Soon the real dating occurs, you spend your Friday and Saturday nights walking the living rooms trying not to looks nervous or angry if the minute hand had gone 15-seconds past the due time home. "Where did you get that tattoo, young lady!" or "And who said you could pierce your lip?" Finally comes college, maybe or MR RIGHT and wedding bells shine out of eyes like radiant fireballs. But then, soon, maybe all too soon, you can sit back and smile, with the birth of that first grandchild, knowing its not in your hands any more. All you can do is pray for sanity and a bright future, the rest will come. Believe me, it hasn't failed yet and our first born both turn the big 40 this April. We occasionally call them the twins, but the oldest is our daughter from an earlier marriage and the younger of the two by 22-days is also from a first marriage. We're a yours,mine and ours relationship and this years marks the big 36 for Mona and I. Seems so strange, she still looks like the girl I met in the Air Force many moons ago and the two of us fought down a mutiny charge- yup, no fooling and we won. Things like that just add to the glue that binds a couple together. But for us, mainly its been the Lord. You see, even after 35 years we're still each others best friend, too.
But happy arrival to Irene, I'm happy you missed the Leap Year date. Too confusing for grandparents. Now James didn't know it, so he wasn't doing it on purpose, but his great-grandmother on my side of the family was named Irene. She'd been born in Germany, as well as her future husband Alan Von Dreeke. They were married in living in Ohio when my mom, Vivian Lee Von Dreeke was born. Right afterward they dropped the Von from the name due to anti-Semitic persecution for my grandmother's side and anti-German- from World War One on my grandfather. He'd never fought in the war, but was an entertainer, doing Vaudeville. You've now had a bit of history from the Casselman Family Tree. I suspect Mona and I and our clan have added a whole new trunk to the tree and with so many grandchildren and our first great-grandchild now born... I'm feeling old here... I keep my Officer Barney Fife of Mayberry light switch cover on my desk to remind of what old really is and now I feel better.
So, another early morning, up at 4 a.m. and wishing I wasn't. 4 hours seems to be about average, but its a hard 4 hours. But once the sleep meds wear-off, my eyes pop open. 26 degrees under clear blue skies, with the sun peaking out from over the mountain peaks to the east at around 9:30 or so. There was talk of some more snow, but it didn't pan out. Mona will be in Seward today, so I'll have the house, along with Liam, to get a few chores done and work on my manuscript.
For you beginner writers you should remember one tool of the trade and don't get down on yourself for using it. Edit-edit-edit. I Edited Apache Snow well over 20 times. Sometimes after a few pages, at the end of a chapter or chapters, but again at the end of the book. But remember your editing is based on your current skills, which will improve as you continue to write. When I started, my beloved wife said my first manuscript read like a police report. I tossed it. I still had the basic outline in my head head and began again. Unfortunately, I had my back-up only in hard copy. We didn't have these small memory sticks or recordable CDs. Just floppies. Well, I lost two of my manuscripts in a flooded basement and still cannot recall what that manuscript was about. Floppies and hard copy were toast. So learn from my mistake. Keep your storage above the home's waterline. Use 2 or even 3 CD sets to hold your story and back it up with one of the many storage sticks. With my hard drive nearly toast, I've backed up my manuscript as I go along. Oh-editing. Yes, once your done, try to find someone, hopefully with College English behind them, to edit your story for your errors and try not to be offended by your mistakes as most likely they will finds dozens to hundreds. My English usage is still poor, especially in the area of "tenses". I will not recommend hiring one of those people you find in magazines, who charge $30 to $100 a page. Early on I hired a College grad who taught up at the University of Alaska and did editing as a side business. My first chapter cost me my left arm and three finger from my right hand. But when I got it back, he decided to change the content of my story also. I did not hire him for that and we parted ways. So be careful, be wise. Susan is editing Apache Snow, for a second edition, finding major errors I made. She was an Army Journalist and is "cleaning up my act" should we say. Soon as she is done, publisher will run a second edition and hopefully the sequel will appear soon afterward. I am simply saying, if you want to write, be it poetry, children's books or magazine articles...maybe that next great American novel...I'm hoping for that slot someday, follow it through. Children's books have a need for graphics and most publishers will not look at you without art work. If your unable to do it yourself, then find someone else to help you. Dozens of magazines are looking for writers and one of the hardest things to do is condense a thought into less than 1,000 words. Me, I cannot do it. No short stories and I've tried. I've had two short stories become 500 page manuscripts. As you can tell I like to write. If you ever looked at "A Coming Storm", my first finished work on it was over 1600 pages and I had to cut a 1,000 pages off of it and it was as if I was bleeding myself. So many side stories vanished to cut the book down. Reminded me of Stephen King, who wrote "The Stand", which was one of his best works and eventually made into a terrible miniseries. His orginal story was over 1700 pages I believe and he cut it down to less than 600. But it was such a hit he later released the full-length version and I believe I read it sold equally well.
If, in my limited way, help anyone in writing I will or I can direct you. Remember one other thing, except for a short story I did have published 17 years ago, I received enough rejection slips to panel my living room wall with. Great authors with now and then have a rejected manuscript, but they received plenty before they became famous. Louie L'Amour has written over 300 books before he died and his books are still on nearly every commercial book self in the retail market. Yet, Louie admitted to receiving 350 rejections before his first magazine stories were sold. Mona will remind of this when I get down and want to quit writing. Sort of like the old Army motto, "Its not just a job, its an adventure." When I'm writing my westerns I imagine myself riding with the Apache or in pursuit with the Rangers. It helps to become part of the story to make it come alive for the reader.
NEWS: Just a few things, since I've been long in the tooth already. Save the rest for tomorrow.
Japan Times- Japan to provide Egypt with 2 Trillion Yuan for Egyptian business projects and Japan has agreed to take in 2,500 student over 5-years to further their education.
Japan Times- 18-people were publically "caned" in Indonesia for anti-Islamic behavior. the 18 people included a young couple, a 19 year old woman and 21-year old man who were caught spending time together alone. They each received 8 lashing with the bamboo cane, while a cheering crowd watched on. Six young men each received 40 such lashing each for consumption of alcohol at a birthday party. These offenses are an offense to Islam and Shariah Law. No information on what the others had done. But the punishment was handed out by a hooded man, using a rattan can, on a stage set-up beside the local mosque.
Japan Study: Since 1992 to 2012, Japanese households with children living in poverty has doubled to over 1.46 million families.
China Daily News:Indonesia/Australia- 7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes off on Sumatra, in the same area devastated in 2004 by earthquake and tsunami. Tsunami warning was given this time, but 5 hours later canceled. No report yet on extent of damages or people injured.
Spiegel News/Berlin: Rolling up the "Welcome Mat" to hundreds of thousands of Afghan-seeking refugees heading into Germany, escaping their dreadful war, Germany now plans to increase its deportation and scare tactics in order to lower the number of asylum-seekers from the Afghan Region. ( Scare tactics are to provide means and ways to educate the Afghans on why they would not be happy in Germany due to the present over crowding of refugees inside the German borders. (You might want to go elsewhere, the Med is nice this time of year...maybe a boat trip down the Nile.)
BLAZE News: Report- Obama officials asked Israel not to announce New Housing for Jews in East Jerusalem, during VP Biden's visit to the Holy Land, (my words, not Washington's) but if they wanted to announce building for the Arabs, that would be "welcomed" (Another example of how Washington D.C. is becoming anti-Israel, and it really stinks!)
China Globe: Beijing- New guidelines issued by two television industry groups advise that same-sex romance, extramarital affairs and underage love should be excluded from TV Drama series. ( Which made me wonder about sitcoms?)
China Globe: Algerian and German governments reach an agreement on deportations of Algerians who entered Germany illegally a year ago. ( If they entered illegally, usually meaning no paperwork, how will they know these particular Algerians were of the group who entered a year ago and not the swarm of three of four years ago? I know, I'm a government trouble maker and its one of the reasons why I got out after 10 years in the military. I felt I could cause a lot more problems as a police officer. But back then I had no idea the trouble I would raise when I became a lone state Investigator, with a bit too much power and a large 1/8th German Jew nose. Oh the fun.)
All for now. I had a few decent reports, but somewhat lengthier then the ones above and between research and typing I've already been at this for 6 hours. Time for a break and then I'll attack "Geronimo".
You all take care and I do hope your day is as beautiful as this one has turned out to be. Our sun is up centered between the valley mountain peaks to the east and west, lighting up the yard with shinning bright golden sun beams upon the white snow and patches of cracking ice. House is quiet, women have left for Seward, Liam is doing his outside wood chores- bringing in armloads of kindling to fill the stove boxes and the hounds collapsed about the room. Only Bear-Killer is wandering about, waiting for me to approach the kitchen to make my lunch, sure to pass on some lunch meat her way.
That's all, Folks. God Bless, BILL