Good Morning, Friends!
Kimber here. Mom and I are delighted to share a guest post by the author of one of our favorite books, Walks With Sam. Sam is a dog. A very astute, reflective dog. Ya know. Like me. In fact, I think Sam’s my new best friend!
Anyway, in this guest post author David W. Berner “walks” us through why and how he wrote this rich and wonderful memoir about contemplative walks with Sam. (Psssst! It started with a blog. No kidding!)
Take it away, David!
More than two years ago, I had an idea. What would it be like to reinvent the dog walking experience? Not so much for my doodle, Sam, but for me. All the experts say walking is a meditative, contemplative endeavor. Ask any of the great walkers—Henry David Thoreau, Charles Dickens, John Muir. But this time, what would it be like if the dog led the way? What if Sam was my guide?
A Chapter Change
It was a new time in my life, a chapter change, if you will. My only sibling, my younger sister had recently died after a long battle with alcoholism, my mother and father had died years before, and now I was what remained of the family of my youth. What is one supposed to do with that? I was also turning 60, a milestone age, and considering what would come next, how might I move in the world in my final years. A sabbatical from my position at the college where I teach had given me some freedom, and although I had projects to complete—a manuscript to finish and edit—I decided that I would dedicate myself to daily walks to allow my mind to find balance. And Sam, my young dog, would join me. She, too, needed those walks.
Happy Wednesday Friends!
Author John Mernone joins us today to discuss his debut historical novel, The World Turned Upside Down. You’ll want to listen in. Says John:
How many times have you heard someone say that history is boring?
If you only see it as a list of names and dates and facts to be memorized, it is boring. I was lucky enough to have a few truly amazing teachers who taught me to look at history through the lens of personalities and situations. Take George Washington. In school, we’re taught about this legendary hero who led the colonists to independence. And maybe we hear about his wooden teeth.
We don’t learn about his many mistakes on the way to victory. We don’t learn that he wasn’t always patient or a brilliant strategist. He had very real flaws. But he was driven by an unshakeable belief in the cause, and he possessed a level of humility and conscientiousness that inspired devotion and admiration in everyone around him. I’ve always believed that George Washington was the greatest man in history, flaws and all.
“Mom! Mom! Wake up!”
“Gah….! Wha… Huh?” Crash. Stumble. Stubbed toe. “Dadgum it!”
Mom’s nothing if not quick. Especially when it’s 0500. And I’ve got a cool new book to show her! It’s like an illustrated time travel thingy. Through New York City! I’m don’t know where that is. But it sounds good. So does a soon-to-be-released book, 400 Years of New York History: A Pictorial Guide.
PAWright historical fiction fans! Grab the bacon and buckle up. Cuz we’re ready to launch into that genre with 6 Pawsome titles you’ll want to dig up, pronto!
Yes siree, Lassie! Mom and I are hosting a guest post on the subject from a promising new author, John Lawrence.
John’s memoir about his medical training, Playing Doctor: Part One-Medical School (Stumbling through with Amnesia) debuts on August 24. He’s also an avid reader with a taste for historical fiction. (More about John in a min. So kindly keep your tail tucked, okay?)
Anyway, John says during medical school and his residency years, the escape historical fiction provided was a “much loved respite from my otherwise fluorescently lit, fast-paced reality of medical school.” John adds:
“If you’re a writer, you’re never retired by someone else. You not only keep going, but the very art of writing helps keep you alive.”
– Sol Stein
Picking up from our last discussion (click here for a quick review), we’re talking about what it takes to be a “real” blogger or writer. (I’m using “writer” and blogger” interchangeably.)
9 select traits of a real writer/blogger include:
“Writing is like hunting. There are brutally cold afternoons with nothing in sight, only the wind and your breaking heart. Then the moment you bag something big… you think, This one is a keeper. This is a trophy brought back from the future realm, the kingdom of perpetual glistening night where we know ourselves absolutely. This one goes on the wall.”
– Kate Braverman, American novelist, short story writer
Solitude and Single-Mindedness
Blogging and writing are hard work. Think hauling a 40,000-lb. logging truck with your teeth. Scaling Mount Everest. Or childbirth. Laboring to bring forth a full-formed, intelligible post with value-added for your readers is a creative endeavor unlike any other.
Because of the amount of blood, sweat, tears and patience required to write and blog well, few undertake it for the long run.
Six words that strike terror into the heart of bloggers:
Please share your latest blog post.
This according to Her Mom-ness. Me? I’m cool with a daily walk and “dinner” twel… I mean twice a day. But you know how moms are. For as long as I can remember – both minutes – Her Mom-ness has insisted that:
Kimber here. Mom says it’s time for a little bloggish housekeeping.(She calls it “housekeeping.” I think it’s more like Rants From the Ole Curmudgeon. Don’t tell her I said that, okay?)
But here’s the deal. Mom gets tons and tons of jun… um, stuff in her In Box. Every day. Lots goes straight to the big kitty litter box in the sky. Never gets opened or read. We’re gonna tell you why and what you can do to fix that.
Here are 5 sure-fire ways to turn off readers and put them to sleep (and how you can fix them):
There I was. Stretched out in a pool of sunshine. Working on my tan. Mom comes along with her mobile Doo-Hickey:
“Smile, Kimber! Sit. Roll over. Lay down. Stay. Say ‘cheese.'”
While the Doo-Hickey is clicking away.
Anyway, Mom says she’s going to “post” the clickey things from her Doo-Hickey. Whatever that means. Then she says:
“Kimmi, How’re we gonna caption these?”
What “we,” Kimo Sabe?