Hawaii Trip 2017

I had grand ideas for creating a whole wonderful travel blog. That takes more time than I have right now so here’s a bunch of pictures, mostly in chronological order.

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Spring Break 2017 Trip to Idaho and Utah

We were in Idaho and Utah recently. Here are some of the pictures.

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Barn Fire Cleanup – An Update

So the barn fire destroyed pretty much everything. I found a few tools that I’ll save for sentimental reasons, my good hammer mainly. I also found lots of stuff that is recognizable but not really salvageable. I should have taken more pictures of that stuff.

I do have some pictures of the aftermath and cleanup though.

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This first picture is from a couple days after the fire. I hadn’t published it before and it shows the barn destruction in all its glory.

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This picture shows the cleanup after the first day. The piles of rubble are scrap metal that the company hauled away later.

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Here’s another angle after the first day cleanup.

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This last picture shows the site on the second day of cleaning. All that’s left is rocks and dirt.

The cleanup effort will include some new fill and eventually grass. We’ll get around to rebuilding later but maybe not in the same location.

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Please, Let’s Get Rid of Daylight Savings

I really don’t care if it’s standard time or daylight savings adjusted time or a whole new 14 hour cycle, I just want to be rid of the add-an-hour, lose-an-hour mess. It hurts.

Personally, I feel the lost hour. It hits me like a mild cold. I feel drowsy, and my eyes hurt. I also didn’t sleep well last night which I also attribute to the time change.

My kids feel it too. Maybe they don’t know it but they are grumpy. Every year they are grumpy for at least a week. Kids can’t change their bedtimes based on the clock. They don’t know how to tell time. We have to change their bedtimes to match what their bodies are used to. Every Spring we move their bedtimes from 7 to 8 pm then slowly start working them back to around 7:30. Then in the Fall we go the other way.

It’s a real pain. And honestly, it cuts into our evening time too. As parents we need that time after the kids are in bed for ourselves. When the kids go to bed later, we also go to bed later. That makes for less sleep overall. It’s a terrible cycle and it needs to end. Let’s get rid of daylight savings time.

Rant over.

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My Crappy Weekend :-(

On Friday January 17, 2017 my century old barn and workshop burned to the ground. This is what I came home to.

Nobody was hurt, that’s the important thing. Still, I’ve been sick with stress and worry ever since I got the call that “our barn is on fire.” I was 10 minutes away on my way home and arrived to a dark plume of smoke. The fire department wasn’t even there yet but they had been called. There was nothing they could have done. Even by the time I got there it was obvious that the whole interior of the barn was aflame. I think the pictures below tell the story fine from here.

The inspector couldn’t determine a sure cause and said he’ll report it as undetermined. We’re still waiting to hear back from the insurance company.

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An Update on My Writing

I’m writing. I swear. It’s slow going, maybe a hundred or two hundred words per week. Three hundred if I’m really on a roll. The point is it’s happening. I’m writing part two of The Qori, The Illia and Michael Sanders.

Originally, I thought I’d write a sequel. I knew there was more story there but ultimately I decided that the first book just wasn’t done. So whenever I get around to finishing this project it will be a re-release of The Qori, The Illia and Michael Sanders, only with two parts and hopefully almost twice as long.

Did I mention that it’s going very slow. My best guess right now is that I’ll finished and release the new version around 2019. Of course, I’d like to have it out sooner than that. I just find it difficult to make the time. Also, I’m procrastinating, writing posts like this that no one will ever read. OK, back to work.

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Biography

Born in northeast Ohio, Donald Squire has loved reading and writing since middle school.  Squire has a degree in English from BYU in Utah and currently works as the Marketing Manager for a small manufacturing company in Michigan.

His first full length novel took years to write and was mostly completed during lunch breaks when he would go to the local library.

Squire’s goal as a novelist is to create clean, fun adventures that anyone can read and trust the content is safe for any age.

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An Interview with Donald Squire

What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time, since I was a kid.  For years I wrote short stories but my wife finally convinced me that I needed to just jump in and write a book.  It was a learning experience and I’m grateful for her inspiration.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I think so.  When I was in 8th grade our English teacher had us write in journals every day.  The idea was to be creative, to make stories from the prompts she would give us.  For extra points we could read what we wrote to the class.  I read every day.  People would compliment me and comment about how I could write so much so fast.  I like it.  I think that’s when I first wanted to be a writer.

How did you come up with the title?

The title was difficult.  I wanted something unique and easy to find.  I didn’t really want to use the made-up words from the book but once I had a final draft I had to make a choice and this is what stuck.

There are some strange words.  What inspired those? 

I wanted words that would evoke some mystery.  I came up with a premise, that the words were of Incan origin.  From there I found an Incan dictionary online and looked for words that seemed to fit.  I was looking for words with a certain sound and feel more than a definition.

How do you pronounce the words in the title?

This is just my version but Qori is pronounced just like the name Cory. And Illia is just how it looks, Ill-ee-a.

Are parts of the book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Oh yes.  All of the characters pull from myself and people I know.  Many of the events in the book are also inspired from my life or stories from others.

Do you have any specific examples?

Sure.  At one point the two boys, Michael and Gavin are talking about embarrassing situations, throwing up in school actually.  I did that.  I threw up in the school office just as someone offered me a trash can to use.  The can didn’t make it in time.  It was a mess.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Maybe.  I didn’t really write it with a message or theme.  I just wanted it to be fun to read.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a sequel to this story.  It’s fun, creating these characters, and I feel that they have a lot more to offer, adventure wise.

Do you want to offer any hints about the plot?

It’s still pretty early in the writing process so I don’t think I can say very much.  Everything is up in the air.

Do you see writing as a career?

That’s the goal, eventually, right now though it’s just a hobby.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I’m sure I would.  One of the hardest things about writing for me is being done with a project. I knew I could never get it just perfect so I had to get it good enough and walk away.  If I didn’t it would probably never see the light of day.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The biggest challenge now is finding time to write.  This book was written almost entirely during lunch breaks.  I would go to the local library and write.  It’s hard to keep a good work flow an hour per day.  I also used some evenings and weekends, especially for proofreading.  It was exciting to be so close to the end of the process.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Oh yes, the whole process was a learning experience.  Moving from short stories to full length novels had a lot more challenges than I expected.  Length was particularly challenging.  I feel like this book needed to be longer to meet the reader’s expectations.  On the flip side I feel like the whole story is there and extra length would just slow it down.

How would you make a book longer?

For the next book I’m going to put a lot more time into planning and outlining.  I still haven’t figure out a great way to map out the plots but I’m getting better at it.  I want the next book to be a little more complicated with more twists and turns.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I don’t really consider myself a role model if that’s what you mean.  I would just say the same thing that I’ve always heard; write.  If that’s what you want to do you have to practice and do it all the time.

Do you follow that advice?

I though you’d ask that.  I try.  One of the hardest things for me is sitting down to write.  Once I start I can keep going.  It’s just starting that’s hard.  And I always feel better, more accomplished, when I’ve made some progress.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Being a new author, and self published at that, I’d just ask them to tell their friends.  If they like the book, share it.

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Moving Day

My web page is an anchor. I’m not happy with the interface, and honestly, it’s too expensive. I’m going to try wordpress for a while. I’m even going to copy my few blog posts over. Maybe.

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Press Release

Originally published August, 2013:

For Immediate Release:

Local Father Hopes for More Book Sales

Today’s wavering economy leaves many of us looking for more but afraid to venture too far from what we know is safe. As the job market continues to struggle more and more people are searching for alternative incomes. Everything from starting their own businesses to freelance work to unique creative ventures, people are looking to improve their income despite these trying economic times.

One local father has his own idea of how to bridge the gap between his personal goals for life and what he has so far through his current employment. Donald Squire of New Era, Michigan has used what little free time he has to write a book that he hopes will open doors that he couldn’t access before.

When asked about his motivation Mr. Squire told us, “I’ve wanted to be a writer since middle school. For a long time I wrote short stories, then I didn’t write anything at all. Kids and work and life just got in the way. When I decided I wanted to start writing again my wife said I should write a book. She compared me to a documentary we had seen about Pixar making Toy Story instead of more short films. It’s the same process, just bigger.”

Mr. Squire says that writing the book during his lunch breaks from work took almost two years. During that time he welcomed his third child into the world. Recently his fourth child was born. “Being a dad takes priority and having four boys at home is a lot of work. My wife does a great job and I try to help any time I’m home. I’m trying to write another book now but its slow going. Marketing this book has also been difficult.”

We asked Mr. Squire if the book has made a difference yet. “So far it’s just something else I’m trying to juggle. I’m proud that I finished it but it’s just the tip of what I’m trying to accomplish. The book has been well received but it’s not taking off on its own. Finding time to try and market it beyond my Facebook friends is difficult.”

Mr. Squire’s first book titled The Qori, The Illia and Michael Sanders is available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats. “Search ‘Qori’ and you should find it pretty easily,” added Mr. Squire. “I wrote the book for middle school kids. That’s the age I started to love reading and writing. I actually had a couple of teachers at an elementary school read the book to their classes and it was very well received. I know I have at least those kids looking forward to the sequel.”

In addition to his Facebook efforts, Mr. Squire also has a blog, donsquire.wordpress.com, where you can find links to his book, read other interviews and contact him. His twitter handle is @donaldsqu

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