Red over Red

Red over Red

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back in the Element

For about four years now I have owned a lovely sailing vessel, a 26' Pierson Ariel, and for those same four years, every Spring, I have decided I did not have enough a) time or b) money to put it in the water. This Spring I decided that I still did not have enough time or money to put it in the water, but my kids were getting older, I was (apparently) not getting younger and the boat had to go in. My wife Lisa has been very into the idea as well (we met on a ship, after all, and boats were the first thing we had in common). So S/V Paraclete, along with myself, my wife and our kids are finally getting back to where we belong.

Paraclete getting ready to head to sea

Underway in the golden hour, the captain stands in the companionway

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Power of the Press

An amusing side benefit of the New York Times mention of my book Reign of Iron - I got to see the sales ranking on shoot up as people who read the article bought the book. Not to say it became a best seller, and with Amazon you have no way of knowing how many books are actually sold (I'm guessing maybe a dozen), but it was clear from the rankings that the article inspired people to buy the book.

And that's why book review editors are flooded with every new title to come out.

I heard a great quote on The Writer's Almanac this morning, by the writer Andre Dubus II:

"[T]he writer who endures and keeps working will finally know that writing the book was something hard and glorious, for at the desk a writer must try to be free of prejudice, meanness of spirit, pettiness, and hatred; strive to be a better human being than the writer normally is, and to do this through concentration on a single word, and then another, and another. This is splendid work, as worthy and demanding as any, and the will and resilience to do it are good for the writer's soul. If the work is not published, or is published for little money and less public attention, it remains a spiritual, mental, and physical achievement; and if, in public, it is the widow's mite, it is also, like the widow, more blessed."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making the New York Times for Real!

I'm happy to announce that I finally earned a mention in the New York Times that goes beyond a blurry photo from thirty-seven years ago. I was reading this article about the preservation work being done on the turret of the U.S.S. Monitor and thinking that the history part of the article sure seemed to track my book Reign of Iron pretty close. Sure enough, on the second page they cite the book and, of course, name the author.

Okay, now I can die happy.

But not immediately.

Luckily for all interested, Reign of Iron is still in print.