October 2020 newsletter: Fall is the time for Pizza, Flu Shots, and Voting Early

October 1, 2020 – Hey there.

I’ve been eating a lot of bacon and eggs lately, which is something I knew you’d be interested in knowing. Bacon on the side of the eggs. Bacon in the eggs, sometimes wrapped in a tortilla or on a bagel with cheese. But we’re out of bacon right now. I got over the melancholy long enough to microwave some frozen chocolate chip pancakes this morning. They’re kind of rubbery, but they’re fortified with real sugar. So there’s that.

Staying on the food theme, October is National Pizza Month. I started celebrating on National Pizza Month Eve with a frozen pizza. Well, I cooked it; I suspect that eating it frozen would have been much less enjoyable,

I tend to buy frozen pizzas in bulk on massive sale when possible, so I tend to have a supply handy. I like to add a few toppings of my own ― kalamata olives, feta cheese, onions, mushrooms, extra mozzarella, red pepper flakes, whatever we have lying about the house. Well, it’s got to be edible, of course. I won’t be tossing old shoe strings on a Jack’s pepperoni and sausage pizza no matter how aesthetically pleasing they are to the eye.

And with that, because I have absolutely no good segue from old shoe strings to the rest of the newsletter, is the rest of this month’s newsletter:


One of the conventions for creatives that is near and dear to my heart and soul is this one based in Louisville, Kentucky. Last week, I participated as a guest on literary panels as I have done the previous four years. This was the first year I didn’t make the 90-minute drive south on Interstate 65 to attend in person, though. The seventh annual Imaginarium convention was all video. Which was sort of weird. Then again, it’s 2020; everything’s weird.

The convention, which caters to writers, filmmakers, gamers and the like, stretched out over a week this year, instead of being packed into a three-day weekend as has been the norm.

One of the cool things about doing this virtually was that everything was recorded, so anyone can go check out the panels and workshops for about the next week or so. The list of topics covered was immense. Check out the entire list here.

As a guest panelist, not only did I discuss the topics I was assigned to, but I also got to attend any other panel that interested me. For those curious, I was on these panels: “To Tale the Truth,” a nonfiction writing panel, “How to be a Good Panelist,” and “Contracts: The Good, the Bad and the Oh Heck No!”

I checked out panels on publishing with KDP (Amazon), recording audiobooks, working with an agent, choosing your editor, and more.

Even though we hope to meet in person for the next convention, scheduled for July 2021, there will now be a virtual component to it moving forward, so you and your friends in Utah, Romania, and Zaire will be able to participate. I picked those three locations at random, in case you were curious.


Busy, busy, busy.

Gary D’Amato’s newest book is available for presale right now. Details right over there in the text. Available to the general public later this month.

We at PathBinder Publishing finished designing Gary D’Amato’s book, A Perfect Childhood: Growing up in the ’60s with Baseball, The Beatles, and Beaver Cleaver. The paperback and ebook files have been approved. The book will be available to the general public sometime this month. Multiple announcements will be made regarding that grand event. Cost will be $17.99 for paperback, $7.49 for ebook.

But Gary has started conducting a presale, and you can get an autographed copy of the book mailed to you for just $20 per book if you send him a check right now. Right now, I say. Don’t delay! Order today! Include your address, and if you’d like a personalized inscription, what you’d like him to say. Mail checks payable to Gary D’Amato to 12204 6 1/2 Mile Road, Caledonia, WI 53108. Books will be sent later this month.

I’m also working on a couple of other books, including a children’s book by my wife, Kimberly S. Hoffman, that is based on something her mother experienced in the 1930s. Kimberly made me put all sorts of weird stuff in the contract. Something about me doing dishes by hand (gasp!) and … I don’t even want to mention the rest. I get so emotional. It’s too soon.

I’m about to send out contract proposals for three more book projects (or is it four?) and will let you know more when contracts are signed.


I don’t have much new to report about my writing. Since I’m so deep into the publishing world right now, most of my best writing is done in witty emails and in my newsletters (oh geez, I hope). Stuff is in my head for books I’ve started and may start. It may get down on keyboard at some point.


I’ve got this book waiting around for me on my Kindle and peruse it now and then when I’m in the mood for some Irish fun: Irishology: Slagging, Junior C Football, Wet Rain and Everything Else We Love About Ireland.

The book I’m reading now is by a fellow Columbus, Indiana, author.

But my main read right now is by a dude I know here in Columbus, Indiana: In Beauty in the Wreckage, Brandon Andress discovers that “even in the heartache, the hostility, the division, the violence, and the oppression, experiencing life to the fullest, a life of shalom, is not just possible, it can be our present reality. But in order to discover it, we must learn how to see and live differently ― moment by moment ― for the transformation of our lives, our families, our relationships, and our communities.” That’s what it says on Amazon anyway.

Ailment of the Month

I finally got my eyesight situation situated. At least for now as the cataracts will keep my vision deteriorating. But the new lens for my glasses has me able to once again see the writing on the jumbo scoreboard at the north end of Lambeau Field from our south end zone seats. Well, I’m pretty sure it does. My brothers and I had tickets to go see the Green Bay Packers play the Atlanta Falcons this coming Monday night. But you know, pandemic and all.

With the eye thing in control for now, my health concern has shifted to my right wrist, which has been getting locked up and/or weak at times for the past few months. There are times it hurts just to take the lid off the caramel praline ice cream trough. Now that is a cause for serious concern! In my younger days, I’d get a similar sensation in the wrist, twist and mangle it a bit, something would make a popping noise, and I’d feel all better. That process no longer works. I bet it would feel good if I never washed dishes by hand again. Just a guess.

Let’s See, What Else?

A compendium of other stuff that’s been going on:

  • I managed to get into a local, high-end, glossy magazine recently. And with my Packers mask on! Columbus magazine, a publication I once served as editor for, has a feature each issue where they ask “the man, woman, or child on the street” a question. The people whose answers they chose to print have their photos run along with their brilliant quote. For the September/October issue, we all wore masks and the photographer (Carla Clark) took our photos from a minimum of six feet away. Carla was 8 feet, 4.6 inches away from me when she took my photo in my front yard. I calculated that distance based on the position of the sun at that moment and the length of our shadows (God, I love science). Our question was “What advice would you give to someone who has recently moved to Columbus?” My answer is in the photo posted herein.
  • My wife and I enjoyed the music movie series at The Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin in September. On consecutive Wednesday nights, we socially distanced our way through Quadrophenia, Stop Making Sense and Purple Rain, featuring music by, in order, The Who, Talking Heads, and Prince. I enjoyed them all, as well as the pizza picnics beforehand, the popcorn during, and the drive home with the music from the movies coursing through my brain afterward.
  • Those of you who have been following this newsletter know that I do a lot of walking. An absolute minimum of 8,000 steps each day with my preferred step total being at least 10,000. During many of these walks, I take photos of whatever looks interesting, make interesting shapes on the map app, and find loose coins on the ground. The grand total of coin finding for September came in at $10.01, my third month in a row over $10. See the photo gallery below for some of the recent photos, many of which are simply exquisite.

As for the Future

Besides October being National Pizza Month, it’s also when autumn really gets its chill on.

My weekly coffee meetings with my former boss and pal, Doug Showalter, that we’ve been having at a picnic table in a park might have to be moved indoors somewhere. I don’t care how hot that tall peppermint mocha nonfat no whipped is, if the wind is whipping on a gray October afternoon, it can be downright unpleasant sitting around outside.

There’s some great Halloween-type movies on at the Artcraft this month: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Bride of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. We may make all four of those. A touch of scary. A touch of humor.

I do have a speaking event set up for October 26. A local Kiwanis club will be the beneficiary of my wit and wisdom as it relates to the publishing and authoring worlds. Haven’t done one of these in a while. Might wear a mask.

We’re doing a socially distanced, outdoors Thanksgiving with our kids and their significant others mid-month. Who knows what life will be like in November, and trying to cram lots of people into our small house could be problematic. So, let’s just make sure we get together at some point. That’s what we figured. And hope it’s not too cold.

Early voting starts October 6 at an old store in a mall that doesn’t have hardly any stores left in it. A drive-though flu shot clinic will be held in the parking lot the same day. I feel like there is something clever I could say about that, but this newsletter is already long enough.

That’s it for this month. Have a good one!



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