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About Christopher Walters

Retired educator of science now reveling in good books and music.

See the USA!

See the USA!   While it not possible to safely travel around our great country at this moment, it IS possible to see some of the most popular tourist sites while at your computer via live webcams. If you like to visit our great National Park system go to and search by the park name or just search for the list of webcams. For more webcams all around the country check out EarthCam  and search by state. Below is a list of a few of the live views you can access. Simply click on the location to be linked to the webcam!  Besides seeing these places, it is interesting to see the effects that stay at home directives have had in some of these areas. Some of the cameras have sound as well, check out the Niagara Falls site and listen to the powerful rush of the water over the falls. Many of these places also have virtual tours you can take and further explore the area. Below each location is a link to eBooks that are in the KCPL collection. Each book is connected to the location; either in setting or story. Safe Travels! San Francisco bay Cult City - Daniel J. Flynn Alta California - Nick Neely Seattle Space needle  A Engagement in Seattle - Debbie Macomber Improbable Cause - J.A. Jance Gatlinburg, TN Guide to Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Michael Oswald Willa of the Wood -Robert Beatty Chicago lakefront Chicago - David Mamet City of Scoundrels - Gary Krist Key West, FL Turtle in Paradise - Jennifer Holm Rum Runner - Tricia Leedom Bad Monkey - Carl Hiaasen St. Louis Gateway Arch Fatal Frost - Nancy Mehl The Dead [...]

By |April 21st, 2020|Categories: blog, Featured Post, KCPL|Comments Off on See the USA!

Albums Inspired by Books

  Musician and author crossover and linkage is nothing new. Many authors have contributed lyrics to songs, or had their words adapted to song lyrics. Authors, for example Stephen King, use song lyrics when introducing chapters or sections of some novels. It isn't an exaggeration to say that the two groups are intertwined. Here are some of the musical works that have been inspired by works of literature. This is just a small sampling of the many songs and albums that fit the description. Enjoy the music and the words!   1. Animal Farm by George Orwell – Pink Floyd’s Animals Orwell makes his first appearance on this list with Pink Floyd’s Animals album. The songs, “Dogs”, “Sheep”, “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” are thematically tied to the personification in Animal Farm. Lyricist Roger Waters doesn’t draw from the plot of the book, instead leaning into the idea of people as predators (“Dogs”), followers (“Sheep”), and ruthless despots (“Pigs”). Orwell’s book was an attack on Stalinism; however Waters’ lyrics are more of a condemnation of capitalism. 2. Clockwork Angels by Kevin Anderson – Rush’s Clockwork Angels This one is a bit of a reverse. Rush lyricist Neil Peart developed the basic story and wrote the lyrics that outlined the story in concept. The lyrics became song “chapters” that drove the plot. Later, writer Kevin Anderson, who was a friend of Peart’s, wrote the novelization based on the outline the songs presented. Anderson described the novel as “In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and [...]

Self-publishing: Q & A with first time author

Recently I sat down and talked with long time friend and first time fiction author Rick Ferguson about his experiences self-publishing his fantasy novel "The Screaming Skull".  If you are considering a foray into self-publishing his answers may help you find your way. Q: Why self-publish over sending the book out to publishers? A: For me, the choice to self-publish was a no-brainer. To go the "trad" publishing route would have required: six months to a year to find an agent (that's if you survive dozens of rejections); six months to a year for the agent to find a publisher (that's if you survive another several dozen rejections); and six months to a year before the publisher brought the book to market. That's an 18-month to three-year process to trad-publish versus four months to self-publish and get the book immediately into the hands of readers. In addition, the publisher would most likely have required multiple changes to the book, would have allowed me no control over the cover or blurb, and would have offered me a 15% royalty rate vs. the 70% royalty rate I enjoy through self-publishing. Trad publishers no longer market your book for you but expect you to market your book yourself--and they're unlikely to even give you that opportunity unless you already have an established audience via another platform. The only advantage left to trad-publishing is the opportunity to get your book into brick-and-mortar bookstores--where it would compete for shelf-space with already established authors. There are really only two disadvantages to self-publishing. One, you're attempting to stand out in a market flooded with inferior product. Trad-publishers serve the "gatekeeper" role to ensure only quality books get published; in the indie market, [...]

By |December 13th, 2018|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|Comments Off on Self-publishing: Q & A with first time author

Beyond Acadia: 10 Places to Visit in Maine Outside the Park

Acadia National Park is a national treasure. If you haven’t made the trek, then put it on your bucket list. I first made the trip over thirty years ago and have been there almost every year since. During those trips my family and I have visited many other places beyond the park and the tourist destination of Bar Harbor. Here are a few recommendations – with links to informational websites. 1. Roque Bluffs State Park We stumbled on this gem while on a drive up the coast. Located just over an hour north of the turn off to Acadia (Ellsworth, Maine) this secluded spot is perfect if you want some peace and quiet. The beach sits surrounded by islands and peninsulas, so the surf is gentle. Sit in your beach chair and let the beauty of nature heal you. Bring some water shoes because the rocks near the ocean can be sharp if you want to get your feet wet. Swimming is permitted, but the water will be cold. Across the road, adjacent to the parking lot are picnic areas as well as a pond suitable for warmer swimming. Kayaks for the pond are also available to rent. A series of rough walking trails take you around the pond and into the woods nearby. Another trail winds through a field that may be yielding blueberries if you are lucky. Be aware, there is a small entrance fee requested as it is a State Park.  Roque Bluffs State Park 2. Portland Portland could be a vacation by itself. There are many shops and restaurants that line the waterfront, and boat tours of all types are available. Walk along the Eastern Promenade to enjoy views [...]

By |August 28th, 2018|Categories: Featured Post|Comments Off on Beyond Acadia: 10 Places to Visit in Maine Outside the Park