Contractual benchmark obliterated and still obliterating

After yesterday’s day of writing I thought I had surpassed my contractually obligated 65,000 words and was feeling kind of proud. It turns out I had excluded a few chapters and my count is actually 71,163 and growing.

This is exciting in a sense, but it is also scary because I’m not done. I’m wrapping things up, but I bet I could be flirting with that 80,000 word mark by the end. Early on, I asked Caren, my agent, what was typical to be over or under. She told me 1,000 words. Yikes, that’s precise.

Although, it would have been even scarier if I finished the last chapter spot on the 65K mark because I need editing room. Normally, I write 1,000 words to…

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Have you called your granny lately?

I’ve been writing about grandmas today, so I thought I would post a little of what I wrote and remind you to give yours a call.

My Grandma Wilt was a garment worker. That’s her in the front row next to my mom and dad.

In the summers growing up in Versailles, Ohio, she sewed the pockets on Lee bibs. “The more pieces you completed, the more you got paid,” she told me. She didn’t like the job and – to no real surprise – the money wasn’t very good. What is a surprise is that I never knew this. I traveled around the world to meet garment workers and here my very own grandma was one.

She’s not your typical grandma. For instance, she has…

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I'm guest blogging today

Today, I’m guest blogging on my agent’s website. Since I have both a website and a blog Caren wanted me to give the pro’s and con’s of each from an author’s perspective (not that I feel like an author yet, because I don’t).

So, I guess I feel like I’ve kinda met my blogging quota for the day.

If you’re bored – which you are because what else would you be doing here – check out my new site I just started working on it last week. I welcome any suggestions you may have about how to improve it….

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Introducing the "Where Am I Wearing?" cover

What do you think? Check out my guns! Actually, that dude is not me, but you’re welcome to imagine that it is. I’m neither that buff nor tan.

A big thanks to Paul McCarthy, the fella who designed the cover, and all of the other folks at Wiley who helped with it.

Where Am I Wearing? cover

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Do I look like an author to you?

Despite wanting to skip through the streets and scream from the rooftops that my book, my very own book, is going to be published in November, I don’t (other than the virtual street/rooftop you are reading this on now). I was raised to not brag and even though it’s not really bragging telling someone what you’ve spent the better part of the last year working on, it feels like it.

Often Annie will work it into conversations with people that don’t know the news. I guess it’s okay if your wife brags about you. She did this when we were home for Christmas.

“Kelsey is going to have his first book published in November,” Annie says to a family friend.

My face gets a little red and I feel…

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Yesterday’s NY TIMES has a feature on slum tourism (aka Poorism). Here’s the nitty gritty:


“Would you want people stopping outside of your front door every day, or maybe twice a day, snapping a few pictures of you and making some observations about your lifestyle?” asked David Fennell, a professor of tourism and environment at Brock University in Ontario. Slum tourism, he says, is just another example of tourism’s finding a new niche to exploit. The real purpose, he believes, is to make Westerners feel better about their station in life. “It affirms in my mind how lucky I am — or how unlucky they are,” he said.


“…proponents of slum tourism say. Ignoring poverty won’t make it go away. “Tourism is one of the few ways that you…

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Hurry home Annie!

My writing assistant

Sometimes long-haired cats have issues in the kitty litter box and end up a little less than fresh in their posterior regions. And sometime those cats, decide to sit their messy little bottoms on their writer’s notes.

Annie has the kitty bottom cleaning job in our household. I hope she gets home soon. She has a lot of work ahead of her….

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Adventures in Spam: The poor dead bastard of great great uncle von Hasselhoff


From: Henri Konan []
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 11:16 AM
Subject: MESSAGE

ATTN:Dear one.

My name is Hon Dr Henri Konan from Cote D I’ voire my
client died Three years ago leaving behind Capital
amount (US$5.6M with interest) in our bank here where
i work ,I am his account manager ,till date nobody has
come forward or put application for the claim.

During the my private search for the relative recently
your name was among the findings that matches the same
surname as the deceases name is (withheld for security
reason) who died interstate with no Will or next of

To maintain the level of security required I have
intentionally left out the final details. I want you
to come forward since I can provide you with the
details needed for you to claim the Funds so that I
can be…

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Where do I come from?

Ellis Road

Darke County, Ohio.

That’s right, I didn’t say a city or a town. There are only 50,000 people in the entire county and a fair amount of them live in the country. They don’t live on streets; they live on rural routes or hyphenated roads between tiny burgs (Hillgrove – Woodington Rd).

Your typical Darke Countian likes guns, is against abortion, and votes Republican.

The Washington Post featured Darke County, in a story today titled: In Rural Ohio, It’s No Country for Democrats.

Some highlights:

– Greenville is the seat of Darke County, which typically ranks first in the state in corn and soybean production.

When I write about playing in flat-fields of corn and beans as a kid, I know what I’m talking about.

– For…

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