Join Susie and me at Moose Lake Christian Craft Village in La Otto, Indiana, this Saturday, July 28, from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. We'll be joining thousands of other people across the country as we celebrate an American icon, the Cowboy. Good food, good music, good activities and other entertainment await you. We'll have a book table and some giveaways. Don't miss the fun!
I have mixed emotions on Father's Day each year. I don't really remember most of the Father's Days I've celebrated since I became a father in 1976. The one Father's Day I will always remember came in 2005. Early in the morning, my daughter Melody and I sat in a waiting room at our local hospital, waiting for my son Ben and his wife Patti to arrive from Minnesota. When I had called him in the middle of the night to tell him that his mother had died in her bed, he had asked me to keep her connected to the life support system until he arrived. Ben and I sat on opposite sides of Susi until that precious heart stopped beating. After 25 years of suffering, My best friend went home to Heaven.
I don't remember much about Father's Day in 2006; but when it arrived in 2007, my father had been gone for four months. By that time, however, my life had begun to change.
This Father's Day finds me married to a different Susie (now my best friend and an amazing lady) for almost 11 years. In addition to my two biological children, I have gained four more. All six of my children and their spouses are among my dearest friends. I also have become grandfather to 10 precious children. Because of these incredible people whom God has placed in my life, today is truly a happy Father's Day to me. Thank you, Susie, my children, and my grandchildren, for making my life wonderful. I love you all.
The exterior of our 2002 Winnebago Brave was beginning to show its age. Last summer I spent some long, hot hours, removing the old, faded decals with a heat gun and a putty knife. We checked on getting our motorhome painted, but the cost of a good paint job was too high for our budget. When Susie investigated other options, she discovered Andersons' Signs of the Times, an Elkhart company that does wraps. An old friend and former co-worker of mine started the company 13 years ago. We decided that if we were going to change the appearance of our home, we might as well get what we wanted. Susie selected the pictures because she's very creative with this kind of project. Let us know what you think of the results.
I will say that I really do have to get busy writing now that we live in our wild west home!
Last night at 8:30, Susie and I parked our motorhome in the parking lot of our Fremont, Indiana, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort. We had spent 10 days in Mesa Arizona, enjoying the sunshine, the warm days, and the incredible scenery. Then we left Arizona and drove our motorhome to Colorado Springs, where we spent a day visiting our daughter, son-in-law, and 4 of our grandchildren.
We left there Wednesday morning, encountering some fairly serious (20-25 mph) winds while driving through Kansas. We stopped to visit some treasured friends in Champaign, Illinois, and spent Friday night at their house. Back on the road Saturday morning, we traveled about 10 miles in 30-40 mph winds that ripped off our awning. After a 2-hour wait for roadside service, I helped a service tech cut the awning loose and remove the remaining awning arm from the motorhome while we fought the wind. Five hours later we reached the park.
While we were in Arizona, we took another step toward my resuming my writing career. For 5 years Susie had wanted to replace our dining table and booth seats with a writing desk. We discovered that some friends in Mesa wanted to replace their dining table and chairs with a table and booth seats, so we gave them ours and bought a desk. Below are photos of before and after.
My plan for this summer is to get up at 5:00 so I can write for an hour before Susie begins her day. I have also set some quarterly, monthly, and weekly writing goals. I'll keep you posted as I achieve my goals.
Last Wednesday Susie and I flew from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Mesa, Arizona. How we love this area of the country! Right now the temperatures are in the mid 60's to mid 70's. We're only here until next Saturday, but we're thankful for any time we can spend in Mesa.
While we're here, I'm recharging my writing batteries by absorbing more history and scenery that I can use in future stories. I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm currently working on a picture book, but I still plan to write another middle grade (or younger) western series--this time set in Arizona instead of Texas. I'm also about ready to dust off the grown-up western I started too many years ago. I promise, I'll do everything in my power to give you stories that you'll think were worth waiting for.
Meanwhile, last Saturday morning an old cowboy, named J.C. Hulsey, interviewed me for his Wild West Showdown radio program. J.C. owns Outlaw Publishing, one of the top western publishers in the country. The interview is featured on show # 144. Here's the link to the show: www.blogtalkradio.com/wildwestshowdown/. Check it out!
Well, that's all for now. Susie and I are heading out to explore more of this beautiful country.
I know I've been silent for the past two months, but I certainly haven't been idle. Before I share with you what I'm currently doing in my writing, let me tell you what Susie and I have been doing.
After spending time in Colorado and California, where we enjoyed our kids and grandkids, we stayed in Mesa, Arizona, for a few days. Then we put the motorhome in storage and flew back to Indiana. For the third consecutive year, we represented Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort on Barton Lake at four RV trade shows.
We did shows in Cleveland, Ohio, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, in January and shows in Novi (near Detroit), Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, in February. Working at those shows involves loading the park's SUV with several banners, a TV and laptop for video presentations, and dozens of boxes of literature before each show. When we arrive at each show, we unload the SUV and set up our booth. For the next four or five days, Susie and I spend 7-12 hours each day talking to show attendees about our park.
After we finished the final trade show February 18, we enjoyed lunch and a show at Medieval Times in Schaumburg, Illinois, on the way home. We rested for a day, then began working at the Ranger Station, unpacking merchandise, pricing it, and entering it into our inventory.
Because our daughter-in-law Abby now works in the store, she has been helping Susie 3 days each week. Therefore, instead of helping Susie in the store on those days I have been able to return to writing.
Now, here's the part about the different direction my writing is taking. I am working through a course on writing picture books (age 4-7). I hope to have my first picture book manuscript ready to submit to a publisher before we return to work at he park in early April. My plans still involve finishing the western I started ten years ago as well as writing another middle grade western series. I just need to adjust my lifestyle so that I can write while working at the park. I don't really need all that sleep anyway, right? I'd nearly forgotten how much I love to write. Stay tuned for updates.
Our stay in California will end the day after Christmas when we return to Mesa, Arizona for a few days. I promised to share some poetry with you, and I thought Christmas might be a good time to start. As you read the following poem, please remember that I wrote it when I was in high school.
Susie and I left Indiana on December 12 and headed west. I want to share some highlights from our journey so far. The first event of our trip actually occurred the night before we left. We had said goodbye to Kyle, Abby, and Sawyer (our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson) and were driving toward home in our 2012 Toyota Corolla when we collided with a large deer and did over $6000 worth of damage to our car. The deer was totaled.
Mark L. Redmond was married for 31 years to an incredible woman. She blessed him with two children, who are now among his dearest friends. After taking her home, God gave Mark a second, equally incredible woman. When he married her, he gained 4 more children, who have also become his treasured friends. He also has 10 grandchildren. Mark loves God, his family, and the old West--in that order. Reading and writing about the old West are two of his passions. He really likes Red Lobster too.