Tag Archives: bike week

2015 Year in Review – Is One Out of Three Bad?

It’s that time of year again…time for my fourth annual Year-In-Review post.

In preparing for this post I glanced over the previous three Y.I.R. posts. At the end of my 2014 Y.I.R. I made a bit of a prediction, which I whole-heartedly intended to fulfill – but in retrospect I feel as though I’ve let you down.

At the end of 2014 my list of goals for 2015 looked something like this:

  • The completion of a second collection of short stories about Ike
  • The completion of my 8th novel, Full Circle
  • The beginning (and possible completion) of a second Steve Salem novel

So let’s take a look at how those predictions panned out…

solotaire

Which Do You Want First?

There is good news and bad news about Muzzle Velocity – the second collection of short stories featuring Ike.

muzzle velocity

The good news is I’ve got nine good stories so far.

The bad news is I didn’t write any of them.

The plan was simple…I would write a dozen short stories (give or take one or two) and I would solicit short stories from a hand-picked group of my writer friends. Fortunately, my writer friends all delivered…Unfortunately, although I have ideas for several Ike stories, I didn’t have time to write a single one.

I feel like such a slacker…

Round and Round

Moving on to item 2 on the list – the completion of Full Circle.

Full Circle front cover

On this item I am pleased to say – done and done!

Yes, my eighth novel (one which I began writing in 1988) was released in mid-December.

In the interest of full disclosure…it should have been released before Thanksgiving, but I ran into a bit of an administrative setback. For a while there I started to wonder if the book was cursed – but those fears were premature, and the book that was 27 years in the making was brought into the world, officially, on December 22.

So far it has been very well received. Within days of its release a loyal reader posted a five-star review which eased the pain of the SNAFUs leading up to release!

And Then There Was One

Finally, the last prediction of the year – a new Steve Salem novel.

Steve Salem, as you know from Backseat to Justice, is a Flagler Beach Private Investigator. I had hoped to at least begin a new story involving him and his assistant/partner Val Casey, but it just didn’t happen.

BTJ cover

I’m not going to make excuses, it doesn’t matter why I didn’t do it – it only matters that I didn’t, and believe me, nobody is more disappointed than me.

So let’s recap.

2015 was a tough year – production wise.

However, I am very happy (and pretty proud) to announce that it was by far my best year from a sales standpoint.

For this – I can’t thank you enough. I thank you for your support, for buying my books, and for telling others about me.

Without you, I’d just be a guy wasting a lot of time writing stuff.

Calvin writing

I still haven’t been able to quit my day job, but as I told somebody at a holiday gathering last week… “I may not have reached that particular goal yet, but considering in 2009 my goal was to sell one book – I’m happy with how far I’ve come and confident in where I’m going.”

So – do I dare make another prediction for 2016?

I think I should – it will give me something to shoot for, but I think I’m going to need a good supply of ammunition because it’s looking like a target-rich environment!

First up – my next Ike novel, tentatively titled Blood in the Water.

The story will involve a hunt for a mysterious lost treasure, an unsolved missing persons case, sharks (gotta have sharks!) and a guy who is over his head until Ike steps in.

shark

I can’t wait to see how it ends!

Second – the aforementioned collection of short stories, Muzzle Velocity

It WILL be released before the Fourth of July. Not only do I enjoy writing short stories, but I’ve got nine stories written by some really good writers I think you will enjoy, so I’m determined to get it done!

Third – The next Steve Salem novel.

This project is something I really want to do, but I have to be realistic – in the midst of all my other projects I am not extremely optimistic about completing it – but we’ll see. At the very least I will begin.

Fourth – I am working on a fun little project with my friend Becky Pourchot.

Becky bought her first motorcycle this year and after about ten miles of riding she was hopelessly hooked. We started having conversations about the Zen of the motorcycle, and decided to gather some of our biker experiences and put them together in a book. Our plan is to have it ready for Bike Week here in Daytona Beach – which is in March, so the clock is ticking!

easy rider

And lastly…I’ve been invited to contribute short stories to a couple of anthologies being put together by other writers. As I said – I enjoy writing short stories so this will be fun!

So 2015 fades into the sunset and 2016 is coming at me with lots of stuff to do.

calendar

I should probably get to work!

See you on the first page of the new calendar

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Bike Week 2014

Two weeks ago my part of the country was invaded by about a half-million motorcycles. It was Daytona Beach’s 73rd Annual Bike Week…one of my favorite times of the year.

bike week logo
As usual I took time off from work to participate in the event(s). The weather was pretty near perfect and I did a lot of riding, drank a lot of beer and listened to a lot of great live bands.
To a non-biker it probably sounds boring. I can understand that. To me going to a NASCAR race sounds about as exciting as watching a chess match in a nursing home, but there are hundreds of thousands of people who would disagree with me.
To each his own – right?
Anyway – among some of those I rode with was a pair of “bike-week virgins”.
My friend, and fellow author, Becky Pourchot and her husband Shawn wanted to take their recently purchased bike out for the event and see what all the fuss was about.
So I took them on a guided tour of the festivities.
Becky was appropriately thunderstruck and acted the proverbial kid-in-a-candy-store…or a Jewish-housewife-in-a-leather-shop (is that a thing?).
I think the only words she spoke for two days were “This is awesome!”
I felt bad for Shawn, he’s a bit of an introvert, so being dunked into a sea of humanity with only a leather life-jacket was probably a bit discomfiting for him, but he seemed to enjoy himself.
After the event was over Becky, still reeling from the V-Twin euphoria, decided to memorialize one of our outings in poem.
Anybody who knows me, knows I’m not a big poetry guy…but I thought her work was worthy of sharing.
So here it is…

 

A Ride to the Iron Horse by Becky Pourchot

Iron HorseI play dress up for the day
my eyes lined dark,
my lips brushed with burgundy rose.
I zip myself in to a bodice
that hugs my waist,
an embrace of leather and studs.
My breasts like half-moons rise upward,
exposed to the sun.
This is the look, the dress, I’ve been told.
I want to embrace it all.

“It’s time to go!” I shout,
ready for the day.
I call my man from inside the house.
Our friend is waiting.
“Kickstands up!” he says
and we ride us three
me with my man,
and the other in front,
on the ocean lined highway
we roll.

Seduced by speed
our companion
in a worn denim jacket
his long hair whipping with the wind
slips ahead,
the call of his engine
echoing to the sky.
With a click of our gears
we accelerate
keeping pace
wondering
what he has planned.

There’s a chill in the air.
The wind sketches coolness into my limbs,
so I latch my legs tight,
surround myself with my man’s warmth,
and press my face into the deep smell of black, tanned hide,
letting the crazy pulse of the bike
charge me,
into a joyful,
lustful state,
ecstasy on wheels.

We ride the Loop,
a treasured trail
that wraps the rider in palmettos and pine,
dangling ancient moss like robes upon the trees.
As the sun lowers itself below the salted marsh
we swerve and bend at the wooded curves,
the iron oaks
reaching from above,
a silver silence
in the midst of the Harley’s cry.

We three arrive at the Iron Horse,
wind blown, but eager.
We dismount the bikes
and merge into a mass of bodies,
an expanse of leather and jeans,
surrounding us with the scent of
Jim Beam, cigarettes, and gasoline.
We wander through the crowds
my eyes, my ears
awake, alive,
taking in the vitality a thousand people
who share a single common passion
for liberation
for power
for an engine between their legs.
And I feel myself,
like never before,
a part of something dark and deep,
something seedy and wild,
where freedom
whispers in our ears
like the sound of a motorcycle
roaring down the road.

beckyWhen she’s not planning her next bike adventure, Becky is busy writing. She is the author of five books, including a collection of poetry for the fallen homemaker- Forgive Me Martha. You can find out more about Becky at www.beckypourchot.com

 

 

 

 

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