Welcome back. My thanks to the many readers who communicated privately after the post about Ranger 12 and my two friends, Patrick Price and Craig Rudolph. It’s always nice to hear from you, but doubly nice when you were friends of friends.
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Today I’ll just throw out all sorts of dreck that’s been accumulating here in the bilges.
First, my dog Stormy really thinks I’m a smart guy. She, as a matter of fact, has accorded me the honor of having special mental powers. It seems that during my wife’s recent winter break in Florida, Stormy decided that not only could I read the meaning in her droppings on the rug, but I was capable, evidently, of reading her special script on the rug – the kind that can only be written in secret urine.
Yeah. She was mad that her best friend (mine as well) had headed south to get some sunshine. I even went the extra mile to put out the puppy pads for her. Nope. Off by just 7 or 8 inches every time. This from a dog who can bullseye a womp rat every time. Seriously, there are Marine snipers who aren’t able to put it on target quite like her. Evidently I’m not as smart as she thinks. But I do appreciate her faith in me. Thankfully, my wife returned last week and the decorating spree has ended.
Item next: I’ve started a new chapter in my writing – taxes.
Good grief. The pain in the butt to document everything to the government is mind-boggling. I didn’t make any money as an author last year. Yes, I sold books, but it’s not very lucrative unless you have a huge seller. I was not having fun doing the sales tax calculations (I keep good records, but you do have to cough it up to the state once a year) and spent a lot of hours on the task. But better to do it right than to get fined.
Speaking of fines, Amazon has somehow decided that 5 of my reviews were fakes and pulled them down. Seriously, I’m tempted to open 20 or 30 Amazon accounts with debit cards and flood them with reviews. They seem to think that’s what I’m doing now, so I might as well reap the reward. Not too many things in life make an author more indignant than having a 5 star review pulled because some algorithm says it’s probably fake. To the best of my knowledge, that brings me to 30 reviews they’ve nixed. I made that number up. I admit it. But it’s over 20, and who knows how many more never got posted because of some technical issue.
While I’m whining, let me touch on the subject of Bob Beckel. He’s back on The Five. Bob has the “fingers-in-his-ears-I-can’t-hear-you” thing going on all the time. He is the epitome of the guy who hears your first five words and then starts planning his rebuttal. I think I will be watching The Five a lot less in the near future.
Teaching. Ye Gods, but the wind in my hair is magnificent! Or something. I’ll be teaching at a national writing conference this fall. Very excited about the opportunity to let my experience with weapons and violence – that doesn’t sound quite right, but I’ll let it stand – benefit my fellow writers. If I can infuse some authenticity into their writing, we’ve all won. One of my topics is “How to kill your opponent with a roll of dimes.” Something like that: it’s on personal weaponry. Weapons of opportunity will be part of the lesson.
Writing. Yes, the sequel is in progress. I think it’s very good. I am also working on three other books at the same time. It might be later this year. I’d planned on it being this week, but life has a habit of getting in the way. I do promise to try. I’m optimistic about it happening.
Snow shoeing is a bust this month. Good grief. I live in Minnesota, and the snow stinks for outdoor activity due to the layer of ice under the surface. We had a couple of days of rain this month, and under the 2 inches of snow in my area you will find a two inch layer of solid ice. Even the pair of snow shoes with the crampons built in won’t grab on that stuff. Pray for snow. I have a race to train for this month. 20 days to go and I’m not nearly ready.
I think that’s enough blather for the moment. I promise a real blog later this week.
Thank you, again, to all the new readers who stopped by last week. I hope you’ll stick around for a while. It does get better.
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Yay – can’t wait for the new book!
Wish I could take that class, Joe! It’d be a blast (metaphorically speaking of course).
Might even be a real blast. But I don’t think they’ll let me lead a field trip to the local range. Then again, if enough people are interested, Friday nights are usually open…..