Sunday, June 12, 2022

And, where am I?

     Just the other day, I was trying to remember the date. School had only been out for one day, and I was already suffering 'date loss'.

     Today, I return to this webpage, SuraWordz, after renewing the domain name. Bam. I am at a date loss again. Well, more of a side effect of date loss  brought on by an affliction of Pandemic Fog, a "where am I?" moment.

    I set for a moment trying to wrap my head around the concept of the last two to three years. It was a roller coaster. And not just an up and down, climb, peak, and bolt down the other side, but the twisting turning, slide all over the seat kind of roller coaster in an enclosed dome of media chaos and national turmoil. Plus, throw in personal challenges to the mix. 

     And, where am I?

     If I got my facts straight. I'm still a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I still teach high school, and even with the challenges over the past couple years, I still like my job.

     I still have my health, but a little worse for wear. I still have trace amounts of numbness from a dance with Bells Palsy. Also, I walk a move a little more slower as I take on sciatica. So, as I head into this summer and stumbling forward to my 59th birthday, I will be spending some time worrying about my health. I have an appointment Monday.

     Writing. It has been a while since I sat at the keyboard. It has been a while since I posted here or to the collection of blogs (see description on this website).

     I did finish off an attempt an a romance story that I was challenged to write. That should be out in the world this summer. Also, I was able to finish off my young adult novel about a kid on a quest. Both titles are pending and in final editing phase.

     This should give me time to revisit the Eagle Brigade of my science fiction world. My summer looks busy, but it should be free as well even with a switch in the upcoming curriculum for the fall.

     Even though there are some storm clouds about, I hoping the summer of 2022 is a sunrise of good things to come for all.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

History of Sura, the writer, Chapter Two: Grizzard

In my second quest to Florida, I did a lot of reading of the columnist Lewis Grizzard. He was with the Atlanta Constitution. He was syndicated, and his columns were compiled into books. I read most of them. His columns were funny, thought-provoking, and touching.

I am not sure what got me hooked on him. I have read columns by the great Erma Bombeck, a columnist and humorist, from my mother’s collection of books.

The last title focuses on small town heroes and people who change the world even if it is just their corner of it. I was reminded of this collection when watching Happiness Heroes, Returning the Favor, Humankind, and Military Kind videos on Facebook (positive stuff on the Internet?). There are a lot of good people out there doing good things. Heroes are everywhere; identities are not secret, and their stories are being told.

As far as Sura, the writer?

I have to admit that it has been awhile since I have visited the Grizzard collection, but I loved his use of language and his humorous and insightful look at life. Lewis and Erma, along with Dave Barry and Mitch Albom, have always impressed me at the way can write about stuff, just regular stuff, and make us laugh, cry, or be amused.

Now, in this quest in Florida, the second one, I worked night shift in the Roadway Inn in Ft Myers. I spent my days sleeping, writing (mostly Cry of the Eagle), watching Karate movies (big fan), and reading. Thus, Lewis Grizzard.

I think what hooked me was Kathy Sue. I am sure the name was changed, but her name same real and his columns that involved her and romance as a young man real. I connected.

Therefore, I have made a few attempts at this blogging thing. It is a part of my playing with words. It’s fun. Although in hobby and free time status, I hope to post regularly here or other places.

It is good to get on the keys. The play and adventure continues.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Writer Food

I could not tell you how or when it started, but I have writer food: Pepsi and Fritos corn chips. If more substantial fare was needed, a pizza with ham, sausage and onion would be at the top of the list. Paul (co-author for science fiction novel, Cry of the Eagle) and I would started out getting it from a place in East Lansing known as West Side Deli.

Of course, I don't have to be in writing mode to have my two favorites. My students at school know that I am a Pepsi man too. And most of the time, I am hiding a bag of Fritos.

And I do realize that these two items are not at the top of the list for health food. However, it you look at the ingredients for Fritos, it says, "Corn, Corn Oil, and Salt." All natural, right

Pepsi, has a little more challenge, but I am drinking limited amounts, preferably the Pepsi with "real sugar." It sounds healthier.

Writing, alone or with a co-author, takes energy and needs sustenance and fuel. And, I am sitting here right now, with said items staged by the Samsung Chromebook for a few reasons:

1. I am writing.
2. I am hungry.
3. I am experimenting with affiliate marketing.

Now, don't run off. All I ask my friends and fans (all 7 of you) to do is just read. No clicks or purchases needed. A chuckle or two, a satisfied nod, or a "Hmmm, interesting" would not be bad either.

For you writers or friends and fans who are curious, I will occasionally have a post here on SuraWordz letting you know how it is going.

As I have learned from teaching journalism for years, marketing and advertising is a big part of our society and culture. Advertising fuels many good things: news, entertainment, and businesses (small and local included).

Just want to see if and how it is done.

"But, Sura, don't fall into the abyss!" 

No worries. Let's consider it play. Something fun to add to the blogs. And if the abyss consumes me, and I am in a van down by the river, rescue me amidst the empty bags and cans. If I am in a cottage on the shoreline, come hang out. I'll have cold Pepsi and some Fritos.

Monday, July 30, 2018

History of Sura, the writer. Chapter One. Cry of the Eagle.

"I'm going to write a book!"
Paul, my newest, lifelong friend, looks up and says, “Right?” His tone did not sound that confident. Or did he say, “Write?” More in a “why?” format. It could have been in a supportive “Well, then, go write.” I will have to go ask.
It was Fall of 1981 and approaching finals week at my first trimester (that’s how they did it then) at Michigan State University. I had been struggling with Calculus and Chemistry. I was Aceing swim class (pretty sure it was Advanced Swim too). But, I was working my butt off in an English, and I was inspired to write more.
There are so many stories wrapped embedded in the preceding paragraphs. We will get to those later.
I went on Winter Break. And, during that break. I wrote the first draft of what is known as Cry of the Eagle. One-hundred pages. Hand written.
“A sleek craft streamed through the cold, empty vacuum of space…” Quite the opening line. It was edited out later with draft three. We went with more action.
Yeah, “We.” I shared that first draft with Paul. He was impressed, enthralled, and had some input. And yes, he’s the co-author.
I, think officially, when have been through six drafts with pauses of a year to ten years in between. Draft four was the official completed draft back in ‘93. Some of the chapters are the original and some have been added and a few deleted.
I physically did most of the writing, but the story ideas and conversations over the thirty years really makes it difficult to separate who said what and when. It is simply, our science fiction novel. We proudly put it to press in 2014.
We like our book. It has sold 27 paperbacks and 17 ebooks.
No, we are not in the money. We are rich in our friendship, and we feel good that we can at least say we did it.
Is there a sequel? Yes. We have it in our head that it is a trilogy. We are working on part one of book two this summer. I am experimenting with more writing formats. Part one of the second book, Blood of the Eagle will be released as an e-book by 2019. We may do all the parts as ebooks, more as a serial, then put it in paperback.
So, the history of Sura, the writer, has a few more chapters.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A Little Help from my Friends

Ok. Here we go.

I have organized to facilitate my small bout of O.C.D. which than lets me go back to chaotic good behaviors (mostly).

As you have noticed, I have across the top a few tabs to take a reader of to different links. I hope the subheading is clear enough.

Wordz has always been my blog where I post my poems. Many of my students have received copies/collections of my poems as graduation gifts. Even though I may be blocking future sales of the two books of poems I have self-published, I have enjoyed writing and sharing. It is a thrill and a motivator when a former student tells me that he/she still has the booklet with them. I am honored and humbled.

Simple Man will be my life stuff blog on all the random things that hit me during the day or wake me up at the middle of the night. I want to just share thoughts, humor, and inspiration. These posts, for good or bad, will be from my perspective.

For teachers, social workers, coaches, mentors, and anyone who works with kids in whatever setting, I have created Standing on the Desk. It is a new place for me to post things, and it will cooperate and share my Facebook page, A Teacher's Desktop. As many of you might have deduced, the title is a reference to Dead Poets Society. But I also connect it to Here Comes the Boom (2012) and Teachers (1984).

For a long time on Facebook, I have had a group called Barbaric Yawp. I just like to put stuff about Fine Arts, songs, and musicals there. So we will see where that goes.

And I cannot forget about my love of Science Fiction and Fantasy, thus Geek O.G., a title Heidi helped with formulating. It had to encompass my science fiction and fantasy class, current movies and books, and the old stuff I grew up on which has earned titles like "original", "classic", or "What do you mean stop motion photography?"

Purpose of all this? First, to write. Writing gets me writing more. It is something I like to do and share. Second, to have people to enjoy my writing. Third, according to articles, videos, blogs, and other sources, some people make a little money doing this. I would not mind doing that, yet, as mentioned above with the booklets of Wordz, not a priority. It would be nice to help supplement the golden years and leave twenty or so bucks for my kids way, way in the future.

The Little Help
Just read. You reading and enjoying whether here or on Facebook is cool enough. I will post links (in corresponding Facebook and Twitter groups) that you can choose to read or not. Or, from what I understand, on the actual blogs, you can subscribe or follow by email. I will have on every blog a gadget that will let you do so.

That's it, just read my stuff.

If you have time, feedback is appreciated with a 'like' or other emoticon. For those a little more daring, you can post responses on the link or the blog.

That's really all I am looking for are readers, fans, and a few thumbs up. Traffic.

Yes, I will self publish more. So, you can read the old fashion way from books if you so choose. I am doing more with eBooks; one so far. I am looking into audio-books too. I have read I can record my own books. It sounds (pun intended) like a new adventure.

Thank you for your help and support.


Monday, May 28, 2018

Reboot 2018

Reboot. was actualy offline for a bit. Some how in my amateur ways, I messed up the link, but now I am back online.

And, with some input and encouragement from family and friends: Reboot.

Reboot involves some "under construction" too.