Wherefore art thou, John?

Well, what can I say? I’ve neglected the blog for a very, very long time. Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes and the blog just kept falling on the priority list. Hopefully this post will bring it back up that list and we’ll see more interesting posts in the future (that’s the goal anyway!)

So, let’s step into the time machine and go back a year when I had mentioned in various blog and Facebook posts some ideas for new books I was thinking of writing. One idea was a biography of Capt. Albert Ocha, whom you may remember from Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes. When I was researching and writing Sky Pilot I was very interested in knowing more about Albert as he seemed like a subject worthy of his own book.  Well, I’m proud to say that this book is happening. I am not sure in what form it will come at this time nor am I sure when it will be completed, but I can say that a good 80% of the research is completed and two full chapters have been drafted so far.

Also, for this project I am working with a Co-Author. John Galluzzo, author, historian and all-around groovy dude.  He’s been a great help in getting me over some research obstacles and I know that John will proof read all my writing and get out his “red pen” to catch spelling and grammatical errors I will inevitably send his way. I’m hoping he’s not counting on me to the same for his drafts as he’ll have to proof-read my proof-reading as well. And that could lead to a vicious circle of proof-reading, which nobody wants or needs (and the book will never come out!). You can view John’s Amazon Author Profile here: John Galluzzo @ Amazon

There is also the question of what to do with all the left-over research on Rev. William H. Law. A good fifty percent of the information I found during my research for Sky Pilot, while very interesting and historically important, just didn’t fit into the scope of that book. So what to do with it? How do I get it out there in a form that can be easily digested? Well, I figured some of the information would make for good articles for various maritime and historical journals. A few have already been published in Wreck & Rescue Journal and The Keeper’s Log. And there are at least five more articles written which hopefully will be published in future editions.

But that still leaves a good portion of information that revolves around the Law family’s “pioneer days” in the Les Cheneaux islands. So I’m also writing a book that will focus on this. This project already has about 40,000 words drafted, the rest will come once I figure out how I want it flow. I expect this book will be hyper-local to the Les Cheneaux Islands area and Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan if picked up by a publisher. If not, there are other options to get it out there. We’ll see what happens.

I have also been writing semi-fictional, humorous short stories based on my experiences and travels throughout the great state of Michigan. Semi-fictional in that while these events did happen, they didn’t always unfold in the exact manner in which I am choosing to tell them. Sometimes a good story can become a great story through a bit of embellishment. These embellishments also lend themselves nicely to my particular brand of humor and I find it much easier (and much more fun) to write when what I’m writing amuses even me. As of this writing there are 11 of these short stories completed, a handful in various stages of completion and a list of story ideas that I haven’t started on yet. I am hoping to have enough completed to become a collection big enough for publication. Though there is always the possibility they could be released in other forms. Again, we’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll share one of them on this blog in the future.

Apart from these projects, I also have list of book ideas I also want to work on if and when I have the time. My wife, Kim, is a nature photographer and has built up quite a large portfolio of her work and I have an idea that might blend her photos with my love of Great Lakes history. You can see some of her work on her website at www.kimberlykotzian.com.

The work continues. The blog posts will continue (fingers crossed), though at this time I can’t say how often they will. Stay tuned and if you don’t hear from me for a while, well, I’m probably busy working on all these other projects. Feel free to nag me about it. Thanks.

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John Kotzian was born in Rogers City, Michigan located on the shore of Lake Huron and raised some 30 miles away in Hillman, Michigan. He is the great-great-grandson of the “Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes”, Rev. William H. Law.

His passion for the Great Lakes and its history grew from the stories handed down through both sides of his family about Rev. Law’s travels and relatives lost in the sinking of the S.S. Carl D. Bradley.

He currently resides with his wife, Kimberly, in Brooklyn, MI.
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