Friday, August 31, 2018

A New School Year

Some kids hate going back to school and others look forward to it. I remember it being an exciting time to see school friends again, meet new teachers and have an opportunity to learn new things. I also had a feeling of trepidation on entering the unknown.

For us this is a milestone year. Our first grandchild is going off to college.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Indoor Playground

In our community, there is an indoor playground facility. On hot days, this is an ideal place for our three-year-old grandson to play. His favorite activity is a ball pit, where he can jump into a mass of plastic balls. They also provide plenty of places for grandparents to sit while the grandkids romp and have fun.

This is an excellent break for me from writing as I can enjoy his excitement as he plays.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Speaking at Service Organizations

I enjoy speaking at service organizations such as Kiwanis, Optimist and Rotary clubs. These organizations provide needed services in their communities, and the club members are enthusiastic about helping in their cities.

I recently gave two presentations and have two more scheduled within the next few weeks. The typical meeting includes a meal, organizational business and then the guest speaker. I plan a twenty minute talk followed by about ten minutes for questions and answers. My current presentation is titled “Becoming an Author Has No Expiration Date” about my experience starting to write later in life and writing about older characters.

Many members of service organizations are older and appreciate my humorous and entertaining presentation.

Service organizations do have a challenge. Their members are aging, and some clubs have difficulty recruiting younger members. Some of this is understandable since many younger people are consumed with jobs and raising families. With retirement comes more time to dedicate to volunteer activities. But there is another symptom. I read an interesting book a number of years ago called “Bowling Alone.” The premise was that people are doing more things in isolation rather than in community. We can see this also in the obsession with smart phones rather than engaging with other people in person. Declining service clubs membership numbers may also be attributed to this factor.

I hope we see a reversal in this decline. These are excellent organizations, provide needed services and are full of outstanding people.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A New Publishing Contract

I have just signed a contract with Encircle Publications for the publication of the sequel to my sports mystery, Court Trouble. The new book is titled, Paradise Court, A Pickleball Mystery. It features the sport of pickleball, the fastest growing sport in the country. I played competitive tennis as a kid and in college and later in life switched over to platform tennis (the sport featured in Court Trouble) when living in Colorado. When my wife and I moved to Southern California three years ago, I switched once again to pickleball. For those of you not familiar with pickleball, it’s played with a paddle and a wiffle ball on a small court.

Paradise Court takes place on Maui with lots of island intrigue and is scheduled for release in May of 2019.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Family Vacation

We just returned from a family vacation. My wife and I, our three kids and their spouses, and our five grandkids ranging from three to eighteen went to Disney’s Aulani on Oahu. It’s like a private water park for hotel guest with water slides, a lazy river, splash pads, pools, hot tubs, a beach, snorkeling, a luau, a Disney character breakfast and many family activities.

My wife and I celebrated our 50th anniversary with our close family members. During this trip, I did no writing. Family and relaxing were the whole agenda