Friday, January 26, 2018

From the Bottom Up: Leading America out of the Morass


Almost 250 years into our nationhood, the United States of America is mired in a morass of massive proportions. It would be nice to say that the morass is of a strictly political nature, but it would be inaccurate. Our morass is political—let there be no doubt—but it is also physical, ethical, academic, and economic. (Add another adjective here.) As we approach our sestercentenial, our roads, bridges and cities are in an appalling state of disrepair; a significant number of our elected officials are either under investigation for ethical breaches or have already been expelled; our primary and secondary schools are failing at an unprecedented rate and our colleges and universities—although still strong—are prohibitively expensive. Worse still, the disparity between rich and poor grows daily, and our leaders (word used with great misgiving) seem more focused on the stock market than stagnant wages, lost jobs and growing unrest with gender and race inequalities and other social ills.

My father used to say that if you want to get the mud out of the water, you need to get the hog out of the spring. Of the many hogs in our spring, the biggest and fattest hog—the one that is most responsible for the mud that flows thick and murky in our water—is the lack of governing taking place at the federal level. How is it possible, I ask you, for any of these problems to be fixed when our national government, paralyzed as it is by partisanship, egoism, and the complete absence of listening, does nothing but breathe hot air and vitriol?

The answer is to turn on its head the usual paradigm of leadership; instead of leading from the top down we need to lead from the bottom up. Our people remain our strength and the only path out of the abyss. We live in a democracy, albeit one gravely threatened by the influence of power and wealth, but still a democracy, in which our elected congressmen, senators and executive officers are a mere election away from irrelevancy.

Leading from the bottom up needs to involve more than just voting, however. We need to listen to one another, especially to people with views that oppose are own; we need to respect one another, and to treat every person with dignity; we need to look out for one another, especially for the people at the margins of our society; and, above all, we need to shake off the complacency that has led to inaction. Acknowledgement of the problem is the necessary first step to resolving it.

If you are not ready to merely shrug your shoulders and accept the status quo, you can lead us to becoming the country in which you want your children and your children’s children to live. Open your mind to what someone else has to say and, more importantly, to what they do, ignoring his or her gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, and political persuasion. In this day and age of sound bites and social media, it is the walk we walk that defines us. Having said that, action begins with talk: words matter. Speak carefully and post with caution; one hateful comment, retweeted and amplified by the incredible power of social media, can be a potent and destructive force. Social media is a tool, and, like any other tool, it can be used for a variety of purposes, good or bad. You choose.

Leading from the bottom up is not going to be an easy or quick task, but many hands make light work, and the more hands we have, the faster we will be able to get that hog out of the spring.


 Cheers, peter
:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include THE INTERN, a novel based loosely on Peter's medical internship, excerpts of which can be seen on Wattpad; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sacrificing Sapphire (Sapphire Dubois Mysteries Book #4) Release Day!

The day is here!

Sacrificing Sapphire, the fourth book in the Sapphire Dubois Mystery Series about the heiress who captures serial killers, is finally out and available! The eBook is available for all formats via most eBook retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, or Buy Direct.) And the print is available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble (order online or at the store.),

The journey to get here, from staring at the blank page to the book being published, has been as much of a roller coaster as ever. I'd like to thank my agent, publisher, (Diversion Books) and readers for getting me this far. Four books in, one more to go! It's be an adventure, that's for sure.
I'd also like to send a special thanks to the ARC reviewers, who have absolutely exceeded my expectations this time around with their kind words! See HERE!

Here it is guys:

Book 4 in the Sapphire Dubois Series: SACRIFICING SAPPHIRE!




Beverly Hills’ heiress and hunter of serial killers Sapphire Dubois is back in this ferocious, festive, and funny mystery—one where her marriage, her life, and the life of a little girl are at risk in a madman’s twisted sacrament.
Sapphire Dubois is about to celebrate her first Christmas in Beverly Hills with her new husband, Detective Aston Ridder. She has assured him that her days of defying death to save victims from serial killers are over. But after three months of marriage she hasn’t kicked the habit. Sapphire feels compelled to check out a lead—two women with similar descriptions have vanished from the same location. After breaking her promise, the daring crime fighter gets abducted by the very killer she was hunting.
While a distraught Aston scrambles to find his missing wife, Sapphire wakes up in a bizarre reality where she is now the victim, forced to play a part in her abductor’s sick ritualistic game. Soon she realizes she’s not alone; a little girl is imprisoned with her, and Sapphire is her only chance of escape.
Sacrificing Sapphire combines rich L.A. sass and smarts with thrilling psychological suspense.










Mia Thompson is a Swedish-born author living in California with her husband, daughter, and dog, Oreo. She is known for her internationally bestselling series, featuring heiress and vigilante: Sapphire Dubois. Prior to her life as a novelist, Mia studied Filmmaking in Europe, and Screenwriting in Los Angeles.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sentencing Sapphire Book Club Begins on Wattpad

It's that time again!
With book four of the Sapphire Dubois Mystery Series, Sacrificing Sapphire's December 12th release being just around the corner, I'm starting the Sentencing Sapphire on Wattpad! Yay!




Both Book Clubs for Stalking Sapphire (book one) and Silencing Sapphire (book two) are still open on Wattpad, so if you haven't read them yet, now is a good time.

The Sentencing Sapphire Book Club will work a bit different than its predecessors. This time around, I have divided the full book into two sections. Part One will end with a few food-for-thought book club questions. After a short break, Part Two will be posted and followed by a special treat JUST for Wattpad readers! Stayed tuned for details.

So, without further ado, here it is...
The Sentencing Sapphire Book Club on Wattpad is officially open!




Mia Thompson is a Swedish-born author living in California with her husband, daughter, and dog, Oreo. She is known for her internationally bestselling series, featuring heiress and vigilante: Sapphire Dubois. Prior to her life as a novelist, Mia studied Filmmaking in Europe, and Screenwriting in Los Angeles.
authormiathompson.com



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Books That Captured The Imagination

In honor of National Book Month, I'd thought it would be fun to think back on the books that first sparked my imagination--the stories that pulled me in and remember the authors who bear some responsibility for my writing today. (God have mercy on their souls)

I've always been a reader. My taste and preferences may have shifted over the years, but I really can't recall a time when I wasn't reading something for pleasure. My college years were a low point because all the "boring required reading" took time away from "the good stuff." But, my first reading memories were back in junior high school, when I found science fiction.

Arthur C. Clarke, H.G Wells, Issac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury created entire worlds I could climb into, with fantastic creatures and futuristic machines that threatened to control all mankind. It was all pretty heady stuff for an adolescent geeky kid. War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Sands of Mars, I Robot, Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked this Way Comes, and The Illustrated Man were standouts from those days.

These futuristic stories came to me during the peak of the Gemini and Apollo space programs. (Ask your parents if this reference pre-dates you) Watching real-life manned space flights and witnessing man's first steps on the moon made the outer space stories feel less science fiction and more science fact. I was hooked.

Soon after, I included classic horror into my reading addiction. I can say it was an addiction, even in those early days, because I remember grabbing a book and getting lost in it during any free time I had. I knew I was helpless over my addiction when I was waiting for the bus after school. I was deep into Bram Stoker's Dracula and at some dramatic point in the book, the school bells sounded, and I jumped and slid off the wall I was sitting on. Stoker, Shelly, and Poe were a gateway drug to Jay Anson, Thomas Harris, Ann Rice, and Stephen King.

I still dive into horror and fantasy on occasion, but at some point, mainstream fiction became my primary reading preference. It started with Ian Flemming and the James Bond adventures. What kid doesn't imagine playing that role? Supplemented with Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle, Fredrick Forsyth's Day of the Jackal, my reading list was filled with fast-paced, high-stakes adventures in exotic locations.

I'm not sure when I turned to crime--I mean--turned to reading crime fiction. I remember reading Micky Spillane and Raymond Chandler when something resonated, deep in my brain. The free-wheeling private investigator, the guy who tracked down a Maltese Falcon, or got justice for the little guy, was a man you could count on to do the right thing, no matter the personal sacrifice. Elmore Leonard's dialogue blew me away,  Walter Mosley's gritty urban basement clubs and after hours dive bars explored post-war race relations as Easy Rawlins searched for a missing woman. Although, more recently, Danny Gardner's Negro and an Ofay blew the doors off urban-noir and took it to a higher level. Check that one out when you get a chance.

I worked in the California prison system for nearly three decades. The stories there propelled me into the true crime and procedural genre titles. In Cold Blood, The Black Dahlia, Helter Skelter, and the Onion Field gave a backstory to the day-to-day prison drama I saw. The Onion Field Killer and the Hillside Strangler were on my caseload for a time and these books provided a peek into another dimension of the convicts I saw on the prison yard. Additional clues into what made them "tick."

Procedurals with a tight edge remain my drug of choice. Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, couldn't write fast enough, so I decided to start writing my own. I attended a session at a Mystery Writers Conference and Michael Connelly's advice was simply, "Write the books you'd want to read." And three published books in, I'm having a blast. I haven't stopped reading, now that I'm writing. I'm probably reading even more than ever. There are more new faces; debut authors, incredibly brilliant women writers, and persons of color in the crime writing world, and it makes it a better, richer place. I love nothing more than picking up a new book and getting caught up in a fresh character and unique plot.  I'm enjoying the work of some really sharp, talented writers, and I'm glad to be a part of this community. And it's a great time to be a reader.

How about you? What books have been an influence on you?  Happy reading!

James L'Etoile has twenty-nine years of law enforcement experience in prisons and jails across the country. An experienced associate warden in a maximum security prison, chief of institution operations, hostage negotiator, and director of parole, James is the author of At What Cost, Bury the Past and Little River. You can find out more at jamesletoile.com






Monday, October 23, 2017

Lessons of Revenge Writing

Revenge writing, it's a thing.
Not quite as gross and well known as revenge porn, or going Carrie Underwood on someone's car, but I promise, it's a thing. Ask the Swift.

I revenge write from time to time. Hell, I've even revenge written for other people (see Sacrificing Sapphire, out on December 12.) As a writer I work things out consciously or subconsciously through my writing, and revenge writing, I suppose is a part of that. It's seems, to me at least, like a very healthy way of dealing with issues that would otherwise have remained unresolved. And, since it's just storytelling, revenge writing, isn't something that ever comes back to bite you in the ass. By all means, it's absolutely bulletproof.

Or so I thought...

The first time I found myself revenge plotting (I always revenge plot before I revenge write, otherwise it leads to too much revenge editing) I had been in a long-running argument with my husband about...actually, to properly tell this tale of love and hate--mostly hate--I have to take you back to its beginnings.

2006

I was studying Screenwriting in Los Angeles at the time, and was involuntarily crushing on a guy in my class. It was involuntary because the last thing I wanted at that time was to be distracted by anything unrelated to writing. Nonetheless, I was crushing hard. So hard that I was too mesmerized by his charming smile and bright blue eyes to notice what was on the black T-shirt he wore every once in a while.

2007

I was now married to my crush, and though I was still mesmerized by his charming smile and bright blue eyes, I'd become well aware of what that black T-shirt, with the bold white letters, stated:
I don't take shit. I don't give shit. I'm not in the shit business. 

Not that bad, right? The slogan moderately annoyed me, but it could've been worse; he could've owned one of those FBI - Female Body Inspector shirts.
But the more he wore this shirt, the more it annoyed me. He wore it like it was any other shirt--to the movies, the grocery store, and once to a fairly nice restaurant in Beverly Hills. I'm generally not one who cares that much about how one should look, act, and speak, but this shirt was starting to rub me the wrong way. Every time he put it on I started feeling as if the shirt, along with its now majorly annoying slogan, initiated a Eastwood-like stare down, while singing I'm ba-aaack.
Over the coming years, my relationship with the T-shirt went from dislike, to detest, to hate. And my husband really couldn't see what my problem was.

2009 (maybe..?)

I was in the middle of my initial bout with writing my first novel, Stalking Sapphire, in which the male MC, Aston, starts out in the series as an assh**e. As I sat there typing away, the thought struck me and my fingers froze momentarily over the keyboard. What would an asshole wear, if not THE T-shirt hanging in the closet at that very moment, silently mocking me.
I saw it all play out in my mind's eye. It was top-shelf vengeance. I would write the novel, and one day so many people would read it that when my husband and I walked down the street, readers would stop me and say: "Gosh, that really was one terrible T-shirt in chapter 6."
After which my husband, who may be the most stubborn person on earth, would look at me and say, "Yes. I can see now. It is the second worst T-shirt (the first being the FBI one) since the history of T-shirts. Let's BURN it." 

Yes! I thought and smiled, that was exactly how it would happen. And then I typed.

2012

The T-shirt in question mysteriously (eh...) vanished while I was doing laundry.

2013

Stalking Sapphire got published earlier that year, and had just been put up on Wattpad because its sequel was coming out. For those who don't know, Wattpad=online Mecca for readers and writers. After a few months on there, and right around the time Stalking Sapphire reached a million reads, I decided to shut off my comment notifications to save my email inbox from filling up.

Present Day (-ish.)

A couple weeks ago, I went into Wattpad to check on something and ended up at the beginning of chapter 6 of Stalking Sapphire. That's when I saw them, the amount of comments that had been filling up over the past four years, all centered around this dialogue cluster.


My fantasy had (kind of) come true. I was Thrilled! Ecstatic!  People hated the shirt just as much as I did. Practically radiating with gloat, I clicked on the comment bubble and waited as the page loaded, the way Ralphie waited for the secret code to be revealed in A Christmas Story. The moment the comments appeared I would run up to my husband while pointing and yelling: "See! Seeeeeeee!"
After which he would immediately admit that yes, it was a terrible shirt, and it was a good thing it mysteriously (eh...) vanished in the laundry.
As the comments appeared on my screen, my victorious grin tapered off. The longer I scrolled, the further the corners of my mouth dropped, until finally, I looked like the saddest of all emojjis.
Here are just a few of the comments I saw:



They all loved it. My husband's shirt had not gotten a single negative comment. What else was I wrong about, I wondered. Did red and pink not really clash? Was the ending of Dexter not actually terrible? My way of viewing the world could be completely upside down.

"Oh my God," I said, baffled.

"What?" my husband asked.

"You win..." I said, in shock. "They love your T-shirt. I don't know why, but they love it."

He squinted. "What T-shirt?"

"Come on, the T-shirt. The one that mysteriously (eh...) vanished  in the laundry a few years ago."

No response.

"The one that I hated so much that I wrote about it in my book..."

Still nothing.

"The one that said 'I don't take shit, I don't give shit, I'm not in the shit business!'"

"Haha! Right...hilarious," he laughed, then his eyes grew wide with excitement, and he reached for his phone. "I wonder if I can find it again!"

F*******ck!

So...lesson learned. Will now proceed with revenge writing more cautiously as it appears not all of it is as bulletproof as I once thought. It seems it may actually come back to bite you in the ass after all...even if it's a decade later.


Mia Thompson is a Swedish-born author living in California with her husband, daughter, and dog, Oreo. She is known for her internationally bestselling series, featuring heiress and vigilante: Sapphire Dubois. Prior to her life as a novelist, Mia studied Filmmaking in Europe, and Screenwriting in Los Angeles.
authormiathompson.com



Sunday, October 1, 2017

The First Book I Ever Loved


I still have it, a tattered paperback copy of the first book I really loved, Alistair MacLean's Fear is the Key. I was ten or eleven at the time, traveling with my parents, bored out of my mind, looking for something to eat. It was in my mother's handbag; I grabbed it along with an apple, and leaned back against the headboard of the bed in the economy hotel we were staying in. 

Next thing you know it's early the next morning, and I haven't moved. I remember my mom getting up to use the bathroom and yelling at me to go to bed. I ignored her.  It wasn't really a conscious decision, I was just absorbed in that book. Really absorbed: by MacLean's stylistic writing, by the smart dialogue which still sticks in my head forty years later, and by the twisting story which unfolded one little piece at a time, just enough to make you even more curious about what was happening and why. When I went to sleep a few hours later, I had received my first lesson in how a good book can transform your life. It's a lesson that's stayed with me, and one that I have re-learned time and time again.

A good book can be transformative; it can change the way you look at the world, inspire you to do new and better things, bring you to a new place, make you forget. In this case, Fear is the Key did all of those things. It made me forget about where I was (Motel 6 somewhere on the Mass Pike), and brought me to the sweltering environs of the Florida Gulf Coast. More than that, it inspired me to read prodigiously and dream about writing my own books. 



October is National Book Month, and rather than just hope some ten or eleven year-old kid somewhere is going to put down a video game and pick up a book, I thought I would share my experience. Who knows where I would be without Fear is the Key on a drizzly spring night in Palmer, Massachusetts. Reading did so much for me: opened new worlds, entertained me, educated me, and built my imagination. 

There are so many good books out there; they just need to be opened. I truly believe that the answer to so many of the problems facing our society today could be eliminated or mitigated to a significant extent by a return to books. If people flocked to libraries and book stores as often as stadiums and ball fields, think about the effect on every facet of our lives.

I wish I had some great idea to bring this about. I don't; in lieu of that, here are a couple of links to articles that do: 7 Ways to Encourage Young People to Read More and 10 Reasons Non-readers Don't Read--And How to Change their Minds.

Cheers, peter


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include THE INTERN, a novel based loosely on Peter's medical internship, excerpts of which can be seen on Wattpad; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Every Dreamrush of Story Ideas Needs Limits

To celebrate the weeklong Amazon Kindle giveaway of his short story collection, Dreamrush, fantasy author Garrett Calcaterra discusses how limitations, as much as inspiration, help shape a story.


When people find out I’m an author, they always want to tell me about a brilliant story idea they have that I should write. I’m polite, of course, but after thanking them, I let them in on a little secret among authors: ideas aren’t the hard part when it comes to writing stories. In fact, most authors probably have more ideas than they know what to do with, and there’s a crucial step needed before an idea becomes an actual story.

No, I’m not talking about the craft of prose writing (although that is a big component of the hard-part when it comes to writing). Rather, I’m talking about imposing limitations on big ideas so that they can take shape. Let me illustrate what I mean by limitations with some examples from my collection of genre fiction, Dreamrush.

Back in 2011, I came across a call for short story submissions for a steampunk anthology. I was already a fan of the genre, but the editors had a caveat for the stories they wanted. They wanted something different than the typical Victorian England settings found in most steampunk stories. That limitation was what spurred me to write the stories “Deus ex Aurum” and “Gold Comes Out,” a pair of stories that mash up steampunk, fantasy, and alt-history during the backdrop of the California gold rush. I’d actually been wanting to write a story set during the goldrush for a while, seeing as how I grew up just a mile from where John Sutter discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, but I’d had that “big idea” for a while, and it had amounted to nothing. It was that call for submissions that imposed limitations on the idea: not only was my story set during the goldrush, it was a steampunk world with John Sutter at the heart of the conflict.

With my novelette “Page Fault,” the set of limitations were quite different. The story was intended to be an introductory tale for a shared-world project in a creative writing class I was teaching. As a shared world project, the class and I devised an entire codex for our fictional world, which created a framework for students to write in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. As such, I had to work within both those limitations, and the limitation that my story needed to set the stage for the students to go on and write their own stories. The end result was a story that not only stood on its own, but stands to this day as one of my favorite stories, incorporating elements of fantasy, noir, cyberpunk, and post-apocalyptic fiction.

The last story in my collection Dreamrush is “Wulfram,” a tie-in prequel to my fantasy series, The Dreamwielder Chronicles. In that instance, I had pages and pages of backstory and history for both the fictional world and the character Wulfram: an evil, shape-changing sorcerer who hunts my protagonist in the first book of the series. I easily could have written an entire novel chronicling Wulfram’s life, but that didn’t really fit into the production schedule nor the story arc of the series, which was meant to be a trilogy starring the dreamwielder Makarria. What made more sense was to write a tie-in short story that showed the hidden side if Wulfram, and also served double duty as a promotional story, one readers could try out without too much investment, and then if they liked it, try out Dreamwielder. With that limitation—literally a limitation to keep the story under 20 pages long—I was able to distill Wulfram’s entire life-story into a single, tragic tale that embodied who he was.

I could go on, as I’m sure any author could, but just like a big story idea, a blog post should have limits…

Get the Kindle edition of Garrett Calcaterra’s book Dreamrush for free for a limited time (August 8 – August 12, 2017) by clicking here. To learn more about the author and his series The Dreamwielder Chronicles, visit www.garrettcalcaterra.com

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Power of Blogging




There are so many reasons not to write that blog post you've been meaning to... work, family, the occasional good night's sleep. But there are many reasons you should be writing that blog post; I'd like to give you another.

A few years ago I wrote a blog about Bob Rohner MD, who taught human Pathology at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. 
(4 Lessons from a Great Teacher.) 

Dr. Rohner was the best natural teacher I have ever had. I decided to write the post because Dr. Rohner had been a huge influence on my life, and I had never had the chance to express that to him or thank him in any way. 

I wasn't even sure he was still alive, to be honest, but that didn't make any difference to me; I wrote the post and hit Publish, feeling better about the whole thing, as if writing about him constituted some kind of partial payment to the debt I owed him. And that was that, or so I thought.

This is where the power of blogging comes in. Somehow, I have no idea how, the post got read by some person who referred it to another who referred it to another, and the next thing you know I am getting a string of e-mails from a bunch of other people, all previous students of Dr. Rohner, on whom he had had a similar influence. It was so gratifying to know that many others felt the same way, that I decided to forward the post to Dr. Bob. (And why not send the post directly to the man I wanted to thank?)

I sent the post. A few weeks later, the following e-mail showed up in my inbox:


Peter,my brother in the profession,
Thank you so much for you message, and forwarded blogs...
There are reassurances in what you wrote. ....First I can reassure you that you indeed have a talent for writing.(" Blessed is he who has an alternative profession"....old saying). Now if the federal government  fouls up the health care system of the country you can sit down and write best sellers.
Reassurance? Aye,Peter, when my Bertie (my wife of some 53 years ) died some years ago, I withdrew into the back of my cave in the Tully hills as a reclusive grumpy old man  who emerges only twice a day, mornings and afternoons, to throw rocks at the passing school buses.
I am soon to enter into my four score and seventh year with only vague memories of my days at the medical school. In fact, those days to me now are like a fleeting memory of a dream when one awakens . I need affirmation that they ever occurred. Your message  was such a affirmation and  reassurance.
Saint Paul in one of his letters mentions that no one man can be complete, but each of us has been given an individual talent. He writes of the gifts of prophesy ,healing, preaching, teaching, speaking in tongues,  and a couple  of others that I have forgotten. I found( to my surprise) that my teaching efforts were much more appreciated than I ever thought they deserved. Hell ,Pete, I thought I was just doing what I was assigned to do and it was nothing special. Like your writing....it just flowed out effortlessly one it got started.  Well, actually there was a lot of work put into the preparation of the teaching sessions  mainly because I wasn't all that damned sure of myself and so it will be with your writing.....lots of preparatory work will make the writing ,good to start with ,much better.
I keep remembering Housman's poem to a dead athlete.. especially the stanza  that goes....
"Now you will not swell the rout
of lads who lived their honors out;
runners whom Renoun outran
and the name died before the man."
Well, your message reassured me that there is a chance that my name may even yet out live me.......
NU....Peter....cherish your wife dearly, your time together is short....and thanks again for your cyber remembrance....
Love in God's name,    Bob Rohner

Dr. Rohner died last month, in his 92nd year. When I read the obituary in the Upstate Alumni Journal, I was so thankful I had taken the time to affirm and reassure a man that his life's labor had been appreciated so very much. I encourage you to do the same. I suspect there is someone in your life who 1) helped you in a tight spot, 2) gave you advice or guidance that moved your life in a better direction 3) went out of his or her way to improve your life in some way.

Take the time to acknowledge them; write a blog about the effect he or she has had on your life. I have written four such blogs, and I can assure you that each one was well worth the time I invested writing it. 

A blog I wrote about my pre-medical adviser--who had to give me some very tough advise--was especially gratifying for both of us, and many others as well. 
Look for the Silver Lining

The post I wrote about my father, the number one person in my life, both during his life and still after his death, brought him back to life for the several hours I wrote it, and every time I re-read it. Keep that in mind when you wonder why you are writing a post (or anything, that matter) it only needs to mean something to you, the rest is all a bonus.
A Father's Day Tribute to my Dad

There was also a post I wrote about my favorite professor from college, a man with whom I became good friends after I graduated.(And with whom I remain good friends, even after I wrote the post.)
A Tribute To Edward F Callahan, phD



Cheers, peter



Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include THE INTERN, a novel based loosely on Peter's medical internship, excerpts of which can be seen on Wattpad; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.


:)