Mr Scruffy and Pam here to say we are trying to get back into the swing of writing, posting, and being caught up with life.
“Taking two weeks off for vacay proved to put Pam further behind than she thought she’d be. I tried to warn her. But, Nooooo. She didn’t listen to me. Her trusty Owl.”
“Mr Scruffy, I bow to you. You know me better than I know myself!”
“I do believe that KC understands that perfectly.”
“That is why she is the protagonist, and I’m the lowly wordsmith.”
“That’s why I think I should take this blog post over. Now, Pam’s reading fans take heed, Pam is busy writing Book Two – DarkShadow. She is very far behind her schedule due to a summer mixed with illness, a lot of research, gardening, and her husband retiring.
She apologized to many of you on her FB author page, but I’m not sure she realizes just how far behind she is.
What’s that you say? Why is she behind?
For one, she didn’t listen to me. For another, while working on a particularly dark section in Act One, she had some issues figuring out how dark to go.
You see, she is a scaredy-cat. Seriously! She jumps in the dark all the time. You see, there is this scene that harkened back to when her Mom was in the hospital (Read her memoir – The Letter – for insights). And, during the early part of the summer, due to some illness, she was going through the process of trying to have an MRI completed of her brain.
To add insult to injury, Pam is severely claustrophobic and couldn’t do the test. She ended up having a CT scan instead. It didn’t show everything as the neurologist would have liked, but Pam got through that test with the help of drugs.
Shhhh. I thought she was not all there without the aid of anything artificial too. As her loving husband said, “At least they found she does have a brain.” (Shades of the Wizard of Oz coming through. I don’t blame you for laughing.) She doesn’t know I’m sharing this information. Why am I sharing? Because it kinda of explains why she’s been slow writing this section of the book.
As her friend, and I hope yours, you will understand. She is about ready to get out of a dark side of the book and move into some interesting twists and turns. She is hoping she’ll be able to write with more speed.
“Mr Scruffy. Are you still talking?”
“Actually, I’m about done. I was giving your reading fans an update as several had contacted me asking where you were and what you were doing regarding Book Two – DarkShadow.
“Thank you, Mr Scruffy. It does seem like it is taking forever. I’m working on it!”
“Woot! Woot! I’m sure you are! Seriously, she really is doing just that! Stay tuned!”
This is a guest post by Julie Newberry, our daughter
HAPPY RETIREMENT, DAD!
So, my Dad, Albert, retired Tuesday, July 31, 2018. He has work for the Town of Wytheville for 36 years in a variety departments, such as Maintenance, Fire Marshal, Building Inspection, and then finally Director of Public Safety, where he spent most of his time.
In his early years, he was also a volunteer firefighter. As a young child, there were many days both my parents worked crazy hours. So my dad took me with him on fire calls. I would set in the truck with our dog, while he would fight fires. Lots of times, I would also set in the fire truck and talk with the engineer on duty. Later in life, Dad told me stories about how sometimes I would be sound asleep in a dispatcher’s chair when all-heck would break loose. The dispatchers would just smile and shake their heads at the sleeping child.
My later childhood years I remember using a fire truck as my jungle gym—swinging around the handgrips and climbing on the back. But, I think the most fun I had was when riding on the back of a fire truck during the town parades.
A story Dad shared with me was a time I got locked in his work truck. I was about 4 years old. He was working on one of the stop lights at a major intersection in town late one winter night. He told me since it was cold out and our black lab, Lady, and I were in the truck that he would leave it running to keep us warm.
Dad had an old white pickup truck where the windows rolled up with a handle and you had to push the locks down. There were these tiny triangular-shaped little windows too. He parked the truck in the center of the intersection to block traffic while he worked. Dad got out of the truck to work on the controller for the traffic light. When he got done and was ready to head home, he realized the truck was locked and he couldn’t get in. Lady’s chin had pushed down the locking buttons.
For several minutes, Dad tried calling me over to unlock the door. Every time I went to go to the window, Lady would knock me over. I giggled and would sit there. After some time went by, Dad decided to call for backup. Two police officers came. They tried everything to get me to unlock the door. But Lady would just keep knocking me over. They used candy to entice Lady away from me. But, the second they moved the candy toward me, Lady would go after it. I wasn’t the least bit interested in candy. I was laughing at Lady.
Finally, one officer had a tool and he was able to pry open one of the side vent windows, and then unlock the door. By then, Dad was beaming red with frustration. A police officer said, “Don’t you yell at her; it wasn’t her fault.” Dad never did yell at me for that. Years later Dad told me the story. Since then, I often joke that the police officers are my bodyguards.
There were times when I would ride with Dad in his work truck, driving around town. We would have calls come over the radio that a bear was seen in town. So, we joined in the chase. One time, a bear was seen near the interstate. That time I watched my dad come face to face as it stood on its hind legs. I looked on with amazement and excitement. Not seeing my Dad’s face of fear, I watched him lead the bear to safety, back into the woods.
Other times, the forest service men would tranquillize a bear and place him in the back of their trucks to be transported somewhere else. While the bear was in the back of a truck, I would walk up to the bear and pet them saying “Good Bear!” As time went on, I would have several interactions with petting a bear. So, from that time on, Dad called me “Bear.”
Another time, we heard on the radio a police officer calling for back up. We were only a couple blocks away and my Dad rushed to the call. It was at a corner gas station. I saw my Dad and two police officers, one being a female officer, wrestling with a citizen trying to place them under arrest. All of sudden, they all went crashing through a big glass window. They finally got cuffs on the person. To my amazement the broken glass hurt none of them.
There are many stories I could tell of spending time with my Dad while he was at work. I was very lucky that I got to spend time with him while seeing him doing what he loved to do.
Through the years, I was able to see first hand the sacrifice and the many long hours my Dad spent serving and protecting the Town of Wytheville—from fighting fires to becoming the Director of Public Safety. In my eyes, from early on, my Dad is and will always be my hero for the sacrifices he made. Maybe that is why I like to volunteer at my church all the time. I want to give back just like my Dad did.
Congratulations and Best Wishes on your retirement, Dad. May you enjoy your retirement! You deserve it!!!
Lots of Love,
This posted first published on Pam’s Blog on August 10, 2018.
Life is so busy, yet my heart-strings pull me to reading. I read many things, not just books, and listen to many things too. Lately, I’ve read a lot of magazine and newspaper articles and listened to podcasts of books and short stories and radio classic broadcasts.
A few years back, a dear friend, George, passed away unexpectedly. During the cleaning, clearing, and redistribution of his things, I was lucky enough to receive a pile of old magazines. I have thought about digging into those mags and seeing what treasures are buried there. But, that idea keeps getting pushed back on the “never-ending-to-do” list.
Then, yesterday, while skimming the New York Times, I came across this article about a serious collection of magazines owned by James Hyman of The Hyman Archive – All Good Magazines Go to Heaven. A fascinating read and as I read, I realized a visit to this archive would probably cause me to lose months from my life as I would get lost reading. Do yourself a favor, read this article and learn about The Hyman Archive.
During the free book give-away of The Fire Within, a reader reached out to me on my FaceBook Author page and asked me about the idea of exchanging reviews. The reader, Gino Cox, is an author too.
I’m a slow reader and its mainly due to the huge amount of reading I must do for my technical writing gigs that pay for my writing habit. Gino Cox is the author of Ice Cold. It is a good read. I’m about twenty percent through. Gino is patiently waiting on my review. As a sneak peek…get the book! It is one hell-of-a-ride. The Iceman is Ice Cold with revenge on his mind. The narrative is full of twists and turns. Just the kind of book you would enjoy.
Recently, while sitting in the Martin room, it dawned on me why I’m not checking off as many books on my reading list as I’ve done in the past. I’m no longer driving an hour back-n-forth from work every day. When I drove to work, I’d listen to books on tape. I miss that. It saved me all kinds of time and I was able to ‘hear’ many good books.
A good book I’ve ticked away at reading in small chunks is by one of my favorite authors, Sue Grafton. The book is W – W is for Wasted. Kinsey is at it again and it is such a good escape. Sadly, my slow reading has me several letters behind in Grafton’s series. If you’ve not read her series featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone, you are in for a treat.
A writing book I picked up and have found not only informative to read but a fun read too is James Scott Bell’s How to Write Pulp Fiction. His opening description:
“Type Hard. Type Fast. Make Dough. That was the formula of old-school pulp fiction—plot-driven, popular and gobbled up by a reading public hungry for more.”
sets the stage for an excellent learning experience. Of course, I’m very partial to his writing and love his fiction work as well. The link to his Pulp Fiction book will open doors to all of his work. If you enjoy a good thriller, his Mike Romeo thriller series is a must read.