I was in early grade school when the NBC Nightly News splashed videos and images of the Vietnam War across the television screen. My parents were typically busy upstairs while I watched in our basement’s family room.
What intrigued me was how journalists could cover fights in the jungle and even American POWs being marched through the streets of Hanoi. A desire to help struck me along with marveling over this unusual role of relaying information.
My mother showed me another way of being in the action as a reporter. She wrote for our town’s newspaper and we were eating in a local diner when the fire alarm went off at the volunteer fire station. …
If you’re in So Cal and feeling a touch of cabin fever, head up to the High Desert to ride ATVs or hike on Bureau of Land Management land. Thousands of acres of open land near Randsburg along Highway 395 with mountains in the distance offer an open range.
I’ve lived in Pasadena since the mid-80s but this was the first time I ventured there, a different world and slightly more than two hours from my home.
I took the trip recently with my granddaughter, her friends who were on Christmas break. …
I started Twitter in 2009, when users were still tweeting about their lunches and that they were driving to the store. But that’s when businesses were finding out about the platform and sharing more of their business news.
One of my content marketing clients at the time was the owner of several apartment buildings. I rewrote his website pages and then tweeted out info on his apartments.
I built up views and followers. …
Writing fiction can get lonely and, like most entrepreneurs, we’re often misunderstood. Getting one novel after another published and going through the work of marketing can be exhilarating, and yet tedious.
My writing partner and I released our fifth novel in mid-November and I was determined that we were finally going to sell books. I had been aware of various authors who were helpful, but for some reason the advice just didn’t stick in my head.
I also hit the wall during our third and fourth novels of thinking, “I’ve done everything and yet our books don’t sell.”
I set out to change that — and had success in December when we sold almost 100 copies of our first novel, Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas and had several dozen downloads of our short story that we made free on Amazon — The Smoke Shop Shootout. …
Ideally, my planning work would have been done before this morning started, but that’s not the case. We’ve been watching additional children from Monday night through Saturday night for the past two months and that included planning for Christmas, taking them ATV riding last Wednesday and heading to the snow this past Saturday.
In addition, we had a birthday party for our granddaughter yesterday so my own work kept getting rolled back.
This morning had that feeling that I typically don’t like — you’re racing at 100 miles per hour and then — brake — it’s all done. Now you’ve got to crank up your work from zero to 100 miles per hour at the snap of a finger. …
Learning to get un-stuck is on my mind this month — and this week. I’ve found helpful resources that breathed new life into sales for my first crime-thriller novel that was published in August 2016.
Last week, my fiction writing partner and I sold over 70 copies of Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas. Sure, it has Christmas in the title but that never helped in past years. In fact, during the past four years we probably had 30 sales total.
This past week and into this week also led to sales and Kindle Unlimited reads of our other four novels, including the one we published most recently Tom Stone: Subterfuge. …
Imagine if I had written a novel and it took off to make thousands of sales right out the door. My wife would have been happy because writing fiction would be more than just a hobby. But the downside of success like that is I probably wouldn’t have learned why the book sold in the first place.
That’s a debatable situation because it didn’t happen, fortunately or unfortunately.
I write the Tom Stone Detective Stories with a writing partner and we had okay sales during the launches of our first three novels thanks to friends via social media and our Tom Stone Facebook page. …
We all have our days, don’t we?
Sometimes our weeks and months?
This image by photographer Marcus Byrne grabbed my attention as I sought to illustrate my thinking.
Consider the difference between driving on a smooth highway or interstate with little traffic and a rutted road that jars your brains.
You’re cruising along at a nice speed but because so few cars and trucks are around you, you don’t feel like you’re flying. …
I’ve traveled from Los Angeles up the 14 Freeway and onto Highway 395 on my way to Lake Tahoe. There’s a place past Red Rock State Park where the 14 merges into 395 with a sign points east to the town of Ridgecrest and the naval air weapons base.
We were watching four children for a friend, plus our two grandchildren, and decided to travel four hours to Keough Hot Springs in Bishop to give the kids a memorable time on a Saturday.
The gang included two girls and one boy aged 12 to 14 and two boys and one girl aged 5 to 2. …
Los Angeles is a collection of completely different enclaves with unique environments. Los Angeles’ Westside is a case in point with its own collection of neighborhoods that differ greatly from Santa Monica and Venice Beach to Playa Vista and Westchester. Ocean breezes that cool the area are an attraction but so are the many walkable and bikeable streets.
Do commutes in Los Angeles make you shudder with dread?
Another draw to the Westside is the ability to live close to where you work.