Thursday, November 30, 2017

Things That Go Bump in the Night

You’re sound asleep and awakened by an eerie sound. Where’s it coming from? What is it? Has this happened to you?

We experienced this recently. My wife, an avid mystery reader, solved it. We have a number of books in our house for grandkids, and she recently retired a number of them and put them in bags to give away. One of the talking books (you push a button and the book speaks like a cartoon character) obviously didn’t want to leave. Somehow one of the buttons got activated and the sound we heard was Minnie Mouse saying, “Don’t you just love tea parties.”

Not at four in the morning.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Shopping and Black Friday

How do you feel about shopping on Black Friday?

When I see TV pictures of people lined up in front of stores for Black Friday, it makes me shudder. I guess some people like this kind of thing. For me, I hate crowds, lines and shopping. Black Friday is a day for me to read a book, take a walk and avoid any store.

Call me crazy, but I prefer to spend my consumer dollars when things are calm.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Trading Responsibilities

My wife and I have been married forty-nine years. When I retired in 2007, we decided to trade some responsibilities. For many years I had taken care of our family finances, and my wife had done most of the food shopping and cooking. Now I do most of the food shopping and cooking, and my wife takes care of finances.

In addition to both of us developing some new skills, this has another beneficial side effect. If something happens to one of us, the other will be better prepared to carry on.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Republishing My Backlist

My first novel in the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, Retirement Homes Are Murder, was published in 2007 and the sixth book in the series, Nursing Homes Are Murder, appeared in 2014. All six books in this series as well as a standalone, Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse, are out of print from the publisher, Five Star. Fortunately, rights have reverted to me, so these books are being released as trade paperbacks by Encircle Publications. Many thanks to Eddie Vincent at Encircle for making this happen.

The other good news for readers is that they are priced at approximately half the price of the original hardcover editions.
Here are the covers:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Writing Cartoon Gags

Six years before I began writing short stories and novels, I had a hobby of writing cartoon gags. I learned about this from an article in the Smithsonian Magazine—cartoonists accepted gag copy from people and payed them a percentage of their take when they sold a cartoon to a publication. I then subscripted to a magazine that listed cartoonists, how to contact them and what types of gags they were looking for.

In my free time, I began thinking up gags and writing then down. In this era of the mid-1990s before everything had moved to the Internet and email, the procedure was to put the gags on a 3 inch by 5 inch index card with a unique identification number and my address on the other side of the card. I would mail these in batches of five to the cartoonist with a stamped and self-address envelope included. If the cartoonist liked a gag, he would keep the card and return the ones he didn’t want. Then if he sold the cartoon, he’d pay me a percentage usually about twenty-five percent of what he received.

I did this for several years, had a number of gags accepted and some of these sold. If was fun but probably didn’t pay for the postage.