On some of my newer books…

For more images of the “meanest 33 miles in history” – the 2016 Chilkoot Trail hike described in my “Adventures in Old Age” book – go to Chilkoot Trail – Image Results

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Here’s a note: I’ve updated this page with some information on a book I published after the one which included the Chilkoot trail image – and 2016 adventure – noted above. I published that Some … Adventures in Old Age book in 2020. But then in late 2021 I published another book, Will I REALLY live to 120? With a telling subtitle, On Turning 70 in 2021 – and Still Thinking “The Best is Yet to Come.” It’s about a bet a bet I made with myself.

The bet is that I might just live to 120, like Moses, with “eye undimmed and vigor unabated.” (See Deuteronomy 34:7.) To support that bet I’m eating a lot healthier, and exercising like a banshee, including 30-minute sessions of stair-stepping – while wearing a 30-pound weight vest and 10 pounds of ankle weights. Then too, reliable estimates say there will be seven times as many people aged 100 or older. “And I plan to be one of them.”

So get in on the bet. Years from now you might look back and see just how this author stayed so fit, cheerful and young at heart. Or you might end up saying, “What a dumbass. He wasn’t even CLOSE!” Either way, it should be interesting.

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[And now an editor’s note: The following information is about that “Old Age Adventures” book. I based the text below – with page-links – on a November 2020 post: On “(Some of) My Adventures in Old Age.” It contains information on that new book, while the original page-link (“For a book version”) told how to get my earlier books. A historical note: I published one of the last books in 2015, on The mysterious death of Ashley Wilkes. (Also known as Leslie Howard, of Gone with the Wind.)

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(Some of) My Adventures in Old Age: Or, “How NICE it was to travel, before COVID” by [James B. Ford]I published a new E-book in mid-November, 2020, (Some of) My Adventures in Old Age(Subtitled “Or ‘How NICE it was to travel, before COVID.’”) I published it under a nom de plume, “James B. Ford.” The cover photo – at right – shows me in Jerusalem in May 2019, wearing a “shemagh.” Also called a keffiyeh, I got it at Ranger Joe’s in Ft. Benning before leaving for Israel. (To “blend in.”)

In the cover photo I’m wearing it over my black Atlanta United ball cap, thus “blending in” the best of the old and new.

In my blurb for Amazon Kindle eBooks, I said the book should be timely – “in the middle of our Covid-19 pandemic” – because right now “lots of Americans can only dream about visiting such exotic locales in the future, when the crisis passes.” I compared it to the 1920s and ‘30s, when so many Americans were fascinated by Hemingway’s books on France and Spain. (Like “The Sun Also Rises ” and “A Moveable Feast.”)

I’m guessing part of it was that back then most Americans could only DREAM of travel to such exotic places. (Like today with Covid…) Then too it may be because Hemingway gave all those exotic street names and local pubs and restaurants. Like my finding the “BEERBAZAAR,” in Jerusalem, in May 2019. Which makes me think I should have written down way more information when I was “over there.” Then I could do more what Hemingway did, vivid description. But I have something Hemingway didn’t have. GOOGLE MAPS!

Then too – aside from my May 2019 pilgrimage to Israel – the book includes chapters on hiking the Chilkoot Trail in 2016. (“Meanest 33 miles in history,” exemplified by the top photo.) Or hiking the Camino de Santiago, twice.* The first time was in 2017. I met my brother in Pamplona – home of Hemingway’s Café Iruna – and together we hiked (and biked) the 450 miles to Santiago de Compostela. (He flew into Paris and hiked over the Pyrenees, but the Chilkoot Trail had cured me of any such wishes to go hiking over mountains again so soon.)

Incidentally, the last two book-chapters are based on two posts I did in October 2020: That second post on the Portuguese Camino, and “Beer at the McDonald’s in Portugal!”

The upshot is that I wrote about a lot of great adventures, but now I still have more to write about. Plus those I did cover I didn’t do full justice to. (Which reminds me of the joke about the Southern lady talking to a Northern lady and ending a sentence with a preposition.*)

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Now for a couple of production notes on the E-book. First off, you’ll notice that on page 6 of the Introduction – right after the paragraph beginning “May 28, 2019, Tel Aviv” – the line spacing goes all kerflooey. From justified it goes to non-justified text, and the line spacing gets wider. It goes back to normal for the next one-line paragraph – “Then the COVID hit” – but the text stays non-justified through near the  middle of the next page. (It says page 6 again; there are apparently two “page 6’s.”) Then it goes back to justified text.

I tried correcting it, uploading a second and ostensibly-corrected Word document, but it stayed the same, kerflooey for a page or two. Another note: I had the “Observations” at the end of many chapters in italics and non-justified, as well as the notes at the end of the book. The program made all those justified type. And for the paperback version the publishing program required a minimum of 100 pages, so I had to add four pages to the original 96.

So I’ll try to upload a corrected version, with the additional four pages and with a proper note at the very end as to where to buy a paperback version. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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Meanwhile, back to the subject of the book not doing justice to all my adventures…

For one example, as to the Portuguese Camino hike: I only got “us” as far as the Casa Límia in Ponte de Lima. That’s only about a third of the way up to Santiago de Compostela. Then too I could only provide limited coverage of my pilgrimage to Israel, which I last covered in This time last year – in Jerusalem, in May 2020. And by the way, that post has a lot of those “image may contain” boxes, that used to be pictures I posted, to make the posts more interesting. And which in turn is a problem I address in the book. And that’s why I now use lead captions like “To see more images of the ‘meanest 33 miles in history,’ go to Chilkoot Trail – Image Results.” That makes it much easier to transmogrify these blog-posts into future picture-less book chapters.

And about that Jerusalem trip. I described the Leonardo Moria Hotel, a short walk from St. George’s Pilgrim Guest House, with a lounge sometimes functioning as a piano bar. (Once even having a yarmulke-topped pianist playing the Chicken Dance.) That turned out to be a favorite watering hole, not just for me but eventually many of my fellow pilgrims at St. George’s. (One night, for a birthday, “we” had 17 pilgrims there. I should have gotten a commission…)

So one point of this “limited coverage” business is that in the future I’ll have to do at least one Sequel. (Tentatively titled “(More of) My Adventures in Old Age.”) I hope to add more oversea-travel adventures, including a return to St. George’s. (Once we kick COVID’s ass, and that’s not to mention the “will I live to 120” book.)

Stay tuned!!!

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The upper image is courtesy of Chilkoot Trail – Image Results. See also Explore the Chilkoot Trail – Klondike Gold RushThe lower image is courtesy of St George’s College Jerusalem – Image Results

Re: “Like a banshee.” The link in the text is to Urban Dictionary: Snowing like a banshee, meaning “snowing really hard.” Which is what I meant” Exercising “really hard.” But see also World Wide Words: Like a banshee, for an extensive analysis of the expression, including the better-known “figurative expression to describe someone screaming or making a noise, usually in an excess of emotion.”

Re: “Hiking the Camino de Santiago, twice.” I’ve since hike the Camino a third time, as noted in recent posts including Back to Camino 2021 – Pamplona to LogronoA post-trip post mortem for “Paris – 2021,” and Hiking over the Pyrenees, in 2021 – finally! That is, in September 2021 I hiked over the Pyrenees Mountain portion of the Camino Frances that I missed in 2017. That portion included the 170 miles or so from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, over the Pyrenees Mountains, and through Pamplona and on to Burgos, a large city almost directly north of Madrid. (Where I caught a flight home without having to be COVID-quarantined for 14 days.)

Re: “Joke about the Southern lady.” Or it could be a “snobbish English teacher.” See Ending a sentence with a preposition. : Jokes: “A snobbish English teacher was sitting in an Atlanta airport coffee shop waiting for her flight back to Connecticut, when a friendly Southern Belle sat down next to her. ‘Where y’all goin’ to?’ asked the Southern Belle. Turning her nose in the air, the snob replied ‘I don’t answer people who end their sentences with prepositions.’ The Southern Belle thought a moment, and tried again. ‘Where y’all goin’ to, BITCH?’” The way I heard was, “So where y’all from?” And the Southern lady eventually thinking a bit, then sayin, “Okay, so where y’all from, bitch?”

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And finally, for purposes of completeness, here’s the original version of the 2015 “For a book version” link-page, though without the lead image and slightly edited for content:

I just published a collection of posts from this blog. (As noted in the Introduction to “Ashley Wilkes.”) The title of the book came from a post I did back on September 1[, 2015].  (The “strange” death of Ashley Wilkes – and other tales from the Georgia Wasp.)

The cover features a poster that came from the movie Spitfire, originally titled The First of the Few in Britain.  The film was released in Britain on September 12, 1942.

Less than nine months later – “on or about” June 1, 1943 – Lesley Howard’s airliner was shot down by eight Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 88C6 fighters over the Bay of Biscay.  It may have been an accident.  The Germans may have been really after Winston Churchill.  Or Lesley Howard – “Ashley Wilkes” – may have been the dangerous British spy the Germans thought he was.

As noted, this fascinating tale and others like it are now available in book form.  As far as how to get the book – in either the Kindle or paperback version, see “Intro to Ashley:”

To get an e-book, go to Amazon.com: Kindle eBooks and type in “T. D. Scribe.”  (That’s my nom de plume.)  Or type in “Ashley Wilkes.”  To order the paperback version, go to Shop Books – Lulu and do the same.  (Where the book should be the fifth one down, if you type in “T. D. Scribe,” or right on top if you type “Ashley Wilkes.”)

And now a word about “T.D. Scribe.”  That’s the nom de plume I used in my original blog, dorscribe.com.  This second blog – modeled after the Carolina Israelite – is both devoted to more secular subjects and an homage to Harry Golden.

For example, this second blog lets me explore such varied topics as Oscar Wilde and “gross indecencies,”  “When adultery was proof of ‘loyalty,'” and any number of Travelogs.

But back to the paperback, here’s the blurb from “Lulu:”

This collection of posts from the “Georgia Wasp” web log starts with “the mysterious death of Ashley Wilkes…”  It ends by asking the musical question: “Whether Moses – some 3,300 years ago – was the first guy to say, ‘It’s only weird if it doesn’t work!'”  (At the Battle of Rephidim. “Hey, you could look it up!”)

As noted in “Intro,” I now have my first book-collection of essays.  In turn, that collection may eventually be seen as a worthy reflection of Harry’s first such effort, 1958’s Only in America.  As the old saying goes:  “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Although to Oscar Wilde – seen below – such imitation was “the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”  (Which may of course be also true…)

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Oscar Wilde Sarony.jpg

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The image immediately above is courtesy of Oscar Wilde – Wikipedia.

See also Quote by Oscar Wilde: “Imitation is the sincerest form…”  But finally, see also a separate “Goodreads” article, Quotes About Imitation (76 quotes) – Goodreads.  The latter included the following pithy observations at odds with Wilde’s “acerbic and iconoclastic wit:”

“Through others we become ourselves.”
Lev S. Vygotsky

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
T.S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood

“Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.”
George Bernard Shaw

and finally, this:

“There is only one thing which is generally safe from plagiarism — self-denial.”
G.K. Chesterton.

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