Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Guest Will Be Dianne Sagan, Ghostwriter

Starting on Monday, I will be hosting Dianne Sagan, a ghostwriter and author. Stop by and get to know her, beginning with some background material about her career as a writer in my first post about her on Monday. In the meanwhile, you can check her out at or at .



Friday, November 28, 2008

Mailing Lists & Charities

Today's mail just came a bit ago, and I had more than an inch-high stack of mailings from various charities. I've gotten to where I discard most of them unopened nowadays. I gave to one military-associated charity a few weeks back, and now I seem to be on some list for other military-associated groups. Two more came in today's mail. I wish charities I donate to would NOT put or sell my name and address on some mailing list to other charities. All the environmental groups seem to be particularly bad about sharing their lists, but the worse I've encountered has to be the Native American charity organizations.

A year ago I received a mailing from a Native American school. I have always felt sorry over the treatment the Indians received from this country as it drove them from their native lands so whites could expand west. It is a shameful chapter in U.S. history to be sure. So, I gave to that charity. Shortly thereafter, I received mailings from several other Indian charities representing various tribes or associations. I gave to a several of these. Then I started receiving two or three different mailings from Indian charities every week. That was followed by telephone calls for larger donations. Soon I was getting multiple Indian mailings every day and several phone calls every week. It was bordering on being harrassed. Finally, I started telling the telemarketers to please take my name off their list. My favorite line to tell them was that "I had more Indians after me than Custer had after him at the Little Big Horn." Sometimes the woman at the other end would laugh, but sometimes she would say coldly "I doubt that!" or "Hardly". Whatever, after six months of saying that and throwing away all Indian mailings unopened, it has finally slacked off ... not quit entirely, but greatly decreased.

Why must charity organizations turn donating into such a chore? A week after making a donation, many will send you a thank you letter with an envelope enclosed and ask for another, bigger donation OR they start sending you a request for more money every few months OR they call you and ask for an emergency $500 donation to save the whatever, winding down to "Surely you can afford to donate just $15 to help out". Well, this particular goose is running out of both patience and golden eggs! And Christmas holiday season charity giving is just getting ramped up...



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgivings!!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday, even the turkeys among you ... and you know if you are one. :-)

Holiday Cheers!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Entered A Couple of Book Contests Today

I received an email yesterday informing me that the Reader Views Literary Contest for 2008 deadline was fast approaching (15 December). I checked out the submission guidelines and decided to submit my poetry book, Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man (, in the poetry catagory. Then, I remembered that I had received information about the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards for books a week or so back. So, I decided what the heck, why not submit PMOFM to that contest as well. I spent a few hours this afternoon filling out the entry form for each contest, writing out the entry fee checks, packing the books for mailing, and then driving to the post office to mail them.
And that is probably the last I'll be hearing about that... LOL.
How many poetry books do you suppose each contest will receive for this year's contest? But, you have to submit to even have a chance of winning some recognition, eh? Have any of you even entered a book contest? If so, did you win or place? Authors are filled with eternal hope!



Saturday, November 22, 2008

Red Tail Project - Tuskegee Airmen

A few months back I received a mailing from the Red Tail Project asking for a donation to help restore a WWII Mustang fighter like those flown by the black pilots called the Tuskegee Airmen. I had seen a movie about them several years back, and I admired what these men had achieved in the face of racial discrimination during the 1940s. I read more background on-line and then wrote this poem as a tribute:

The Tuskegee Airmen

In 1942 America was in World War II.
For black Americans, “back of the bus”
and segregation was all they ever knew.
Yet, they pled, “Give this chance to us.“

Let us fight as pilots; let us do our part.”
Many opposed: “Negroes lack intelligence
to fly a plane; in combat they’d lack heart.
To become a first-rate pilot takes diligence!”

Approval finally won, the Tuskegee Institute
began to make fighter pilots out of black men.
They became heroes, turning their critics mute.
Let’s review what they accomplished back then.

Flying P51-C Mustangs with tails painted red,
these black men were courageous and skilled
when escorting bomber missions. It’s been said
they kept many bomber crews from being killed.

The statistics are extraordinary:
1,578 total missions flown
15,533 total sorties flown
Over 260 German planes destroyed
Hardly any escorted American bombers downed
950 train cars, trucks, and other vehicles destroyed
150 train locomotives destroyed
1 naval destroyer sunk with crewmen drowned
Of 450 Tuskegee airmen deployed overseas,
66 died in combat and 32 became POWs
Awards won: 1 Legion of Merit, 1 Silver Star,
2 Soldier Medals, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses,
14 Bronze Stars, and 8 Purple Hearts

These gallant black lads made their country
proud. White bomber squadrons requested
escort by the “Red Tails” fighters. “You see,
I want my boys to get home,” so suggested

one bomber squadron commander. In all,
994 black men graduated as pilots from
Tuskegee Institute. Each could stand tall.
At war’s end, the return home for some

was hard. Despite their having risked
injury or death serving their country
so bravely and well, they were whisked
back to prewar “second class citizenry”.

The gallant exploits of these black airmen
would play a major part in ending segregation
in the Army, but now as civilians once again,
they suffered indignities across the nation.

Although admonished to “know their place”,
these black pilots won glory for their race.

I sent my poem to the Red Tail Project, along with a $50 donation. They responded that they might use my poem in the supporting material traveling arround with the plane on tour to teach young Americans about the history of the Tuskegee Airman so that this episode of black history will be perserved. It would be nice if they do decide to include it on the tour. I would be greatly honored, if so.



Monday, November 17, 2008

What Readers Have To Say About The Carny Kid

I enclose some comments from readers of Kenny Kahn's book, The Carny Kid.

"I just finished reading Kenny's book and I thought it was the most fascinating true-life story that I've read. While each page is filled with incredible details of Kahn's life, whenever I would take a moment to sit back and think about the reality of what happened, I felt bad that I enjoyed reading about someone else's pain. Then I'd come to be OK with it, because Kenny has clearly persevered and the life he has led made him the brilliant and hardworking man he is today. I just can't wait to read the sequel!" - M. Lesherman

"Very inspirational and very interesting life story. The only book I have read from cover to cover after leaving school; a must read. This coming from a person who hates to read." - Angel, Hollywood, CA

"I got this book as a gift and didn't open it for a while. When I did, I could not put it down. What a story! I like Kenny Kahn's style. He makes his story fun." – David

"The book was an easy read. I'm a retired police officer and was able to visualize where Kenneth grew up, lived, and later practiced law. Life on the streets became real and now I give ”The Carny Kid” to my son who is a police officer. May he learn and come away with a better understanding of life and especially being raised without privilege."
Rich and Patti, Downey, CA

"The Carny Kid is not only very inspirational and readable but gives the reader a look at worlds most of us have never seen." - Dale

Get the whole story. Be entertained. Be inspired. Order The Carny Kid.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Helpful Websites for Poets

Two websites that I visit often when writing poetry are:

Bob's Byway, A Poetic Diversion. This site has among other things a glossary of poetic terms and examples of poetic terms. Whenever I encounter a poetic term or poetic form I am unfamiliar with, this site will usually be quite helpful to define it and give examples. Check it out at:

The second website is for writing rhyming poems. To check to see if words actually are good rhymes or to get hints for words to use for a rhyme, I use
RhymeZone Rhyming Dictionary and Thesaurus. You enter a word and it will supply rhyming words. I find this very helpful at times. In addition, the site will find the word's definition; check spelling; find synonyms, antonyms, related words, similar sounding words, and homophones; search for the word in Shakespeare; and search for quotations. This site is a must-visit for rhyming poets! Check it out at:

I hope you find these sites useful.



Come see me at:

Racism Flares Anew In U.S.

I've read recently where there has been an outpouring of racism and hatred toward Obama and toward blacks in numerous places around the U.S.-- things like one small store having a gambling pool for picking the date when Obama gets killed, with the wording "Let's hope we have a winner soon", nooses hanging from trees, hate words painted on houses, school children chanting "kill Obama", and the like. There reportedly has been more threats against Obama than ever before for a president-elect. The FBI and Secret Service are supposedly busy investigating numerous threats made against Obama. I had hoped the U.S. was better than this, had somehow outgrown our racist past, maybe had grown up more as a nation. But, instead, racism is making an open comeback. As a nation, we should all be ashamed of such behavior and speak out against such hatred whenever & wherever we hear or see it displayed. Won't we ever learn just how truly ignorant racism is?

I wrote an acrostic poem back in 2002 entitled "A Lingering Disease":

Rarely occurring in humans younger than age five,
Adults carry the disease, communicating it to each kid.
Constantly a threat to harm almost anyone alive,
It remains a malady from which Man needs be rid.
Sorry to say, even today, it continues to thrive,
Mind after mind learning to hate as their parents did.

Wouldn't it be great if a successful Obama presidency was the cure for America's chronic disease of racism? One can only hope...

Published 2008: "Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man". A collection of my poetry. Lulu Press.

Friday, November 14, 2008

About Kenny Kahn’s book, The Carny Kid

The Carney Kid, Survival of a Young Thief, by Kenneth Kahn

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Pendant Press (January 2005)
ISBN-13: 978-0976111504
ISBN-10: 0976111500
Copyright © Kenneth Kahn 2005

Kenny Kahn bares his funny soul and shares his unbelievably poignant life experiences in this incredibly inspiring, highly motivating memoir.

"Kenny Kahn and I have been legal contemporaries for three decades, and now to read about his early life, I know readers will be clamoring for more." - Robert Shapiro, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

"Kenny's story should be required reading for every teenager!" - Jim Molina, Principal, Lincoln High School, Los Angeles

From the Projects to the Penthouse. As the only Jewish family in the Ramona Gardens housing projects, Kenny tells the spellbinding story of being the oldest child of two small-time carnival thieves who make their living as traveling gypsies and then graduate to dealing heroin from their cockroach-infested apartment. It's an inside view of carnival life, of living in a cocaine-selling "shooting gallery" apartment and of surviving a gang-dominated existence in one of L.A.'s worst neighborhoods.

It's also a story of the grit and determination of one small child, a child named Kenny Kahn, who saw education and hard work as the golden path and the only sure way to escape his tortured environment.

Mr. Kahn has written his story in plain language in order to make it easily readable not only adults but by young people who feel trapped by their "delinquent" parents, and to offer hope for escaping to a better life.

This poignant memoir of Kahn's childhood in the projects, and the training his substance-abusing parents provided him to become a carnival hustler, takes many twists and turns as it wends its way from the days of conflict in his environment to Kahn's present profession as a criminal defense lawyer.

Rubbing elbows today with the world's most powerful and elite, Kahn's clients include famous characters like Andrew Daulton Lee (the notorious "Snowman" in the espionage trial later made into the movie, "The Falcon and the Snowman;" and publisher Larry Flynt, who was charged with contempt for wearing an American flag diaper to court; and singer Ike Turner, who faced charges of violating probation on a cocaine charge.

Throughout the book, Kenny Kahn injects his unique, humorous take on his own life story, which is to say this book is a page turner. Every chapter is a new adventure, full of the realities of The Carny Kid's life growing up in an environment of dishonesty and abuse - and the techniques of humor, education and hope the author employed to cope, survive, prosper and move to new, more rewarding levels of existence.

Get the whole story. Be entertained. Be inspired.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meet Kenny Kahn, Author Among Other Things

I would like to introduce Kenny Kahn to the my blog readers. He is a most unusual author. This is Kenny Kahn.
Today I will give Kenny's biographical background.
About Kenneth Kahn:

After an emotional, turbulent childhood, which is revealed in his true-life book titled "The Carny Kid,” Kenny Kahn became a highly-regarded criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, where he has served for 40 years. Kenny’s newest book “Going BerZerkley in the 60’s”continues his life journey at Berkeley exposing him to new ideas beginning with the Free Speech Movement and its leader, Mario Savio, whose revolutionary tactics set the campus on fire.

Kenny witnessed the largest mass arrests in U.S. history and to a new type of student activism. During his legal career, Kenny has represented a wide variety of clients he refers to as "the good, the bad and sometimes worse than that.” Regardless, the community has genuinely embraced him for his candid approach to help people navigate America's complex legal system.
In addition to thousands of courtroom appearances and nearly as many public speaking engagements, Kenny has also tackled an even greater task -- performing stand-up comedy – with his unique, sometimes "Kahn-troversial" style.
Over the past 10 years, he's performed at top comedy spots around the
country including The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, The Ice House and The Improv in Los Angeles, Cobb's in San Francisco, Giggles in Seattle and The Comic Strip, Laugh Factory and Stand-Up New York in New York City. He also has the distinction of becoming the first-ever working attorney to perform as a comedian In the main showroom of the Las Vegas Riviera Hotel.

Kahn first gained nationwide notoriety when he defended Andrew Dalton Lee in an espionage case that became the feature film “The Falcon and the Snowman.” "I had the Justice Department, the CIA and the FBI on one side, and me on the other," he said. "That was quite a challenge." Lee received a life sentence, but Kahn developed a reputation as a fighter who wasn't shy of the establishment.

In another incident that sparked headlines a few years ago, Kahn was sitting in a Torrance, CA courtroom with his client who was awaiting sentencing for assaulting six police officers. "We were reading the probation report when my client disagreed with the paragraph that said he may have violent tendencies," Kahn recalls. "My client had been out on bail, and in an era before metal detectors, he pulled an ice pick and plunged it into my chest."

Kahn reached an out of court settlement with the producers of the 1996 film “The People vs. Larry Flynt” with whom Kahn had been consulted but never compensated or credited. In the L.A. Superior Court lawsuit, Kahn asserted that he was, in fact, the attorney who had represented Hustler Magazine Publisher Larry Flynt in federal court several years earlier and not Alan Isaacman, as the film suggested from Ed Norton's portrayal.
Kahn has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" with noted attorney Alan
Dershowitz, has been profiled on CNN "Showbiz Today," Fox-11 News, ABC-7 Eyewitness News and featured in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly and
Southern California's prestigious legal publication, The Daily Journal. Kahn
received his undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1962 and law degree from the University of California-Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law in 1965.
Wow, Kenny Kahn is a famous lawyer trying high-profile cases, a public speaker of note, a personality who has been in newspaper articles and on TV for years, a standup comic, author. I can hardly wait to tell you about his book, The Carny Kid. But, I'll save that until my next post.
Meanwhile, please check out Kenny Kahn's website:
as well as his blog:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Uploading pictures -- ME !

Here I am!

I am trying to learn how to upload pictures and images to my blog. From my computer seems easy enough. Now to figure out how to from on-line sites...

Coming Soon...

Starting in a few more days, I will be hosting another author every couple of weeks to introduce you to new authors whose books you would enjoy if you knew about them. This is called participating in a virtual book tour, somewhat like a book tour for an author in a brick and mortar bookstore except we do it on-line. So, be sure to check in regularly to learn about authors new to you. You will be glad you did!



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mixed weekend football-wise

Well, it was a mixed weekend. UGa Bulldogs beat UKy, but LSU gave one away to 'Bama. If LSU only had an esperienced quarterback.....sigh.

Dallas Cowboys had a bie week, which saved them from another loss.

I'm still on a high from Obama winning. The Republicans are already sending doom and gloom emails about how bad a president Obama will be. Why don't you folks, and you know who you are, knock it off and wait and see how Obama does? He just might surprise you. It will be quite a change having a president with a brain after eight years of Bush.

It is raining this morning, after raining all night. We needed this rain, but I'm ready for it to stop now. Those fall days of sunshine and high temperatures in only the 70s are to my liking.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Geaux Tigers!

The LSU- Alabama game tomorrow should be quite interesting. Sabin facing LSU, #1 Alabama vs an always dangerous LSU, two SEC west powerhouses locked in an epic battle for the ages...oh, my! LOL Seriously, if LSU plays well, the game should be a really good one. Let's hope LSU shows up ready to play tomorrow.

New Links Added

I just finished adding three new links to other authors that you will want to check out. I also added a link to my personal poetry website. I hope you will take time to go to these various links over on the right side there because you'll find some wonderful authors whose books will interest you. Aren't you always looking for new books to read?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yeah! Obama wins!

Too busy doing a happy dance to type anything much tonight. Happy Dance! Happy Dance!

A new America arrived tonight...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Everybody Vote Tomorrow!

Everybody vote tomorrow, even you Republicans. I'm hoping for an Obama victory by a big enough margin that the Republican Party cannot steal the election this time.

I will be glad when the election is over tomorrow. I am saturated with politics. This morning we have received four phone calls from campaigns reminding us to vote for their candidate. I can just imagine what tonight will be like. I think I'll go to the casino and get away from it all. Besides, in these harsh ecomonic times, it is important to contribute to the local I usually do whenever I go to the casino. :-)

Vote, y'all!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Authors' Links Added

Two more links to other authors' sites are now added to Links List at right.
Please stop in and look around their sites. You might find books that are of great interest to you. Take a look!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

UGa football -- today's loss to Fla

Well, typical UGa loss -- too many penalities at crucial points, terrible play calling by Richt on that onside kick to set up Fla for their second touchdown after UGa had closed to 7-3, then early in the second half with the game still close the refs allowed Fla to get away with a defensive holding penalty not being called for Fla's 3rd score, then repeated a terrible no-call by the refs on an offensive holding penalty when the Fla receiver pulled on the UGa defender's jersey to get free behind him. After that, the Gators with MAJOR help from the refs simply had the game out of reach.
Coach Richt is not a good coach. No well coached team has as many penalties as UGa has had all year. That onside kick was plain stupidity. This year Richt proves one more time that he can take a team talented enough to go 12 - 0 and end up 9-2 or 8-3 with them. I sure wish UGa could lure Spurrier away from SC to coach the 'Dawgs......

Check Out These Authors' Links

I'm getting a lot of nervous energy building up waiting for the UGa-Fla football game in a couple more hours. Go 'Dawgs. I was trying to watch Auburn & Mississippi play their game, but....BORING. Neither has any offense.

So, I decided to update my blog with the links to some author friends who belong to a VBT group I've joined. Check out the links at the right-hand side of this page. You might find some great books you'd like to read. Come on, what have you got to lose by having a look-see?