps and all my friends who go there.

I’m seriously considering shutting down writing operations at the end of the year. Unfortunately, this would also include the blog. I am leaning towards keeping it open for everyone to enjoy with the occasional new entry. I might reconsider my plan, but that is how it looks now.

Rebecca and I were discussing earlier this morning an idea I had for a GoFundMe page. I need $$$ to find and pay a publicist who can push Four’s a Crowd. I worked too hard on Kimberly, the play on which it is based, and Darren Taylor worked too hard on the novel for it to just wither and die. Rebecca also put in extensive hours on both projects, and it would be a crime for her work to be for naught. If we could find a publicist and get Four’s a Crowd off the ground, that would re-energize my desire to be a writer.


Well, here it is a half hour later and we’ve had our weekly meeting with my accountant. I don’t like being interrupted when we are writing the blog, because it gets me out of rhythm, but sometimes it can’t be helped. The meeting went extremely well and the idea I had to help promote Four’s a Crowd has been approved. The next step is for Rebecca and I to research publicists and take notes. That will be done next Wednesday. I will probably dictate a blog entry and have it ready for us to edit and post early so we have extra time to do our research.

Continued prayers go out to the flood victims and their families in the Carolinas and wherever flooding hit. I’ve heard that Wilmington, North Carolina is now an island. There is not one road that is passable by car as of late yesterday.

Like last Thursday, I have something to do tomorrow, so I’ll dictate a blog in the morning and Rebecca will edit and put it up no later than tomorrow evening.

Please do take care, have a wonderful day, take care of one another, and as always, happy reading.

1 year ago today!!!

Greetings, readers. Gee how time flies. It has just come to my attention through WordPress.com that this is my one year anniversary of my blog. Whee! Seems like I ran the gamut over the year on many different topics. From the Air Florida plane crash to the USFL to a tribute to my father and much, much more. Oddly enough, my favorites have been the good old top ten lists.

Have I a clue what is to come this year? Not in the least. This is how Rebecca and I do a blog entry. 95% of the time I think of my topic as the computer is booting up. It is only that rare 5% where Rebecca comes in to work and I say I already know what I’m going to blog about today. Thanks to Rebecca’s extensive blog reading, and her willingness to share her personal views every once in a while, a From Rebecca is posted. Not that I am jealous, I’m actually happy, but hers tend to get the most views. From time to time, Rebecca and I do collaborate on an idea, or at the very least she helps me with wording if I get stuck.

Again, I just wanted to chime in on my one year anniversary. There will be many more years to come. Have a great day, take care, and as always … happy reading. ūüôā

I can’t seem to get into that writing zone

Greetings, readers. Back 15 or 20 years ago, when I was trying my very best to type my own writing, I was able to get into what I call my zone. I could see everything I was writing as though it was a movie. It didn’t matter whether I was writing a short story, trying my hand at a novel, or a play, things just seemed to flow better back then.

Jump forward a few years. My health declined, and I can no longer type or write longhand as easily as I need to. Two years or so ago I hired writing assistant Rebecca and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She has been invaluable. The only drawback that I am finding is that sometimes I don’t feel like I’m in that zone. I can’t dive into my project for one reason or another.

What to do, what to do? I’ve often thought about writing in the middle of the night. Heck, I’m an insomniac half the time anyway. Rebecca can always edit when she gets to the office. So far out of the one hundred plus blog entries, I have done exactly five by myself. Am I dependent upon Rebecca? I don’t think so, however, I do tend to wait until Rebecca gets here to work. Perhaps I have fallen into a comfy zone.

As far as my typing skills go, my favorite key is the backspace key. That brings a chuckle down at the diner. When my musical performance is over in mid-December, I am going to – not re-evaluate my writing situation – but restructure it. Rebecca and I will still type the blogs and I will still dictate new material to her. I will also get more hands on with my career. With two books published, and new stuff on the burners, it’s time to pop this career into the next gear.

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

P.S. Look for a blog entry from me this weekend and one from Rebecca next week.

From Rebecca: A little bit in a hurry

I don’t have much time to write and post this. I am at Schlow library again on a public computer and have 45 minutes left on my allotted time. When Joe and I do a blog entry together it usually takes an hour or two to write, edit, and tag the whole thing. It has taken me about an hour to do these few posts on my own. So I’d better get crackin’!

I have enjoyed doing blog posts while Joe has been in Maine. He is on his way back to Pennsylvania today so this will be my last one. I hope to do more in the future, but of course that is up to Joe.  : )

Keekee was soooo clingy today and is shedding more than I have ever seen her shed hair. I know she didn’t understand what I was saying, but I told her that Joe would be back with her tomorrow. I can tell she misses him so much. I am a pale substitute, as much as I did pet and feed her.

From Rebecca: Reading blogs

Hi, Joe’s readers. Joe has been doing this blog for a while now, with me typing what he dictates and helping him with editing for almost every entry. This has been a great experience for me, and lets me see the behind-the-scenes nuts and bolts of a blog. I love reading blogs and I follow a few regularly.

I started reading blogs about ten years ago when I got a library job where I checked out laptops to patrons and answered their questions, and could use the computer in between patrons. I worked one or two over-nights a week, so I had a lot of time to fill. I checked out blogs, web comic strips, and sent e-mails. Over time, I had a long list of websites I would regularly visit and people I would keep up on through their works. When I lost the job, I also lost touch with most of the sites. But I retained a few that I still visit and love.

I enjoy reading different viewpoints, and when a blog has a strong thriving community of commenters who respect each other and the host(ess), my mind is challenged in a good way. I feel like I am hanging out with a bunch of people who are talking about cool things. Often, the host(ess) will refer to some event or hot topic that other bloggers are writing about, and add a link to the source material or another blogger. I have found some interesting bloggers by following the links and reading a different voice. I feel plugged in to a larger community when I do that.

I do admit that I am a lurker, reading what the host(ess) writes and other people add to the topic without leaving a comment of my own. I just never got in the habit of adding my opinion or commenting. I feel too shy, which is so funny considering how strongly I share my opinion in real life.

The blogs I follow the most are Tor’s tor.com, John Scalzi’s whatever.scalzi.com, Carrie Vaughn’s carriev.wordpress.com, and Wil Wheaton’s wilwheaton.typepad.com. Your taste may not be my taste though, and there are so many out there, ready to be explored.

I talked to Joe and he is having a lot of fun. Keekee is fine, and was really clingy to me today. Cat hair everywhere as I pet her a lot!

P.S. I wrote this last Tuesday but due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to post it until today. Technology … Grrr!

From Rebecca: While Joe is away

Hi, Joe’s readers. While Joe is away at Bear Spring Camps, I will write a few blog entries. This will be the only one this week, and then I will write at least two next week.

I am writing this at the Schlow Centre Region Library in State College, on one of their public computers. This library is one of my favorite places in the whole world. I have been coming here since I was a child. I love books and I love reading. I especially love mysteries. Right now I am re-reading the J.D. Robb series and the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman. I could browse in libraries and bookstores for hours. My husband also enjoys books and reading, as well as games like Axis and Allies and Dungeons and Dragons.

I am spending time with Keekee, Joe’s cat, while he is away, talking to her, and making sure she has food and water. She spends a lot of time sleeping on top of the refrigerator. She ignores me a lot now, but I think she will want a lot of my attention by the end of next week.

I haven’t talked to Joe yet today, but he called me yesterday just before he crossed the Piscataqua River Bridge and the Maine state line. Those of you who read his first camp book, Picking Up Where We Left Off, will remember that he mentioned that bridge and how much it meant to him.

Joe, if you are reading this from camp, imagine my arm waving at you. Hi, Joe!

Update 7/27/12

Greetings, readers. A number of good things have happened to me in the last few days. First, my head cold is now officially gone. Yay. Number two, thanks to Facebook, I have re-connected with two family members. And finally, number three, I have contacted a friend of mine who played a role in a staged reading of my play, Kimberly, a while back and asked her if she would like to reprise her role. Reply is still pending.

With the prospect of my play having a second staged reading,¬†or more, my thoughts now turn to where I will get the other three participants. One man who shall play the father character lives in my building. The husband, Lyle, and his mother, Alice, are still up for grabs. For a split second on this blog post I was actually considering saying something like, “Hey readers. Anyone interested?” However,¬†knowing my luck, I would have 500 responses.

As I will be on the road to Maine in less than a week, as always happens with me, there is too much to do and my time is dwindling. I’m sure by Thursday morning I will be ready. This morning Rebecca and I had a pre-work meeting at our local bakery and of course my alarm did not go off. Upon¬†awakening, I said a few choice words, got ready and dashed over.

On to local news in my world. State College, Pennsylvania is getting ready for a relatively quiet weekend. The biggest thing I can see is that there is some kind of young people’s volleyball camp in town. More times than not Penn State will book events for the weekends during the summer months. As Rebecca pointed out to me today, why not? They have the room and the staff to get the job done.

Next week Wednesday there will not be a blog post, my friends, for I will be busy packing. But Rebecca will put at least one or two new ones up while I’m gone. My return date is August 12th and our first day back to work is August 15th. Until very soon, take care, happy reading, and I’ll take lots of pictures to put up in the gallery section : )

Finally, cool air!

Greetings, readers. The second heat wave of the season has abated. Thank goodness. This comes from a warm weather lover. According to my computer, however, in a couple of days we should be hitting the upper 80s once again. I suppose that’s ok, but please just don’t give us mid-90s with high humidity. My poor apartment’s air conditioning unit can’t handle it.

Today has the feel of a mid-September day. Cool breeze, overcast and misty, and it reminds me of what my mother used to call a good land day, when we would be at the lake in Maine. Good day for shopping, she would say.

Speaking of Maine, I will be gone the first half of August. Within the week, writing assistant, Rebecca, and I will be making a decision on whether or not to either re-post past entries, or to have her post a few new ones with her choice of topic. Rebecca is up on current events and no doubt will come up with interesting things to say.

To finish off today’s shorter blog post, I am keeping my ear open for any news on the Penn State scandal/Freeh report/NCAA penalty decision. I, being a Penn State football fan all my life, am extremely interested in what the final decision will be. I have a sneaking suspicion that the NCAA will come down on us rather hard; as they should. This university and this town will be reeling from these events for years to come. Until Wednesday, take care 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.

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.