an end to the month of January and prepping to say hello to February…
Friends for Local Business has been focused
on Bakeries this month. In February the theme of the challenge
will be Ice & Snow. The idea will be anything and everything
cold-weather related, from hot cocoa to snowblowers, boots to
February edition of A
Parkside View is being finished. Not
perfectly certain of an exact release date, but some point early
next week is looking the most likely.
sequel has a new name… an official name… Zombieland: Double
Tap. Fans of the original will instantly realize how
appropriate the title is. Details have been
coming out about the effort, mainly rumored casting additions
that are creating some excitement. Release is slated for October
had hoped to have an essay or two ready to finish the month, but
time didn’t work in my favor. (Nothing like spending multiple
days cleaning up drifting snow after a storm.) Come back again
day today… posting essays thirty and thirty-one. And, thirty-two.
hitting and passing the target of a one-per-day average
for January and essays. It’s something I’ve been doing in January
for three years now, and in those particular months it’s resulted
in posting more than one hundred essays into Backpackville.
has been a bit different. From the Backpack efforts were a much
larger portion of 2017 and 2018 efforts. Roughly thirty of the
posts from these years were drawn from the archives, but only
one was added this year.
than one hundred essays posted… about eighty of them new. The
vast majority of work over that time has produced general essays,
though travel and sports have been involved at well. In a broad,
sweeping view, it also gives a nod to how large the site has become
as the sixteenth anniversary approach in March. I believe the
specifics are that these three months have added about one hundred
and ten essays to The ‘ville… three months out of what is nearing
one hundred and eighty months of work. And while many changes
have taken place over the years throughout In My Backpack,
a quick count reveals that more than one thousand pieces are currently
active in The
challenges completed during these past three months of January
are definitely part of the true intentions of the web site. Some
essays have been good. Some not quite as good. Some needing additional
work, but sharing them as is for now felt like the proper thing
to do. Experimental efforts. Trying new things. No promises of
for stopping in and checking things out.
one item before we get to today’s essays…
potatoes. Brilliant. Delicious. And here’s
an article from Syracuse that covers just about everything you
need to know, quick and easy.
Let’s finish things for today…
we say, what we mean, what we want”
Double Stuf compromise”
storm warning… watch… warning… watch… oh, nothing”
essays to add to the site today. Three of them.
had much of a chance to really dive around corners on the internet
lately. Been trying to get some work done on bigger projects while
at the same time march along on the January challenge of reaching
an average of one essay posted per day for the month. Hoping to
come up with a few things in the next couple of days.
since we are nearing the end of January… quick note… A
Parkside View. The February issue is
drawing close. If you’re signed up for it, awesome. If you’re
not, you could be receiving the newsletter for free.
a thin line between fun and crazy”
watching on a winter day”
the news that’s fit to ignore”
essay today. More coming tomorrow (or, more likely, Monday)…
peeves of winter”
or plastic… the new debate”
isn’t the way… well, it can, but technology sometimes lags behind”
fairness and outrageous calls (Coin flips, challenges and playoffs
– Oh my!)”
of the fun parts of the past few Januarys and the writing challenges
I set up is that I have made a specific effort to reach into archives
and find a From the Backpack entry or two (or three or more) to
share during the work.
pieces have always been an important part of the web site, which
really is built upon using it as a way to develop my writing.
That includes finding older material that may need some work and
giving it new consideration, as well as looking over material
that may have been moved during this change or that and giving
thought to bringing it back. One of today’s pieces is a From the
Backpack effort. Look for the links to postings at the end.
to really believe… because the material released so far has revealed
an amazingly unexpected approach… but I am loving what I’ve seen
of it, and I’m looking
forward to seeing Shazam! soon.
we start things off for the essay postings with the From the Backpack
you know about naked Thursday”
then we add two new efforts…
Who naming Jodie Whittaker… it’s not about time (and yet
stock (and kitchen stock)”
want to get an essay in place, so we’re just going to have that
today and then more in a day or so.
in the snow”
two new essays today… and that brings us to eighteen posts so
far in January. Pretty much right on pace as we continue our run
to hit an average of one piece per day this month. One bit of
news to share, then the essays…
yeah, be warned, the sources here appear to be rumors… about one
of the new attractions from Star
heading to Disney. This one references Disneyland,
though my understanding is similar attractions will be opening
in Disney World a few months later.
funny story, and additional notes, on package delivery”
peeves in the world of WiFi”
of today’s new pieces were at least somewhat influenced by possibilities
involving the latest upcoming, crossing the nation, full on snowmageddon.
I want to mention that because, while it actually isn’t the centerpiece
of the essays, it could be the centerpiece of this weekend.
foot to two feet (to… just great… saw one person claiming up to
three feet, which almost certainly won’t be the result) of snow
may or may not change my overall world. More the timing of the
snow accumulating that usually matters to me. Issues such as when
do I need to have a car out of the driveway for some reason, compared
to how long it will take me to clean up the driveway so I can
leave it and the conditions on the road when I do. No rush to
break out the snowblower matched up with roads plowed and clean
means a fairly take-it-in-stride and dare I say routine approach.
do dare. When you live in the northeast, it isn’t the approaching
snow and forecasted amounts. Even though you hear about rushes
on milk and bread and more, for the most part we are a group that
has faced snow before and don’t get surprised by its arrival or
even massive drifts. Impressed by them, yes, but not surprised.
Instead, we are more concerned by things like the temperature,
which influences light and fluffy or heavy and wet.)
what all of this chatter means is simply this… I have zero clue
how much time I’ll have for writing over the next day or two.
Likely will get a decent amount accomplished. But no idea if I’ll
be able to hang around long enough to write an essay and get it
prepped and posted. So, you might not see me again until Monday.
I’ll be thinking about you though. Stay warm, and make sure you
have your shovel ready and plenty of hot cocoa on hand.
for the new efforts…
happy about the package arriving during the next snowmageddon”
milk and a bucket of water”
How are things with you?
of a crazy start to things today, but I actually sat down with
a dozen or so thoughts in my head, began typing, and almost went
with “Happy New Year” as the beginning of this entry.
to really believe we’re more than two weeks into 2019.
just go with a new piece… “There’s
no place like home… unless there is… but… what’s in a name?”
two new essays today. We’re crossing the mid-point of the month,
and I’m at thirteen essays completed and posted. A bit behind
the day-to-day pace to hit an essay a day, but not too bad considering
the pace we’ve hit recently. Definitely going to hit the mark
in the end…
the tire pressure light and… wait… this can’t be right”
Spider-Man: Far From Home stuff.
Looking great. (Here’s
a second, longer version of the trailer.)
Incredible. Brilliant. Performance
from Katelyn Ohashi (and her personal story
out today with two new essays…
wrap, the railing, and time”
for ‘or current resident’ is not for me”
new essays… and that is all…
and… well, definitely not improved”
sky is falling (unless it’s not)”
thermostat under pressure”
this week moves along, things should get back into a more normal
appearance. Links around the web… random comments… new posts…
and so on. For now, two new pieces…
land of ice and snow (and rain and mud)”
sounds we ignore (or try)”
of a transition day. We needed to get some things around here
moved into the new month (and, sure, the New Year), and also get
back on track as far as writing. More or less got that accomplished
over the first few days. After a slow month of December and lots
of assorted hurdles… it did, however, prove to be a bit of a bumpy
entry won’t be much smoother.
are going to close to moving along in the right direction with
three new essays ready to go. (Yup. Three.) Should be getting
better as the next few days arrive.
up… a few people have reached out on some of the news we have
shared in January…
not making any appearances in 2019 is quite a change. Seems like
we’ve been packing containers and loading cars forever (and twenty-plus
years does tend to qualify as forever).
are grateful for the responses from people about the announcement
(and hope to catch up with us in some fashion). To answer a few
of the questions we’ve received:
are a ton of reasons why we decided to step back this year. Simple
thought: it had become too much. Too much time… too much travel…
too much. As just one example, we wanted to be able to spend time
with family and friends without having to schedule and plan around
all of the demands involved in preparing for and attending shows.
far as why we made the announcement now, the idea was to try and
connect with as many people as possible and do so as far in advance
as we could. Plus, we wanted to make sure people knew they could
still reach out to us and that the workshop would still have a
may never get published (Horror stories and thoughts to help you
had been expecting to release the book around February. Then I
picked up the rough draft and began editing it.
didn’t stink. (But there were parts I felt qualified as close.)
biggest problem was that it didn’t feel complete or right in several
areas. It didn’t offer a sense of fun and excitement. It didn’t
offer the encouragement it needed to have at its foundation.
I chucked most of it. Sort of. (Ok, not completely. But it needed
a massive overhaul.)
will sound a bit sappy, but over the past few years I’ve met quite
a few amazing people at writing appearances. They’ve been great
about listening to me speak, and beyond enthusiastic about my
efforts and their own. And I really felt like the book missed
out on capturing some of that. It didn’t make the same connections
or pass on the same energy that some of the workshops generated.
I think the new drafts and writing are improving on that, and
the final effort is going to be significantly stronger as a result.
promised you three new essays…
birthday cards and the cranky old man (Or, the unexpectedly high
costs of living)”
today we get back to it… new essay…
they lost the sale”
couple of days ago, I mentioned that this year for more writing
has become a swirling bundle of projects and scheduling fun. Part
of the thrills has involved adjusting some efforts already announced
while adding a few that had been in development. Here are a few
details I can share…
may never get published (Horror stories and thoughts to help you
target: May/June 2019
from the workshops I have been leading in recent years, this book
provides information for writers looking to publish their work,
offered from the perspective of things I wish I knew when I got
book offers experiences I’ve had (good and bad), obstacles I’ve
faced, and thoughts for setting up approaches and efforts to create
being developed for publication early in the year, a few adjustments
came into play—including setting up a run of presentations near
the release—has moved the date to mid-year.
in a Lifetime
target: August/September 2019
will be the fifth book of the
efforts are being based on three trips, with two of them never
previously covered in any way. More details will be announced
Project Number One
target: November/December 2019
definite release on the way, this will feature a collection of
Project Number Two
target: December 2019
completely certain this will be ready. This has been a personal
project for several years, and it is just beginning to take on
a definitive form.
Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4
target: February 2020
to believe, but as 2019 begins, we have moved into releasing the
issues from the fourth volume of A
Parkside View. When the year is up, we’ll
have twenty-four months of material to bundle up and share.
biggest part of today’s entry is about efforts that Terry and
I have been working on for decades. Literally, decades. Because
2019 is going to be a bit different.
a lot of thought and conversation, including stepping away for
a few days and then coming back to it, we’ve decided that we are
approaching this year with no plans to make any appearances. Unless
something very unexpected develops, there will be no 2019 ComplemenTerry
Designs Holiday Tour.
been attending events with ComplemenTerry Designs for more than
twenty years. It has been, and much more often than not still
is, awesome. We’ve made incredible friends, met some wonderful
people, and had the opportunity to visit some fantastic places
and support some great causes.
yet there have been some headaches, especially in the past few
years. Nothing unusual. Nothing you couldn’t figure out. Time
and effort needed to meet the demands of participating in shows
and festivals and such. And after our experiences this year, we
believe we’ve reached a good time to take a year off.
workshop isn’t closed. This simply means we’re not loading the
cars and hitting the road in 2019. If you have any special requests…
if you want to know what we’re doing… send us a message. We’d
be thrilled to hear from you.
January edition is being finished up now. I expect it to be out
early next week. If you’ve signed up for the newsletter, it will
be on the way soon. If you haven’t, don’t miss out.
Friends for Local Business
effort began back in 2012, and we even kicked it off with the
same challenge being offered here in January of 2019… Bakeries.
parts of the effort have been adjusted since the early days. Not
incredible differences. More slight modifications. For one, the
challenge now consistently runs for the entire month instead of
over a few specific days. The idea behind that change was to remove
limitations that might be felt by business hours, work schedules,
and effectively any hurdles just created by life.
has remained consistent is this: A celebration of unique treasures
in communities, with honest intentions to learn about and support
the businesses nearby. Local Friends is a recognition that many
of the shops and restaurants and more in your neighborhood cannot
be found elsewhere in the world, and that offer brilliant opportunities
that are worthy of your attention. Find them… investigate them…
and when they do things right and offer quality, raise the awareness
January 1st and 31st, Local Friends for Local Business is celebrating
the challenge of Bakeries. Do you enjoy finding and visiting them
for sweet treats? Do you have one within a few miles of your front
door that you frequent for loaves of bread?
a few minutes to check out the Local Friends pages. Learn about
the effort and explore
some of the history. Then do some research,
find a bakery near you, and head out for a visit.
down and get ready…
was a surprisingly active month… which the web site absolutely
doesn’t reflect. (I mean, at all. The site shows no activity.
Not even a small hint that it was a busy month.)
an example of one good chunk of what was going on, Terry and I
were busy with ComplemenTerry
Designs. Ending November and beginning December
with two events, over four days, with additional time for setting
up and breaking down on different days. (And since we’re sharing
details, the honest truth is that we’re still busy putting away
tables, display panels and more.)
behalf of ComplemenTerry Designs…
you! Another holiday run of appearances has been completed, and
we are beyond grateful for the response. Our deepest gratitude
and appreciation to the organizers of events, to the staff and
people assisting, and to everyone that stopped to say hello, offered
kind words on our efforts, and took home some of our creations.
friends… incredible people… fantastic times. It has been our pleasure.
We hope to see you again.
wrap up today… a look at what needs to get moving…
Friends for Local Business to announce (the
January event is going to be Bakeries)… details about the 2019
year for ComplemenTerry Designs… writing announcements… the new
issue of A
Parkside View… and more. Lots more. Expect
information over the next few days.
January, we’ll be returning to our annual challenge of sorts,
where I attempt to average a new essay posting per day for the
month. Not sure if I’ll have any essays ready to go as I get the
site flipped into January (and the New Year), but by early next
week I do have several pieces in progress and things should get
moving quickly from there.
have some fun.)