Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hurricane Season for the U.S. Begins Today

June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season for the Atlantic and the U.S. Hurricane Season is nominally defined as June 1 to November 30. As in the past few years, the 2021 season is expected to be more active than normal. If you live in the US, particularly the eastern or gulf coast regions, you will want to keep up with hurricanes.

Some sources for keeping up-to-date with hurricanes are:

Source (website)FacebookTwitter
AccuWeatherYesYes
National Weather Service
USA Today
Weather Underground
HurricaneTrackYes
WeatherUSAYesYes
Hurricane Tracker Websites

Further Reading:

Author Interview – Maxx Powr

(See my other Author Interviews) – I read the novel “The Promise” a few weeks ago. After I published my review I contacted the author who uses the pen name  Maxx Powr. He graciously agreed to an interview.

Myself: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

Powr: I had some encouragement in high school from my English teacher, but never really pursued it. Working as a programmer later in life, I decided to write a childrens’ book, or 2. I submitted the books (over the transom back then) to publishers and received more encouragement, but also rejections. Life intervened and writing was put on hold for years, until Fairalon under the pen name T.J. Roberts. This was a childrens’ book and I needed a new pen name for The Promise, so children wouldn’t think it was a sequel. The Promise does have language and sexual situations and I didn’t want them to be shocked.

Myself: My background is also in IT and Software Development. What is the first piece that you remember writing?

Powr: The Flight of the Dodo. MG/YA adventure for boys. I may actually rework that one as I really liked it, and so did the publisher I sent it to.

Myself: What is your academic and work background?

Powr: I hold a masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. I’ve worked as an Emergency Crisis Intervention Counselor, Children and Adult Family Therapist, Programmer, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, and then started 2 companies, which I still manage.

Myself: What part of the world do you currently live in?

Powr: Southern California

Myself: Do you think that living there has affected your writing?

Powr: Not really. When I write, I live in the book on the screen. 

Myself: How do you relax? What are your hobbies?

Powr: Video games (COD),  3d art, photography

Myself: What’s the earliest book you remember reading for yourself?

Powr: Treasure Island comes to mind. 

Myself: Did you read much growing up?

Powr: Reading was required in my schools, assigned reading; some good some not.  I was an avid comic book reader for fun, much to my parents’ chagrin. 

Myself: What have you read recently?

Powr: Making Comics by Scott Mcloud

Myself: What is your favorite genre? book? character? author?

Powr: Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I don’t really have a favorite book, character or author. 

Myself: While I read a great deal of WWII era history, Science Fiction and Fantasy are my favorite genres of novels too. Where is your favorite place to read?

Powr: On our porch.

Myself: Do you prefer paper or eBooks? Do you listen to audiobooks?

Powr: I like paper books, but I’m buying more ebooks to support other Indies. I have listened to audiobooks, and I like it best when the author reads it.

Myself: What books do you recommend to others? Give as gifts

Powr:Typically, mine. 🙂

Myself: What makes you sit down and want to share your stories?

Powr: I just like to write stories that thrill me, things I would like to see in a movie. Basically, the stories play out like a movie in my head, The Promise is a good example of that. Once I start, the characters often take me down an unsuspected road, saying things that surprise me. I love that part of it.

Myself: What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Powr: I don’t think I’m like a lot of writers, I’m not that ambitious about my writing career. Sure, it would be nice to see my books made into movies, but that is just a dream. I just want to tell some stories that get people jazzed. I don’t expect to be the next big thing. If people enjoy them, I’ll be happy.

Myself: I certainly found your novel enjoyable and a fun read. Why do you write? What makes you sit down and want to share your stories?

Powr: It’s a little selfish but I write for myself. I’ve found that overall people tend to like what I like so it works for me.

Myself: Is there anyone who has influenced your writing?

Powr: Everyone has influenced my writing. One particular author? No. 

Myself: How did you pick the genres for your stories?

Powr: I love Sci-Fi and I love Fantasy. For me, it’s an escape to a world of ‘if only.’

Myself: Where do your story ideas come from?

Powr: Weirdly, some come from 3d art. I like to ‘play’ with 3d programs called Poser and Iclone. You can create scenes that you see in your head without artistic ability to draw. I admire people who can just draw what they think of, but my stick figures don’t really cut it.

Myself: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

Powr: I generally start with one scene that I really like. That scene leads to another, which leads to a former scene. If they are good enough, I start playing with an outline for the arc of the story and the character arc, though they often argue with me.

Myself: Where do you do your writing? Why there?

Powr: I basically have 3 jobs. I have a bit of a cave set up under my house. Window is blocked with an AC unit, so it’s dark in there, except for my multiple screens. I work on computers and answer a phone as needed. It can be disruptive, but I find time in between to write.

Myself: What is your schedule like when you are writing?

Powr: I laughed when I read that. My schedule is whenever I have a moment. But, once I get caught up in the scene, I usually don’t stop until that scene is completed.

Myself: How do you fit writing into your daily schedule? (i.e. balance work, writing and family)

Powr: I write between tasks. It honestly stinks, because there are times when it’s flowing and you get interrupted. It is what it is.

Myself: About how long does it take you to complete a first draft? How long do your revisions take?

Powr: Probably a year for the first draft, a year for the final product. I like to create the scenes in 3d, and that can get pretty demanding timewise.

Myself: I see on your web sites that you have posted some of your 3D art. Have you thought of including some of those images in your novels?

Powr: If you take a look at Fairalon, you’ll see all the images in the book are presented on the web site in higher resolution 1 for each chapter. Also, the cover and back of the book open up to one big image of the road to grandma’s house, with Charlie swinging and Iris in the back seat watching. * (You can see them all on www.Fairalon.com so you don’t have to buy the book to see them). However, tremendous spoilers ahead in the images. I recommend looking at the images in a color reader like Kindle Fire or such, or the hard copy has printed color images. You can also read the text in a B&W kindle, nook or whatever, and then look at the images online. I put them there for people who didn’t have color readers, but do have computers with color monitors.

As for the Adult Sci Fi, like The Promise, most adult Sci-Fi books don’t include images. The images on the book cover and back are 3d art I created. (On the back is Sheen in her regen machine with Chase 523, the front is The Promise going through a wormhole)

There are arguments on both sides, such as leaving it up to the reader’s imagination versus showing them in a picture. I really like creating the images. It’s like walking around inside the scene in my head. It’s also very challenging to get anything that looks really good. My latest of Sheen is an image I really like. She looks real (to me).

Myself: That is a very lifelike image. I can understand the added cost and time involved with including your images in print. Perhaps though some could be included in your ebooks. How much research do you put into a novel?

Powr: It depends. I found that The Promise took more research than Fairalon, but I research as needed and try not to fall into interesting rabbit holes.

Myself: What tools (software?) do you use in your writing?

Powr: I prefer WordPerfect, but had to switch to Word because all the editors use it. I’ve started using Grammarly and ProWritingAid and they are both very good.

Myself: I have been using Grammarly as well and really like it. Using it has improved my writing. What are the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Powr: Hardest: Finding the time to write.  Easiest: I enjoy writing dialogue, for some strange reason.

Myself: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Powr: Keep your day job as long as you can. From what I’ve read it can take 10 years to acquire an agent. 10 years! And that doesn’t mean you’ll be published. You need to eat, pay bills, and if you go Indie, pay for marketing your book. Don’t go nuts foregoing a normal life. It is good to keep a balance.

Myself: What novels/works have you published?

Powr: Fairalon MG/YA Fantasy Adventure
The Promise Adult Sci-Fi Action Adventure

Myself: What are you currently working on?

Powr: Return to Fairalon Because High School is a Creep Show (working title) and a sequel to The Promise, no working title as yet

Myself: What else would you like to share?

Powr: If you feel like you would like to write a book, that’s great. Don’t expect to be the next J.K. Rowling, but it’s okay to have a dream.
Do it for you.

The best advice that I stumbled across on my own is this: When it’s done, final version #158, grab an audio program and record the book as if you were reading it for an audiobook. Try your best to read it with inflection. You don’t have to do voices or sound effects. Read it like you are reading it to a friend. Now that you have finished recording all the chapters, (it takes a long time) take some time to listen. You will hear things that are like nails on a chalkboard, or music to your ears, depending upon how much editing you have done. Fix it. Re-record and listen again. If you are lucky, you won’t have that much to do. If not, you will be so glad you didn’t send it to an editor.

Myself: That is very good advice! How should your fans follow you or get in touch?

Powr: I have web sites for Fairalon www.Fairalon.com and www.PiecerChronicles.com. The Fairalon site has an email link (fairlontjroberts@gmail.com) and the PiecerChronicles site has a form.

Myself: I see you have a MeWe link on your PiecerChronicles website. I have recently added that social platform as well.

Powr: I’m really only going to be there from now on, or the main web sites. I prefer MeWe to Facebook, (no ads).

USA, Alabama, Mobile – Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea Company

(See my other Food and Coffee related posts) – While we were recently returning home from a trip to Disney World we stopped in Mobile, AL. A little searching on the Internet produced the Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea Co. as a popular local coffee house.

We spent two nights in Mobile and we liked Carpe Diem so much we visited it twice. They offer a selection of breakfast and lunch items, but we focused on their baked goods. It was busy both times we visited. Parking can be a little difficult, but a little patience usually yields a place.

Carpe Diem is located in what looks like an old house. It can be found at 4072 Old Shell Road, Mobile, AL 36608. It is directly across the street from Spring Hill College. We tried coffee and an assortment of baked goods on our two visits. We tried their Cinnamon Role, Blueberry Crumble Cake, Mississippi Mud, and White Chocolate Raspberry Scone. We were very pleased with it all.

We have begun to look for and doing flavored coffee. It is not always easy to find freshly roasted and flavored coffee beans. We were able to find some at Carpe Diem and have been very pleased. They offer several types of freshly roasted coffee beans – Medium Roast, Dark Roast, Blends and Flavored. We bought Snickerdoodle, Christmas Morning, and S’mores flavored coffees. We have been enjoying those since we returned home, but sadly all three are almost now gone. We may have to take advantage of they mail order service.

If you are in Mobile and looking for a caffeine hit (or some baked goodies), I recommend Carpe Diem!


See my other Food & Location posts


Pacific War in art – 1945

Here is the final post by GP Cox with artwork from WWII Pacific Theater. This has been a great series on his blog and well worth my repeating it.
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If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest.
* The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
* The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
* The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Pacific Paratrooper

I wish all of the distinguished artists of WWII could have been included – here is the final year of the Pacific War…

“Battle of Luzon” by: Yorozujiro Terauchi, 1945
Mandalay, Burma, by: David Pentland, Feb. ’45
Pacific Glory” by: Nicholas Trudgian

It is March 1945 and the P-38’s of the 475th FG are involved in a huge dogfight with Japanese Zeros over the coast of Indo-China. Flying “Pee Wee V” is Lt Ken Hart of the 431st Fighter Squadron, who has fatally damaged a Zero in a blistering head on encounter. The second P-38L – “Vickie” – belongs to Captain John ‘rabbit’ Pietz, who would end the War as an Ace with six victories.
Signed by three highly decorated P-38 pilots who flew in combat with the 475th Fighter Group in the Pacific theatre during World War II.

‘The Great Tokyo Air Raid’ by: Hashimoto Kimisuke, 10 March ’45…

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Pacific War in art – 1944

More good WWII artwork from GP Cox


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Pacific Paratrooper

As promised, here is an example of other works of art for the following year of the Pacific War…

USMC in the Marshall Islands, 31 Jan 1944, by: James V. Griffin

 

Truk Island, Carolinas, by: Frank Lemon

 

RNZAF, May 1944 with Corsairs

 

Saipan Jun-july 1944, by: Robert Benney

 

War Weary, by: Jack Fellows

 

Guam, July-Aug. by: Howard Gerard

 

Peleliu Invaded, Sept. 1944, By: Tom Lea

 

Avengers of the Philippines, by: John D. Shaw

November 14, 1944 . . . As smoldering enemy ships mark a trail to Manila Bay, Avengers and Hellcats of Air Group 51 overfly the isle of Corregidor on their return to the carrier U.S.S. San Jacinto.

With the misty mountains of Bataan standing as a silent sentinel, Naval LT (JG) George H.W. Bush pilots his TBM in one of his last combat missions of WWII. The valor of Bush’s…

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Pacific War in art – 1943

Some more good WWII Pacific Theater Art from GP Cox’s Blog.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Pacific Paratrooper

TO CONTINUE OUR MINI-GALLERY OF DISTINGUISHED ARTIST’S VIEW OF WWII ……

RAAF Kittyhawk Squadron, Milne Bay, New Guinea, by: Jack Fellows

5th Air Force & RAAF, Battle of the Bismark Sea

USS Bailey, Battle of Komandorski, by I.R. Lloyd

“Mission Accomplished”, Yamamoto shot down, 18 April 1943, by Roy Grinnell

Japanese postcard, Aleutian Campaign

The Solomons, by: Peter Dennis

IJN Amagiri ramming PT-109

‘Marine Raider’ Bougainville, by: Marc Erickson

Tarawa by: Tom Lovell

Pappy Boyington, F-4U Corsair, by: Craig Tinder

Cape Gloucester, Solomons, 26 Dec. 1943

Resources:

IHRA: for their blog and their books and prints

Jack Fellows website

“WWII: A Tribute in Art and Literature” edited by David Colbert

Nicholas Trudgian

http://www.nicolastrudgian.com/

I.R. Lloyd

http://ussbaileydd492.org/crew_signatures_on_ir_lloyd_painting_the_battle_of_the_komandorski_islands.html

Roy Grinnell

https://www.roygrinnellart.com/

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

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Military Humor –

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Farewell Salutes –

Jack D. Baker – New Salisbury, IN; US Navy, WWII, USS Iowa

Gilbert Clarin – Turlock, CA; US…

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Pacific War in art – 1941 – 1942

Some very nice WWII art from the Pacific Theater. I thought these were well worth sharing.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Pacific Paratrooper

From some of our most prestigious artists come their depictions of the war…

PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO GET THE FULL EFFECT.

“Tora, Tora, Tora”, by Robert McCall

“Battle of Slim River” by: Mark Stille

Japanese and war horses in Hong Kong

Japan in Dutch East Indies

Japan bombs Darwin, Australia, by” James Baines, Feb. 1942

Bataan Death March, by Ben Steele, himself a death march survivor from Montana, April 1942

Doolittle Raid, B-25 over Japan, by: Francis Bergese
18 April 1942

“Cactus Air Force” by: Jack Fellows, Guadalcanal

RAAF Kittyhawk Squadron, Milne Bay, New Guinea, by: William Dargie, Sept. 1942

“Action Over Salamaua”, by: Jack Fellows

Pictorial series to be continued…

Resources:

IHRA: for their blog and their books and prints

Jack Fellows website

William Dargie info

“WWII: A Tribute in Art and Literature” edited by David Colbert

This idea for this post arose from a discussion with…

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Patriot Day

Today again we celebrate Patriot Day. Don’t forget!

John's Notes

Patriot Day

Today, September 11, is Patriot Day in the US. It celebrates the memory of the people killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Observe a moment of silence at 8:46 AM Eastern time this morning to correspond with the time the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

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Book Review: “The Nugget”

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(See all my Book Reviews and author Interviews) – Author P. T. Deutermann (https://www.ptdeutermann.com/) published the novel “The Nugget” in 2019. Mr. Deutermann has published more than 20 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the South Pacific during WWII. The primary character is US Navy pilot Lieutenant Bobby Steele.

Steele has recently earned his wings as a Navy dive bomber pilot. His assignment is to an American Aircraft Carrier. While flying over Guadalcanal, he is shot down. He spends a brief time in the thick of things with US Marines on the ground.

He no sooner gets back to a carrier when it is sunk by the Japanese. He finds himself adrift but a US ship picks him up. After further naval action, he ends up on a Philippine island. He finishes his war there at first avoiding the Japanese. Eventually, he stops being hunted and leads others against the invaders.

I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 315-page WWII action-adventure novel. The range of experiences the hero goes through stretch believability. Still, I liked both the plot and the character of Bobby Steele. The author works many historical events into his plot. This is the third book (The other two were The Commodore and Red Swan) of Mr. Deutermann’s I have read and I think he is consistently an enjoyable author. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (Rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 450 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Hitler’s Alpine Headquarters”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author James Wilson published the book “Hitler’s Alpine Headquarters” in 2019. The book was first published in 2014. Mr. Wilson has published four history books. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. The book gives the background and evolution of Hitler’s Bavarian headquarters near Obersalzberg, Germany. 

The book contains hundreds of photos showing how the area developed. The book gives the history of the various buildings in the area.  It also describes the homes built in the area by the Nazi inner circle. 

Most of the photos are copies of postcards produced and sold during the war. There are also a few photos showing the buildings as they can exist today. 

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 256-page WWII history. It is a little dry and repetitive at times. I was surprised that Hitler’s retreat was not more extravagant. It was a nice home for the time, but not the lavish ‘palace’ I thought he might have ordered. I give this book a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5. 

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 430 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.