johnmac's rants

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Long Month ...

The months of July and early August 2009 were as full of frenzied and high pressured activities as any recent time in Jefferson Valley -- some very sad incidents, some joyous.

There were:
  • End of Semester Activities, Final Examinations, Grading, and Grade Postings at Monroe College.
  • Book Signing at Coogan's Restaurant in Manhattan with Mary Elizabeth Williams, Don Wortzman, and George Hopkins.
  • Two Wakes and Funerals -- our close friend, Mary McGloin, and Margie Wortzman's mother.
  • Onset of Barbara McMullen's as-yet-undiagnosed vision problem,
  • Reading of Poetry from "Writing In My Head" at August's "Rising of the Moon" concert and jam session at the Stadium Restaurant in Garrison, NY.
  • Preparation of course material for my upcoming semester at Monroe and Barbara's at Bard College, Iona College (my alma mater), and Westchester Community College (she is a Visiting Professor at Bard and an Adjunct at the others).
  • Revitalization of my Motor Scooter, quasi-totalled in my confrontation with the front of a woman's car in June (she hit me from beyond).
  • Preparation for and publicity of upcoming (August 22nd) talk on "Publishing-On-Demand" and book signing at Lola's Tea House (details below).
  • Writing and Editing for new projects,
-- very little time for vacation healing rest.

I had planned to catch up with the blog every day but other life events kept getting in the way. A case in point was last night when I came home, planning to write about a number of things -- and found that the wireless network was down. It took me over three hours on the phone with first Cablevision and then Linksys to identify that the router had stopped broadcasting wirelessly (the VoIP telephone connection worked fine as its connection to the router was Ethernet-wired) and turn the system over to a Linksys technician to correct remotely (for a $9.99 fee).

It finally took my interest in the Rhode Island legislation controversy, written about in the last post, that got me to sit down and write -- something I must do more often to justify the costs incurred by my Kindle subscribers.

Come one, come all to:

Talk on "Publishing on Demand" and Book Signing

Saturday, August 22, 2009
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Lola's Tea House
130 Fifth Avenue
Pelham, NY
914 738-2100

John McMullen, Susan Berliner, George Hopkins, and Don Wortzman will be in Pelham on August 22nd for a talk on "Publishing On Demand" and book signings of their respective books.


Susan Berliner has been a non-fiction writer for nearly her entire career, including a twenty-year stint as promotion manager for the Yorktown PennySaver, a large Hudson Valley chain of shopping guides. After beginning as a newspaper reporter for Fairchild Publications, she switched to freelance writing—mainly in education—publishing several book series dealing with editing skills, language arts, and standardized testing, and creating teachers' guides for Reader's Digest. She also freelanced as a reporter for the North County News, a Yorktown Heights, NY weekly. “Dust”, a newly-published supernatural thriller, is her first novel. A graduate of Queens College, she lives in Yorktown Heights with her husband, Larry, where she is writing her third book. She may be reached at

George Hopkins has taught at DeWitt Clinton H.S., St. John’s University, Middlesex College, Columbia Teachers College, as an Exchange Teacher in Puerto Rico and at Susan Wagner High School, where he was Chairperson of English. He was twice named “Teacher of the Year” by the New York Association of Teachers. He has also has led writing workshops for Poets and Writers, the Noble Maritime Museum, and the Community Agency for Senior Citizens and has won awards for poetry, writing, community service, and television production, including recognition by NY 1 as a “New Yorker of the Week” for his 10 year work coordinating a Senior Citizens Poetry Contest and Festival on Staten Island. He is a graduate of Iona College and holds a Master’s Degree from The City College of New York. His recently published mystery suspense novel, “Collateral Consequences,” is a sequel to the previously published “Blood Brothers.” He was born in Brooklyn, NY, raised in the Bronx, lives on Staten Island with his wife Diane, and is the father of four children and the grandfather of eight. He may be reached at

John F. McMullen is a poet, author, journalist, technologist, college professor, consultant, and denizen of cyberspace. He is a graduate of Iona College and holds two Masters degrees from Marist College. He was an executive of Wall Street firms, an officer of three consulting firms, and has taught at NYU, The New School for Social Research, Marist College, Westchester Community College, and Monroe College (where he is presently Professor of Information Technology). The title poem of his first poetry collection, "Cashing A Check," won third place in the 2009 Writer's Place National Poetry Contest. “Cashing A Check” was followed by his second collection, "Writing In My Head," and the chapbook, “With A Chip On My Shoulder.” He is the co-author of a book on telecommunications, the author of over 1,500 news stories, articles, columns, and academic papers, and the editor of “Web 2.0 The Magazine.” He is a native of the Inwood section of Manhattan Island and resides in Jefferson Valley, NY, with his wife Barbara E. McMullen, an educator and entrepreneur. He may be reached at

Don Wortzman, an ex-IBM engineer, has presented original research papers on various technical subjects at major scientific conferences, including those sponsored by The New York Academy of Sciences, The Annual Conference on Engineering in Medicine and Biology, The Numerical Control Society, and The Eastern Joint Computer Conference. He holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from City College of New York, a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University, and has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Mathematics at New York University. His new book, “Daughters of Ishtar,” a suspense thriller, is a departure from his first book, “The Gyroverse,” a non-fiction work based on an original theory that unifies all physics. He lives in Carmel, NY, with his wife Marge. He may be reached at

For those who cannot attend and enjoy the ambiance of Lola's and the wisdom (?) of the authors, the books are available:
Blood Brothers --
Cashing A Check --
Collateral Consequences --
Daughters of Ishtar --
Dust --
The Gyroverse --
With A Chip On My Shoulder --
Writing In My Head --


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