A-Writing We Will Go!

Work is going well on the new book. I finished another chapter yesterday!

For reasons my neutologist is trying to sort out, I am having difficulty typing. Rather than give up, I am writing this new book entirely by hand.

I write on Amazonbasics legal pads in pencil. I start out with a large quantity of sharpened pencils point-up in mugs and jars. As they go dull I drop them point-down in an empty container.

I use a shitajiki writing board under the page as I write to keep the pencil point from making an impression on the pages below it.

MUJI erasers work really well for someone who writes with a heavy hand like I do.

The Blackwing sharpener actually makes a difference. It is not fast, but the slow pace adds to my Steinbeckian morning ritual of sharpening enough pencils to get through the day.

Field Notes and Write notepads help me keep my thoughts in order when I have to step away from my desk.


When I finish a chapter I pass it over to Dear Old Dad. He gives it a quick edit and passed it back to me for scanning.

I scan the chapter to post for our Patreon sponsors. They get the raw unprocessed data that will eventually be organized into a complete work.

After I post the chapter I give the pages to Dear Old Dad for transcribing to Word, editing and recording for the audiobook edition.

Dear Old Dad's work station

Pooka has the hard job of keeping me company while I write.


Pooka: “I don’t know what USB is, but I’m going to kill it anyway!”

My infamous Dobro 33H guitar is always close at hand while I am writing. This instrument played such a huge role in my life that it is practically a character in the book!

If this book is ever made into a movie they will probably get whatever is left of Johnny Depp to portray my Dobro 33H guitar.

Dobro 33H

It’s not all pencils, all the time. When I am writing someone directly I like to use my Montblanc pen. The pen was a gift from a friend, and it writes like a dream. I use pen

I have been fighting my computer for a while now, and it had gotten deeply frustrating. Working by hand this way has been liberating. To make things even sweeter, I get to do this with my dad!

The chapters we are posting for our sponsors is a window to the work as we create it. We are inviting you to experience the creating of this work as it happens. We are not hiding Dear Old Dad’s edits or sending out Instagram samples of calligraphy. This is a book in the raw.

If you would like to get involved in this project signing up for Patreon, you could always send us some supplies instead.


  • AmazonBasics Legal Pads I was pleasantly surprised by the paper quality of these pads. I write on them all day and they are just perfect for the way I work.
  • I burn through note pads and notebooks. Field Notes and Write make nice things . Amazonbasics makes a nice Moleskine knockoff for under ten bucks.


Other Stuff

  • AA batteries (for our Zoom H1)
  • Micro SD cards (for out Zoom H1)
  • Seltzer water
  • instant coffee
  • Catnip for Pooka
  • pencil erasers
  • Red pens
  • Post-it Notes
  • Stuff from Archie McPhee

It doesn’t have to be something on this list. Use your imagination. Sent it to the address on our contact page.

Whatever you send, be sure to include your email address so that I can keep you up to date with chapters we have shared.

When the book is finished our sponsors will receive the completed eBook as well as the audiobook, We have to wait until the book is finished before we make definitive printing and publishing plans.

I wish this neurological mess was not happening. I had to stop and come back three times to put this post together, The computer keyboard has gotten so frustrating.

In spite of that I have people helping me work with my father to create a different kind of music book. Even though we encounter new obstacles along the way, we are still on the adventure that began when I accidentally wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo back in 2003!

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.

God bless,