The first month of the new year is almost over and I am already about six months behind schedule. That does not bode well for the rest of 2016. Still, I am rather confident that others feel the same way. 
Kicking off the new year with a cold that kept me down for a day or two did not help. Likewise with some unexpected issues that cropped up in the last week of December, each of which required immediate resolution. 
A large part of this month has been consumed with a push to complete the first draft for the new book even though the deadline for the review chapter is the 15th of February, with the complete project to be submitted on our before April 15. However, with possible jury duty pending it seemed best to finish the project in a timely manner. 
That, in turn, led to the shelving of a few other projects. Simply put, these secondary endeavors were of importance but the importance was not on the same scale as the completion of the first draft. 
Okay, this may seem like one of those after midnight commercials but the advertisements are what pay the bills and what keeps the programs on the air.
So, this weeks primary projects include completing the “Your Story” page, and updating the section that will allow readers to purchase the latest book, Jim Hinckley’s America. Also on the list, a valiant effort to finalize plans for the trip to the European Route 66 Festival in Germany this coming July, and the initiation of an international marketing campaign for the Armchair Tour of Route 66 presentations.
Yesterday, in a marathon writing session that left my backside numb, I completed the draft and sent it to the editor this morning. That in turn sparked an interesting series of emails, some of which left me just a bit confused and a whole lot frustrated. Times such as these leave me wondering why, exactly, I decided that a quest to become a writer was a good idea. 
The weekly Your Story contest has generated a surprising amount of interest. If your not familiar with this, here are a few brief details. 
Send the story of your Route 66 memory or adventure to me. Each week one story will be selected and shared with readers in a blog post. Eventually, hopefully this week, the stories will be archived on a special page. Once a month the winning story will be selected from those published, and the author will receive a copy of Travel Route 66.  
Now, lets talk about the Armchair Tour of Route 66 presentations. As the Route 66 Association of Kingman discovered a week ago when more than eighty people purchased tickets, this is an ideal fund raising platform for an organization, museum, or event. It is also a great component to add to a festival. As a bonus, it also generates a passion for traveling Route 66 as well as harnessing the resurgent interest in the road as a catalyst for revitalization. 
So, if you are planning a fund raiser, an event, or festival, and would like to retain my services please let me know. I should note that each presentation is customized to the audience or specific need. 
Obviously, for all concerned, it would be best if these presentations could be coordinated with my travel schedule. As an example, since we will be in Germany in July, this would be the best time to schedule a European appearance. 
With that said, the current travel schedule for 2016 looks something like this; a trip to California in early February (dependent on jury selection), a trip to Missouri in April, a trip to Holbrook in June, and a trip to Missouri in October. Please note, I can also arrange a special presentation and event for your tour group in Kingman or at Grand Canyon Caverns. 
Now, on to new business. As I write this afternoons post, estimates are being written by Legacy Signs for the restoration and installation of several historic neon signs. In addition, plans are being developed for the recreation of a few historic signs, and a formal dedication ceremony for the Running Hare sculpture. The Route 66 Association of Kingman is moving forward as promised.
In the morning I meet with the managers and directors at Ramada Kingman to discuss the marketing and promotion of their exciting packages, and the development of additional ones. I should be able to provide details in the next post.
On Wednesday, I will meet with David Witt of Nostalgic Datsun who is planning a tour for his group in 2016. Updates on this endeavor will also be provided.
There are some other developments pending but I do not have enough information at this time. Suffice to say, a few of these look rather interesting. 
So, to wrap this up today, don’t forget to send your Route 66 story. Happy Trails, mi amigos –    
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