African Connection links are now in the sidebar to the right, just below the My Travel section.

Click here to see a La Crosse Tribune article about the mission in Uganda.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


"Have a non-technical writing piece published." I've had numerous technical papers published so I was looking for something else when I added this entry to my 50 Things To Do... list. And, not being so sure that writing a blog is publishing in the sense I was thinking, I'll not count mine towards this goal. But I don't want to make this TOO hard, either. I already have some of those on my list - things I doubt I'll really ever be able or have the opportunity to do. So, I've been willing to find some middle ground on this one. Having thus given myself some wiggle room, it turns out it wasn't so hard to get this onto the "Done" side of the ledger.

During the course of my seven mission trips to the Dominican Republic and two to Uganda, I grew (with some encouragement along the way) into the practice of keeping journals. Upon returning from the trips, I shared my journals in a variety of ways and generally found the whole experience - writing in the field, refining at home and sharing with my teammates - to be enjoyable and rewarding. Looking for something just a little different for this year's Dominican Republic trip journal, I remembered a web site I'd heard about - Blurb.com. From there, you can create your own book - a REAL book - and get REAL copies and even have it on the virtual shelves of a REAL e-bookstore. It might be self-publishing, but that was good enough for me. So I did it, I turned my journal into a 45 page booklet with eight chapters and a lot of pictures. And I had a ton of fun along the way.

Now I know you are just chomping at the bit, wanting to get a glimpse of this new addition to the world's vast collection of great works. And, through the magic of Blurb.com, I can give you that glimpse. Just click here. You can see the front and rear covers and the first 15 pages.

The book is for sale - that's part of the Blurb.com service, but I just wanted to have a little fun, make as nice a journal as I could and get copies for my teammates. All accomplished. And, as far as I'm concerned, I now "Have a non-technical writing piece published." Works for me.

Now, if you want to see a good example of what can be done if you really know what you are doing, check out the special book made by Carrie and Susan with pictures from Stellan's name gallery. Just click here. Now that's a book! Thank you so much, ladies. What a wonderful surprise for MckMama.

Did anyone mention biking? One reason I had enough time to make a book is that the weather here has been anything but accommodating to riding. In fact, the reason I have time to write now about making a book is that it is cool, windy and raining. But not to worry, things have been improving. In the first 12 days of May I've ridden 227 miles and climbed 16,440 feet, bringing my totals for the year to 1,096 miles and 38,440 feet. Not as much as I'd hoped, but the pace is accelerating.

Memo to Barnes and Noble: My schedule is pretty much open for the book signing tour. Give me a call and we'll talk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As much fun as computers are, there is something so rewarding about seeing something (technical or not) published in hard copy. And I, for one, can attest to how wonderful your book turned out, Dad!