day of a busy month… and we’re headed into an even busier one.
first few days of September will feature a few announcements.
These will include appearances for ComplemenTerry Designs and
Bob, as well as some information on a few projects.
September edition of A
Parkside View is just about ready to
release. The monthly newsletter has been heading out for more
than two years… and it’s easy to receive (if you aren’t already
even have a few new essays over the next couple of days.
is the FINAL DAY to get the Kindle edition of Thirty
Days in November for FREE.
part of the celebrations for National Buy Bob’s Book Day… and
as part of the continuing festivities for the web site’s fifteenth
anniversary… we created a promotion where the Kindle editions
of two books would be available at no charge. No cost. Yup… free.
at the end of the day today, the last offer will come to a close.
Don’t miss out.
remainder of the week promises to be a bit busy.
September edition is on the way. Plans are to have it released
this weekend. If you haven’t signed up to receive the monthly
newsletter, send us a message or e-mail. It’s free, and distributed
by e-mail during the first days each month.
also got news on Local Friends for Local Business, an upcoming
writer’s workshop, new essays…
we celebrated the Seventh Annual National Buy Bob’s Book Day.
was a lot of fun (I’m thrilled to say it always is), and, I had
the opportunity to get in touch with several people. They sent
e-mails… texts… called... commented on posts… and more. Fantastic,
amazing day. Thank you. I’m grateful for the attention and all
of the support.
fun sidenote… both Thirty
Days in November and Time
Just Drifts Away rose on Amazon’s sales
rankings for essay collections. In fact, Thirty Days in November
closed in on bestseller status. And here’s the really fun part…
books are STILL FREE
for Kindle right now.
you use Kindle but don’t have these titles… DON’T MISS OUT! Get
to the Kindle store and get them. Now.
(Plus, you get to help me claim I have a bestseller… so, win-win.)
out the Special
Offers page for more on the Kindle offers,
and head over the Writing
& Books for more on my published writing.
more than fifteen years, the In My Backpack web site
has been a place for sharing my writing. And, I’ve been thrilled
and honored by the response to the site and my work.
have been amazing. Comments and feedback and support beyond my
expectations. Visitors stopping in (and then coming back). Thank
you – thank you all for that. I’m incredibly grateful.
the summer of 2012, I released my first book. Since then, we’ve
raised that total to ten published titles. Essays and interviews…
travel and sports… the ground covered has been diverse, exciting
a blatant attempt to promote the work—hopefully offered with the
understanding that as important as the attention can be, I am
doing this with good humor and a decidedly silly approach—each
year on August 26th we fire up the spotlights, point them in the
general direction of my Amazon author page, and ask you to check
out my books.
more on my published writing... about the author, about each title,
about where you can buy... head over to the Writing
& Books area of the web site.
year, for a few days around the event, two titles are offering
Kindle editions for free. Check out the Special
Offers area for more on that.
hope you folks do understand how much I appreciate everything
you’ve brought to my work over the years. I am truly grateful
for it, and cannot stress enough how much the support means to
me. Thank you.
before it gets too dusty in here… GO! Spread the word about the
Kindle offer. Tell everyone you know about the incredible festivities.
After all, it’s…
BUY BOB’S BOOK DAY!
post and lots of fun begins tomorrow. For now…
Just Drifts Away
celebrations for National Buy Bob’s Book Day are closing in. For
the festivities, the Kindle editions of two books are going to
be available for a few days. Today, Time Just Drifts Away
joins the Special
Offers. It will continue to be available between
August 25th and 27th.
Days in November
part of the celebrations for National Buys Bob’s Book Day, the
Kindle edition of Thirty Days in November will be available
for free between August 24th and 28th.
you use Kindle or the Kindle app, this is a great opportunity
to add one of Bob’s books to your collection.
to the Special
Offers area for more details… including information
on the Kindle edition of Time Just Drifts Away, which
will also be available for free for a brief period of time.
Buy Bob’s Book Day arrives on Sunday, August 26th. And we hope
to have some of our usual shenanigans. The Special
Offers that will be part of the festivities
though actually begin tomorrow…
Kindle editions of two books -- Thirty Days in November
and Time Just Drifts Away -- will be available for free
for a short period of time…
August 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th for Thirty
Days in November
* August 25th, 26th and 27th for Time
Just Drifts Away
you have a Kindle… if you use the Kindle app on your smartphone
or on a tablet… this is a chance to get two of my books added
to your library FOR FREE.
the past several days, we’ve been looking at all ten titles released
by Bob over the years. And today, we arrive at number ten…
Parkside View: Volumes 1 & 2
the summer of 2016, Bob began releasing a monthly newsletter.
Each edition features a minimum of two essays… one new, and one
from the archives.
archive wasn’t really important. Might be the web site… might
be a notebook he found in a drawer… might be something he had
tried to write once or twice before (or even attempted more often),
but never really completed in a way he liked. A few issues contained
three or more essays.
the end of 2017, with eighteen consecutive monthly issues released,
all of the essays from those two volumes were collected and put
together in this book.
was released in March of 2018 as part of the fifteenth anniversary
efforts around the In My Backpack web site.
this situation, involving use of guns on a shooting range in Bangor,
Maine, creates a positive conversation, decisions, and action.
I recall a few years ago—here’s
a link to a story in the Norwich Bulletin—when
police officers using a range in Woodstock, Connecticut, resulted
in an injury on the nearby fairgrounds. Basically… it’s great
to learn and have an opportunity to practice in a controlled environment
with experts… and even in such a setting, the unexpected can happen.
Disney is having some issues with Test Track, as the sounds
of the attraction are impacting plans for
a new restaurant.
it… looks like the
end is on the way for The Big Bang Theory.
finish things up with another new essay… “Looking
for real warning signs”
I gave a quick entry on Life
Won’t Pass Me By, a collection of essays
assembled to celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of the In
My Backpack web site.
is a companion piece to that book, featuring interviews from the
web site in celebration of the anniversary.
are Earl Swift and Terry Fator, along with these tremendous folks:
Kelly Smith, Brigitte Valdez, Chris VanDahl, Brian McCullough,
Keris Stainton, Brandon Evans, Daryl Wagner, Scott Jordan and
Christina Shaw. A part of this effort were special second interviews
conducted exclusively for the release, and two group projects
on Harry Potter.
days, three essays, and here’s today’s… “Chewing
Won’t Pass Me By
are a funny thing. We often celebrate the firsts, and then things
splinter into one of three places: (1) People that celebrate every
year of something. (2) People that find no need to celebrate something
again at all. (3) People that look toward certain milestone celebrations,
usually matched up to five-year time frames (for instance – fifth,
tenth, twenty-fifth, etc.).
Just Drifts Away was release on the ninth
anniversary of the In My Backpack web site, I made a
decision to use that out-of-the-normal perspective in the future.
And so, in 2017, with the fourteenth anniversary of the web site,
the time had arrived for a new celebratory collection of material.
change, that begins with this publication (and continues with
tomorrows topic), was the division of essays and interviews into
two separate efforts.
today’s essay… “I’ve
got just the box for that”
next three days… three new essays. But things start with our ten-day
run prepping for National Buy Bob’s Book Day and the next book…
Town (and other tangents)
– Sports has been one of sections that has been a part of the
In My Backpack web site since the very first days. While
not a place where I post as often as I once did, it remains a
subject I enjoy.
– Growing up, I was always fascinated by the term Title Town.
As one example, I can still recall a book I read at school about
Bart Starr, and by association those championship teams of the
Green Bay Packers.
those two ideas, and the importance sports overall has had in
my life—relationships with family and friends—brings us to Title
began with an essay I had approached several times over the years,
which became the signature piece of the book. I looked at the
professional champions for football, hockey, baseball and basketball,
using the first Super Bowl as a starting point. I wanted to know
what city or cities might actually have a claim as the home of
champions (and championships).
expanded to include many of the essays from the start of the web
site right up until it was published in April of 2017.
to wrap things up, the new essay… “But
I’m not that neighbor”
just lovely happened in 2016.
broke my ankle.
not going to talk much about it except to say two things…
I really broke it. Surgery… two plates… more than a dozen screws…
other assorted hardware… broke it.
I broke it roughly one week before the release of Thirty
Days in November. I had sketched out
2016 as a very busy year for me. Books… signings… readings… more.
I had three manuscripts in some version of production that led
me to believe all three could not only be published in 2016, but
also have some promotional work done around them with speaking
engagements and so on. Instead of the summer though, we arrive
in November and…
Old, Something New
this day, the book holds a special place for me… for the interactions
with Ellen and Richard to its place on the road back from the
cover includes a shot of Ellen and Richard in Savannah, Georgia.
(That’s the two of them walking toward a fountain in Forsyth Park.)
Ellen hated having her picture taken. This remains one of my absolute
favorite pictures of them.
book was designed to be a companion of sorts to the Strange
and Unexpected efforts… similar travel
diaries with “Best of…” columns… Orlando as a key player, bringing
about a return to Florida… with some explorations into new presentations
and thoughts. As a result, I have always considered it the fourth
book in The Travel Trilogy.
with the idea of favorites, the essay “A Tale of Two City” is
one of my favorite observational travel pieces, and features the
city of Savannah from several viewpoints.
two new essays tomorrow. For today, we end with…
Thompson is an incredible choice to take on
the role of Lady as Disney moves along with its plans to remake
Lady and the Tramp.
an annual event called National Novel Writing Month. (Usually
it gets cut down to NaNoWriMo or NaNo.)
basic idea is to write a novel in thirty days. And, that’s a simple
description, since it honestly doesn’t really cover it. The true
goal is producing 50,000-words in a month, which is the approximate
length of probably not even 200 pages.
participated several times over the years, and I am a huge fan.
Completed the challenge a few times. Always learned a lot.
of the things that attracted me to it was the sense of humor and
community spirit involved. This isn’t a competition with winners
and losers. In many ways it’s group therapy and cheerleading.
And in an early-days question area, the definition of accomplishment
was left wide open. Basically…
“Am I writing a novel?”
organizers: “If you believe you’re writing a novel, we believe
you’re writing a novel, too.”
are my words, but the idea is accurate to what was expressed:
“If you believe you’re writing a novel, we believe you’re writing
a novel, too.”
November of 2011, I wasn’t happy with my production of material.
I needed to write. Just write. Nothing specific. I decided to
stretch the challenge for NaNo. I wasn’t going to produce a work
of fiction or anything that even closely resembled what anyone
might consider a novel. I was going to run after 50,000-words
in a simply way… average more than one new essay per day for the
month. I ended up with more than three dozen very rough essays.
November of 2013, I found myself in a similar position. I placed
the same challenge in front of myself… same result… again clearing
three dozen efforts.
Mid to late in the year, I felt very unsettled. Things were good.
Terry great. We had moved though, and I hadn’t released any published
material since 2013. I wanted to get working on something and
began kicking around how 2016 might look if I designed some decent
the first project destined for 2016 release, I began looking at
the essays from the 2011 and 2013 NaNo challenges. That involved
seventy-plus essays. I eliminated just under half of them and
settled in with the remaining rough drafts. Most of them were
heavily edited and rewritten during the early stages. In the end…
thirty days in the month of November, which was the month they
had been produced… the goal had been an essay a day when I attacked
the challenges… I decided to select thirty of them for the book.
And from that…
Days in November
in April of 2016, Thirty Days in November was my fifth
published book. Came out in both paperback and Kindle editions.
and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road
Volume Three: Las Vegas
you begin with Las Vegas and add places like Hoover Dam, the Grand
Canyon, and Route 66… well… yeah. Good start.
two trips in this book took place in 2004 and 2008, and featured
the gang of four… Bob joined by Terry, Ellen and Richard.
Card Day… sunset over the Grand Canyon… highs and lows… these
were adventures that were great to begin with, and elevated when
shared with terrific friends. (Even the bad experiences are hysterically
wonderful as stories and memories).
and Richard joined Bob and Terry in each of the three volumes
of Strange and Unexpected. As a result, in the Room for
Dessert area of this book, the four relived all the journeys covered
in these books with their personal favorites.
we continue with the Travel Trilogy…
and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road
Volume Two: California
effort contained two trips that differed in several ways. 2005…
with Justin and Jay… Terry and I heading to southern California.
2007… with Ellen, Richard. Mike and Louise… Terry and I were in
first trip featured one of the most stunning national parks I
have ever seen, Joshua Tree. Absolutely brilliant. It also involved
Disneyland, which provided several surprises.
second trip was built around wine country and a visit to Yosemite.
Awesome. Just plain awesome.
bonus section again included many of the people that shared these
adventures with us. The main theme for this volume involved the
very best of a variety of subjects and locations during lifetimes
we look at Volume Three of this series.
a bit of slack, I’ll wander all over the place when telling a
approached it kicking and screaming and swearing and debating
and… suffice to say, there was a lot of talking to myself in the
early days. I knew the travel material on the web site had been
a lot of fun to work on, and that I wanted to use it for a publishing
project. And, as the case always seems to be, the first steps
after deciding a project would be fun to approach are often the
steps where the headaches begin.
of the first thoughts—and absolutely the biggest source of problems—was
to approach the material chronologically. Put the travels into
the order they occurred. This idea floated around in my head for
potentially no other reason than it seemed like the way to go.
deciding to bring together the travel writing into a book release,
and then throwing darts at the bulletin board while struggling
with actually producing it, I eventually decided to begin assembling
the material and see where that led me. Start some proofreading
and editing… look for places and ideas where I might want to produce
new material… actually begin the process and take the first few
steps… and perhaps some things would come together as a result.
And that’s exactly when it became a bit clearer.
I had been doing was quite similar to taking four or five jigsaw
puzzles with different themes, dumping the pieces onto the floor,
and then attempting to make a single finished result. Nothing
creating files and looking over the actual material on hand, connections
began developing. There were two trips to California. Two trips
to Las Vegas. Those worked better when combined. Florida involved
more than two trips, but the material there wasn’t overwhelming
in size. The idea of creating a three-volume set presented in
a location-based approach worked. And eventually I set it up for
an everything-at-once approach… all three books to be released
on the same day, in both paperback and Kindle editions.
first effort in the Strange and Unexpected efforts…
and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road
Volume One: Florida
say a lot of ground is covered would be an understatement. Orlando
and the Florida Keys are just two of the base camps for our adventures.
Stops in places like Fort Lauderdale and Miami are also involved.
parks and airboats, dolphins and alligators, brilliant meals and
our version of a Duval Crawl… this book covers all things Florida,
in ways north to south, coast to coast.
over a dozen family and friends joined in the trips covered. This
led to the bonus material in each of the Strange and Unexpected
efforts—called Room for Dessert—where I approached some of our
partners in adventure and asked more generalized questions and
travel thoughts gained from experiences visiting locations literally
around the world. In the Florida volume, the results focused on
overall travel tips.
covered the books quite a few times here in Backpackville. That
said… over the next ten days, as we approach National Buy Bob’s
Book Day, we’re going to offer up a bit oif a recap on all ten
published works. For more, head to the Writing
& Books are of the web site, where you’ll
find more information on each title, along with information about
Offers, and where you can go to purchase his
begin with the first title released…
Just Drifts Away
many ways, Time Just Drifts Away is a delightful mistake.
lot of that can be attributed to the learning process involved:
first self-published title. As one example of what I mean, Time
Just Drifts Away featured two separate release dates. I wasn’t
ready to produce an electronic edition right away and sidelined
such a project. As a result, The Kindle edition ended up following
about two months after the original paperback publication.
title of the collection comes from a line in the song “Dreams
Go By”… a great one from the legendary singer (and storyteller)
delightful mistake part though, for the most part comes from how
the collection was assembled and timed…
materials were produced with a quite serious and well-intended
note that I was releasing it to recognize the ninth anniversary
of my web site because I had too much material to wait until the
tenth anniversary. That was, honestly, true. I did have enough
to work with as the ninth anniversary arrived. That said… it has
always been closer to the truth to say that the book wasn’t early
for the tenth anniversary, but actually late for the fifth.
pair of traditions (of sort) that began with this release:
use of the Gus Logo in some fashion on the cover of books where
material that has appeared on the web site is included in the
odd-year anniversary celebrations, which involved the ninth
anniversary for this release and continued on the fourteenth
anniversary for Life
Won’t Pass Me By and Conversations.
of my favorite essays are presented in this collection…
the most of my two minutes”
special set of glasses”
idea that I’ve pointed toward many times, including as a reason
for naming the web site, was part of this collection…
Kindle edition of Time Just Drifts Away will be offered
FOR FREE during the days around National Buy Bob’s Book Day. The
event is August 26th, and the Kindle offer will be available on
August 25th, 26th and 27th.
is a bit of a transition day. Get feet back on the ground, settle
in, and prepare for a steady run to National Buy Bob’s Book Day…
let’s get to it and set some things up…
tomorrow, we’re going to look at one of Bob’s books every day.
Ten books… ten days… a bit of insight, a bit of linking to this
and that, and maybe a few stories and little known facts along
some new essays for posting, and could have several ready to go
when we hit August 26th (and the celebrations), there should be
a couple of surprises and announcements ready to share. (Still
working on that part.)
man in upstate New York was arrested. He had
a blood alcohol content that registered as .37… and he was driving…
a lawn mower. Just a lesson for you there, drinking or not, if
you plan on taking your ride on mower out onto the streets and
think you might be all over the road.
Florida, authorities only “suspect” that a woman was under the
influence, but here’s another tip for you: If it just so happens
that you want to drive westbound on the eastbound lanes… of a
toll road… maybe don’t
hit a police car.
Jean-Luc Picard is returning. CBS is developing
a new series, intended for its streaming service, and Picard appears
to be the central character.
a few things to cover…
up – Local
Friends for Local Business
month, the effort is based on My
idea is essentially for you to think about the places that feel
like home to you. It might be where you were born and where you
were raised. It might be a place you lived at some point. It might
be exactly where you find yourself today. Wherever that place
is, there were (and are) treasures around you.
you thought about a place where you lived during your life, and
plans were being made to head there for a few days, answer this
question: What fill-in-the-blank is there and only there that
I must get to during my visit? (With fill-in-the-blank meaning
restaurants, stores, attractions, and on and on.) There is almost
definitely food that you can only find there, if nothing else.
August, consider your hometown. Are there businesses you’ve seen
and always wanted to visit, but never have? Are there businesses
you really enjoy, but haven’t been to in some time? Have you ever
looked around to see if there’s a business offering something
you need, but you didn’t even know the business was there?
of those amazing community locations and stop in.
got two events lined up for the 2018
Holiday Tour. Both are two-day events.
is the weekend of December 1st and 2nd, and we are waiting to
finalize a few things before announcing any other details.
other is being held on November 24th and 25th, and involves a
return to a show we’ve been thrilled to appear at previously.
We can confirm that ComplemenTerry Designs will be taking part
in Christmas & Crafts at Turning Stone Resort Casino for the
fifth consecutive year.
finally – Special
August 26th, we will be celebrating National
Buy Bob’s Book Day. As part of it, we are
going to have two promotions taking place around the day involving
free Kindle titles.
out the details on the Special Offers page, where you can find
out how to get the Kindle editions of Time
Just Drifts Away and Thirty
Days in November.
that’s it for now. More coming soon.
story has become part of In My Backpack legend…
Buy Bob’s Book Day!
Just Drifts Away was released in the
summer of 2012. At the time, I was looking for ways to raise awareness
and promote the effort. Media kits… press releases… social media
postings… e-mails and phone calls and readings and appearances
and travel and…
get the idea. Anything I could attempt as a way to shine a bit
of a spotlight on the book.
the same time—but completely separate from the promotional book
release work—a set of ideas were swirling around as I watched
the internet buzzing with celebrations here and there for national
days of this-and-that.
was National Raspberry Cream Pie Day that finally brought about
a collision in my mind and created a bit of a chocolate-in-the-peanut-butter
avocados can have a day… If scallops can have multiple days… If
raspberry cream pie can have a day… Why couldn’t
I have a day for his published books?
the idea took shape, it was—and today still is—offered with good
humor and a goofy approach in the hopes of self-promotion.
has since become an annual tradition. On August 26th each year,
the In My Backpack web site and social media pages host
the celebrations. And while presented as a way to be a bit silly
and slightly to the side of modest in a shameless and yet still
fun way, the reality remains… this is serious as well…
is offered in the hope to bring a bit of attention to Bob, his
books, and his work around Backpackville. We hope you’ll look
around and think about picking up a copy or two. Plus, we’d be
grateful if you meandered over to In My Backpack and
spent some time on the site.
part of the 2018 festivities, there will be special Kindle promotions
where two books will be available for free over a limited time.
For details, head to the web site and click on the link to Special
your family! Tell your friends! Visit In My Backpack
often! And for the 2018 National Buy Bob’s Book Day, let’s have
always, THANK YOU for
your consideration, time and support.