Chapter Five is Nearly Alive!

I got up at 4:00 AM this morning and finished chapter five of my book-in-progress.

The next steps are as follows:

  • Dear Old Dad will edit my handwritten draft, making any edits he deems necessary.
  • Dear Old Dad will give me the draft with his edits.
  • I will scan the edited handwritten pages and post them for our Patreon Sponsors.
  • Dear Old Dad will then take the pages back to transcribe. As he types my handwritten pages in Word he will make any necessary corrections.
  • Dear Old Dad will finish work on the chapter by recording himself reading it aloud for the audio-book edition we will release when the book is published

You can read more about our process and discover ways you can become part of this project here:

Writing The Great American Banjo Novel

Neurological issues have made typing difficult, so I am writing my next book by hand. In this video Dear Old Dad and I share how we are getting the words out of my head onto the page with the tools available.

I write in pencil on legal pads and Dear Old Dad transcribes my Phoenician hen scratches onto the computer.

We are posting edited handwritten chapters on Patreon for our sponsors.

Pumkin Patch!

My garden ended up becoming home to a rouges gallery of critters. I’m cool with that as long as they leave my pumpkin patch alone. For the first time in my life we stand a real chance of having not one but several home-grown pumpkins for Halloween!

Our pie melons, black krim tomatoes and Cherokee moon and stars watermelon are also doing well. Life is good.

New on Patreon: More Episodes of The Down Neck Gazette!

Exclusively for our sponsors we have uploaded more episodes from the archives of The Down Neck Gazette – a video folk music magazine Dear old Dad and I published between 2000 and 2003.

This time we have Mark Cosgrove, Christina Harrison, The Blue Ridge Music Makers Guild, The Charm City Klezmer Band, Andy & Denise and Beard Guitars.

Interviews run from fifteen minutes to an hour.

Tune in at

If you are not a Patreon sponsor you can still get a taste of The Down Neck Gazette with this clip collection I put together way back in 2002.



The MRI went okay.

There was a guy in the waiting room just as scared as I was. Turned out he was born on Smith Island, just off the shore from Crisfield. We talked about home and prayed together.

Some folks seemed uncomfortable seeing us silently pray together, so we invited them to join us. Nobody took us up on the offer. What a shame.

The test itself was uneventful. Now the restless and fearful wait for the results. I’m not scared for myself. I just worry about my folks.

One the way home I got Dear Old Dad to stop so I could get groceries to make dinner. I made vegetarian lo mein. Dad went back for seconds!

Winding down now. Back to writing tomorrow.

Goodnight and God bless,


Claustrophobia Time

The MRI that was supposed to happen earlier this week and was canceled by my insurance is happening today,

I have a Valium to take during the test, but the real hair-raising stuff will be waiting for the results.

Oh well. Wish me luck.

Chapter Four!

Chapter four of my book in progress is ready for our sponsors to download on Patreon!
I am writing this book in pencil because neurological issues have made it difficult for me to type. This is the first drat written by me, given a quick edit by Dear Old Dad and posted for your enjoyment.
Dear Old Dad will be giving these chapters a more through edit as he transcribes my Phoenician hen scratches to Word. He will also be recording the audiobook!

We are numbering the chapters as they are written. They will probably appear in a different order in the finished book.

Once the book is finished we will make the ebook edition available to all of our Patreon sponsors.

This chapter is about how I discovered the power of music, and decided to let the Tao carry me like a leaf on a stream to wherever I was supposed to be.

If Patreon is not your thing, there are other ways you can sponsor our work.