very special thank you to the Warwick Beacon for covering
my upcoming appearance.
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.
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).
first trip to the vault offers a pretty decent
look at Prince.
excited about the new
Doctor Who season.
& Sons at work on a new album.
you surprised by your lack of privacy?”
in my pantry”
thing about Interviews…
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
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.
head over and check out a few of them. Use the links to visit
the web sites for people involved.
haven’t heard much about Stan & Ollie, but this
preview and a strong cast make it a project
is assembling the parts of its streaming service, and Marvel promises
to be a
huge part of the product.
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.
it up with something new… “The
bees are organizing”
addition of photography…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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…
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.
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.
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.
here is Carol Danvers. Captain
is coming soon.
up the day with four new essays…
little glue, a little dirt”
might just have feuding families down the road”
weather isn’t the only thing that changes like… well… you know”
got to be the free pretzels and dip”
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.
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
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.
24th and 25th
1st and 2nd
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.
up today with a new essay… “How
many is too many? (Too much is usually just enough)”
Friends for Local Business… a monthly treat
at In My Backpack since January of 2012.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
new essays to wrap up today…
not that I hate change, it’s more that I hate different”
I’ll remember to put out a spare key”
Just Drifts Away released in the summer
of 2012, a new section began to develop on the In My Backpack
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
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.
may never get published
Bob Hocking at the Warwick Public Library
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
7pm start ~ Warwick, RI
event is free and open to the public.
essays to finish things up for today:
not fake news all the time… it’s usually dollars and (lack of)
and squirrels and skunks (oh my)”
don’t think I’m in charge of making my own decisions these days”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
don’t think anyone would take a trifecta such as ComplemenTerry
Designs for one, Local
Friends for Local Business for two, and the
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
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
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).
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.
things up today with two new pieces…
repair and misplaced anxiety”
name is gone (but the roof remains)”
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
garden in a brown paper bag”
new essays to close out the day…
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.
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.
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.
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.
are the new efforts…
timing of unnecessary work”
few links… and a new essay…
Marvel has arrived.
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.
Reynolds is calling out Paddington. (And
the bear isn’t backing down.)
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.
in on the
return of The Doctor. Can… not… wait.
and then saved by a different network, Brooklyn
now has five additional episodes added to
the next season.
the new essay… “The
joys of the seasons”
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.
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…
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.
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.
– 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.
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
– 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).
September continues, we’ll be looking even deeper into the areas
of the web site.
now, the new pieces…
start of lists”
blast from childhood”
is going to be a basic day, with a lot of content. Two announcements
and three essays. Announcements first…
start with a writing
may never get published
A Writer’s Workshop at the Warwick
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 ~ 7pm start
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.
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.
24th and 25th
Christmas & Crafts
Turning Stone Resort Casino - Verona, NY
1st and 2nd
TBA - NY
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
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.
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.
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…
is not believing”
time for donuts”
into a snag today… mainly fueled by an opportunity to get the
lawn mowed before a storm rolled in, still…
announcement, and then tomorrow we’ll be back with three new essays.
(Yes, three, promise.)
Friends for Local Business…
September challenge is Sandwiches. And that means some casual
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
and I packed sandwiches in a cooler when we headed to Joshua Tree
National Park with the boys.
I was younger, I remember heading to the beach or park with friends,
bringing sandwiches with us during our escapades.
have strong memories of coming home from school, picking up my
grandmother, and heading out for lunch at any of a few of our
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.
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.
is going to be a busy month around the web site… hopefully leading
to a mad dash all the way into 2019.
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.
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.
essays coming tomorrow and Monday. For now…
to In My Backpack!
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.
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.
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.
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.
stuff coming tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.