The Wishful Traveler

Randolph Randy Camp at Travis Air Force Base

Randolph Randy Camp at Travis Air Force Base

I grew up poor in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia. I was a nerd and absolutely loved going to school because it was an escape from my sometimes dismal surroundings. I loved reading books about different cultures around the world and I would dream about going to these exotic places one day.

When I’d joined the US Air Force (after high school) I was able to travel the globe and actually visit some of the places and cultures I’d read about as a child.

I was fascinated by the Australian Aborigines, and when I was fifteen years old, I took part in my own ‘walkabout’. Let me explain: When I was 15, I went on a ‘journey’ from my rural hometown in Virginia to the bustling City of Philadelphia. Well, the juvenile court system said that I was a ‘runaway, and you should’ve seen the look on their faces when I tried to explain to them that I was simply on ‘my walkabout’.

Thank God for the US Air Force because during my numerous overseas tours, I was very fortunate to visit one of my favorite places, which is Japan. Not only did I visit mainland Japan while traveling in the Air Force, but I also got a chance to see the Island of Okinawa, Japan as well.

I certainly know what it’s like to ‘want to see the world’ but you maybe stuck in a financial bind and unable to fly and travel at will. Please take a lesson from me and just go to your local public library and you’ll be amazed at how far those books will take you. – Randolph Randy Camp

Learn more at http://www.goodreads.com/randolphcamp 

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Those Rappahannock Dreams

wetmatchesRandolphRandyCamp

Jalan had Shelly’s back. Crystal had Jalan’s back. And God had Crystal’s back as they joined together to give five homeless teens a second chance at a better life. Robbie is one of the homeless teens in ‘WET MATCHES: A NOVEL’ who plays the guitar and sings…

RAPPAHANNOCK DREAMS
Leaves fallin’ down and tears in my eyes
I sit by this river and cry and cry
But just like running water…running water
These Rappahannock dreams keep passin’ me by
But some day soon I’m gonna get away from here
Just like running water…clear and clear
I sit by this river and cry and cry
Somebody please…please
Tell me why these Rappahannock dreams keep passin’ me by

*RAPPAHANNOCK DREAMS was written for the character Robbie in ‘Wet Matches: A Novel’, an award-winning story about a colorful group of homeless teens getting a second chance at a better life.
US Copyright Reg# PAu003585960 R. Camp

Learn more at http://www.goodreads.com/randolphcamp

Posted in at risk youth, Author Randolph Randy Camp, bullying, coming of age, Rappahannock River, rcstories, Spotsylvania County, teen fiction, teen runaways, troubled teens, troubled youth, Virginia books, wet matches, writer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Turtles

falsedandelionsRandyCamp

A few years ago, I remember telling my friend that I was thinking about writing a story about a character named Turtle. She misunderstood me and replied, “Randy, I know that you love to write but I didn’t know that you wrote children’s books also.” Our conversation was brief but ended on a positive thought so I left it as that and didn’t bother to explain myself further. Actually, Turtle is one of the main characters in my novel FALSE DANDELIONS, a Southern tale about the lives and dreams of underdogs. Turtle is an aging street dog who is tired of always being somebody else’s errand boy and struggles to break out on his own.

Sometimes, we all may find ourselves in a place where we don’t want to be. And at times, there’s no difference between people like Turtle and you and I. Every single day of the week somebody is struggling to climb out of their hole. I believe that there’s a little Turtle in all of us, and that’s why I wrote False Dandelions. The better we understand people like Turtle, the better we can reach out and help them.

Learn more at http://www.goodreads.com/randolphcamp

Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, Books, country star, Crime Fiction Novel, emerging writer, False Dandelions, Fredericksburg, Interracial love, interracial love story, Novel, Rappahannock River, rcstories, Southern Crime Fiction, Southern Noir Fiction Novel, Spotsylvania, Spotsylvania County, writer, writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staying Humble

Author Randolph Randy Camp

Author Randolph Randy Camp

No, I don’t drive a fancy car or have an assistant or an entourage. Instead, my riches come from my readers who take the time to send me an email with a question or two about my writings and sometimes a question or two about myself. It always brings a smile to my face when I check my email and there’s a long list of messages from my readers. Coming from humble beginnings as a child I try not to let my head swell too much when I’m getting any attention or requests for an interview or a book talk.

A couple weeks ago, I’d received an email from a young lady in Amherst, New York, which is a very affluent area outside the city of Buffalo. She’d explained to me that her small book club had just read one of my novels and they would like to have me come in person for a meet-the-author book discussion.

A few evenings ago, I went to this young lady’s residence (which actually is a mini-mansion) in Amherst and I took part in their book club’s very lively and engaging discussion. When I first arrived there I saw colorful finger foods and appetizers that looked so delicious but I surely didn’t know what they were or how to pronounce their names, and I was treated like I was really somebody.

The very next day, just to keep myself in check, grounded and down to earth, I went to volunteer at the popular soup kitchen near Utica and Main Street in Buffalo, and I helped the staff there with serving lunch to a sizeable crowd of homeless and street people. I truly know what it’s like to be standing in line at a soup kitchen, and sometimes I have to physically revisit that reality just to keep myself humble.

Learn more at http://www.goodreads.com/randolphcamp

Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, Books, emerging writer, Modern Writer, Novelist, rcstories, reading, teen fiction, writer, writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Never Forget My Hometown

Randolph Randy Camp, Spotsylvania High School

Randolph Randy Camp, Spotsylvania High School

At age 18, I wrote a “LETTER TO THE EDITOR” which was published in the local newspaper FREDERICKSBURG FREE LANCE- STAR on June 5, 1979…

PUT SOMETHING BACK, GRADUATES URGED
To the Editor:
I am a senior at Spotsylvania High School and will be graduating in a couple of weeks. This year many seniors from our area high schools will be going away to colleges and trade schools to become professionals in the business world and other fields. I hope that many of us will return to this area to put our skills and special training to work. We must not forget where we come from or those who helped us to get where we are (or will be). I can’t speak for every senior, but I have taken something very valuable from this area, and I feel that I must put something back to show my appreciation. I am speaking of education. I have learned that a person should give if he or she has received. I hope that the class of ’79 will join me in the future to reimburse our hometown.
RANDOLPH CAMP
Spotsylvania

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Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, coming of age, Fredericksburg, high school, rcstories, Spotsylvania, Spotsylvania County, Spotsylvania High School | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something To Read

Randolph Randy Camp

Randolph Randy Camp

Over the weekend I’d visited someone and noticed that there wasn’t one piece of reading material in her house. Ever since I became involved with the I HAVE A DREAM FOUNDATION in Los Angeles quite a few years ago I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever I could to ensure that a household had some type of reading materials around regardless of the family’s income level. Especially if there were school-age kids living there I would go out and get a magazine, children’s book, comic book or a paperback novel.

Without offending my friend, I told her that I was going to the local library to purchase some old books for her kids. Most local libraries take older books out of circulation and sells them to the public for 25 cents and 50 cents per book. I got lucky and found a bundle of kid’s books in decent shape at the branch library only four blocks away and my friend’s kids were delighted to get their new gifts.

Over the years, especially after working with at-risk youth and low-income families involved with the I HAVE A DREAM FOUNDATION in LA, I’ve noticed a big difference in a kid’s attitude towards school and life in general, if and when they have a sincere interest in reading. A kid’s world becomes brighter when they start reading. Period. – Randy Camp

Learn more at http://www.goodreads.com/randolphcamp 

Posted in anti-gang, at risk youth, Author Randolph Randy Camp, Books, coming of age, rcstories, reading, troubled teens, troubled youth | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sad Goodbye to My Daisywheels

This morning was a pretty sad morning because I’d finally said goodbye to two friends who’ve been with me for a lot of years. In this techno age of fancy computers, micro-chips, and fast-paced gadgetry, I’d typed my most recent screenplays and manuscripts with my daisywheel typewriters, a Smith Corona SL 480 and a Brother 310 AX Series. If you’re not familiar with these old electric typewriters and daisywheels just picture a bicycle rim with its numerous spokes, only smaller. Similar to a bike rim, a three-inch daisywheel has numerous spokes, with each spoke having a protruding letter, number, or symbol at its end. (A lot of vintage IBM typewriters had a rotating ball instead of the multi-stemmed daisywheel.) These daisywheels, correctable ribbons, and other parts for these aging typewriters are hard to find in office supply stores nowadays and some stores have completely stop selling electric typewriters and their accessories all together.

My Smith Corona was so cool and reliable. She had stylish curves around her edges and she never gave me any lip or back talk over the years. I had typewriters before that would grumble and make funny noises about this or that but my Smith Corona never complained about anything. She just came to work, clocked in and let me tap her keys for hours at a time and would never fuss about a thing.

Well, things were okay up until about a week ago. That’s when the daisywheels on the Brother 310 and the Smith Corona 480 started to rattle a bit and lose their proper fitting next to the ribbon cartridge, which means that a loose-seated daisywheel could potentially cause a writer to get an ‘A’ on the paper instead of the intended ‘J’, and so on.

I’m going to miss seeing the fonts of these electric typewriters. They are very distinctive and unlike any fonts found on today’s computers. I’m going to miss that monotone pitch every time I would tap those old keys. Yes, I’m an old dinosaur but I guess there comes a time when an old dinosaur must make some changes and adapt to its new surroundings in order to survive. – Randy Camp

Learn more at http://www.goodreads.com/randolphcamp

Author Randolph Randy Camp

Author Randolph Randy Camp

Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, manuscript, Modern Writer, rcstories, screenplay, typewriters, writer, writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment