Thursday, June 29, 2017

I’ve Become a Connoisseur of Trucks

What we notice and don’t notice can be affected by things in our personal lives. I never noticed pregnant women until my wife was pregnant, and suddenly I saw them everywhere.

Now I’ve become a connoisseur of trucks. How did this happen? Our almost-two-year-old grandson loves trucks. When he and I walk down the street to go to the park, he starts hooting whenever he sees a garbage truck, street sweeper, mail truck, UPS truck, Fed Ex truck or moving van. When we drive somewhere in the car and he’s in the backseat in his car seat, we shout out whenever we see a tanker truck, cargo truck or any other variety. I didn’t used to pay attention to trucks but now even when my wife and I are the only ones in the car we still call out when we see a truck.

And the most popular books that our grandson likes to have read to him. Yup, books about trucks. And my wife does sticker books with him. Most exciting stickers: trucks.

So I’ve gone from being a truck agnostic to becoming a truck connoisseur.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Audio Books

I love audio books. Whenever I’m in the car alone, I listen to an audio book. Some people find listening to an audio book in a car distracting, but I find it has a good effect on me. I relax and pay attention to the road while listening to a story. I’ve found that I’m a calmer driver when listening to an audio book. If there is a delay, I don’t get uptight because I can listen to more of the story.

As a writer, I’m delighted that my books come out in so many different formats including normal print, large print, e-book and audio book formats. Six of my thirteen published books are now available as audio books.

So writers keep writing, and readers keep reading (and listening).

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Fun

Summer is upon us. We returned this week from a trip to Honolulu for my 55th high school reunion. We had a great time getting together with old friends, the operative word being “old.” Then at the end of this week, we have friends visiting from Colorado. These are our young friends, and we plan to go to Disneyland, California Adventure and the beach. Another activity in Lakewood, CA, where we live, is a series of weekly concerts in the park.

Then in October we plan to visit our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons in Iowa City.
On the writing front, my geezer-lit mystery, Death of a Scam Artist, is scheduled for publication in August. This introduces a whole new set of quirky characters who live in a retirement home. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Writers: Build a Portfolio of Manuscripts

One piece of advice I give to new writers is once you’ve finished your first manuscript, keep editing it but also start writing your next book. When you complete this one, write the next. It’s important to keep improving a manuscript, but it is equally important to write more.

Authors rarely publish their first book. From my own experience and hearing other author’s accounts, I would say it averages approximately the fourth manuscript. Writing takes lots of practice. One author stated that you need to write a million words to learn the craft. I have written over a million words, and I’m still learning.

Another advantage of writing more books: you can build a portfolio of manuscripts. In today’s world of numerous publishing options including large publishers (requiring an agent), small and medium-sized publishers who will accept submissions directly from the author and self-publishing, if you have a portfolio of manuscripts, you can choose the best path for a particular book.

Although I have thirteen published books and one more due out in August, I have a number of other manuscripts I’m tuning and will be getting published in the future.

What I’ve learned about writing can be summarized in two rules:

  1. Start writing
  2. Keep writing

Thursday, June 1, 2017

High School Reunions

Do you go to high school reunions? I went to my 25th and since my 40th I’ve gone every five year. This year is my 55th and I’ll be attending. My wife has gotten to know my classmates and she will join me. It helps that it’s in Honolulu.

One of the events at the reunion is an Alumni Art and Literary Show so I’ll be signing books there. I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, operative word being old.