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Know Jack #316 Current Events

Every so often I pause my philosophizing of writing just to recount the blessings that the craft has brought my way. This is one of those times. It is fitting that these blessings all spring from the people whose lives have intersected mine.

I have just come off a very hectic—and exhausting two weeks in which the world lost a wonderful storyteller, Lester “Pete” Wolfe. It was my good fortune that he also happened to be my brother-in-law. His passing is sorrowful, but what he shared in this life is priceless. His stories and the joy he took in telling them is inspiring.

I was making preparations to travel to Arkansas when the news about Lester came, sending me on to Oklahoma. It was there that I picked up my traveling companion, grandson Bryan.

Bryan and I drove across Oklahoma to Alabama, loaded up the Jeep with my equipment for the Ouachita Bigfoot Festival, and the next day drove to Arkansas. He was a real trooper. He was trapped in the passenger seat for twenty-three hours, listening to my music and my ramblings, with never a complaint. What seventeen-year-old does that?

The real blessing was that I did not do all the talking. While Bryan holds strong and rather unique opinions, he has formulated for himself, he is rather reserved. (Don’t have a clue where he gets any of that from.) But he opened up to talk to Grandpa. Now, that’s a blessing! It happened because writing put us together in that car.

Bryan also turned out to be a good salesman. He’s got a great voice. So I offered him a job narrating a book for me—a book that he inspired with a single, handwritten page he penned seven years ago. Lord willing, Trails of Trouble will finally see print next year.

I had a great time at the Ouachita Bigfoot Festival this year. We were there to promote my book Tracks. In a land where television occupies the time and minds of the vocal majority, and reading is seen as a leftover chore from our schooldays, books are not an easy sell.

Being at the festival brought me face to face with Facebook friends Michael Payton and Todd Neiss. I was totally surprised to learn one of the speakers is a professor at my old alma mater. Marvin, great to meet you. I cannot imagine a better hostess for an event like that than Shelly Alston.

I always envisioned retirement as a sedate sitting around and occasionally, when the mood struck, writing something more for myself than anyone else. Boy, was I wrong!

I’ve written eight books, numerous short stories for anthologies, and, of course, this blog. I attend promotional events at least twice a month. I’m not famous…yet, but as some are wont to say, I get my ego stroked by calling myself an author. It’s true, but what the hell?

If the plan holds, the writing will slow down in favor of doing something even better, encouraging others to write and publishing their work. I plan on Ed Landry being a constant companion, but after the Redemption sequel, I hope to be more publisher than a writer. I’m thinking of cutting down to two books a year. I said something like that about smoking once that didn’t quite work out.

That said, I am currently doing a final edit on a sort of new book. I am revising some of the stories from Hatchlings, adding and subtracting others, and House of Honor Books will be releasing it as Tokens of Perdition within the week. I have three completed books to be edited and published. Soon as that’s done, I’ll slow down…right?


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