A Parent's Guide to helping children succeed in high school

About Me

Richard Michael Holmes, a freelance writer, leads a double life.  During the winter months, he resides in Venice, Florida.  Late spring, summer and early fall he lives in upstate New York.  Retired after forty-three years in a number of roles in secondary education, both public and private, he spends most of his free  time reading and writing. 

Published in numerous periodicals, journals, and newspapers, he currently is a guest columnist in the Venice Florida, Gondolier Sun

For Parents Only:  Straight Talk from Inside the American High School is his first book (2008).


Something to check out...a watercolor series called "Buffalo Treasures" by a former student of mine (1963/1964) David J.W. Manny.  He is also doing a series called "Albany Treasures" which will include Watervliet High School where I worked for 33 years.  To view the series go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrc3BcxNUh0 or  simply go to David's website...www.feelgoodgreetings.com.


Personal note:  My second book is in its very early writing stage.  I have tentatively titled it, done a rough outline and written the first couple of chapters.  Each chapter gets several re-writes.  I suspect that this book will take much longer to write than For Parents Only.  My target completion date is about the first of the year (2010).  But we'll see.  Sometimes the writing comes rushing out of me.  Sometimes it's labored.  I try to write a bit each day but I can't do that every single day.  Either the mood isn't there...or I have worldly chores to do like changing  the oil in the lawnmover or painting the storage shed.  More about the book as it develops.  If you can't wait and want to know more, e-mail me and I'll get right back to you with the best information I can give at that moment in time.

UPDATE:   I am now in the middle of chapter five.  This is a very important chapter as it sets the format for all future chapters.  Chapter five is taking me longer to write than I expected but I'm trying to be very careful with its content and its message.  For those who are curious about such things, I admit that I'm only able to write two to three hours a day.  It is too intense at least for me to write any longer than that.  I write almost every day...on average five days a week.

UPDATE:  Chapter five is finally completed.  I have started chapter six and expect this one to move along at a better pace.  But...who knows?  I'll keep you posted.

 UPDATE:  It's been a productive couple of weeks.  Chapter seven is now complete.  Today (or tomorrow) I'll start chapter eight.  Each chapter in this book takes a lot of thinking and writing and thinking and writing.  However, little by little it's coming along.  I'm still optimistic about completing the manuscript by January 1, 2010.

 UPDATE:   Nine chapters completed;  three to go.  Finish by January 1?   I doubt it but will try.  Today is December 7.  Holiday interferes with writing.  It shouldn't but it does. 

UPDATE:  The holidays did a number on my writing time.  Today is January 1, 2010, and still only nine chapters are complete.  Obviously I missed my self-imposed deadline.  However, starting next week I'll discipline myself to write on a daily or almost daily basis.  Goal is now to complete the planned twelve chapters by the end of February at the dead latest.

 UPDATE:  Finally, Chapter Ten is complete.  Two chapters left to write.  But then, the laborious process of editing and proofing.  I still expect all this to be done by the end of February.  The Eternal Optimist.

UPDATE:  Here it is, the 20th of February, 2010.   Good news:  Chapter 11 is complete.  Now on to Chapter 12 and possibly a very short Epilogue.  I see light at the end of the tunnel.

 UPDATE:  It is March 16 and, finally, the last chapter is written along with an Epilogue.  The book is complete.  Now comes the laborious task of editing and revising.  I'm going to try to do that as quickly as possible.  However, I know all too well that this work cannot be rushed too much.  My target date for this final step is April 10.  Wish me luck.

UPDATE:  April 23, 2010...Having word processing problems.  Delay, delay, delay.  Fortunately, I have hard copies of all the chapters.  Starting on May 1, I will retype the entire manuscript.  I will use this laborious task as an opportunity to revise and edit.  I suspect this will take me up to two weeks of full time work.  Then...off to the publisher.

 UPDATE:  June 5, 2010...Have completed all editing, revising, rewriting.  Now I have to type the whole book all over again...and save it on a disk or a flashdrive.  Will start this weekend.   

UPDATE:  July 7, 2010...I'm close to completely retyping the entire book.  I'll finish in the next three days.  Then I need to save it on a flashdrive or disk.  I'll make two more hard copies of the manuscript and shoot it off to the publisher.  If all goes well, it should be released in three to six months.  By the way, the title is not yet cast in stone but it will be by the end of this week.  I'll let you know what it is.  I'm very satisfied with this new book.  I'm really looking forward to its release and discussing its content.

UPDATE:  July 12, 2010...It's done!!!  Book #2 is complete.  Now...it must be proofread and saved on a flash drive.  Then I must find a publisher.  I may use Publish American, the company that published "For Parents Only:  Straight Talk from Inside the American High School" in 2008.  Book #2 is now tentatively titled:  "Just Lucky I Guess:  Lessons I Learned Through 43 Years in High School."

UPDATE:  September 28, 2010..."Just Lucky, I Guess:   Lessons I Learned

through Forty-three Years in High School" is in publication and should be

released in about two weeks.