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


October 2018

October 29th

As the month of October begins to wind down, we’ve got two new essays and a bunch of plans.

Latest issue of A Parkside View will be out this week. We’ll also be announcing the next challenge for Local Friends for Local Business.

I don’t have any news to share about upcoming writing appearances, but a few plans for 2019 are beginning to take shape. Things are still going to be busy in the near future, with ComplemenTerry Designs warming up for the 2018 holiday events.

Ok… wrapping up today with two new pieces…

Jumping off the bridge

When did it become this hard? (…and this expensive?)

October 26th

Today I’m adding two new essays to the web site. That places the total of new essays/columns and such since the beginning of September around 46. (I did a rough count… 45 new essays in the General area… 1 new Travel diary… don’t think I missed anything, but easily could have.)

I’m guessing here—best I can do since we’ve adjusted and reconfigured the site on several occasions over 15-plus years—but I think we’re cruising along on the most productive span in the history of In My Backpack. (Could be wrong. Most recently, in January of 2017 and January of 2018, I set out to post 30 or more essays in the month. So, there have been strong runs before. Still, can’t deny that 2018 has been a big year overall, and we’re picking up speed.)

Only thing I want to cover today is A Parkside View

It’s the monthly newsletter, and you’re still not signed up for it.

(If you are signed up for it, my apologies. I’m going for that emotional hit kind of thing, and for those that aren’t signed up for it reading that sentence… yeah. Thank you for the support!)

Every issue of the newsletter features a minimum of two essays, with one of those taking its first bows exclusively on the pages of A Parkside View. In addition, the pages wander a bit into everything Backpackville.

This month, two new essays will be a part of the edition. So, I ask…

Are you signed up?

The newsletter is FREE… and signing up is easy. Just send us an e-mail (or message on social media). We’ll work with you from there.

Here are the new pieces…

Attack of the leftovers

That’s the night I realized what that song meant

October 23rd


Quick entry today. I’ve got two essays ready to go, so I figured I’d share them, even though I don’t have much else to add.

There are several projects in motion right now, and I need to pay attention to them for a couple of days. Look for more by the weekend.

Tracking and apps and how his wife knows

Writing fears 101: Of grandmothers and brick walls

October 21st

And… we’re back.

Going to bounce around a bit today, but overall pretty short and sweet. One piece from the internet. New essays at the end.

Caroll Spinney is retiring. The man is Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch… as in, since the beginning, pretty much five decades, is Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

And here are two new essays…

There is no end to honey-do

Origin of Backpackville (and the e-mails that follow)

October 17th

Today, I’m really excited to share two Special Offers, which are going to be available until the end of the 2018 year…

Both of the promotions involve a trio of books. In each case you can get paperback editions of all three books, signed and personalized, with postage across the continental United States included, for $30.

The Anniversary Collection

As part of the celebrations for In My Backpack anniversaries, three books were assembled featuring material taken from the web site.

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Time Just Drifts Away

Life Won’t Pass Me By


All three brought together essays and interviews that for the most part had appeared on the web site dating back to the initial days in 2003. There was a bit of revision… a bit of updating… a bit of proofreading and editing and rewriting (usually with a fairly light touch). In some cases, especially Conversations, material was developed that only exists on its pages.

The Essays Collection

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Thirty Days in November

Life Won’t Pass Me By

A Parkside View: Volumes 1 & 2

These three titles all feature essays developed as part of my writing efforts, though not all for the web site.

Some have been shared on the web site… some were developed for the monthly newsletter… some have never been shared in any other place… all feature non-fiction, observational essays.

Unfortunately, I cannot promise overnight delivery. But, each package offers the titles at significant savings compared to other booksellers. Plus, if you want, autographs are available. (So, yeah, that’s pretty sweet.)

For more details, head to the Special Offers page. For questions, send us an e-mail.

Ok… those announced… we’re going to step aside for now. Got a couple of things that need attention, so look for me to be back this weekend. Should have some new material when I get back.

October 16th

Today the focus is on travel… two new Special Offers will be announced tomorrow…

The new essay… “Experiencing Seattle and the Great Northwest – Bob and Terry on Tour 2013, with Kris – Days Three, Four and Five

Last month I announced a new project that will be coming out in 2019, Once in a Lifetime. This effort should be out during the summer months, and will feature two trips: 2013 to Seattle and 2018 to Nashville. I am still working on ideas that may bring other material into the effort.

My intention is to have the 2013 trip to Seattle covered here on the In My Backpack web site as part of our Travel efforts. Today’s post is a part of that work, and you can check out some additional material from this adventure that has already been posted in the area of the site.

The Nashville material will be exclusive to the book release. This was an amazing trip, with lots of fun and different activities a part of our vacation. It was also the first time either of us had been to the city.

There will also be some other great material assembled as bonus efforts for this title. Still working on what that might involve.

At the heart of the release, this is intended to bring a close to the Travel Trilogy. Back in 2013, I released the Strange and Unexpected series… three books, covering multiple journeys to Florida, California and Las Vegas. In 2016, the travel efforts of my writing were joined by the release of a new book—Something Old, Something New—which felt like the fourth book in the series… and as such, an addition that made the referral to the Travel Trilogy a bit of a fun misnaming.

Once in a Lifetime already feels like a part of the travel story around In My Backpack. It also feels like a bit of a transition piece, where some of the older efforts and styles are being revised, some approaches are being finished, and the future of travel-related material is being developed.

So, today, an essay from a fantastic trip. Soon, the fifth book in the Travel Trilogy. (And tomorrow, a couple of brand new special offers on my books.)

October 14th

I had figured on giving you a wonderfully fun entry today.

I’ve got nothing.

So, here’s a new essay, and I’ll be back in a couple of days with more.

Unexpected headaches and frustrations

October 12th

On Sunday, I’ll have an announcement about the latest Special Offer. This one will run for the remainder of the year… meaning get your holiday shopping taken care of by checking out some of my books.

Ok… shameless plug time over for now… just a couple of things today…

The Monkees working on a Christmas album? Yup. I honestly have no clue what to say about this. Like the band. Listen to the music. Been to a couple of their shows on tours quite a while ago. A new Christmas album though?

Trailer is out for Aladdin. It’s the first look at the new live action effort from Disney, and is basically a first trailer teasing the project.

Two more new essays today…

Ignorance is reality

Politics: The home game

October 11th

Moving toward the weekend with a checklist of to-dos. So… short and sweet today…

Two new pieces…

Or current resident

Life is getting shorter

October 10th

I have some great, funny friends.

Many of you might know I appreciate the fall season for a ton of reasons. October is, by far, my favorite month.

One of my guilty pleasures from this time of year is Count Chocula cereal. These days, it’s only available in stores during the run up to Halloween.

In early September, I spotted a box and essentially got my fix.

Since then though, nothing. It vanished. Completely. Almost as if a first shipment… a small and partial shipment… went out, perhaps even as a tease, and then thousands upon thousands of pallets were misplaced.

You need to understand that I won’t go on a massive search mission for Count Chocula. There will be no grabbing a few bottles of water, getting a stick of gum and some travel music, then hopping in the car for five-plus hours of driving to dozens of different stores in a one-hundred mile radius.

Instead, I look around in stores when we are out running errands. Kind of a “hey, it’s October 1st, we’re in a grocery store, and funny enough I haven’t stumbled on any yet so I think I’m going to check the cereal aisle and special displays” in passing looksie.

Since I had already enjoyed a box, no worries. This year was covered. But having spotted it early in the seasonal run, Count Chocula would pop into my mind when we’d be walking around some stores.

Nothing. It had disappeared.

Earlier this week, Terry came home from work with four boxes. Four. She had been telling people about how in our errands we hadn’t been seeing it. One of the people that knows both of us found it and picked some up for me.

Just one part of a terrific week.

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to bring A Writer’s Workshop to the Warwick Public Library. Had a fantastic time with that. Please, check out the Writing & Books section of the web site for more about me and my published efforts. And check back for updates on upcoming events. 2019 schedule is being set up right now, and some things will be announced soon.

And then there’s ComplemenTerry Designs

For the past few years, Terry and I have joked about the satellite workshop. The idea behind it was that she has work benches, shelves, and other assorted items set up inside our house. That’s the ComplemenTerry Designs workshop.

Between building some items and storage of the greens needed for her live/fresh pieces, use of the garage has steadily been increasing. So—ha ha—satellite workshop and two locations.

We were visiting Rhode Island as part of the writing appearance last week, and Mom asked if we could help her with some projects she had coming up for Christmas and the holidays. Part of that was making a few ornaments, and this led to that led to purchases of glue guns and wire cutters and more, which suddenly meant we had a bit of a workshop in their basement.

Yes… yes… obviously this is all intended in fun. But the idea of ComplemenTerry Designs having three locations in two states is fantastic. (And, technically, true.)

Check out the Calendar of Events for some of the information about our two remaining appearances in 2018.

Back tomorrow with two new essays.

October 7th

Good day ahead… three new essays at the end.

Good Omens… from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and featuring the brilliant David Tennant and Michael Sheen… is on the way. 2019 is looking great.

Disney and Lucasfilm are getting A LOT of attention for The Mandalorian project. And it looks like they might be on to something here. In addition to being a project in the Star Wars universe, it is also destined for the new streaming platform Disney is developing. And now, they have announced a fairly significant and diverse group of people to lead the effort.

I’m going to be away for a couple of days. Hope to have some stuff by mid-week, but time will tell on that. For now, to hold you over, here are the new efforts…

Lessons from a not-that-green thumb

The greatest video game ever

It’s all a shot in the dark (or at least a leaf on the sidewalk)

October 6th

Coming out of a busy month… thirty new essays in thirty days, two projects announced, and plenty of stuff behind the scenes (including preparations for the presentation of A Writer’s Workshop that took place on October 3rd)… a busy month.

So… for today… deep breath and a bit of getting feet back on the ground…

Let’s start with that evening in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Thank you.

To everyone that took the time to come out and attend, thank you.

To everyone that reached out to me with phone calls and text messages and e-mails and more, thank you.

This was an incredibly special evening for me, for a lot of reasons. And the response was incredible. Met some wonderful people… caught up with some friends… and had a tremendous time. I really appreciate it.

Stay tuned, because I should have some announcements coming soon about 2019 appearances.

Local Friends is underway. This month, the challenge – Egg Rolls and Wontons – is all about Chinese food.

ComplemenTerry Designs has confirmed the two events that will be the 2018 Holiday Tour.

And, I will be announcing a new Special Offer on my books in a few days.

That’s it for today. Quick. Simple. Next few days we’ll have some new material and more.

October 1st

We’ve got stuff to talk about, so let’s dive in…

You may never get published
Bob Hocking at the Warwick Public Library
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
7pm start ~ Warwick, RI

On Wednesday evening, I’m going to be in Warwick, Rhode Island.

As part of my presentations of A Writer’s Workshop, the Warwick Public Library will be hosting me for what should roughly be a 75-minute program. Here are the highlights…

  • I’m prepping to start with a half-hour that discusses publishing and self-publishing, with a focus on some of my nightmares and headaches, along with tips and success stories. The plan is to open it up at that point and spend most of the evening addressing questions from those in attendance. (Just in case, I will have some additional things to talk about. But, I personally believe that with a program like this, the most important thing I can do is work on any ground that the audience would like to cover.)
  • I will be arriving early to set up the room, but more importantly I will be around for a bit following the program as well. If you’d like to say hello or ask a question in a more one-one-one way, there will be a chance to do just that.
  • I will have a small selection of books with me, should you be so inspired and consider making a purchase.

I want to take a moment to thank everyone that has been involved in this program, especially the tremendous staff at the Warwick Public Library. Here are two quick links about this specific evening:

Local Friends for Local Business this month is looking at Egg Rolls and Wontons.

Where do you go for great Chinese food? There are some amazing places for terrific meals.

This month we’re asking you to head out for some great food, and looking for your recommendations as you do. Local Friends for October runs from the 1st to the 31st.

A Parkside View

The October issue is making the rounds.

Every edition contains at least two essays, with one debuting exclusively on its pages.

ComplemenTerry Designs has confirmed the two events for this year’s holiday tour. Both are two-day shows, with each one also taking place in New York. At this time there are no plans to add any additional appearances.

If you’ve been enjoying the films about the Kingsman, pay attention. There are a lot of projects swirling around, and some of the dates may be a bit different than you’re expecting.

Death on the Nile is moving along, and Gal Gadot has been announced for the cast.

I have zero clue if it’s going to work, but I really like John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell. So, Holmes and Watson, I will almost definitely give it a shot.

Got a new essay today… “One of THOSE days



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