Spring Storm by Urmo Parks

I began working on a website in September 2016. Once my website was up, I spent hours updating and promoting it. I did not realize the complexity of creating a website. The site has matured since its’ launch, yet it’s still is a work in progress.

I learned if you want your website followed by the public and other writers, especially those belonging to the WordPress community, you need to visit their sites. You need to follow and comment on their work. I have worked hard and as a novice writer, I feel I have done well. As-to-date, I have 36 followers from WordPress, 8 email followers (this needs to be much higher), and 137 social media followers. I in turn, follow 59 WordPress authors and bloggers. I didn’t take the time to count all the writers and bloggers I follow on social media. I have published 24 post and re-blogged several of my followers’ post on my site.

During this same period, I have worked on my second book. As with the first book, it’s based on a part of my life. The first book was fiction, however, I want the second to be a memoir. I having a debate with myself if the manuscript is breaching the rules of a memoir. In February, I wrote a post, Memoire verses Fiction. I proposed the question, how much embellishment can you include before a memoir becomes fiction. If you haven’t already, I invite you to read and comment on the post. Your comments will help in the decision process.

I have done this all the while playing some golf, volunteering at my church, and participating in a social life. My husband complains I spend too much time in front of my computer. I know he is right. I spend more time on my computer now than I did when I was working. I loved my career and I love retirement even more. What is surprising to my friends and me that I took up writing when I retired. There is a post on that too.

It has been a while since I mentioned and promoted my first book, One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. As with a successful website, self-published books need promotion. Neglect of promoting and utilizing marketing tools, result in poor sales. When I released the book, sales were brisk the first few months. Since the beginning of the year, they have fallen to a trickle. I didn’t manage my time and focused on the website and the second book. I am not surprised that my sales are down. In saying this, I want to bring attention to my first book.

One man’s story of what it meant to be a PJ.

One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up, follows a young man’s account of his four years serving in the Air Force. This novel follows him and his best friend as they volunteer to cross train into the elite career field of Pararescue. They spend 14 months of grueling training where only the best and those with the desire to push themselves to the limit, successfully succeed in becoming a PJ.

When he graduates and proudly wears the burgundy beret and Pararescue Flash, he knows it is only a matter of weeks; he will be assigned to a Pararescue flight crew in Vietnam. The book follows his 13 months in Vietnam where he quickly learns the horror of war and how he must adapt to not only keep his sanity, also return alive. His story has several of the rescue missions he and his PJ brothers complete where not all the rescued are returned alive. When he faces personal bereavement, he must reach deep to restore his integrity, and keep his oath, “These things I do, that others may live.”



14 Replies to “WORK IN PROGRESS”

  1. You’re doing the right thing by visiting, reading and commenting on other blogger’s posts, Chuck. Becoming a part of their communities will in turn result in many of them becoming a part of yours. They won’t all follow and comment and you should never concern yourself with that, but just ensure you continue to enjoy and have fun with the whole blogging experience. I’m sure you will.

    1. Hi Hugh,
      Thank you for your kind response. When I first set up my website, I followed and became a contributing author to a particular literary website. Although from the beginning, I did not hide that I was gay, I was naive that this group was prejudicial. It began with them censoring my comments and then they just removed them. Finally they asked me to stop contributing. They removed my name from their site and removed their follow from my site. I guess my point is, even though we need to be aggressive within our literary community, you need to be aware that there are individuals that can and will hurt your reputation. I lost several followers, yet since then, I have picked up triple the considerate followers like you. Thank you for your kindness and our new friendship. HUGS

      1. Chuck – if they are that closed minded, you really don’t want their fumes in your consciousness! They don’t seem to recall the most important spiritual words ever spoken: AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE. Love ’em and let them leave you – happily!

        I can promise you from my years of blogging (over 6 now), that there are a great many bloggers out there who are not only NOT judgmental, they will be happy that you’ve found somebody to love with whom to spend your life. (Like me, for example.)

        Be who you are with a vengeance – let the ones who don’t belong in your orb clear out quickly so you will have more time to spend on the ones who will cherish your involvement. Like ME!!
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

        1. Hi Madelyn,
          You are a doll and I value our growing friendship. I learned the hard way to allow people like that to disrupt your happiness only hurts yourself. If I can forgive my parents, then no one else stands a chance. It was their loss when they decided to eliminate me. I have moved on.
          Thank you for your beautiful response. I knew there was a reason I was following you. 🙂 HUGS

          1. What a heartfelt response. Anyone who doesn’t want to connect with you is missing out!

            I’m so sorry that some of the folks who are missing out are the very ones whom you are entitled to expect would be thrilled to have given birth to such a loving spirit. I’m glad you have found a way to move on – but so sorry that you were forced to.

      2. Well, all I say to that is that it’s their loss, Chuck. I have had some rather nasty comments left on some of my posts where I talk about being gay and/or being dyslexic. They can be very upsetting, but I’ve learned now to mark them as spam and not allow them to hold me back for being who I am. I can’t control those people or their beliefs so why worry about it?

        1. There are not very many homosexual men and women who have not experienced some type of bigotry. It took years for me to fully accept myself and not allow these individuals to hurt me. Now, I don’t allow them to hurt me and I move on to bigger and better things. HUGS

  2. I think you’re doing a great job of visiting. it is hard to keep on it though, i think. I work and also have a very busy life, so I do my best and I am sure you do too. i wouldn’t worry about those who don’t respond or respond negatively. They are basically not worth it 🙂 I’ve very much appreciated your visits to me!

    1. Thank you Mary for dropping by and leaving a much appreciated comment. Did you get a chance to read “Memoir vs. Fiction”? I wish you would leave an opinion on it too. Thanks.

  3. Chuck! You are doing great! Keep going to where your heart tells you to, except when it tells you to roll down the stairs when things are upside down. But, you really are making great moves and keep doing that! Congrats on your first book! And I wish you lots of success !

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