Category Archives: Uncategorized

My latest book, Charlotte Morgan and the Lemonade Stand is now available

Charlotte Morgan and the Lemonade Stand is now available on Kindle. So please check it out and share with your friends.

It is the second in The Number Investigator series. It’s a series I hope will bring some enjoyment to math to students, and others. It is my hope they will see the fun in STEM activities and how we use STEM on a daily basis.

The next in the series will focus on Sally Hemingway. My editor told me to give each character a book. That was too good of an idea to pass up.

Anyway it’s out now. Would love for you to pick it up and tell me what you think.

Click here to pick up the book on Amazon. Thanks!

NaNoWriMo 17,000 words–wow–I am behind

I am still trying NaNoWriMo.

But I don’t think I am going to hit the deadline.  I am currently just past 17,000 words,  I should be around 27,000 words at this point.


I am not liking this stress.  I have missed a few days for various reasons.

But I am learning how to get more words done in a session.  Over the last two days, I have begun sketching out what I am going to write about that day.  That gives me a road map for the writing session.  As opposed to my normal, let’s just see where this thing goes.

I get the sense that NaNoWriMo was started to help people finish a book.  I have finished books, but I am not liking this pressure of 1667 words everyday.  A 1000 words s day, no problem.

I know there are many that would read that and laugh.  Doing 1667 words a day is normal.

I’m not there.

I can do between 1000-1700 words Monday through Friday without a problem.  Saturday and Sunday become an issue when my kid is home from school.

Oh, well, the book may not be finished by November 30, but it will be finished.

Tomorrow I Start Writing a New Book

I start writing a new book tomorrow.

I recently left being a teacher to write full time.

I have income coming in several different ways, but I want to focus on my publishing business.  And that really is what it is—a publishing business.

And publishers need books to publish.


So as of tomorrow I will have THREE book project on my plate.

First, I need to finish final edits and formatting for Finals: The Dolbin School Book 4, which I am currently serializing on Steemit.

I finished the second draft of another book on Friday.  That book is called Charlotte Morgan and the Great Big Math Problem, it’s about a third grade girl and her friends who like numbers so much they started their own club to investigate numbers.  During the book the third grade friends deal with bullies and the silliness of being third graders while finishing it up with competing in the school wide math competition.

It’s the first book I’ve written from the first person point of view.

Every page of the book has some sort of math or numbers in it.  During the math competition I have the math character Charlotte explain in head how she solves a problem.

Tomorrow I start writing the sequel to that book.

The second Number Investigators book.

I have no real idea what that book will be about.  I’m thinking it will be a business story where the friends decide to start a business.  That’s a good way to work in numbers.

I am a writer.  But I am also a publisher, and publishers need stories and books.  That’s the name of the game.  I don’t have time for writer’s block.

My favorite quote on writer’s book comes from Louis L’Amour:

“Start writing no matter what.  The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

That’s my own approach.  My order goes like this; first writing, second ideas, and third, then the good ideas come.

But writing is always first.

I enjoy writing stories.  That’s my new business.  So on Monday, I go to work and I start a new book.

I am totally cool with that.


Cars 3–Finally a Cars movie worthy of the Pixar name

Cars 3 finally gives us a Cars movie that worthy of the Pixar name.


The first Cars was at the time of its release (2006) the least successful of the Pixar movies, that honor now lies with The Good Dinosaur.  Which made the release of Cars 2 a little of surprise, but then Cars 2 went for the James Bond spy angle, throwing Mater into the main role.  Because everyone loves Mater.  For a Pixar film, it still flopped.  And for my money, it is the least Pixar of all the Pixar movies.  (But then again, a bad Pixar movie is a winner for other studios, that’s how good Pixar is.  And that could be the subject of another essay.)

Which made the release of Cars 3 surprising.  But with director Brian Fee, we finally get a touching, human movie about Cars.

Lightnin’ McQueen is at the top of his game, winning most of the races he runs.  When he loses it is to competitor that is his equal. Until he is beaten by Jackson Storm, a rookie car, who is clearly the younger stronger car.  Jackson Storm, like a up and coming young athlete is arrogant and cocky.

And when other of Lightning McQueen’s contemporaries begin to retire, he begins to feel the pressure to retire as well.  McQueen doesn’t want to be told to retire.  Like many us, we want to make that decision ourselves, being told it is time for use to hang it up is difficult for any of us.  So at the final race of the season Lightning McQueen over extends himself, ruptures a tire, and flips in a crash, injuring himself badly as the season closes out.

McQueen goes into a deep depression for several weeks until his gril friend Sally Carrera tries to convince him to retire, but McQueen demands that he will be the one to decide when it is time to go.

This Cars movie is different because McQueen finally acts more grown-up than the arrogant, cocky, clueless kid we see in the first Cars movie.  Here we finally get a McQueen that is clearly vulnerable and, dare-we-say-it aging.  And that gives the movie more human touch than the other two combined.

Chris Cooper plays the voice of the coach to Doc, Smokey.

Cristela Alonzo plays the voice of trainer Cruz Ramirez.  source

The movie does have the regulars from previous films.  Amazingly Larry the Cable Guys’-Tow Mator is regulated to maybe ten minutes of screen time.  And you know what?  It works.

There is a pretty funny side scene of McQueen at a demolition derby.  source

Lines from Paul Newman and Car Talk brother, Tom Magleozzi, who died years before this movie was made, and their lines were archive recordings.

Paul Newman as Doc.  source.

Not the greatest Pixar movie, but Cars 3 tones down the sheer silliness and brings back the Pixar touch to the Cars series.

I would recommend on checking this out on Netflix when it becomes available or catching a matinee.

This post originally appeared on my Steemit blog.

Cover for new book and now available for preorder

Book Cover Reveal

My next book Finals–The Dolbin School Book 4 is almost here, so I am happy to share the cover.

The cover is a different style than the other books in the series.  Frank did the cover for my last book, Irving Williams and the Mystery of the Lighthouse Ghost, and I liked his style so much I asked him to do this book.  And now he his going to create new covers for the Dolbin School 1-3.

I serialized the previous Dolbin Books and I plan on doing that with this one as well.  Will probably start tomorrow as I need to get myself organized.

Click here to preorder the book.

Click here to see the Dolbin School page on Amazon.

Baseball and Aliens is now ready for pre-order.

I was not expecting this.  We are finishing up the illustrations for Baseball and Aliens, and yesterday Amazon upped it’s game by allowing pre-orders for KDP members.  Since each pre-order helps with the ranking of the book when it is released I immediately jumped on getting this set-up.

Kindle Cover test 1

Click here to pre-order the book

Now, thank you so much for doing that!

If you would like some free gifts for pre-ordering, click here and paste in your Amazon order number and join my Insider’s List.

From there you will receive a link for a current work-in-progress, I am working on a book for teachers to give them ideas on earning extra money.  The work in progress is a full blown rough draft, but I want to share it and I want feedback as well.

Second, receive 10 free downloads from my photography site

Third, get $5 off any order at

Now, what is this Insider’s List?

Well, I need a way to reach readers without being dependent on Facebooks algorythmns or RSS feeds from WordPress.  Yes, it’s a mailing list.  But, since I am a teacher, there is no way I can send stuff everyday.  I intend on sending stuff quite irregularly.  But when I do send out updates it will be with updates not posted anywhere else, it will include recommends on books and authors.

And for those authors reading this, I have just numerous times recently how important a mailing list is.  I have a current mailing list for just new releases.  I was afraid to fill-up people’s inboxes.  But I’ll be honest that approach isn’t working, so I need to try something new.

So anyway pre-order the book for $2.99 and get at least $15 back in value.  

Dolbin School for the Extraordinary is now available on Kindle

Woo-Hoo!  The new book is here

Dolbin Kindle Cover

Click on the pic to get the book at Amazon.

The book is currently #90 on the Hot New release list in Children’s ebooks.  Sweet.  I got a screen grab when it hit #100.

It may not be the top 100 regular children's books.  I'll take it.

It may not be the top 100 regular children’s books. But I’ll take it.

The book is a 27,000 word middle grade book for 4th graders and up.  I am probably breaking all sorts of rules by not staying in the same genre.  I’ve gone from picture book, to chapter book, to middle grade book.  There in lies the beauty of indie publishing.  Some agent or publisher wouldn’t allow that.

Anyway, it’s only going to be 99 cents for a few days.  So pick it up now and let me know what you think.

Trying to write a chapter book, a chapter a day.

My third book is currently being edited and I am in the midst of hiring a book cover designer.

So naturally I decided to begin work on a third Kevin book.


The first two books were written with the plan of the story in my head, and consequently the story unfolded as I wrote the story.  Because I now have a chapter book under my belt my work flow is a little different.  I actually wrote out a couple of paragraphs detailing the story, then I broke that into individual chapters.  It is with that outline I hope to write a first draft of the third Kevin book in about three weeks.  The book in the outline form has 21 chapters.  The final book should be somewhere in the 10,000-11,000 word range.  That around 525 words a day.  525 words a day and in three weeks you have a book leveled for 3rd and up.  Or you have a novella for adults.  The point is with regular everyday writing, you pretty quickly have enough to put together a story.

As a side note, Hugh Howey’s first Wool novella was somewhere in that range.  (No. I’m not going to look up an exact count.  Do it.  And leave a note in the comments.)

If I didn’t have a day job.  I teach 5th grade.  I could do it a lot quicker.  I read that R.L. Stine at one point was putting out a Goosebumps book once a month.

One a month, for 20 years.  And you have quite the franchise.

One a month, for 20 years. And you have quite the franchise.


Dean Wesley Smith writes a lot about the myth of writing slow.  If you are unfamiliar with his work check it out, he blows the lid off the idea that writing a book must be slow.

The point is writing should be fun.  And in this new world you should be putting out as much work as possible.

So here is hoping I can finish in 21 or so.  I’ll keep you posted.


I have a new book coming soon.  Click here to be the first to hear about it with an email.  Don’t worry I don’t spam.  I am too busy