I have two consuming passions anymore. I love riding my Honda Goldwing and I love writing. They feed each other. Riding allows my mind to clear so I can focus on my writing and writing makes me need to get out for wind therapy.
This time of year it gets difficult to find time to ride. The days are shorter, the weather colder, and snow often covers the streets. The holiday season takes more time away from riding. I do try to make a point of riding at least once a month all winter. My only conditions is the streets have to be dry. I know how to dress to stay warm.
I went out for a short ride two days ago and have been riding a storm of writing since. Two chapters more in book six of the Journey of the Freighter Lola series, three articles for Law Enforcement Today, and hours of marketing. It has been very productive.
Time to get back to work. Please check out my articles and books. You can find them all at the links in the menu.
Books make a great inexpensive gift for friends and family. They show you care enough to take the time to find them something special. While you’re at it remember it is okay to get yourself something special for the holidays too.
There is a section of road in North Carolina known as Deals Gap and nicknamed Tail of the Dragon. 318 turns in 11 miles. Some of the best riding in the US. Here in the Chicago we don’t have anything close to that. We do have Sheridan Road and a little section that twists and turns as good as you can get within a twenty-minute ride of Chicago.
Going northbound on Sheridan Road from Winnetka at Tower Road and extending about 3.2 miles through Glencoe to County Line Road you have our little version and on sunny weekends you will see motorcycles from all over enjoying the ride. It winds through some of the most beautiful homes in Illinois along Lake Michigan.
I was curious and the other day I counted the turns as I road. In that 3.2 miles there are 30 turns. Sadly 15 are in the first ¾ of a mile. Hey this is Illinois. It is pretty flat.
There are twistier rides in the state and there are more scenic rides but none of them allow me to go out for two hours, get some wind therapy, and a cup of coffee. That also lets me hit the Skokie Lagoons too.
Of course, Sheridan Road stretches farther and is loaded with more beautiful homes and curves and Illinois has some beautiful stretches out to Standing Rock, or Galena, or even along the Fox river but those take me the full day. Sheridan Road lets me get some wind in my hair when I don’t have the day to give to riding.
Oh, yeah, I have been working on editing book 6 in the Journey of the Freighter Lola series. I hope it will help my creative juices flow and help me through my block.
I’ve been stuck like a boot left behind in the mud. I’m near the end of book six in the Journey of the Freighter Lola series and I’m mired in a mud bog of my own design. I know how I want it to end and I have an idea how to get to that point. Only every time I write it down it doesn’t work. Jack and the crew of the Freighter Lola deserve the best ending.
To help clear my head and come up with creative ideas I have been spending a lot of time in Wind Therapy aboard my 2008 Goldwing. I’m blowing out cobwebs and hope to come up with the best ending for this novel.
The sixth book in the Journey of the Freighter Lola series is coming along nicely. I had painted myself into a corner but I worked it out. The working title is still Lola 6 since I haven’t worked out details yet but I think you will enjoy the story.
Now is the perfect time to get caught up in the series if you haven’t already read all five titles. They are always available through the links here on my shop page. You can also read selections from the storys here.
Just yesterday I had the chance to talk to an acquaintance who has read all five of the Journey of the Freighter Lola novels. He told me how much he has enjoyed the series. Now I’m no one’s fool. Some people will say nice things about your work just to be polite. I really don’t think that was the case here.
He went on in detail about the stories, telling me about his favorite characters and plot twists. He finished it with “I really liked them, when is book six coming out?” It made my day.
I will never be a Hemingway and I will never make a fortune in royalties but I knew then I had achieved my goal of writing something people would enjoy.
I keep my storyline traditional. I grew up watching the old westerns where the good guy rode into town, met the girl, fell in love, had a run in with the bad guy, then rode back out of town. Simple, filled with honor, and showed right was stronger than wrong. They left me feeling good.
I felt good after talking to my friend. He enjoyed the fantasy of the books and let them take him away from his day to day cares for a while.
I’m about 19 chapters into book six. Maybe it will be the final book in the series, maybe not. I might take a break from the series and try another story idea I have had bouncing around in my head. I keep hearing from readers they don’t want the series to stop, so we will see what happens.
I’m also working on the second edition of my cookbook. This one will focus on easy and tasty meals for anyone new to the kitchen rather than the focus on the single dad. I’m finding parents are buying it for kids off at college without a meal plan or for most anyone new to the kitchen. Not only do I give some common sense cooking tips but I include some very tasty meals. Since the original cookbook release, I have been fine-tuning and searching for new recipes. At this moment I have a new variation of Turkey Chili simmering on the stove top. Dinner will be great tonight.
They say the best way to thank an author is to write a review of his books. The book is purchased, that is a business transaction. If you like the book or even if you don’t, a review is a way of saying thank you to the author for taking the time and massive effort to write the book.
Reviews, even poor reviews, generate sales. Amazon promotes your books when they achieve a certain level of reviews. For example, when you are looking for a new book you may see a section that says “Customers who bought this item also bought this…” Or you may see “You might also like this…” They usually list several books in this section.
Amazon selects these books based not only on sales but also on the number of reviews a title has. The big threshold is twenty reviews followed by another step at fifty. So, you see a review as simple as “I liked the book.” makes a huge difference if there are enough of them.
If you purchased your copy at a book signing and not through Amazon you can still leave a review. In that case, it is not marked as a verified purchase. One word of caution, Amazon will not accept a review where you show a relationship with the author. If you say the author is a friend or family it won’t be accepted.
While I will always love a review, this applies to any book. If you spent a couple hours with a story and enjoyed it, leave a review. In my case, you can go to Amazon, enter either my name or the book title in the search bar, and once you get to the books page scroll down to the reviews. Follow the simple instructions and you gave the author a great big thank you, a reason to live and incentive to keep writing.
I’ve been sitting at my desk, typing away at my keyboard, working on book 6 in the Journey of the Freighter Lola series. I think this will be my best work yet. I’ve learned so much since I began this journey.
I think six books is a good number for a series. I think I may leave an opening for the future if I ever decide to revisit Oakdale and the Freighter Lola. I will continue writing and already have plans for police drama drawing from my thirty years on the Chicago Police Department. I am also working on compiling recipes and ideas for the second edition of Dining – Not Just Eating.
The second edition will still focus on the person new to the kitchen. I found there are a lot more in need of help than single dads. An 80-year-old man picked up a copy of my book the other day. His wife died after 52 years of marriage. He was learning how to cook now.
I have a mailing list and use it sparingly. I hate receiving junk mail and tend to ignore most without reading it. To ensure you don’t ever get to that point, I only send out emails when I have something major like a book sale or new release. If you would be interested in joining the list there is a link asking you to Join the Journey. As a free gift to all who join, you can download my short story prequel Ambush in the Forest as an e-book.
The reviews on my newest book in the Journey of the Freighter Lola series are great. One fan told me just yesterday “Rapparee was great, I really liked it. I like the entire series but this one really had me. I can’t wait for book 6, when is that going to be out?”