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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Peacekeeper is Published!

The Peacekeeper is Available, Now. The Peacekeeper

 

 

The Peacekeeper, the fifth historical novel in what has been now designated as the Britannia Romanus series, was officially released by Sunbury Press.  Followed by Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

It is also available through Amazon's international outlets including Great Britain (.uk), Canada (.ca) and Australia (.au).

 

The official book launch, where I will conducting the first signing of my new novel, will take place at Barnes & Noble, Eastside, 15310 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley, Washington, Saturday, August 4th, 11 a.m./5 p.m. I will also be signing copies of the other four novels in the series. For additional signing events, please check the book signing page.

 

Book Signing Successes  DyesInletPugetSoundSilverdaleWA.jpg New Reader Jennifer Silverdale B&N

                                                  Jennifer and Dyes Inlet from Silverdale, WA         New Reader Jennifer at Siverdale B&N

 

 

 

I continue to do well at Barnes & Noble, Spokane Valley, Washington, where I conducted a signing, Saturday, June 9th. I live only about ten minutes from the store and am considered the unofficial resident writer. Once  again management was pleased with the large number of sales and the store will be the site of my book launch for The Peacekeeper. 

 

The book signing at Barnes & Noble, Silverdale, Washington (next to Bremerton US Naval Base), Saturday, June 23rd, located near Dyes Inlet, on Puget Sound, was successful beyond my expectations. I met a lot of interesting people, passed out many flyers and signed many copies of The Broken Lance and The Sign of the Eagle Trilogy. To say the least, management was pleased. "This is the best book signing the store has seen in a long time," store manger, Martha, said. "I'm pleased you made arrangements with Amy (events coordinator) to return in September 8th."

 

I want to thank store manager, Martha, events coordinator, Amy, assistant manager, Sarah, associate, Jordan, and the rest of the Barnes & Noble staff who contributed to the success of this event.

 

 

The Sign of the Eagle Success Continues The Sign of the Eagle

 

 

Once again, my first historical novel, The Sign of the Eagle, placed in the top fifteen in sales for the Milford House imprint, in position number two. This novel has been one of Sunbury Press' best-sellers in fiction since it was first released in 2012. I believe part of the popularity comes not only from the story's time period and suspense, but also because of the number of strong female characters within the novel.

 

Roman Discovery from Turkey  Emperors290AD.jpg

                                                                 Two Emperors 290 A.D.

 

Recently a major discovery was made of the statues of two emperors (a Diarch), Diocletian and Maximian, embracing one another. This comes from Nicomedia (Turkey), dated approximately 290 AD. What is so remarkable is that it can be seen in its painted (albeit fading) form. Usually, most statues from the classical world have been bleached white of all paint by modern times. 

 

Restoration of an ancient fountain from Pompeii

RomanFountainPompeii.jpg

           Fountain from Pompeii   

 

Members of the the Marco Aurelio Project have done an wonderful job of restoring this fountain to an incredible level of color.           

 

                                                                             

 

On a Personal Note - Confession of a Writer  StarbucksBNSpokaneValley.jpg

                                                                                Writing at Starbucks B&N in Spokane Valley, WA

 

Many of you know me on FaceBook as a writer of historical novels. You may also know I am one who likes model railroading, Roman history, horses, weight lifting, etc.

 

For many years my first passion has been writing. I realize a lot of you have no interest in that or any other literary activities. I respect that, we all have different interests. But at age seventy-six, like my other activities, it gives me reason to live and keep going on, I'm not one to sit around doing nothing.

 

I have a confession to make. I am not a natural-born writer. Every page I write is a struggle of creation. Every page means re-writing and more re-writing. And I am not the most eloquent writer. I am slow; a plodder. It takes me a long time to produce a compelling (I hope), readable work. It is why for many years I attended the writers support group, Red Ink Fictioneers. This group of established authors kept me honest; learning about writing fiction.

 

Over the years I have observed many perspective writers who were endowed with far greater talent than mine, who gave up before completing what would have been great books. Why? Because they were quitters, they lacked self-discipline and persistence.

In the meantime, I kept plugging away, continuing to learn from my mistakes, despite one set-back and rejection after another.

 

I am grateful to have found a publisher, Sunbury Press , a traditional press, who believed in me, and gave me a chance to succeed. Even then, the editors assigned to my novels, made sure to get the best out of me. In each one of my four published novels, I did major rewrites of chapters, added new chapters and changed endings. The goal was not a good novel but a great novel.

 

Whether or not I have succeeded, I am not sure. However, I will continue to promote my novels (some of you FB friends find it boring) and will to continue to write. This is my passion, and this with the support of my wife, Liz, an my other interests keeps an old guy like me going.

 

I hope I haven't bored you too much. I know the writers out there will understand, if no one else does.

 

Another Personal Note - Wedding Anniversary   weddingdayLizSteve.jpg

                                                                                                  Liz & Steve's Wedding Day

 

 

As of Wednesday, July 11th, Liz and I will have been married thirty-seven years. This was my second (and last) and Liz's first marriage. We have had our ups and downs and in most marriages, but it has passed the trials of time; this one is a keeper. I love you, honey, you truly are my soul mate.

 

 

 

That's all for now. I wish everyone a great Summer! Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!

 

 

8:35 pm pdt          Comments

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Peacekeeper Update

 

 

 

The Publication of the Peacekeeper Draws Closer The Peacekeeper

 

As the picture says, The Peacekeeper is coming soon, either June or July. I finished the review of the formatted PDF copy (this will be used to format the actual book), finding very few errors, and emailed it back to the editor for her final review. From there it will go to the production manager and the publisher of Sunbury Press, url:Sunbury Press, Lawrence Knorr, for final approval and publication. It has been a long process, but worth the wait.

 

The following is a partial review by a person who prefers to be called, Convoke. This person is author of several excellent historical and fantasy novels and whose review should not be ignored.

 

"If you haven't read this fourth book in the Sign of the Eagle series, better read the Broken Lance next, because #5 is coming soon. Everything you want in an historical novel of quality: mystery, adventure, romance, and command of the period that makes your read so real you'll think you've been to Roman Britain yourself! Few can equal Jess Steven Hughes. So come spend some time in Roman Britain with characters you'll never forget."

 

I will keep you updated when the novel is about to be released.

 

Book Signing Successes  Broken Lance Reader Gunnar Bozeman   Broken Lance Reader Dave B&N Northtown Mall

 

                                              New Reader Gunnar at Bozeman B&N,              New Reader Dave at B&N Northtown Mall


I conducted several more book signings since the last blog entry, including: EntertainMART, Coeur d'Alene, ID; Yoke's Fresh Market, Liberty Lake, WA; and Barnes & Noble stores: Northtown Mall, Spokane, WA, Spokane Valley, WA and Bozeman, MT. The events at B&N outlets were far the most successful. I will be returning to all five stores in the future (see book signing schedule) plus encores at several other venues.

 

Exhibition - Julius Caesar - Museum of the Rockies Roman Armor Museum of the Rockies.jpg Roman Machines Museum of the Rockies  Julius Caesar Armor

                                                                                         Roman Armor Display Museum of the Rockies, Roman Machines, Julius Caesar Armor

 

When I was in Bozeman, Montana, for my book signing (April 28th), I had the opportunity, the day before to visit the Museum of the Rockies (it's just across the street from Montana State University) to visit the phenomenal exhibition: Julius Caesar: Military Genius and Mighty Machines. Presented by The Niccolai Group, Artisans of Florence PTY Ltd, Italy, showcases over 50 interactive machines, reconstructed scaled models, recreated artwork and frescoes.

 

The exhibition covers four themes: 

 

Military Genius:The machines are interactive, reconstructed to scale by the Niccolai Teknoart Artisans, using only materials available in Roman times. Follow the exploits of Gaius Julius Caesar, reformer (inventor), military and political leader, and who played a crucial role in the transition from a republican system of government to an imperial one. Through the conquest of Gaul, Caesar expanded the Roman “res publica” from Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean and led the Roman armies to the first invasions in the written history of Britain and Germany.

 

All Roads Lead To Rome:The Romans understood physics and excelled at controlling natural resources (the aqueduct), and used the abacus to manage their finances. To communicate with and better administrate (control) their multi-ethnic populations in such a vast Empire, they adopted a sophisticated strategy of propaganda images, which we now refer to as Public Relations or even “Spin”.

 

Building Rome:The Roman Empire was in a state of constant expansion. Engaging in large-scale construction projects, from roads and bridges to baths houses and majestic monuments such as the Roman Arch that was symbolic of the Empire’s greatness. What made these feats of construction engineering so remarkable and durable was the sophisticated Roman use of construction materials. Inventions like cement, glass windows and large-scale production of an incredible variety of brick and marble products are examples of such.

 

Entertainment and Lifestyle:They built amphitheaters (the Oval Arena is their invention) to host gladiatorial games, their favorite sporting event. The Colosseum is one of the world’s most famous monuments. This stadium, technologically advanced even by today’s standards, was fitted with features such as the velarium, the vomitoria, lifts, turning platforms, and turnstiles. The skilled Teknoart artisans have meticulously reconstructed these features to scale, and have even recreated the gladiators in their dramatic final act. Other forms of entertainment and lifestyle are examined (gambling with dice, playing with dolls and fast foods). In fact, Roman citizens enjoyed a busy calendar of religious rites and social events aided by gadgets such as pocket sundials and personal “notebooks."

 

You have to see this exhibition to truly appreciate the work that went into putting it together. Unfortunately, the exhibition closes May 13th. However, if you go to the link, you will find many pictures displaying the exhibition in all its glory, go to the following link  Museum of the Rockies: Caesar Exhibit

 

CaesarJust to go along with this, I am currently reading: Caesar: Life of a Colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy. This is a very readable biography about Caesar which I would recommend to anyone who wants to read about this extraordinary Roman. 

 

Monthly Best-Sellers

 

For the month of March, all four novels were listed among the top fifteen best-sellers for the Milford House Imprint. They were as follows: The Sign of the Eagle, No. 2; The Broken Lance, No. 8; The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, No. 12; The Wolf of Britannia, Part II, No. 13. 

 

Dozens of Roman graves found under York Hotel Swimming pool  (Insert picture Roman graves, etc. here)

 

MORE than 70 Roman skeletons were discovered on the site of a former hotel in York.

 

The grade two listed building, formerly the Newington Hotel in Mount Vale Drive, overlooks Knavesmire and has been stripped back by developers to create seven new family houses.

During the renovation of the Georgian building, developers were surprised to find human remains, and the York Archaeological Trust were called in to assist with the recovery. For further information see enclosed link: Graves Found under York Hotel Swimming Pool.

 

Personal Notes

 

Once again, I am cleaning my outdoor model railroad to run this Spring and Summer. A lot is involved, but is worth the effort. The first picture is me weeding around the tracks and second picture of what the area will look like when I start running trains. 

 

 

   Steve Weeding Rail Road Tracks  Roman Graves Found Under York Hotel  Daylight train passing under trussel bridge

         Steve Gardening the Rail Road Tracks            Roman graves found under York Hotel                  SP Daylight passing under trussel bridge

 


 

              

I am pleased to announce that my granddaughter, Veronica Hughes, will be graduating from Presentation High School, San Jose, California, June 2nd (I will be attending) and has been accepted for admission at the University of Alabama this Fall. Liz and I couldn't be more proud.

 

Granddaughter Veronica Happy BD  University of Alabama GrandMOMUniversity of Alabama Grand Dad

Happy Birthday Veronica and Congratulations!                          Ready to proudly wear our University of Alabama Shirts

 

 

 

That's all until next time. Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!

 

 

 

Jess Steven Hughes

 

 

4:13 pm pdt          Comments

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Book Sales Update

 

 

Book Signing Update New Reader Amy at YokesNew Reader Brandon at Spokane Valley B&NNew Reader Kyrin Broken LanceNew Reader Stephie at B&N

                                                       New Readers for The Broken Lance:   Yokes-Amy  and Barnes and Noble-Brandon, Kyria and Stephanie in Spokane Valley                                                                                   

 

After my book signings in January/February, got off to a slow start, sales for the first four book signings (Yoke's Fresh Market, Liberty Lake, Washington, March 2nd; and Barnes & Noble, Spokane Valley, WA, March 3rd/4th and Kennewick, WA, March 10th) in March picked up significantly, far exceeding my expectations. To say the least, management was very pleased. E.g. Kennewick B&N manager, Rob, who is new to the store manager, had this to say, "I heard you were a "real go getter. Now, that I have seen you in action, I believe it! Most authors just sit at the table looking at their cell phones or the desk, never speaking to anyone." In addition to signings at these stores, I will also be conducting signings @ B&N stores in San Jose (Blossom Hill), California; Bozeman, Montana,; Silverdale, WA, and returning for encores @ the previous store which I have already signed this year. Check the book signing page for dates and times.

 

 

 

Book Sales Update The Sign of the Eagle Book Cover

 

The Sign of the Eagle was number three in sales for fiction for the Milford House imprint for the month of January, 2018. The Broken Lance dropped off the top 15 chart, but should return by March. I sold a lot of copies during the first book signings for the month. More should follow.

 

 

 

The Peace Keeper Update The Peacekeeper

 

The second edit of the novel is well underway by my editor at Sunbury Press (www.sunburypress.com). I also submitted a description of the book for the back cover. The editor said it was too long, and she will she will shorten it. I told her to make whatever changes she deemed necessary. I have worked with her on three previous novels, and I trust her judgement. 

 

 

 

Return to Britannia Update and Name Change  Roman London street scene

                                                                                                        Roman London Street Scene

 

I have changed the name of my current work in progress from, Return to Britannia (this was a working title only) to The Emperor's Hand. I may change it again, but for now, this will do. It is much closer to what I want in way of a title because in the story, Macha's husband, Titus, represents Emperor Vespasian in Britannia.

 

The writing continues at a slow pace, a lot of research left to do. I emailed a letter to Lawrence Knorr, publisher of Sunbury Press, informing him that I should complete the novel in approximately two years. He has added me to the list of books in progress by his stable of authors.

 

In the meantime,  I have submitted chapter three to a literary publication,  Conceit Magazine, as a short story, titled, Roman London is a Dangerous Place. It will be published in the June, 2018 issue.

 

 

 

Rare Roman Gloves Found at Hadrian's Wall Rare Roman Gloves

 

"They are among the latest discoveries at a pre-Hadrianic Roman cavalry barrack, which was found last year beneath the fourth-century stone fort of Vindolanda, south of Hadrian’s Wall near Hexham, Northumberland."--The Guardian

 

Unearthed near Hadrian’s Wall: lost secrets of first Roman soldiers to fight the barbarians

Read more: Rare Roman Boxing Gloves Found at Hadrians Wall 

 

 

 

On a Personal Note Slim Princess Garden RailwayArticle

                                    Slim Princess Sourthern Pacific Narrow-Gauge Line

 

As some of you know besides writing historical novels, my other passion is running outdoor model trains. A few months ago, Garden Railways Magazine accepted for publication a picture of one of my model trains. This is a replica of real train known as the "Slim Princess," that ran on the Southern Pacific's narrow-gauge line, in Northern California, from 1911 to 1960. It is now on permanent display, at the Law Railroad Museum, outside of the town of Bishop, California. The picture was published in the April, 2018 issue. The publication retains all rights to this picture. Do not reproduce or transfer with the Garden Railways permission.

 

 

 

That is all for now. I wish you all best. Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!

 

 

 

 

Jess Steven Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

6:07 pm pdt          Comments

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Updates!

Book Signing Update B&N Book Signing Display The Broken Lance Reader Heather at B&N

                               Book Signing Display at Northtown B&N      New The Broken Lance Reader Heather at B&N 

 

 

It's the beginning of a new year, and I have already conducted signings @ Yoke's Fresh Market, Liberty Lake, Washington (Jan. 19th), and Barnes & Noble, North Town Mall, Spokane, Washington (Jan. 27th). See the book signing page for a list of future dates. I have made event arrangements through June, but more to fill in during April and May. So far B&N Spokane, WA, North Town Mall; B&N, Spokane Valley, WA, B&N, Columbia Center, Kennewick, WA and B&N, Blossom Hill, San Jose, CA, are on board. More B&N stores have shown an interest (Montana and Washington) but won't start working on their event calendars until February. 

 

January and February are usually the slowest months for signings, people are taking a "deep breath" after heavy spending during the Christmas/New Year holidays. That was reflected in my first two signings. The numbers were low, but Yoke's store manager, Dan Dicicco, and B&N store manager, Hilde, both want me to return for additional signings (see book signing page). 

 

Book Sales Update The Broken Lance Final Book Cover SOEMilfordHouse.jpg

                                            Milford House Publishing: The Broken Lance and The Sign of the Eagle

 

Once again sales for the The Broken Lance and The Sign of the Eagle were very good for the month of December. They were number three and number seven respectively in sales for Sunbury Press (www.sunburypress.com) Milford House Imprint.

 

The Peace Keeper Update Peacekeeper Roman Soldier Painting Final Draft

                                   The Peace Keeper Roman Soldier Painting Final Draft

 

I completed the first edit and rewrite sent to me by my editor from Sunbury Press. The only thing major was adding an extra scene describing the status of one of the characters in the story. The rest of the changes were very minor. Now, I am waiting for her to complete another review and send it back to me again. This may take a while as she is bogged down with several other projects. I told her to take her time as I prefer to still promote The Broken Lance.

 

 

 

Return to Britannia Update Roman London Street Scene

                                              Roman London Street Scene

 

Work is progressing at a slow rate. I have made additional changes. There two parallel stories in this novel. Number one is the triple homicide being investigate by Macha's husband, Titus. I have decided each victim was killed by different means rather than all by poison. One is murdered by poison, but one is killed by stabbing and other by strangulation. The story deals with Macha's kidnapping by Celtic rebels who want to make her queen of the tribe that use to be ruled by her father, Caratacus. They want her as the symbolic head of their revolt against the Romans, but she wants no part of this. They don't give her any choice. I have to do more development of characters and events before I can move forward.

 

 

Article: A Search for a Lost Hammer Led to the Largest Cache of Roman Treasure Ever Found in Britain

 

Today, archaeologists are still debating just how old the hoard is—and what it tells us about the end of the Roman Empire in Britain

 

When Eric Lawes set off for a field in Hoxne village, Suffolk on November 16, 1992, it wasn’t on a treasure hunt. The metal detector he’d received as a retirement gift was meant to find a hammer lost on the farmland. But the detector picked up a strong signal in the earth, leading Lawes to start digging, and it quickly became apparent that he had indeed found treasure.

 

After bringing up only a few shovel-fulls of silverspoons and gold coins, Lawes quickly retreated and called the police and the local archaeological society. The very next day, as covertly as possible, the archaeologists excavated a chunk of earth with the treasure still contained within. This way, they could remove the objects under laboratory conditions, which would help determine the age and storage method of the cache. By the time everything had been removed from the dirt, the archaeologists had nearly 60 pounds of gold and silver objects, including 15,234 Roman coins, dozens of silver spoons and 200 gold objects.

 

Read more on the Smithsonian Magazine:Lost Hammer Finds Large Roman Cache 

 

 

 

On a Personal Note Ziggyfillingout.jpg

                                       Rescue Horse Ziggy filling out

 

 

Our rescue horse, Ziggy, is really coming along. He has filled out in his haunches and neck. Not the bony horse that he was back in December when got him. He has settled in and is a healthy, happy horse.

 

 

That's all for now. Until next time, Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!

 

 

-JSH

 

3:11 pm pst          Comments

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Book Signing and Book Status

 

 

new reader DawnNew Reader Diana Blossom HillDanielle Blossom HillNew reader Troy BN Spokane

New Readers:   Dawn B&N Northtown                                                  Diana & Danielle B&N Blossom Hill, San Jose, CA                                             Troy B&N Spokane, WA

 

Book Signing Notes

 

Between November 10th and December 16th, I signed copies of my books at Barnes & Noble Bookseller stores at the Northtown Mall, Spokane; Eastside store, Spokane Valley; and the Blossom Hill store, San Jose, California. Other stores where I signed included: Yoke's Fresh Market, Liberty Lake, Washington; Liberty Lake Chevron, Liberty Lake, WA and EntertainMART, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. As always, the Barnes & Noble signings were very successful. Liberty Lake Chevron and Yoke's were so-so (nevertheless, both stores want me to return). 

 

Once again, EntertainMART gave me another big surprise. Besides selling many books, they had paid me for in advance at the last signing, (They paid me for twenty-one on October 7th), they paid me for an additional ten (The Broken Lance and The Wolf of Britannia, Part I) when I conducted another signing at their store, Nov. 18th. Book manager, Marie, said, "We know you will return at future dates until you've sold them all." Needless to say, I will return for another signing, Saturday, February 3rd, 2018. I will also be returning to the other B&N stores as well for encore signings.  Management in each store was pleased with my efforts and numbers sold.

 

During 2017 I conducted more than forty book signing events (several were not listed because I added them at the last minute). By far the most successful signings were at a select number of Barnes & Noble Bookseller stores. Management at those particular locations have very supportive allowing me to return just about as often as I want. EntertainMART has shown similar support. Although I have not sold as many books at Yoke's Fresh Market and Liberty Lake Chevron, management in those places have been just as supportive wanting me to return as well. This will carry over into 2018 as I am in the process of lining up more events. It will be even better when my next historical novel, The Peacekeeper, is released sometime this Spring.

 

The Peacekeeper Status  Roman Soldier with Sword Shield

 

Once again I will be working with Sunbury Press Editor, Janice Rayhem, who will be editing my forthcoming historical novel, The Peacekeeper. This is the second half of the duo-logy featuring The Broken Lance. She edited three of my other novels: The Wolf of Britannia, Part I & II, and The Broken Lance. She will begin work on it in January. At this point I don't know how long the process will take as it usually means at least two-three reviews before the manuscript is finalized for publication. So, it will probably be ready sometime early Spring. You will notice that above is a picture of a Roman soldier kneeling. This is the  photo that will used for a painting of the same one. This in turn will be the book cover.

 

Return to Britannia (Working Title) Notes Overview Roman London

                                                                   Overview Roman London

 

 

Work continues at a slow pace as I fill out my first three chapters and work on chapters four and five. The main character, Macha (The Sign of the Eagle) is attacked by a lone assassin in chapter 3, but she escapes unscathed. She has accompanied her husband, Titus, to Britannia, who is investigating a triple homicide. It turns out there are other people out there who want Macha dead for reasons unrelated to her husband's investigation. As the story proceeds, all hell will break loose. It will take approximately two years to complete this next book.

 

New underwater discoveries in Greece reveal ancient Roman engineering Underwater Corinth Greece

                                                                                                              Roman underwater Corinth, Greece

 

 

New archaeological excavations at the ancient port of Corinth have uncovered evidence of large-scale Roman engineering. Named Lechaion, the port was one of a pair that connected the city of ancient Corinth to Mediterranean trade networks. Lechaion is located on the Gulf of Corinth, while Kenchreai is positioned across the narrow Isthmus of Corinth on the Aegean Sea. These two strategic harbours made Corinth a classical period power, but the Romans destroyed the city in 146 BC when conquering Greece. Julius Caesar rebuilt the city and its harbours in 44 BC, ushering in several centuries of prosperity. Recent excavations by the Lechaion Harbour Project have revealed the impressive engineering of the Roman Empire. 

 

For further information see link: Discovered Underwater Ancient Roman Engineering

 

 

Roman Holiday - Saturnalia 

 

This is a repeat from last year, but it is worth re-running again. 

 

December 17th - The "Saturnalia" Roman Holiday Saturnalia

 


This day is for special religious observance, being the first day of the Saturnalia, the Roman festival that honors Saturn (Cronus), and which is one of the most festive and uninhibited that the ancient Romans celebrated.

The holiday began celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: The poet Catullus called it "the best of days." For further reading go to the Ancient World Notes page for the complete article.

 

Personal Notes - Two

 

 

 

Thoughts on Being a Writer Thoughts on being a writer

 

 

 

Below is an article I originally posted on Face Book about being an author. I have revised it a little but the main essence is still present.

 

Many of you know me as a writer of historical novels. You may also know I am one who likes model railroading, Roman history, horses, weight lifting, etc.

 

For many years my first passion has been writing. I realize a lot of you have no interest in that or any other literary activities. I respect that, we all have different interests. But at age seventy-five, like my other activities, it gives me reason to live and keep going on, I'm not one to sit around doing nothing.

 

I have a confession to make. I am not a natural-born writer. Every page I write is a struggle of creation. Every page means re-writing and more re-writing. And I am not the most eloquent writer. I am slow; a plodder. It takes me a long time to produce a compelling (I hope), readable work. It is why I continue to attend the writers support group, Red Ink Fictioneers, for so many years. This group of established authors keeps me honest; learning about writing fiction.

 

Over the years I have observed many perspective writers who were endowed with far greater talent than mine, who gave up before completing what would have been great books. Why? Because they were quitters, they lacked self-discipline and persistence.

 

In the meantime, I kept plugging away, continuing to learn from my mistakes, despite one set-back and rejection after another.

I am grateful to have found a publisher, Sunbury Press, a traditional small press, who believed in me, and gave me a chance to succeed. Even then, the editors assigned to my novels, made sure to get the best out of me. In each one of my four published novels, I did major rewrites of chapters, added new chapters and changed endings. The goal was not a good novel but a great novel.

 

Whether or not I have succeeded, I am not sure. However, I will continue to promote my novels (some of you FB friends find it boring) and will to continue to write. This is my passion, and this with the support of my wife, Liz, an my other interests keeps an old guy like me going.

 

I know the writers out there will understand, if no one else does.

 

Note Number Two - A New Horse in the Family (Rescue Horse) LizandZiggy.jpgSteve with new horse Ziggy

                                                                                                                  Liz and Steve with Rescue Horse Ziggy


                                                                                                                           

On December 13th, Liz received her new rescue horse, Ziggy  This horse was scheduled for a slaughter house down in Mexico when Liz learned about her from a friend who did the actual rescue. Liz visited the horse and immediately purchased for a very minimal price. He is underweight and needs more work done on his hooves (our farrier already did a lot, but more will be done), but otherwise he is in good shape. He is twenty years old. He has found a good home with us. We now have three horses. The other two are Annie, a registered Dun paint mare and Darby a bay registered Quarter horse. Ziggy will fit right in be spoiled rotten like the other two, the way we like it.

 

That's it for now. I want to wish you all the Happiest of Holidays and very prosperous New Year! Until next time, Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!

 

--Jess Hughes

 

 

 

 


 

 

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