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


March 2021

March 31st

The April edition of A Parkside View will be out by this upcoming weekend.

Are you signed up for it?

If not, why not? Great content from Bob, with a lot of it never previously released. News and stories from around Backpackville. And, it’s free.

All you need to do is send us an e-mail, or use one of our social media pages to send a message. We’ll contact you and finish all the details to get you registered.

A Parkside View, Volume 6, Issue 4, coming your way.

Did you like Knives Out? (Of course, you did. We all did.) Looks like we have two more projects springboard from the original, this time they’ll be coming to Netflix.

Maya Rudolph in a project with Danny McBride and a robot apocalypse? I’m in. The Mitchells vs. The Machines coming to Netflix in late April.

Shadow and Bone is coming to Netflix in April. (Looks like Netflix is a bit busy.)

The release of The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard has been moved up. Look for it in June.

With much of Sheldon’s major childhood moments fixed in time already, this great renewal for a quality show likely means we are going to be seeing some really heavy material in the near future on Young Sheldon.

A look at the upcoming Mare of Easttown.

March 28th

We’re nearing the end of March, and with it the end of our anniversary celebrations around Backpackville. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying some of the fun…

* We had special offers on A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 and January Resolutions. The Kindle editions of both of these titles were on sale for a limited-time in March. And you can still check out the paperback and Kindle editions today…

A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 at Amazon (paperback)

January Resolutions at Amazon (paperback)


* In addition to the Kindle offer involving A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4, the prices for both the Kindle and paperback editions of the book were reduced. You can find out more about all twelve of Bob’s released works here on the web site as well as his author page at Amazon…

Writing & Books

Bob’s author page at Amazon

* The March issue of A Parkside View was released featuring three new essays. The April edition will be out later this week. If you are already signed up, fantastic, thank you for the support and interest. If you aren’t signed up, don’t miss another issue… it’s easy, just send us an e-mail or a message on our social media pages.

Thanks for stopping in during the Eighteenth Anniversary of In My Backpack. We’re grateful for your time and attention, as well as your feedback, purchases, sharing of news and more. Keep stopping in, and don’t forget to tell your friends.

Some places are offering free lamination of your vaccination card.

I think I hate them most because…

Wrong answers only

March 26th

Two links and one essay…

Finally! Wellington Paranormal—spun from the original movie version of What We Do in the Shadows—is about to hit U.S. televisions.

Grandmaster returning? Could be. Jeff Goldblum is apparently in Australia, and Marvel has reached a point with such great lead and support characters that crossovers and new appearances are almost a certainty on projects.

Why are there 76 trombones?

March 21st

One link… one essay…

Roku has added This Old House, in an acquisition that involves a lot of different elements, including the addition to its library of more than forty seasons and going on 1,500 episodes.

Memories… and what we remember

We’ll be away for a few days. Until we’re back…

1 – If you use Kindle, check out the offer on Bob’s latest release, January Resolutions. In a limited-time deal, it is currently available for its lowest Kindle price to date. Continuing until March 26th, this is just one of the Special Offers available as part of the web site’s anniversary.

2 – Visit The Attic. More than five dozen essays have been added to Backpackville just this calendar year. Hundreds are stored away, going back to the early days of the In My Backpack web site.

3 – Get ready for the release of the April edition of A Parkside View by signing up to receive it. The monthly newsletter from Bob is currently in the middle of its sixth volume. It offers a combination of new and old material in every edition. Are you getting it each month?

4 – Head on over to our social media pages. Like them. Follow them. Share the posts.

March 19th

Published in November of 2020, January Resolutions is the latest release and twelfth title from author Bob Hocking.

Beginning today, there is a Special Offer available for a limited time on the Kindle edition of January Resolutions. This continues until March 26th.

March 18th

Tomorrow, a Special Offer begins involving the Kindle edition of January Resolutions. The offer makes the title available to add to your Kindle library for its lowest price to date. It’s a rolling, limited-time offer, with the best price near the beginning. This deal continues until March 26th.

January Resolutions Kindle page at Amazon

January Resolutions is Bob’s twelfth released book. Containing more than five dozen pieces on its pages, the essays weave into the subjects of frosty northeast weather and attempts at self-improvement that the title would suggest. Bob also veers off on his usual meanderings to consider other thoughts, such as how nothing lasts forever, the origins of coffee, the benefits found when must-have whoopie pies aren’t all that must-have, the civics test for United States citizenship, and what might happen if you drove an ice cream truck through the side of a circus tent into a calliope.

January Resolutions is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. Look for it today (and don’t miss out on the Kindle offer).

January Resolutions paperback at Amazon

Bob’s author page at Amazon

I’m looking forward to see Godzilla vs. Kong. (EAGERLY looking forward to it, though the collection of films leading to it have been uneven.) The more I see the younger actors involved in this project though, the more I’m convinced that in about twenty years people will be astonished all of them were in this cast.

Resident Alien… my vote for best show currently on television… has been renewed for a second season.

‘…Failure to Respond…’

March 17th

We start today off with something important…

Most people know I use Amazon for self-publishing. I have done A LOT of research whenever presented with choices involving publishing my work, and have never made a decision lightly. It can be a very personal process that involves several factors, and there are pros and cons to any action.

To this day, I still investigate options and conditions every time I work on a project that finds me turning toward the path of self-publication. Some of the biggest concerns for me have regulalrly involved e-book options, distribution possibilities, and international availability. For me, CreateSpace, and now Amazon along with Kindle Direct Publishing, checked the most boxes. It was the best option for me. Other authors have other concerns, do their research, and many decide to utilize other opportunities.

Many people ask about it at times, in a way that suggests they believe authors face easy choices, have lots of options, and that their personal version of a negative should be shared by everyone. Many times they do so as if there are clear lines between either using Amazon or supporting local businesses, that those lines should be the only focus, and that the decision should be clean, simple, obvious and leave no room for debate.

It’s not easy.

For writers... for authors… publication involves tremendous obstacles, hurdles and decisions. And we make them based on what opportunities fit our needs while presenting the best opportunities.

When it comes to the article I’m about to share though, I present that rant because it isn’t about being for or against Amazon, or recognizing the closing doors of small businesses. As the owner of The Raven says in the article: “It’s not that we’re anti-Amazon, but we’re pro-bookstores and pro-community.”

Absolutely none of these actions lessen the needs of small, community, neighborhood booksellers. These places are absolute treasures, and I hope you can recognize them and support them.

Read this article. It does a really great job -- thank you, Casey Cep and The New Yorker -- of explaining why small businesses (specifically in this case, a bookshop) need to charge a bit more, and why that can be so important to your community.

Two essays to close out the post…

A million miles behind me

The possible trigger for insomnia

March 13th
March 11th

Quick note… the Kindle offer involving A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 ends tomorrow, March 12th. For more details about it, along with three others you may be interested in, check out the Special Offers.

Today, I want to share some details about upcoming book projects.

I actually have received a few questions about this in recent weeks, so I grabbed a notepad and had good intentions of making a full list. I stopped when I hit two dozen different ideas, varying from ones that are just notes on scraps of paper with a fairly cohesive central thought to those where I’m deep down the rabbit-hole in progress.

In the end, I’ve got six projects that are moving along right now where I feel good about sharing a bit (or at least saying they exist)…

For 2021…

You may never get published (Horror stories and thoughts to help you try anyway) – This effort developed from the series of writer’s workshops I’ve been presenting for years. Many of the sessions were designed as a split between prepared materials to open followed by a segment for questions and discussion to close. The book was one I thought I had finished a first draft on, until…

…I began assembling the different chapters and files into full manuscript. During the process of pulling it together, I found myself increasingly frustrated with it. The best way I can describe it is that I really felt it was lacking the fun, positive exchanges I had experienced with people during the workshops.

A lot of what I had written I wanted to completely re-write. So, I did. But first, I put the whole project aside so I could step away and come back with a fresh perspective. And I’m very happy with the new results.

Once in a Lifetime – While I can’t share all of the details, I can say this is planned to be the final entry into the Strange and Unexpected series of travel efforts. (It will be the fifth book published as part of the increasingly incorrectly named Travel Trilogy. Previous efforts have been: Strange and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road – Volume One: Florida -- Strange and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road – Volume Two: California -- Strange and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road – Volume Three: Las Vegas -- Something Old, Something New: Savannah to Orlando.)

At the current time, three different adventures are being gathered together for this effort. Of the three, only one involves material that has been previously shared. (That would be Seattle in 2013.)

Untitled novel – I honestly have no clue if this one will come together in time to release during 2021. But, I did reach a point where I was happy enough with one of my manuscripts that I think setting aside a traditional publishing route and moving ahead with a self-published novel is a realistic approach.

Untitled special project – I’m not ready to share much about this work-in-progress, except to say it falls into a specialized passion project realm that will be different from anything I’ve done so far, likely will be a one-time effort, and most certainly will have a specific audience. I’ve been slowly chopping away at this idea, adding a bit here, taking away a bit there, and giving it some form. I think it’s going to be something ready for release before the end of the year.

No clue on actual publication dates for any of them. More on each coming soon.

For 2022…

A Parkside View: Volumes 5 & 6 – Hard to believe, but yeah, it’s actually nearing time to begin bringing together the next collection of material from the monthly newsletter.

Pretty straightforward. All of the essays that debuted on the pages of A Parkside View, along with all of the From the Backpack pieces that were brought out of the archives for the newsletter, will be assembled from these two volumes.

The In My Backpack nineteenth anniversary project(s) – We’ve always celebrated things slightly askew around here. It started with Time Just Drifts Away in 2012 to recognize nine years of In My Backpack hijinks. Then, in 2017 after fourteen years, the festivities involved two sperate efforts, Life Won’t Pass Me By and Conversations.

As of right now, I have no clue if this work will involve a single book or two. (Or, heck, three or four. You never really know until you get to the destination.) What I do know is there will be releases in 2022, and this project will be part of them.

March 10th

Over the next few days, I’m going to share details about some of the things taking place behind-the-scenes around here. First up… interviews.

I have always loved conducting interviews. Over the years, for a variety of reasons, I’ve had the great pleasure of conducting hundreds of interviews with people. Many have been kind enough to allow me to post material here on the web site. I appreciate that, and I’m also grateful that many of those people have agreed to allow me to use the material in published works. (A few have even participated in new efforts for the books.) Check out the interviews we’ve had at Backpackville here…

In My Backpack Interviews

I’m really pleased to say that we are going to see interviews returning to The ‘ville. I’m hoping that the return will be a big one, with efforts turning into frequent additions to the web site. As of right now, I’m working on two different ideas…

One is a project I’m tentatively calling Take Five. The idea is to ask five basic questions. Quick for participants, quick for reading, and hopefully a lot of fun.

The other is a return to the deeper projects that had developed over time around here. Some background and details formed into an introduction, and then an expanded conversation.

Things are still developing in all areas of the interview projects, but I do hope we might have some things to add (and perhaps even share) before the end of March.
March 7th

Some quick things…

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1 – A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 – The Kindle edition is in the middle of a limited-time price drop. Head to the Kindle store (or Amazon page) and check it out. Offer continues until March 12th.

2 – A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4At the beginning of March, both the paperback and Kindle editions received a price drop.

3 – Available only at In My Backpack – A combination package featuring the paperback edition of Life Won’t Pass Me By. Between now and the end of April, you can pair that book with a paperback edition of Conversations, Thirty Days in November or Title Town. In addition to the two books (both signed and personalized if you wish), also included is a special picture of the Life Won’t Pass Me By cover, signed by both Bob and the artist, Jay Gillen. As if that wasn’t enough, shipping may be included (depending on the location).

4 – January Resolutions – Later this month, the Kindle edition of Bob’s latest release will be available at a special price.

A Parkside View for March has been released. Make sure you’re receiving Bob’s monthly newsletter.

Back in a couple of days…

March 5th

At some point today, the Kindle edition of A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 will be available at a special price. This limited-time offer is part of what Amazon calls a countdown deal.

Beginning today by 11pm Pacific Standard Time, the book will be available for $0.99. It will climb by a dollar roughly every 36-hours, returning to it’s regular $4.99 late on March 12th.

So… add the book to your library… but do it as quickly as you can once the sale begins.

Just a new essay for today…

Why I don’t try new things

March 4th

According to Amazon, the Kindle offer involving A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 begins tomorrow. But, it may be later in the day when the sale price goes active.

The March issue of A Parkside View will be out this weekend.

Are you a Crash Bandicoot fan? New game, designed for mobile devices, is set for release at the end of this month.

Universal Orlando is planning to add a third theme park area, with associated entertainment and more. Few details are available for specifics about attractions and such, with Epic Universe expected to open in roughly four years. For now, there is word that construction is ramping back up.

I was stunned when Disney came to the mall. I think my first visit to a Disney Store in the mall of my hometown was roughly thirty years ago. It was incredible. Seemed like a perfect fit. Of course, times are changing, and Disney never sits still when it comes to restructuring, reorganizing, and reimagining its retail offers. About five dozen stores in the US are set to close this year.

Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer are bringing Thunder Force to Netflix. New film arrives in April.

Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi and Bret McKenzie… quite a run from New Zealand to the incredible projects they’ve been bringing to audiences.

The price of technology we can’t live without (or live with)

March 1st

2003 ~ 2021

The In My Backpack Anniversary

March 2003… first essays put into place on March 8, 2003. A bit of work and testing was handled ahead of that debut. And A LOT of changes have come in the years since.

Eighteen years. (And there was much rejoicing.)

This month we’ve got a few things going on as part of the celebrations. Here’s a rundown…

The price for both the paperback and Kindle editions of A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 have been reduced. From Amazon, you can now add the paperback edition to your collection for $14.95, and bring it to your Kindle library for $4.99. (Discounts at other online booksellers may differ.) But hold on if you don’t have the Kindle edition already, because…

Another promotion with A Parkside View: Volumes 3 & 4 will be taking place between March 5th and 12th, where the Kindle edition will be on sale.

Continuing with the celebratory sale idea, you can find the Kindle edition of January Resolutions on sale between March 19th and 26th. (Amazon link for January Resolutions.)

And then we have a really special offer available for the months of March and April, which can only be found here at In My Backpack. It’s a package deal…

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Get the paperback edition of two books, Life Won’t Pass Me By along with a choice of Thirty Days in November, Conversations OR Title Town… with both books signed. PLUS, you’ll receive an autographed image of the Life Won’t Pass Me By cover signed by Bob and the artist of the cover, Jay Gillen. Two autographed books, a signed collector’s piece, AND shipping, for $25.

There are a few restrictions, mainly involving shipping, so check out the Special Offers page for more details on all of these great deals.


And that’s just a start of the celebrations.

Throughout the month of March, we’re going to be sharing some information on new projects, making announcements about some terrific things that are going on, and adding some new material.

In a few days, the March issue of A Parkside View will be out. This month, four essays will be a part of the release. If you haven’t signed up, send an e-mail or a message now. It’s free to do, painless, and comes with a monthly delivery of information about Backpackville and material from Bob.

And that’s about it for today.

Get ready for Special Offers on several of Bob’s books. Check out his Amazon Author Page for details on all his published titles. Make sure you sign up for A Parkside View.

We’ll see you in a day or two!


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