Herman Edward Schmidt – hedwardschmidt.com

H. Edward Schmidt


Surprise! Surprise!

I completed the first edit of Stubs and it is a story, hopefully a good one with strong characters and no obvious inconsistencies or contradictions. I hope its not too preachy which I tend to do and a clear picture emerges of good guys and ladies, and bad ones, and flawed ones which elicit the reader’s sympathies.

The way my year shapes up, I hope to have Stubs, Return to Blue Mountain and Black Robes complete by the end of the year.

I couldn’t abandon Stubs

From the beginning, I knew but would not admit that I would not abandon Stubs, that I would throw the forty year old manuscript into the recycling can and forget him. So what I did was look at the old manuscript, shape it, and come out with the story of Stubs. Stubs was born eight years before me but his world and mine were not so different. I looked at the first draft last week and will rework it in a modest way and have what will be the best I can do. As I write, and it must be true of most writers I begin to form the characters to the point where  they begin to speak to me, telling me what I should write what I should go back and change.

Rachel is working on the illustrations for Return to Blue Mountain and we need to have periodic talks on progress. Like Rescue, would like to have it ready for the grandchildren and great grandchildren for Christmas. On the near horizon, work on Black Robes, and continuing thoughts about the book.

On my mind is what Katherine the great did when the Jesuits were disbanded. She recognized what they had to offer and invited them to teach in Russia! Until today, the Europeans and their progeny just couldn’t and can’t get along with the Russians. A never ending tale, I guess.

Blue Mountain and Stubs

Rescue on Blue Mountain finished, both printed and ebook versions available on Amazon! I added the exclamation point as an after thought since exhibiting expressive behavior is not in my bones. Need to ask Simple Nerds to post it as available on this website. Finished first draft of Stubs and will try to finish editing by end of June. Rachel showed me first pieces of art work and I am encouraged about Return to Blue Mountain. By the end of July I hope I am “into” the Black Robes book. Envision finishing before the end of the year. I think in many ways I rushed through the first version of Stubs and at this point I don’t want to do the same thing on Black Robes. It is too interesting and challenging a subject.

Finally published and progress report

Rescue on Blue Mountain should appear on Amazon by the end of next week.  Rachel, the illustrator is already at work on Return to Blue Mountain and we should finish before Christmas.

I mentioned Stubs earlier, that it was a forty year old manuscript stuck away in a file cabinet which I pulled to explore whether it would make a novel. So I began writing, telling myself if was a loser I would drop it in the waste basket. I thought of doing that several times.

Well, I have kept plugging away and the current novel has been reworked extensively and I just won’t stop until the story is complete and then I will decide whether to throw it into the wastebasket or not. It is only weeks away from that time.

Anybody reading this will know that anybody who has spent months reworking a novel like Stubs is not going to throw it away. It is a story, it does have strong characters, a beginning, middle and end. So why stop now.

I am anxious to finish Stubs and still on my plate is the Black Robes story which has undergone some changes in my mind and will be a very different book than what was envisioned when I made the decision to write it.


Rescue on Blue Mountain and still seething

Have received approval from Createspace  to publish Rescue on Amazon. Few more steps and should be done. Really appreciate the work done by Nick Caya and Word-2-Kindle in formatting the book. Nick has handled all the books formatting and in some cases cover design and does a great job.

The review of Your Land Is Our Land still sticks in my craw. Reading the book again, I can only conclude that my first impression was correct. The review was bogus, looking for reasons to pan the work that contains content objectionable to him or her. I was hoping for more, and criticism which dealt with plot, characters, continuity, etc. would have been welcomed. Honestly.

Been Awhile

Been awhile since my last post. Am currently working on files to send to Createspace for Rescue on Blue Mountain. They should be ready this week. If all goes as planned the book should be out on Amazon in the next month. I do plan a second book Return to Blue Mountain which will be out before Christmas. Rachel said she will do the art work.

Have been working on the book Stubs every day. It’s like paying a debt to myself, to resurrect something I wrote forty years ago and filed away. Plowing through the old manuscript and editing and altering what I wrote has been tedious yet I am determined to finish and then go on to two books I would like to write. One I mentioned is what I now call Black Robes but will probably change the name and the other about Israel slash Palestine with a happy ending. I am among a very small and peculiar group who believes that and believes they see how that will happen.

I did receive a review of Your Land Is Our Land which the reviewer claimed she did not know it was fiction until Hitler was deposed by the German Army before World War Two! World War Two never happened in the book.  I guess she assumed that all the fictitious characters in the book were real until Hitler showed up.  She also said there were too many errors and they made it difficult to read the book.

A second reviewer said I just found a way to hide my bias about Jews by describing not only what was happening to Jews, but the Palestinians, for goodness sake. And of course, I do plead guilty to trying, through fiction, to tell the world that the Palestinians have been treated badly by the Jews and the rest of us, and mentioning that the Jews were treated badly by the Germans which was not sufficient to hide my bias. Read any good books with Palestinian heroes lately or ever?

As to the first reviewer, I admit to errors that might be found by a teacher of English grammar, and a few others, but how she could claim that it made her difficult to read the book sounded very much like a smoke screen. Somehow, pointing out what was happening to the Palestinians seemed to upset her and she said only people who understand the history of the two peoples should read the book. To others, I think she was suggesting, it might be upsetting. I hope she is right.

Having said that, I will pay attention to editing, recognizing there might be room for improvement. My opinion about the reviewer is unchanged.


Waiting beside the sea

Almost a month since my last post. A lot of procrastinating working out kinks with Createspace and Amazon on published books. Still on my mind is Black Robes, Stubs and Return to Blue Mountain.  Have really been dragging my feet on Black Robes, standing on the beach, looking at the cold sea before me, and knowing that once I step into the water, I will be fine. But dreading the first shock. I made a small start today, beginning to imagine the story and Father Benet and Captain Quinn, what they will be and do, how they will interact with the other, and all the peripheral but essential characters to make a story.  I stepped in, stepped back and felt a little more like wading and eventually plunging into the sea.

Stubs involves a lot of uncertainty, not fully convinced it is worth the investment in time, but gaining little kernels of hope after reading the first eighteen pages I have written. I really must decide to take the matter seriously, read the forty year old draft and decide yes or no.

As to the second Blue Mountain book, if I can enlist Rachel again for the design and artwork, that is still a target for the grandchildren and all children for Christmas.

New Year New Ideas New Focus

All the grandchildren, great grandchildren and those of the Jenkin’s and Potarazu family received a copy of Rescue on Blue Mountain for Christmas.  Sent two copies to publishers to see if there is any interest. About a month ago and no word back. I know it’s a long shot but did it nevertheless. I don’t know about other authors but I really like my books and sometimes am pleasantly surprised when I go back and read them

Did some work on The Black Robes, the current title. Did some research relating to one of the characters, Joseph Sean Quinlan. My strategy in writing the book is to generalize in my mind what I want the story to be and then create the characters. I have begun to flesh out Quinlan which takes me back to his father and then leads to research on the life the son might lead in the book. Names like Osceolo, Valejo and Fremont come to mind.  The Irish rebellion of 1798 and Quinlan’s father role, the St. Patrick Brigade, the Bear Flag revolt all included in the event they are woven into the book.

Anticipating Quinlan will be one of the main characters. Other candidates will receive the same treatment until they come alive in my mind and create the story as well as being created by it.

By the way I wrote a poem for our last born grandson for Christmas. His name is Liam Krishna Potarazu and yes, his great grandfather came from India.


It’s A Bird, It’s A ?
By Grandpappy

There’s a story I’m about to tell
A story I know so very well
About a flying creature
Whose every feature
Tells us he is not a bird at all.
And if you see him
He will tell you his name is Liam
And if you ask him what matter of creature he is
He will smile and tell you this
“Why I am a flying Pot Ah Rah ZOO”

We are happy as he hovers above me
Until one day he says, “I must leave you see
For I have a job to do”
I look into his brown eyes
Which are an enormous size
And sadly ask “Why must you go?”

My flying Pot Ah Rah ZOO blushed
“Santa needs me”
“What does he want you to do
Master Liam Pot Ah Rah ZOO?”
“I must confess
That I have GPS
And Santa has asked me to guide him”
“But what about Rudolph,” I say?
“Well his nose is dead
A Helper tried to tinker
And shorted his blinker
So you can see
It is up to me.”

And now this Christmas I can say
Master Liam is guiding Santa’s sleigh
And I can proudly say to you, too,
My grandson is a flying Pot Ah Rah ZOO.

Rescue On Blue Mountain

Rachel finished proofs Friday before last, I ordered the printing on Monday and Diggy Pod delivered the books on Friday! The rapid move from proofs to the order to receipt took me totally be surprise.  So I have enough books for the grandchildren, great grandchildren, and children of friends of the family. Will be especially happy to deliver for Liam and the Wayne’s boys.  The Christmas season can be a wonderful time but heartache then is so much greater than the rest of the season. This season will be one of hope for a miracle and a deep, enveloping sadness. It is also a season to be thankful for the blessing we have received and for each other and to remember our greatest gift is to be able to give.

As for the book, I am going to send it to some publishers to determine their interest and as a fall back will publish through Createspace.

Looking Good

Placed order for Rescue on Blue Mountain! Order should be here by end of next week which means by the eighteenth of December. Time to send to Charleston where the great grandchildren live.

I’m not sure whether I would be happier simply writing and letting the many other things that have to be done to get a book published be done by someone else or going through the process I did.

I consider my real mission in life is to write but starting on a new book is a stressful process, unlike writing after you’ve typed a few thousand words. Once you’re “into” writing a book, the process is generally fulfilling.

Delaying the process of starting is provided by the many things to be done to get a book published.

Good news on another front. We have been without landline phone service for over a week. The repairmen came today to reconnect the phones. Learning to live with smart phones which are certainly smarter than I am was a pain in the buttocks. But I have learned a few things such as the wonders of GPS, especially welcome when you can’t read road signs.