Which picture should I give you?

Photo by Pablo Lara on Unsplash

We drove to the beach yesterday from our home by Pasadena, and I thought of how I could paint a picture of a sunny, laid back time on the sand in Santa Monica.

I could easily write it so you’d feel a tinge of jealousy no matter where you live. Describing the ocean vibes, the beautiful people and — okay, let’s get to it.

A beach trip was in order before our 14-year-old starts school this week. She’s our granddaughter and we’ve had to carefully think through school options with her mother along with our 6 year old grandson.


A morning brew in a solid container reassures me that I can live confidently

Coffee in yellow mug with white spoon.
Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

“Would you like your coffee in a to-go cup or a mug?”

I appreciated that question from the owner of the small coffee shop where I used to sit and write. “A mug, please.”

After I became a regular they always gave me a mug.

The boutique shop seated less than a dozen people and had walls painted in a relaxing soft blue-gray. An array of coffee mugs added color to the counter, and the windows opened up to the red hues of the San Gabriel Mountains, northeast of Los Angeles.

A mug was solid and the round shape fit…

My guide to the fiction, marketing, relationship articles and more that I’ve written


Hey Don: The Days of Don Simkovich

  • Two-minute life lessons

So Cal Live Work Play

  • Stories from Southern California related to home and health, career and entrepreneurship, and recreation

Stone Cold Crime Stories

  • True Crime and Crime-Thriller Fiction featuring background information collected for the Tom Stone Detective stories available on Amazon

The Healthy Smile

  • Focusing on those teeth and your smile

Articles & Stories (my most read and my favorites)

Family Relationships

The Heroic Pleading of a Black Social Worker Who Told Us Love is Not Enough

Finding Intimacy in My Spouse’s Illness

What the Mountains Above Los Angeles have Meant for Me and My Wife

Here’s One Piece…

Writing was my way of heading into the thick of the action

Don Simkovich sitting in front of laptop outdoors.
Selfie by Don Simkovich

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…

We had to learn each other’s expectations and accept our roles

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

A friend approached me to turn one of his screenplays into a novel. Years earlier, he and I had staged the pilot of one of his situation comedies. His scripts were dormant, and he knew I had been writing fiction through a small press.

He gave me several choices of scripts and I chose a detective tale. I read through it, he and I talked about it, and here’s what happened.

Setting Expectations

A script is barebones writing, of course. Dialogue and brief directions for the director to follow and interpret.

I could tell that as I started writing, there were a…

I had to fight through the process but I felt good when I finished

Football player being tackled.
Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash

I’ve not been feeling well the last few days and illness struck my household. Yet, I was determined to write and publish. It doesn’t matter too much what I wrote, but the fact that I pulled together several hundred words was beneficial and necessary.

What helped was that I started the article last night when I was tired, but at least I got something going. That’s the first step, isn’t it?

I didn’t pressure myself to finish.

This morning, I used that same attitude this morning as I worked through the different sub-heads. …

Your strength lies in having a solid body of content

Photo by Nigel Msipa on Unsplash

Earning money by writing online has peaks that let your hopes soar, and valleys where you wonder if you’ll be able to climb out. You’ll have one article that does well and it may surprise you how well it does, while you’ll have other articles that don’t do well at all.

You can get elated and disappointed within a couple of days. Or you might have an article that does so incredibly well and your stats climb, that you write and write but are unable to copy the success. …

Gearing up for the week ahead

Photo by Timo Volz on Unsplash

I’d describe my work as a writer as a Rubik’s cube — different sides and combinations that aren’t easy to fit together. But that’s me. For better or worse, I’ve never focused solely on one thing. Years from now, historians who are taking a break on important projects and discover my writing may decide that was my undoing.

“He could have been a smashing success in fiction — or journalism, or content creation — even though he was quite good in all.”

I’m pulling my thoughts together today and decided I’d point out what’s new to inform, inspire, and entertain…

A vigilante sniper threatens the balance of power in America

Photo by Zhang H on Unsplash

Enjoy this novel excerpt that reads as a short story from the soon-to-be-released sixth thriller novel in the Detective Tom Stone series.

A self-proclaimed vigilante sniper is on a deadly quest to save the United States.


Drizzle fell through the redwoods as Bob Stevens pulled out of his driveway in his pick-up truck. He had the wipers on intermittent to clear away the light rain as he drove through town.

A little further along the winding road there were the red and blue flashing lights of a police cruiser. Stevens took a breath but immediately calmed himself as he drove…

For us doers, that’s a challenge

Woman sitting on bed with books and typing on laptop.
Photo by Marga Santoso on Unsplash

I’m writing this on impulse. Mostly because my time is limited and it’s a truth that strikes me hard. I like doing. I like writing, publishing, and writing so I can publish again.

I like making things happen because so much is usually happening in my world. I rarely have more than two or three hours without some major interruption and that’s been my situation for years.

A full day to write quietly sounds like a dream, but it’s one I don’t think will be realized until I’m well into my 70s.

But sometimes, you have to stop and think…

Don Simkovich, MA

Don is co-author of the Tom Stone Detective novels on Amazon and writes content for businesses. Visit www.donsimkovich.com / https://socalcontentwriting.com

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