Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from Chesterfield Inlet

Merry Christmas, from Chesterfield Inlet.

As Santa makes his way around the world, I give thanks that I had the opportunity to be a father to my own children.

And as their father, I wish them well, from the sidelines, where I shall always be watching.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Wonder If This Ever Happens to Stephen King.

  Overnight, I was sleeping and had a vivid dream.  The dream was a story I was writing.

  Nearing the end of the story, and prior to morning light, I woke.  I reached for the notebook and pencil kept on the bedside table to take down notes.

  Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

  Best I can recall,  it was 1944 Germany, there was a submarine, and a typewriter being used with two sheets of carbon.  Beyond that, I've got nothing. 

  I wonder if this ever happens to Stephen King.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

  In the United States, Thanksgiving is complete, and we now move into Christmas mode. Black Friday sales began, decorations went up overnight, seasonal cards are being mailed, and I still have a refrigerator full of left over Thanksgiving food, that will last me almost, until Christmas Eve

  This is not the life I envisaged for myself, however, it is the life that I have embraced. It has come at a cost.

  In 2015, a number of great events will take place.

  In February, I will be have been an American resident for ten years. In October, I will have the honor of watching a daughter marry the man she believes in. And if luck comes my way, the trifecta, of having the book accepted.

  I would not be where I am today, without a little help from my friends.

  Anthony, Deb, CD, Judy, Adam, Donna, Kelly, Jeanette, Joe.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lessons Learned on a Book Tour

Book tour stop, Manhattan, New York
  In the field of emergency management, at the conclusion of a exercise or disaster, there is a review of policy, procedures and opportunities. It's sometimes called an After Action Event, but in most cases, it's a "lessons learned" review. 

  Book tours are no exception to the after action review process.

  Here are 5  lessons learned from a 4 state, 2 country book tour.
  1. Take someone with you and have them manage the travel arrangements. Make it their job to check, and recheck the schedule. Twice on the Christmas in Canada tour I "overlooked" items that were important . That wouldn't have happened if I had shared the plan, You can't do it all and still handle the "business" of promotion.
  2. Local currency. Have some cash on hand, man cannot live on a credit card alone. There will be items you need cash for: tipping, postcards, taxis. (Memo: not all taxis in New York city accept Visa.) 
  3. It will always be a journey. Some days are better than others, but they all make up the path you will travel.
  4. Make time on the journey for the traveling party. Go where they want, see what they see,  eat what they eat, be with them on their journey.
  5. Bring home gifts. Not everyone will get to go where you have been. Remember those that helped you get there by bringing back a piece.
  I was fortunate that I got to share this journey with my father, to take him to places he otherwise would never have seen. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Australia Post Moves Into Oregon

  Cover story at Eugene Daily News.

  Australia Post Moves Into Oregon.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

On Tour

On Tour.

Salt Lake City.



New York City.

....and I did it, my way.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

For The First Fans

Christmas In Canada has been released and the tour is about to start. On this tour I'll be accompanied by my father, visiting from Australia. The irony of an Australian living in Southern California doing a tour about Christmas in Canada has not been lost

  Book tours are made for a variety of reasons, and in this instance, the book tour is not about my name on the cover, it's about the promotion of the title. 34 authors will meet to take part at the book signing in Toronto on November 4th, I will be one of a few traveling internationally. So why go?

  For the first fans.

  There are fans of "my" writing all over the world, those people who know of, or who found my writing and identified with it. There's my friends who are cheering me on. There's my daughters, some who walk around showing off the book, others who may one day get asked "did your Dad write this?" There's the distant contacts, the ones who know me through someone else. But the ones that I am endeared to the most are those who I should have treated better, and who still cheer for me.

  They are the first fans. Thank you, for your belief.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Christmas in Canada Released

  Chicken Soup for the Soul's latest release Christmas in Canada.

  The irony of an Australian living in Southern California writing about Christmas in Canada has not been lost.

  Tour dates as follows:

  Salt Lake City, Utah:  October 25 (to be confirmed)
  Santee, California:  October 27 (to be confirmed)
  Toronto, Canada:  November 2.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Got a Pay Rise - Item One.

  On November 17, 2013, I wrote a blog entry titled "I Got a Pay Rise Today." *

  It spoke of how for the first time since August 1994,  I was able to keep all my of my wage earnings with the end of Child Support. I however, had paid a heavier price than just cash. I had lost the two children I had brought into the world, to the indoctrination by their mother and grandmother, that I never paid Child Support. The girls had believed their mother and grandmother, (for I was not present to supply a rebuttal), and both daughters having reached adulthood, decided that my blog entry was lie, and now neither talk to me.

  What both my daughters failed to recognize, is that neither the blog entry or Child Support was ever about them. There is a system in place that ensures that Child Support is always paid. Neither of the girls missed out, and neither of the girls went without. And contrary to what they may have been told, the required level of Child Support was always paid, as overseen by the government system that required my payment.

  It is hard to fathom that anyone would believe that I never paid Child Support, in the face of wage garnishments, receipts for payments and annual reviews. If anything, I made the government system honest, by maintaining a constant review, ensuring that documentation was provided in a timely manner, and, most importantly, by pursing those that did wrong, acted unlawfully or outside of legislation. The system that required me to pay child support, was not going to receive anything more than legislative requirements.

  The cost to me, of ensuring accurate compliance, was the loss of access to my children, once they became adults.

  However, the end of Child Support was a catalyst for other events. While paying Child Support, I never bought a new car, never owned a house, and never had a book published. The end of Child Support has allowed me to cross one of those items off my list. On September 29, 2014, I purchased a brand new Volkswagen Beetle.

  The irony is, the car was purchased by me, for someone else. I haven't driven it, I don't need to. That car brings joy to another family member, not just because "it's a new car", but because they understand what I went without, until the day when I Got A Pay Rise.

 * The server which held a body of work, including that blog entry, has since closed. The blog entry now exists in a preserved cache state.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

43 Years Waiting to Watch TV With My Father

  In September of 1971, South Sydney won the Sydney Rugby League Grand Final.  I have no recollection of watching the game on television.

  On the first Sunday of October, 1971, Alan Moffatt won the Hardie Ferrode 500, One of my earliest recollections as a child was walking into the living room and seeing my father laying on the floor watching the race. And that's what I did. Armco guard rails, hale bales, spectators on the fence line, and the pits opened directly onto the racing line. And I was hooked on motor racing.

  Over the years, I have been to motor racing events on four continents. I have seen my heroes like Jack Brabham, Nigel Mansell, Juan Pablo Montoya,  and Michael Andrietti race. I have stayed up past midnight to watch live international broadcasts from across the globe, and in those dark hours of my life, it has given me comfort.

 43 years ago was the last time that South Sydney appeared in a Grand Final. With my father in the country, he and I will stay up tonight well past midnight to watch the broadcast from Australia.

  It will be the first time in over 15 years we will have watched a game together. And the winner will be the relationship that a parent has with a child.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Repetitive Irony

I have to think back to when I was a child of age 6 or 7, for the last time I recall my father residing in my house. My mother would tell my brother and I, versions of what happened in their divorce. I had no reason to disbelieve my mother.

  I have to think back to when I was a father of two daughters ages 7 and 2, for the last time I recall residing with my father in his house. As my own marriage was failing, I would learn of what really happened in his divorce. I had no reason to disbelieve my father.

  Friends of my father later confirmed some truths, and my perception of his role as a father was forever altered.

  This week, my father flew from Australia to the United States and will be residing with me for a while. I have one final opportunity to make some memories with him, as I watch the man who was once a giant, struggle.

  His father passed away without him, when his own children were a great distance away.

  History, it appears, is not without repetitive irony. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Early Training for a Writer

  On a twitter feed this week was a quote from Ernest Hemmningway.

  "What is the best early training for a writer?  An unhappy childhood."

  Based on that prophecy, I should already be a published best seller.  Perhaps my childhood wasn't a bad as I recall it was.

  I wonder what writers rise from failed relationships?

  Happy Australian Father's Day dad.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

You Are My Witnesses

  One day,  I will have that assistant, who picks up the phone and organizes tours, hotels, cars and even some sightseeing.
  One day, I'll be on that tour, in that hotel, picking up the car or doing the sightseeing, when I will be recognized by someone.
  One day, they will say to me, "I'm a big fan of your writing, where do your stories come from?"
  One day, I will say to that person, "My stories come from the horrors I had,  before I learned to resolve them by writing."
  They will look at me with confusion until I tell them, "You are my witnesses."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Welcome to the Jimi Johnson Era

Welcome to the "Jimi Johnson Era".


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Who's on a Canadian Book Tour?

  Here's what I've learned about organizing a book tour for the forthcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book, Christmas in Canada.
  1. There is no handbook or "Book Tour for Dummies" available.
  2. Canada is a long way from San Diego.
  3. There are no Canadian book stores in southern California.

    ...and the piece de resistance...

  4. "Who's on First" has no comparison to an Australian on the phone to a Hispanic book store owner in the United States talking about a Canadian themed book. 
Who's on First?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Australian Writing About Christmas in Canada

  Chicken Soup for the Soul have confirmed the title and release date of their next book with one of my stories: Christmas in Canada, 14 October 2014.

  The irony of an Australian living in the United States writing about Christmas in Canada has not been lost, as planning for the book signing tour begins.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Seven Weeks To Yarn Crawl?

  Seven weeks to Yarn Crawl?

  I got no time to knit,  plans must be made

  This year,  I'm bringing some help, fully imported from Australia.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Today's Viewing on Syfy

Today's viewing on the SyFy channel...

Mega Piranaha.

Mega Python vs Gatoroid.

Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark.

Dinocrock vs Supergator.

Countless previews for Sharknado 2.

I may be working too hard at producing good literature.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Third Appearance

  A third appearance in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series will occur in October 2014.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In Memorium

  The day could not pass without mentioning that but the for the stroke of a pen, there go I.

  In Memorium,  Mark Laurence Goodwin,  Constable of Police at the Brisbane Traffic Branch, died in the line of duty.

  He left behind a wife,  and two daughters, Megan and Alyse, aged 2 years and 8 weeks.

  Rest In Peace, my friend.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Body of Work

  When a body of work is lost,  there is not only the inevitable loss of accomplishment, there is the obliteration of years. No longer can anyone point to your digital footprint and say "check out this guy's work from 2007", instead,  only those who have favored and followed the writer, will continue on a search for the writers work.

  Much like when an old friend finds you on Facebook,  the relationship is rekindled as though there was never a gap. But for those that have made the journey, most are suddenly lost.

  When a body of work is lost, the fan base suffers, and the rebuild begins.

  Sometimes the disappointment also breaks business relationships too,  relationships founded on the body of work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Renewed Beginnings

  After seven years with, somehow,  my email address was missed on the notification of the termination of their blogging servcices.

  Not their promotions, not their advertisements, not their upgrades, but the emails advising of termination.

  After the demise of their service today, a new blog had to be created.

  These Renewed Beginnings are not uncommon, but this time, I feel like a cat being forced to take a selfie.