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Bucket Lists

My.SilverAge and HARO

Last spring I attended a California Writers Club – Tri-Valley Branch meeting at which the guest speaker addressed out-of-the-box ways to get to know new people. One method was Help-A-Reporter-Out (HARO) www.helpareporter.com.

The speaker explained that by subscribing to HARO she has contributed to several articles, picked up some publicity, and best of all she developed a long-time friendship with an editor at a large New York newspaper.

HARO is easy. Go to the web site and sign up. Once on the mailing list I receive one or two emails each business day. If busy, I just hit delete, but I hate to miss out. Reporters from all forms of media need people to interview on countless topics. When I open HARO email I skip Biotech and Healthcare and head for the other eight to ten categories. Sometimes I find interesting requests in several categories.

In May I saw a subject line that caught my attention, Looking for seniors who started something new after 65.

I sent the reporter an email describing two things I started after 65, zip-lining and writing. I heard back the next day. The reporter already had a writer, but she was interested in my fear of heights, and zip-lining. We exchanged a few emails. Today, I’m one of six senior citizens featured in a slide show on my.SilverAge http://mysilverage.thebegroup.org/Retirement/6-Fearless-Seniors-Tackle-Their-Bucket-Lists. I’m number three.

Andrew Again

This was the first tower we climbed. The reporter used two other photographs for her slideshow.

It’s takes five to ten minutes a day, less than an hour a week to check HARO. I’m sure that everyone who reads this blog could help a reporter. I guarantee you’ll have fun doing it.

I’m corresponding with a reporter now who is doing a piece on the difficulties faced by people in their sixties trying to find a job.

My motto: “Don’t act your age. Just because we’re old in the eyes of society doesn’t mean we have to sit in a rocker and act like old people. Be young in mind and spirit. If you want to try something new, do it.”

PILZ

My friend and fellow blogger, Julie Royce, recently published PILZ, a sizzling crime thriller. Julie is a former Michigan Assistant Attorney General whose legal career exposed her to the dark side of the medical profession. PILZ is spine-tingling murder and betrayal that will leave you wondering how far to trust your family doctor.

(PILZ is the name given by drug abusers to prescription drugs used for recreational purposes).

Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend (August 31-September 2) the Kindle version of PILZ will be FREE on Amazon.com. Download a copy and pass along the info to your friends. Feel free to reblog this information.

PILZ

Rewrites and Edits

Over the last ten days, I’ve put in at least eighty hours editing, editing rewrites, and editing the edits of A Tale of Robbers and Cops. Writers will detect an overabundance of “echoing” in the previous sentence. Tough.

Three days ago, I finished my seventh or eighth round of edits. Wow, I’m getting there.

Two days ago, I began to read ‘Robbers’ aloud. What a mess. I began another round of edits.

Today, feeling exhausted, beyond frustration, and just plain whiny, I tweeted:

Editing “Robbers” again today. Will the book never be finished?

I haven’t written a word for the next book in weeks. Detective Hector Miguel Gomez and the other members of the Liberty Police Department Anti-Gang Enforcement (AGE) unit must think I’ve given up on them. They’re probably wondering, “How will we ever lock up Geronimo and the Knife?”

Brian Thiem sent me a note:

“I’m doing a rewrite now and plan one more after that. Once I accepted that rewriting/revising IS writing, it’s been easy. If you’re like most writers, even those best-selling authors, you’d wish you could take another crack at it even after it’s in the bookstores.”

My friend, mentor, and sometimes editor, Vi Moore sent one as well:

“Best-selling authors tell me they do at least five full edits. Congrats! You’re on your way.”

Several other friends wished me Good Luck.

Thank you all for your comments and support.

I went back to work with a fresh and positive attitude. Yes Brian, I’ve accepted the fact that rewriting is writing. With yours and Vi’s comments in mind, I accomplished more in the last four hours than the previous two days. Thanks.

Our last night on the Grand Princess – Final Post

Many passengers were apprehensive about our last night at sea. The concern was that we might experience winds similar to those of the first night. We were pleasantly surprised with calm seas. The only sensation experienced was the on-shore swell common to any sea coast. These caused a slow but pronounced port to starboard rocking motion.

Cathy and I wanted to be on our balcony while going under the Golden Gate. We checked the daily newsletter, and asked four or five crew members. “What time do we go under The Golden Gate?” The consensus was between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. We were scheduled to dock at 7:00 a.m.

For the only time on the cruise, I set up a wakeup call, 5:30 a.m. The call came. We were up and out of bed quick as a shot. I threw open the curtains, stepped out on the balcony. To our amazement we were next to Alcatraz. It was foggy. We couldn’t even see the Golden Gate.

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After an early and leisurely breakfast, we cleared out of the stateroom and prepared to disembark. We met our friends Mike and Maddi Misheloff waiting on the sidewalk in front of Pier 35.

The Misheloffs hadn’t eaten. Maddi said, “We haven’t eaten. Do you want to get breakfast? We know this great place, or do you want to go straight home?” Good thing we ate a small breakfast.

It was a short but hectic drive to 6th Street. The restaurant was in a new location so the Misheloffs were not positive where. We parked and tried to feed the meter. Wow, it was five minutes for a quarter. We had less than a dollar’s worth of change between us.

Cathy went into a bodega for parking change. “If you buy something, I’ll give you four quarters. No more.” She bought water. Now we had forty minutes on the meter. I offered to come back and feed the meter after we got to the restaurant. We walked east. A young lady heard us talking and told us to go four blocks the other way.

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This old building had pieces of furniture mounted to the walls.

Two blocks up we found a free parking spot on a side street. Mike and I went back for the car. After making the mandatory three turns, we got to the spot and parked. Both our phones began to ring. “Hey, there’s a free spot up here beside the café.” Another odyssey. We arrived only to find that a third of the parking spot was marked with no parking signs for construction. I had Mike pull as close as possible to car in front of him. I moved the no parking signs a few feet back.We looked legal.

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Cathy and Maddi chat as the line reaches the corner. It was another half hour wait from there. There is always a line for:

Dottie’s True Blue Café
28 6th Street
San Francisco

They had muffins the size of small cakes and a dozen specials. What a place.

Outside Dotties

Mike, Maddi, and Cathy are discussing the specials.

Later in the day, our daughter Jennifer and her boyfriend, Brandon Witt, stopped by the house for dinner. I had two great steaks ready to BBQ but there wasn’t enough for the four of us. So we decided on Frankie, Johnnie Luigi Too! It’s about a mile from our home. On the way I tried to explain to Jen and Brandon where we had our second breakfast. I said something like, “Dorothy’s on 6th.” Jen screamed, “Dottie’s True Blue Café.” Jen first saw the place in 2007 when a group of women from the Nike Women’s Marathon * San Francisco stood in line waiting to eat at Dottie’s old location. It took her until this past June to get back and actually eat there. It’s now one of her favorites.

Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage on the Grand Princess – Fifth Posting

We remained on-board for the remainder of the cruise. Our last day in Alaska was a cruise up the Tracy Arm Fjord to the Sawyer Island Glacier.

We spent a few hours at the glacier and then begin the two and a half day cruise back to San Francisco.

I have to tell you about my biggest complaint about the ship, Internet. They charge almost two-hundred dollars for ten hours of service. That is why there was no blog posting during the ten-day trip. Believe it or not, the cruise line charges the crew the same amount.

I was up at 5:30 a.m. We approached the glacier as I got topside. It was biting cold. The bay was clear of any other vessels.

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Glacier

I took these at 5:50 a.m. as we slowly neared the glacier. Crew members told us that sometimes the fog is so heavy that they can’t get close enough to see the glacier.

The ship rotated so that every passenger and stateroom had sufficient time to watch and photograph the glacier.

We had breakfast at the Horizon Buffet with a window seat. Enjoying breakfast, I forgot just how cold it was outside.

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We had a room service order for coffee at 6:00 a.m. The waiter was new to the crew and had never seen a glacier. Cathy invited him in. He was in awe of it. We got him to snap this photo of us with the glacier in the back ground. I prepared well for the weather, shorts and my ever-present Aloha shirt.

After we went topside, I remembered just how cold it was. We saw movement from the glacier. We watched a huge slab of ice break away. The splash was followed by a tremendous roar.

Camera crew

We heard a motorboat and then this zodiac boat came into view. It was a five member film crew. The man standing in the bow looks for ice. If spots a large piece he warns the boat operator, if small he has a long pole to push it away. They moved very slowly.

Film Crew

This iceberg was one hundred yards or so from the ship. With the zodiac at the right side you get an idea of how large it is.

Visiting Glacier Bay a dozen years ago, several cruise ships moved about. The Tracy Arm Fjord is much smaller. When the Grand Princess was rotating, there wasn’t much more than a hundred yards from either end to shore. Traversing the fjord out to the open sea, there were places where two ships could not have shared the passage.

The trip back out to the open sea remained cold, biting cold with snow-capped mountains on both side of the fjord.

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The mountain is about fifty yards from the right side of the ship. There isn’t much more room on the left. We turned and passed through the notch visible in the center of this picture.

This was a successful cruise. We enjoyed ourselves; saw some good shows and sights.

The Writer

I’m happy to report that during the cruise, I wrote over 15,000 words. Of those almost eleven thousand were for the new novel.