DAY 1: MARKAWASI

Hello everyone.

I know I’ve been away a while but, useless excuses aside, here I am again and ready to tell you about my wonderful trip to Peru this summer. Here is the first report and I hope you enjoy it. 

“Honey, your fingernails are making my leg bleed.”

building with rebar

I must have said that to my wife a dozen times on the drive up to Markawasi. It wasn’t meant to be accusatory; no, it was my way of acknowledging the fact that I was just as scared as she was. Continue reading

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Split Personality 

split personality

I just realized that I’ve somehow created a “thomaslopinski” account that is connected to a “thomas.lopinski” account. I’m not sure if this is just a normal function of gmail or if I surreptitiously wiggled my way into the inner workings of some cyber hacking network without even trying. Are these accounts two brothers from a different mother or fraternal twins?

deniro in brazil

I didn’t give it much thought until a company wouldn’t send me the information I needed to do serious “things” to another account because my email addresses did not match exactly. Now I’m somewhere between here and there with no place to go. I feel like Robert DiNero in “Brazil” living on the edge of a society that doesn’t know he exist and then being obliterated by a paper trail of zeros and ones.

brazil paper

Click to see the video

Please help! Are there any IT geeks out there who can humor me with a layman’s explanation on what I did or need to do to rectify this horrible misfortunate error?

M.I.A. but not D.O.A.

Hello there,

Tom on bridgeI’ve been missing in action this past month but there is a good reason for it. First, I spent two weeks hiking in the Andes Mountains in Peru, visiting ancient sites and swatting bugs in the Amazon Rainforest…with very little Internet access.

Bugsy 8th Grade GraduationThen I had to bury one of my best friends the next week. Yes, he was the inspiration for one of the characters in my latest novel.

Needless to say, I haven’t felt like writing for a few weeks. That will change soon. On a good note, I just received a wonderful review of “The Art of Raising Hell” from Readers’ Favorites. If you’re not familiar with them, please check it out.readers favorite square

Readers’s Favorites Review

Life or death

Since we’re on the subject of Bradbury, here’s another one: “Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at walls all day. Others are called writers and do pretty much the same thing.”

midnight clamour

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

― Ray Bradbury

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THE ART OF NARRATING WELL…OR HELL

Mark Twain

Finding a narrator to create an audiobook is no fun. Any author who has used ACX knows exactly what I’m talking about.

I must have searched through 2,000 auditions trying to find the right voice…and price. Oh yes, there are wonderful voices out there, but will they roll the dice with you and narrate your book for nothing but hope that you’ll split thousands of dollars in royalties later? Probably not, and I can’t blame them.

SNL Narrator

I’d actually given up looking after countless auditions and solicitations. There was the narrator who was fantastic, but sounded like my grandfather. Did I mention that a teenager narrates my novel in first person? Then there were the narrators who sounded great, but just didn’t know when to pause, when to sigh or when to run with it.

Figure of storyteller

Then came along L.J… In my last hour of desperation, when I was ready to scrap the whole idea, L.J. Ganser sent me an audition recording that sounded like a chorus of angels. He went on to record the whole book in two days and created a masterpiece. If you don’t believe me, please take a listen.

Audio Sample…http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-of-Raising-Hell/dp/B0119F6XFU/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1428593341

Freedom is an Open Road

I just want to get out my guitar and put a melody to these words. Wonderful!

roamwildandfree

Freedom is an Open Road

Written by my brother, Bobby Birkhofer, as a gift for my 22nd birthday

If you would like to share his work, please give credit to the amazing literary artist that he is!

As I sat upon a mountainside with all the world before me

I observed the sun high in the sky running its daily course

And I thought to myself ‘isn’t this the way things are supposed to be?’

And the answer came easily without any doubt, without remorse

All the money the world couldn’t buy a bluer sky than this

Nothing could warm my heart more than the sweet Wyoming sun

No worldly possessions could ever bring more happiness

Than the satisfaction I feel here when every day is done

So if I ever leave this country,

I’m sure it’s blue skies and western wind will always call me home

And I will…

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