No Time To Be Bored

 Posted by at 12:54 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 092020

In a blog a couple of days ago, I wrote about someone saying that she and her husband were bored and getting on each other’s nerves being cooped up all the time due to COVID-19. What’s that like? I don’t know what it’s like to be bored. I don’t think I have ever been bored.

I’ve always got more to do than I have hours in the day as it is. Yesterday, I started out trying to upload the print edition of Tinder Street to Amazon, but there was some glitch in the system that kept kicking me out. I could sign right back in, I could check my sales data and everything else, and I could even upload all the book details into my author’s bookshelf. But every time I tried to upload the book, it would throw me back out. And even though I had saved everything as I went along, when I signed back in, it was gone every time, and I had to start all over from the beginning. After fooling with that for an hour or two and repeating some words I learned from a sailor years ago, I finally gave up and decided I would try again today.

Then I got to work and cranked out another 6,200 words in my next Tinder Street novel, which is tentatively titled The Good Years. That puts me at almost 45,000 words total. There is a lot of research involved in these books, as I’ve said before, and part of yesterday was finding cars made in the early 1920s that are no longer available, and getting information on them. After all, not everybody can drive a Model T, right?

Someone told me early in my newspaper career that if you’re not making somebody mad, you’re not doing your job very well. Apparently, that applies to blogging, too. After reading yesterday’s blog post about the Cornwall Iron Furnace in Pennsylvania, someone sent me a nasty email telling me that I was propagating slavery because I said that slaves were used at the furnace. I think she meant perpetuating, not propagating, but I guess either word works.

Either way, the reality is that just because we don’t like things that happened in our nation’s past, including the horrible institution of slavery, pretending it never happened doesn’t make it go away. And writing about historical places that used slaves, as well as indentured servants, does not mean that I am a racist, that I support slavery, or that I have a rebel flag hanging on the side of my house. I don’t do any of that.

Speaking of things hanging outside of our house, I mentioned the other day that we were thinking about building a deck but were running into all kinds of red tape with the County about a building permit. They are definitely not user-friendly. When I finally got to talk to a real person, he said we would need a land survey, a floodwater survey since there is a small drainage canal on one side of our property that is no more than a ditch, and engineered drawings of the planned deck.

Several readers suggested a floating deck, which is not physically attached to the house and is positioned an inch or so away from the house. I spent some time reading the county building codes, and from what I understand, they say that a building permit is not required for anything that is not attached to the home or over 200 square feet.

Of course, it would have to be anchored into the concrete of our parking apron so it doesn’t decide to blow away during a hurricane. Or maybe not. I came up with what may be a harebrained idea, but I’ve had plenty of those before. I thought about constructing the deck in two 6’ x 12′ sections and not attaching them to the concrete. If a hurricane was coming, we could put a couple of flat dollies like we use to move my pontoon boat around inside the garage under the sections, and wheel them inside the garage, safe and sound.

Even with the boat, the Mustang, and the Pacifica in the garage, we could make them fit without any problem. It’s something to think about. I ran it by the voices in my head, and they are going to hold a meeting to discuss it and are supposed to get back to me in the next day or two. I’ll let you know how that works.


I am trying to build up my presence on the BookBub website, and I would appreciate any of my readers going to my author’s page and following me there. And If you have reviewed any of my past books on Amazon, cutting and pasting the review to my BookBub page would help me tremendously. Thank you.


Today is your last chance to enter our  Free Drawing for audiobook of Free Ride, the thirteenth book in my pal Ben Rehder’s excellent Blanco County mystery series. If you like small town mysteries that come with a chuckle or two (or more), you really need to try Ben’s Blanco County series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Thought For The Day – I don’t think outside the box. I don’t think inside the box either. I don’t even know where the damn box is.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “No Time To Be Bored”

  1. Why not just make a concrete deck?

  2. As far as your deck goes, in Marion county when I finished the frame of the deck, I used hurricane tie downs before installing the deck boards. Maybe it’s the same in your county.

  3. Those who ignore or erase history are bound to repeat it. It is important to learn about slavery and indentured servants not only in America but around the world and throughout history. The same with things like the Holocaust and concentrations camps in WWII or Stalin and the millions he ordered killed. These facts are unpleasant, awful and sad. But by pointing them out and discussing them we can hope to instill in the next generation the willingness to keep these types of events from ever happening again. And I don’t always agree with you Nick but I respect your right to have your own opinion. That’s called FREEDOM.

  4. Well, “perpetuating” doesn’t quite work, either. Maybe she meant “promulgating.”
    Or maybe she meant “parsnips.” Hard to tell.

  5. Hey! A Gypsy Journal rally on Nick’s floating deck! All right! 🙂

  6. James Gilman (Pete) Sterling was the chief engineer responsible for the Stearns-Knight V-8 sleeve valve and later built his own car, the 6-cylinder Sterling-Knight. Both cars were originally built in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1920s. Since Tinder Street is in Toledo, these cars might be logical choices, if any of the characters would be driving luxury automobiles at that time.

    My husband’s uncle’s father-in-law was Mr. Sterling. I had never heard of these cars until we went to Cleveland a few years ago to visit graves and see where my husband’s father grew up in Shaker Heights.

    As far as the person who thought you were promoting slavery, reporting history is neither condoning nor condemning the things of the past. Some things that have happened in this country and this world are good and some are bad, but all must be remembered, if we hope to grow better.

  7. Greetings, Nick,
    I’m Everett, Barbara’s husband.
    Barbara mentioned your research into 1920’s cars, in Cleveland?
    I have a family connection to two such cars, the Stearns Knight and Sterling Knight.
    I only have information from research on the internet.
    FB Stearns built the Stearns/Stearns Knight car 1900-25. It was taken over by Willys Overland until 1929. James Sterling was his chief engineer. In 1921, James and his crew left Stearns to start his own company, Sterling Knight, until 1926.
    There was a photo on the internet of James posing in front of the Sterling Knight building in Cleveland, which, at last check, is still standing.

    James (Pete) Sterling was my great uncle.

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