My book in print – What I have learned

A student all over again

A while back I mentioned that Dempsey’s Grill was going to be in print. I was not going to mention it again. I already talked about it once so why do it twice? 

But then the box arrived. Along with the emotional roller coaster.

Dempsey Box

I’ve heard so many people talk about all the things that run through their head when this happens. My good friend Renee April posted an emotional video on the day she opened a box full of her books. 

It was so touching and so real and I knew I would be feeling the same. 

 

In my hands

Dempsey Book

When I laid my book in my hand I immediately thought of the rough draft and the mess I made.  I thought of the the good days and the bad. Mostly the bad. Trust me, there was a lot. But nothing bothered me. I knew I’d figure this out. 

For those who have been through this I’m sure you’ll agree, if you believe in your story that’s all that really matters. I believed in this story even when the rejections came. 

Trust me there was a lot of them. 

I loved the idea and the characters who brought it to life. Not once did I feel it was too much.

 

My most important lesson

I’m the kind of person who will concentrate on my weaknesses when something good comes my way. I like to take a step back and remind myself I still have a lot to learn. The weakness in this particular situation is marketing.

I’m not the type of set up shop in a bookstore and hope for the best. To be honest it’s overwhelming with all things selling. There is so much to learn that I’m constantly feeling that I am not doing enough or I’m doing something wrong.

I see Dempsey’s Grill as my own person learning tool. This experience will teach me a lot of things. I know when the next book comes out I will be better prepared. I’ll actually have a plan instead of winging it as I go. 

 

Learn as I go

But I don’t mind this winging thing. We have all to learn and we all have to make mistakes, don’t we. Keep saying that, I remind myself. 

No matter what happens it is truly amazing holding your book in your hands. I won’t lie, it’s a scary feeling, but I’ll take it any day. For those of you who have been doing this for awhile, don’t be surprised if I come to you with questions. 

Trust me, I have a lot of them.

I’m at a place where writing a book is easy, but selling is hard. But I don’t mind. As long as it’s fun I’ll continue to learn as I go. 

Flash 1

Europe – It was fun

This is my final European trip post. I figured six weeks give or take was enough. I hope you enjoyed my adventures. Life is pretty amazing no matter where we are, isn’t it. 

Instead of a story I thought I would conclude my post with a series of pictures. They were taken during the last week of our trip. We were just a tad exhausted but hey, it’s France and England, there is no time for exhaustion.

On a side note: Because of my book being released and my other book being written I will have to limit my posts to once a week. There is just not enough hours in the day. It bummed me out but I knew I could not write at the level I expect.

On a bright note: I am pleasantly surprised at the popularity of Fozzie Bear. He was going to retire as soon as his European pictures ended but now I wonder, should Fozzie continue?

So here’s a question for you all: Would you like Fozzie to continue wishing you a happy and productive week? If so, I will drag my sorry knee (kids and wife let’s be honest) all over Western Oregon and wherever else we may go with pictures and happy wishes.

Let me know if this is a great idea or a bad one. Now, on with the pictures!!!!!

 

The beautiful town of Calais. Our last town in France

 

Calais, France

 

Who doesn’t love phone booths in London? Well, I thought they were cool.

London 1

 

Double deck buses were the best. I kept my feet, and chair on the bottom floor but still…it was cool. 

London 2

 

I was a tad bummed the studio was closed. On the other hand I was able to visit their store.  

London 3

 

But Abby Road is always open. 

London 4

 

It wouldn’t be London without a trip to Buckingham Palace. I waved. Sadly, he didn’t. 

London 5

Can you say Schweineschnitzel?

 

It was really good that first day

As my experiences of Europe come to an end the one thing I have not spoken enough of is the food. 

We all have our favorites and I know if this were you, we would be reading the types of food you were drawn to and it’s probably safe to say all of the stories would be a little bit different.

Before I share my experience I want you to do me a favor. Cut and paste the word – SCHWEINESCHNITZEL.

Sch 1

You’ll notice how appealing it looks. Mouth watering, you might way. A dish that one could really sink their teeth into.

 

If only had it stopped in Vienna

I first came across this tantalizing dish in Vienna. It was lunch time. We were guided into a nice little place complete with buffet. 

The place was shiny and bright. A nice little language barrier tossed in for fun causing the cook to point to a special dish on his right. I smiled and pointed yes. I quickly realized when one smiles and points language barriers are quickly forgotten. 

The story could have ended here. It could have turned into a nice pleasing experience. Happy even. Sadly, that’s not where this story is going.

 

It wouldn’t go away

Sch 3

The following day the dish appeared again. But with this particular experience there was no buffet there was only one choice: Our main evening meal chosen by the tour. 

On the bright side I got to choose a side dish.

The routine continued into consecutive days of eight or nine …or was it ten? Whatever it was it was non-stop Schweineschnitzel. 

Sometimes we had the pork version, sometimes the chicken. Whatever it was the damn thing kept coming.

 

A Star is Born…..sort of

To say I was a bit tired of this once appetizing dish is pretty accurate. On the bright side my tired taste buds slowly spilled over to my touring companions.

It wasn’t long before sarcastic songs came into the mix.

Sweet Home, Schweineschnitzel 

Hotel Schweineschnitzel

We are the Schweineschnitzels

 And our personal favorite: 

The Long and Winding Schweineschnitzel.

Our bus was jamming with so many classics we were literally taking it on the road.

Looking back I could have done without the nine or dozen servings in the nine or dozen cities, but if there is a silver lining I will say this – 

If you are ever in Austria, Germany or Switzerland try this dish.

But do yourself a favor: Try it once.

Sch 2

Fozzie and Stefan

Fozzie

Fozzie enjoyed all of the sites as he traveled the word but the one thing he enjoyed the most was Stefan, our tour guide. They were a lot alike in so many ways.

Not exactly sure that’s a good thing.

As the kids get back into school and we celebrate the final holiday out here in the states, Fozzie wishes you a fun and productive week.

We’re all the same wherever we go

On with the show

A small note: The picture below is a group shot in Austria. Yes, I could easily move there.

Crowd 2

 

Could Paris be just like us???? Gasp!!!

So there I was, hanging out in Paris. The city of love. The place of magic. A city full of stories told through the centuries.

We were strolling through an open mall checking out some of the shops. It was a nice summer day. Not a cloud in the sky. In that moment I actually felt I was a side character in an Audrey Hepburn movie.

I remember riding passed a group of boys practicing their skateboarding skills. I smiled as they stopped and stared as a pretty girl walked by.

We ventured south to the busy part of town. The cars were thick, the crowd growing but through it all a little boy caught my eye,

His mother was busy with his two little sisters. I watched as he passed the time by covering his head with his shirt. I feared he would ventured into traffic but thankfully he moved to the right instead.

 

My Own Backyard

But the right contained a tall concrete block lying directly in his path. The boy and the block met head on in a comical sort of way causing him to cry and blame the dastardly thing for such a cruel mess.

All of these experiences could have happened in my own back yard. It’s so easy to forget how small our world really is. When one thinks of Paris a sort of magic can occur but one forgets it is full of people like you and me.

 

A feel good moment

As we made our way back to the hotel we came across a basketball court. But there were no baskets. This was soccer in the fastest of forms. The court was surrounded by fans. The scene reminded me of a summer game found throughout my town.

The cheering was just as loud and contagious. The joy of victory and the agony of defeat just as real. It’s easy to get lost in our own little world until we travel to the other side a half a world away.

When you do and if you’re like me, you’ll realize we’ll all the same no matter where we are and that makes me smile. 

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!

Matius

 

The Life and Times of My Gloves

During my first day in Europe when I first tried out the wheelchair thing I forgot one important item: My gloves.

Gloves 2

By the end of the day my hands were a bit raw and by that I mean they were full of blisters, peeling of the skin and of course my favorite part of the show: A little bloody.

This all happened on the day I was lost in Vienna. I made the rookie mistake of leaving my gloves in my carry on which just so happened to be sitting on the bus.

My bad.

 

We Became Fast Friends

From day two up until my last day in London the gloves were a part of my daily life. Like anything we hold near and dear they were far from perfect. They made it challenging when I was holding the camera or taking videos and if I had to fetch my wallet or a coin, forget about it.

By they allowed me to grip the wheels minus the blisters and blood. They were a curiosity to little kids, not to mention the man with the black balloon.

They were as common as putting on socks in the morning. Without them everything seemed a little off.

 

A Rather Smelly Event

Gloves Picture

My gloves were given a breather now and then but for the most part they stayed glued to my fingers. The only drawback was the smell. Think gym socks and that will give you a good idea. 

We tried washing them a few times but discovered they quickly broke down. Realizing I needed them until the end, I decided to deal with the pesky oder until the end.

If I ever do this again I’ll look for a washable wear but looking back I must say, my gloves had a great ride.