Challenge,  Misc,  News

Walking Again And Not Attending 20Books..

Got Two 5K Runs This Saturday…

One run in the morning, one run in the evening. I am a long ways from being in good enough shape and down enough weight to actually run both of them. But both are great charities and worth the support, so we are going to try it. I will do a bunch of walking.

One is a Donny Osmond run, meaning he uses his name to support the charity. I actually talked with him a couple years back about a book I started to write for him that fell through thirty years ago. He didn’t remember and I would have been shocked if he had. I think back then we actually only talked a few times. If I could find it in my records I’d give him the 100 pages that got done. But got a hunch I tossed it a long time ago.

So last night with Kris I walked to the theater, and tonight I went out for a mile-plus fast walk. So I have a streak of actually walking outside. Feels great.

Some Conferences…

I will be headed for Writers of the Future in Hollywood next week, but I have dropped out of 20Books here in Vegas in November. The reason? The pandemic. But why am I going to one and not the other? How the conference is handling the pandemic is why.

Writers of the Future has a vaccine mandate. And have all sorts of nifty things in place to keep us all safe including wearing masks all the time. So I will drive over to Hollywood and feel really safe there. And give a talk to the writers and present an award in a tux. Oh, joy, wish I had lost this weight now.

20Books has no Covid policy except what the hotel mandates. That is masks while inside and a few of the hotels are known for not enforcing masks until forced by fines and the state and the gaming commission. That hotel has been mentioned a few times in those articles.

I am going to be 71 at the time of that conference, so just nope. I am sorry if I disappoint someone who wanted to see me. If the conference had vaccine mandates or testing or even a policy, I would have loved to go, but we are just not out of this enough yet for me to risk it.

I really hope to be around for a bunch more years, writing and having fun. Taking foolish risks at this age is just not a health plan I want to do. I’ll stick with walking and trying not to get hit by busses.



  • Rob Cornell

    That’s too bad about 20Books. While I’m not attending, I planned on catching you and Kris on the livestream. But I completely understand and one-thousand percent support your decision not to go. Without any safety policies in place, I wouldn’t go either. And I’m only a little over half your age. I have to wonder how many attendees are like me and have kids still too young to vaccinate. Not worth the risk.

    I’ll make do with seeing you in the Making a Living With Novels workshop next month. ?

    Stay safe!

  • Britt Malka

    I’m down 41 lbs since April 7. I still want to get rid of another 88 lbs… then I’ll be as fit as when I was 32. We’ll see 😀 I dream about running sometimes, but that’s as close as I’ve gotten to it. It’s impressive what you do.

    But I must say, Dean, that your words “There are no old fat people” are an inspiration. Not that it’s hard to drop fat following this diet. But your words echoed in my head many times.

    I have “There are no old fat people” as one of my random taglines in my emails. Good to remember. (Although I have a friend around 80 who says that he’s living proof there is.)

    • dwsmith

      Wow, Britt, fantastic!! Just focus on the next pound and the next, like a sentence in a novel and pretty soon it just adds up.

      I consider 80 still young. I am almost 71.

      I said that phrase accidentally sitting in a restaurant at a casino with my closest friend as I was looking around at all the skinny elderly people around us. He was just over 360 at that point and shorter than me by two inches and same age. The saying stuck with him as well and I was embarrassed I had said it. He just laughed and went home and told his doctor who nodded and laughed and said he was going to put the saying on his wall in his office. And Jim said he did and credited it to me. My friend is now down 115 pounds, has basically cured his diabetes, dropped his blood pressure below mine, and walks every day. Considering how many friends I lost this last two years, that just makes me smile.

      Stay at it!!

    • dwsmith

      Just extreme caution if you have health issues. If you are healthy and have both vaccines, you should be fine keeping a mask on inside. We were bummed, but we are older and don’t dare take a risk. I am going to Writer’s of the Future because they mandated everyone have vaccines and will check it. Plus they will enforce masks. I feel safe as I could be there.

  • Dave Strand

    I’m with Dale. I saw that Kris and you and a number of other presenters decided not to come. If the COVID policy is that iffy, I think I’ll attend virtually and save the money I’d have spent on the room and airfare.
    It would’ve been great to see you.

    What is it they say about discretion?

    Stay well.