Back to School

For the first time in a few years I went off to school in the morning. My grandson (Jack) had mentioned to his English teacher that I was a writer and his ‘boast’ resulted in an invitation to participate in ‘Writer’s Week’ at the Community School of Naples. I wasn’t quite sure of what to say to several classes of eighth graders as most of my teaching career had been with seniors in high school. I might have been a little nervous about standing in front of a classroom again. Mrs. Carvelli, however, was a marvelous host and her students were not only bright but eager to learn more about writing. I thought it went quite well and their diverse questions were not too difficult to answer. I was impressed with their interest as well as their aptitudes. One girl stood out as an ‘author’ to be. I hope that what I had to share with them about the writing process will be of value in whatever writing they do in the future. Their teacher and my grandson were appreciative.
Today I am back at my writing. I shared my early chapters with my son-in-law who has read all of my books and is familiar with my ‘style’ and my protagonist–Father Mickey Moran. Jim found a signifiant flaw that was easily repaired and several minor wording errors. I’ll hope to get more critiques as I go along. The story is progressing quite well. I have three primary characters and an evolving plot that seems to be working.
Where I am living this winter is a few miles from the Gulf beaches that I have come to love. But, my place is very comfortable. I’ve been able to some of the furnishing and its been fun. Treviso Bay is a growing community and the building where I live is in the middle of ongoing construction. I expect that by the time I head back to Minnesota this neighborhood will have five complete buildings. It’s interesting to watch how rapidly a forty-unit condo building can be constructed and landscaping completed. After my writing time–from about five in the morning until nine or ten–Im free to bike or golf or head to the beach. I won’t mention the weather we’ve had for fear of alienating my fellow Minnesotans. Each morning when I get on my computer I am informed of the temps in Hibbing. I know it has been brutally cold.
The other day while biking I discovered a trail that I didn’t know existed. The trail winds through a wilderness preserve that is Evergladian in every respect. There was a group of bird-watchers (some from Germany) with their binoculars and cameras. Having a subtropical climate,there are many different bird species down here . . . I’ll have to invest in a good bird book so I’ll know what I looking at.
On the 19th I’ll be going to an ‘Irish Rovers’ concert (a Christmas gift from Erin and Jim) and on March 1st I’ll have my book-signing event at the Naples Barnes and Noble store. If the event goes well I may be able to get my titles in Ft. Myers and Sarasota up the coast.
More than anything else, however, on February 16th, the Twins begin their spring training up in Ft. Myers. Most interesting is getting a look at our highly touted prospects like Buxton and Sano and Meyer. I’m an eternal optimist and think Terry Ryan has does just enough with the pitching staff to make us competitive. I hope to get up there often. Lastly, my wishes that all of you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. God bless.

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