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The website of Andrew Hessel and Old Dog Publishing

WOMEN’S MARCH THE GREATEST PROTEST IN THE HISTORY OF WORLD. HERE’S WHY.

Peaceful. Purposeful. And a Real Movement.

Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

What took place around the world on Saturday, January 21st, may have been nothing less than the first salvo of something extraordinary. An explosive and heartfelt outpouring of protest. Like a 21st Century Fort Sumter and the beginning of a non-violent Second Civil War for justice and equality and human dignity.

Here’s why.

women's march

Hundreds of marches, tens of millions, peaceful and purposeful.

The signficance of this real people juggernaut of a protest is dwarfed only by what it’s not.

The protest isn’t sour grapes about the outcome.

DJT’s the prez, but the story will be a long time unfolding as truth is separated from fiction, and reality from delusion.

The impact of Putin from the outside and Comey from within will be assessed, debated and perhaps even litigated ad nauseum. Of course it mattered, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Saturday’s Women’s Marches across the country and around the world were the authentic outpouring of heartfelt rejection of the man in the office; his heart, his character, his brain.

And his policies, however vague, thin, shifting and conveniently tuned to each audience.

And his values, if we ever really find out what they are, and aren’t.

The marches were the for real grassroots eruption signaling that the “fight” is on. Beyond politics for the soul of a nation.

Mitch McConnell had his way – obstruction, opposition and in the case of the High Court, refusal.

The opposition has found the genesis of a better way. I’m sure they’ll obstruct as they can, it’s the most immediate political policy weapon.

Added to that, is the people talking in a way we’ve never seen before. Mobilizing, getting involved and their activism can reengineer the political landscape, maybe at hyper-speed.

The real people. All ages, colors, genders across the demographic spectrum around the world.

Okay, here’s why they’re talking.

Because the new president is a flavor we’ve never been served before. His lack of most every tool to do the job is scary, not funny. Hey, Big League he ain’t.

The reality showman, grand promoter, con man huckster, rich man’s son and business bully, world class liar, serial kisser and privates grabber whose greatest skill is the ability to magically reduce the most complex and critical issues facing mankind to 140 characters.

In tweets always ending with an exclamation point in self-aggrandizing self-congratulation.

They’re tremendous and the best ever.

Worst of all, is a quality never seen in any previous occupant of the office he now holds, which is beyond frightening:

There is and never will be a dissenter, however small, he’s too busy to attack.

The prez can’t rise above anything, can’t let anything go, and the collateral damage is a savage attack upon the dignity of the office. A self-inflicted character flaw that could be potentially critically fatal at the wrong time with the wrong enemy.

The job is to lead the world not preach to the choir, guided and defined by our values not personal delusions.

Drain the swamp? He’s restocked it with billionaires, cronies and insiders.

The Elite, baby. The United States of Goldman Sachs.

During the campaign, everyone that opposed him was a liar and a crook.

In the end, he’d out-lied ‘and out crooked ‘em all. That’s who he’s always been.

2018 may be the most entertaining and crucial off-year election ever.

What will his newbie base do when promises he made are broken, as they inevitably will be, because he never meant them?

He never really believed any of it because Donald J. Trump only believes in Donald J. Trump, and couldn’t care less about folks he snookered into voting against their own best interests.

And as he’d end a tweet with that statement: SAD!!!!

Losing by nearly 3,000,000 popular votes isn’t a mandate, except in his mind, where if he says it, it’s true.

Like George Costanza told Jerry: “It’s not a lie, if you believe it.”

The popular tally aside, it was less than 80,000 votes that cost his opponent Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and the White House.

The ‘movement’ he boasts carried him to his ‘tremendous’ victory was no movement at all.

The for real movement was out walkin’ January 21st around the world. Sending a message that it’s not okay, we won’t just take it, and the fight is on.

If only this could be the beginning of the new beginning.

The tens of millions around the world*, like the hundred thousand plus in the January Portland, Oregon rain spoke loudly and clearly today; they are the real movement.

And the Second Civil War for justice, equality and opportunity for all has peacefully, but oh so admirably, begun.

A little post on Facebook started it all.

If what I’ve written has resonated with you at all, I ask that you share it.

I’ve been a lazy blogger. Writing for clients, neglected my blog. Sat out the campaign and the most recent sports seasons, but what happened yesterday called to me.

Doing nothing is not okay.

Share this with others – together, let’s make a difference.

*So maybe it was only five or ten million – only. Besides, if Donald can tell the CIA and the world that his Inaugural crowd ‘was the biggest ever’ and insist that 3-5 million illegals cost him the popular vote, I feel ‘empowered’ to offer a few alternative facts of my own.

All the best to you and yours.

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

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MY THANKS TO ALL THE READERS THAT HAVE VISITED, DOG LOVERS AND NON-DOG LOVERS ALIKE!

Hope all is well with you and yours from the Old Dog in Oregon!

HUMANE SOCIETY DONATION: HALF OF DECEMBER ROYALTIES

FROM ONE OLD DOG TO ANOTHER

A great gift for any dog lover, anyone really, and a way to support the Humane Society.

I’m donating half of Paw Prints in My Heart’s December royalties. A nice way for this Old Dog to honor and remember Mac, the four-legged love of my life at Christmas time.

Happy Holidays – May the pages turn!

and …

Monique Balas, The Oregonian’s talented pet columnist, graciously reviewed Paw Prints and posted it on OregonLive.com.

Here’s the link:

oregonlive.com/pets/index.ssf/2014/12/portland_mans_book_a_great_gif.html.

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I MADE IT! My goal was for Paw Prints to be available by the first anniversary of Mac’s passing.

The ‘Old Dog’ died last June 14th, so I just made it – by a whisker!

I never planned to write a dog book, but Paw Prints in My Heart isn’t a My Dog book, it’s a Great Dogs book I hope you’ll read and enjoy. It’s Mac’s story and chronicles an improbably wonderful life, our friendship, and the remarkable lessons an old dog taught me. Writing it helped me heal after losing the dog of my life, my best friend and my writing partner.

E-books and paperbacks are available through Amazon. Just Click the Get the Books! link.

Available June 2014

Available June 2014

I called Mac my writing partner, and he really was. He inspired the name of my publishing company, Old Dog Publishing; a character, ‘Weller’, and the title of my second novel, The Old Dog’s New Trick. He also graces its cover, became a recurring character in Imperfect Resolution. I was bringing him back in the next book in the series when he died. When that happened, I put the novel aside; I had unfinished business.

As I wrote Paw Prints, my hopes for it fundamentally changed. More than a story sure to summon laughs and tears, I saw a chance to help grieving pet owners like me transition through painful loss. When Mac passed, I was truly touched when my vet sent flowers. Now, on this side of it, I can’t help but feel a book like this may have helped me heal.

Here’s the brief Foreword to Paw Prints.

Paw Prints in My Heart is Mac’s story.

I think of it as my gift to our family and all of his friends, two and four-legged, that had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing and being loved by this magnificent old Labrador retriever. It’s my best attempt to capture and chronicle a remarkable life, the pain and sadness of his passing, but most of all, his joyful impact upon us over what truly was a most improbable life of fourteen years and a day. A reverent and grateful tribute to a gentle and pure spirit that for me will always be a living reminder of a loving friend in the very truest sense.

In every way, this book was a labor of love and joy to write. Parts will make you laugh, and others may bring you to tears, so a tissue at times may be advised. But I have the highest hopes that you’ll read it, enjoy it, and connect in ways that only you can understand. Maybe even share it with friends that might understand and pass it along, as a comfort for a true friend they’ve lost, and for what they’ve experienced, and a way for them to remember the laughter and happy times through their tears.

I hope dog lovers everywhere read this book and see a bit of their dog in Mac.

I hope that the non-dog lovers amongst us read this book and reconsider.

I hope that everyone has at least one dog of their life in their life.

My first novel Rush to Dawn, was, in many ways a love letter to my wife, Lynne.

This book, I’d like to believe, is a love letter from Mac to all of us.

MY NON-FICTION DETOUR

HUH?

I’m a fiction junkie as well as a novelist. It’s not that I don’t read non-fiction, but I love stories and it takes something rare to grab hold and capture my imagination.

Anyway, I was early into the next Cups Drayton crime thriller, #4 in the Series. And got derailed by a summer with a lot of grieving and adjustment after losing Mac, my four-legged writing partner. Not paralyzed by it, but certainly affected and changed.

Many of you may know that Mac inspired the character of Weller, the old black lab I introduced in The Old Dog’s New Trick, the second book in the series. That’s Mac on the cover, by the way, and Weller returned in the book that followed, Imperfect Resolution. And I’d planned on bringing him back yet again in the new Cups, tentatively titled Keep Going.

I was only a half-dozen chapters into the new novel when Mac died. As hard a time as it was for all of us, I couldn’t continue writing it then. I soon realized it was more than his absence and needing time to grieve; I had unfinished business.

Mac was the dog of my life, and the four-legged love of my life. And despite an insane medical history, he lived a remarkable, if wholly improbable, doggone-good-dog’s-life. Before returning to fiction, I had to write Mac’s story.

And surprise, surprise, I’m taking a detour into non-fiction.

Paw Prints in My Heart (Coming in 2014)

I’m about a quarter through it, and as my best friend in the world and a trusted ‘early reader’ of my four novels so aptly observed when I told him my plan: “A story that needs to be told and I’ll bet you find it therapeutic, too.”

And it’s true, I still miss the old guy every day, but don’t feel so cut-off or far away. Too many memories and mostly good ones that make me smile.

I also feel so remarkably at home with non-fiction, and my freelance writing business is thriving. I’m lucky to have amazing clients in every conceivable niche. They range from big and long established to hungry start-ups, and are located throughout the country and around the world. Most days are filled with exciting and challenging stuff that truly is a lot of fun.

Skype makes it possible – Canada, Great Britain, even Australia with a 17-hour time difference.

When I talk to them it’s tomorrow.

When they talk to me it’s yesterday.

Be well and thanks for visiting … and reading!
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MAC: June 13 1999 – June 14 2013

With a heavy heart buttressed by memories I’ll cherish always, I announce the passing of the better half of Old Dog Publishing. He was my writing partner, a true friend, and simply a great guy.

For those that may not know, MAC inspired the title, a recurring character named Weller, and graces the front cover of my second novel.

I included this quote at the front of The Old Dog’s New Trick.

To err is human, to forgive, canine.
Anonymous

Whoever anonymous was, he sure got it right.

He was an adorable pup!

He was an adorable pup!

In his prime, about three or so.

In his prime, about three or so.

The famous "my cookies are on top of the frig" shot.

The famous “my cookies are on top of the frig” shot.

Nearing the end of his life.

Nearing the end of his life.

The last shot, in early June before he passed.

The last shot, in early June before he passed.

It took a while to find just the right words but I’ve posted about the last day and saying goodbye. I’ve had dogs all my life, loved them all and cried for each of them. Still, this is different. He truly was the dog of my life, the better half of Old Dog Publishing, a true friend and a great guy.

Thanks to all of you for your kindnesses. Love your dogs and enjoy every day.

andrew

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DOES KINDLE vs. EPUB = VHS vs. BETA???

HAPPY 2013 TO ALL OF YOU AND ALL OF YOURS!

I guess I’m a guy that believes there’s no finer way to kick-off a new year than with a big gamble.

So, as an Indie novelist I’m going all-in with Kindle.

Right or wrong, shrewd or not, (gulp!), it means no more ePub eBooks, and goodbye distribution from the eStores that sell them.

So, The Do-Over and the three Cups Drayton thrillers that comprise The Mirano Trilogy are now available only as Kindle eBooks. Gulp.

Why do it, is a fair question, and there are two reasons.

First, Kindle offers self-publishing authors some tools the other guys don’t, albeit in exchange for digital exclusivity. I’m excited with the prospects, and it’s a fair exchange; most consumers are protected. Kindle content can be read on PCs, iPads and other devices with free software from Amazon.

Second, I can’t help wondering if it’s already too late to choose sides in this 21st Century format war and if Amazon has already won. They were first, they were biggest, best, and continued to improve by listening to consumers with a mindset determined to innovate inclusively.

Watching the literary battle of technology titans brought back memories of what to me was the most meaningful format war because it impacted most all of us.

Can you hear Taps playing?

VHS vs. BETA back in the good ‘ol Video Cassette Recorder days. There was less drama and doubt about this one than with that one.

Can you hear Taps playing? VHS got that limited victory window until annihilated by DVRs, and the DVRs got humbled by NetFlix who got streamed back into place.

Technology titans should rent month-to-month.

Remember the BETA loyalists that lived in a state of video denial and how different it all was back then.

The hardware was expensive, hundreds of dollars – we’d faint converting it to today’s money. Today, for that price, you get 40-inch+ flat screen and a BluRay. Ah, the good ‘ol days when unreliable, overpriced junk was what passed for state of the art technology.

Even worse, content was so fiercely guarded, monopolized, and priced so absurdly high, we’d faint all over again calculating the cost of a movie on a VHS cassette in 2013 dollars.

But Home Electronics is, and has always been, the one area where in the end we get more for less tomorrow.

And in many ways, content has been liberated and there’s more of it than ever. Lots of it cheap, much of it free, and Amazon – can you believe they’re now bigger than Wal-Mart – deserves a lot of the credit.

So, as a writer, I’m all-in with Kindle, prepared to blindly follow wherever Amazon leads.

For the record, I don’t own any eReader, but I’m not opposed to them. I just like holding a book and turning the pages.

I’m sure I’ll get one eventually, like I eventually got a VCR and DVR and a Smarter-than-Me phone.

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