Conversation with an Author: Michael Barnes

If you live in Austin and have read the local newspaper in the last 30 years, you probably know of Michael Barnes.  He’s been covering arts, entertainment, culture, history, the city and its people and changes and more in some form or another in the Austin American-Statesman for most of that time.  He’s also written two books, performed and taught theater at the University of Texas and St. Edwards University among other things for many years.  He has a diverse presence on the internet with several blogs and social media sites, and probably alot of other things I’m sure I don’t know about.  He also has a doctorate in theater, and oh, by the way, last year he was 2017 Best Journalist in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll.  So when I casually invited him to connect and he did, and then he invited me to meet him for coffee, what was A Dude going to say?  I said yes, of course! Continue reading

Conversation with an Author: Dale Thele

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Dale with his coffee cup, black moustache protector, business card, and writer cap.

Dale Thele is an author.  If there’s one thing I took away from the very generous amount of time we spent together at a coffee shop today, is that to think of oneself as an author (or writer, if you prefer), is important.  No, it does not make you good, or increase your chances of publication.

But, thinking of oneself that way is one key to behaving that way.  Writers write, right?  (Do authors auth?)  Luckily, I took away alot more than that one thing, and as Dale was happy to share them with me, he’s happy for me to share them with all 168 of my followers and any new visitors.

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Wow! I Met Author Walter Mosley at a Book Reading and Signing Event! (+ 12-Mile Trainer Ride)

Coincidence is a funny thing. When two disconnected but interrelated things happen for no clear reason, we search for answers. Religious people would say it’s the will of the one(s) they worship. Agnostic athiests and secular humanists like A Dude would chalk it up to chance. The spiritual might say it’s the butterfly effect, or intentions coming back to you. Scientists would say something… sciencey.

I don’t know what Walter Mosley would say about me writing a blog about one of his books just a few days ago, and then him coming to town from a reading and book signing. Well, I think he may have said thanks.  I wasn’t starstruck as much as feeling like “Wow!  That’s Walter Mosley!  Did I somehow summon him to Austin?”  I wish I had that superpower.  But anyway, what I’d say about this coincidence, fate, destiny, kismet, stupid luck, good fortune, or whatever — it was freaking awesome! Thanks to my host for reading my review and cluing me in. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW #1: Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley – An Easy Rawlins Mystery

The idea of reviewing books about bicycling has been in the back of my brain for a bunch of blogs.  But I have Milly Schmidt from Australia (The Cat’s Write) and Shalini from India (Books, Reviews et al. by Shalini) to thank for reminding me that writing in different genres is perfectly acceptable (despite what some pro bloggers may say) and that reviewing books is a good thing to do for aspiring writers.  I’ve just finished award-winning Walter’s Mosley’s Charcoal Joe:  An Easy Rawlins Mystery, so don’t be blue.   Without further ado, here is A Dude Abikes’ review.  For you.  It’s true!  And brand new. Continue reading

Austin WordPress Meetup Google Analytics Class – Taught in Klingon

I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know

After job search group, a Linked In consultation and a tasty nap, on a whim I looked at MeetUp.  There’s a WordPress group,  and they happened to be having a class on Google Analytics, a free software program to learn who’s looking at your website.  So I hopped on the trusty Fuji Silhouette and cruised downtown in the cool weather.  I’m sitting here feeling as if everyone else speaks Klingon, and I’m merely an Earthling.

A Dude is very right-brained, and this is left-brain stuff all the way.  Unless you have the luxury of money to hire a web person, learning this stuff is what one needs to do to get better in blogging, web mastering and so on.  For my first time out, it was too advanced.  But, I went, talked to some people, and got an ok feel for it.  So for me that’s a win.  Just like Charlie Sheen, A Dude likes WINNING! Continue reading