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


September 2017

September 29th

Hi folks… I need to apologize.

Things got blown off course a bit this week. An issue came up that forced me to adjust my schedule and work focus, and it pulled me away from getting some new material posted here. With a busy few days coming up… including some book events… I eventually reached the point where the best thing to do was put the new stuff on hold, get A Parkside View released, and prep for October.


A book signing at Savoy Bookshop & Café

Life Won’t Pass Me By Book Signing
Savoy Bookshop & Café in Westerly, Rhode Island
October 1st
3pm to 5pm

A Writer’s Workshop, discussing publishing, at Mystic & Noank Library…

A Writer’s Workshop Presentation
Mystic & Noank Library
October 3rd
6:30pm start

Both of these events are free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

Next… A Parkside View

The October edition of the monthly newsletter was released today. This month we have one new essay and two from the archives.

To sign up for the newsletter, send me an e-mail (or a message on our social media pages), and we’ll get everything in place.

Finally… Local Friends for Local Business

The October challenge is going to be Unexpected Delights. The idea behind it is the shops and places that offer up some amazingly brilliant and completely surprising items. It will be running all month.

And that’s it. A wrap on September. October is on the way…

September 25th

Quick entry for today… side issues taking up some time, so new essay will get posted tomorrow. Here we go...


Next sunday is the book signing for Life Won’t Pass Me By at the Savoy Bookshop & Cafe in Westerly, Rhode Island. Jay is responsible for that fantastic drawing on the cover. And I can now announce...

There will be a limited supply of special prints at this book signing. If you are one of the first people to purchase a copy of Life Won’t Pass Me By, you will receive a print of the cover, signed by Jay and me. Again... LIMITED SUPPLY... so this may not be an offer everyone is able to get.

September 23rd

More coming in the next day or two… for now…

A big THANK YOU to the Utica Public Library, and everyone that took the time to join us for today’s presentation of A Writer’s Workshop.

Really enjoyed meeting new people. And, it’s actually pretty cool when the agenda gets tossed to the side for terrific questions.

Had a chance to stop in the Utica Public Library last year during some of the events around promoting Thirty Days in November. Amazing, beautiful, brilliant building. Great to be back.

The focus shifts a bit now… Rhode Island and Connecticut coming up. Check out the Upcoming Events for some of the details.

New essay will be posted by Monday. A Parkside View closing in on the October release. More soon!

September 19th

Just a few links for today…

Interesting article about dinosaurs, and in particular, what might have happened if circumstances where just a bit different.

Really like the looks of Cook Off!, with Melissa McCarthy involved along with a solid cast.

Emma Stone… Steve Carell… Battle of the Sexes looks great.

September 16th

Next Saturday, I’ll be at the Utica Public Library, presenting A Writer’s Workshop.

And you’re all invited!

(Hopefully you already knew that. You can check out the Upcoming Events page in the Writing & Books section of the site for a current listing of all my scheduled appearances. Unless noted, all of them are free, open to the public, and I would be absolutely ecstatic to see you there. But this is about the workshop, so let’s get back on the path…)

For this program, I’ll be presenting material about writing… specifically about publishing. My research and preparations were based on a simple question: What are some of the things I wish I knew when I got started?

Some things… I did get right as I began working on my writing, going back to the days when In My Backpack started, and with the release of my first book in 2012 (Time Just Drifts Away).

Some things… I got wrong. A few really wrong. Some slightly less wrong. Virtually all were wrong mainly because of the way I either ran in circles or wasted valuable time and efforts.

Some things… I learned along that way. Got better. Figured out improvements. Talked to people and learned.

This workshop is designed to introduce publishing, from traditional thoughts to various self-publishing options. We’re going to talk about organization, preparation and professionalism on the part of a writer, which means ways to approach your office and work focus. We’ll scratch the surface on marketing and media, and look at why there are things as important (and potentially even more important) than simply having a good story idea and finding the time to write it.

For the run of 2017 appearances… currently slated for September, October and November… the Utica Public Library on the 23rd of September is stop number one. This event begins at 1:30pm.

I’ll share more details soon about other events, which will be bringing me around upstate New York, into Rhode Island, and to multiple stops in Connecticut. Three workshops, a book signing, and an author meet-and-greet are currently finalized and confirmed. A few more may be added as we move along. Plus, I’ll be heading out with ComplemenTerry Designs on the 2017 Holiday Tour, and at a few stops there may just be some space on a table for some books.

September 15th

New essay today! You know the drill… link at the end.

Jamie Lee Curtis is coming back for more fun with Michael Myers. It appears that the plan here is to more or less take every film that followed Halloween 2 and move them into an unofficially-never-happened pile, then have next year’s release essentially become the third movie of a trilogy. (Yes, it does seem like we may have heard this before.)

And to wrap things up today, the new addition… “Optional extras

September 12th

Today the focus shifts over to ComplemenTerry Designs

For quite some time, the arrival of September has meant a few things around our house when it comes to craft efforts. Usually, the two biggest are simple enough… the workshop opening up more often and for longer stretches, and, the confirmation of appearances.

2017 is continuing the trend.

The shelves have been restocked with supplies… pieces are being created… and the pace is picking up.

For the 2017 Holiday Tour, there will be a simple approach and focus. We’ve selected three events—all great days and places that we have enjoyed in the past—and currently have no plans to stretch the schedule beyond this.

On October 21st, we will be in Putnam, Connecticut, for the Great Pumpkin Festival. We are thrilled to be heading back for this day that literally takes over the entire town. Information we have indicates that the train will be running as usual, bringing visitors to and from the festivities.

We haven’t received details about our spot, but will be using social media to send out the information as soon as we have it. The Great Pumpkin Festival begins at 10am and continues to 3:30pm that day.

November will find us headed to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, for the Christmas & Crafts show. This will be our fourth year participating in the event, which we have been a part of since its first run in 2014.

A bit earlier than previous years, the show dates are November 25th and 26th. Hours on Saturday are 10am to 6pm. Hours on Sunday are 10am to 4pm.

New York Mills, New York, is the destination for December 2nd and 3rd. We are honored to be attending the Holiday Craft Fair at the New York Mills School. This is an amazing and long-running show, with us making our second visit.

Hours both days in New York Mills are 10am to 4pm.

Some quick items about all of the events…

  • As of today, we can only say that Bob will be there for all of these events. The hope is to get Terry to them when we can, but her schedule may not allow her to be there.
  • A small corner of our display may just involve Bob’s books. As you can imagine, this is not the focus for us at any of these events, however, if you are looking to purchase a book or get one signed he will be there and should have a few copies available.
  • If you have any special requests, let us know! Often we can add personalized touches and customize pieces for you as long as we know about them when creating the piece. (It’s hard to add a specific ribbon or color to something when we find out at the show, with almost all of the ribbons and flowers and tools back at home in the workshop.

The greatest part of our travels has always been meeting people. We’ve made many great friends over the years, and we hope to see all of you during this year’s run.

September 9th

A Writer’s Workshop

First up, details about the program. Then, that name.

Over the past few years, I’ve had the sincere pleasure of meeting and speaking with some fantastic people at author events. And those programs and introductions and conversations went into a wide variety of subjects. One of the most interesting for me, and many of the people organizing the events, seemed to center on the publishing process.

Not writing. Publishing.

I’ll try to explain.

There are some absolutely awesome support groups for writers and authors available if you do a bit of looking. At schools, libraries, and other locations, groups of writers are getting together. They are presenting, reading, and critiquing material for each other. They are offering assistance and encouragement. And it is great stuff.

There isn’t as much offered when it comes to publishing.

Several people commented about some of the stories I was sharing when it came to the process of bringing a manuscript through the final stages. Stories of difficulties… lessons… obstacles… horrors. While the writing part mattered, it continued into finishing the manuscript, setting it up and getting a cover in place, and then marketing it.

This program is about the complete journey. It talks about the different methods of publishing, including traditional options and self-publishing. There will be information presented about the demands and obligations and areas of self-publishing. We’re going to take the time to discuss professionalism in approaching any project, and the necessary respect for the audience and process. Plus, as time allows, we’ll dip our toes into the waters of press kits, marketing, and options worthy of consideration.

Should be a lot of fun.

I promised you a story about the name.

Initially, I wanted a very simple idea. Nothing fancy. A workshop that could offer thoughts and perhaps assistance to a writer. So… made sense… A Writer’s Workshop.

However, the focus of this particular presentation really has nothing to do with writing. Not in general… in no specifics. We won’t be talking about character development or how to strengthen dialogue.

It’s about publishing.

The publishing process is ups and downs, crazy and frustrating, heartbreak and agony, wonderful and exciting. And it is so much more than writing.

Three presentations—September 23rd at the Utica Public Library, October 3rd at the Mystic & Noank Library, November 4th at the Killingly Public Library—were set and confirmed as “A Writer’s Workshop” presentations. In the future, I am debating some options and may expand on a few things. From this point on…

Bob Hocking presents A Writer’s Workshop
You may never get published
(Horror stories and thoughts to help you try anyway)

At this time, all of these presentations are free and open to the public. It is possible I may have some copies of my books along with me and available, but this is separate from the presentation.

We close today out with a new essay… “The license plate game (and the meaning of life)

September 8th

Today I want to point a spotlight in the direction of Bank Square Books and Savoy Bookshop & Café.

I am honored to announce that both of these wonderful locations are now carrying a selection of my books on their shelves. (As I write this, the titles are… Time Just Drifts AwayThirty Days in November… and Life Won’t Pass Me By.) I’d like to thank them for their consideration and support.

A second note about Savoy… I will be stopping by on Sunday, October 1, 2017. They are kind enough to be hosting a book signing for me, focusing on Life Won’t Pass Me By. Here are a couple of notes about the signing…

  • It will run from 3pm to 5pm
  • In addition to Life Won’t Pass Me By, I will be bringing along a few other titles that will be available for purchase
  • There will be all sorts of special promotions going on, most of which I will be announcing very soon
  • And… GOOD TO KNOW… if you have already purchased one of my books and would like to have it signed, the Savoy has graciously said that you are absolutely welcome to bring it in on that day (and heck, maybe you could even add to your Bob Hocking collection while you’re there)

Busy weekend coming up. Going to have a new essay for you tomorrow. And I’m also going to run down some details about the A Writer’s Workshop program.

September 5th


Bit of this and that today. Just trying to get some things positioned and moving, while still recovering from an amazing month of August. Two book releases, and the Sixth Annual National Buy Bob’s Book Day. Which means… because, of course… we begin with…

Local Friends for Local Business

This month, our effort is offering up a challenge of Books.

Between September 1st and September 30th, the idea is to look around and find some of those fantastic shops nearby.

I can recall stepping inside so many wonderful bookstores. Each and every one was an absolute treasure in some mystical and thrilling way.

Why mystical and thrilling?

It might be a selection of used books… the offerings of local writers and authors… a specific theme (such as nearby attractions or historical significance)… or any of a number of other reasons. There are collections of covered bridges and fall foliage that can lead you around New England. Narratives can take you along railroad tracks and highways. And opening some covers can bring you to other planets and fantasy worlds.

Books can do so much, from travel to cooking, history to fiction… that the very words and creativity that make them so brilliant also mean that it is impossible to completely capture and explain what books can do.

For September of 2017, Local Friends is looking toward Books, and asking you to check out your neighborhood booksellers.

Now… I want to thank everyone for the incredible month of August. On the 8th, Life Won’t Pass Me By was released. On the 22nd, Conversations was released. Then, on the 26th, we celebrated the annual fun and silly and shameless self-promotion that is National Buy Bob’s Book Day.

I received a lot of e-mails, texts and other messages throughout the month. You folks are wonderful. Just great. Checking out the web site, visiting the social media pages, purchasing books, and so much more. I appreciate it. Thank you.

We’ve got A TON of stuff coming up. This weekend I’m going to rundown some of the upcoming events for me and also for ComplemenTerry Designs. We’ve got book signings and writing presentations to talk about. We’re going to hit the road to attend festivals and fairs and holiday events. We’ve got news to share, announcements to make, and…

And… we’ve got a lot of content and material to get posted around here.

Thanks for stopping by.


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