Monday, July 25, 2011


Diana Randolph, author of In the Heart of the Forest, and a talented, prolific, inspiring painter, used the phrase, "uninterrupted poetry days" in a recent email. I tried to conceptualize what an uninterrupted poetry day might be like. The concept seemed heavenly at first, but then became more difficult to imagine as I pondered it. What would an uninterrupted poetry day be like for you?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In the Spirit of Amanda Hocking

Shipped 40 books today. 20 Devil of Charleston. 20 Spirit of the Shadows. Both penned by Rebel Sinclair of Charleston, SC. Shipped two BattleNotes: Music of the Vietnam War yesterday. Peeled a balsam log earlier this morning, when it was cooler. Made two 2 x 8 boxes last weekend. One for grease guns. One for loading / towing straps. A dedicated Ghost Burglar blog is coming soon. Here's a photo of a sign with a misspelled word in it. First to tell me the misspelled word gets a free book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ghost Burglar Interest

Jim King, co-author of the upcoming True Crime book, Ghost Burglar, was recently on a wedding cruise (Not his own.) on the Chesapeake Bay and was asked, "What's your book about?"

His Answer:

It's a case I investigated for about five years.

The wealthy areas in and around Washington were getting hit hard by silver burglars in the mid-70's due to the rising price of silver. There were a lot of criminals doing this, but one MO stood out. Most burglaries were daytime, but these particular ones were in the evenings. They were distinguished as much by what was not stolen as what was. Whomever was doing the crimes took only good silver, jewelry, antiques, art, oriental carpets, and furs. No TV's, stereos, checks or credit cards. Slowly we, the investigators, came to the conclusion it was one person.

But that was impossible. This criminal was hitting three or four times a night, five to six nights a week and no one had ever seen him. He was like a ghost.
In the springtime these particular thefts stopped, only to continue in the fall. It was like he took the summer off. None of the normal police tactics worked. There were no fences, no informants, no witnesses, no finger prints, nothing left behind.
Over the years the criminal was getting more aggressive, maybe even cocky, because of his success. He began to confront people and rather than running, he beat handcuffed and even raped lone women in their homes. We investigators recognized this behavior from other serial criminals and knew he would increasingly confront victims until somebody was killed.
In 1978, from one of the raped women, I discovered that the criminal had a full set of false teeth. I remembered a police meeting from four years before of a similar burglar in the Richmond, VA area. I contacted a detective in Richmond and learned that a suspect had escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility, commonly called Dannemora, a New York prison. Prison records indicated that a man named Bernard Welch had received a full set of false teeth while incarcerated. I put it together.

Bernard Welch, followed the same MO in D.C. as the burglar in Richmond and also hauled his loot to out of state auction houses. I started contacting auction places up and down the East Coast. Welch was from New York and had sold stolen goods in Florida. That effort produced no results so I tried mailing wanted posters to the Midwest. I got one response from Illinois, but it was the wrong guy. I never sent anything to Minnesota, because who would sell hot stuff in Minnesota? It was at this time that Welch was arrested for the gunshot murder of famed cardiologist Michael Halberstam.

Welch went on to escape from an escape-proof jail in downtown Chicago and return to Greensburg, Pennsylvania where he resumed his life as crime as had done in New York, Richmond, VA., and Washington D.C. until he was again caught because he was double parked in a car he had stolen in Wisconsin.

The best line of Jim's tale was, "They all said they would buy copies of the book and read it because it sounded so interesting."


Thursday, July 14, 2011


Last Saturday I attended a modern dance performance in Duluth and there in the middle of the audience was Lizbeth Salander! Well, not THEE Lizbeth, but a clone of the Stieg Larsson character from the novels about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The real life woman was waif thin, dressed in all black, had short straight black hair, and a distinct owl tattoo on her chest. So, how important is writing? Well, it has the power to influence a woman in Duluth, Minnesota to get an owl tattoo, dress in all black like the movie character, and, probably ride a motorcycle. Earlier this spring I saw a Lizbeth Salander look-alike riding a sport bike down Belknap Street in Superior. I wondered if Larsson, in his most optimistic moments, ever thought his writing would be influencing young impressionable women in the Twin Ports of Superior and Duluth. I'm guessing not too likely because he probably didn't really know Superior/Duluth even existed. But I'm also guessing he did write with either the secret or acknowledged hope that his words would have huge impact. And guess, what.... They certainly did. Not only on two women in the Twin Ports, but on readers worldwide. So, if you're writing, creating words, crafting a story, plotting a plot, streaming a consciousness...dream...dream...dream. Dream that your creation will somehow, someway, someday, be a powerful force for good in the world. It is a good motivation to write with the hope that what you are creating will somehow be grand, huge, big, important, significant, meaningful, loved, desired, and widely praised. Go ahead and want it all, want the best, want the highest, want most. It's a grand thing you're doing, writing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Working with well-known local artist, author, businessman, Ed Newman, for the ALL ELeCTrONiC offering of his YA novel The Red Scorpion. Ed, like Wallace Stevens and Ted Kooser, works in corporate office by day and by night he is a painter, prose-meister, creator extraordinaire.

The Red Scorpion is part Harry Potter, part The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and should intrigue Young Adult readers, especially boys.

There will be no print version of The Red Scorpion. It will only be downloadable at a super-inexpensive price in the fashion of Amanda Hocking.

You can check out Ed's interesting, erudite, revealing, insightful, blog at:

I guarantee this will be interesting.