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The Best Of Bainstorming
Highlights From The Newsletters
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-916-4
Genre: Non-Fiction/Non-Fiction
eBook Length: 154 Pages
Published: January 2012

From inside the flap

As you may note in the introductory paragraph of my first newsletter below, I had a purpose for beginning to publish a newsletter in a monthly format. However, as time went on, I found that I really enjoyed writing it, much more than I thought I would. It has also become quite popular, even with readers who have never read one of my books or stories. I guess that shows Iím doing something right! And Iíll confess right here, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that my newsletters would become popular enough and interesting enough for a book publisher to want them. I guess itís like everything else. Some ideas donít work well and others turn into something really good that you hadnít even thought of at first.

Only the highlights of the newsletters are being published here, the rambling part, so to speak. I have also edited here and there and added explanatory footnotes in places. Feel welcome to just scroll on down or flip the pages if youíre reading this as a book and you like to browse.

I devoted much more space in the first newsletters to promotion of my books than I do now. My Progress Report is one of the smallest sections of the latest newsletters. My monthly Book Report section, where I list and review books Iíve read during the month that I liked a lot, has grown. But most of all, I found that I liked just rambling, like youíll see here, on whatever subject takes my fancy, and thatís what takes up most of the space in my newsletters now. My wife Betty asked me once where I get all the ideas for the topics. Itís really pretty simple and no great secret. Iíve found that as I grow older I have to make lots of lists in order to avoid forgetting chores, or not remembering what I went to the grocery store for, and so forth. So I keep a little notepad by my computer, one by my easy chair and one by my bed. Whenever an idea for a subject pops into my head, usually stimulated by something Iíve read or by talking with Betty (yes, weíre one of those couples who not only talk to each other a lot, we listen to each other), I write it down. I also put thoughts there for future stories or notes to help me remember something about the subjects Iím currently working on. I usually have several books and/or projects going at the same time, so even if I werenít getting older, Iíd probably need to do this sort of thing anyway.

I like receiving letters from fans and readers. I can be e-mailed from my web site Like most folks, I donít use regular mail any more except to pay bills and for a very few other things.

Ready? Okay, Go! Have fun and may you always have happy reading and time to pursue what is one of the most pleasurable of human activities.

The Best Of Bainstorming (Excerpt)

Here is how my first newsletter began:

Iím pleased to announce the beginning of a personal newsletter. This is the first one. I will try to post a new newsletter on my websites ( and ) each month.

Whatís the purpose of this newsletter? Well, twofold. Itís an easy way to update readers, fans, publishers, agents, movie moguls and other interested parties about whatís going on with my writing. Secondly, itís a good way to connect with fans. I get letters in which Iím asked many questions which arenít necessarily related to my writing. And it seems a number of folks are interested in what Iím reading, what my opinion is on certain subjects, whatís happening with my family, etc. I guess you can also say I like to write about what I think. So read on.

Surprise Birthday Party

On the personal side, my wife Betty just celebrated her 75th birthday (and yes, folks, she is more than eight years older than me). I planned and brought off a complete surprise birthday party, thanks in part to the help of my two stepdaughters, Patricia Pass and Colleen Cargill. By the way, Pat and Colleen are both teachers and Iím consulting with them on the book Iím presently writing, untitled as yet, but dealing with mind reading in school kids. The highlight of Bettyís party was the bouquet of 75 big red roses. You have to see them to believe what a beautiful sight that many big red roses make together! For any of you guys who are getting on in years, I wholeheartedly recommend giving your wife or significant other as many roses as she has had birthdays. Trust me-you wonít go wrong! Actually, I doubt you can go very wrong by giving any number of roses, even one!

Undeserved Bad Luck

One of our relatives has had a real bad run: his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago; his wife, the only woman he ever dated, was diagnosed with another type of cancer and recently passed away while still in her forties. His stepfather has just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. And yesterday his house was hit by lightning and burned to the ground. If anyone has an inkling of who or what orders those kind of events, please pass the word that heís had enough.

An odd Dedication

I was asked why I dedicated my book Savage Survival to a bunch of convicts. Itís really simple. My son is spending some time behind bars because of getting mixed up with drugs, and he and several friends provided me with a very extensive dictionary of prison and criminal slang. I used some of the vernacular in scenes from Savage Survival. I saved it and used some more of it in The Melanin apocalypse.

Fan Becomes Friend

I have a fan who has become a friend, though Iíve met him only once (he bought me lunch while I was at a science fiction convention) who has mastered more trades in his forty years than anyone Iíve ever known. He is an aviator/instructor, qualified in a plethora of aircraft; a former policeman; an animal trainer; a brilliant mechanic; etc. Heís another guy who has had an incredible run of bad luck. He tells me he shouldnít have spit on that Gypsy. Iím tempted to write the story of his last two years, but I doubt most people would believe it. Heís the one who was responsible for getting me to finally write another book in the Williard Brothers (Medics Wild) series. Heís close to being a fanatic about those books. All five Williard Brothers books are out as an e-books now and they are gradually coming out in print.

Book Report

Iím currently re-reading John Barnesí Mother Of Storms and Steven Coontsí Flight Of The Intruder. I highly recommend both these books; Iíve read them many times. Mother of Storms was one of Barnesís first books, and I donít think heís equaled it in any of the ones heís written since. He did write a very entertaining science fiction novel, Finity, that was very thought provoking. Iím about ready to read that one again, too.


And a note about how Iím enjoying "retirement" after closing our Christmas tree farm. I love it! Iím writing several books a year and hope I can keep it up for many years to come! I guarantee you it is much more fun than getting out on a tractor on a cold, windy December morning, or swinging a shearing knife for hours at a time in the middle of August.

Being a Writer

One question Iíve been asked: are there any drawbacks to being a writer? Yes, there are. My main gripe is that the more I write, the less time I have to read! Thereís another problem with being a writer: supply exceeds demand by a wide margin, and it gets harder and harder for a new writer to get published. A few years ago, when the E-book publishing business was getting off the ground, it provided an outlet for many writers who hadnít had much luck with print publishers. Unfortunately, some of the earlier books (including some of mine) werenít edited very well (or at all) and it gave E-books a less than admirable reputation among professionals for a time. That has changed now. The quality of E-books has improved considerably and any E-book publisher worthy of the name has both good acquisition editors and good book editors.

E-books are designed to be downloaded and read on PPCs, PDAs, laptops, desktops, dedicated E-book readers[1], and just lately cell phones have begun to be used to read them. E-books are less expensive than print and you can carry around hundreds of books with you wherever you go. Thatís a nice way to pack for a vacation, folks!