Wednesday, November 29, 2017

No NaNoWriMo

I must admit that I didn't complete the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in November.

On the first day, I wrote about 1,300 words. The next morning I sat down and couldn't find the file. I could have swore I saved the initial entry but it was nowhere to be found. 

I tried to start again, but faltered after 500 words or so. And then I flamed out.

My heart really wasn't in it this year because of the passing of a loved one and a prior commitment to judge entries in a writing contest. I couldn't get focused even though I had a rough outline, one that I will be using when I start the third installment in the "John Ross Boomer Lit" series. 

I plan to get moving on the next novel in a few weeks when I don't have any extraordinary distractions. 

This is the first time that I haven't completed a NaNoWriMo challenge. The previous efforts evolved into novels -- "Shooting Star," "The Bully List," "Old Ways and New Days," and the recently published "Darkness Beyond the Light."

I hope those who took the grueling challenge completed the 50,000-word goal. Any may you get published for all the hard work.

Until the next time. . . .

(P.S. While you're here, click on the Goodreads giveaway for "Darkness Beyond the Edge" at the upper right. And I would be honored if you'd follow the blog as well.) 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Third Promotion

My third promotion for "Darkness Beyond the Light" will begin on Nov. 26 and run until Dec. 24 on

The first promotion was an ebook giveaway on Amazon and the second was an advertisement in Facebook. I plan to announce other promotions in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

The latest giveaway is for five print copies of the novel. I've done three previous contests on Goodreads with positive responses from readers wanting to enter.

While the promotion involves some financial outlay on my part—five books and postage to the winners—it also attracts attention and exposure for the novel. Most of the readers will  since most click the "Want to Read" button, and perhaps a percentage of those will eventually purchase it.

So if you've like to enter, simply click on the button to the right of this post or go to Goodreads. By the way, Goodreads is a wonderful website that connects readers to authors and vice versa. I'd be honored if you decided to follow and/or friend me when you visit the page.

Until the next time. . . .

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Cover

Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward. That's what the folks at Wings ePress have done with "Old Ways and New Days."

Since the novel is the first in the "John Ross Boomer Lit" series, the cover needed to redone to reflect the change. Digital artist Richard Stroud has designed the new cover, which I believe gives more of an idea of what is between the covers.


Besides the new artwork, Stroud has added the "John Ross Boomer Lit Novel" strip across the bottom and uses a similar font to the one used in "Darkness Beyond the Light." Those elements will continue forthcoming books in the series.

Coming up with a cover that says something about the book is as difficult as trying to say what a book is about in  30 words or less. Authors try to do that (most of us don't) since it is something that would fit nicely in a sound bite.

And if that's not the case, they want a back cover blurb (my publisher prefers 75 words or less)  that attracts potential readers. Just watch readers in a book store, library or some other place as they quickly scan blurbs to see which books they want to read—it's a quick process to capture their attention, or not.

So with the new cover, it's the hope that it will boost sales, especially from those who've read "Darkness Beyond the Light" but haven't read "Old Ways and New Days" because they will see the connection.

Until the next time. . . . 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Second Promotion

I began a second promotion today, using Facebook to spread the word about "Darkness Beyond the Light."

Since the coming-of-old-age novel focuses primarily on AARP-age folks, I targeted baby boomers in major cities in the United States. It will run for 14 days. I've used Facebook in the past to promote by author page, garnering a good degree of success. I hope that holds true for the novel. You can enter the first promotion, an ebook from Amazon, by clicking here

The ad will send folks to my author page on Amazon, where they will (hopefully) purchase the book. It will also expose them to my other novels and nonfiction books. I especially want them to consider "Old Ways and New Days" since it is the first book  in the series.

I considered using Twitter, and I may still do so, but I'm going to do more research before I spend allocate any funds. If any authors out there, have you had success using Twitter?

I'll do a Goodreads giveaway as well, when the Facebook promotion is about over. I want to promote the book through the holiday season. By the way, "Darkness Beyond the Light" is set during the Christmas season. 

I've looked into other places but have found them rather pricey, and a few simply come across as scams. 

As I've noted in previous posts, promotion and marketing is not my forte. I do as much research as possible. Networking helps as other authors tell me of their experiences.

Until the next time. . . .

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

First Promotion

The first promotion for my latest novel, "Darkness Beyond the Light," is on Amazon through Nov. 23.

It's a giveaway of five e-books. You need to click here and tweet that you entered. It's that simple. Also, you don't have to own a Kindle to read the book. Amazon offers an app for Apple, Android, and Windows devices.

I know some folks don't have Twitter accounts so don't despair. I plan to have several other contests in the coming weeks to promote the John  Ross Boomer Lit novel. Stay tuned!

Until the next time. . . .

Sunday, November 5, 2017


My latest novel, "Darkness Beyond the Light," is now out there for the world to see -- and to read -- from Wings ePress.

Here are the links for the e-book:

And for the print edition:

It also will be available at Barnes & Noble. You can also order the novel through your local independent bookstore through CreateSpace.

Check back for updates and giveaways.

If you do purchase the novel, please leave a review and/or rating at the website. And that goes for all books because authors appreciate feedback.

Until the next time. . . . 

Monday, October 30, 2017

New Beginnings

While looking forward to the release of my latest novel, "Darkness Beyond the Light," on Nov. 1, I'll also begin another novel on the same day. "Darkness Beyond the Light" is the second installment in the John Ross Boomer Lit series, following "Old Ways and New Days." On a side note, this will be the 12th book, and eighth novel, I've written. I still get excited about release dates; it doesn't get old.

In writing the third part, I'll be participating in the annual National Novel Writing Month. It's something I've done in the past, resulting in published books. While producing 50,000 words in a month can be kind of daunting task (averaging 1,667 words a day), it's a great way to stay focused in reaching the goal. I encourage you to participate in NaNoWriMo if you have a novel inside you that's begging to see the light. You might be pleasantly surprised by what happens once you put your hands on the keyboard for several hours each day.

For me, it will be the first draft. I usually add another 35,000 or more words to a manuscript over the course of several rewrites and revisions. Writing a novel is more work than meets the eye.

For the past few weeks, I've been working on a rough outline to keep me on track, especially the first couple of weeks. If the story takes hold, I veer off and go along for the ride. It's like a controlled stream of consciousness, if that makes any sense. And it can be exhilarating.

And it can be the opposite as well, at least for me, if the story is static and doesn't take hold of my imagination. And, unfortunately, it can be drudgery.

Now back to the outline because I don't want 30 days of drudgery.

Until the next time. . . . 

P.S. Be sure and check back Nov. 1 for the release of "Darkness Beyond the Light."

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

One Week Before Publication of Novel

It's down to the final week before the release of my latest novel, "Darkness Beyond the Light."

It's been a difficult but rewarding journey over the past year, from those first words to first draft to revisions to edits to cover art to final read to publication, which will be Nov. 1, when it's available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Wings ePress and other book-related websites. 

I have been working on  promotion and marketing the past few weeks. I'll be mailing postcards this weekend, sending news releases to various outlets, and notifying others through emails. I've been working on a book trailer for YouTube

I've also been reading blogs and listening to podcasts for other recommendations from authors on most cost-efficient ways to market and promote a book. I plan a giveaway on Goodreads on the release date. There will be other surprise promotions as well.

My hope is that those who purchase the novel (or win a giveaway) will leave a review and/or rating on various websites. I've always believed that word of mouth is the best way to spread the word.

Until the next time. . . .


Sunday, October 1, 2017

One Month Before Publication of Novel

The publication of my latest novel, "Darkness Beyond the Light," is only a month from today. 

As with my previous books, I'm excited about finally seeing  it in print. I've already seen the e-book version, but being a traditionalist in many ways, there's nothing like holding a physical, page-turning print edition in my hands.

"Darkness Beyond the Light" is my eighth novel, and the first time that I've written a sequel to a book. It carries on with the trials and  tribulations of John Ross, family and friends who were introduced in "Old Ways and New Days."  My novels are published by Wings ePress.

I also plan a third installment in the "John Ross Boomer Lit" series. I wanted to get working on it sooner, but now I will write the first draft during National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in November.

In the meantime, postcards will be mailed to libraries, bookstores, friends, and others in the next few weeks announcing the arrival of "Darkness Beyond the Light."  I already have bookmarks, display posters, and various handouts ready to distribute at book signings this month (check appearances at bottom of page).

I'll also have promotions on Goodreads and Amazon so be sure to visit those websites and enter (there will be reminders posted here as well). If you're a Goodreads member, please send me a friend request. You can also like my Facebook author's page by clicking here.

Until the next time. . . .



Thursday, September 21, 2017


It's been several weeks since I posted something here. I must confess that I needed a breather, especially after finishing my latest novel and all that comes with it, such as edits, cover design, and promotion.

"Darkness Beyond the Light" will be released Nov. 1, by Wings ePress. While it's still more than five weeks away, I've tried to do several things to have a successful launch.

I have postcards, business cards, and a display poster printed printed. The postcards will go to selected libraries, bookstores, and readers in the coming weeks. The business cards will be handed out at book signings and related events while the poster will be prominently displayed with my books. I've also ordered bookmarks that will be given to those who purchase the novel. 

I've also had periodic updates on my Facebook author's page (be sure and visit and "like"), personal website, and other book-related sites the past few weeks. More will be forthcoming. And I have some book signings scheduled (check at the bottom of this post).

I hope to get back to working on the third installment in the "John Ross Boomer Lit" series in November, perhaps with National Novel Writing Month. I have some life events that need my attention before I go full bore into another manuscript.

So that's where I'm at right now. I plan to get back to regular postings if life doesn't get in the way.

Until the next time. . . .

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Progress Report: Back to the Manuscript (The Cover)

Drum roll, please! My manuscript now has a cover—the last step before being published. 

Richard Stroud, who has designed more than 400 covers, came up with the artwork for "Darkness Beyond the Light." The novel will be released Nov. 1 by Wings ePress.

Richard interviewed me several times, on Skype and by telephone, to get an idea what the story was about. I had already filled out an artist information form that provides background about the manuscript—scenes, characters, plot, etc. Needless to say, it's difficult to describe the main theme from the 93k words that comprise my eighth novel—in 100 words on less. 

He was patient, asked pertinent questions, and did an excellent job in conveying the essence of the novel through several captivating images. Richard seeks to avoid clutter, as I do when I write, which I think he accomplished. I hope readers will be enticed to pick up the novel and consider reading it, simply by looking at the cover.

Richard will redo the "Old Ways and New Days" cover, the first "John Ross Boomer Lit Novel," so it will have a stronger and compelling connection to "Darkness Beyond the Light." And when I finish the third book in the series, he'll handle that as well.

Between now and the release date, I'll be promoting "Darkness Beyond the Light" through traditional means, social media, and other avenues. And I'll be working on the third installment. Busy days ahead.

Until the next time. . . . 


Friday, August 11, 2017

Progress Report: Back to the Manuscript (Galley Proof)

Another step has been completed on my soon-to-be-released novel—proofing the galley.

Since my last post, I've perused the galley for any typos, misspellings, grammatical goofs, and other corrections that need to be made before publication on Nov. 1 by Wings ePress.

As I've mentioned in other posts,  I have mixed feelings about reading the galley. The main aspect I dread is having to reread the novel—again! I've probably gone through it 15 times including rewrites and editors' suggested edits. For a work that's 93k words, you do the math.

But, on the positive side, seeing the manuscript in book form provides a fresh view about the story. I gain a stronger insight on how the novel flows. And in a new light, I might find a discrepancy, or two, that needs to be fixed. I found a couple that slipped by me on previous reads, and now they've been fixed.

While the ultimate goal is to clean up a manuscript to where it's 100 percent free of mistakes, that's probably an impossibility. I believe any author would tell you that, even those who are contract with the big publishing houses. Those little gremlins manage to pop up somewhere along the way, no matter how hard you try to find them. 

Now it's on to the cover art. I hope to share it with you in my next post.

Until the next time. . . . 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Progress Report—Back to the Manuscript (Final Edit)

The long journey is about over for my latest manuscript. I've completed edits—from two editors—and now await the galley proof. 

That means one more read-through of the nearly 93,000-word manuscript (I don't like to call it a book until it's on the publisher's assembly line). If you think I may be growing tired of reading the book, well, you're absolutely right. I've probably been over it 15 times including all the rewrites and edits. I'm ready for it to see the light of day.  But I want it to be as error-free as possible.

I'm also working with a design artist on the cover. I view cover art as a visual tagline for a novel, something that captures the theme of the work, and hopefully, the eyes of potential readers. Once that is finished, I'll be pushing the promotion button to get the word out on the web, snail mail, and word of mouth.

The publication date is Nov. 1. 

And I plan to start another manuscript in the "New Days" series in the next week or so. I'd like to see it published  next year. 

Until the next time. . . .


Monday, July 24, 2017

South America Destinations: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is often referred to as the "Paris of South America." It's easy to see why with its European-style architecture, cosmopolitan air, and cultural diversity. It's such a sophisticated city.

Obelisk at dusk
But Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is a sparkling gem of its own that doesn't need comparisons with other great cities in the world—Paris is Paris, London is London, New York is New York, and Buenos Aires is Buenos Aires, each offering dynamics that make them wondrous destinations for travelers.  Let me say that I'm not even going be able to scratch the surface of things to see and do in Buenos Aires. I'd suggest visiting various websites to get a flavor of the city. Better yet, visit this eclectic city in person. My wife, Mary, and I were fortunate to spend four days in Buenos Aires in June; a trip we'll never forget.

Teatro Colon

The city has a vibrant theater district, world-class museums, statues and monuments to celebrate its storied history, spacious parks, beautiful architecture that reflects European influence, and an electric atmosphere on the busy streets. Most folks know that Argentina is world-class in sports, namely soccer. Let's not forget the Tango, that captivating sensuous dance.

 Mary at the Casa Rosada
Slicing through the center of the capital district is 9 Julio Avenue, the widest boulevard in the world. In the center is the Obelisk, erected in 1936 to commemorate the city's 400th anniversary. A block away is the Teatro Colon, the world-famous opera house. Within walking distance is the Casa Rosada (the pink house) that serves as the executive  mansion of the president, and the Metropolitan Cathedral.

San Martin monument
There's no doubt that that Juan and Eva Peron are part of the history with museums and statues commemorating their presence in the mid 20th century. But the city also honors such notables as Gen. José de San Martín, a national hero who helped liberate Argentina and Peru in the 19th century. Pope Francis is from Buenos Aires as well as famous writer Jorge Luis Borges. Too many to mention but remember actors Linda Cristal, Fernando Lamas and Olivia Hussey, music composer Lalo Schifrin, tennis stars Gabriela Sabatini and Guillermo Vilas, and soccer legends Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona....? I also enjoyed the music of jazz saxophonist Gato Barbieri, who died in 2016.

Su and Al
We were fortunate to spend two days with Argentinean friends, Al and Su, who were most gracious with their time to show me many of the landmarks of this vibrant city. They made this trip special. I do hope to return someday for a longer period and take in more of the sites and experience the lifestyle of the locals.

Buenos Aires has suffered through some difficult economic times in the past 30 years (which travelers can benefit with the exchange rate). But I saw quite a lot of construction and renovation of buildings and infrastructure during my visit so better days are ahead for this city.

So much to see and do but so little time on this visit. I want to return.

Until the next time . . . .

P.S. I have other images of Buenos Aires on my Facebook photos page.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

South America Destinations: Iguassu Falls

One of nature's magical kingdoms to experience is Iguassu Falls, a J-shaped area comprised of about 250 waterfalls on the Brazilian and Argentinean borders.

A view of Iguassu Falls from Brazil
My wife and I spent two days trekking at Iguassu National Park—one day in Brazil and one in Argentina. In Brazil, it's spelled Iguacu, and in Argentina, it's Iguazu. For English speakers, it's Iguassu. The word means "big waters" in Guarani, the language of the indigenous people.

It was rainy both days but tolerable as we were covered, for the most part, by the canopy of subtropical trees as we walked to the falls. And when we arrived to the falls, we felt the mist from the powerful cascading waters from the Iguassu River. Suggestion: Pack a raincoat!

At Devil's Throat
We were there when the falls were probably at their mightiest as the river current was swift and wide from recent rains. The national park has walkways leading to overlooks, including the thunderous Devil's Throat, and to the mouths of lesser, but still impressive, waterfalls.  For those who are more adventurous, and don't mind getting drenched, there are boat rides to the bottom of several falls.

A coati
Prego monkey
The parks were listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in the 1980s. Besides the falls, they are nature preserves with many species of animal and plant life. Especially "friendly" were the coatis and prego monkeys, who weren't bashful around places where people get a bite  to eat. The monkeys would strike, without warning, on those unsuspecting folks sitting at tables by grabbing their sandwiches and leaping back up into the trees. Another suggestion: Don't feed the animals, intentionally or unintentionally.

Iguassu Falls was named as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World," and I certainly wouldn't dispute that designation. It's an unforgettable and magical place to visit.

Until the next time. . . .

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

South America Destinations: Rio de Janeiro

My wife and I spent 10 day in South America in early June, visiting Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, and Buenos Aires.

Copacabana Beach
Our first stop was lively and colorful Rio, a city with nearly 7 million inhabitants. We stayed at a hotel located at the world-famous Copacabana Beach. It's fall there so the beach wasn't too crowded.

Christ the Redeemer

We made the usual tourist stops—riding cable cars to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for a breathtaking view of the city, taking a train to the summit of Corcovado Mountain to see the majestic Christ the Redeemer statue, and walking up the 215 tiled steps of the Selaron staircase in the Lapa district. I thought I saw the "Girl from Ipanema" walking on the sidewalk near the café where the song was composed, but I'm sure it was my imagination.  It was still a nice thought.

So much to see and so little time.

Cables leading to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain
Our guided tour also took us past the multi-colored favelas (where many of the poor reside in shacks) and areas where the rich live in high-rise apartments overlooking the beaches. The tour even included an optional trip to a favela. We didn't go but several of our fellow travelers who did said they were amazed how clean and tidy the residents kept their homes.

Our local guide, Eduardo, told us that children only attend public schools four hours a day because of the economy. The rich send their children to private schools. There's not much of a middle class. Not surprising, crime is also a problem in the city. 

Municipal Theatre

We did try to venture out from the hotel during our free time but found it difficult to navigate the city. We're urban hikers and like to make our own discoveries. We didn't see as much as we wanted to, such as churches, government buildings, and parks.

Carlos Braguinha statue
We stopped in several downtown shops and found the merchants to be friendly and helpful despite the language barrier (Portuguese). We walked to the Riosul  mall, which compares to upscale shopping places you'd find in the U.S.

Rio, founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, has a rich history and shows promise for a bright future. Many may remember that it hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics.

But it's a shame that there is so much graffiti marring public buildings, walls, and other places (we've also seen that in Roma and Budapest).

A selfie on the Selaron Staircase
Regardless, it was an unforgettable two days in Rio. We'd like to return and really get to know and understand this dynamic and diverse city. We left knowing that it has much more to offer visitors. 

Until the next time. . . . 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

EPIC Finalist Update

Last March I was notified by the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition that my coming-of-old-age novel, "Old Ways and New Days," was a finalist in the contemporary fiction category.

EPIC recently announced the winners in the 17 categories in its annual competition for ebooks and my novel didn't make the list.

My congratulations to CJane Elliott for her coming-out novel, "Sex, Love, and Videogames," named the best in contemporary fiction. 

It was an honor for me to have my novel considered for the award. Simply being one of three finalists was gratifying.

Click here to see the list of all the winners, including Ariana Awards for best book covers.

EPIC is now accepting books through July 15 for its 2018 competition. Visit the website for more information. Best of luck to those who decide to enter their novel. 

You might also want to consider joining EPIC and be part of a network of authors, publishers, editors, and others in the industry.

Until the next time . . . .

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

South America Destinations -- Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, and Buenos Aires

My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful vacation to Brazil and Argentina.  We made stops in fabulous Rio de Janeiro, powerful Iguassu Falls, and beautiful Buenos Aires.

We've visited Europe in the past, and while we love the Old World, we decided to expand our horizons by traveling to our neighbors to the south. It was well worth it. Simply unforgettable.

We got to see and experience some things about each place, but more than anything, it whetted our appetite to return to South America to take in more that the diverse continent has to offer—natural wonders, historic sites, and the people.

Here are a few images from each of the places. I'll be writing more about each destination in upcoming posts.

From Rio:

Copacabana Beach

Cable cars to Sugar Loaf Mountain

From Iguassu Falls:

A view from Brazil

A view from Argentina
  From Buenos Aires:
Colon Opera House

Until the next time. . . . 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Progress Report-—Back to the Manuscript (Editing-Submitted)

I completed the edits, revisions, and rewrites to my upcoming novel. My editor will receive 190 pages this morning, and then forward it to the publisher, who will have someone proofread the 94k words.

And then it will come back to me in the galley proof for one last read. It will be the last time I can make any changes to the manuscript. 

But there's still more to do in the interim before the novel is released on Nov. 1. I'll have to work with the design artist on the cover, write a synopsis for marketing and promotion, and take care of dedication and acknowledgements.

In the meantime, I'm going to take a short break and then begin work on the third book in the Old Ways and New Days series. 

Until the next time. . . .

Monday, May 29, 2017

Progress Report—Back to the Manuscript (Editing Update-Part Two)

I've spent the past month going over edits on my next novel. I'll be returning it to my editor in two days, then await the galley proof for one more read. 

The past few weeks have been grueling at times, especially when seeing things I wish I had caught before sending it to the publisher. That's a big reason to have an editor. They fix things you think you see and take away things the readers shouldn't see.

She also made recommendations on dialogue, scenes, and body language—and a few other things—that she believed would strengthen the story. Some I accepted, prompting a few rewrites;  and some I rejected because I felt didn't reflect the characters' personalities (only the author truly knows the characters although editors can flesh out more information).

I also found a few other problems that I was able to correct while reading the manuscript two times.

Once I finish with the galley proof, I'll turn my attention to the third book in the Old Ways and New Days series. 

Until the next time. . . .

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Progress Report—Back to the Manuscript (Editing Update)

I'm still plugging away on the edits to my latest manuscript. As mentioned in my last post, it's not something I truly enjoy but it has to be done.

Making the edits
The time-consuming and intense process basically involves rereading the 93k words to accept or reject edits, consider suggestions, and answer questions on such things as timeline, characters, and scenes. I can usually spend about five hours daily, with a short break, focused on the manuscript before my head feels like it is spinning in all directions.

The deadline for returning the manuscript is June 1. I thought I would be finished with it this past weekend but now it looks more like next weekend. 

And even then, I will probably sit on it for a few days to mull over parts before clicking the send button. 

It's a slow undertaking but I want to be satisfied (as much as an author can be because we're never totally satisfied) with the final version that will become a published novel.

Until the next time. . . . 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Progress Report--Back to the Manuscript (Editing)

After sitting on the edits to my manuscript for a week, I finally opened the document and began work on it.

As mentioned in my last post, I have to be in the right frame of mind to delve into edits, rewrites, revisions, recommendations, and such. It can be a humbling experience as well as edifying. 

I try to approach it in a positive manner. I know the editor is seeking to make the manuscript the best it can be because her name will be stamped on it. And I want the same because my name will be showcased on the cover. But most of all, I want it to be the best possible read for those who will purchase it.

The novel-to-be is about 190 typewritten pages. I was able to cover 17 pages, taking nearly 3.5 hours. So do the math. It will probably take 30-plus hours to go over the entire 91,000 words.

I hope to increase my output, spending about five hours a day. If I can do that, I should be able to return it to my editor early next week, if not sooner. I'm not in a big rush since we set a June 1 deadline. Another reason I want to get it done, sooner than later, is because something could come up in the meantime that could push things back. Life happens.

Not only am I making or considering suggested edits, I'm rereading the manuscript for the tenth time to make sure it flows, catch any typos, and anything else that might pop up.

Are you wondering why can't I do more pages? I must confess that my eyes can't go much longer than five hours. They get heavy and tired. And I get mentally exhausted. I believe most authors would tell you that this is an intense process. 

And now back to the manuscript.

Until the next time. . . . 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Progress Report -- Back to the Manuscript

About two months ago I emailed my completed manuscript to my publisher.  Yesterday, it came back with notes and edits. 

So it's back to work. 

7th annual Authors Fair in La Grange, Ky.
I must admit that I was kinda enjoying the break from the manuscript. I attended three book-signing events in April, selling a few books, expanding my network with other authors, engaging new readers, and making a few friends. 

I haven't opened the documents. I told my editor that it will probably be a few days before I delve into the contents that contain edits, suggestions, and grammatical and typo fixes that should tighten and strengthen the story. 

So why haven't I started the editing process? 

I need to be in the right frame of mind. It's not something that I can do for a few days, take a few days off, and go back to it. Once I get started, I go from beginning to end. I have to stay focused. I find it mentally exhausting, even though I know there will be a degree of exhilaration when it's over.

The novel, a sequel to "Old Ways and New Days," is scheduled to be released on Nov. 1. I don't plan to sit on the edits very long (maybe a day or two) because I have other things to do between now and then, such as work with the publisher on a cover, marketing and promotion. 

And once I finish the formal editing phase, which includes reviewing the galley proof,  I plan to start on the next book in the series. So I have lots to do. Now to get focused.

Until the next time. . . .


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Story Songs: Me and You and a Dog Named Boo

There's something about driving down the wide-open highway and freedom—in a car, on a motorcycle, in an RV, or on a bicycle. The road ends only where you want it to end.

Lobo, whose real name is Kent LaVoie, captured that feeling in 1971 with his song, "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo." It reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart.

In this timeless tune, the narrator and a friend, along with their sidekick, Boo, leave Georgia in an old car to drive to the West Coast.
But it's not a straight shot as they apparently want to see other parts of the country, stopping in St. Paul, Minn., where they run into some trouble.

"I can still recall
The wheat fields of St. Paul
And the morning we got caught
Robbing from an old hen"

But they were fortunate that the farmer got them to repay by putting them to work instead of calling the law.

"Old McDonald he made us work
But then he paid us for what it was for what it was worth
Another tank of gas
And back on the road again"

They finally reach Los Angeles but it's not going to be the destination. Why? They're ready to hit the highways and byways.

"Though it's only been a month or so
That old car's buggin' us to go
We've gotta get away and get back on
The road again"

My favorite lines are the refrain, which expresses the yearning to be free—on the road.

"Me and you and a dog named Boo
Travelin' and livin' off the land
Me and you and a dog named Boo
How I love being a free man"

Back in the late '60s, a friend and I were planning on going out west but it didn't happen because he fell in love with some gal. I didn't own a car at the time so I was out of luck. But through the years I have ventured on the road, discovering new places along the way.

Lobo had several other hits in the '70s including "I'd Love You to Want Me" and "Don't Expect Me to Be Your Friend." Check out this short reflection on his life, in his own words. I've always enjoyed Lobo's relaxed and easygoing voice.

Now let's listen to this classic song:

Until the next time. . . .