ver 90% of the winterizing is done around the house and yard. It doesn’t take a boatload of prep in the Pacific Northwest, but if somethings aren’t done, a ‘once in ten-year’ many-day cold snap will creep up on a homeowner. Burst pipes in the best of weather are a real burden, but during a freeze, …

We had restful long weekend, then I had the pleasure of going to Burbank, CA, with my granddaughter to observe and follow a script in a voice recording session.

jmb at recording with Greg

The author of the book for which I posted a review, directed the session that will be on Adventures of Odyssey sometime next year. One of the voice actors in the audio play was Greg Jbara (Garrett on Blue Bloods) so, my granddaughter and I got some good time with him and a number of regulars on A of O. Then we got good seats for a taping of Last Man Standing.

So, I’m relaxed and ready to get on with finishing two items with a deadline and other work I’ve started.
And, my marketing plan for Nescient Decoy is in process.

Going Dark


escient Decoy is out, so I’ve been thinking sequel? Well, since I left the door open, or more accurately opened the door, it’s been started!

An earlier blog ‘kinda’ focused on other work I’ve started or sent to publishers. One of those will be published soon in Chicken Soup for the Soul. I had some concerns about loss of an early manuscript, thus loss of what I was wanting to tell when only the expanded versions were available. None of my local pre-readers had the hard copy I sent them in 2014. The great however is, after several hours of backup file search, I serendipitously found an epub copy. At the time I’d been experimenting on the beta version with some conversion software, so it was filed with the software default filing system.
Considering my multiple starts and nearly finished work since between and even after the Nescient Decoy finish made my head hurt!

With multiple projects spinning and crossing over in my mind, I decided to finish only a flash-fiction due the first of November. So, I’m going dark with all writing, including this platform, so I can work on marketing Nescient Decoy and read several books I’ve only shelved.


hen my mind is clear next month (whoops that’s less than a week away), in 30, 60, or 90 days, I’ll get back to the keyboard with a priority plan. Well, one can have hope.

Thinking Sequel


ow that Nescient Decoy is out, should I be thinking sequel?

I posted about one publisher’s letter telling me the story was too short for its requirements. And I tried filling parts of the body with extended dialog and side trips. But the story was taken from Jason’s diary and other notes, so I and most readers would question how he might know the extras. In the process of my filling-in, I was losing the story.
When I ended with, “…the only looking over our shoulders will be … while watching the evening sky turn red behind Steens Mountain,” I had my first thought about continuation. Thus, the postscript.
Well, I started thinking there would be a natural flow to the continuation of Jason and Erin’s lives, either on the ranch or back with the Company. Could there be both? If just the ranch, the postscript didn’t set that up very well, if at all. If just the Company, what happens to the ranch? Is there something in Grandpa’s history that might have a continuing impact? How would any of the options impact their relationship? After all neither had much knowledge about the other before their spontaneous marriage. Etc., etc,…
How do I continue the voice if it’s two person’s story?


erhaps it is too soon, but what else should I be doing with my time?




atience I tell myself. Someone said, “Patience is a virtue.” So, then the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset is behavior showing high moral standards.

Many years ago, I typed a 30,000+ word manuscript with a Smith Corona portable. The proof-read copy was re-typed on a Smith Corona electric with a correcting cartridge, but paper alignment was a problem if an error was found after a page was removed. When I thought it was finished, I spent several days of time in a manual search of a publishers’ guide at the library for possible publishers. I carefully crafted query letters to 10 (if I remember correctly) publishers and submitted pages as guidelines required. Without copy-and-paste the body, then change the address, well you know.
I fussed internally for about 90 days – the number of days most of the publishers said was their response time. Nothing!
About six months passed, and I’d nearly forgotten about my attempt to get published when there was a letter from Random House in the box. “Thank you for your submission,” I’m paraphrasing, “but we’ve recently published other work in the same genre and cannot use your work at this time.” James Michener’s Alaska had just hit the stands. After reading it and seeing many things similar to what I’d written, I understood but got the feeling RH readers may have suspected the p word.
I found myself concerned that even though I followed all the steps (electronically of course) my self-published Nescient Decoy hadn’t made it to wholesalers in a few days. Aren’t electronic communications supposed to speed up these things? I started googling.


h, this is about patience!

Writing Block


’ve always had stories, so fiction was easy when assigned in school. The big however is, mechanics and other factors such as an inability to spell and atrocious handwriting resulted in low grades on those assignments. My take on handwriting is that I was born left handed and forced to write like normal people as it was considered in those days. Those days meaning deep religious roots and small-town school standards in rural America. Unknown to me at the time, left handedness was a prejudicial concern without cause. I’m not looking for another oohhh here, but I’m going to tell a truth anyway.

The cut-off date for first grade was October 15 and I would be six on the 19th. But Mother’s insisting that I could already read at a rudimentary level was of no avail. (I really don’t remember but she told me more than once.) Not only did I start school late, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed more school than I attended during the first three grades. Mother told me that we’d lived in over 50 places during those years.
Skip forward to fourth grade – new school – new teacher – same problem being left handed. If I did spell a word correctly, my right-handed cursive was nearly illegible – F in spelling and low grades in composition or other writing assignments. And often there was the whack of a ruler on my left hand for putting a pencil in it. Oh, my attitude: I gave up trying to memorize spelling words – most would be marked wrong anyway!
Seventh grade: Another new school and I’d already given up trying to go back to being left-handed. About half-way through the school year, I decided it was time to make a positive change in my academics. My English teacher gave us 25 new spelling words a week, and I decided to spend as much time as I needed to memorize that week’s words.
I scored 100% on the test. Then the teacher asked me to stay after class. I’ve still not forgotten her saying, “Benson, I don’t know how you cheated. I’ll re-test you after school.” I sat in a front desk and she read the words. For whatever reason, she didn’t believe my legitimately getting them all correct. She passed me but refused to give me the score I’d earned. I should have done the same study routine again, but I didn’t. I don’t remember passing a spelling test again.
In high school, I signed up for typing. Some of my friends had because ‘that’s where the girls are,’ but I had a different reason. If I typed my papers, they could be read. That was true, but the however was, compositions and reports had to be hand written to ensure they weren’t done by a student’s mother.
My spelling didn’t get much better when I could type papers in college, but the professors could read my errors. Then word processing with a computer came along. That was followed by spill chick which helped me with spelling.


nce I wrote fiction about finding boy scouts on thin ice who said they’re there by their choice. In that report, I had to type more than two pages too.