Monthly Archives: November 2010

Thoughts from an Unemployed Professional


Another departure from our core thread today.  Work on Views from Sandhausen continues on schedule and I am doing ancillary work.  I’m adding a “Fan Page” to Facebook and I’m working through Walt’s last suggested learning topic for me. 

As I sit here in my little writing area, with CNN droning on in the background, along comes a Presidential address at a Chrysler Transmission plant.  Apparently, life is good for them and they have hired a few workers back – after two years!  As I listen to President Obama bloviate about “Goodness and Light”, I get furious.  You see, the Jobs are NOT back for this unemployed professional!  I am pulling for him to be successful; I believed in his message of Change, and I hated Bush and his swarmy, lying cohorts!

 Well friends, I wrote an article for Suite101.com and I became quite angry.  I asked anyone that might trip across this insignificant article to tell their friends about this story.  Suite101.com declined to publish the article.  That’s fine.  I will publish it here.  Please excuse my vitriol!

My anger has just been renewed by Keith Olbermann’s announcement this evening that corporate profits, based on third quarter results, will total $1.66 TRILLION!  Where are the jobs?

Thoughts from an Unemployed Senior Professional: The Jobs are NOT BACK!

Excerpt

Let the President know: The Jobs AREN’T Back! Post on Facebook, Twitter to CBS, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, & NBC.  Email to your local newspaper, post it on bulletin boards-Shout from the rooftops!

 They say that you should write what you know.  What I know is that I want to work, am in excellent health, and that I am wasting away because I am not working.  Let me tell you a story.

Background

Let me start by stating that I have been extremely fortunate in my life, and for that I am eternally grateful!  I was blessed by meeting and marrying and spending 47 glorious years with a soul mate that was everything to me; and me to her.  We came from good, middle class backgrounds; both had parents that were well-educated and very successful.  I was an only child, but I also have two half-sisters from my father’s previous marriage.  My wife Lynn was blessed with four sisters and a very large family.

We were both bright people, and we exercised the brains that God gave us every day.  I was fortunate to be in the upper 1% of the population; Lynn in the 3%.  For me, this was a unifying and driving force in my life!  It affected my attitude towards life and the challenges that come with life.  My attitude is, if I can’t handle this situation, it is my fault; I don’t like to fail.  Our Sons were hereditarily blessed, both highly successful in their chosen careers.

Continuous Learning

We both were well-educated, and we both continued our education throughout our lives.  I obtained a second degree at the dawn of this century, Lynn went back to school when she was 30 and graduated as class valedictorian!  We contributed to our community and were both avid readers; my choice of weapon was books and later, the Internet.  Lynn’s source of choice was through printed news and some television (when you could trust the television news).  She avidly read ten papers (online) every day, in the latter years of her too short life. 

Fortune 100 Professional

I chose the correct Fortune 100 Company, even prior to my graduation from my first university.  I was hired into Corporate Engineering, as an assistant to a Project Manager.  We were charged with building our share of new, as well as expanded facilities, around the world.  I learned an awful lot in that position.  After ten years I moved to the newly formed Computer-Aided Design and Drafting section of Engineering.  I moved through the ranks, ultimately managing that part of Engineering after five years.  As a Manager and Principal Engineer I interacted with our Research and Development division. I was eventually invited to join them.  In eight years I managed teams that deployed Engineering technology around the globe.  I managed programming teams that moved our tire design software from mainframes, to intelligent workstations, to PC’s.  As a Business leader I led and shepherded silo organizations to work together in a Matrix Management structure – thought our headquarters and R&D complexes.

Luxembourg Meeting

I also criticized our company’s Year 2000 program to our CIO.  After an interesting exchange between the two of us, I was asked to take over Y2K Corporate Program Management responsibility, globally.  During three years a 700 person global team successfully defeated that very real threat.  During the last six months, I also manage the global team that integrated our new acquisition (European Tire maker), across all Information Technology interfaces.  I was asked to move to Europe to integrate e-commerce across our 33 countries in Europe.  Four highly successful major initiatives later, we retired.

In my spare time I have presented to technical groups around the world, I am published internationally and have served on two Editorial Review Boards at two major publications.  My LinkedIn profile will give you the rest of the story, as will my professional website

I Can’t Get a Job!

I can’t get a Job.  I am vibrant, healthy, sharp, creative and absolutely open to anything; I can’t get a Job! I look like I am fifty, I am fit and on my ideal weight.  The reason that I am writing this article today is because I am listening to President Obama speak at a rebounding Chrysler manufacturing plant.

The Jobs Aren’t Back

He says the “Jobs are Back”!   Well I have news for you my friend; No they are NOT! 

This is not just my opinion.  When a person of my background, education, experience, and drive, can’t find a suitable position after two years of constant looking, they are NOT back.  I have hired two professional career counselors, at thousands of dollars each. I have buffed and fluffed, and kept current on all my technologies.  I am a Certified IT Professional!  I worked for a software firm for three months, trying to sell software in the face of high operation costs and a declining economy. For four months, I worked as a Director of Business Development, Sales and Marketing for my own division of a high-end architectural firm in one of the best markets in the world, Naples, Florida.  We sold custom designed plans that were later converted into high-end spec home plans for sale to builders and individuals, as the bottom fell out of the real estate market.  

I have aggressively followed 42 Job boards, both technical and Executive – exploring every possibility.  I have follow-up on every lead, every interview.  Recently I have applied to every big-box store in the area (and out of the area).  Well, as you can image, I am now 64 years old; things aren’t looking good. 

Recently, I have taken up writing, something that I have done all of my life.  Suite101.com was good enough to let me join them as a freelance author.  I am finishing my second book: Views from Sandhausen: Experiences from a Foreign Service Assignment.  I have also formed my publishing company.  I can’t think of a single thing that I’ve missed.  I’m as unemployed as I was two years ago.

Tell CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN – The Jobs Aren’t Back

My friends please do this for me.  Tell your friends about this sad story; post it on your Facebook page, Twitter it to CBS, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and others.  Email the link to your local newspaper, tell your friends, post it on bulletin boards; Let this President know that The Jobs ARE NOT Back!

 References and Challenge:

 www.signonsandiego.com “Presidential Address in KOKOMO, In. (November 23, 2010)

 www.mnheadhunter.com “The Great Recession: December 2007 To June Of 2009” (November 23, 2010)

Please Tweet it, Facebook it, LinkedIn it, Twitter it as http://wp.me/pZdHT-8c   The Jobs are Not Back! #CBS  #ABC #NBC #CNN #FOX #MSNBC #KeithOlbermann #Maddow )

We have to get this sordid story out.  I even flagged it to Fox.  I’m damned fed up and I’m not going to take it anymore!

 Cliff

Tags:

Unemployment benefits, job hunting, labor economics, business, business and economy, job search, employment, unemployment, personal debt management, personal budget/finance, business & finance, personal debt management, personal budgeting/finance, business & finance, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX.       

 

Something Different Today – Care of the Stricken


Today began with a wonderful spoof of the Black-Eyed Peas I’ve Got a Feeling, by the NBC crew (http://tiny.cc/3qke7).  It really started my day off on the correct foot!

Yesterday’s headline was that I received my Library of Congress Control Number for Views from Sandhausen.  This is a very big deal for me as it is the starting point to have our book archived there, forever!  I have (and do) have many goals for this book and this archiving is one of the biggest!

Walt is still slaving away typesetting the book at his office (FiveRainbows), with 35 degree temps and snow showers in the forecast.  I, on the other hand am looking at a cloudless sky and 71 degrees. 

I am slowly being consumed by this writing thing.  With Erik living his life and working amazing hours, I have the house to myself.  Our cat, SunnyD jumps up on my lap occasionally, just to ensure that I keep her bowl filled with food.  I’m not a big TV guy and a find most of the reality shows intolerable, and most of the network shows mindless babble.  I read as I always have read, but the rest of my life is writing.  I read about, I blog about it, I participate in news groups about, and, at this point in my life, I don’t think do without it.

Of course I try to keep in touch with my friends around the world.  I have a great conversation with my former boss and European colleague, John W. yesterday.  I think I’m guilty of doing a small ‘core dump’ on him, and if I did I’m sorry.  Today I received an email from another European colleague of mine, and a dear friend to Lynn and I.  She is going through a rough time and I tried to support her as well as I could from 5,000 miles away.  I decided to take a part of that support and turn it into an article for suite101.  I offer to all of you for your consideration.

On Giving Care to Others

http://www.suite101.com/content/on-giving-care-to-others-a310940

I think it provides a perspective on care giving that might be considered as unique.

Cliff

What Fun!


FlaAuthor Publishing, LLC Logo

 Yesterday I applied for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for FlaAuthor Publishing, LLC.  This is starting to be a process that I understand and can do by heart.  Having built Stingray Consulting, and I-Store Marketing, I’m on familiar

ground.  My error with those two ill-fated businesses was starting them against the background of the worst business downturn since the Great Depression.  Lesson Learned.

Next step was to apply for my Library of Congress number for Views from Sandhausen, fulfilling my promise to myself.  That being, ensure that my Lynn would be memorialized, as an author, in the Library of Congress (LOC) – forever.  The process takes a week or so but feedback is encouraging: “Your Electronic PreAssigned Control Number (EPCN) application for a Library of Congress control number for Title: “Views from SandhausenISBN:  “9780983128304″, was successfully transmitted to the Library of Congress.  That is the first step to having your book included in the LOC.

The last item of business for yesterday was to open an account with Lightning Source (LS).  LS is the premier print house in the Publishing business, and comes highly recommended by everyone, including the guy behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz!

LS is not just a big warehouse full of rolls of paper and a few machines the size of your house.  It is part of the Ingram Content Group.  The following is from their ‘About Us’ section of their website:  “Ingram Book Company is the largest book wholesale distributor in the world, offering immediate access to more than two million titles. Through our speed, breadth of titles, and operational excellence, we are the preferred wholesale provider for more than 71,000 retail and library customers globally.”

So, by partnering with Five Rainbows and their direct access to Lightning Source, and their direct connection to the Ingram Book Company, we have essentially forged a seamless link to designing, printing, and generating eBooks in multiple formats.  Further, with Ingram’s incredible distribution reach in to the majority of premier distribution channels to sell Views from Sandhausen.

Lastly for today, I enthusiastic approved Walt Shiel’s wonderful book design and he is busy typesetting and formatting the balance of the book.

We are, indeed, having Fun!

Cliff

Another Sign of Moving to the Digital World


Good Day all…

How chapter frontpieces are formatted

EXTRA, EXTRA, the second draft of Views from Sandhausen’s interior has been received from Walt at Five Rainbows.  Here is the chapter start for the first chapter.  Please note that it incorporates the fountain stone from the fountain on the front cover of the book.  I can’t think of a better way to tie the book together!  Walt gets an Atta boy!

Tomorrow, I will send you an interior (text) page so that you can see how great the layout is.   Based on a thought from Matt Jacob, my Developmental Editor at EditmeFAST.com, we had the concept of an ‘email look’ in mind, given that it was in that format that Views were first written and distributed.  Other than a question that I’ve posed to Walt, this is our interior formatting.

 Yesterday and today, I wrote my second article for suite101.  The following is about that article.

Another Sign of Moving to the Digital World

Today I posted my second article to suite101.org under the subject line of this blog post.  Thus far, the suite101.com experience has been very satisfying, with my first article being accepted and posted immediately, and my second pots automatically posted upon receipt at suite101.org.

Here is a link to: Another Sign of Moving to the Digital World.  I hope you enjoy it! In less than 24 hours, 29 people have read my first piece Step by Step Self-Publishing: the Learning Revolution on Suite101.org.  As stated, revenue goes to suite 101 when a reader, drawn to my article, clicks on an ad, many of which ring the article.  Suite101 then gives me a cut of that commission.  I’m not going to get rich but at least I have some purpose.

To paraphrase from today’s article: “I believe that we are in the center of a digital “Perfect Storm”.  Today’s writer has an infinite workshop, stocked with word-processing, translation, and graphics tools.  The printing capability now commonly offered is amazing (I grew up with dot matrix).  The proofreader and/or Editor have Microsoft Word ‘track changes’, and can output in hundreds of document formats.  The Book Designer has Adobe ‘inDesign CSS’ or other high-end book interior design software, and, he has Photoshop to create cover images that require an expert to discern a difference from a real-life photograph.  The author, through his printing-house, can print one copy of his hard/soft cover book, or 10,000 to leverage (still existing) economies of scale.   Lastly, if you pick the correct Printing House, they will provide your interface to a global distribution network that includes your “Bricks and Mortar” book stores.  Your designer can also output your eBook, after additional formatting, into all of the standard eBook formats.

From a writer, design, printing and distribution standpoint, there are very few reasons why we writers in 2010 even need others at all.  Of course: The MAJOR exception is that we Need a good Developmental Editor and we Need a good Interior and Exterior Book Designer!  To not have either of these experts on your team is the most certain way to ruin!  If you want to be perceived as a Professional, you need to work with professionals.

 It is technically possible to write and eBook and have it for sale tomorrow, on Amazon and most of the other ‘bookstores’.  The independent bookstore of the past will not survive on the profits of (physical) books!  The Traditional Publishing House will not have the power they had even a few years ago.  This is nothing short of a Digital Renaissance!  The smart people connected to the literary community stand to make a very nice living going into the future.  Like the dinosaurs, the less smart will perish.”

Cliff

Step by Step Self-Publishing: The Learning Revolution


Speed of Light

This journey to self-publish a book is incredibly fascinating.  I’m old enough to remember what the process of learning something used to entail.  You went to a location where someone taught you, over a period of weeks or years, the subject matter that you were interested in.  You communicated with your fellow students by phone, in person, or through written communication – to compare notes, study, or to be, or receive subject assistance.  It took a long time, sometimes a lifetime.  That really limited individual potential.   If you were aggressive enough, you might be able to fit two careers into a lifetime.  Fast-forward to today, at Light Speed.

Today, you get on the internet to find traditional learning opportunities or to really use the technology to leverage the Internet as your channel of learning. 

 To read the full post please follow this link:

My suite101 freelance writing article.

Public Isolation Project


There is a very interesting experiment going on in Portland, OR.  It is called The Public Isolation Project.  From the http://www.publicisolationproject.com/  website: “The Public Isolation Project consists of two symbiotic and simultaneous art pieces–Joshua Jay Elliott’s An Examinable Life and Cristin Norine’s The Future of Socializing.  An analog analogy of the contemporary experience of living in the Internet age, Cristin Norine is spending one month living within the confines of the bSIDE6 Gallery—in total view from the gallery’s windows.  Her isolation is alleviated solely by digital interactions with the outside world.  Viewers of the piece will reflect on their own expanded accessibility that technology has brought them.”

To understand some of the motivations behind the effort, this excerpt from Cristin’s blog gives some of the back story. 

“I haven’t spoken much about how this project came about so I thought I would explain a little.  I was driving home from a grad school recruiting event while talking to Josh. I was explaining what concepts I wanted to focus my portfolio on and he was telling me how he was bummed that his current project fell through.  Originally, Josh was going to have a person living in the space that would try and create the smallest carbon footprint possible, but the guy backed out.  It was on that phone call that I said, “Put me in the box.”  During the call we both realized that our concepts worked well together and it could be a great project.”

I find all of this fascinating; I urge you to follow the experiment that will go on for the next 20 days.  Cristin’s blog posts from days 1 through 11 will quickly bring you up to date.   The reason for my fascination is that I see a parallel between my situation; that of losing my wife Lynn 202 days ago, and Cristin’s situation.  I too am essentially isolated because I no longer have my best friend, with whom I spend 24 hours a day with, for 47 years (less time I spent at work).  We finished each other’s sentences for one another, had the same thoughts at the same time, and our walking through life was in complete synchronicity.  We could, and did, communicate with our eyes – and nothing else.   Lastly, we were probably the most tactile couple that you know; we shared dozens of kisses per day, we hugged constantly, and when we walked anywhere, Lynn’s hand was in mine.  Emblematic of our closeness was the ink drawing called “The Promise”, (by Robert Sexton) which I bought many years ago, and now hangs in my room (and always will).  Our joke was that no matter which of us passed away, we would revisit the one who lived – and move the picture on the living wall.  I’m waiting for Lynn’s spirit to move the picture, and I’m still hopeful.

Living with my son Erik is wonderful; I am comfortable, safe, have all of my needs met, and am blessed with the complete love and admiration that only a Son can provide. Erik has his own life to live, has a wonderful friend of his own to spend time with, and works outrageous hours.  He is doing exactly what he should be doing!

Lynn and I chose to leave our home in Cuyahoga Falls to seek adventure and new experiences.  We left 35 years of friends behind and feel guilty to this day about any pain that we caused by leaving.  After my assignment was completed, we chose to leave Germany where many more friends reside.  Circumstances conspired to move us out of Rotonda West, again, where many other friends live.  Here in Homosassa, other than Erik and his friend, I have no friends.  My remote friends have their own lives to live, and good old Cliff is not top of mind for them.  I have always been blessed with close friends and I am lost without them!

I am in a similar type of isolation; my window to the world is electronic, ranging from television to my iPhone.  I watch the golfers on the first green of the Southern Wood Golf Club, enjoy themselves.  They are but 60 yards from me but might as well be on TV, for all they do for me.  I am not made of money and must live within my means, made more difficult by the Views from Sandhausen project.  I reached out and have been hired by suite101, as a freelance writer.  I’m finding that, as much as I hate it, it doesn’t look I will ever be able to find an appropriate job again.  My means are limited which restricts my ability to get out and do things.  This is very different from our previous lives – where we were affluent and could do what we wanted, when we wanted.

Cristin can look out her window in Portland; can minimally interact with those on the street.  She, like I, miss the warm hugs, the occasional kisses, and the ability to touch another human.  So, I will continue to follow her project and learn any of the lessons that she learns.  Cristin has the promise of her isolation ending in three weeks. I, on the other hand, can only hope and pray that I will find another with whom I can share that most important, but underappreciated quality – Touch.

Cliff

What a World We Live In!


During this author/Publisher/Marketer journey I am on, I spend a lot of time on Twitter.  What a great tool, particularly as delivered on my iPhone 3GS.  The iPhone phenomenon has been covered ad infinitum by others; all I know is what it does for me!  As I work on my Dell Desktop, I have CNN on the TV in my Study.  That provides me a backdrop, to gather news and to keep this lonely soul engaged.  By my side is my iPhone.  It presents me with tweets and text messages as they come in.  Per CNN just now, Apple sells 80,000 iPhones per day!  Imagine that!  From Twitter I received a link that enables me to watch   a massive dust storm over the Gobi desert (in Africa) from my modest dwelling in Florida.  Is this an exciting world, or what!

Speaking of excitement, my Views from Sandhausen book designer, Walt Shiel, Managing Partner of Five Rainbows, sent me a PDF of three interior book layout and style options!  Wow!  I had a few design ideas that I had passed along to Walt, but he took them and really produced some very compelling ideas.  Do you have any idea how many parts make up a page of a book?  Further, any idea, beyond the page itself, the other components that make up what you see when you pick a book up?  Unless you are a typesetter or book designer, you don’t.  All of these elements work together in a well done book, or fight against each other in very subtle ways.  You don’t even think about it.

Have you ever picked up a book, onlt to tire of it?  The story is compelling enough, the text is large enough, but there is that subtle something that causes you to stop picking it up and working your way through it.  That subtle something is the design of the book itself.  What you may have is headers that don’t work with footers, text style that slows you down, even though it is large enough, and confusion on how to find a particular part of the book.  All of these subtle nuances conspire against you in a way that causes you to put it down and move on.  A book unfinished will cause you to tell your friends about it and that is a Killer to book sales.  Of course, done well and with a compelling story, you won’t be able to put it down, and you will tell your friends about it! A well-designed book is a treasure and a joy to read, and probably keep.  That’s the product of a good book designer.

Long story short, I chose an amalgam of elements from the three options that Walt sent to me.  I know that some options can fight against others, within a style.  That is something we have to resolve, but now we have a good basis for our conversation.  Another step towards our goal on this 200th day since my wonderful Lynn left all of us.

Love each other

Cliff

Devil in the North Woods


As many of you know, I love to read.  It is a rare week that I don’t read at least  one book in that week.  That habit has been with me for 58 years. While I’m in a lull in the action on Views from Sandhausen, my book designer Walt Shiel was kind enough to send me a copy of his novel based on historical fact, Devil in the North Woods.  This gripping story is based in Northern Michigan, an area that I have vacationed in and around, during my (youth) family’s various vacations.  The lure of the north woods, the clear clean waters of places like Crystal Lake, Beulah, Oscoda, Traverse City, Calumet, Michigan are quite a draw.  It was worth it to get into the 68 degree water of Lake Huron, Michigan and Crystal Lakes.  You could see small snails on the bottom, 20 feet down, as clearly as you could see them in the palm of your hand.   Until we lived and walked in the Black Forest in Germany, it was the most impressive landscape of (mostly) pine forest that I ever experienced.  These are beautiful magical places as long as the rains come regularly and the weather does not get too hot.

 When pine forest is dry and the weather is hot, particularly near a land mass and a large body of water boundary, the weather can be unpredictable.  Added to that threat, the only way to really prevent forest fires are to set vary controlled burns. You have to burn the underbrush beneath those tall pines or it will accumulate to the point that the least spark will cause it to detonate (and I use that word deliberately). These burns, particularly with changing wind currents can quickly get out of hand.  What can occur then is Hell on Earth.

Devil in the North Woods is a story of a number of good, hard-working, simple pioneers, trying to earn their living in this remote and harsh environment – in 1908.  That date caught my eye as that was the year that my Father was born.  You already know why I focused on the area.  Through Chapter 6, Mr. Shiel crafts a gently intertwining of half-dozen families.  He does so with excellent character development, not only within the individual threads, but between the threads themselves.  The danger slowly develops, but these pioneers trust in their God and always look on the optimistic side of things.  They do so at their peril.

The terror of the fire and the way it impacts these families and threads, cause you to lose yourselves in the words on the pages, which flip all too fast.  You cannot put this book down; you are digging a hole in the ground with your bleeding fingers, so that you might breath, as the crown fires take away all oxygen and rain fire everywhere.  The pine tops do not just catch fire – they explode.  They explode violently enough that 100 ft. tall pines shoot into the air like rockets.  You are breathing the unbearably hot and smoke-filled air, feeling your damaged lungs degrade within you.  Your throat closes, your mouth is parched and the weak simply give up.  The tragedy of the Metz, MI fire is profound.  The fire experience is not over done but it is described in such a way that you are struggling with your neighbors to survive.

 The magic of this book, if my preceding recitation has not drawn you in, is that more than 60% of the book is seen through the eyes of children.  The central character is Henry Hardies.  He is a middle child in a very large family and Henry is a classic 10 year-old, in behavior and in emotion.  Where he excels is his spirit.  He is strong and focused beyond his years.  All too often these historical fiction stories are from the viewpoint of the adults.  Henry and the other children are the reason you can’t put this book down!

Not all survive, many you do not know their fate until the end.  This is a story that you feel in your gut, and the lessons to be learned are on every page. 

Perhaps it is because I lost my precious Lynn 200 days ago, but the anguish was palpable within my breast.  At the end I drew strength from the lessons learned, and it has given me strength to go on with my life.  Thank you Walt!

Cliff

Looks like Winter is Coming


This weekend marked the arrival of some really cold air (low 40’s) and the grass and our cars were covered with frost as we walked out the get the paper.  Our Florida home, 4 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and halfway down the peninsula, is covered with windows.  Alas, they are not thermal windows and we lose a lot of heat through them.  Being bachelors, my son Erik and I, we don’t have a lot of patience for curtains and blinds.  Consequently we can turn the heat up farther than 72 degrees, or the furnace (an electric beast which consumes prodigious amounts of power) runs constantly.  That will never do.  We wear lots of clothes and stay warm the old-fashioned way.

As you know, this blog has been up for a couple of months and isn’t really performing as I would like.  I am averaging 18 hits per day and that number is steadily climbing; I want it to climb by an order of magnitude better.  When I first built the blog on WordPress I did so with no training and no guidance.  I used the (dated) knowledge that I had back in 1991, when a very few of us put Goodyear on the Internet map, and registered www.Goodyear.com .  That was light years ago.  I bought WordPress for Dummies book and it is high time that I opened it and actually learned something!  So, while my designer, Walt at Five Rainbows slaves away on our Views from Sandhausen cover, I’ve gone back to ‘school’ to get those page views up to where they need to be when the book comes out! 

It’s either burn the book for heat or learn from it.

Cliff

Design Work Continues


I’ve been struggling with my proclivity to product kidney stones at an alarming rate.  For the last three days I’ve had pretty intense kidney back pain; pain that doesn’t’ allow me to even take a deep breath, much less sit for an extended time in my chair.  I’ve dropped eight stones (physical stones – not weight) in the last 25 days; I’m getting tired of it, considering that I’m doing everything that my Urologist wants me to do…  Rats

I’m also seeing an amazing growth in the number of page views and total visits to our blog http://flaauthor.wordpress.com/ (this site).  Over the last three months our readers have grown at a nearly 80% growth rate – month over month.  In addition, last evening we broke through 100 Twitter followers (@CliffordF2).  That means that is incumbent upon me to keep these posts fresh and interesting.  You will have noticed that I am straying occasionally from the ‘progress monitoring on Views from Sandhausen’, to other timely topics that I find of interest.  This is a good thing as I’ve just have been accepted as a Freelance Writer by suite101.com.   Life has taken on a new dimension for me.  I might even start making a little money.

As Five Rainbows was very near finalizing the paperback book version cover, I needed to get busy and finalize FlaAuthor Publishing, LLC’s corporate logo.  I have been working on this for some time. 

Here is the final Logo.

And, here is the finalized Paperback cover:

Views from Sandhausen paperback cover.

This is starting to get exciting.  Five Rainbows is now working on the hardcover cover and book jacket.  I wrote a succinct book marketing piece for View from Sandhausen and Walt used it, in part, for the back of the paperback.  It is certainly the correct usage as that is the objective of the text on the back of a paperback.   I need to see how that affects the content of the text that will be used for the hardcover book jacket content.  So, once again, it is back to the keyboard. 

An interesting aside, I have always used Dell Computers (at least the last five machines) out a total of perhaps ten or eleven PC’s total.  I use my computer A LOT.  This computer I bought in June of 2009.  I have worn out this keyboard!  It is worn out and it is sixteen months old!  Amazing.  That tells me about how much writing I have done in those sixteen months.  Hopefully it has been worth reading; I sure had a great timing writing!

Cliff