View Full Version : Hello from another budding writer (retired from the trenches)
Just a quick introduction. My budding writing is in the area of unarmed close quarters combat. Only what works. Shattering martial arts myths. Researching armed and unarmed tactics, and publishing an integration of the facts as we know them from scientitic research, and the research I do in my own "combat lab", where we test if things really work, then turning what I've learned into practical guides.
I just retired from about 5 careers, so now I have time to write. We'll see what this forum brings.
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Would like to read some of your work as it is an area of interest to me also.Years ago i was fortunate enough to observe ROK soldiers in their training regimen which is in my opinion the epitome of hand to hand combat.They are so highly regarded in their own country that when they go on force marches for miles they march down the center of the highway and traffic flows around them,truly a sight to see.They are not issued weapons for training until they are proficient at killing with their body.They are regarded in many military circles as the deadliest soldiers anywhere.Ask anyone who has seen them in action in vietnam or elsewhere.Good luck.with your endevours....
I've heard a lot about the ROK's from older buddies who were in 'Nam. Charlie was more afraid of them than anyone, for good reason. They were, I hear, silent, invisible (nearly) and could indeed take anyone out without a weapon. My son is now in Iraq. He tells me that as far as he knows, the ROK soldiers, at least their elite units, are still HIGHLY regarded. I'm sure they don't use any TaeKwonDO.
I send you a PM about my most recent book. Thanks for your interest.
One more thought.
If you are new to writing, I'd be glad to offer whatever support I can. I'm not trying to be condescending. Its just that I've got two BS degrees, two MS degrees, and a PhD--- so that means I've done thousands of pages of writing, and had it critiqued and red-inked and ripped to shreds until I got better.
I think there is an easier way to help somebody learn to write. If you tell me what you think you would like to write about, and what kind of style, I might be able to give you some pointers.
I write poetry as well, and my wife is an award-winning poet. I'm just a bit shy yet about sharing that side of me. I'm a much better technical writer than poet.
Anyway, I think we all should support each other in any way we can. We all have our own areas of knowledge and strengths... combined, we can deliver good things unto the next generation. At least, that's my hope. I've learned so much over the years. I don't want it all to just go to the grave with me. (I've got another 40 years left in me, so I've got plenty of time. And I've go the writing itch, and I've finally got the opportunity to do it. I'm a happy guy.
Nice to connect with you.
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Very generous of you,and no not taking it in a condencending manner,ima complete novice,a wanna be rookie.i grew up here in the northwest which at one time was timber town plus,but thats all in the past now.this is an area that interests me as from a child i watched my peers in this industry and when old enough i too joined in.first with logging,then on to mills,and later a stint with the forest service.A late uncle of mine worked at one of the last logging camps in the n.w.now there are none to be found.i have wanted to put some ideas of mine on paper now for a few years.over the years some people i have met,along with some of my own experiences have helped me form some ideas for some stories.Im thinking along the line of short stories,all logging camp related.i have, in my head only ,built some characters i believe would be fun to form some stories around.i believe i have enough knowledge of the logging era to paint an interesting picture for the reader.I remember hearing somewhere,you dont have to describe it perfectly to make it interesting,you should let the reader apply a few strokes of paint also.I assume they meant,let the reader use their imagination a little during the reading.Gosh im late,goota go back to the grind.later and thanks again.......J.M.
So you grew up in a small logging town in the NW? Guess what...
So did I. I never worked in the mills, but I did do what they used to call "gyppo" logging. We would pay the forest service a small fee for "stumpage right", and they would assign us a several acre plot of government land, and allow us to cut down the trees and take them to the mill. We were cutting lodgepole pine, trees which were maybe thirty years old or so, just the right size for fence posts. All we had was my '59 Ford, four guys, a chainsaw, and some hatchets. We would cut down the trees, saw them into 8 foot sections, and knock off all the branches with our hatchets, and stack them. I was the crew boss on account of the fact that I was the only one with a car that could drive us out to our plot every morning at dawn. Then another guy we knew had a flatbed truck, and we would pay him $25 or so to haul them to the little fence post mill on Fridays. The mill owner would go through what we brought him, "cull out" the sections he said were no good, and he paid us 25 cents each for the remains. We always felt like he culled out a lot of the posts, but kept them anyway. Our man who ran the saw got his job because he had biceps the size of our thighs. Only had two brain cells connected together with a spirochete (a syphilis bacterium). We joke if anybody ever gave him a shot of penicillin he'd be dead.
Trouble was, his saw control wasn't so good. By the end of the summer, he had managed to cut up every man on the crew except me, and he dropped a tree on every one of us at least once a day. Its a wonder we survived.
Our venture ended when the saw man borrowed the car keys to get some more gas out of the car back up at the hiway. Of course, he decided once he got to the car that he wanted to drive up to the country store for some cigarettes and some sodas. Trouble was, he didn't know how to drive. He totalled my car in the ditch. We had worked all summer, and ended up with nothing but chain saw snag holes in our pockets. He never did pay me for the car.
The next summer, we spent up on Bull Mountain, up above the Bull River near Noxon, Montana. We lived in tents, and our boss had a contract with the forest service to re-plant the mountain side. Hardest work I've ever done in my life. We got up just before dawn, so we could get as much work done as possible before the heat came on. It went from 40 degrees to about 90 degrees by noon. We were a ragged bunch, called ourselves troglodytes, 'cause we felt like cavemen. There were about two dozen of us. We'd fill our canteens out of the trickle of a stream, pile up three deep in the back of a few trucks, take a head-banging ride up the logging road to the next patch to be planted. All our sections were steep, about a 30 degree slope. Then we loaded our tree bags up. Since we had to have water keeping the roots wet, the bags weighed about 50 pounds. I weighed about 90 pounds. We lined up, like soldiers (more like a chain gang!), with a bag slung over one shoulder that held 200 seedling trees. We
would march in unison four paces, swing our "hodad" into the ground to make a "V", carefully tuck the root down into the V, so as to not curve the bottom, them stomp the V closed. Four more paces, do it again. Over and over, in a hypnotic rhythm so as to ignore the pain. We'd sing songs to keep time, just like cotton pickers used to. Back and forth across the rugged hillside, climbing over old torn out stumps and rocks. The sun baked us til we looked like Blackfoot Indians, we had blisters everywhere, skin eaten by chiggers and mosquitos and deerflies. Gouges in our legs from getting snagged by old broken branches sticking out of the dead stumps. But the pay was the best we'd ever seen... $1.65 an hour. Minimum wage was about a buck an hour, so we thought we were doing good. One hell of a summer. I can close my eyes and see it like it was yesterday. Actually, it was the Summer of '69. We missed Woodstock. We were mountain boys.
I know I could write a book about that. Characters like the two mysterious and spooky guys who just got back from 'Nam... Still crazy from the jungle. We knew they had ordnance in their tent. At night they would get high and get really wacked out and paranoid. Howled like wolves, and drank whiskey. One of us kept watch every night to make sure one of them didn't have a flashback and come in and slit our throats.
Like the beginning of Tale of Two Cities, I think it is...
It was the best of times... it was the worst of times...
Yeah, I could do a book about that kind of life.
Tales worth telling. Go for it. I don't think many people know what that kind of life is like.
Steeled me, though, those days. Made me so I'd never be a quitter. I wouldn't trade those days for anything... I'm proud of the scars I still wear. I felt like I was made up for the year before when I cut down so many trees. Made a lot more money planting back the trees, that's for sure. Thanks to Earth Day, and all that early ecology movement... gave us work. And days and night that are burned into the core of who I am.
Years later, I spent years in schools back East, got a PhD, worked a couple of decades in the city, and finally, I gave up the necktie, and I'm living back out in a quiet stand of trees. Outside the honking horns and the stink of the greed of the Beltway Bandits who are my distant neighbors. We don't talk much, with the neighbors that is... they're still figuring out how to get richer. I got rich long before they did... at $1.65 an hour. And nobody can take it away from me. I'm still rich. Got the scars to prove it. And my integrity to keep me living until I'm 100. And my Glock, just in case... At night, I go outside, lie down on the deck, and look up in the blackness for my old companion, Orion.
My son, he doesn't know why I do that. I'm a bit sad, 'cause he'll never know what I know. Just like I'll never know what to do with a thumb controller and a Sony playstation. Who needs a box. I've got the whole sky... always. And a great wife waiting inside for when I come back in with my ears cold. She likes the feel of those cool ears on the back of her neck... It just gets better every year...
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Thanks for sharing that was a blast from the past for me also.My first logging job was with a jippo named shorty.He had an old decreped catapellar and i was his choker setter,that was the entire crew.Hah,he had contracts with the f.s. for stream salvage.I was and still am proud of that first logging experience,mainly because shorty ,old and grizzled,was well known in the area.He had logged since he was a young man for large and small outfits and here he was out there going for it still.I humped my rear off for that old fart but,i was mighty proud when anyone asked me who i worked for.i am still.Later i worked for a large highlead outfit.Quite a different show,yarder operator,loader jockey,catskinner,chaser,two chokersetters(my job),riggingslinger,whistlepunk,hooktender,and show boss.Talk about steep,some units we logged the whistlepunk had to signal the yarder engineer when to stop the carriage because from the landing above the engineer could'nt see us below.We could'nt see him either,only the top of the yarder tower a lot of times.I miss those days some but,dangerous as hell,i was lucky in that respect.Others weren't.Uncle sam put a stop to that job.Drafted 1969.two years went by so quick and then back to the woods.Later hooked up with f.s.,then two years community college,forestry tech.program,and back to f.s.for five years.then mills,lumber,stud,veneer,and finally wood products distribution. J.M.
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BTW i did write a story the other day.It's over on non glocking page one still,it's called...I MET General Glocking......Seriously.I had a few people going there for awhile Ha..that was fun though.J.M.
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