Writing, Dreaming, Living, Aspiring

A title says what the post is about and the one above is no exception.  I’ve been doing all of those for a long time.

Since this is my first post I’ll keep it brief.

I started writing when I was 14 and I’m still at it.  Mostly what this blog will be about are what I’ve learned over the years about those four words in the title.

And after all that time I’m about to finish a novel titled Boxcar Red Leader.  I hope to have that in shape to publish as an ebook early this summer.  So that’s one aspiration!

As I learn things about publishing I’ll put them in this blog.  I believe that, due to the advent of digital publishing, we are in the midst of a revolution unlike anything since Gutenberg invented the printing press, and possibly even more far-reaching than that.

As I learn things about people and other writers with useful ideas they’ll be in this blog too.  Just be warned, sometimes I’ll think people have “useful ideas” just because I think they sound good.  Need I warn you to think for yourself?  If I have to, would you?

Regardless, keep writing, keep dreaming!



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3 responses to “Writing, Dreaming, Living, Aspiring

  1. Rob McPherson

    Hi Tom,

    Love your historical Pacific Air War novels; I now have all three. I must confess to being a bit chagrined though, starting with ‘Day of Infamy’, ‘But Not in Shame’, ‘Ragged, Rugged Warriors’ (and a novel about the air war over the Philippines ending with a P-40 pilot who was dying as his battered, aircraft with no undercarriage – took off on bamboo skids – flew out over the ocean toward China; read it when I was 12 and can’t remember the title), and through thousands of dollars worth of books, I came to love reading about those underdog days and thought many times about writing about them myself, but procrastination…you know the story. My other hobby horse is the last year in the war on Germany’s eastern front. Maybe I’ll get the lead out this time. I turned 70 this year and don’t have oodles of time left. Anyway Tom, thanks again for the great reads.

    What’s next on the list? – Since you’ve stuck with the army so far, I’m guessing the army air corps efforts at Midway, B-17s and especially the 4 B-26s, followed by more P-39s/400s at Guadalcanal.


    Rob McPherson

    • Hi, Rob — many thanks for your kind comments! It means a lot to me when folks stop by and let me know what they think about my work.

      Looks like you and I might have some of the same books on our shelf! I don’t even remember how old I was when I read Caidin’s Ragged, Rugged Warriors — mid-teens, maybe. (One of Caidin’s books helped me pass German in college, but that’s another story!) One of the major sources for my first two books is by an Air Force historian, Walter D. Edmonds, titled They Fought with What They Had. If you haven’t read it and can bear to read it in PDF format, here’s a link to the book: https://media.defense.gov/2010/Oct/01/2001329751/-1/-1/0/AFD-101001-051.pdf

      Right now I’m working on the fourth book in the series, Thanks for the Memories. That involves the Japanese effort to take Port Moresby by the overland route, from their landing beach at Buna on the north Papua New Guinea coast, across the Owen Stanley Mountains on the Kokoda Track.

      Actually I don’t intend to write anything about Guadalcanal or Midway. One reason I wanted to set the first three books in the time and place they occupy is simply that no one remembers much, if anything, about those events. I felt the guys involved deserved the recognition of memory, homage, if you will. Besides, if I wrote about Guadalcanal I’d be going up against James Jones and Robert Leckie and writers of that stripe! But that’s sort of the point: a lot of people have written extensive histories and novels concerning those two campaigns. I like to write in unexplored or little-known territory, if at all possible.

      I’m hoping for at least five more novels in this series, so stay tuned! Which leads me to procrastination. I’m not that much younger than you — 63 — and I’m a VERY experienced procrastinator! I discovered three simple rules to success as a writer: (1) butt in chair; (2) fingers on keyboard; (3) write one word after the other until you can type “the end” with an authentic sigh of relief.

      As for 44-45 on the eastern front, whoa. I could see where that would be interesting. Have you ever been to Russia?

      BTW, there are a couple of avenues for the early Pacific war. The 49th Fighter Group at the defense of Darwin in 1942, for example.

      Anyway, got to roll…hope this finds you and yours well! Regards, Tom

      • Rob McPherson

        Hi again Tom,

        Thank you for your most appreciated reply. Great to hear that you’ll be covering little-known territory in the Pacific air war. You’re right, Midway and Guadalcanal have been well covered many times over and it’s past time that more obscure campaigns and actions received some attention, most importantly, that those who fought in second-rate (but fortunately sturdy) equipment, against incredible odds have their stories told in one way or another, and fictional composites work very well. Saburo Sakai’s ‘Samurai’ will give any reader chills as to what they were up against.

        ‘They Fought With What They Had’ sits prominently on my bookshelf, but thank you for providing the link – great minds. Interesting that you’re drawn to aircraft like the P-40 and P-39. So am I; and there’s a great little die-cast model of a P-39 sitting on my desk in front of me as I write. I’m also a fan of the Brewster Buffalo in the Malayan, Dutch East Indies and Burma campaigns, so maybe that’s territory I could explore in writing.

        I haven’t been to Russia, but would love to visit Stalingrad, Kursk, Kharkov and some of the German army’s ‘last stand’ locations in Hungary, the Baltics, Eastern Germany (the Oder River) and Austria. Alas, money is always an issue.

        My father flew Halifaxes as a 20 year old Canadian flying for the RAF in the spring 1944 Berlin raids. He was shot down on his 7th mission, and I wrote the story for a US military history mag last year – never published unfortunately. If it would be of any interest to you, I’d be happy to send a copy along sometime. It’s quite a story that the family didn’t hear in full until he was in his 80s. He suffered most of his life with PTSD.

        Great pointers regarding writing, so I’m going to lodge my butt in a chair this weekend and see what comes out.

        I hope we can stay in touch from time to time.

        Very best regards,


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