August 2020 Newsletter: Don’t Get Me Anything for My Birthday

August 2020

Monday (Aug. 3) is my birthday. You don’t have to get me anything. It’s OK. I understand. You’re busy. The whole mask thing has you upside down and inside out. I’m not that important. All of that is totally understandable.

But, since it’s my special day. I’m going to treat myself. After my morning walk with my buddy, Packy, the coin finding border terrier who was made with love in Green Bay Packer colors just for me in England and who brings awareness of Huntington’s Disease, I’m going to go into a coffee shop (with my Green Bay Packer face covering on). I’m going to order a totally big butt coffee to go, take it to an undisclosed location, and drink it while Packy protects me from miscreants.

As for the rest of the day … I’ll probably work, I guess. These books aren’t getting edited, designed, published, and marketed by themselves.

Which brings us to this portion of the newsletter:


PathBinder Publishing has a new author onboard! Gary D’Amato, a three-time Wisconsin sportswriter of the year and a member of the Wisconsin State Golf Hall of Fame, is finishing up the manuscript for a book tentatively titled: A Perfect Childhood: GrowingScreenshot_20200720-105634 up in the ’60s with Baseball, The Beatles, and Beaver Cleaver. It’s going to be his ninth book. I’ve read several of the stories already, and they’re engaging, witty and well written. Lots of people will enjoy reading this book.

Meanwhile, I’ve added two features to PathBinder’s website. One is the “What’s New?” section, where you can read more details about Gary and his book. As more stuff happens, I’ll post that stuff there, so you can stay up to date with all our goings on.

I’ve also added to the “A Bit About Us” section, providing more information about what type of publisher we are and what type of manuscripts we accept.

The best place to check out all our current titles is at our Facebook store.

One major life event that happened recently is that I purchased the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. I’m not sure how I feel about this. For 34 years as a journalist, I used the Associated Press Stylebook to figure out how to properly grammartize (I made that word up) text intended for publication. I have other English usage manuals, but you’re supposed to use Chicago in publishing … at least that’s what I was told when I wrote my books. There are a few major differences between Chicago and AP, and I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with that, but there are wishy washies (I think I just made that up, too) in Chicago. It’s like … put these numbers in words and put these other numbers in numerals  except when they’re used like so, but then even those exceptions are moot when you have a sentence that’s like this. Huh? Anyway, that’s my issue to deal with; you can forget it.

Meanwhile, PathBinder is in negotiations with other authors who are in various stages of the manuscript process. Some have published with us previously. So, we may have more news on projects soon.

In my pre-PathBinder days, I published two books, and one of them – “Shut Up and Listen: Me vs. Me – Confessions of a Bipolar Rock and Roller” by Rob McCuen – just hit itsRobs book_Front cover FINAL single-day sales record. Well, I’m pretty sure it did. I sort of forgot what happened shortly after its release in late March, but I’m pretty sure we tied it the other day. So, that’s good. You can check it out here.

The other book I published through 18% Gray Publishing was “The Tales of Hoffman(n): Memoirs, Essays and More Covering World War II All the Way to Coronavirus” by my dad, Raymond J. Hoffman. Find it here.


If you’ve heard rumors attesting to the fact that I don’t write anymore, well that’s almost sort of correct. It is true that I’ve taken a break from the novel I’d been working on. “3 Months in Dublin” (that’s Ireland, not Ohio or any of the other various Dublins in the world) has had to wait as I’ve worked to promote PathBinder and its authors.

Podcast Undoing EvilBut I have been writing other things: newsletters, brilliantly worded social media posts, and the like. And I do have news about the writing things I’ve done.

Scott Stick and I have put together a fancy trailer to promote the debut episode of his podcast, Undoing Evil. The episode will feature little ol’ me and my first book, Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher. Scott’s podcast will focus on the true crime genre and the people who research these mysteries and write about them. The episode should be up before long.

I was directed to sound slightly ominous, but not so ominous that I sounded corny, for the trailer, which you can listen to here. My dad and Scott both said I pulled it off, and it has been suggested I go into voiceover work. Maybe that’s cause I suck at everything else.

But no, that’s not true. I don’t suck at everything else. Here’s a few examples of stuff I have been excelling at recently:

Walking, Losing Weight, Finding Money, and Making Images

My effort to walk a minimum of 8,000 steps every day of 2020 has been paying off in numerous ways. I’ve reached that goal each day thus far, with most days surpassing 10,000 steps and some days going over

A map of one of my recent morning walks.

the 14,000 mark. For those of you who want to know how many miles that equates to, I’d guess that one mile equates to roughly 1,800 of my steps, making 10,000 steps about 5½ miles. If you want that in kilometers, you’re on your own. There are online calculators, fer cripes sake. Don’t be lazy!

As my steps have increased, my waist has decreased. I’m down about 10 pounds from the start of the year and more than 30 pounds from my career high – ‘’Leon’s getting larger!” – about five years ago. Anyone who gets the “Leon” pop culture reference is held in high regard by us at “Paul Hoffman Author.”

Finding moneySince I am walking so much, I thought to myself, “Why not keep an eye out for coins on the ground while I walk? Make some money while I exercise.” I decided this about three years ago, and started keeping a monthly total in January 2018. See that at left!

You’ll surely notice how the totals increased dramatically starting last September. I attribute that to my leaving the day job, which gave me the ability to walk farther, in more comfortable clothing, at whatever time I desired. You’ll also surely notice how this June and July have brought untold riches my way. This development I attribute to the appearance of Packy, who can sniff out loose change as well as the occasional paper bill with ease. And yes, I found foreign money: two German euros in November 2018 and 30 kopinok in Ukraine last summer.

In between the walking and the coin finding, I’ve been making images (the term used by some professional photographers these days instead of “taking photos”). With all the heat and humidity we’ve had in south central Indiana the past two months, my walks have generally started right before sunrise, which can make for some stunning scenery. I’ve also found some other groovy stuff to make images of. Reflections and lights have come into play often. Here’s a slideshow of some of the past month’s work.

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Ailment of the Month

At my age, there’s always something with the body that doesn’t quite work right or feel fine. Although, I think we’ve finally turned the corner with my lung issue that has been around since mid-March. We’ve determined that I have extremely mild asthma, which under normal circumstances causes no issues whatsoever. But when exposed to stuff like nighttime drainage, all this pollen these days and who know what else, it can cause some issues. So, I get to inhale the inhaler and swallow pills for a while. It seems to be working; I feel better.


Writers gonna read. And publishers, too. I’ve gotten myself immersed in Marian Keyes’ IMG_20200701_113058431latest novel, Grown Ups, the title of which is actually just one word in the dictionary. But she’s Marian Keyes, and she’s a nice lady and funny, too. And she has lots of books. And maybe she was trying to make a point here with poetic license stuff. Or maybe it’s an Irish thing.

Plus, she wrote about fermented shark from Iceland in the book. It’s a weird thing that smells bad … really bad. But I ate some when my brother, Andy, brought it back from Iceland once. He’d gone there for a wedding. And if you think the smell is bad before you eat it, just wait until your innards have had a chance to be abused by the shark. Ewww!

So much fun. Therefore, I’ll let the spelling thing go, Marian.

In conclusion

On my birthday eve, I think I’ll watch the Bucks and Rockets play basketball, eat some cherry amaretto ice cream and relax. Maybe Santa will show up tonight and put colored eggs in my shoes, hiding them under the skeleton costume. Maybe. He never has before, but this just might be the year it happens … 2020 seems to keep bringing weird stuff every day now.


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