I’ve been preliminarily invited to speak at the Edgerton (Wis.) Sterling North Book and Film Festival in 2014. This is so cool. The 2013 version was held on Sept. 28 and featured the real Dr. Patch Adams, the one Robin Williams portrayed in the movie. Note: I do NOT plan on wearing a red nose)
I’m starting an advertising campaign with Marcus Promotions, placing ads in some of its Footlights programs – the in-theater programs you get at plays and shows in and around Milwaukee. I’d like to thank Angie Mack for helping me get this campaign under way, and the Marcus Promotions design staff for its great work on these ads.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to spread the word about Buddy Schumacher’s story around the Milwaukee area in the next few months. I believe the first Footlights we’re scheduled to run in is the “Groucho: A Life in Review,” the story of funny man Grouch Marx, at Next Act Theatre in Walker’s Point, Nov. 14 to Dec. 8.
My wife and I love to attend live theater. There are so many great productions, something for everybody in the family. I encourage you to check out the huge variety of great shows you can see in the Milwaukee area by clicking right here!
Below is an excerpt from the first draft of the book I’m currently working on. Note that this is only a first draft, the names may be changed to protect the guilty, and it’s a kids book, nothing like “Murder in Wauwatosa.” That book was nonfiction; the new one is fiction all the way, albeit with many incidents based on real events of my childhood and the childhoods of others who may or may not have grown up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
I’m bandying about titles and place names and people names and such. But the story will focus on a slightly awkward boy whose family moves to a new town. There, he encounters a bully, an unlikely friend, a first romance and a haunted house. I shall attempt to negotiate said boy through all his obstacles in one piece and perhaps allow him to mature just a teeny little bit along the way.
Standing a foot or so to my left was a roly, poly boy, a little shorter than I was, with glasses and a shirt with horizontal stripes that looked like they used to be fairly colorful and was about two sizes too small for him. He had a couple books clutched to his chest. And they weren’t school books either. They were books you read for fun.
“He’s actually Clark Ludington the third,” the boy deadpanned. “He’s named for his grandpa and his dad.”
“That make sense, since he’s ‘the third,’” I said, rolling my eyes in a slightly different way than when I rolled them a minute before. This was more like a rolling of the eyes that said “Well, duh! I know that.”
“Oh, yeah,” the boy said, forcing out a little “ha ha” afterward.
He took a step back from me and was about to move away, when I stopped him by introducing myself.
“I’m Donnie Hart. I just moved here.”
I figured if this kid knew who that jerk was, and was willing to tell me about him, he might come in handy. I could pump him for information.
The boy’s eyes opened wide. His slightly chubby cheeks all of a sudden were separated by a big smile, teeth full of braces.
“I’m Warren,” he said with more enthusiasm than I’d heard out of anyone in a long time. “People call me ‘Woody,’ because my last name is Underwood.
“We live on 81st Street. Where do you live? Cause if you live near 81st Street, maybe you can come over sometime.”
He kept talking really fast one sentence after another, like he didn’t want me to give him an answer he didn’t want to hear. I just kind of folded my arms and stared at this boy who others called “Woody” and let him ramble.
“My mom and dad are kind of weird and I have a younger brother. But he won’t bother us. I can make him stay in his room when you come over.”
It’s like this was the first time anybody had ever talked to him and he was going to say each and everything he’s had on his mind since he started bottling everything up in kindergarten. “Go for it, dude,” I thought to myself. “I want to see how long this can go on. Maybe you’ll set a world record.”
“Are you in Mr. Hopper’s class? I’m in Mr. Hopper’s class. He’s kind of weird, but OK for a teacher, I guess. He tells really bad jokes.”
I shook my head.
“Your name’s Donnie, huh? I have an uncle named Don. He’s OK. He makes really good steak on the grill. It’s really good. You should try some sometime.”
Woody paused for a second, only a second, as he went into thought. The silence lasted barely a second or two before he muttered, almost to himself, “Actually, Uncle Don lives kind of far away.”
He immediately launched his monologue in a completely different direction.
“I like bubble gum, but I’m not supposed to have any because I have braces. But sometimes I still chew a little bit. You can do it if you’re real careful to chew in little bites and not blow bubbles. Do you like bubble gum?”
So, there you go. Hopefully, that’s not horrible. And if it is, it can be fixed.
Come see me, and 20 other local authors, at the Greenwood Public Library Local Author Fair on Nov. 9, 2013, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the library, 310 S. Meridian St., Greenwood, Indiana.
A wide variety of authors will be represented at the event, held in conjunction with the library’s Friends of the Greenwood Public Library book sale.
For more information, contact the library at (317) 881-1953 or go to the library’s website.
I am happy to announce the identities of two special guests who have graciously agreed to help out with the Yes Cinema presentation on August 19.
- Detective Lieutenant Mike Ward with the Columbus Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division will speak on the updates in investigative tools police have at their disposal today that they may not have had in 1925, when this crime took place.
- Bud Herron, retired publisher of The (Columbus) Republic, will speak on “yellow journalism” and the differences/similarities to the ways in which this case was covered in 1925 and how it might be covered today.
I will also present a PowerPoint presentation on the book and related topics. And we might have a few more surprises up our sleeves.
Aug. 19, 7 p.m. at Yes Cinema, 328 Jackson St., Columbus, IN 47201. Info: (812) 378-0377. This is a benefit for the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Care Center, a nonprofit agency helping out folks in central Columbus. $1 admission goes to the center. Concessions proceeds go to the center. $1 from the sale of each book goes to the center.
My friend and high school classmate, Art Mellor, took some photos of me at his Milwaukee studio last week. Some were serious, some were silly and some were done so he could test out some lighting and other technical photo things.
One of the things we did was a series of shots with my book and a magnifying glass. I couldn’t find the Sherlock Holmes-style hat we were looking for, but since I didn’t have a Sherlock Holmes-style pipe or cape either, I think we managed just fine without it. Art picked out his favorite pose, then added various backgrounds to them. I think they turned out quite nice.
Here they are: