Saturday, April 28, 2007

Networking in the Industry

I am a new member of the American Author's Association, The Military Writers Society of America, friends with a number of writers (like Jeff Edwards, Jim Stewart, J.A. Konrath, Dan Bessie, and Gary W. Moore). I am an aquaintance of a couple small publishers, one agent, the writer Howard V. Hendrix, and in contact with a number of people in the entertainment industry from radio talent to magazine journalists to newspaper executives and journalists.

Relationships as a writer are forged by being talkative, friendly, and accessible. This is what it takes to network. Making as many friends as I can in the industry, I have created a network of writers, publishers, marketing strategists, and high ranking personnel in both the Military Writers Society of America and American Authors Association. And now, my site, Political Pistachio, has received national opinion, appearing on page 35 of the May 7, 2007 issue of the National Enquirer. Okay, it's a tabloid, but I've gotta start somewhere.

My network is growing, as is my audience. How's yours doing?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tears of Joy

Writing brings me joy. My wife brings me tears of joy. She is dedicated, loving, caring and devoted. And now, she is an American citizen. She took the oath today.

And in two months she will be a college graduate.

Once, long ago, we both worked at jobs daily. I worked hard so that I could bring her home to be with the kids. The kids have grown and now she has worked hard in school so that she can get a job and bring me home so that I may write full-time. Then I will work hard as a writer so that I make enough money to bring her home again.

Oh, and by the way, after taking the oath to naturalize as an American citizen, her first words were, "I can vote."

Ah, to be American. Tears of Joy.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Uppity is when one is cheerful and with the program, according to my wife. She has said that I haven't been real uppity on my radio shows or with my writing lately, until the last couple shows. Uppity, she says, can't be achieved until one learns to relax.

Same goes for writing, I think. If you stress yourself, and try to force it, the writing you find yourself trying to do will not cooperate. Relax, close the door, turn off the television, and write.

Write when your mind searches the deepest recesses of our thoughts.

Write when your fingers tap dance in a way that it doesn't even seem like you are the one in control.

Write what lurks deep inside your imagination.

And don't try to make it perfect the first time. Just let it flow. Worry about fixing it later.

Let your creativity flow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Out to sea

I remember when I was in the United States Navy aboard the USS Chandler (DDG-996) during 1985 one of my favorite things to do during my free time (what little I got) while out to sea was to write. I was working on my third or fourth manuscript, handwriting it into spiral binders. The rocking of the ship as I sat in my rack inspired me. The sea was my friend.

I filled three spiral binders on that ship, fifteen hundred pages. Never typed it up. The story wasn't good enough. But the memories of those days, writing away in those notebooks, stay with me still.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Deadliest shooting in American History

I offer prayer for those in the crossfire.

I spent most of my day yesterday behind the wheel of a big rig transporting equipment between Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County in Southern California. When days like this come up where I spend most of my day driving, it enables me to spend a lot of time listening to the radio. I was shocked at the events developing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

A gunman went on a rampage, reportedly killing 32 plus himself, and injuring twenty plus, in the most horrific and worst mass killing in the history of the United States. This campus shooting began, authorities believe, with a killing of two in a dormatory, and then two hours later, equipped with a 9mm and .22 caliber weapon, and a jacket of clips, the gunman went from class to class at Norris Hall killing at will.

On Michelle Malkin's site, an e-mail from a student at Virginia Tech that had been trapped in one of the classrooms, baracaded as the shooter fires shots through the door they blocked only seconds before, gives a chilling first-hand account of the events.

I have no opinion on yesterday's events other than that they are chilling, and that thoughts of my wife who goes to a local university in pursuit of her bachelors degree, and my children who are roughly the same age as the students at Virginia Tech, came to mind. My prayers go out to those slain, to the parents of those gunned down, and to the students who survived, but will be affected by this for the rest of their lives.

Pray with me for their healing.

this post has been cross-posted at all of my sites.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Facing Surgery, again

Tomorrow I will go through my fifth surgical procedure in six months. It's a minor procedure (unlike the pain of the one that placed a mesh over a 9cm X 14cm hole in the muscle of my abdomen - which was quite painful), and I will be blogging again tomorrow night, but the frequency I seem to be finding myself in doctor's offices is beginning to take its toll on me.

In short, I am sick and tired of it.

But, considering what I've been going through, I am relatively healthy, and I do have an advantage that many folks in my position don't have. My wife is devoted, caring, and will be by my side when I awaken from the anesthesia.

I'm a blessed man.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Writing in the dark

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and have an urge to write. The words come to me after repeating over and over in my head while I was asleep. It flows for hours, then suddenly stops, as if a faucet was closed. My eyes then grow heavy, and I hunker back down for the second half of my night's sleep.

I go to work in the morning with more words in my head, repeating them over and over as I labor so as not to forget the gems. When I get home I run to the computer and jot down my thoughts; then I nap, knowing that I will once again be up during the darkest hours, unable to sleep, writing like a madman.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Should I laugh or cry?

On Political Pistachio Radio I interviewed Gary W. Moore (author of Playing With The Enemy) on April 7, 2007. The show was a rousing success. Gary was a fantastic guest, Tisha from Brussels called in revealing the show's international appeal, and Phil called in near the end which turned out to be good since I was at rope's end with my questions.

What could go wrong?

Growing up in a household run by a United States Marine war veteran, and myself serving in the United States Navy, taught me to pay special attention to detail. Sometimes I drive Mrs. Pistachio nuts with my nearly obsessive attention to the little things in life. And when people around me don't worry about little things that I find important, it drives me up the wall.

I don't squeeze the toothpaste in the middle, I roll it from the bottom up. I fold my towels and shirts with two folds. I don't leave the refrigerator open for any length of time. And I hang up the phone when I am finished speaking on it.

So, after the fantastic episode of Political Pistachio today with Gary Moore as my guest, I was enthusiastic. Excited. Vocal about my feelings.

And Mrs. Pistachio had set down her phone and walked out of the room as the show concluded, without pushing the button on it which would disconnect it from the line.

Little did I know, when I hung up mine, that her line was still active.

And I said, "That went soooo freakin' well."

Now, to my surprise, my reaction is forever archived at BlogTalk Radio, because Mrs. Pistachio's phone picked up my exhuberance.

What kind of person finishes a phone call, sets down their phone without hanging it up, and walks away?

And when I twisted in confusion regarding how to react to this revelation, my wonderful wife looked me in the eye, and began to laugh.

Perhaps my belt's too tight.

By the way, there are still plenty of Political Pistachio bumper stickers available. E-mail me if you want one, and I will send it out immediately, at no charge to you.