Nick Russell

Moving South

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 022014
 

Normally we don’t travel on holiday weekends, but our fifteen day stay at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort was over and it was time to move on down the road. We pulled out of the campground yesterday morning at 10 and traveled a few miles west to U.S. Highway 15 and turned the nose of the Winnebago south. As it turned out, even on the holiday traffic wasn’t bad, and we rolled right along with no problems. Okay, maybe one little problem, but that was it!

As we were coming into Frederick, Maryland I was in the wrong lane and had to take an unplanned detour for half a mile or so until I could find a parking lot big enough to turn around in and get us pointed in the right direction. Before we knew it, we had crossed into Virginia and the road had narrowed down from divided four-lane highway to two lanes with some small towns and a few traffic lights to slow us up.

At Warrenton, we got onto U.S. Highway 17 and took it 36 miles southeast to Interstate 95 south. A couple of miles later we exited onto State Route 3 in Fredericksburg and in another 36 miles we were at Harbor View RV Resort just outside of Colonial Beach, Virginia.

Much of the route was on good two-lane roads, and it added an extra ten or fifteen miles to the trip, but was well worth it to avoid the Washington D.C, metro area. Thanks to Steve Fischer and Allen Flanagan for suggesting the alternate route.

How can 185 miles add fifteen degrees to the temperature? When we left Gettysburg Farm the temperature was supposed to be 82o for the day. When we arrived here a little over four hours later, it was 97o and so humid that as soon as I stepped outside of the motorhome I started dripping with sweat.

We parked the motorhome in the parking area in front of the office, and before I could get to the door a nice lady named Linda came out and introduced herself, put me on a golf cart, and took me around to show me the available sites. We have a 40′ diesel pusher and I told her I was hoping for a site where my rooftop satellite TV dish would work. She said no problem, showed me several that would work, and told me to take my pick. Linda was very friendly, recommended a couple of restaurants when I asked, and gave me directions. What more could you ask for? I was impressed. It was one of the nicest welcomes we have had anywhere in 15 years of fulltiming.

We have been craving good seafood, and on our last visit to Colonial Beach we ate at Dockside Restaurant, which was very good, so once we were parked and hooked up and had time to cool off a bit, we drove into town for dinner. But as it turned out, Dockside was closed.

Someone had suggested we try Wilkerson’s Seafood Restaurant, a couple of miles north of town, and since we really wanted good seafood, we decided to give it a try. As it turns out, we’re still looking forward to good seafood. Instead we got very overpriced seafood that was mediocre at best. Our first clue this was a poor choice was the brown, slimy lettuce Terry found in the lower section of the salad bar. Yuck. I ordered a broiled seafood platter and Terry chose the crab and flounder combo. When our meals finally came, nothing tasted bad, but nothing tasted good enough to finish either. The flounder was dry and overcooked, the shrimp and scallops were overdone. Terry said her crab cake was okay, but nothing memorable. The only saving graces were that our waitress was pleasant and the view across the water was very nice. But that was not enough to make us want not go back.

We will be here for two weeks and hopefully it will cool down enough that we can get out and play tourist. There are so many historic sites and interesting places to see around here that it could keep us busy for an entire summer. We have a full hookup 50 amp site, good TV reception, and our Verizon internet started off good but then became slow and flakey, which mean’s it’s typical Verizon service. Life is good.

Thought For The Day – A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Back On The Lines

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 012014
 

People said they are getting spam e-mails from me yesterday. It wasn’t from me, though it had my name on it. Look at the e-mail address and you will see it’s not mine. I NEVER send anything with attached unsolicited links except to maybe two or three people, and if you’re one of them, you know who you are.

Sport kite fliers know that when it comes to learning how to fly any dual or quad line kite, there is no substitute for times on the lines, which means basically getting out and flying. You can watch any of the million online videos and read a gazillion articles, but none of it is a substitute for actually getting a kite in the air, crashing, and getting it up there again. Eventually (or so experienced fliers tell me), you start to get the hang of it.

With that in mind, yesterday we went back to Sam Lewis State Park in York for John Barresi’s kite flying clinic. There were probably a dozen fliers there, and I was by far the least experienced, and a newcomer as well, but I have found that kite fliers are just as friendly and outgoing as RVers and they all made us feel welcome.

Kites on ground

Here is John making it look easy, but trust me, it’s not! This one is actually an indoor kite. Yes, they fly kites indoors! I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself last year at the kite festival in Long Beach, Washington.

John Barresi flying

The wind was pretty flakey, strong sometimes and then it would die off to nothing and come back up. But that didn’t stop John from getting a few of the fliers organized and flying in formation. I’m a long way from ever being that good.

Formation Flying

Team Flying

About 3:30 we decided to pack it in and head home and it was good timing on our part. It started to rain as we were getting into the car and poured most of the way back across town.

We were hungry and since we like to check out the local restaurants where we are traveling, we stopped at the Lyndon Diner in York. It’s a classic diner with classic diner food, all of it delicious and served in huge portions.

Lyndon Diner

Terry ordered the spinach pie and could not begin to eat it all. They also had huge slices of pie and cheesecake, as well as other desserts, but there was no way we had any room for any of them, darn it. Sad smile

Spinach pie

Congratulations to George Osborne, this week’s winner of an audiobook of The Package: Book One by Cleve Sylcox. We had 114 entries in this week’s drawing. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon!

And finally, we have sad news out of Bowling Green, Kentucky this weekend. The RV Daily Report said that David Garvin, 71, the founder of Camping World, died Saturday morning after an accidental fall from the roof of his home. Garvin started the nationwide camping supply store at age 23 as a mail order business and was a true success story.

Thought For The Day – The optimist pleasantly ponders how high his kite will fly; the pessimist woefully wonders how soon his kite will fall.

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Quiet Days

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 312014
 

The life of fulltime RVers isn’t always all about traveling and sightseeing, exploring new places, meeting new friends, and making new memories. Sometimes we just have quiet days at home. And that’s nice, too.

Yesterday was one of those quiet days that we appreciate so much. We slept in and then stayed in bed snuggling and talking about how much we love our life together. When we got up the weekend campers already had their campfires going, even though it was pushing 80 degrees. We would have enjoyed having the door and windows open, but the smoke was a bit too much so we eventually closed up and put the air conditioning on.

After checking what seemed like a month’s worth of e-mail and replying to those that needed it, I spent some time reading a couple of my favorite RV blogs and then went into my Facebook authors group to chat for a while. Then I spent most of the rest of the day backing up my computer and doing internet research on the next book in my Big Lake mystery series.

I’m not sure if it’s just the summer doldrums that all authors face this time of year or the fact that it was released just before the start of the holiday weekend, but sales of my new book, Big Lake Scandal, started off with a bang and then fizzled out. Hopefully it will pick up once the holiday is over and life gets back to normal.

BigLakeScandalKindleCOVER

Then again, maybe it’s my fault. I got an e-mail from somebody who said "I saw your new book on Facebook and went to Amazon to get it but it’s $3.99 so I didn’t. You’d get a lot more readers if it was free." What the hell, I don’t need to eat or pay my bills, right?

For dinner, tonight Terry made absolutely the most delicious Italian sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life. And trust me, I’ve had a lot of them! She used an Old World Deli Selection from WalMart’s deli section that had a combination of Pepper Salame, Hot Capocollo and Hot Calabrese, to which she added smoked provolone cheese and a homemade oil concoction that included olive oil, champagne vinegar, garlic powder, freshly ground sea salt, pepper, and herbs. All of that toasted on Italian rolls hot out of her Breville oven and my taste buds had an orgasm! Yeah, it was that good.

We know famous people! Yesterday our pals John and Kathy Huggins from Living The RV Dream were featured in a Yahoo post on 5 retired couples who trek the globe on a budget. How cool is that?

Today is your last chance to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook of The Package: Book One by my friend Cleve Sylcox. It’s a classic detective noir short story featuring a hardnosed private eye, a shady lawyer, a femme fatale, and a whole lot of trouble. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

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This is our last full day in Pennsylvania; it’s time to hit the road again. We’ve enjoyed our time at the Hershey Thousand Trails and here at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort, and we plan to return to both places again. We really love this part of the country and there is so much to see and do here that we could spend an entire summer and never scratch the surface. We may have to do that sometime.

Thought For The Day – The person who knows "how" will always have a job. The person who knows "why" will always be his boss.

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The Last Hurrah

 Posted by at 1:03 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 302014
 

Labor Day weekend – the last hurrah for most weekend warriors and camping families for the year. Kids are back in school or headed there, and for us fulltimers things will start to quiet down. So even though it’s crazy here at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort, with kids everywhere and smoky campfires, that’s okay. It will all be over soon.

Yesterday we had a visit from subscribers Bob and Michelle Hazlett, who are workamping at a campground in Milton, Pennsylvania, a couple of hours north of us. They wanted to check out a Thousand Trails membership and I urged them to look into a used one. We got ours for free from somebody who just wanted out of it. All we had to do was pay the transfer fee. I’ve also helped three or four friends find a free or very low cost used membership. Check out the Escapees forum or other RV forums and be patient. They’re out there.

After Bob and Michelle left, we made a quick trip to the post office in East Berlin to mail out an order and then went to Mannings for one last yarn shopping adventure. Terry got four more cones of the tencel yarn she loves weaving with so much, in various colors, and told me she has several more projects she’s planning.

From there we drove into York and had dinner at Shangrila, the Chinese restaurant we discovered a week ago, and it was just as delicious as the first time around. After that we stopped at WalMart because I just hate having money in my bank account and that’s always an easy place to blow a hundred bucks or so. Then it was home for a quiet night of TV and internet surfing.

Today we plan to just hang out at home. I want to get some more work done on my next book and Terry said her paperwork is starting to pile up again so it’s time to tackle that. I swear it multiples overnight.

A lot of you have been clicking our Shop Amazon link at the top of the page and doing your online shopping through us. Every time you do that and make a purchase we earn a small commission, and at the end of the month, those pennies add up to enough to help us continue doing what we do, which is bringing you entertainment and information you can use in the daily blog and the Gypsy Journal.

Here’s a product on Amazon that we swear by. Even when we’re in a park with low water pressure or running off our water pump, the Oxygenics shower head gives us plenty of pressure for a good shower. Every RVer I know who has one loves it!

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There is still time to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook of The The Package: Book One by my friend Cleve Sylcox. It’s a classic detective noir short story featuring a hardnosed private eye, a shady lawyer, a femme fatale, and a whole lot of trouble. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

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And finally, to start your weekend off with a laugh, watch this video and tell me you don’t know a drama queen or two who could use this magical stuff. If you don’t get a chuckle out of this have somebody call the undertaker, because you must be dead.

Thought For The Day – A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.

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A Day To Play

 Posted by at 1:18 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 292014
 

I love my job and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing with my life. In fact, sometimes I think that sooner or later Big Brother is going to decide that it’s just not right for anyone to have that much fun, and get paid for it too, and come and get me and take me away.

Even so, sometimes I just have to take a day off and play, and yesterday was just such a day. Last week I learned that John Barresi would be holding a kite flying clinic this Sunday at Sam Lewis State Park in York, just 30 miles from the campground and put it on my calendar as “Can’t Miss” event. John is a superstar in the world of high performance stunt kites and a 25 time US National Champion who teaches and competes all over the world. He also had some time available for private lessons, and after a lot of encouragement (nagging) from Miss Terry, I contacted John and reserved time for a three hour lesson.

John NIck lesson

Nick John flying Rev

While I got the hang of my dual line Prism Snapshot 1.9 speed foil kite pretty easily, the quad line Revolution kite is a very different animal and even after watching all the videos and getting advice for several experienced fliers online, it just wasn’t clicking for me. Try as I might, I’d get the kite up a few feet and it would turn left and crash. I was completely discouraged and about to give up on the Rev and stick with my speed foil.

But within 15 minutes John had me flying, and by the time we were done I was flying the kite, even doing some basic maneuvers like flying it sideways and hovering in midair. I learned more in those three hours than I have in the last year, and came away with a lot more knowledge and confidence and totally enthused about flying again.

Nick flying Rev

Rev sideways

John is an incredibly patient and competent instructor who makes you feel comfortable and explains techniques in language the student can understand. If you get into high performance stunt kites and you ever get the chance to take a class with him, do it. It’s time and money well spent.

Here is John and his beautiful wife TK. She is also an expert Rev flier.

John and TK

TK flying

TK flying 3

To give you an idea of what they are capable of, here is a link to a video of John and his I Quad stunt flying team at a festival in Oregon. Take the time to watch it, it’s amazing.

Besides all of the fun flying, the views of the Susquehanna River were wonderful.

But here was the best view I saw all day.

Terry Penna 2014 2

While those three hours of kite flying were a lot of fun, by the time we got home my sore shoulders and back were making me well aware that I’m not a kid anymore.

Have you entered our new Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Package: Book One by my friend Cleve Sylcox. It’s a classic detective noir short story featuring a hardnosed private eye, a shady lawyer, a femme fatale, and a whole lot of trouble. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

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Thought For The Day – Enthusiasm is contagious. Be a carrier.

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A Lot Of Tractors

 Posted by at 12:25 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 282014
 

While Terry and I don’t miss the hectic schedule we had to keep to make them happen, or all of the work of putting on our RV rallies, we do miss seeing so many of our good friends whom we could count on showing up at every rally. It was like a big family reunion.

Two good friends and faithful rally attendees are Dave and Thelma Middleton, and as it so happens, they only live about eight miles from Gettysburg Farm RV Resort. When they read in the blog that we were so close they invited us up for a visit and yesterday was a good day for it.

After seeing the new modular home they are having erected on their property and visiting for a while, they took us to dinner at a local restaurant and then to a tractor show in Wellsville. I know Pennsylvania is an agricultural state, but who knew that there were so many tractors here? Big tractors, little tractors, old tractors, new tractors. More darned tractors than I’ve ever seen in one place!

MM display

Allia Chalmers

Things started off with a tractor parade, with garden tractors leading the way.

Custom garden tractor 

Garden tractor parade

Then came the big tractors. Most of them are antiques, some dating back to the 1930s. Apparently restoring tractors is kind of like restoring old cars, but I’d prefer a Sunday cruise in a vintage Mustang or T-Bird than this old John Deere.

John Deere 66

Old International

Red Farmall

And tractors are a family thing. There were a lot of kids riding and even driving tractors in the parade.

Dad and kids 

Dad and kid

Boy driving wiht dad

Boy on Frmall

And the girls weren’t too shy about it either!

Girls drivign tractor

Woman John Deere

There were a lot of tractors and steam engines on display.

Case 

Steam locomotive

This looks like a railroad locomotive, but it’s actually built on a truck frame.

Locomotive

Thanks for making time for us and showing us around, Dave and Thelma!

In the first 24 hours since it went live, my new book, Big Lake Scandal, already had two 5 star reviews and rose in the rankings to #2,504 in the Amazon Kindle Store, and #59 in the Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Police Procedurals category. Thank you all for buying it and telling your friends. Please don’t forget to leave a review, it really helps an author market their books.

Have you entered our new Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Package: Book One by my friend Cleve Sylcox. It’s a classic detective noir short story featuring a hardnosed private eye, a shady lawyer, a femme fatale, and a whole lot of trouble. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

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Thought For The Day – Stop looking for formulas. Start looking for ideas.

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Aug 272014
 

It took longer than usual but my new book, Big Lake Scandal is finally available for purchase on Amazon. Usually it takes about twelve hours for a book to go live once I upload it, but it was closer to 24 hours this time around. Surprisingly, the Nook version of the book was available much sooner. Usually it happens the other way around.

I am constantly amazed at Miss Terry’s talents though I shouldn’t be since I see the things she can accomplish on a daily basis. Here is her latest creation, a beautiful purple iris blend with green highlights. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it has almost an iridescent appearance. This was her most complicated pattern to date, with the warp having 578 individual threads, all hand wound and threaded onto the heddles individually.

Terry tencel shawl

With the last of the new edition mailed out to our subscribers and the new book uploaded, yesterday we drove into Gettysburg and spent the afternoon driving the auto tour route through the epic Civil War battlefield.

Cannon and fence

Everywhere you look in Gettysburg there are monuments to the Union and Confederate units that fought there.

8th Pennsylvania Cavalry monument 

Vermont Infantry

The battle didn’t take place in one spot, but rather was a series of desperate, bloody clashes in places with pastoral names like Culp’s Hill, the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, McMillan Woods, and Little Round Top. The tour route covers several miles as it winds its way past them.

Tammany regiement

If you are feeling energetic, at Culp’s Hill you can climb this observation tower for a bird’s eye view of the battlefield.

Observation tower

The action was not just in the outlying areas either; the streets of the small town became part of the battle and many homes still standing today saw some of the bloodiest fighting and still bear the scars of war. Some still have cannon balls or rifle slugs embedded in their walls. Almost every building in town, be they private homes, stores, or shops was used as a refuge for terrified citizens, as sniper’s nests, or pressed into service as makeshift hospitals. Plaques and signs on many buildings tell of their role in the battle.

Street scene

During the time of the battle, Professor Martin Stoever and his family lived on the upper floors of this building and the ground level was occupied by J.L. Schick’s general store. Shortly after the fighting began, 20 wounded Union soldiers were brought to the home and the scene became gruesome as limbs were amputated and horrific wounds were treated with no medical equipment or training.

Stoever building

We’ll have a feature on Gettysburg in an upcoming issue of the Gypsy Journal.

Longtime subscribers Tim and Stephanie Brewer live just outside of Gettysburg and after we toured the battlefield we met them for dinner at a great place called the Garryowen Irish Pub. This is a popular place with the locals and I can see why. The food and service were both outstanding.

And so was the company, of course. Tim and Stephanie are a couple of years away from fulltiming and we talked a lot about the RV lifestyle and the advantages of different RV makes and models. Hopefully we were able to give them some food for thought.

After dinner the four of us walked a couple of blocks up the street to another great restaurant called simply The Pub and Restaurant, where Tim and Stephanie said they serve amazing desserts. They shared this massive slice of carrot cake and still had a lot to take home. Terry and I shared a piece of cheesecake that was absolutely delicious.

Carrot cake

After dessert we went outside and visited some more before we finally said our goodbyes and headed back home. We look forward to getting together with Tim and Stephanie again in our travels.

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Package: Book One by my friend Cleve Sylcox. It’s a classic detective noir short story featuring a hardnosed private eye, a shady lawyer, a femme fatale, and a whole lot of trouble. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

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Thought For The Day – Simplicity is the nature of great souls.

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It’s On Its Way!

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 262014
 

After hauling a truckload of bins full of stuffed envelopes to the small post office in East Berlin yesterday, we made a short trip to Mannings Handweaving School and Supply Center so Terry could pick up some extra spools of the tencel yarn she loves to weave with so much.

Carol Woolcock, the shop’s owner, was behind the counter when we went in, and Terry gave her a copy of the new issue of the paper. Carol and her hubby Ron have a beautiful diesel motorhome and we spent a few minutes visiting with her before Terry went off in search of just the right yarn for her next projects.

We made a stop at the grocery store on our way back to the campground to pick up a few items, including a couple of bags of Utz potato chips. Several readers from this area had told us how good they were, so we bought a bag a while back and they are delicious. We wanted to get some more before we leave the area.

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Back at home I spent the rest of the day making the final revisions to my newest book and finally, about 10 p.m., I hit Publish on Big Lake Scandal. Now the wait begins. It’s kind of like being in the waiting room at the maternity ward. Depending on how fast things happen at Amazon and Nook Press, it should be live in 12 to 24 hours after the start of publishing. Meanwhile here is the cover, which was produced by Elizabeth Mackey of Elizabeth Mackey Graphic Design. She is an amazing talent and does excellent work.

BigLakeScandalKindleCOVER

Terry and I have really enjoyed our time here at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort and this is a place we definitely will return to. Unfortunately, between getting the new issue printed and mailed, the new book ready to publish, and a couple of days with a lot of rain, things have kept us from getting out to play tourist as much as we had hoped to. We’ve only got a few days left here and hope to get free to go out and play if we can.

We’ve also had several readers ask about getting together but have not been able to do that yet, either. Does anybody know how to stick another twelve hours or so in a day? It would sure help. When it comes to money and material things, Terry and I are very fortunate. We’ve worked hard to recover after her cancer wiped us out and it’s paying off. While we’ll never be wealthy in terms of dollars and we’ll never be able to fully retire, we are rich in so many ways that really count. The one thing I wish we had more of is time. It’s priceless, and even the wealthiest people in the world can’t buy any more.

Thought For The Day – The pessimist borrows trouble; the optimists lend encouragement.

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Aug 252014
 

Yesterday was a very good day in more ways than one. I was really sick Saturday night, so just waking up and seeing the light of day was a good way to start things off. Especially when I looked over and saw Miss Terry there beside me in bed. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

Terry worked hard stuffing envelopes all day, while I worked on my next book. I didn’t get as much written as I would have liked to, but I did get a lot of research done on some things I needed to know for the story. I spend a lot of time online doing research for my books and for stories in the Gypsy Journal. Or at least that’s what I tell Terry when she sees me looking at scantily clad young ladies on the internet. Yeah, honey, it’s just research. Nothing to see here, go on about your business and let me get my work done.

When we were at the Washington State Kite Festival last year I got hooked on the hobby and quickly found myself the owner of several kites, including two Revolution quad line kites, which can do amazing things in the right hands. Unfortunately, mine are not the right hands. I have a lot to learn yet.

Formation flying 2

A few weeks later, when we were staying at the Seaside Thousand Trails preserve in Oregon, I got to meet John Barresi, a 25-time U.S. National Champion flier who can do magical things with a kite. He literally makes them dance in the air. John is a heck of a nice guy and spent a few minutes chatting with us between flights. I vowed then that someday I’d get the opportunity to fly with him.

Yesterday I discovered that this week John will be in York, just 20 miles from where we are, and this coming Sunday he will be holding a free flying clinic at Sam Lewis State Park. I bet you can guess where I’ll be! I’m looking forward to getting some tips from the master.

I know a lot of you have been patiently waiting for my next Big Lake book to come out, and so have I. Well, yesterday my buddy Chris Yust finished the final edit and sent it back to me. I started making the corrections and should have them finished by today and start formatting it. If everything goes according to plan, it should be live on Amazon sometime tomorrow. I’m excited! Thanks for all your hard work, Chris. I appreciate you.

All of that, and then Miss Terry made me a batch of her delicious chocolate chip cookies last night. Like I said, I had a lot of reasons to smile!

Congratulations to Stan Hildebrand, the winner of this week’s drawing for an audiobook of Dog’s Run! We had 175 entries this week. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

I have a couple of book deals to tell you about today. The first is SODIUM:1 Harbinger, an action adventure of an alien encounter in the 1950s. It’s the first book in Stephen Arseneault’s popular Sodium science fiction series and is currently ranked #1 in two categories on Amazon. And best of all, it’s free!

And my buddy Randy Morris is running a special sale on his latest travel photo book, Traveling the U.S.: San Diego, for just 99¢. I have all of Randy’s travel books and they’re excellent. Check it out.

Thought For The Day – Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

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Aug 242014
 

It started raining a little after midnight and continued for most of Saturday, like we needed more of it. The ground is saturated and water is standing in puddles everywhere. And we have more forecast for today.

The rain didn’t really impact us because we’ve been busy labeling and stuffing envelopes pretty much nonstop. Except for dumping our black tank and taking some trash down to the dumpster, carrying bundles of papers in from the Explorer and bins with envelopes back out, I didn’t go outside all day.

While Terry was stuffing envelopes, I uploaded the new digital issue and sent the link out to our subscribers, along with renewal notices for those whose digital issues are about to expire. And quickly we started getting notices from PayPal that many of our loyal subscribers were already sending in their renewals. We really appreciate all of your continued support.

I also spent some time answering e-mails from our readers, and as sometimes happens, I found myself engaged in an exchange with a fellow that was quickly going nowhere. He wrote to ask me if I knew anything about how to earn money delivering RVs because he had heard that many transporters were making upwards of $50K a year working for delivery companies in Indiana.

Over the years we have known quite a few people who tried RV delivery and without exception, every one of them quickly realized that while you may gross $50K, your net is about minimum wage, if you’re really lucky. You can’t sleep in the RVs, you are responsible for any damage incurred during transport, and you are not paid to return back to the starting point. Plus, you will need a commercial drivers license and commercial insurance on your truck if you are delivering towables. It’s a quick way to wear out a truck and have nothing to show for your efforts.

But this fellow, who had never delivered RVs, did not want to hear all of that and had a comeback for everything I told him. He just knew he was going to make big money getting paid to see America and was looking for somebody to tell him to go for it. What can you do when you find yourself in a situation like that? I wished him well and told him to have fun.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I am trying a new promo, having enrolled all of my e-books, both my novels and my RV books, in Amazon’s Select and Kindle Unlimited programs. It’s a great deal for readers who are Amazon Prime members or a members of Kindle Unlimited; you can read all of my books for free! If you don’t belong to Kindle Unlimited, check it out. Your first 30 days are free and you can cancel if it doesn’t meet your needs. It’s also a good deal for authors. Whenever somebody downloads one of my books and reads at least ten percent of it I get paid a commission. It’s not as much as for an outright sale, but hopefully it adds up. I would really appreciate it if you would help spread the word.

Today is your last chance to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Ohio town in 1951. If I had to name one of my books as my favorite, it would be this one. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawings link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

DogsRun_AudioCover

Thought For The Day – The best thing about being me is that I am a limited edition! There are no copies!

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