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The website of Andrew Hessel and Old Dog Publishing

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Uncategorized

June 29, 2015

OUR WEATHERMAN CALLS IT ‘HOTTER THAN BISCUITS’

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Political naysayers scoff at climate change as one of those liberal myths without scientific basis, and I’ll confess that for once I’d like to believe them. Otherwise, those of us that call the great Northwest home should be preparing to become the ‘New California’ – dry as dirt.

hotter than biscuits

We’re on our way to driest April through June on record.

Hot, too with as many 90 degree days before summer starts, as we get in a year.

The ‘D’ word is being used – a lot.

The evidence is all around us and I think grey, rainy days would be welcomed and celebrated by practically everyone.

Lawns are being watered for grass to survive and not curb appeal.

There is no fear of a Green Tomato Summer – they’re ripening on the vines already and may be ready for the Fourth of July.
Like everything else, we’re a month or two ahead of schedule with no idea what it means or what to expect in the summer just getting under way.

Matt Zaffino, my personal favorite weatherman, calls it Hotter than Biscuits.

The past weekend gave a taste of humidity, too, reminding me why I fled the Midwest.

With apologies to the Most Interesting Man in the World: Stay Cool, My Friends.

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

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Self-Publishing,Uncategorized,Writing Process Random Thoughts

May 6, 2014

PAW PRINTS IN MY HEART – AVAILABLE JUNE 2014

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

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 will available through Amazon by the second week of June, and cyber-gods willing, links on the site, too. I’ll just make my self-imposed deadline of publishing by the first anniversary of Mac’s passing by a whisker – sorry, I couldn’t resist.

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.

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

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Rants and Rambles,Uncategorized

March 18, 2014

MY FRIEND THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY LEPRICAUN

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

A dear friend is a true original in every way. The guest that became the star of our oldest son’s wedding video. Tough to do. For the past 25 years, my friend Steve, and his wife, Julie have hosted a truly incredible St. Patrick’s Day party and next day parade.

Julie is pure Irish; the guy we call Coach Steve not at all. No matter, no one I’ve ever known immerses himself in the blarney with greater gusto and pulls it off with such high style. No one is simultaneously more Irish and less Irish.

shamrocks

What began small has morphed into a major neighborhood Portland event. A parade on Sunday morning, after the Saturday night party, has earned the city’s attention. Fire trucks and police are on hand to help, and the media sometimes gives it a little play. He even names a Grand Marshall for the parade each year – right after we all sing – and dance – the Hokey Pokey played on an old phonograph in his living room. A classic touch.

For weeks before the much anticipated event, an impressive banner – Portland loves the Irish – is hung between stately old trees in his front yard. It’s Coach Steve’s way of ensuring that no one that passes by overlooks St. Paddy’s day. Few did; this year’s party was the best yet.

Every year, as is Steve’s way, something is added. You could say Steve’s mission is to make the event as feature-rich as possible.

Perhaps in honor of Year 25, this year it was two things.

First, Steve’s friend built what I can only describe as a Viewing or Judge’s stand on the sidewalk in front of his house. When I stopped laughing I commended him on its genius and noted the solid construction.

And second, and this is kind of high tech in Steve’s classically obsolete way, a Countdown Clock that had to be six feet tall was mounted in the front yard.

01 Days to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade it beamed at us as we made our way up the walk to his house.

“I wonder where he found this?” I said when I saw it, impressed with the style so classically Coach Steve; thumbing his nose at the latest, in favor of the unusual and forgotten.

“Maybe the same friend,” I added,” so low-tech and so totally cool.”

For years Steve’s relationship with technology was best described as an uneasy truce.

He was the last cell phone holdout. Didn’t have one, never had one and didn’t want one.

But while he didn’t have a cell phone, he proudly showed off his Phone Cell.

“What the hell is a phone cell?” I asked one summer night after dinner.

He led me to his back yard and showed me.

Steve’s phone cell is an old Pay Phone kiosk – not a full blown phone booth, the space-saver version we used to find mounted to walls. A little cover in case it rains and a shelf where phone books used hung before they were ripped-off.

This is in his back yard.

And it works.

There’s dial tone and everything. And calls are free!

Last Christmas, Steve’s kids got him his first cell phone.

Now Coach Steve has a cell phone and a phone cell.

That’s my friend, Coach Steve, for you – always ahead of the curve – eventually.

Thanks for reading.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, please check out my books.

Paw Prints in My Heart, will be available in a couple of months. I’m very excited about telling the story of Mac, the Labrador retriever that didn’t retrieve, my writing partner, the better half of Old Dog Publishing, and the dog of my life.

If you’re a crime thriller aficionado, Rush to Dawn is the first in the Cups Drayton Series and Part I of The Mirano Trilogy. Like the other books in the series The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, available in paperback and Kindle eBooks.

My newest novel, The Do-Over, is a hoot. Different by design from my thrillers, I hope you enjoy it.

To get the books click: To get the books click: Get the Books!

To learn about the books click: About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Friend Me on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/andrew.r.hessel

 

 

Uncategorized

October 8, 2013

NON-FICTION. WHO WOULDA THUNK IT?

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Fall is here. Footballs as well as baseballs are flying, and summer’s last gasps are now history. Oregon Summer 2013 will go down as a truly unforgettable one for many reasons including an abrupt personal writing turn and a return to my sorely neglected blog.

Typhon Trumps Simply Spectacular Oregon Weather

Just mentioning this makes me nervous about the rainy season that is already in residence, but since we’re likely already doomed there’s no reason to be bashful. Following a remarkably polite and easy-to-get-through winter/rainy season, we had the most perfect, glorious really, spring and summer I’ve seen since moving to the Northwest way back in July of ’72.

rain_1013

Months of sunny, warm dry days with just enough rain to avoid drought. When it rained it came in concentrated bunches and often overnight. Moderate heat sparing us the rough patches, and humidity was low. This was a textbook tomato year to boot, the antithesis of Green Tomato Year when summer is either short or MIA altogether.

A meteorological gift and I know better than to let go to my head. Remnants of the Chinese typhoon just drowned us and we’ll soon be building arks. The weather scales always balance.

Baseball’s Perfect Storm of Young Stars

An amazing season in many ways, none more astounding than the deluge of young stars shining in Major League Baseball, and they are everywhere. The Cardinals, for example, leading MLB by using19 rookies, eleven of them pitchers, and they’re hardly alone. On every team young players are making not just an impressive contribution, many are dominating as I’ve never seen, and at a younger age and far less seasoning. Making statements in the post-season and proving they aren’t flukes.

Talent so incredible even the ever-more-pathetically-painful-to-watch ARod-BioGenesis debacle couldn’t diminish its luster.

On the downside – many of the very best pitchers, consensus studs, had inexplicably awful years, trashing Fantasy Teams with an enigmatic and decisive cruelty.

And for my Cards to be in the playoffs again, it’s a real treat.

The Old Dog Passed Away in June

Mac, my wonder lab and the dog of my life, passed away on June 14th, a day after turning 14. I encourage you to read what has come to be called by more than a few, his Tribute Post: The Old Dog’s Final Gifts.

A quick snapshot of a great guy and a remarkable life, you’ll enjoy it. That said, have a tissue or three at the ready.

He really was my writing partner and the better half of Old Dog Publishing, and over three months later I still miss him every day. I drive up to house and expect him to be there. At least the tears have mostly stopped.

While he’s gone, he’s at the heart of my new book I hope to have ready this winter. Incredibly, and this comes from a novelist and fiction junkie, it’s – gasp! – non-fiction.

I was early into the next Cups Drayton crime thriller. 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.

So between all the challenging and ever-different jobs, returning to Mac’s story is a respite that heals my heart and brings new life into my memories and appreciation for just how lucky a dog lover I was for those fourteen years and a day.

I’ve neglected the blog, working through grief and working through work.

It sure feels good to be back.

Thanks for reading, and all the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

My newest novel, The Do-Over, is a hoot. Different by design from my thrillers, I hope you enjoy it.

If you’re a crime thriller aficionado, Rush to Dawn is the first in the Cups Drayton Series and Part I of The Mirano Trilogy. Like the other books in the series The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, available in paperback and Kindle eBooks.

To get the books click: To get the books click: Get the Books!

To learn about the books click: About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Friend Me on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/andrew.r.hessel

 

 

Politics and Sports,Rants and Rambles,Uncategorized

January 27, 2013

BOB COSTAS EULOGIZES STAN THE MAN

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

A fitting, moving goodbye to baseball’s “Perfect Knight” from the broadcaster that has, himself, raised the bar in so many ways over the years. Don’t miss this one, folks. Find the link to the MLB video pasted below. Tissues required.

http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25574499&topic_id=40773316&c_id=stl

stl

Everyone has memories of this wonderful man and one of the greatest ballplayers of all time.

What set “The Man” apart, as Costas said earlier during the week, “He batted 1000 as a human being.”

There couldn’t be a more fitting goodbye to a man, the likes of whom, we’ll never see again.

Thanks for reading, and all the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –
If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

My newest novel, The Do-Over, is a hoot. Different by design from my thrillers, I hope you enjoy it.

If you’re a crime thriller aficionado, Rush to Dawn is the first in the Cups Drayton Series and Part I of The Mirano Trilogy. Like the other books in the series The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, available in paperback and Kindle eBooks.

To get the books click: Get the Books!

To learn about the books click: About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Friend Me on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/andrew.r.hessel

 

 

Politics and Sports,Rants and Rambles,Uncategorized

September 23, 2012

WORDS OF WISDOM FROM A FORMER GOVERNOR

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Victor G. “Vic” Atiyeh was Oregon’s 32nd Governor, serving from 1979-1987.  A Republican of Arab descent, he must live nearby as I run into him at the grocery store from time to time, as I did last week.  His take on Mitt Romney’s now infamous 47% videotape was a classic.

The former governor is now 89 years old and he’s seen it all.  An enormously popular fiscal conservative, he was the last Republican elected governor, and by the widest margin in state history.

It’s always a treat to see him – how often do we get to chat with a former governor?

Here’s what he told me when I asked about Governor Romney comments, and he gave me permission to quote him.

When I wake-up in the morning, I ask God for two things.

Place one hand on my shoulder and the other over my mouth.

True words of wisdom I laughed and smiled about all day.

If any of you run into Mitt, you might want to share it with him.

Thanks for reading and all the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

My new novel, The Do-Over, is now available.  You can download a Free, No-Strings Test-Read – the first seven chapters.  I hope you’ll give it a taste.

If you enjoy crime thrillers, please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available in paperback and eBook; PDF, Kindle and ePub.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

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