Do you think you’re having a bad day? Think again ….

Hi, friends and readers:

CastineThere’s a beautiful town in coastal Maine I have visited three times. It’s called Castine, and it looks like a New England post card with its Cape Cod-style houses and colonial architecture. It was also the site of multiple battles between native Americans and Englishmen, between the Dutch and the English, and the French and the English. The place was always changing hands, and there’s a lot of history to be learned there. There are even the remains of an old fort dating back to the 1700’s, and the town is also the location of a maritime academy.

Yesterday, my partner and I decorated our Christmas tree, and one of the ornaments we hung was a hand-painted Christmas ball we purchased in Castine two summers ago, when we visited there on vacation. I was reminded of the photo I’ve posted here, and I thought I’d share it with my readers. Talk about a rough way to end your life. I thnk I’m glad I didn’t live in Castine in 1692. How about you?

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The importance of taking the time to think ….

thinking #3Hi, friends and readers:

If you follow this site, then you know I live on a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast, west of St. Petersburg. One of the prettiest beaches in the state is about 100 yards from my front door, and most every morning, around 7:30, right after I wake up, I take a three-mile walk on the shore, just to gather my thoughts before I plunge into my day. My walk takes about 45 minutes, and I always walk alone. Then I return home to do my daily writing. I usually write for two hours or so, and then I take care of correspondence before fixing myself lunch. It’s a nice routine, and the walk is always the best part.

We often let ourselves get so busy with work, school, housework, shopping, and socializing, that we fail to give ourselves “alone time” when we can think about where we’ve been and where we’re headed in life. I think spending time alone in your own private space, every day, is terribly important, just like eating, bathing, and getting enough sleep.

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The magic of underwater photography ….

BahamasHi, friends and readers:

I love good underwater photography, and when I came across the photo to the left I knew I had to share it with everyone on my site. The photo reminds me very much of my favorite spot in the Bahamas: Elbow Cay, where I have spent many vacations over the years. The sea water in the Bahamas is crystal clear in most places because there are no rivers dumping silt into the ocean like there are in Florida. You can see right to the bottom, even if forty feet of water, and there’s so much to see: marine life and coral reefs are everywhere. When I stay on Elbow Cay, I always rent a boat from Island Marine, and I spent each day on the water, enjoying all the beauty the area has to offer.

We had our first cold weather of the fall this weekend, and I’m sure glad to see it after a long, hot summer, and a very warm September. It’s so nice to be able to work in the yardf or take a bike ride without breaking a sweat. This is my favorite time of year in Florida, and also in the Bahamas. If only I could spend a week down there right now ….

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Memory Lane: a classic VW van, belching smoke ….

smoking vanHi, friends and readers:

I came across this video clip the other day, and I laughed so hard I thought I might wet my pants. When I was in college, back in the early 1970’s, a friend owned a van just like the one in the video clip, replete with curtains on the windows. We used to refer to his car a “The Smoking Van”, and not because smoke came out of the tailpipe. My friends and I were all dedicated weedheads back on those days; we smoked bales of the stuff, but I don’t think it did us any harm. A-h-h-h, the good old days. I wonder if that van is still around?

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Another great jet airplane photo; I’m back from North Carolina ….

jet plane #2Hi, friends and readers:

If you follow this website, then you know I have a thing for good photos of jet airplanes. I don’t know why, but I find them fascinating, and I really like the one I have posted here tonight. Do you like it as much as I do?

Airplanes are on my mind right now because I’ve just returned from spending five days in Boone, North Carolina, my first visit there. Western North Carolina is a beautiful place; it’s so mountainous and green. My friends and I took several interesting hikes, including one with fabulous views of Linville Falls in the Pisgah National Forest. The weather was perfect: cool and sunny, with highs in the low 70’s and lows around 60 degrees F. The people in Boone are warm and welcoming, and the town itself is charming. Appalachian State University is located in Boone, and the students seemed very much in tune with the natural beauty surrounding them. I didn’t meet a single disagreeable person while there.

If you ever get a chance to visit western North Carolina, be sure you do. You’ll love it there as much as I did.

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The importance of respecting alternative ways of thinking ….

respect alternative thinkingHi, friends and readers:

I came across the photo to the left just a few days ago, and I liked it so much I decided to put it up for all of you to see.

In previous posts on this site, I have mentioned the importance of travel. It exposes us to new and different people who live in ways utterly different from ours, and yet they seem as happy, or maybe even happier, than us. Whether you’re talking religion, cuisine, social customs, fashion or lack thereof, music, or literature, everyone doesn’t have to do things the way we do in the U.S..

I have spent four summers living in Berlin, Germany, which is certainly a different world than the barrier island I dwell in on Florida’s Gulf coast. But I loved my stays in Germany. I got along fine without a car, and I never watched television. I came to enjoy traditional German cuisine, and the National Museum of Art is one of the best I have ever visited.

We can learn a lot about life by paying attention to folks who do things differently than us, I believe. The photo I’ve posted says it all, friends: “Respect other people’s way of thinking.”

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A pair of leaping dolphins ….

dolphinsHi, friends and readers:

I live on a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Most every morning, weather permitting, I walk three miles on the beach, usually around 7:30. It’s peaceful down there, and sometimes I am rewarded by sights like the one in the video clip I’ve posted here.

Yes, dolphins in the wild really do jump out of the water in pairs; I’ve seen this many times during my walks, or while I’m boating around the Tampa Bay area. Dolphins are both intelligent and playful; they’re amazing creatures.

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Nice little photo: a guy and a jet plane ….

jet planeHi, friends and readers:

I love good photography, particularly when it offers a bit of humor or mystery. The photo to the left offers a bit of both, doesn’t it? Unless the picture was “Photoshopped” (And I don’t think it was.) then I want to know why a jet airliner would fly so low and close to a beach? Now, I have surfed on Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, FL, and I’ve had military transport planes fly right over my head as they’re about to land at the base, but those are prop planes, not jets. I wish I knew where this photo  was taken, and if maybe the angle it was shot from makes the plane appear to be closer to the young man than it is.

It’s been a typical Monday for me. I have a new YA novel coming out in December, and I’m in the midst of working on revisions with my wonderful editor. I really don’t mind the revisions process at all. A good editor will always improve your book if you’ll let him or her do their job. I exercised at the YMCA and bought groceries on my way home. Now I’m in for as relaxed evening at home. Have a pleasant Monday night, everyone.

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Happy Labor Day, to all my friends and to all those who labor ….

Ford-Assembly-Worker-in-FactoryHi, friends and readers:

All across the U.S. we are celebrating Labor Day, a day of rest in honor of those who work with their hands to produce the wonderful products we enjoy that make our lives easier and more productive. I have great respect for those who work with their hands, since during my early years I worked every imaginable drudge job: dishwasher, fry cook, laundry worker, yard maintenance, taxi driver, gas station attendant and mechanic, stock room clerk, and department store clerk. For a few months, I worked at Sears Roebuck, unloading car batteries and steel-belted radial tires off transfer trucks.

You know something, I learned a lot form working those drudge jobs, and I learned to appreciate my co-workers who I labored alongside day after day. They are real people with lots of challenges to face at work and at home, and I try to remind myself of this whenever I deal with them at their workplaces.

Thanks to all of you folks who are giving it your best every day. And Happy Labor Day. :-)

 

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A reason to smile: 20% off on my Prizm books Sunday and Monday ….

tom daley #3Hi, friends and readers:

That’s Tom Daley to the left; he’s my favorite Olympic diver, a real hero in my view, for many reasons. Tom has an infectious grin, and right now there’s a reason for you to smile, as well.

This weekend Prizm Books, publisher of my novels Tyler Buckspan and Josef Jaeger is offering a 20% discount on both books.

Here’s a link to the Prizm Books website:http://prizmbooks.com/zencart/

The discount code is: laborday14

If you’ve been putting off buying either book  because you are on a tight budget, now’s your opportunity to save some money and get yourself a good read for the Labor Day holiday.

Enjoy ….

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