More radio spots
Tomorrow I will be recording several radio segments for the new ‘Quick-Take’ feature running on NewsTalk AM 1230. Travel Host magazine’s Jeff Campbell does a weekly spot showcasing local history and he has invited me to participate by highlighting noteworthy spots that are off the beaten path. The Naked Historian has allowed me to offer up some well-received video and it will be nice to also have a related radio outlet. My first segment was on the Meade Pyramid and I am following that up with the Bernard’s Slave Cabins, Salem Church and the Spotsy CSA Cemetery. In addition, the GA-based movie company that I am working with is coming to town in late-July to begin a week of shooting interviews and site-pans for our documentary project. I am really enjoying working with multi-media and it’s nice to get away from the labors of writing for a change. The time requirements are minimal and it allows me to still enjoy my newfound freedoms.
I literally just got back from a spectacular 9-day family vacation to Walt Disney World. We had an incredible time and I feel like I need a vacation from our vacation. It appears that a helluva lot has happened since we first left "the real world" and I am still catching up. John and Kate finally split. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson AND Billy Mayes died. Two commuter trains crashed in D.C. and Orange County dropped the ball on The Wilderness Wal-Mart. I have a virtual stack of emails, an actual stack of snail mail, and a bunch of house chores to catch up on. I'll be back to blogging in a few days. I also have several CW-related projects to post about including two book reviews, a new Kunstler painting essay, local radio spots, documentary shoot, webpage updates, and a new episode of The Naked Historian coming soon. Check back in a week (or less) and I'll have several links to share. It's good to be home, but I have to say that it will take a while to shake off the Magic Kingdom "buzz". It really is the best place on earth and nowhere else compares. View PDF of some vacation photos
The 4 year-old boy on the left is standing in the Fredericksburg National Cemetery at the grave of Cleora Stuart Segar Harrison, wife of Captain Gunyon M. Harrison. She was born Feb. 14, 1892 and died on Nov. 9, 1975. Her husband was a VMI graduate, organizer of a rifle club at Westhampton College, commander of Company K in Fredericksburg’s first National Guard Unit, and the director of public safety for the city. The nearly 18-year old man on the right graduated with honors from Massaponax High School and will be attending the University of Northwestern of Ohio in August as part of their High-Performance Motor Sports program. He plans to engineer and fabricate race cars. Congrats Dylan, we are so proud of you! (One down, three to go.)
Please see the post below (for context) before reading this one.
Now that I have a newfound sense of time and the precious ability to enjoy it, I would like to extend an open invitation out there to one of my beloved readers to join me in the game of kings. Simply put, I love Chess. I have written an article about chess, been quoted on ESPN Classic about chess, I’ve even done a radio show on chess but I have not played it in a very long time. So…I am looking for someone who would be interested in playing a long-distance game. My son is busy preparing for college and I have no one to play with. This could be done via emailed-moves and the board could be displayed online with an updated digital photo and move list. I would even post a link here so viewers could follow the action. I’ve used online chess sites before and they are way too impersonal. I want to play someone who I ‘know’ or can ‘get to know’ on a real physical board that would be set up. I have several nice chess sets, but I think a little travel one would work well for this approach. There would be a weekly time limit (min. one move per week) and the victor could claim bragging rights across the blogosphere. I think it would be great to eventually get a CW-blogger tournament going on as I know there are many chess players who are also historians and history enthusiasts. So to quote the great Garry Kasparov, “Chess is torture.” Who’s with me? The game begins in 2 weeks. Accept challenge here.
Today feels like a different kind of day for me.
It is the first time in 5 years that I am not working on a book deadline. 2009 will see the release of my 5th and 6th titles as yesterday I finished off a draft manuscript and expect to receive a proofed version back of another in the coming weeks. It takes a tremendous amount of work and time to research and write history books (or any book for that matter) and I have sacrificed countless hours with my family and friends in order to pursue this passion of mine. At 37-years old, I have been very blessed and I am absolutely certain that my successes as a writer are not at all due to my own efforts, but from the grace I receive from above, and the support I have around me down here. I’m proud of the books that I’ve published to date and feel that I am getting better as both a historian and author. (The first book I released back in 2005 had 80+ pages. This last one I co-wrote will have over 400.)
My plate isn’t completely emptied as I still have the occasional article, tour, lecture, and media piece, but for the most part I am finally freed up from the major tasks that demand the majority of my attention. It feels… relaxing and I haven’t felt that way in a very-very long time. I can actually go home at night and not have to work after the kids go to bed. Spending 12 hours at a keyboard is ridiculous. It’s summertime. I have a beautiful pool, and now I can finally use it without looking at the clock and worrying about my schedule. Getting back to a 9-5 lifestyle is something I absolutely crave – and require.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not done writing books, but I am taking a much-needed break as in no new publishing contracts for the rest of this year. (Honey, you can bookmark this post and use it against me at any time.) I am also never-ever going to work on two books at the same time. That’s nuts. Thank God one of them is a chronicle-collection, which required more quoted transcripts than original narrative.
As of today, my attentions are going to be better spent. I’m taking the family to Disney World on vacation. I’m having lunch today with a dear friend I haven’t hung out with in years. I even had a celebratory cocktail for the first time in 3 years and it tasted g-o-o-d. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our professional pursuits that we neglect the personal ones that really matter. I’ve been extremely lucky as I have an understanding wife and co-workers who give me the space to do my thing, but I have not been practicing work moderation in any way. It has cost me many relationships and tarnished my sense of priorities. Thank God I have my church to keep me grounded. So now seems like the perfect time for me to get a life, regain some friends, pay attention to my wife, and walk away from the keyboard when it’s quitting time.
Of course I’ll continue to blog, I’m not crazy or anything...