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


September 2018

September 29th

We’re going to wrap up the month in this post, which means I have A LOT of ground to cover…

First up, A Parkside View

Another issue of the monthly newsletter is just about ready to make the rounds. Are you signed up to receive it?

Seriously? Are you?

If you are – THANK YOU. I hope you’re enjoying it, and I truly appreciate the support.

If you aren’t – Why? It’s free. It contains content that has never been released in any other place. This is Backpackville with bonus features.

If you would like to receive the monthly newsletter, send me an e-mail (or, on our social media pages, you can send us a message). We’ll get everything set up and confirmed with you.

The October edition will be out by Monday (with plans for a bit of an advance release tomorrow if I can finish up one last piece of it).

Next, new material here in The ‘ville…

Early in September, I mentioned that I was going to make a run at posting thirty new essays this month. Yesterday, the thirtieth was posted.

I also said I wanted to take a bit of a walk around the web site and point out some of the areas involved.

I think we accomplished everything we set out to do. As always, if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. At the bottom of every page on the web site—and there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of pages creating In My Backpack right now—is an e-mail address you can use to contact us.

All of the material on the site is stored in The Attic, so you can head over there to look around at some of the categories. Every essay posted this month fell into the General Interest realm, and you can use this link to head over to there for more.

Moving on, don’t forget…

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

I’m headed to Warwick, Rhode Island, next week. The presentation is part of my A Writer’s Workshop efforts, with a focus on publishing (specifically self-publishing).

The presentation will run approximately 75-minutes. I’ll have material to fill that entire run, but will be planning to speak for about a half-hour and then open things up for questions and answers.

I will be bringing a small selection of books with me, if you are so inclined. There will also be some time after the event to hang around, shake a few hands, and say hello in person.

If you have any interest in working on a manuscript, have questions about the process, or just want to learn a bit about what writers go though in bringing an idea to the bookstore, this should be a great opportunity to hear about some of the excitement, headaches, fun and hurdles involved.

I’m going to begin flipping the site over to October. I expect an update on the 1st, but it might be a bit staggered for the next week.

Have a great day!

September 28th

Thirty essays in thirty days? Quite a challenge I put out there for myself.

So… how about thirty in twenty-eight instead? Basically, we made it. Thirty new essays… from scratch… in the month of September.

Things to do, places to be

More tomorrow…

September 26th

Today I am thrilled to announce two new projects. Let’s dive in…

You may never get published (Horror stories and thoughts to help you try anyway)

Many of you know that a few years ago, I began a writing workshop that focused on publishing. The idea was to connect with writers and discuss the nightmares, excitement, challenges and more involved in publishing a book, and even more specifically self-publishing… with the workshop offered from the perspective of someone that has hands-on experiences and stories, and faces such challenges from the same viewpoints.

I have been overwhelmed and honored by the response the workshops receive. To date, several in attendance at presentations have reached out to me. Many of the places I’ve presented at have asked about putting people in touch with me.

Without heading too far down the road and getting off track, the end result is this: I never set out intending to write a book on the subject… but the more people I have the pleasure of meeting, and the more I learn about my own efforts, the more it made sense.

I’m hoping to have this book out before the end of 2018, but I’m circling dates in January/February of 2019 just to be safe.

Once in a lifetime

The Travel Trilogy began with Strange and Unexpected in 2013. It was meant to be a three-books-in-one-day release, a massive effort that included volumes on Florida, California and Las Vegas.

Then… along came another project. Something Old, Something New. It felt like a natural extension of those Strange and Unexpected efforts, and it joined the Backpack on the Road banner as the fourth book in a suddenly misnamed trilogy with its release in 2016

I’m in the process of finishing material from a trip Terry and I made to Seattle in 2013 for the web site, and starting material gathered during a trip to Nashville we made in 2018. The work is leading me to adjust the way I approach travel on the web site… and also feels like a great bookend of sorts for the previous efforts.

The Travel Trilogy will be even more inaccurately named with the release of Once in a lifetime. The fifth travel book will bring the first wave of travel writing to a conclusion when it gets published in the first half of 2019.

I did not expect to have any interest in Venom. Call it a reaction to Sony’s efforts with Spidey, and that would cover a good enough chunk to be accurate. But the more I see, the more I am intrigued as the release draws closer.

Full confessions about projects I was prepared to shake off, I was also not that excited about Joker. In this case, thought it was yet another DC misstep. But the more we’re getting, the more interesting it gets.

Wrapping up the day with three new essays…

Like it, hate it… VOTE

I say ‘Trousers’, you say ‘What?’

It’s not that I don’t want to…

In the first days of September, I decided to make an attempt at writing thirty essays before the month ended. A personal challenge of sorts… an experiment in quantity (with a hope of some quality).

These three essays bring us to a total of twenty-nine so far. I think we might just make it.

September 25th

Going to have a few essays tomorrow. (Few can mean two, right? There’s no number assigned to few… just means a small amount. So not a dozen, but two or three or four works. Yes? Fine… because right now I have two, but there could be more. Anyway…)

Going to have essays tomorrow.

Also going to announce two new projects.

Basic day around here right now.

Hold on… an Iron Man coffeemaker? Umm… yes, thank you.

It’s not coming out in massive waves of detailed information, but the next Avengers movie has been in the news with some subtle posts and more. Now, word is Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth have both headed for Atlanta to film work for next year’s release.

By the way, it seems like Thompson and Hemsworth flew in together from the set of MIB.

The new season if Doctor Who is getting closer, and as fans of recent seasons and River Song will understand… “Spoilers” may actually mean a bit of playing with people about what to expect and what not to expect. For the record: I’m ok with something that has been setting a bit of people off into bonkers-land. The clean slate approach is fine with me, since the show is bringing in a new Doctor, has some incredible opportunities with the first female doctor, and is absolutely not ending the run with this season. New stuff? I say bring it.

I would love to see just one more Wolverine appearance from Hugh Jackman (And yes… I want it to be with Deadpool.)

New stuff on Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Looking good. Very good.

September 24th

If there is an area of In My Backpack… a neighborhood in the Backpackville community… that I really hope people explore, it’s Extras.

The simple description is that Extras offers up links to other web sites. Expanding the details would add that the vast majority of the links lead out to people and groups that have been incredibly special to me (and likely to this web site). But it’s more than that…

Many of these folks agreed to interviews, or approved photo galleries (after greenlighting my attendance to take pictures), and offered their time without any expectations of tremendous returns. They worked with me because they are, quite simply, amazingly kind and generous people. Several have become trusted and good friends.

In this area, you’ll find information about them… links to their personal web sites or professional pages/sites… links to their projects with me… and so on. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to take a few minutes and learn about them.

If you can… buy their books… attend their concerts… support their professional efforts. These are great people, and it is an honor beyond description to have worked with them.

Closing out the day with a new effort… “Coffee in a paper cup

September 23rd

As we approach the last week of the month, things have been busy in The ‘ville (and are going really well)…

Got an appearance coming up at the Warwick Public Library. This should be the last writing presentation of 2018, and I’m expecting a really fun evening. Hopefully you can be part of a fantastic group attending the program.

The workshop will take place on October 3rd and begin at 7pm. The focus will be on publishing—specifically self-publishing—and feature a lot of interaction with the audience. So…

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

A Parkside View is closing in on the release of another issue. The October edition should be out right around the first day of the new month. In keeping with our attempts this month to explore some of the areas of Backpackville…

The monthly newsletter began in July of 2016. It was, in part, an attempt to design a new way of connecting with people while at the same time not delivering a basic e-mail blast. Each issue contains at least two essays… one is always appearing for the first time anywhere on its pages, and a second is drawn from the archives of my writing.

The newsletter is free, and signing up is easy. Just send along an e-mail (or, on our social media pages, a message) and we’ll work with you to get everything in place.

Another goal for this month was producing thirty new essays… an average of one per day. On Friday the 21st, we posted the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth efforts so far. Should add to that count beginning tomorrow.

September 21st

A very special thank you to the Warwick Beacon for covering my upcoming appearance.

Growing up, the Warwick Beacon was THE paper. Provided all the coverage of my hometown, including the blurbs about little league baseball, youth soccer, and so on. Quite likely the first place I ever found my name in the paper.

It is one of the best—if not THE BEST—small town papers in the country, and I am not exaggerating anything to make that claim. It has truly been an honor to have them place my name on their pages several times, including recent years as they have covered my writing. Thank you… thank you to a great staff (and a fantastic community).

Sounds like the first trip to the vault offers a pretty decent look at Prince.

Really excited about the new Doctor Who season.

Mumford & Sons at work on a new album.

New essays…

Are you surprised by your lack of privacy?

Skeletons in my pantry

September 20th

The thing about Interviews

Over the years, speaking with people and sharing the results has repeatedly been an absolute thrill for me. I’ve had the joy of working with some amazing people on projects, and they have been nothing short of generous and incredible at levels way beyond any hopes I have a right to expect. These are great people, and dare I say, great efforts.

I’m not going to single out any specific interviews here, as all of them have been meaningful to me (and, I believe, important for the web site). While I can’t confirm any details right now, I can tell you that we will be starting a wave of new interviews here at In My Backpack in the very near future.

Today, head over and check out a few of them. Use the links to visit the web sites for people involved.

I haven’t heard much about Stan & Ollie, but this preview and a strong cast make it a project to watch.

Disney is assembling the parts of its streaming service, and Marvel promises to be a huge part of the product.

I do love Kelly Clarkson. No question about that. Just can’t promise I have the desire to add a daily talk show to my television viewing.

Closing it up with something new… “The bees are organizing

September 18th

The addition of photography…



My running joke is that I’ve always felt more like a writer with a camera than a photographer. And, the reality is, the first traces of efforts that would develop into the start of a Photo Gallery here on the web site more or less support that theory.

I was attending a media night for an extended engagement show as a reporter. Part of the evening included attending a performance. For a variety of reasons including previous projects, I knew some of the people involved in the production. They told me that even though I was working mostly as a writer for my assignment, as a member of the media attending the show I was welcome to bring my camera along. So, I did.


I didn’t take too many pictures that first evening. But I felt like several of them looked good, and sent them to the group organizing the show. They ended up requesting approval to use a few on their primary web site as well as social media pages like Facebook. About four or five weeks later, they had a new show running in the area and I was invited to the press event for that show.

I was working on some images from this second event when I received a voice mail from Matt Ryan. He was performing in the show with his group, Bruce in the USA. Just so happened these staging reflected some special scenarios for him and the band, and they wanted to assemble some images. Since he wasn’t from the area he had been asking people about photographers.

The quick version of the story at this point is that as a result of my ongoing professional relationships with some of the folks, you can probably figure out one of the first people that came to mind for them to recommend Matt call. He was hoping we could meet, and asked if he could see the images I had taken of the Bruce in the USA segment. He laughed when we met a few hours later, which is when everything came together and he discovered I was also the guy he had spent a solid twenty to thirty minutes with during a great conversation when I interviewed him at the press event.

I’m quite proud of the fact that Matt ended up using many of my photographs on the Bruce in the USA web site for several years. I am also thrilled that groups, like Legends in Concert, have used my pictures. But mostly…

Mostly I’m honored that the people in the images seem to like them. I consider myself very fortunate that many of these people are close friends to this day. I thank them all for their time and consideration. They are fantastic people.

Photography continues to be a big part of the web site, but the old joke continues. I am a writer with a camera. I hope there will be more galleries added in the future. For now, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to enjoy what is already in place.


Granted, my issues this year had nothing to do with squirrels. Still, I found it interesting to read about how they are causing headaches in Maine and other parts of New England.

And here is Carol Danvers. Captain Marvel is coming soon.

Finishing up the day with four new essays…

A little glue, a little dirt

We might just have feuding families down the road

The weather isn’t the only thing that changes like… well… you know

It’s got to be the free pretzels and dip

September 16th

It is…

ComplemenTerry Designs

I can’t tell you how long Terry has been delivering amazing craft work. I can tell you it began long before we arrived together at our first event. From flower shops and professional efforts to producing gifts and pieces for family and friends, her talents have been on display and enjoyed for quite some time. Let’s not give it a full timeline.

ComplemenTerry Designs is the name we’ve used for many of the years that we’ve been working on this together. Although it has its own web address for the home page (www.cterrydesigns.com), the complete online home of ComplemenTerry Designs has been a part of the In My Backpack web site since it first appeared on the internet. In this area, you can learn more about Terry and her work, view photographs, and look at the Calendar of Events.

In 2018, ComplemenTerry Designs will hit the road for it’s annual Holiday Tour. This year, there are only two shows creating a somewhat limited schedule, with each being a two-day event.

November 24th and 25th

December 1st and 2nd

The first dates involve a return to the annual Christmas & Crafts at Turning Stone Resort Casino, which we have been happy to attend every year since it began. The second dates are being finalized, and we hope to announce complete information soon.

Wrapping up today with a new essay… “How many is too many? (Too much is usually just enough)

September 15th

Local Friends for Local Business… a monthly treat at In My Backpack since January of 2012.

The idea began after a few trips involving Ellen, Richard, Terry and I, when we found we were enjoying some of the absent-minded accidental finds on our adventures together. On a day or two (or three) of any trip, one of us would ask someone where they would go for lunch or for a recommendation of an unusual store to check out. Conversations of such an approach brought us to places such as Square Grouper in Cudjoe Key and Cameron Trading Post in Cameron.

The “where would you” idea became a bit of a regular feature for us. But it really came together after Ellen and Richard moved and a visit was planned. Ellen had come up with a few places they had discovered in their new hometown that Terry and I absolutely needed to experience. And that is the starting point of Local Friends.

Garlic knots… cowboy boots… a tremendous breakfast… just small parts of that visit. And yet each one brought us to a tremendous experience. And, more importantly, experiences that we almost certainly wouldn’t find in the same way anyplace else. Simple reason why… those places didn’t exist anyplace else.

It doesn’t matter whether you are looking around the region where you live or happen to be traveling. The reality is, every location you can visit has something unique to offer. It might be an amazing lunch, unusual gifts or a brilliant sunset. All potentially fantastic and memorable. For the Local Friends efforts, the idea is to explore the terrific offerings of small businesses.

If you look around a neighborhood… city… area of any kind, you are going to see shops, restaurants, attractions and more that you will not find any other place in the world. Many of them are open for business and you may not even be aware that they exist. Each month, Local Friends for Local Business comes up what a category for a challenge. All it asks is that you keep that theme in mind, and at some point, try to find a place that fits the concept and step inside the doors. That’s it.

Keep in mind… when it comes to these local businesses, we’re usually talking about your neighbors. The people that live next door, have kids in school with your kids, attend sporting events and activities with you. Stepping inside brings more than just something to that business, it brings something to the entire community.

If you spend a few dollars, awesome. If you find a place you didn’t know about and really enjoy, fantastic. But most importantly, you did something to raise a bit of awareness for the true treasures around you. For the cost of a few minutes—and maybe a buck or two—you supported local people, local interests, local treasure… you supported local business.

Two new essays to wrap up today…

It’s not that I hate change, it’s more that I hate different

Eventually I’ll remember to put out a spare key

September 13th

With Time Just Drifts Away released in the summer of 2012, a new section began to develop on the In My Backpack web site…

Writing & Books

- - -


- - -

This area is now home to all ten of Bob’s published titles, as well as material such as pages where you can learn a bit About Bob, find details about Where to Buy his work, and his Upcoming Events.

On October 3rd, Bob will be bringing A Writer’s Workshop to the Warwick Public Library. The program—“You may never get published: Horror stories and thoughts to help you try anyway”—will cover a variety of topics involved in the writing/publishing process, providing examples and ideas based on successes and mistakes, along with personal experiences.

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

This event is free and open to the public.

Three essays to finish things up for today:

It’s not fake news all the time… it’s usually dollars and (lack of) sense

Turkeys and squirrels and skunks (oh my)

I don’t think I’m in charge of making my own decisions these days

September 11th

This month, I wanted to offer up a bit of an introduction to the web site for new visitors. So far, it’s been a bit bland. I’m covering some ground, but I don’t know how helpful it is.

Think of something you’re incredibly familiar with… say the remote for your television or where things are located in your kitchen. Chances are good that you could navigate your way around without even giving it a thought. Changing channels and adjusting the volume, or, grabbing a spoon and a coffee mug while blindfolded.

Now… walk into a house you’ve never been in before. Find a colander and set the DVR to record a show that starts in ten days. Let’s see that completed in ten minutes, never mind without looking.

The point being… I’m pretty familiar with the web site at this point. I know where most items are stored and can find things somewhat quickly. That creates a bit of a headache when I’m trying to figure out what someone new to the site might find helpful as information. So today, before shifting gears into some of the larger and different sections of the web site, a slight bit of history that covers why I consider the In My Backpack of today a community.

For the first five-plus years, the site was almost exclusively based on written material with a strong focus on essays. Sports and observations dominated. Then, a transition that had been building began to pick up speed.

A slow start to the remodeling involved decisions about refining content. For instance, movie reviews weren’t really working out. Gone. Then some of the interviews I had been working on led to projects were photographs were becoming more involved… efforts were taken on that led to published books… when considering endeavors such as ComplemenTerry Designs and Local Friends for Local Business, it became apparent that building a section for them could work out much more simply than any attempt at building a separate place on the internet.

I can make a case that all of the projects and efforts around the web site these days at times overlap and weave together. All of these projects involve some of the same people (often Terry and I at the center of things). All of these efforts involve scheduling and work that can create a need to adjust availability and timing of other efforts. There definitely are connections. Still…

I don’t think anyone would take a trifecta such as ComplemenTerry Designs for one, Local Friends for Local Business for two, and the Photo Gallery for three, and arrive at a conclusion that they are incredibly similar undertakings. That would be like taking a hardware store, sandwich shop, and wine-and-paint studio, then saying they’re exactly the same just because they share a zip code.

In My Backpack is a community. It’s a collection of neighborhoods now. And that’s why I often refer to it as Backpackville and The ‘ville. It’s where I live… for writing… for crafts… for special interests. And there are a variety of places where I share those activities.

In the past year or so, I did make one specific break in things for the web site home page. There, you’ll see two offerings: one that heads directly to my professional/published writings (Bob Hocking – Author) and one that heads into virtually everything to be found around here (Backpackville).

New season of Doctor Who is promising a big stress on new. It’s an interesting approach, since many people might lean on history and familiarity for strength during a run of shows that will bring on significant changes in cast and crew. For me… I really like it as an approach. This is absolutely not going to be the last season for The Doctor, so start fresh and the Daleks can wait.

Wrapping things up today with two new pieces…

Home repair and misplaced anxiety

The name is gone (but the roof remains)

September 10th

Weird morning.

I have found the expression about not liking the weather and just waiting a minute for it to change applies pretty much in any location around the world. Everyone seems to have some form of it in place.

In the northeast this year, we have been dealing with massive temperature swings. Back in January and February, a few events hit that basically could be described as below-zero to clearing 50-degrees in the span of 24-36 hours (and then dropping back down even more quickly). This summer, heat advisories and flirting with 100-degrees in the shade in early June and again in early July. August was actually fairly tame. But this weekend…

Mid-week it cleared 90 and there were warnings in place for the heat and humidity. This morning… 50-degrees, raining, and I’m in the car reaching to adjust the heat.

For shocks to the system as seasons change, I’m not sure if there is anything as striking as that first day when you need to get the heat on in the car. Add in a very cold rain for frosting on that cake.


Ok… we’re going to finish up today’s entry with a couple of new essays. That gives us ten new posts, day ten of the month, and our project of producing thirty new essays for the month is right on pace.

More tomorrow.

It’s raining again

The garden in a brown paper bag

September 8th

Two new essays to close out the day…

The Attic has always been the storage center of the In My Backpack web site. This is where you’ll find the archives of material, going all the way back to the first posts from March of 2003.

The categories offered in The Attic have been adjusted over the years, as certain writing efforts were modified, added or even removed, but the presentation has been fairly consistent. Are you looking for general essays? Interviews? Travel… sports… or maybe even landed here while looking for something else entirely? The labels are all lined up and explained, with simple links taking you off to those areas.

The main idea for the section is making sense of the stored material. And while that primarily refers to hundreds and hundreds of essays (most essays finding homes in General Interest and Sports), it also means giving nods to the interviews, photo galleries, and assorted other projects from the web site and Bob.

One item worth an expanded note: the monthly journals. Over the years, we maintained an ongoing run of all the previous monthly efforts. It went back years. A problem developed from this when outside web sites… usually linked to for things like articles we found interesting for whatever reason… made changes. Links became dead ends to inactive pages. Links might head off to web sites that had been changed completely from what they had been when our link was posted. And the end result was material that we simply couldn’t verify, and possibly couldn’t trust. So, the monthly calendars found in The Diary area are now only maintained for a short time. Usually, this will be at least four to six months, but it will never be longer than a year. We do keep records of the pages offline, so if you have any questions we might be able to research some answers. Can’t guarantee it… but we will try.

Here are the new efforts…

The timing of unnecessary work

Navigating by memory

September 7th

A few links… and a new essay…

Captain Marvel has arrived.

Wait a second… a zombie Christmas musical comedy? Combine zombie with any two of those other words and you have me curious. All three? Anna and the Apocalypse… I think I’m in.

Ryan Reynolds is calling out Paddington. (And the bear isn’t backing down.)

For this reason, that reason, and a few other contractual items tossed in… Disney and Marvel at the Florida theme parks can be a question mark more than a reality. That’s making some of the updates in California very interesting.

Closing in on the return of The Doctor. Can… not… wait.

Cancelled and then saved by a different network, Brooklyn Nine-Nine now has five additional episodes added to the next season.

And the new essay… “The joys of the seasons

September 4th

As promised, we’ve got more new essays coming your way this month. A lot more. Two will wrap up this entry. But we begin with one of the other projects for this month… meandering around The ‘ville… and we start at the very beginning.

On the home page, there is a navigation bar across the top. The sections it contains have remained pretty consistent since the web site began. We’ll explore some of these areas a bit more as the month moves along. But, for today, a general introduction…

Now Playing – This area has had several names over the years—“Are you chewing gum?” and “A Momentary Lapse” were previous titles—but the general concept has always been based on a daily journal approach. It’s a catch-all… shorter commentaries that really don’t work as a full essays… links to places of interest around the internet… information about the site and Bob’s efforts… postings of new essays and details on projects. It you’re looking for a simple rundown of what’s new and happening, this is the place to check out.

The Attic – The In My Backpack web site has been around for more than fifteen years. And even with some new designs, restructuring, and a handful of changes, that means a lot of content exists. There are literally hundreds of essays on the web site. (A quick, slightly inaccurate count… over 500 essays available on the site right now.) The Attic is where things get stored… a portal for finding material, especially older stuff, using basic categories to sort things out.

42 – The name is a Douglas Adams joke… referring to the answer for the ultimate question. In more simple terms, this is the area that explains what it’s all about. It’s an overview of the web site and the approaches taken to the material on it. It provides names and links for social media pages. It’s descriptions of the different Backpackville neighborhoods.

Complaint Department – The home for contacting the web site. Funny little trick… every page of the In My Backpack site has an information bar across the bottom, which includes an e-mail address. In the Complaint Department, we cover a bit of ground relating to material on the site, content, and the primary contact e-mail.

Extras – This is where you’ll find links to outside web sites. Most of those listed here involve people and places that have special connections with Bob and In My Backpack (such as people that have participated in interviews and photo galleries).

As September continues, we’ll be looking even deeper into the areas of the web site.

And now, the new pieces…

The start of lists

A blast from childhood

September 3rd

Today is going to be a basic day, with a lot of content. Two announcements and three essays. Announcements first…

We start with a writing appearance

You may never get published
A Writer’s Workshop at the Warwick Public Library
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 ~ 7pm start

I am incredibly excited to announce that on October 3rd, I’ll be speaking at the library I grew up visiting… the library I used throughout my pre-college days… heck, I played baseball on the field at the other side of the parking lot.

The program—“You may never get published (Horror stories and thoughts to help you try anyway)”—is based on the workshop presentation I’ve been honored to offer at several places in recent years. It is free and open to the public. I’ll be bringing you more details on the event as the month moves along.

Next up, ComplemenTerry Designs

November 24th and 25th
Christmas & Crafts
Turning Stone Resort Casino - Verona, NY

December 1st and 2nd

The 2018 Holiday Tour is going to involve two events this year, covering four days. While it is possible that we may add to this list, for multiple reasons we approached 2018 with a lighter schedule for us and limited it from our first moments of planning.

We are waiting on a final confirmation before announcing the specifics of the December 1st and 2nd location, though enough is in place at this point for us to share it will be in New York.

Ok… the essays…

When I started this web site, I announced that a lot of it would be experiments and work-in-progress material. Some things might get published because they felt done… or, perhaps better described, felt like I brought them as far as I could for right now. And that seems like a really good way of introducing all three of today’s posts. They don’t feel done… but they feel like they are where they need to be today.

That’s led me to an interesting idea for this month. I’m planning to bring out thirty essays over the next few weeks. All of them new stuff. Today, we begin with three…

Seeing is not believing

No time for donuts

The brass chase

More coming tomorrow.

September 2nd

Ran into a snag today… mainly fueled by an opportunity to get the lawn mowed before a storm rolled in, still…

Quick announcement, and then tomorrow we’ll be back with three new essays. (Yes, three, promise.)

Local Friends for Local Business

The September challenge is Sandwiches. And that means some casual fun.

Over the years, sandwiches have been an amazing part of my life. Seriously. I’ve packed them for picnics and taken them to work. I’ve stopped in a shop with friends to get our lunch for an incredible day out. As I’ve explored places with travels over the years, a sandwich has been more than lunch… often it’s been an introduction to the immediate surroundings.

Terry and I packed sandwiches in a cooler when we headed to Joshua Tree National Park with the boys.

When I was younger, I remember heading to the beach or park with friends, bringing sandwiches with us during our escapades.

I have strong memories of coming home from school, picking up my grandmother, and heading out for lunch at any of a few of our favorite spots.

The sandwich may be one of the simplest, most everyday of everyday items. And yet, if you want to get to know a culture, region, group of people, and more, looking toward the food is often a great place to start. To that idea… somewhat figuratively speaking… virtually every place you can imagine has some sort of a sandwich on the menu.

And so, from the 1st to the 30th, Local Friends is asking you to think about sandwiches. You might keep it simple… might go a bit more fancy… but there is almost definitely a few places nearby that can help you enjoy a great meal.

September 1st

This is going to be a busy month around the web site… hopefully leading to a mad dash all the way into 2019.

We’ve got some announcements to share about writing appearances and craft festivals. New material to add to the web site. New projects that are moving along.

In addition to that, we’re going to take a walk around Backpackville this month. It’s been a while since we’ve looked around the web site, checking in on the different areas, and offering a bit of an introduction to people that have recently joined us.

New essays coming tomorrow and Monday. For now…

Welcome to In My Backpack!

The web site began back in 2003, intended as a place where I could post my writing. Might not be finished and perfect writing… could be experiments and work-in-progress writing… but still an opportunity to share things I had been working on and possibly get some feedback.

The early days were almost exclusively writing. Yup… posted some links. The majority of material though fell into areas like general observations, sports, and movie reviews.

About five to six years in, a transition began to take place. A variety of computer headaches created the need to overhaul the entire site in 2008. Interviews were added to the lineup… movie reviews dropped. I began publishing books. ComplemenTerry Designs got a place on the site, and even Photo Galleries were started. And that’s when things started to become The ‘ville… Backpackville.

For roughly the past ten years, the web site has been a bit of an online community. A collection of different neighborhoods, each offering a separate and distinct experience.

New stuff coming tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.



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