Monthly Archives: February 2013

Find the Work You Love!

Yesterday I glanced at the cover of a recent issue of AARP’s magazine. There on the cover was the “Hook.” Find the Work You Love!

Today is an anniversary of sorts. One year ago today I was laid off from a great job. I have found work I love, writing, however so far sans pay. It would be nice to find a paying job.

I had to look at the article. Maybe this can help me find something that pays?

The article presents the story of several senior citizens but is primarily about two women, Maz Rauber and Amy Reingold. The two write “juicy novels for young adults” under the pseudonym Ella Monroe.

They have an interesting and inspiring tale about the job they love. If you visit this URL you can read the article and watch a video interview of the duo.

http://www.aarp.org/work/working-after-retirement/info-02-2013/find-job-you-love-after-50.html/?cmp=ATM-QR-FEB13-CPTLGRLS-VIDEO

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Day 2 – Anderson, CA to Woodland, WA 465 miles – 11 hour ride – 7.31.2012

We didn’t make our planned 5:30 a.m. departure. We slept late and got on the road at 8:30 a.m.

This was both a good news, bad news day. JAK decided that we did not need to go to the coast and follow US 101 all the way to Port Townsend, Washington. The bad news was that we had to “flat track” it up I-5 until we got to Burlington, Washington. The good news was that this knocked two, maybe three days off this leg of the trip.

As we crossed the bridge over Lake Shasta, I thought about how two days before I was finishing up a week on a house boat there, our annual family vacation. A vacation we have only missed once in the last 23 years.

The weather and scenery was perfect all the way from Lake Shasta until we approached Portland. Except for our last 100 miles today’s ride was very pleasant. The scenery vanished only to be replaced by traffic.

Portland was a disaster as we arrived in the midst of commuter traffic. We were on I-5 and should have cleared the city in 15-20 minutes. Instead we were in the worst traffic you can imagine. It was as bad as anything I’ve seen in the Bay Area, mostly stop with not much go. 45 minutes into it, a sign magically appeared announcing a commuter lane and “Motorcycles Okay” 1 ½ miles ahead. After an eternity, we covered the first mile, and another eternity before we reached the commuter lane. It turned out to be a dirty trick. Finally, we reached the commuter lane and away we went, right up to 60 mph. Our joy was short lived, the bloody commuter lane ended after one mile.

In California, the only state that allows this, motorcycles can “Split Lanes”, or drive between cars. The lanes looked unbelievably wide and inviting, but fear of getting a ticket kept us in line.

After getting gas, we reached Woodland, Washington. We stayed at a small inn managed by a couple; both appeared to be at least 90. They recommended the Oak Tree Restaurant across the street. Jim Bob, JAK is Jim Bob when he screws up, checked reviews and reported that “66% liked it.” Well, he might have liked his salad but I was sorely disappointed. I ordered liver with bacon and onions. It was dry, thin, overcooked, with a smidgen of Canadian bacon, not real bacon, and a dab of onions. Added to this were lumpy mashed potatoes with tasteless gravy. To top it off, I had “Iced Tea” so clear and tasteless that I thought it was water.

Back at the motel, JAK and I both exhausted, were asleep in minutes.

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A Ride To Remember

Welcome!

In my initial post, I promised you a series of pieces about a motorcycle trip my friend Jim Kennemore, affectionately called JAK, and I took last summer. We try to take an extended trip on our Harley-Davidson Motorcycles at least once a year. Our rides are usually connected to an event. In 2012 we decided to head north and see where the road took us.

Over the next few weeks I will post about our travels. Some of the posts are bit on the long side. I will spread the longer pieces over two days.

To break things up even further, I might throw you a curve.

July 30, 2012 I left Dublin and headed north to Anderson, California. This was the shortest ride of the trip. JAK met me there.

Day 1 – Dublin to Anderson, CA 202 Miles – July 30, 2012

This was a great day, not because of the ride. I pushed the start off until after lunch so I could attend my Polish Your Writing class and meet my wife Cathy for lunch. The folks in the class leave me in the dust when it comes to talent. Besides our regular instruction, three or four of the group read a small part of their WIP (Work in Progress) during our last hour. This can be tough; you put yourself and your work out in front of the 15 or so aspiring writers. They provide a critical, but supportive review of ones work. That day we had four very talented participants. Here is my take, not in the order presented.

Stacy – Writes for the Dublin Patch. She writes in a humorous vein. She described her struggle with the daunting task of facing all the food available on a cruise. I was in her shoes all the way, my eyes were full of tears, as they say, and I laughed so hard I cried. Like some others, I’ve not gone on cruises because I know I cannot resist the 24 hour a day food.

Jordan – She is writing a novel set in modern Ireland complete with good and bad people, and real live dragons. Christian and Devon are her main characters; of course Christian is an older man and Devon a younger woman. Today he dreamt of a threat of a murder attempt on Devon, couple this with sexual tension. Christian is in the shower trying to compose himself when Devon throws the shower curtain aside. They have not had sex yet. It was awesome writing. The next time Jordan reads, she will be presenting a sexual encounter from the male’s point of view. Jordan looked at me and; “I’m glad you won’t be here,” my loss.

Sonia – Germany 14 years after the end of WWII. She moved with her brand new Army husband to a small village in Germany. Her description of village life during these terrible times of recovery and of her home, complete with a downstairs pig sty, was gripping. Her “scene” work, especially the slaughter of two hogs in front of the house, was painted right into my mind.

Ann – Was a Protestant teacher at Catholic school. She is working on her third book, a collection of essays. She read the preface to her second book. Ann is another of those writers who grab you and brings her story to life. I want to read her books.

Heck, I want to read all work in the class. I am such an amateur compared to all the talented people that Juliana Kleist, our teacher, is nurturing.

Anyway, after class, Cathy and I enjoyed a very nice lunch before I saddled up and headed out.

The ride to Anderson, California was just what I expected, miserably hot, boring, and necessary.

When I arrived, my buddy Jim Kennemore was already there checking in. When we finished, I had paid for the room, but somehow he had gotten my frequent guest points. He does that more often than not.

We decided to get up early and be on the road around 5:30 a.m.

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Welcome to my blog, a project under construction. I hope to be up and running soon. Right now I’m trying to get it setup with the help of a few friends.

When I am ready to begin blogging, I will regale you with a series of blogs about a great trip I had this last summer on my Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Motorcycle. The trip began with my good friend, Jim “JAK” Kennemore. His wife had a fall and broke an arm necessitating his early return home.

I almost went back with him but decided that I’d keep on riding alone, something I’d never done before. It turned out to be a great time. I so enjoyed the ride that I might ride solo across the U.S. after Memorial Day. JAK and I are planning on joining other Veterans in the Run to the Wall in May. The ride takes about eleven days. We will arrive in Washington, D.C. just in time for Rolling Thunder, an enormous ride dedicated to our Missing in Action. JAK will probably ship his bike home and spend some vacation time with his wife. I hope to solo ride back to California.

Mixed in will be a progress report on my crime fiction writing. In addition to a novel, I am working on a series of short stories, and entering a few writing contests.

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