Monday, July 8, 2013

Time & Space, Not enough for me!

It has been a long, long time since I last wrote something in my blog. Many factors contributed to this lack of communication. Force of Fate - Letters to Oma was released in EBook format on Amazon. Additional work continued on the book to have it released in Paperback format. I was introduced to the Google+ Hangout concept. Not being known for ever turning down a challenge, I created my own Hangout show: SlushHeap  . I invited my ghostwriter Darcie Duranceau to join me and present a show dedicated to new, would be authors. I envisioned this show to eliminate the hassle I faced  trying to publish my own book without any prior knowledge of the industry.
We created a 'Brand'. A commodity that perhaps some day will be recognized for what it is designed for. We designed a logo that is unique in its concept but still represented the ideas and purposes of the show. Our slogan is simple and to the point: "Come to us at SlushHeap and stay out of the slushpile".
 Our members on the Cast & Crew has grown and I hope will continue to do so as we create a better show each week. Darcie and I are the co-hosts who introduce and interview our guests with the kind of questions that our audience can take away and use in their endeavor of creating their master piece.
Matt Frost is our technical guru, our IT man, so to speak. He makes sure before that show that all visual and audio devices used by us and our guests are functioning properly. And of course he keeps us on track by constantly checking our time consumed and remaining. Since Week 1 we also have added two "Friends of the Show" to our cast. Jim Ault, a software expert, has been a tremendous asset to us in pointing us in the directions that will result in a larger audience by being exposed to the important social media outlets. Although Jim is not an author he has been very helpful when we are understaffed by stepping in and asking the right questions. Our latest addition is John Rakestraw. John is not new to social media. He has hosted a number of shows including his 'Live Events!' show, a Radio-Talk-Show and of course his greatest achievement, John along with his wife Toni,  operate Rakestraw Book Design. John is my "Cosmos Brother" One night during our show, John made the statement that he is not an author, he is a 'Teller of Stories'. This has been my line as long as I can remember my short life on this planet. Bonding with someone just because of a mere few words was awesome.
But our show is not based on men and women who create the show, but rather on great men and women who have done what most humans are incapable of. Taking the words and putting them on paper to serve as inspiration. entertainment, healing, laughter and uplifting to the masses. I admit that the first week was the hardest. At best we were rookies in a Beta Format on the internet. We delayed our opening show week after week and practiced more and more each day. I'm not sure who finally pulled the emergency brake on our run-a -way train but it came to a stop and we were forced to stop pretending and get a show on the air.
Our first live show, our first attempt at live dialog in front of an audience that could not be seen by us. Perhaps we had thousands watch us, perhaps only one - or none. So many concerns that nerves were on edge. We scrambled all week to get a guest that would fit our subject matter. Being green and a rookie I was no help. We finally landed a guest and Tuesday, 7PM rolled around. Karen Moulder was our perfect first guest. We were stepping into a part of the new internet that contained some great names and she did the same in her quest for employment. She became the first female firefighter in Texas. We knew right away why she was successful. She was gutsy, afraid of nothing, not embarrassed very easily and stood up to anyone in her way. My inauguration into the world of talk-shows was a enlightening experience.
As each week came and went we added more and more names to our wall of fame. There were those who were authors such as Kathryn Chastain Treat, a first time author, who has not missed an episode and became our roll model of would-be-authors who would allow us to judge our success or failure of the material we presented.                                                                                                            
Week after week the show got more exiting. Our name was out there and more and more people accepted our invitation. We hosted the likes of: Mimi Luk, Win Charles, Alana Terry, Jim Niedermeier, Daniel Benz, Aaron Wood, JS Mathew, Raymond Benson, Katie Hayoz, Melissa Wyllie, Amy Netzger, Johannes Froebel-Parker,  Joey Pinkeye, Slash Coleman, Jason Matthews, Corel Basil, Marla Miller and Sonia Marsh. And the list is not done. This week we will host show #11 - Audio Books with guests Caley Rose and Dai Karnberg. From all indications this should be a very lively show. I hope all of you, my friends, will stop by and watch an episode and most of all give us feedback. Without communication we cannot bring the Right Stuff to you and improve our show.
I promise I will post more often. I have so much more to share with you, including the long awaited second chapter of my life and the fate awaiting me.
Hope you all had a great 4th of July. Stay healthy and safe.



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Change of Pace. Today I got some religion.

Today, I put on an old hat, which I retired some 10 years ago. I became a chef for a day again. The Lutheran Church in Rehoboth, Delaware, which my wife and I attend sponsored a seminar by Dr. Paul Maier. Since this was to be an all day seminar with four sessions, two coffee breaks and a lunch, I was asked to prepare the lunch for today. There were 125 people in attendance which is a small gathering in my book. I decided on a menu of my award winning Chicken Salad with Snow peas, Southern Style Tuna with Apples, Red Bliss Potato Salad, Caesar Salad, Fresh Fruit Salad and Assorted Cookies. On Thursday morning a few of the men and one lady came to give me a hand cutting some of the vegetables necessary to make all these salads. This morning, early I went to the church and assembled all the necessary dishes. While doing my chores I managed to listen to Dr. Maier over the intercom in the fellowship hall. I actually found it amazing and at the same time it brought back memories of my childhood. In order to explain my feelings I have to backtrack to the early days of my childhood.

As many of you know I was born at the end of the great war to end all wars. There were only two religions in Germany: Roman Catholic or Lutheran. Judaism was not a choice anyone spoke about for obvious reasons, although I did have two Jewish boys in my classes. During the time of my childhood, Germany did not have separation between state and church. America has enjoyed this freedom of religion since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I mention this because  after every war that we fought in modern times, for punishment we would lose one of our states; the Saar. To Germany, the Saar was important because a majority of coal used in Germany came from the Saar. France on the other wanted the Saar for the same reason. So each time a war ended and a treaty was signed the Saar was given to France. After World War II this was the same situation. After a few years the public began a campaign to return the Saar to the Germans. Only this time it fell on deaf ears. Germany, for the first time had a democratic government, elected by the people and a Catholic Chancellor was in power. Chancellor Adenauer was aware that to return the Saar to Germany was political suicide. 90% of the Saar's population was Lutheran and it would upset the powers to be.  In 1957 the Saar was finally returned to Germany by an overwhelming vote by the people of Germany. This in spite of Chancellor Adenauer’s refusal to ‘give his blessings’.

Why am going into all this history when I was talking about Dr. Maier’s seminar? Simply put, I grew up in a state of segregation and today for the first time I heard an American bring this to light. There are things to be said about whether segregation is good or bad. Although Dr. Maier did not get into this, I can say that, although I do not believe in segregation, it does have its points. Just before I immigrated to the US, things started to change in my country. New Christian denominations arrived in our land and attempted to convert us. This I objected to. When a church sends it members out as missionaries it is to find those who have never heard the word of God and convince them to take on a religion. But these churches came not to save us from paganism, they came to convert us to their way of thinking. I was born Lutheran and I will die Lutheran unless I find flaws in my religion and opt to change it. I know, the argument is: “How would you know what is the right religion for you if you have nothing to compare it to?” That is why God gave me a brain and allowed me to think.

Dr. Maier spoke at length about the churches of Europe from the time of the Holy Roman Empire to modern times. It was so refreshing to hear this, especially from an American. You see, being born in Germany and subsequently moving to the USA, I learned one thing. History is recorded with the eyes of the beholder. The only thing that remains constant are numbers, i.e. dates of battles, casualties or troop strengths. Oh, sorry, we even found ways during the Vietnam conflict to fudge those numbers. So History is no longer an exact science. Dr. Maier, however, managed to keep it honest.
After four sessions today, he is spending the evening in Rehoboth Beach, all this and he is 80 years young, and coming in tomorrow morning to be part of all three of our services. This is one service I will not miss. I usually do not look forward to any long speeches, especially about religion. I have my own take on that subject, but I will not miss this for anything

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yes, tonight is another episode of SlushHeap. Looking forward to some good info and some great book covers.
Looks like I'm finally going to take Force of Fate to print. People are asking me for the book and I can only the electronic version. Have to get with the times, no wait, I'm in the times, well whatever I have to meet the wishes of my readers.
Hope to see or hear from some of you tonight.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

3 - 2 - 1 ON AIR

What has it been? 2 maybe 3 months nothing coming out of our camp. Well, the wait is over. Last night, Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7 PM SlushHeap went live. After practicing, polishing, writing and rewriting the contents, the curtains came up and we exposed ourselves to the world. Now don't get any ideas, SlushHeap is a family oriented show. We advertise that our show is dedicated to all authors, but the primary audience will be those with an interest in entering the industry. In other words, our audience will be looking to our guests for general advice and an improved understanding of the writing, publishing , and marketing processes. We hope to portray this information in a story-telling manner, which would both promote the guests and provide entertainment for those watching. There is a live Q&A portion allowing for audience participation.

This week we featured Karen Moulder. Karen has led a very interesting and less-than-traditional life. Her determination has helped her break numerous barriers personally and professionally. She was the first woman to be hired in the Brownsville, Texas Fire Department in 1983. Her tomboyish nature and single mother circumstance led her to this fascinating and dangerous career which lasted more than ten years. Karen's career involved protecting lives, property, and educating the public on fire safety. She entered a man’s world in a time when few women did.  As a result, she faced a series of peculiar and challenging obstacles, but also became a role model for other women.

In 2012, Karen Moulder became a published author when her auto-biography was independently published.  The book, titled 'Burning Barriers' can be purchased at major online retailers as well as in several bookstores near her hometown of Ware, MA.

SlushHeap is scheduled for the next 12 Tuesdays. Each week a different subject matter will become our topic. Surprising to use after Tuesday evening's episode, time slots on our schedule began filling a quite a pace. On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7 PM our discussion will be about Children's Books, illustrated versions and text versions. As soon as our guests are signed you may find their bio on If this topic interests you please join us either on Google+ or on our homepage to watch the show. If you have a question, you may do so on Twitter @slushheap 
or on Google+.
We hope to grow from this humble beginning last night. I feel good about our future. The question I have been asked the most: "Why are you doing this?" My answer is simple. I too want to learn more about writing, editing, publishing and marketing. After all what brought me here was a book I had visually in my head and through the skill of my co-host Darcie Duranceau it became reality. There is the next book waiting around the corner. I want to make it better than the first one. Plus I must admit that Google+ Hangout on Air shows have given me exposure that I could not have bought. And let's face it, those of you out there who know me, realize that I love to be in public and rub elbows with all my friends. When I became a loner, my troubles grew. Just as music is not my life, but my life is music, so it is with talking to people.
Some years ago, as my children were growing up, we joined the local YMCA and became part of a program called 'Indian Guides'. We, my children and I, learned the ways of the native people of this continent. We learned to respect nature, take care of our environment and love our brothers as ourselves. I came away with another lesson. Native Americans had no written language but passed on their history orally. Grandfathers would sit with their grandchildren and tell them about their forefathers, about Mother Nature, about the Big Hunt. I took this to heart and began to visit local school to speak to the children about my life as a little boy growing up in war torn Germany. When I had exhausted my childhood stories, I turned to short stories about Native Americans. I prided myself in the fact that I could remember stories and jokes so well. I even took jokes and inserted myself into them. At the end of my little speech, folks would not only get a punch line but also would find out that I was in no way part of the story and their love, hate or pity for me were for-not.
While still being part of the YMCA Indian Guides, I had the opportunity to write a letter to someone in a Southwestern State ordering some genuine arrowheads. Months went by and nothing was received. I felt cheated, but life has to on. One day a package arrived. This package originated in Oklahoma. For the life of me I could not recall ordering anything from Oklahoma. I opened the package and found it contained the arrowheads I had ordered. The package also contained a letter from Grey Wolf, Chief of the Lene Lenape Indian Tribe of Oklahoma. As it turned out when I ordered the merchandise I signed my name with my adopted Indian name: Greywolf. No address was given. So the sender researched the name and found that Grey Wolf was the buyer. Once Grey Wolf received the merchandise he began to investigate who Greywolf was. As luck would have it he discovered me. After many mail exchanges for the next year, Grey Wolf made me an offer that brought joy to my heart. He made me Greywolf an honorary member of Lene Lenape Tribe. This was perhaps my proudest moment. That young boy who used to go watch the cowboy movies in Germany and was never allowed to play an Indian that afternoon had come full circle and now was a real member of the great Lene Lenape Nation.
My children grew up and were to old to stay in the Indian Guides. They pursued their own destiny. I went from telling stories to sinking into the bottle. I gave up friend after friend until the darkness consumed me. Years passed and life was so bad that I had a difficult time holding a job. It was not my lack of skills that cost me the employment but my anger got the best of me. One day a brother Vietnam Veteran gave me a lecture and made me promise that I would face my demons. I signed up with the VA and as they say ' the rest is history'.
The life is back in me. Physically I am not the man I was and my memory is getting the best of me. That will not stop me from educating the next generations to our accomplishments. This all came to a head when I med a young man, a self-made author who wrote the stories of those who fought World War II. We would talk but he was always in a hurry because he had to go interview a veteran about the war because as he expressed it: " when they are gone so is the opportunity to write their stories.
I hope to see you on the show or at least read your question. Stay safe and don't ever loose hope.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nothing's gonna stop us now

The Train called City of New Orleans
Just like in the song, I feel like for the past year I have been on a train, perhaps not a passenger train like the City of New Orleans but a very, very long freight train. When  we finished the book, we started to move this train at a snails pace. As days turned into weeks and the weeks became months, we gathered speed and now we are we appear to be flying ten feet of the ground. Things are happening so fast I hardly have time to sleep, eat or shower. Don't get me wrong, I'm seeing results but for every step I now take in the right direction and I seem to move back two.
I was somewhat prepared as to what was expected for a self-publisher. It turned out there was so much more they never told me ahead of time. My biggest handicap is the fact that I am not a software man, I was educated as a hardware geek. Now I know why people would stand and stare at me years ago when I carried on a conversation with another hardware engineer. Must have all sounded like a foreign language. To give you an example, we are trying to set a live show on Google+. The gent that is given the lessons does not realize that we need IT Jargon 101 first. After about 45 of trying to get on his show, and please don't ask me how I managed to get there, he started by telling me that my lower third was not set up. Now my lower third is my legs and they seem fine to me. So now he has to backtrack and tell me that I should have my name, company affiliation, national origin, my oldest child's first name, sorry just kidding, at the bottom of my screen. OK, at this point we are going to go and we will be back next session and you can start out at the beginning, like say first grade and let me learn. People have to understand that not everyone speaks Geek. But having said all that, we are making progress. We have selected a name for our domain OK, OK I hear the snickers in the room. There is a purpose for all this. During that session I just spoke about, I did learn that when you pick a name it should be the same for all the web sites you will create. Ha ha, what a joke. I was told to go to  and find a name or ID that is available for all the services I will be subscribing to. A URL, Facebook, a Blog, Twitter, Google+ and who knows how many more things. I sat there for 4 hours and plugged in names only to find that they were taken. To make things more interesting I was told: 'Keep the name simple, no more than 12-14 letters. Makes it easier for people to remember'. So I enlisted the services of my son Jeff, who had just come down this weekend for some R&R. Now Jeff has had a knack for something all his life. Create a company or business and he will come up with a cool name and slogan. I would refer to him as an 'Inovator'. I put him to work. So he says to me, how about slushpile? Slushpile, what the hell is that. He explained it to me and the search was on. After a few rejections we found slushheap and book'em, Danno.
 So what is slushheap mean? Well I'm glad you asked:
Slush Heap- where you get the help and advice you need to avoid the slush pile
OK, you got that now? What is a slushpile?
Slush Pile – where all the manuscripts that are rejected or never read go.
So what does your slushheap do for me?  Beside keeping you up to date on our endeavor, it will keep you entertained. If you happen to think about writing a book, want to edit books, illustrate books, publish books or become a critic we can do much more for you.
Promote: share your insight, worth, and expertise with those who value it most
Inquire: ask questions directly to those most likely to have the answers
Learn: obtain the knowledge you need to make your project a success
Expand: use this as your opportunity to reach new professional heights
And pray tell how will that happen?
Here's where our new weekly Internet show on Google+ will help. But then I'm getting ahead of myself.
We are currently working on setting up the show up, getting the right personnel, a good time slot and some props. Most of all we have to practice to make it right.
So stay tuned and we will keep you up to date and hopefully very soon give you a Preview date. Thanks for hangin' in there with me.
Just one more thing. Any of you who have purchased the book and may have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I will personally answer them and once the show starts we will answer them on the air.

Friday, February 8, 2013

On the right path

Publishing Progress Report
It has been almost two weeks since the book went to and was published as an eBook. All in all the progress is going as expected. Sales are coming in, problems are being discovered and reported and finally fixed. For the first time publishing anything I think we are ahead of the Boeing 787. At least the book hasn't been grounded. Having accomplished this much takes a large weight off of my shoulders. But, we are not home free. You see during the last 9 months of writing this blog a trend has developed. The good and the bad thing about blogs is that everything is tracked. The number of hits, where they originate from, etc. At first I was surprised that visitors to my blog were primarily from Eastern block countries and Asia. Who am kidding. Although I did not necessarily intend these to be my intended readers, they were the source of my writings. Once word got out that the book was published, I started to hear from people I had never met. Most of the questions were standard, nothing I could not or should not answer.
Now that the book is out almost 75% of my blog readers are from Russia or China. I'm sure the people who are reading this were not even born at the time it all came down. They are just trying to find out the truth just like the people in the Western World. Question is: "Can they handle the Truth?"
So now it's crunch time. Get back to work on Volume II. Although the material for this volume is less bothersome for me it does present problems within its contents, I am no longer in a "sterile" environment, miles removed from the action I came to explore but now it is hands on. Facing the enemy and all they they could do to stop us. It was not what I had volunteered for but nevertheless it was my duty to perform my tasks.
Besides writing the next chapter I also have to make arrangements to have the book produced in hard copy. I have had many request for appearances at book clubs here in Delaware, signed copies and even my presents in class rooms to enligthen the children. So for a few moments I will enjoy the tranquility that has come to our house and then on with the new chores.
I want to thank all the people who have purchased the book. I really appreciate your support.I do ask that you might take a moment and write up a little something to give me feedback. Thanks again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Update on book

URL Information

Leave it up to me to forget to post the url where the book can be purchased or borrowed. For now it is available for the kindle, iBook and there is a free app that can be downloaded for the PC. So for those who would like to read the story of my life or maybe just a good book try this:

This should take you right there, and please write a review for my sake.