Writing

In case you're wondering why this website exists, I'm trying to sell my books. Sadly, I have to say that because its purpose is not reflected in its results. Also unsuccessful are my efforts to sell books via social media - Twitter, Facebook, and the like. Even sadder, I don't have the financial wherewithal to advertise in more traditional venues.
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Some authors have written for specific genres in hopes of finding an audience. If they can't find one that works for them, they create it. Boomer Literature was such.

Claude Forthomme championed and nurtured Boomer Literature after publishing a couple of works. Both were well-written but, like mine, remarkably poor sellers. Her advocacy caught my attention early on, but I failed to get it. What is Boomer Literature I wondered: Books for old farts or books by old farts or, maybe, both? I fear that I still don't get it.

I'm not sure how well Claude's scheme has worked for her. We haven't discussed sales in some time. However, I think I'm ready to take the plunge. I've come up with two concepts that seem as though they might be sure-fire best sellers.

First, there's Cooking at Room Temperature. The idea was suggested by my predilection to forget  to turn on the burner under pots and pans when I  cook meals. The second is Jack's After Cooking Cookbook which will feature suggestions for dishes to prepare on the stove top or in the oven after failing to remember to turn them off using the scraps leftover from the earlier meal  (and thus allay your spouse's fears that you are a candidate for the Alzheimer's academy).

The true genius of this series of books lies in the fact that I can expect old farts like me to repurchase many times inasmuch as they will have forgotten they already have copies on subsequent visits to the book store.

At least, that's the plan...
 
 

Army Life

Yes, it's a highly over-used phrase that all service members sign a blank check which they are prepared to redeem with their lives. But is there a higher price than life? Inasmuch as terrorists can't meet US armed forces head on in traditional combat, they resort to IEDs which have left broken and maimed bodies in their wake. Many of these veterans have fought valiantly to redeem their lives while others languish in psychological hell. Is this a way to help them?
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Click to read full article in the HuffPost
LA-based fitness photographer Michael Stokes is putting a different spin on how wounded veterans are depicted. He's raising money on Kickstarter for a book called "Always Loyal" that features stunning photos of 14 U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps veterans of the Iraq War, Gulf War, and War in Afghanistan. 
I published this same post on RallyPoint (a blog and discussion forum targeted at military personnel, both active duty and veterans) and my VFW post website, and received enthusiastic responses that yes, these veterans are very sexy.

Well, if nothing else, they look far sexier than me...
 
 

History

I'm certainly not the smartest. Just spend about ten minutes with my first wife and you'll be convinced of that. However, I am smart enough to learn from my mistakes. Just spend about ten minutes with my current wife and you'll see what I mean. So, I must be smart. But a truly smart man learns from the mistakes of others.
You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself." - Sam Levenson 
Now some say that President Obama is the smartest man in the room. Well, if that is so, why hasn't he learned from the mistakes of others? Look at how he handles strife in the world and you'll see what I mean
There has always been strife in the world. No leader has succeeded in eliminating it. However, some have handled it better than others and we don't have to look back very far to witness numerous successes and failures in dealing with it. You would think that a leader such as the President of the United States would study them to employ the best or, at least, avoid repeating the failures. Sadly this President seems to have a penchant for repeating failures much like a prize fighter who leans into a left hook. At the very least, he would create new failures. Why does he have to repeat the old ones?

 
 

Americana

The lives of many people were ruined just because they were suspected of being a communist. Some lost their employment, their fortunes, and their sacred honor merely on the basis of suspicion. Some even lost their minds. Some suspect that such a suspicion hurried Ernest Hemingway to his grave by way of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There are records of his treatment for a nervous disorder brought about by innuendos that he was a communist.
Hemingway with fighters
Ernest Hemingway in Spain during its Civil War (1937) Click to enlarge
The U.S. State Department thought Ernest was a communist. The Soviets thought he was a communist. J. Edgar Hoover thought that everybody was a communist. However, it seems that the rumor began when Hemingway reported on the civil war in Spain and sided with anyone opposed to the fascists. This made him appear to be sympathetic to communism. The libel then took on a life of its own and followed him the remainder of his life.

 
 

Doodle

Life is a tragedy when characters are brought to ruin or suffer extreme sorrow as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. 
Life in these United States feels like a tragedy these days, doesn't it? 

 
 

Vietnam

All bloggers love getting comments on their postings. I'm no exception. It proves that we're not just whistling in the dark.
61st Medical Det
61st Medical Detachment, 9th Infantry Division Headquarters, Dong Tam, Vietnam (1967) Click to enlarge
Some of my favorites come from others who served in Vietnam and share their experiences. Recently I received one from a Vietnam Vet who responded to my posting about French Fort. It seems that the French built many forts in Vietnam that Americans universally named “French Fort”. Thus, my attempts to research the one in my experience returned information about all but that one. However, my complaint about the confusion elicited a response from David Hagen who was there and had photos to prove it. (David is the tall skinny lieutenant, front row, second from the right)

David's contribution then created a new problem: Too much information.

What shall I now write about?

 
 

America

As I read about the controversy surrounding illegal aliens, I can't help but remembering stories of immigrants, my family's ancestors who did us a remarkable favor by coming to America before we were born. They arrived legally and they often suffered travails far greater than those who steal across our borders. Maybe that's why they became far better citizens.
Fagila
Click to read her story
This is the story of just one, my mother-in-law, the most courageous person I know. I delayed writing this story because I wasn't certain I could do it justice. However, if I delay any longer I may never write it before my time comes to depart this life.

It is a story of courage. Sometimes, you see, it takes more courage to risk life than to risk death...
 
 

America

It seems to me that those who self-identify as “liberal” are about as liberal as Rachel Dolezal is “black”. I have studied the word and cannot find any measure by which self-described liberals are “liberal”.
Classical liberalism was practiced by those who championed liberty. Today's liberals are the avowed enemies of liberty. They strive to impose their will on others. They ban words and symbols that they deem offensive while using the vile and offensive words and symbols in pursuit of their perceived devils. They use the bludgeon of government to foist ill-conceived schemes on the public despite the fact that every such attempt has ended in ruin. They do not trust the individual to manage their own lives in their own best interests nor trust the electorate to govern themselves. Ultimately, they attempt to disarm citizens, to deprive them of the means to defend themselves from assaults on their liberty.

 
 

Doodle

Conversing with a political ideologue is like attempting to teach a parrot to speak, one that has already learned another vocabulary from an old sailor. You say "Pretty bird" and it replies with something you wouldn't allow in polite company. In my case it's even worse. I couldn't even train a bird that had no vocabulary. What chance to you suppose I have with an ideologue full of pre-recorded sound bites?
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Click to read "Pretty Bird" by Jack Durish
Right now I'm suffering from bronchitis and sinusitis and I just finished one of those conversations with a family member that has left me numb. I can't remember the pain in my chest and face. Why do I do this to myself? However, the experience inspired me to write a short story.

A really short story.

I may have mentioned, I'm not feeling well.

Click on the photo of the bird to read it.
 
 

Doodle

I don't suppose that I looked all that good even when I was young, but the ravages of seventy-two years hasn't helped. 
Even so, I can still make the subject of a fine photograph provided it is produced by a true photographic artist, and I found one, Mark Jordan.

My first job upon moving to Southern California was as a writer for the Vivitar Corporation which manufactured and distributed photographic products. Inasmuch as photos were our business, image was everything. Thus, as I worked on product packaging, point of sales promotional materials, and instructional guides, I had an unlimited budget that attracted the very best artists and photographers. I wish I had Mark on my team in those days.

Every great photograph begins with a snap of the shutter. However, the real magic takes place in the moments afterwards. Once upon a time, the magic occurred in the darkroom. Now it happens in a computer. Raw files of bits and bytes produced by digital cameras are manipulated into works of art. Images are overlaid. Colors are balanced or unbalanced. Blemishes hidden. Features emphasized.
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I may not have Brad Pitt's boyish good looks, but I have a better photographer.

You can too.