Thursday, November 7, 2019

The 10 Most Important Things You Need to Know About Your Thyroid Gland



Hope you enjoyed the program.

Cheers, peter
:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include The Intern, coming in 2019 from TouchPoint Press; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series, which was a finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Claymore award; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets. Peter is the creator, producer and host of Your Health Matters, a health information program, which airs on cable television, streams on YouTube and sounds off on podcast. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and four children--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Why I Write, Part II: Writing and the Discovey of Self





I’d just settled into my seat when she sat down, the same lady who’d sat next to me on the same flight exactly one year ago. It had to be her; the pince nez glasses, the narrow, pinched face, the slightly blue tint to her tight perm. I grabbed desperately at the in-flight magazine to shield my face, but it was too late. She recognized me.

“You, eh...”

Her tone implied I had stolen her recipe for homemade ginger snaps, tromped on her parent’s grave or kidnapped her favorite cat.

“Yes, it’s me.”

She slid into the open seat next to me, depositing the world’s largest purse on the floor in front of me.

“You don’t mind, do you?”

I minded, but my head shook of its volition and she patted me on the shoulder.

“I just don’t like anything near my feet... in case we have to make an emergency landing.” (But it was okay with her if got tangled up and burned in the wreckage.) “You’re the writer, aren’t you?”

With no other recourse, I nodded, confirming it. Her lips curdled into a sneer. “The unpublished one.”

This was it, my moment of triumph. After years of going unpublished, I’d received several offers for publication, and my most recent novel (The Intern, TouchPoint Press) was soon to be in print (December, 2019.) But she didn’t even give me a chance.

“I thought I told you to do something else.”

She had, of course; I refer you to my blog of last year documenting the conversation.  Why I Write; Part 1. I shrugged.

“You’re just gonna have to face facts... It’s not happening.”

I suppose I could have interjected here, but I could see she was revving herself up for a diatribe.

“Evvvvery one thinks they’re a writer. Evvvveryone has a story to tell.”

She twirled her alabaster index fingers around and mouthed, “WhhhhuuuupppppyyyyttttyyyyDooooo.”

“For heaven’s sake, even my friend Mabel is writing a book.”

She turned to fix me in her stare, using her index finger to push her glasses back up her nose.

“Mabel, of all people.”

Now, sometimes having a memory for details is a good thing, and sometimes it isn’t, because she’d told me last year that her friend Mable liked to read erotica, and I had spent the better part of the year trying—unsuccessfully—to purge the image of Mable reading 50 Shades of Grey from my cerebral files.

“Erotica?”

She nodded emphatically; the glasses slid very close to the end of her long, angular nose, where they came to rest on a small mole with three white hairs sticking out of it.

“Of course, and do you know what?”

I did not know what. I did not want to know what.

“She asked me to read it over.”

“Did you?”

“What was I going to do? Mabel and I go way back.”

This was a conundrum. My first instinct was to change the subject, to something more pleasant, like ogres eating puppies or 12-year-old bourbon being poured down the drain, but I was possessed of a morbid curiosity I couldn’t exorcise.

“And?”

“It was alright, but I think she went a bit too far with that scene with the foursome in the elevator.”

I was taking the stairs from now on. My hand lunged for the roll of TUMS in my pocket.

“Anyway, I wish Mabel would go back to Canasta... I haven’t used that many Nitro pills since my husband died.”

She lapsed into silence and I almost told her about my book, almost... In the end, I decided to keep quiet, surprising even myself. You’d think that after spending fifteen years writing and trying to get published, I’d want to celebrate finally getting to the finish line. But that’s not why I write.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, because—now that I have a book coming out—it’s no longer a rhetorical question. I write because I’m convinced there is great value in writing (which isn't to stay I’m not going to enjoy being published.) I already am, and I look forward to getting a box of galleys in the mail and reading reviews on line and watching my sales figures on Amazon. But those things are bonuses.

I believe there is value in writing, in the struggle to express oneself. I’m always amazed at how much I learn about myself when I write. In the process of revising The Intern, I realized what I’d been trying to write about when I started the book a few years earlier. The Intern is the story of a young doctor struggling to make it through her first year of residency at an inner-city hospital in Spanish Harlem, and the relationship she develops with a twelve-year-old boy dying of cancer, but that isn’t the driving force behind the book. The Intern is really about the transformational power of love and its ability to bring about meaning and happiness in life.

I have to say I was a little surprised when the theme of the book dawned on me; I guess I’d never thought about it that much, but there it was, literally in black and white. And then I thought about many of the books that have made the biggest impression on me and I realized they were thematically similar. But only in the writing and revising of The Intern was I able to see that, to realize the importance of this theme in my life. That’s what I mean when I say that writing leads to self-discovery, to understanding your true self. And that’s why I think everyone should write. What could be more important than learning who you really are, what actually makes you tick? And it’s free, all you need is a keyboard, or a pencil and paper (which is how I started, only switching to the keyboard after a hundred pages of my first manuscript ended up in my sister-in-law’s pool.)

That’s enough from me, because there’s something else I’ve learned from writing; Keep it short and concise. Besides, my friend next to me has fallen asleep and I want to use the time to do some editing, BECAUSE I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT!

Cheers, peter
:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include The Intern, coming in 2019 from TouchPoint Press; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series, which was a finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Claymore award; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets. Peter is the creator, producer and host of Your Health Matters, a health information program, which airs on cable television, streams on YouTube and sounds off on podcast. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and four children--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Forget about Great: Let's Make America Decent Again


Almost 250 years into our nationhood, the United States of America is mired in a morass of massive proportions. It would be nice to say that the morass is of a strictly political nature, but it would be inaccurate. Our morass is political—let there be no doubt—but it is also physical, ethical, academic, economic, social and environmental. (Add just about any other adjective here.) As we approach our sestercentenial, our roads, bridges and cities are in an appalling state of disrepair; a significant number of our elected officials are either under investigation for ethical breaches or have already been expelled; our primary and secondary schools are failing at an unprecedented rate and our colleges and universities—although still strong—are prohibitively expensive. Worse still, the disparity between rich and poor grows daily, and our leaders (word used with great misgiving) seem more focused on the stock market than stagnant wages, gender and race inequalities, and catastrophic climate change.

My father used to say that if you want to get the mud out of the water, you need to get the hog out of the spring. Of the many hogs in our spring, the biggest and fattest hog—the one most responsible for the mud that flows thick and murky in our water—is the lack of governing taking place at the federal level. How is it possible, I ask you, for any of these problems to be fixed when our national government, paralyzed as it is by partisanship, egoism, and the complete absence of listening, does nothing but breathe hot air and vitriol?

The answer is to turn on its head the usual paradigm of leadership; instead of leading from the top down we need to lead from the bottom up. Our people remain our strength and the only path forward. We live in a democracy, albeit one gravely threatened by the influence of power and wealth, but still a democracy, in which our elected congressmen, senators and executive officers are a mere election away from irrelevancy.

Leading from the bottom up needs to involve more than just voting, however. We need to listen to one another, especially to people with views that oppose are own; we need to respect one another, and to treat every person with dignity; we need to look out for another, especially for the people at the margins of our society; and, above all, we need to shake off the complacency that has led to inaction. Acknowledgement of the problem is the necessary first step to resolving it.

If you are not ready to merely shrug your shoulders and accept the status quo, you can lead us to becoming the country in which you want your children and your children’s children to live. Open your mind to what someone else has to say and, more importantly, to what they do, ignoring his or her gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, and political persuasion. In this day and age of sound bites and social media, it is the walk we walk that defines us. That said, action begins with talk: words matter. Speak carefully and post with caution; one hateful comment, retweeted and amplified by the incredible power of social media, can be a potent and destructive force. Social media is a tool, and, like any other tool, it can be used for a variety of purposes, good or bad. You choose.

Leading from the bottom up is not going to be an easy or quick task, but many hands make light work, and the more hands we have the, the faster we'll be able to get that hog out of the spring.

Cheers, peter

:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include The Intern, coming in 2019 from TouchPoint Press; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series, which was a finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Claymore award; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets. Peter is the creator, producer and host of Your Health Matters, a health information program, which airs on cable television, streams on YouTube and sounds off on podcast. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and four children--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.




Thursday, September 12, 2019

THE Dietary Approach to weight loss Your Health Matters Episode1 Sept 1 ...




Hello All:

Just a quick post to let you know I have started my own YouTube channel, entitled Your Health Matters with Dr. Peter Hogenkamp. It's a health information channel for a time in our history which is over-loaded with health information, much of it contradictory and confusing at best, and, downright misleading and erroneous at worst. I am going to try and guide you through all the info, with a goal toward a healthier, happier you.

Let me know if you have a subject you'd like to learn more about. Just e-mail me at peter@peterhogenkamp.com

Cheers, peter

:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include The Intern, coming in 2019 from TouchPoint Press; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series, which was a finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Claymore award; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets. Peter is the creator, producer and host of Your Health Matters, a health information program, which airs on cable television, streams on YouTube and sounds off on podcast. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and four children--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Why Getting a Novel Published is the Exact Opposite of Shaving a Corn: My Path to Becoming A Published Author, Part I


     I have this patient, let's call her Opal. That's not her name, but you get the point, she was born a long time ago. Opal is a mighty healthy lady despite her many years; she just has this one problem, a troublesome corn on the bottom of her right big toe that makes every step painful. But she's a tough lady, and she hobbles around for a few weeks until she can't stand it another minute, and comes in to see me. She's also a little forgetful, so she doesn't remember she's come in for the same problem at least two dozen times over the years. She bursts into tears when she starts explaining the problem to me, and I assure her I can fix it.
     "You can?"
     The tears slow down; her mouth curls into a hesitant smile.
     "Sure."
     The smile becomes more confident; the tears stop.
     "Ohhh, you don't know how much I would appreciate it."
     I do know, because this exact scenario has transpired so many times I feel like I'm on the set of Groundhog Day. I get her situated on the table and grab my supplies, a #11 scalpel blade and a handful of alcohol wipes, which I use to clean the bottom of her foot. Her corn comes into focus, a nasty little bugger which has grown deep into her flesh. Distracting her with a few lines of the latest song running through my head--in this case, Patsy Cline's Crazy--I wield the scalpel, using short, flat strokes to pare away the thick layers of keratin that have made Opal so unhappy. 
     "Crazy for feeling so lonely."
     In five minutes, it's done. The corn has been reduced to a pile of dead skin shavings on the floor--which reminds me I forgot to put a chuck down to catch the debris--and Opal has tolerated the procedure well, except for the singing.
     "Crazy for feeling so blue."
     She puts the foot down on the floor, tentatively at first, because the one thing she does remember is how much that usually hurts. But the corn is gone, and the pressure of her step is painless. She starts prancing around the room in unadulterated joy, which makes me so happy I don't even mind that her insurance company refuses to pay me for the procedure. I remind her she needs to see the podiatrist (she'll never go) and that's it; a beaming Opal walks out of the office telling anyone and everyone what a great doctor I am.
      "I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying."
     Do you know what goes through my head as I sit there, shaving Opal's corn for the nth time? (Besides the lyrics of Crazy?) Yup, you guessed it, that publishing a book is the exact opposite of shaving a corn. It's possible that this particular thought has never popped into your head--in fact, it's probable, if not certain--but as a physican and an author, it occurs to me every time I shave a corn, which I do two or so times a month. Here's why.

  • Fewer than 1 in every 100 manuscripts submitted to a publisher ultimately gets published, that's less than 1%. In contrast, I have attempted to shave off more than 1,000 corns, and have been successful every time.
  • I started my first manuscript more than 15 years ago (landed neither an agent nor a publisher). I finished my second manuscript 7 years ago (I signed with an agent but, despite much interest, it never sold). I signed a publishing contract in November 2018 for my third mansucript, which I had begun six years earlier. It takes me approximately 5 minutes to shave off a corn, 10 for the really stubborn ones that are as hard as iron. 
  • When a publisher requests my manuscipt (which they only do after reviewing the first one to three chapters and synopsis previously sent) I am not at all confident they are going to offer publication. Why am I so fatalistic, even though I have re-written and edited the manuscript several times? Why am I so pessimistic, even though they have already seen part of the book and clearly liked it? It's a numbers game: My agent and I have sent my three manuscripts off to more than 120 publishers; I have signed just one publishing contract. When a patient calls and asks me to shave off a corn, I am dead certain the patient will leave corn-free and happy.
  • When I get a response back from a publisher after submitting a manuscript, my stomach flip-flops like I'm on a rusty rollercoaster, sweat beads on my brow, my hands shake. When I take a razor-sharp scalpel and cut into a corn, my heart doesn't race, air doesn't stick in my throat.
  • I have been writing, as I mentioned above, for more than fifteen years. In that time, I have made a total of zero dollars (my book comes out summer/fall 2019, so that will change, but still); the insurance company reimbursed me 60$ or so for the ten minutes I spent shaving Opal's corn.
Okay, so there they are, the five reasons getting a novel published is the exact opposite of shaving a corn. I thought it would make a good introduction to my blog series, My Path to Becoming a Published Author. The premise is simple; I waged a long and ultimately successful battle to get published, and, in the process, learned a lot about the publishing industry and what it takes it get over the hump. I'm looking forward to sharing it with anyone who wants to know how a guy with no platform, no MFA, and no previous publishing credits is expecting a box of books--that he wrote--to arrive in the mail.

See you next month.
cheers, peter


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include The Intern, coming in 2019 from TouchPoint Press; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Importance of Being Persistent




My first rejection came in the mail before I turned ten. I had written a story about a police officer and his dog--from the viewpoint of the dog--and sent it to the New Yorker. The rejection came a couple of months later, along with a coupon for a free year's subscription to the magazine. I should have seen it as a harbinger of things to come, but I didn't, remaining blissfully unaware of my fate for forty-five years.

I don't mean to imply that I've had more than my fair share of rejection, but I have had my share. Every writer does. Rejection is simply part and parcel of the business; the part and parcel that every writer hates. But it's a necessary part all the same. Every rejection I've had--after the crying and the stomping of the feet--has led to improvement. There is no better incentive to get better, to hone your craft, than the soul-sucking experience of rejection and the desire not to experience it again.

The other nice part about rejection? It makes the acceptance all the sweeter when it finally comes. And mine finally came. I will take a second to tell you how sweet it was. I honestly felt like I was floating. So many feelings coursed through me--elation, relief, excitement--but the primary one was vindication. After dozens of literary agents, agency readers and interns, editors and publishers have implied that you weren't quite good enough, you get confirmation that you are. And it is confirmation, because every writer knows they can write, that all they need is a chance. They'd have to believe in themselves to keep going despite all the passes and rejections, the seemingly endless stream of bad news.

And that's my lesson to every writer who wants to be published. Keep believing, keep writing, and keep querying. Persist. I suspect this salient advice for anyone trying to do anything, but it is especially germane to the writer in 2018. Persist. Don't let rejection define you as a writer. Keep at it.

I did. Forty-five years after my first rejection at the ago of 9, I am soon to be a published author; The Intern (TouchPoint Press) comes out in 2019. I hope you don't have wait that long, but I will say one thing:

It was worth the wait.

Cheers, peter
:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include The Intern, coming in 2019 from TouchPoint Press; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Wisdom of Swine: The Top 10 Things Pigs Can Teach Us, on the #MINI


There's just something about pigs that makes them fodder for expressions and idioms from all over the world. My father was especially fond of porcine proverbs, and I have included several of his favorites in my top ten. Without further ado (this being the #MINI and all.) here they are:


Number 10: Happy as a pig in mud.

Where's your mud? Wallow in it.




Number 9: Even a blind pig sometimes finds a truffle.

This explains why even I have a good round of golf once in a while.





Number 8: Bring home the bacon.

Not to be confused with 'bring home the soy bacon.'

Number 7: Living High off the Hog.

Life's short, eat the bacon.

Number 6: You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, but It's Still a Pig

Keep this in mind when you watch Fox news...




Number 5: Don't buy a pig in a poke.

I don't want to buy a pig in anything... The B-B-Q place down the street handles all that quite nicely.

Number 4: Pigs Get Fat; Hogs Get Slaughtered

Keep this in mind next year when you fill out your tax return.

Number 3: There's too many Pigs for the Tits

The last couple of piglets will end up Sucking Hind Teat.




Number 2: You Can't Make a Silk Purse Out of a Sow's Ear

You can't really make anything out of a sow's ear, they are as worthless as a sow's ear.

Number 1: If you want to get the Mud out of the Water, you got to get the Hog out of the Spring.

Or out of the White House... #justsaying


Cheers, peter
:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include THE INTERN, a novel based loosely on Peter's medical internship, excerpts of which can be seen on Wattpad; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.