Saturday, March 28, 2020


Hi folks,

A former casual acquaintance of mine, Jimmy Wynn, aka "The Toy Cannon" former player for the Houston Astros, has just died at 78. I met Mr. Wynn at a Super Bowl in Houston when the Minnesota Vikings lost me a few thousand dollars.. I honestly don't even remember who they played--Miami? Doesn't matter and I'm not looking it up. I imagine most people who went to a Super Bowl would remember who played but I'm 77 and don't care any more. Anyway, we had seats on the 50-yard line and Jimmy sat directly behind us. I spent the entire ballgame talking to him--he was far more interesting than the game. (Did I mention I lost several thousand dollars on it? That, I remember.) Anyway, he was fun to talk to and I remember him much more than the lousy game (on which I lost a lot of money...) The entire game cost me $100, believe it or not. I belonged to a group of gamblers--high-rollers--led by a guy named Stan Pitzak, who owned the Linebacker Inn, across from where I worked near Notre Dame,. and Stan had his own plane on which he flew a bunch of us down on. The game was supposed to be in the Super Dome, but they had flooding or something and it was moved to Rice Stadium,. Where I lost a few thousand dollars and met Jimmy Wynn. We ate afterwards at a seafood restaurant just across from the San Jacinto Monument and when I returned home and mentioned to my mother where we'd eaten she told us my great grandparents had founded the restaurant. I think this story is in my memoir, Adenaline Junkie, but not sure. After all, I'm 77. I do remember I lost several thousand dollars betting on that sorry QB Fran Tarkenton, who continued to throw passes to receivers covered by multiple defenders, ignoring wide-open receivers who were begging for the ball, but seemed to be in Mr. Tarkenton's blind spot. That was the main subject of our conversation--Mr. Tarkenton's bad eyesight, which was costing Jimmy some hard-earned greenbacks as well. Never seen a TV broadcast of that game so don't know if it was obvious on TV as well, but it sure was to our group of gamblers and Mr. Wynn, who I believe had excellent eyesight. RIP, Jimmy! You could sure rip the cover off a baseball.

Blue skies,

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Hi folks,

I’d like to throw out something for your consideration. We’re in a national crisis as you know where an awful lot of us are staying home to do our part in defeating the Coronavirus, To make our self-imposed exile from each other even worse, our entertainment options have been severely curtailed with the cancellation of most sporting events, concerts, plays and many of the normal outlets we enjoy. As a writer, one positive thing is that people are reading more and book sales are up.

There is one thing that is available to those of you who are writers or have often wondered if they have the skills to be a writer. As most of you know, I host an online novel-writing class. We’ve had enormous success over the years with nearly three dozen people who’ve attended our classes and/or been coached by me privately having succeeded in publishing their novels over the years. I don’t know of any other class with our kind of class record.

Class members of an early class, all of whom became published (with the exception of Joe who is the husband of Maegan Beaumont whom he's standing next to.)

We also have another service we offer. For quality control, each class is restricted to ten people. That way I can spend sufficient time with each classmate and they can spend time with each other as well. So we can’t add new classmates. But we have another popular feature. We often have class auditors. Those are folks who sit in on our class and see everything we’re doing. The only difference is they can’t participate actively. They’re observing just like auditors in any college course. It’s extremely valuable to every level of writer—from the raw beginner to the polished professional. We’ve even had agents audit from time to time. Agents audit to scout potential talent and are the only people we don’t charge. They provide a valuable service for our participants.

All writers make the same errors that prevent them from getting published. Over and over, we see the same mistakes repeated. That’s why auditing is so valuable. Writers often don’t see their own flaws, but when they see the same things they do repeated in other writers and see why it’s not a positive trait and why, it informs their own writing tremendously. I had one auditor who held an MFA from a good university tell me after auditing our class that he’d learned more in ten weeks than he had in the entirety of his university experience. That’s probably because our only goal is to see each of our classmates become published and published well.

Two of my books we use in class.

There’s another benefit to auditing. Whenever we have an opening, we go first to our auditors and offer them the opportunity. Also, many times a newer writer is unsure about their ability. Sitting in class and watching everyone else’s work and approach is an eye-opener. Very often, they see their own level of ability reflected in others and it raises their confidence. By the same token, often auditors see that they have holes in their writer education but see clearly how to fill those holes. All in all, it’s a great experience for a writer of any level of experience and/or ability. It’s simply demystified.

Okay. Sales pitch over. Just wanted to let folks know of our existence and availability. We’re just beginning the second week of this session and everything we’ve done to date is always on the site to study. The cost for full membership in class is $400, but the fee for auditing is only $50.

This is a great time to join us! Just seeing what we do will give many a sound idea where they are as writers and for advanced writers, you’ll see work that will inform your own work and take you to another level. And, for not much money at all!

If interested or if you have additional questions, please shoot me an email at

Hope to see some of you looking over our shoulders soon!

Blue skies,

Just a couple of the novels written in class.