Friday, September 30, 2011

The Wannabe's Journal for September

Looking at the picture of Monet's Garden in Giverny, France brings back many memories. The sheer beauty and poetry of the flowers and landscape tells me that he could have been a famous writer as well as a painter and artist. The scenes speak volumes.

Our last meeting was held on September 16th. We were able to greet a new member and hear some wonderful new stories and share idea's that will help us all create new masterpieces in the future.

Member Updates:

Don H. Still seeking input for the Christmas Anthology that our group is putting together with the hopes of publishing a book of short stories and poems for the upcoming holiday. We would like to have more stories/poems for the project. Please send your story or poem to following email address:
Don P. Announced some exciting news to the group. His self published memoir: The History of Dr. Charles Leroy Peacock and Florence Irene (Bowman) Peacock
as drawn from his papers and the memory of his third son, Donald Jerry Peacock, June, 2011. His book has been accepted into the permanent collection of historical books at Indiana University. He is still awaiting a response from another university that his father attended

My father worked on a Top Secret Project (now declassified) during WW II. The proximity fuse was one of three things that helped win WW II. The others were the Atomic Bomb and Radar. I put the document (250 pages) together from his papers and submitted it to Indiana University where he got all three of his degrees. They put it into their permanent collection at the library and sent me a letter acknowledging this.
Congratulations to Don and his family for this significant tribute.
Martha; has contributed to this months stories with the submission to the Journal her one page essay entitled: "My Life on One Page"
Tom D. A new member this month. He is retired and interested in using his lifelong experiences in teaching to begin a new career that will take advantage of his brain's right side. He loves to read and is currently reading a book by David Brooks entitled : The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love…
Don Q. After arriving late he had to leave early...right in the middle of Don H's reading of his new short story. He was at the meeting long enough to announce that he was still working on getting his Santa's Magic book published this year. He recommended that everyone who owns a Kindle check out the daily specials for e books on the Amazon site. The site offers a new book each day for a reduced price. Prices range from .99 cents to 2.99 for an ebook version of a novel from different genre's.
He also recommended a blog story about self publishing that provides the fundamental involved; Another great blog post that I read recently that made me chuckle is: the article is by Jenny Shank who has published the novel "The Ringer". This particular article will bring a smile to your face as your are faced with the prospect of editing and marketing your new novel.
Our Stories this month:

Here is Don's funny story which was inspired by my encounter last March with the famous hacker who held me hostage in Spain for $ 2500. Sorry to report but no one paid the money so I guess I am still there in spirit.

Where Was I?

“I went to Brazil the other day. At least most of my e-mail buddies said I did. I don't remember it at all. I guess the wine was more than I could handle, because they all told me I had sent them the following email:

Hope you get this on time. Sorry I didn't inform you about my trip to Brazil for a meeting. I am presently in Rio de Janeiro and am having some unforeseen difficulties here. It's so hard for me to believe this happened to me. I was robbed on my way to the hotel. All my cash, credit cards, as well as my cell-phone were stolen from me.

I need you to help me with a loan of $3,250 dollars to pay my hotel and meal bills as well as to get myself back home. I've been to the embassy and the police but they are not responding to the matter effectively. I will appreciate however much you can afford to send me. I will return the money to you as soon as I return. Let me know if you can be of any help. I don't have a phone where I can be reached right now so just reply to this email. Please let me know immediately.


The oddest part is that I don't even remember flying down there. I must have really had something strong to drink or else I am starting to really show signs of old age. I don't even remember where I stayed or who I saw, so I can't verify that I was there, or what I did, or why I even went there.

I asked my wife about it but she said she hadn't missed me over the weekend. Of course she was tied up with getting ready for her book club meeting on Monday, her church ladies luncheon on Tuesday, and her church board meeting on Wednesday.

I know she carries quite a load with all that she is involved in, but you would think she would notice me sometime over the whole weekend. I will have to quiz her some more on this while I try to figure out what happened. Maybe when I talk to her I will ask if it is a common thing that she pays no attention to me.

It couldn't be that I don't pay any attention to her. I complement her on her hair all the time. I think. I'm sure I do. Almost certainly. I'll have to ask her when she gets home from where ever she is. Whatever time she gets home.

Now what was I going to check on? Oh yes, I remember. The trip to Brazil. I remember going to Germany last year, and to New Orleans four months ago. But Brazil? Good gosh, maybe I ought to see a doctor. What do they call the ones that check your brain. It will come to me later. I hope. Well, I can always Google it. Well, I have some work to do on the computer as well as some emails to send out. I had better get them done.”

He headed to the computer room, got comfortable, and turned it on, prepared to get busy for the morning. After staring at the blue screen for three minutes and wondering why it was taking so long to boot up he tried shutting it down to try to boot up again. The shut down procedure apparently was also not working along with the boot up.

"What am I doing wrong on this. This thing has always worked in the past with no difficulty at all. Maybe if I just unplug it and let it rest for a couple of hours. Then it will do a self search to try to determine what is wrong. Maybe that will solve the problem."

With that he unplugged the computer and went out to the garage to try to finish some projects that he was trying to get done for birthday presents for his three kids. In the garage he quickly busied himself with the projects and forgot for a couple of hours about the computer problem. Finally he remembered to get back on the computer problem thinking to himself that it should be an easy one to solve.

He plugged in the computer again and pressed the “on” button. The blue screen came up again but it didn't progress past that. No desktop, no folders, nothing. Over the next five minutes his playing with the keys produced absolutely nothing. As he got madder and madder he realized that the computer was totally dead and unresponsive.

"What the Devil is going on here. I have never had this happen before. I'm not sure what to do now."

He got out the phone book and started searching under the heading of "Computer Repair". Then he spotted the listing for "Computer Nerds". Their listing said "All computer problems solved, viruses removed, upgrades performed, results guaranteed".

He immediately dialed them and, after a short discussion of his problem, made an appointment for them to come to his home the next day and see what was going on with the computer.

At 9:30 am sharp the next day a very nerd-ish looking young man showed up and knocked loudly on the front door. He introduced himself as John from "Computer Nerds".

Phillip introduced himself and asked him why he hadn't just rang the doorbell. The response he got was, "I didn't see it." Phillip's first thought was, "It was right there beside the door and it's lighted.", but he didn't say anything more, he just invited John to come in and then led him back to the computer room.

John quickly demonstrated his ability by plugging a portable pocket unit into the UBS connection on the computer and using it to start up the computer. At the opening screen Phillip jumped up and yelled, "It lives."

At that John thought to himself, "And he considers me to be a nerd." With the opening screen of the boot up John started some initial checks on the machine, exploring what was available. It quickly became obvious that there was nothing available. It was totally cleaned out. No files of any kind, no folders, nothing.

John turned to Phillip and said, "Everything that was on this computer has been deleted. It is totally empty."

Phillip sat down and put his head in his hands and moaned, "All that work gone. I didn't have the last six months of work backed up. It's unrecoverable."

John proceeded to completely check the computer over, looking for any viruses or worms. Finding none he asked for the backup unit and after installing Firefox as the operating system he copied everything from the backup unit to the computer. He then did a complete new check for viruses and worms. At that point he told Phillip he, at least now, had an operating computer and that that was all he could do. He accepted his check for $100, packed up his stuff and headed out the door. As he exited he reached over and rang the doorbell twice.

Phillip sat down at the computer and searched for his backup list of contacts in the desk drawer. He found that there were only two hundred listed on it and he knew he had had over three hundred before all this started. The next thing he did was to send out the following email to what contacts he did have:

"The last two days have been pure Hell. Yesterday I received more than 50 phone calls and no emails. A hacker had broken into my email account and erased everything. They deleted all 300 plus of my contacts. They also erased all of my folders so I couldn't let everybody know that my system was compromised. They got past my security settings and had all of my stored emails forwarded to another address. The Computer Nerds have fixed my security issues and I have managed to restore a lot of my contact list. Do not send me any money as the previous email requested, unless of course you want to give me a gift for my birthday next month."

With that out of the way Phillip tried to decide what to do next. Finally he decided that now he had better go check on that trip to Australia that he thought he took three weeks ago.

Then there was the excellent one page essay that everyone complimented about at our last meeting in late August. Enclosed is Martha's essay entitled "My Life on One Page". Enjoy

The Surprises Keep Coming

As an innocent nineteen year old of the 1950’s, marriage expectations included a loving husband, a few children, a nice home , picnics, vacations and old age together. What a dry, uninteresting view of the future life.

So what did I get?

1. A Fabulous husband

2. Life in seven states

3. Twenty eight moves

4. Two dear and faithful children

5. Six outstanding grandsons

6. One great grandson (at four months “A wild and crazy guy”)

7. A nursing degree

8. A wonderful satisfying job as a hospital nurse for 18 years

9. An interesting an loving extended family that still gathers

10. Trips to all 50 states and 23 countries

11. Thirteen cruises

12. Thirty six Elder hostel’s visits

13. Nineteen terrific retirement years

14. An enriching and enlighten church life

15. Friends and activities that feed my soul

And what about surprises? I present just a few:

1. Moving all over the United States-Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Kentucky, and Arizona

2. Gaining sixty pounds of weight through the years

3. No granddaughters

4. A great grandson who father is our youngest grandson , age fourteen

5. Two children with divorces

6. Double knee replacements

7. Being quite healthy at age 75

8. My husband running six marathons and still doing half marathons at age 70.

9. Being married 56 years to my best friend and still “crazy in love”

Martha Willis 7-20-2011

"My Life on One Page"


Friday, September 2, 2011

A Summer Rose Speaks Volumnes

The Wannabe Journal
August 26, 2011

We continue to attract larger audiences since we have moved to the River Campus location.
Attendee's: Linda F. Martha W. Bob MacK, Don Q, Don P, Trish C, Rosie H, Annette J, Don H, Judy W, Bob O'C(Hutch) and our special guest from the Tipp City Writers Club Caroline Rector.

What everyone is doing to stimulate the right side of the brain(not only their own but others as well)
Our Meeting Guest: Caroline R.

works at the Tipp City Library as the Adult Librarian. She had heard of our group and came to visit to see if there were activities and styles that she could use in a local Tipp City Writers group that she participates in. One of the more interesting discussion with her involved whether self published books could be housed at the library. The most important element was whether the book has a ISBN code or not. So Self Publisher's keep that in mind when you send a copy of your self publish book to the Adult Librarian in Dayton or a town near you.

Don H

is still working on composing his novel entitled the Senior Fix. He also found a new Web site to devote his mental curiosity towards. It is called It is difficult to pick which one might be his. If you come up with a suggestion please email me. Don is also sponsoring a collective work by our group on Christmas. Since a number of us have written either poems or short stories which could be used for this Anthology please send your entry to Don Hart. His email address is
Here is his newest poem:


by Don Hart

Lanky Franky lost his hanky

'Nit made him cranky

He told his friend

whose name was Spanky,

"I sure feel cranky

Since losin' that hanky."

Spanky was playing

In his basement danky

With something clanky

When Franky thought he saw

His "lost" blue hanky

Wrapped in Spanky's blankey!

That's when Franky

Suspected Spanky of Hanky Panky.

"Oh, that hanky, "said Spanky.

"You can have it. It ain't too swanky."

"Listen Yankee," said Franky

To his friend Spanky

I wanna 'thank ye.'

We're no longer friends."

Franky took back his hanky

Said 'good bye' to Spanky

Not feelin' bad

About bein' so lanky,

Now understandin' the 'panky' part

Of "hanky panky."

and his favorite limerick, about relativity (I wish I'd written it!)


There was a young lady named Bright

Whose speed was faster than light.

She set out one day

In a relative way

And returned the previous night.

Don P.

is always busy writing and now he has joined a new writers group at Books and Co at the Green's. There are 12 members and they read about 30 short stories and review them when they get together monthly. Don also is investigating a self publishing web site called BookStand Pub, formerly called e-Bookstand Publishing. Don will tells us what he has learned about them in terms of how much they cost and benefits when compared to other alternatives at our next meeting.


Town and Country is sponsoring another Poetry session on September 21st. They are very interesting and fun to attend. The Art Gallery is also encouraging you to participate in their Living Journal by stopping by and making an entry in a journal that adds to the existing story that has already been entered by the previous participant. I believe the Journal is focused on the power of words.

Trish C.

Her art exhibit on the Women of India is still available for viewing at the Centerville Art gallary(near the main firehouse). She read one of her short poems to the group. She also recommends a memoir by the actress Ashley Judd, "All that is Bitter and Sweet." The reviews on Amazon look


(known to us all as Bob O'C). His writing skills are directed towards letter to the editor. He has written letters in response or reaction hundreds of times. Some one needs to look at putting those together in a book.

Annette J.:

Wants to write a memoir about her life. She is planning on moving to Pittsburg.

Judy W. She has regimented her days so that she can focus on writing her memoir. After taking her class in Paris this summer has has breath new life into her work. She also provide some insight into the self publishing movement which is going on in the publishing world at the moment. She said that is should be called Indie publishing, which I believe stands for Independent publishing. She also recommend a Blog site for writers called: Blook Red Pencil: This a very good web site for writers.

Linda F:

has been very busy with her responsibilities on the board for the LLI since she was elected last year. She is working on the curriculum for the Winter term. She is looking for suggestions for a Writers class for the Winter term. As if she didn't have enough to keep her busy she is still doing investigative work on a memoir on life in Western Pa in the coal mining towns.


She was asked to bring back her short story which was entitled "My Life on One Page". She read the story to the group at the last meeting and we all thought it was terrific. Hopefully she will read the story again at next months meeting . For those of us who know and love her writing style we were entertained when she educated our audience on the lyerics of "The Hearst Song" and its inpact on her husband.

Robert MacK.:

Welcome back. He has been busy for the last few months preparing to celebrate his 50th Wedding Anniversary. For the event he composed a poem which is included below. Bob has self published a number of books of poems and photographs(birds, bugs, butterfly's and flowers). Bob also recommended a Web site where you can get free e-Books.

Here is Bob's Poem entitled: "You":


By Bob MacKenzie

You were there

In the beginning,

A hidden notion

In my psyche.

You were there

When Mother died,

You were there

As F a ther a b a ndoned.

You were there

‘Mongst foster p a rents,

You were there

In youthful a ngst.

You were there

In g a ngling ye a rs,

You were there

In joy a nd p a in.

You were there

Though I didn’t know you,

A dre a m within me

Th a t touched my he a rt.

Time went on

You were hidden,

As I pressed to find

My a nim a .

Then, th a t d a y when

I first s a w you,

I inst a ntly knew

You were the one.

My he a rt went out,

My mind went cr a zy.

This is she,

I’ll m a rry her.

And, so it w a s,

We st a rted d a ting.

Six months l a ter,

Forever friends.

Joined in m a rri a ge

We grew together,

Joys a nd tri a ls

Along the w a y.

Now fifty ye a rs

We’ve loved e a ch other:

For good friends,

Love never ends.

Nice work wonder you are still in love with your bride...Congrats.

Don Q.

Ok where do I start. As you all know by now I am the retired geek who thinks he knows a thing or two about the writing world. I have actually been more humbled in the last two years than in my entire 36 years of IT selling and consulting. Writing and publishing a book today is hard work and something that will certainly streach your boundries as a person both intellectually and spiritually. Here are some of the blogs, websites and articles on Zite that I have been reading lately:

1. Monthly e-Book Cover Design Awards by Joel Friedlander on

2. A guide to Publishing an Ebook on Kindle, B/N and Smashwords.,-Barnes-and-Noble-and-Smashwords&id=6091107 Good article

3. If you want to find a Blog/Web site that caters to those writers who want someone to rate their work then this article is for you. There are Web sites which are sponsored by Publishers that provide a platform for writers to have their works evaluated and in some cares published by companies like Harpers Collins and Penquin. "Publishers Playing the Social Media Game' by R.C. Lewis appears a couple of weeks ago.

4. Book Signings and Tours have become virtual. I guess it is something akin to the "Cloud" for authors. For those authors who are already published and looking to promote their book through guest appearances on Blogs you can now use a company like TLC Book Tours to arrange a 10 Blog tour of your latest creation or one which is already in print. For those of us who are self published and providing our own publicity and marketing there is a servicer which is provide through Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

5. Latest Kindle news from Amazon:

a. You can now download your manuscripts to your Kindle and depending on the model/version listen to them through the audio feature or read them like you would a best seller. The best part is that it is free. I requires some file transfer skills but siimple once you have done it once or twice.

b. Kindle daily deals on e-books. Kindle has now begun to offer e-books at reduced prices. Here is where you can find them each day. Sign on to Amazon and go to the: once there click on the Kindle Daily Deal(listed under Browse). A new book will be featured each day.

6. "12 Tasks Every Author Should Tackle Before Publishing a Book".

7. " 5 Things Beginners Need to Know About E-Book Publishing" on Jane Friedman's Blog

8. Kindle Publishing has mow published some guidelines and provided a format to follow in publishing a e-Book using InDesign. For those who want to create a good novel with professional covers and includes photo's and graphics this article is a must.

9. Resources: Editing...I have the name of a person who has recently retired as a language arts teacher and looking for some freelance work as an editor. If you are writing the next best seller or a personal memoir and need some editoral work done on your manuscript then Joe is available at reasonable rates.

I also have the name of an lady who has started her own business as an audio transcriber. She can be used to create articles, journals, books and notes of any variety. She has over three years worth of experience and for those who want to skip the data entry of your manuscripts into files her services would be beneficial. Please send me an eamil and I will send you their contact info.

10. Education:

Want to spend a week in the mountains of North Carolina? Here is your chance. Sournds inviting.

Doe Branch Ink

"Fresh from a week at the Doe Branch writing retreat, I have new energy and greater confidence about my writing."

Doe Branch Ink is a writers' retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina 30 miles north of Asheville. Four week-long workshops, each with an inspiring writers-in-residence, start October 9th.

or do you prefer a one day event closer to home:

Western Reserve Writers Conference, Saturday, September 24, 2011
Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio holds a conference for writers twice each year.

The event features topics in fiction, nonfiction, the business of writing, workshops, editing consults and a Q & A panel.

For details visit: or

Our next meeting will be September 16th at UD's River Campus. Remember to send Don Hart your Christmas story for our book that we will be putting together. I know some of you have stories that you have read at our meeting at Mary Lou's these past few years.

Have a great week. Keep writng someone is watching....waiting....listening....

Sorry if there are any mistakes in this journal. Seems like Yahoo is having a problem with the format this morning.