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A monthly diary of current postings and quick train of thought entries


March 2019

March 31st

Busy couple of days in progress.

A Parkside View was sent around yesterday… April edition… if you haven’t signed up, it’s free and includes special content. Send an e-mail along to start receiving every issue.

Prepping a bit of the web site for the new month. Not sure if the surprises will arrive in April or not, but there are some fun things being developed.

And then there are some assorted projects underway, keeping me moving around from one thing to the next.

Oh yeah, and a couple of new essays. See you again in April!

As stylish as a yellow turtleneck can be

Timely discoveries (even the mysteries)

March 27th

Two more essays today…

Technology just might be dulling my skills (and it might be dulling yours as well)

Is the first woodpecker of the season a thing?

March 26th

Two new essays today. Catch those links in the usual place… at the end of the entry.


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Yesterday we finished up the third of this month’s Special Offers… three books… three limited-time Kindle offers.

A lot of people took a few moments to add some of the titles to their Kindle libraries. I appreciate that, and hope you enjoy the books.

Several people used the Kindle Unlimited program this month, specifically during the promotion dates, and I am grateful for that as well. Keep in mind, if you use Kindle Unlimited, all ten of my published titles are available as part of the program.

For more on my published efforts, check out the Writing & Books area of the site.

A Parkside View

April edition of the monthly newsletter is being finished up. Chances are good it might get sent out a day or two early, with distribution this weekend.

And here’s the new stuff…

Could you please pass the salt?

If a television station falls in the forest…

March 24th

The third and final limited-time promotion for March…

Conversations on Kindle

March is the anniversary month here at In My Backpack, and we’ve been running Special Offers as part of the celebrations. We’re in the middle of the third and final offer, which is the Kindle edition of Conversations, free until Monday, March 25th.

March 23rd

The Special Offers for this month continue, this time with the third and final FREE Kindle offer…


Released to coincide with the fourteenth anniversary of the In My Backpack web site, Conversations features interviews and material drawn from years of efforts. It also includes a lot of material exclusive to the book… never shared or published in any other place.

Participants include Earl Swift, Terry Fator, Keris Stainton, Chris VanDahl, Brigitte Valdez, Kelly Smith, Brian McCullough, Daryl Wagner, Scott Jordan, Christina Shaw, Brandon Evans, Terry Hocking and Denise Alekseev.

I took all of the photos on the cover. In addition to some of those taking part in the interviews, the terrific Roberta Hoag and Tammy Putala appear in the images.

These are some incredible and talented people, and I appreciate their time, consideration and assistance in a variety of projects. I’m proud of the results, and hope you enjoy.

March 18th

Today marks the end of this month’s second Free Kindle promotion… Thirty Days in November.

You can add my fifth book to your Kindle library, for free, but you have to act today.

It’s all part of some Special Offers we’ve been running as part of the Sixteenth Anniversary of the In My Backpack web site. Two offers have been extended… one remains to debut. Don’t miss out!

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March 17th

Let’s kick things off today with a bit of thanks…

On Friday, Thirty Days in November rose to the top of one of Amazon’s Kindle charts for free downloads in the category of essay collections. Pretty cool.

(Doesn’t add a ton to my savings. It is a free promotion. So, if you’d like to consider some of the paperback editions, or perhaps bring one of my other titles to your Kindle for 99-cents, I’d appreciate that. Still, pretty cool.)

This free Kindle promotion is part of a few Special Offers we’ve been running this month. Three different books… Kindle editions… no charge. Add them to your Kindle library for free.

The one involving Thirty Days in November continues today and tomorrow. But hurry, because it ends on March 18th.

For information on all of my books…

The Writing & Books area here at In My Backpack

My Amazon author page

All ten of my books are available in paperback and Kindle formats. Paperbacks can be found at several online booksellers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and qualify for free shipping considerations at Amazon. Kindle editions are all regularly priced at just 99-cents each.

Thank you – THANK YOU – for your time and support. (Enjoy the new title in your library.)

(As a side note… all of my published books are currently available as part of the Kindle Unlimited program. If you participate in this, you can read all of my books for free.)

Here’s a new essay to finish things up today… “Monopoly is back! (And honestly, I can’t be bothered)

March 16th

Got a new essay today.

Want to mention that the Special Offer for Thirty Days in November is still going on. You can get a free Kindle edition of the book as long as you check it out by Monday, March 18th.

Here you go… “Differences aren’t that different (but they aren’t the same)

March 14th

And we begin Special Offer number two…

Thirty Days in November

Starting today, and continuing until Monday the 18th, you can get the Kindle edition of Thirty Days in November for free.

Released roughly three years ago—April 2016—Thirty Days in November is a collection of non-fiction essays.

The effort began as part of a personal writing challenge that wasn’t planned to develop into a book. Feeling like I was spinning my writing wheels and hoping to raise the quantity I was producing, I set out during the month of November 2011 planning to average one essay per day. Did it again in 2013. The result left me with about six dozen essays in some format, and several other scraps of ideas that hadn’t really been developed.

In the summer of 2015, I took revisited the material, decided to bring it together and began assembling a manuscript from the essays. Some got dumped before I even had a true first draft, and some were pushed to the side during different stages of proofreading and editing and rewrites. Eventually, the final draft became a total of thirty pieces.

Beginning today, you can get the Kindle edition of Thirty Days in November for free. Tell your family. Tell your friends. But most of all, if you use Kindle, get the book and enjoy the reading. (And thanks for the time and support.)

Let’s finish with a new piece… “A cold wind is blowing (the fluffy snow)

More coming on Saturday or Sunday.

March 13th

The FREE Kindle Special Offer

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First… and most importantly… thank you.

We kicked off a few Kindle-based promotions on March 7th, with Time Just Drifts Away available for your Kindle library at the terrific cost of free. Several people took advantage of the offer, and we are grateful for the time and attention. Hope you enjoy the reading.

Second… and we hope you agree, good to know… it’s not over.

We’ve got two more books—Thirty Days in November and Conversations—that will have free, limited time promotions available for the Kindle editions.

Check out the Special Offers page for more details… grab your Kindle and head to the store… and get ready. The Thirty Days in November offer begins tomorrow, March 14th.

March 10th

Got a few things today, including a new essay at the end.

I was reading this article in the Sydney Morning Herald about a surprisingly busy part of the day at a McDonald’s. And it kept my attention for a few reasons…

First up, a few things in it sound reasonable, and offer up some information that most of us wouldn’t think about in general circumstances. For instance, that a mid-afternoon rush is caused by the end of a school day. It makes sense, but not all of us would readily come up with it as a potential operations consideration.

Second, it raises the questions about whether or not offering healthy eating options and providing a place to gather after school hours are worth exploring. Again, for schools, might be an off the mainstream subject, and yet still worthy of acknowledgement.

Then, the article swerves off the tracks a bit, such as when it dives into labels. It calls this activity a type of snacking. It uses that thought to get into calorie counts and whether or not a value meal option should really be considered a snack if you’re going to eat dinner just a few hours later. They even bring in a university professor to qualify whether or not these kids are there for a snack. And, to me… well…

Who cares? Who cares if it’s called “snack”? Call it snacking, overeating, potentially poor diet choices, puddle hopping or tree sniffing, and none of it changes the main subject. Which is, look at the kids heading to McDonald’s for midafternoon eats and is this something we need to be concerned about?

Interesting stuff overall. Worthy of a look.

Next up… the great FREE KINDLE GIVEAWAY of Time Just Drifts Away continues.

We’re in the middle of the first of three Kindle promotions involving my books this month. You can learn more about the entire scenario in the Special Offers section of the web site. For this one…

Until Monday, March 11th, you can get the Kinde edition of Time Just Drifts Away for free. That’s free. Nothing. No charge. Just grab your Kindle, head to the store, and add it to your library today.

And the new piece I promised… “All the safety in the world (doesn’t help stupid)

And a second new piece… “What’s marriage like?

And a third… “The same thing (only different)

And, you’ve been good, so a fourth… “Do I need to say this again?

March 8th

Working on a few projects this month. Hoping to add some additional essays soon, including some travel and sports pieces. Stay tuned on that.

We’re also celebrating the Sixteenth Anniversary of In My Backpack, featuring Special Offers on three different books. For limited times, you can get Kindle editions of Time Just Drifts Away, Thirty Days in November and Conversations, all at the amazing price of free.

March 7th

Today we begin the first of three Special Offers available in March…

The FREE Kindle offers

Time Just Drifts Away

Beginning today, and continuing into Monday, March 11th, you can add Time Just Drifts Away to your Kindle library for free.

Don’t miss out on this offer. Get the book… then tell your family and friends.

March 6th

Honestly, the project had me hooked when they announced David Tennant was doing Good Omens. Then they added the amazingly talented (and thoroughly underappreciated) Michael Sheen. You know… and it wasn’t sounding good, it was sounding brilliant. So, they added Frances McDormand as God… and Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan… and holy crap. Yes, yes, yes, please, I’m in. Yeah… trailer is out… cast list is expanding. Michael McKean and Brian Cox and Jon Hamm and Nick Offerman. (Did I mention Frances McDormand and Benedict Cumberbatch playing God and Satan?)

I have no clue why, but every time I see material from the upcoming Shazam!, I smile and want to see the whole move.

New essay today… “Putting the toothpaste back in the tube

March 5th

Local Friends for Local Business is one of the extensions that has joined Backpackville over the years. Usually, the challenge each month is based on the concept of getting out into your surroundings and finding something you never knew much about before… offer some support and learn about your community. This month, we’re twisting that.

Make Me Smile is the theme for March, and it builds upon some of the things that make you feel good. Good food. Good shopping. Good times. In this case, however, it asks you to think about the places you visit for comfort and perhaps already visit on a slightly regular basis. In this case, we’re asking you to not only support them, but let others know about them.

So as the month moves along, head out for a favorite meal, buy someone a unique gift, and tell your friends about the great small businesses near you.

March 3rd

This Thursday – March 7th – begins a five-day run, where the Kindle edition of Time Just Drifts Away will be available for free.

Yup. Free. It’s the first of three Kindle offers taking place this month.

Released in 2012, Time Just Drifts Away was the first of my ten books to be published. New to some of the efforts and hurdles involved, the paperback came out in July with the Kindle release following in September.

As a quick note about Kindle… one I will repeat as we move along this month… if you use Kindle Unlimited, all ten of my books can be accessed for free as part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

For more details on this month’s Special Offers, check out the dedicated page for offers here at Backpackville.

The latest edition of A Parkside View is out. Make sure you’re signed up and receiving my monthly newsletter.

Let’s close with a new essay… “Positioning the cars

(And, because you’ve been good, a second new essay… “The value of novelty knickknacks”)

March 1st

Sixteen years…

Holy crap.

I can’t say that the time has moved along at a blistering rate since we started In My Backpack in 2003, but it certainly doesn’t seem like we should have sixteen years’ worth of material. But…

We do.

Over the years, we’ve posted thousands of essays and more, with hundreds and hundreds of them active and in place today. We’ve expanded beyond general writing and such into areas featuring photography (the Photo Gallery), a monthly newsletter (A Parkside View), social media pages, and plenty of twists and turns and expansions and more. Ten books have been published with more on the way.

It’s become a community. A group of neighborhoods, featuring different work and material. Backpackville. The ‘ville. And it is incredible to have you play a part in it.

This month, we’ll be celebrating the anniversary with a few special projects and events. The first one we can share begins next week…

The FREE Kindle Promotion

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During the month of March, we’ll have three separate runs where the Kindle edition of one of my books will be available over five-days for free. Here’s the list…

Time Just Drifts Away ~ March 7th to March 11th

Thirty Days in November ~ March 14th to March 18th

Conversations ~ March 21st to March 25th

For more on my published efforts, check out the Writing & Books area of The ‘ville, or, head over to my author page at Amazon. (Speaking of writing…)

A Parkside View

The monthly newsletter is ready for March, with the new edition heading out today or tomorrow. Are you receiving every issue?

If yes… THANK YOU!

If no… WHY? It’s free. All you need to do is let us know, and we’ll send it your way.

Local Friends for Local Business

This month the effort is looking to Make Me Smile for the challenge.

That sandwich you love… the place where you find music or movies… something for game night… anything you’re looking for to enjoy the day. Support the businesses you love.

Make Me Smile is the theme for the March challenge.

Ok… that gets us started. More coming this weekend.



If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail us at Bob@inmybackpack.com