Catfish, Hot Water, and Being Self-Sufficient



Friday I went fishing with my friend Johnny.  We went striper fishing in the Rappahannock River.  We didn’t get a hit with our lures.  We did have two hickory shad left from the spring, so we cut them up and put them on our hooks.  We caught catfish and more catfish!  The largest one was twelve pounds.  We gave fish to people at the boat ramp, and I took home two buckets full.  One bucket went to our neighbors and the other went to our cats.  You’ve heard about our outside cats before.

I cut the catfish up, and the cats growl and eat.  They will eat any kind of fish; but the way they tear into catfish makes me think it’s their favorite.  I have even had my finger bitten by the cats as they try to help me cut it up faster.

Saturday morning it was 47° outside while I was cutting up the catfish for the cats.  I had overslept and didn’t turn on the hot water heater before I went out.  I’ve put a 220 switch on the hot water heater.  It has really saved on our electric bill.  We have to remember to turn on the water heater a few minutes before we need hot water.  Well, my wife got in the shower and ran out of hot water.  She wasn’t too happy about that.  Sometimes we have these little inconveniences, but money is saved.  The cats had several free meals from the fish I caught.

If you think about it, how did people live two hundred years ago?  They were tougher and took care of themselves and their neighbors.  They worked together.  When the electricity goes out, it’s inconvenient; but we know how to make do.  We don’t need a generator.  Just go to bed at night, be creative, and enjoy life in Jesus.  Bad things will happen, but those in Christ have a future that we can’t imagine!


The Writing Process



My wife told me that she lost over half an hour of her day yesterday talking on the phone with someone about my third book.  He liked the book but didn’t understand the ending.  You need to remember the second book, No Address, in order to understand the ending in Mastermind.  Nevertheless, he thought the book was great.  He has traveled in Central America and South America, and he really liked the way we handled the Darien Gap.  He did suggest some changes we should make to correct some things that were inaccurate.  My books are fiction.  Some things in the books are true, but they were all dreams.  Some of the dreams didn’t make sense, as dreams often don’t; but I thought that they were better storylines than what you see on television.

People ask me, “How did you get started writing?”  I have written small things in the past.  But when I had the first dream, I woke up at 2 am and wrote the dream down by hand.  When I next looked at the clock, it was 6:30 am.

Our life is based around church and our daughter.  When our daughter went out on her own, my wife and I discussed, “What are we going to do with ourselves together, just the two of us?”  The answer was these books.  I type out the notes from my dreams, and she edits them.  She makes my dreams make sense.  We are both amazed at how the stories flow.  She has edited books for other authors in the past, but neither of us thought that I had these books in me.  I call them a blessing from God and an answer to our prayer for something that we could do together.

The first book, Homeless, is not the usual homeless story.  It has been very popular with people who remember Richmond from the 1960’s.  No Address is a continuation of the first book.  My wife didn’t like this book because it is science fiction, but she cries whenever she reads the ending.  It deals with space life on a small planet between Earth and Venus, as it was in my dream.  The first two books are written in the first person, from Dan’s point of view.  They have a simpler language than MastermindMastermind is a prequel to the first two books, but it is written on a higher level from a different character’s perspective.

We are currently working on By Design, the ending of the series.  Other projects have been keeping us busy, and the writing has taken a backseat.  People have been asking, “When is the next book coming out?”  That motivates us to get back to it.  I am also working on another book in my spare time.  It’s a western, The Legend of Tater; and takes place in Montana.  I have never been there, only in my dreams!



Bass Fishing Tips and Listening to the Expert


I guess the highlight of this past week was when I was invited to fish in Lake Anna.  Erick has a fancy bass boat.  It’s a Ranger that he used to use to fish tournaments.  He broke his neck somehow, and now he is trying to get back into tournament shape.

I get to come along to help.  The first time I went to Lake Anna, I only caught one bass and one brim.  This past week I caught fourteen bass and a catfish.  I learned a lot from going there the first time and listening to Erick.   I’m not good with colors; but, apparently, you can have the same lure as the other person.  But if the color is different, the fish won’t bite your lure.  Listening and watching someone who knows what they are doing will improve your own ability.   And that is not only in fishing.  It works in all areas of life.

Erick has the knowledge to fish tournaments, but he isn’t physically ready.  So that makes me not ready.  It is difficult for me to fish, run the trolling motor, and watch the screen at the same time.  And we keep having these little mishaps that we have to work out.  One time I had a bass on and it got off.  Then another bass hit my lure, and Erick got a bass at the same time.  We got both of them in even though we couldn’t help each other and that was an improvement.

Take time to listen and practice what you take in.  The Bible is a great place to start.  You will hear God talking to you!