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.