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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not as bad as I thought it would be

In my last post, I thought my favorite neighbor was going to be angry with me because I screwed up her lawnmower. It turns out that I had not screwed it up. She took it to a lawnmower shop in neighborhood, and they told her there was a trick to removing or tightening the blade. Obviously, I did not know the trick. Fortunately, it did not cost a fortune for her to get her lawnmower fixed or for her to have to replace it. Tomorrow we (my darling Judy and I) are going to Greetings and Readings in Hunt Valley for a book signing session. When we finish with that, we will be going to set up another book signing that will take place on August 6. I have to take a supply of books, and sign some paperwork so I can put them on consignment at the store. I also sent the note to a writer friend, who is also a doctor, asking about a disease I was thinking about using in my book. I don't know if such a malady exists, but I am hoping that somewhere in the annals of modern medicine something of its sort might be found. If there is not a real disease, then I will have to invent one. It is critical to my story. Now, all I can do is sit back and wait for an answer so I can get on with the book.

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Trying to be a Good Samaritan has gotten me in a pickle. We have two lawnmowers. However, the riding lawnmower is not working properly, and walk behind self propelled is one that my wife does not like. Both of these are gasoline powered. Since I am physically unable to do the lawn work, Judy has to do it. She saw my neighbor, working with a lightweight electric lawnmower and asked to borrow it to finish up the back yard. She, also, volunteered for me to sharpen the blade. That was the beginning of the end. The blade was beyond sharpening. It needed replacement. The nut holding the blade in place, was nearly rusted together with the shaft. I sprayed it liberally with penetrating oil, waited about 15 minutes, then tried to loosen the it again. Hooray, it came loose. There was a problem though. Once the nut was loose, it could not be removed because there was no way to hold the motor shaft still to remove it. Conversely, it could not be re tightened. There was no way to grip the motor shaft from underneath the mower. After fighting the problem for 2 1/2 hours, in the summer's heat, on Father's Day, I asked the mower owner to come take a look at it so I could show her what was going on. This lady is an architect and a do-it-yourselfer. I showed her the problem and said that I believed that the there was a way to correct the problem from the opposite end of the motor. However, because the shroud would only lift up about 4 inches, it was impossible to see the end of the motor shaft to determine whether or not there might be a hex key or other kind of fitting at the end of the shaft. She would have none of it. She was going to have Sears come out and take care of it. At that moment, my wife got angry,too. At me. For not having thought of this in advance. Now, I not only had my favorite neighbor angry with me, but I had my wife angry too. What a wonderful way to spend Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Great News From the UK

This morning when I open my e-mails. I saw something that gave me chills. It was a message from the UK. I had sent a message to the editor of Eye Spy Magazine. A request via e-mail asking for his personal opinion of my novel, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, as I had sent it to him with the caveat that it was not a traditional spy story. He told me he was going to read it the weekend after he received it via a transatlantic telephone call. When I opened the e-mail, I was thriiled with its contents. Mr. Birdsall, the editor, had nothing but glowing comments. He said that all of my espionage scenes were plausible, and the book was an enjoyable read. He assured me he that a review would be published in his magazine. That should give a major boost to my book sales since the magazine has a worldwide distribution to the surveillance and security communities. Once it is published, other reviwers may pick up on the book as well. Hopefully that is the case. I will be posting his e-mail on my book's website under "Reviews." Here's hoping many good things will come from this.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How can I write when everything else is given a higher priority. Fix this. Do that. It seems as soon as warm weather hits, writing takes a back seat. Waaaay back! The usual things that come with owning (along with the bank) a house take over, and by the time I finish with those, I am too tired to sit down to a keyboard and concentrate on the project at hand. Throw in the things that have to be done to promote your current work, and creativity time is gone. I need to figure a way to slough off some of the more mundane chores that keep bogging me down. No wonder my blogs have become less frequent. That is not an excuse, but it is a fact. Oh, well! Fall is only three months away.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Writer's Woes

I can't believe what just happened to me. I had just finished composing a blog entry using the Google toolbar access to Blogger, and when I attempted to post the blog, I got a blank screen and a message saying "action not available." To make it worse, I could not go back and retrieve what I had written. My carefully contrived post is now floating somewhere in cyberspace, most likely, never to be seen again. I am very exasperated. I started blogging about how I produced my first book, going into some details, and writing about new projects I have begun. I am in the midst of a young adult novel using my grandchildren as models for the characters. The second project is a sequel to my first book, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, and is giving me fits. There are so many variables, that I am having a difficult time tying the pieces together. However, I am not one to give up easily when confronted with a problem that seemingly has no solution. The fact that it took me 18 months and eight rewrites to finish my first book proves that. It may take me a while, but I will figure it out. It is the solutions to the problems I faced during the process is what sets Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row apart from every other book out there.