On Journaling, or “My Diary”

The first journal in Mom's collection.
The first journal in Mom’s collection.

When my mom passed in 2014 she left a legacy of acceptance, trust, and love.

She also left twnety seven journals, hand-written on the front and back of every page.

I always knew she journaled. She didn’t keep it a secret and said that when she had sought help for depression there were two active things she came away with that helped tremendously. Walking and journaling. The walking probably extended my dad’s life an additional twnety years because he did it religiously with her…two miles a day. Rain or shine, snow or sleet…it was the postmen and my parents out there.

The journaling probably kept her centered. I’ve tried to mimic her for years and never been able to keep up. I journal, but I’m not a faithful journaler.

At any rate, for the first year and a half after her death I glanced at a few pages of her journals, got overwhelmed, and passed them on to my sister’s to read. Finally a few weeks ago I asked for them back and started to read them, word by word.

I’m not sure what happened to the journals prior to 1999. This is the first one in the twenty seven that I have, but I know she started writing way before then…she probably started between 1969 and 1975. I have an idea those journals must have gone in the trash when my parents moved from Baudette to Forest Lake after they retired. That would coincide with the dates I have.

Her journals are filled with family, life, deaths, births, marriages, accidents, divorces, friends, relatives, travels and thanks. She gave thanks and prayed for healing, mostly for others around her, in almost every entry.

I’m enjoying seeing thorugh my mom’s eyes again. Feeling both thankful for this one final gift she gave herself and us, her children, and emotional for traveling through so much of her life…Dad’s life…and our life again as well.

Posted in Aging, Family | Comments Off on On Journaling, or “My Diary”

NaNoWriMo 2015

Once again I’ve come to the end of National Novel Writing Month, better known to most people as November.

And I’m happy to say, I’ve finished the November 50k that goes by the subject post’s name for the third year in a row. I’m not one of those people that easily pumps out 2000 words a day, but I will say that each year this effort has taught me more about myself and what I need to do to keep my inspiration flowing. Add to that a couple interesting new tricks to stave off writer’s block / fatigue and I think the month has again been worth it.

I have the core of the second book, ‪ONE FISH, TWO FISH, BIG FISH, LITTLE FISH, in the ‪’Smugglers In Paradise’‬ series drafted, as well as the core of the third book, ‪PSYCHOLOGY OF CHOOSING, which I drafted in November 2013. The next twelve months is going to be about major revisions, rewrites and editing. I hope to have both new books out by the end of 2016.

Now back to a slightly more normal life…


Posted in Creative Writing Tips, My original writing | Comments Off on NaNoWriMo 2015


2015-11-06 13.47.44

It’s nearly a month since I self-published my first book, GAME OF WIT AND CHANCE: BEGINNINGS. While I’m confident it won’t be pushing John Grisham or Nicolas Sparks from the New York Times best sellers list, I’m thankful for the action it’s been receiving.

The book is part of a three book (at least) series I started two years ago for a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. I wrote the first draft of the third book, PSYCHOLOGY OF CHOOSING, in November 2013; the first draft of GAME OF WIT AND CHANCE in November 2014, and I’ve been writing the first draft of the second book, ONE FISH, TWO FISH, BIG FISH, LITTLE FISH this November (2015).

I’m excited about the series and the next two books, which I’ve promised to revise, edit and publish in 2016. I’m also excited about a couple of other projects in the works, one specifically designed around a previous work I’ve never published whose name will remain…well, unnamed, because I’ll be changing it.

I’m especially thankful to my friends who have taken the time to help me grow as a writer, through both positive and constructive criticism of previous drafts of this and other stories. While writing seems to be an extremely individual effort for me (I don’t write well in group settings) it can’t be done in a vacuum if I have any expectation of ‘success’, as defined by number of books sold and/or number of ratings / average rating received. Feedback is always appreciated. Even if you don’t like it, I know you gave it a shot.

So, if you haven’t read GAME OF WIT AND CHANCE and would like to, check out the home page of my website to see where you can find it.

If you have read it and want to help out with a review, please do! Any review is fair…I mean if you really hate it I guess I won’t beg you to put that on-line, but reviews are personal opinions and everyone’s opinion is valid…if you like or love it, I’d be really thankful for the review at your favorite site; Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Nook, and Kobo are all places authors benefit from review feedback.

Back to Thanksgiving…you know what I’ll be doing (see above), and I will tell you I’ll be enjoying it…I wish all of you a great holiday as well. Take time to look back on the year you’ve been gifted with…I hope you find many people and situations to be thankful for and I wish you all the best as we move toward a new year.

Finally, here’s a new book blurb I’ll be posting in a few different book sites, but you’ve seen it here first:

What happens when you bring together love of adventure and love of country?

In ‘Game of Wit and Chance’ you get sailor, smuggler, singer, sister.

When an estranged Filipino falls in love with an American girl mired within a shattered family, they redeem each other’s happiness and create the beginning of a saga revolving around the sea.

Within each person there is potential for good and evil, while some seeds grow and flourish, others wither and spoil.

Game of Wit and Chance is about the struggle between two brothers and how their directions are influenced by their heritage, the people in their lives and the things that separate them.

The story, full of both tenderness and tragedy, picks at the layers that build a family, showcasing the smooth outer skin as well as what is beneath the scabs, producing suspense, as well as hope for the future.

Posted in Boats and boating, China, Holiday, My original writing, Philippines | Comments Off on Thanksgiving

And so it begins…

Today begins two new milestones for me in writing, and now publishing, my fiction. Since it’s November 1st, GAME OF WIT AND CHANCE: BEGINNINGS by R. Scott Tyler​ has gone live on Amazon, as well as CreateSpace and Kobo. The second milestone is that this is November 1st, the beginning of NaNoWriMo, and I’ll be shooting to add 50,000 words to the rough draft of ONE FISH, TWO FISH, BIG FISH, LITTLE FISH, the second book in the SMUGGLERS IN PARADISE Series. Oddly enough, I already have the first draft of PSYCHOLOGY OF CHOOSING, the third book in the series.

For my friends who enjoy reading, I would love it if you read my book AND REVIEWED IT on Amazon, Goodreads or both. I’m not asking for a specific number or a gushing review…your review is your opinion, and I respect that. Having a significant number of reviews can be as important as having a high rating and as the sole member of my marketing department, I need your help…being an independent author is very much like being a small business person. What I like to do is write, but what I have to do is market myself…with your help.

I’m going to set up the front page of my website with these links soon, but for now here they are:

To order the Amazon Kindle edition eBook go here.

To order the Amazon paperback edition go here.

To order the paperback edition directly from CreateSpace go here.

To order it from KOBO go here.

“Follow your passion, let it lead where it will; true passion seldom leads to dead ends.”

Posted in China, My original writing, Philippines, Publishing, Shanghai | Comments Off on And so it begins…

Game of Wit and Chance – Filipino Comfort Food

Putting his nose in the air, he turned the next corner and spotted what was making his mouth water. It was a street vendor selling Isaw Manok. Since he was a child, this continued to be his favorite food. If ever there was comfort food for Ciro, it was grilled chicken intestines.

Pre-order the eBook here, or come back when it releases on November 1st and order the paperback –> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0160P11Z6

#FilipinoFood #GameofWitandChance #IsawManok #ComfortFood #FilipinoStreetFood #GrilledChickenIntestines #eBook #IndieAuthor #PhilippinesFiction

Filipino comfort food - Isaw Manok, grilled chicken intestines
Filipino comfort food – Isaw Manok, grilled chicken intestines
Posted in Cooking, My original writing, Philippines, Travel | Comments Off on Game of Wit and Chance – Filipino Comfort Food

Guest Poet – Gian Carlo Gutierrez

The following poem was written by a Filipino poet by the name of Gian Carlo Gutierrez. Even though Tagalog is his native tongue, he chooses to write his poetry exclusively in English. I’ve read several of his pieces and I find them very moving and asked if he would do a guest post for me. This is it.


I have this feeling of losing again, I failed again this time
I think I’m fading from nowhere, I think I should stop living this life
Why does everything in me is so imperfect? Why they can’t love me in that way?
Why do people can’t see the real me? Why do this world is so unfair?

I tried everything just to be seen, tried everything to be cared
Tried to be good to have your attention, tried everything to befriend
I tried to be the best in everything so that you could be proud
I even tried to sacrifice my life so I could felt I was loved

I am weak, still I am lost, and still I haven’t found my path
I like to draw but I don’t have the hands to paint that beautiful life
I love to sing but still don’t have the voice that everyone would love to hear
I like to write an endless poem but no one would care ’bout this dream

As I’m writing these words, I can’t help but to cry
I know this time God is angry with me ’cause ’til now I was blinded by my eyes
I know He has been telling me so many times that I should stand and stay strong
There are so many beautiful things that can’t be seen and it’s alright for me to go wrong

These rhyming words in every line are my life, my heart, my soul
Every ending, it’s significant feeling will always be a part of my whole
The endless print of my undying words will always be here to stay
All will be enough just to feel He cared that is my constant pray

As I am writing in this part, I suddenly realized
That I should stop crying myself, I should now dry my eyes
For there will always be tomorrow to restart a brand new day
To continue all that I’ve stopped believing in, to continue to walk with His way

I have sent all my worries, lifted it all above the sky
You won’t ever see me crying again, my soul will never die
I know God will always be here, I know He wanted me to go back
To where my life has used to be, I got to feel my existence back.


If you are looking for more of his work you can find it at:


Posted in Guest Posts, Philippines, Poetry | Comments Off on Guest Poet – Gian Carlo Gutierrez

Pre-order of Game of Wit and Chance is here!

The day has finally come. I punched the button releasing ‘Game of Wit and Chance’ for pre-order on Amazon. I’ve gotten a lot of great help from the Indie community about things to do to get a little extra traction (there are MANY eBooks out there competing for readers) and one of the suggestions was, “Let your book go into pre-order for 30 days to build up a few orders, thereby generating at least a tiny bump in the numbers on release day and maybe for a few days afterwards.” So I did.

In the meantime, I do get to continue to make corrections and changes, as well as market and wring my hands anxiously.

On November 1st the pre-orders will all go out and I will do everything I can to get the book released on other eBook sites like Barnes & Noble for the Nook, iTunes as an iBook and Kobo. At the same time I’ll release it for paperback print-on-demand through Amazon.

By the way, if there are any voracious readers out there who would like a free mobi copy right now, I’d be happy to send you one. All I ask is that you seriously consider writing and posting a review the day the book releases, November 1st (which, of course, is another marketing strategy).

Game of Wit and Chance - final eBook cover
Game of Wit and Chance – final eBook cover
Posted in My original writing, Philippines, Publishing | Comments Off on Pre-order of Game of Wit and Chance is here!

Game of Wit and Chance – Cover Next Steps

When I first looked at the two top options for my cover, I loved the look of the brown cover. It was ominous. The spidery boat, the sea and the islands reminded me of the inspiration for this story. It reminded me of the first time I traveled to the Philippines.

However, I thought I was going to go with the second cover. The second, or blue, cover had a person as the focus, and the model reminded me of what I thought my primary protagonist might look like.

Then came people power. The people that shared their opinion changed my mind. So very many people liked the brown cover of the ominous and spidery looking beached boat at low tide that I chose it. And I’m loving it!

I still have some wording changes, but here’s the latest rendition, thanks for being part of the process!

Game of Wit and Chance Cover Draft
Game of Wit and Chance Cover Draft

If you would like to be notified of future blog posts please look for the blog post email sign up on the right side of the website home page to sign up. Thanks for reading.

Posted in Art, Boats and boating, Cover Art, My original writing, Philippines, Publishing, Travel | Comments Off on Game of Wit and Chance – Cover Next Steps

Cover Art Development

I have the first two options to look at for the cover of ‘Game of Wit and Chance’. I must say that I’m thrilled with these first views. I’m posting them both because I’d love to hear feedback from you. Which is your favorite or what do you like about each one? What do the covers say about the story you expect to find inside (my last post tells a bit about what the story is actually about). I want the cover to fit what is inside the package…the story the reader is buying. The bottom line – does one or the other of these covers (or pieces / parts of either) inspire you to pick up the book (or click on the link) and investigate further to see if the story interests you?

Here’s option a:

Cover A

Here’s option b:

Cover B


Posted in Art, Boats and boating, Cover Art, Philippines, Publishing | Comments Off on Cover Art Development

Update on ‘Game of Wit and Chance’

I recently posted the placeholder cover art for my book, ‘Game of Wit and Chance’, on Facebook, but probably should have posted it here instead. For some, the art might be redundant, but the words are new.

Placeholder Cover for Game of Wit and Chance
Placeholder Cover for Game of Wit and Chance

I developed the bones and base for this story during the 2014 November writing sprint effort called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It started out as a prequel to a story I wrote two years ago that I have yet to finish, polish and publish. As it turns out, it simply made more sense to finalize and publish this one first, with the hope that it reaches enough success to pursue the second and third (and possibly more) books in the series.

The story is basically a family saga that begins in the 1930s and chronicles the lives of a Filipino / American couple and their children, ending in the year 1995. It begins in Portland, Oregon in the USA, moves to The Philippines and then expands to Shanghai, China as well.

There’s a little bit of history, a little bit of culture, a little bit of adventure and a lot of drama built in that I hope creates a base, as well as an arc, that will interest readers in on-going tales. My intention is to develop these tales as a series of stories that are internationally themed murder mysteries dealing primarily with smuggling.

I am preparing to publish or do a prerelease (I haven’t decided which) on October 1, 2015, just in time for the holiday buying season. Actually, it might be a month late for the start of the holiday season in The Philippines since Christmas carols and decorations typically start there with the beginning of the ‘ber’ months (September, etc.).

More info to come on the next update!

Posted in China, Cover Art, My original writing, Philippines, Publishing | Comments Off on Update on ‘Game of Wit and Chance’