When are your books going to be published? I love reading your stuff, but I would rather see it in print. What gives you the motivation to write? Are all of your stories based on personal experiences or are they made up to illustrate various parts of being a Boy Scout or Boy Scout leader? Why sometimes you talk about "your former wife" and sometimes about "your wife Jessi"? Are you trying to tell us something in your stories? Are you still married? Why do you post your stories to the (name of mailing list)? I'm not really interested in reading them there, and you're wasting someone else's posting. What do I care about your life?
First, I have been married twice before, and when I refer to my "former wife" more than likely I'm referring to my first wife, Millie (Mildred Vires Walton). At the time I wrote "Patches and Pins", and later the start to "Eagle Feathers", I was married to her. More than likely, however, you are probably referring to my second former wife, Jessica Ann Ryan Walton (who will become if she is not already Jessica Ann Krall). One cannot erase or "sub in" names when telling stories based in a large part upon one's life!! There were no "special messages" in there when I refer to either as a "former wife". To me, I have no "ex-wives" but "former wives". The "ex" part denotes to a large amount of people something negative and I assure you, the 20 years I spent between those two marriages have NOT been "all bad" and Mille and Jessi were not "all bad wives" (especially Jessi).
I am single again and am actively dating.
Second, I post various excerpts (not the full story, but enough to get the message across) from either "Patches and Pins", "Hope This Helps!", "Eagle Feathers", "Doggies and Jarheads", "Ladykiller", "Good Intentions", and "Siblings" to various discussion groups and USENET Newsgroups during "slow periods", mainly on the weekends when the 'traffic level' is low. I always get the permission of the moderator or listowner of the list before I post them. I do so for two reasons. One, to illustrate a part of my life (or in the case of the last four titles, the characters' life) to something which is currently being discussed in the forum or as part of the conversation; the other reason to gain some interest in reading the rest of the novel or book. The postings ALWAYS adhere to the topic and are not "just placed there just because I want people to read my stuff". I'm sorry: if my occasional postings make you upset when you see them, just use your delete key or mouse and delete them from your machine, and everything will be fine. If there's something in particular you don't like, post me and let's talk about it.
I have also copied those extracts and placed them on my website as well as on Gather.com so that those without access to the various lists can read them online. It's a good way for me to attract new readers as well as somehow attract an editor or publisher as well.
I enjoy writing and I welcome the feedback I've received over the years from Scouters and others about my writing - good, bad or or otherwise. My motivation in writing comes from the fact that since I was old enough to understand the purpose of a writing implement, I've always had one in my hand: whether it was a crayon and the walls of my room; a pencil and a blank sheet of paper; a fountain pen; or one of those Faber-Castill Uniball pens I've generally got in front of me or close by. I was given my first book at age 3 and have been reading since...and when I can't find anything of my own to read, I would grab whatever was laying around. Since I've learned how to type, I've typed many of my long-handed out stories and books ("Patches and Pins" started out as a journal book; I still use journal books to write stories and to keep notes in. I got that idea from my Mom) and have converted several short stories (like "Ladykiller", the tale of how you truly have to "watch what you say" around people) and "Good Intentions" (why it is always best to tell why you "rode into town") to the electronic medium.
Many of the stories in "Patches and Pins", "Hope This Helps!" and "Eagle Feathers" come directly from my personal Scouting experiences, and those of other Scouters whom I've come in touch with over the many years. "Patches and Pins" and "Doggies and Jarheads" are also partly based on my experiences living in residential hall rooms on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University; the two short stories "Ladykiller" and "Good Intentions" came to me as dreams (no lie!) as well as the novel "Siblings"; and other stories come from a result of overhearing my father, a Vietnam era vet, and his friends talk about how life was there, combined with my research and with a good dose of Scouting lore tossed in the mix.
The only books I extract are from "Patches and Pins" (more than half of the book is on the Internet in some form), "Eagle Feathers", "Hope This Helps!" "Doggies and Jarheads" (on a campus-life forum) and "Good Intentions" on an interracial forum. I've started to place chapters of "Siblings" onto an interracial and on a forum dealing with lesbians and their families for their reaction and feedback. Not the entire chapter or section is posted, due to size limitations and my desire to not post the entire block of information. Some of the more racier parts of those extracts are found on special parts of my website, away from the "beaten path" and out of the view of younger children and others whom may be taken offense by the language or descriptions used.
I have been working with a firm called Xlibris to produce "Patches and Pins" and the EagleTips series for me; things have been stalled a bit. I originally intended on having both books completed by the end of February, 2000; however, family situations, laziness, and an overall desire to hold off until I get "Siblings" completely written electronically has moved back my schedule. I have a new editor and with her assistance and kicking me in the butt, they will be released. I'll be sure to let you know through my website called "The Tree" know when they are available.
My new editor, Singing Earth, also wants me to put together more than a thousand postings I've made, advice to Scouting leaders over the past more than 15 years, and make it available to Scouting people in connection with the 100th annversary of Scouting in America. You can read how that's going by going to my book page on my website.
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