Book Giveaway for “My Cruise Journal”

I am giving away 5 copies of “My Cruise Journal.” To see how this new Amazon feature works and for a shot at one of my journals for free, click on:


See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: My Cruise Journal: A Day-to-Day Diary of my Cruise (Travel Journals) (Volume 2). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Dec 26, 2016 11:59 PM PST, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules


Frederick Fichman



36,373 Miles Per Hour

Ya know, I was thinking about the planitessimal Pluto today, that is what Pluto is called now…a planetessimal. I write science fiction…so it happens with my imagination some times. I drift away to the stars. The New Horizons spacecraft was launched by NASA on January 19, 2006. It travelled 3 billion miles at 36,373mph to get there on July 14, 2015. To me, I think it is an indescribable feat for the human species to accomplish such a thing. Just think, only one hundred years ago travelling over 45 miles per hour in automobile was considered life-threatening. Several pictures from the Pluto close encounter just 7,800 above the surface of Pluto, below. Last picture is of the Pluto moon Charon.
Thought I would just share my musings with you.
Pluto’s moon Charon
Frederick Fichman

“ARRIVAL” New Movie Release – 11-11-16 PART II, Review


There are some movies that can stick with you for a lifetime.  They are vivid and clear in your memory. For me, the four movies that I can remember vividly, almost scene by scene, are “2001,” “E.T.,” “Close Encounters,” and “Star Wars.”

When I saw “Arrival” almost two weeks ago I thought it would be film number 5 on that list. I thought it would be a classic and I even pre-ordered the film on the Apple iTunes Store. Now, I am not so sure.

Yes, it was ingenious in that the beginning of the film was really where the end of the film would pick up after the film was over. It was a flash forward that you would see at the beginning of the film and would not see repeated in the final scenes. You would have to let your mind and imagination fill in the blanks as you walked out of the theater.

The interpretation of the physics concept of Time Dilation, the bending of time and shaping of time rather than it being a straight-ahead/forward linear concept was employed in “Arrival.” I understand the concept and for a science fiction writer like myself it is a wonderful tool to move the story and bend the story. And the concept of conversation circular patterns with artifacts as a language I also find fascinating. But so is Sanskrit and Hieroglyphics, communicating with shapes and patterns.

“Arrival” subdued color, removing a bit of Chroma and intensity of color, may have affected my overall carry-on mood about “Arrival” because I am not a fan of film noir, black and white, sepia-toned, or any other monochromatic method of image presentation. That is not how I see the world and how most of us see the world, unless it is at night that we are seeing the world. I am a daytime person not a nighttime person. It is just what I as an individual prefer. I like the night because the stars, planets, nebula, and galaxies are visible. But to tell a story on film I often see filmmakers purposely use night scenes for a cheaper shoot or to mask more complicated setups that would require more precise cinematography.

Am I making any sense? Maybe yes, maybe no? You have to decide then after you see this film “Arrival” if you feel the same way. The film in retrospect is a little bit of let down now that time has passed since my viewing. I told a friend of mine that I thought the sound design was excellent. And the editing was masterful. He said he thought even better was the sound editing. This friend of mine is and has been an editor, sound editor, director, producer working in Hollywood for decades winning constant industry awards so he knows what is good and what is mediocre and what outright stinks.

So yeah, is was a good movie. The direction, editing, acting, sound, set design all rang true and no mistakes with all of that got in the way of telling the story.

Trite and applicable…it’s like eating Chinese food, in a few hours or less you are hungry again. So, I guess I am hungry for the next sci-film that will move me like “2001” or “Close Encounters” or “E.T.” Maybe Steven Spielberg should try yet another scifi, emotional, and heart-tugging film before he passes the baton. Maybe he should try to produce and direct my “SETI Trilogy.” That is my hope and prayer from a selfish and ever-dreaming science fiction story teller…me

Frederick Fichman


Click Here  or on book cover above to go to Amazon for “The SETI Trilogy”

“ARRIVAL” new movie release, 11-11-16


I saw the new release movie “Arrival” on Friday.

As regular readers of my blog know, I write science fiction. My first book, “SETI” was print published by Penguin USA in the U.S. and Canada and by Headline Press in the U.K. and Australia in 1990. Since then I have written two follow-on novels and completed my SETI Trilogy. But I really can’t stop there. I am in the process of writing book number four. Book four will be then followed by books 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9. I have written the outlines for all books remaining in the series.

And that is why being at the first screening on Friday, the day of release here in the U.S., for “Arrival” was so important for me. I was not disappointed. The script, the direction, the editing, and sound design are all brilliant. The story is about…well, I can not tell you. This film is so constructed that if I told you anything I will have told you everything.

The only thing I can tell you is go see it. It is now and will become a classic in the science fiction genre of films. In about a month or two or when I see that it is available for download in the iTunes Store and my pre-order has been fulfilled I want to tell you my thoughts about this movie…I really want to tell you why this is such an ingenious film, an important film. This will be coming from someone who went to film school at the University of Kansas in the sixties and worked in Hollywood for over 30 years so I somewhat know what I am talking about. There is so much I want discuss and even divulge. So, as I like to say at the end of each of my blog posts…STAY TUNED.


Frederick Fichman

Finally Back After 6+ Weeks


Finally, I am back. We have moved. My new computer is up and running and our home is coming together…although still a lot of boxes to unpack.

Above you will see a picture of my work station. The monitor on top left is for Apple TV, monitor top right is cable TV, and the 27″ on my desk is for my new XPS 8910 Dell desktop computer.

I will be posting new and regular blogs soon, working on more books, and finally getting my podcast up and running.

So, hang in there with me and thank you for sticking around.

BTW, aren’t you glad the election is finally here on Tuesday. I have no idea who is going to win but I’m sure happy that the political b.s. is about to end.

Anyway, thank you again for being patient. bfn.


Frederick Fichman


Here’s What Happened

So, where’s the rest of the book you promised?

Right in the middle of the move to another Arizona location my Dell XPS 8300 died after five years of continuous use. The Blue Screen of Death popped on my monitor, all of you PC users know what that is, and the motherboard was shot. I did diagnostic exercises and went online with my iPad and the conclusion I came to was that the computer was dead.   Luckily, a week before I did a complete PC backup which is now sitting on an external 1TB hard drive.

So in the middle of a move my computer dies and a couple weeks in a hotel room waiting for our house to close we are finally in our new home. And now I wait for the new computer to be shipped from Dell.

When that happens I will be up and running. I will be able to xfer my files and start posting again here on my blog.

A writer finds it frustrating if not painful when he can’t write. Mechanical failure should not be an excuse. But we are in the age of all things digital which means without my computer I am dead in the water. So, please excuse me, be patient. I should be up in running in a couple of weeks. And when I am online again, not just borrowing a computer like I am doing now, I will begin regular posts to my blog.

Take care, hope to contact you soon.


Fred Fichman


Write & Publish Your Ebook-10 Steps to Success

I apologize.

It has been weeks since I posted any solid content. Well, I do have an excuse. We are right in the middle of a move from Prescott Valley, AZ to Marana, AZ. It has been difficult to squeeze out some time to sit in front of the keyboard. Moving is a real pain.

Prescott Valley, at 5,000′ elevation does have great 4-season weather. The air is clean and sky is a beautiful dark azure blue. But, it does lack advantages that a slightly larger city does seem to offer. We are avoiding the crush of Phoenix and moving to a suburb of Tucson. Our elevation will be at about 2,700 feet so we are slightly cooler than Phoenix during the seasons. And the winters in Tucson, OMG, perfect, with an average daytime temperature of 68-70.

The next two weeks will be intense with packing and closing up the computer and our cable connection to the world so I thought I would begin a new series of posts during that time and the next couple of months that will be easy to upload. I am going to upload to this blog with a chapter by chapter non-fiction book I wrote several years ago, “Write & Publish Your E-Book, 10 Steps to Success.” The content is evergreen and just as relevant now as when I wrote it 3 years ago.

There will be others short posts I will try to upload with my iPad but I do want to keep this blog useful to you my readers and followers. So, here we go:


Write & Publish Your Ebook

10 Steps to Success

Copyright © 2016 by Frederick Fichman, Publisher

All rights reserved. No part of this book, in its unique form,

as developed and herein electronically-published by Frederick Fichman,

may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording

or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without

permission in writing from the publisher, except where permitted by law.


Electronically-Printed in the United States of America




Frederick Fichman Publishing

Marana, Maricopa, AZ 85658

Copyright, 2016

This Book Began With A Blog:

Friday, May 3, 2013


Dewey, Cheetum and Howe…the famous law firm that Johnny Carson used to joke about. Johnny who? Okay, for the younger crowd…he was the host of the Tonight Show, on the NBC Network. He was host before Jimmy Fallon or Jay Leno, who was host after Conan O’Brien, who was host after Jay Leno, who was host after Johnny Carson. Ya with me? I don’t know if I’m with me….anyway.


The fictional law firm of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe tried to live up to its firm name. That reminds me of the extreme number of marketing-type-people on YouTube and on the blogosphere and with dozens of websites who are making money by telling you how to make money using YouTube, Pinterest or Facebook. But it’s all about the content, good content, helpful content, and easy to digest in small bite size chunks content. And that’s the question, how to write that content.


Okay, well, I will answer that for you. Write what you know, write what you love. Simple. It’s a basic tenant taught by every script doctor, English professor, and successful writer, writing big 100,000 word novels or columnist writing columns distributed through the web or syndicated to 500 newspapers.


Do you have a skill, a hobby, a love of something, an interest, a curiosity? You must be good at something. You must have been trained to do something. Perhaps you have a vivid imagination. Can you sit at the dinner table and weave a good yarn?


That is the overriding foundation for being able to tell a good non-fiction story, explain clearly a skill or give decent advice on “How To” fix or accomplish some goal in life. If you can do that then you can write it down into a blog, or better yet into a book. It doesn’t have to be a long book but it has to be something someone can learn from or find enjoyment with as they read. Therefore, you can sell an ebook on Amazon Kindle, Barnes&Noble Nook, KOBO Books or iBooks. You can do this.


That is what I am doing, both non-fiction and fiction. My non-fiction books are my interests, my fiction books spring from my vivid and sometimes wild imagination.


Now for the Net-Net as I used to say in my creepy corporate management past. I can tell you how I have come to post up and sell over 20 books on those ebook sellers. I have been writing for a long time and I have learned a great deal about how to write. The question is how I should pass this information along to you. What I am considering is to drop a few pearls of wisdom here on this blog, then package the rest into an ebook and post it up on Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and Nook.


My question to you is…DO YOU WANT ME TOO? If you say no, you won’t hurt my feelings. If you say yes, well then I will deliver for you both here in my blog and in an ebook.


Tell me what you think about all of this. Comment below or go to and fill out the Contact box.


Let’s start with a story. All good books, fiction or non-fiction, should start with a story.

I saw a YouTube video not too long ago that featured a ancient video clip from the Dick Cavett Show. Incidentally, this talk-interview show was taped at an adjunct ABC Studio at 1313 Vine Street where I used to work for a while during my long career at ABC-TV.

Dick was interviewing Truman Capote. He asked Capote if good writing could be taught. Capote did not hesitate. “No,” he replied. “It can’t be taught, either you can write or you can’t.”

Not so, I say. Yeah, if you are writing like Truman Capote you can’t teach that gift from God. It is born skill that some people have. Many have that skill and don’t work to develop it. Some, like Capote, recognize they have that skill and work and work and work at it. They hone their craft. They increase their vocabulary. They create a style. But there is no reason why you can’t rise to some level of competence and skill. If you are reading this book it means you can read. And if you can read and you are reading this book you may just want to start a career, long or short, to write books. Books that can now be published by you on ebook platforms and retailers. Doing so, you then have an interest to write books that sell and that produce successful results.

In the last several years the entire publishing world has been turned on its head. The frothing desire to get an agent to publish your book in print has been supplanted by the ability for you to write and publish your own book. But remember this, you have to be your own editor and you have to be your own marketing guru. You can pay for those services and all of the other requirements to publish and market a book. But before you spend any of your 9-5 money why don’t you first try to do this task yourself. I really do have the confidence in you to do it yourself. I have that confidence because of your interest in this book you are reading now. That interest could very well help you with the writing and sales of your own books, whatever the subject matter. But even before you do all of that you have to write your book. This book is about helping you, guiding you, instructing you with a pathway to at least get the “thing” written, then writing another and then another. With each new book your writing will improve and the process will flow quicker. Your prose will be crisper and interesting. The more you write the more books you will sell.

This is not a book, NOT a book, about the mechanics or the hacks, kinks, or tricks about how to glean sales or marketing data from the electronic book sellers. This is NOT a book about all the marketing tools you can apply once your book is written. This book is about writing your book, the philosophy and mental gymnastics you must perform to write your book. This book is about how to write your book in the first place before you begin sales and marketing. It’s about exercising your writing skills.

You have to create a product to sell the product, obviously. I want to help you with the thought process to create that book. This book is about the art of creation. That is not a simple black and white issue. It is somewhat ethereal and somewhat mysterious. But there are ways to approach the process that will help you organize your thoughts and skillfully present them in a book that looks professional, that is helpful and appears to be well thought out. It will be a positive and interesting product your readers will enjoy.

In the end you will have created a book that you wrote based on your skill or that you can be proud of and that has the possibility of success. There is no guarantee of success but if you don’t try, if you don’t write your book you will never know. Give it and yourself the chance to succeed and to have a heck of a lot of fun in the process.

One more quick story and then we’ll get at it.

In 1990 my science fiction novel “SETI” was published in print by the New American Library ROC imprint from publisher Penguin USA in the U.S. and Canada and Headline Press in the U.K. and Australia. As my book began to sell and get some traction I started to get invitations to writing conferences. One I attended in Los Angeles. I sat on the dais telling the packed workshop room in hotel in Orange County how I came to write my book. Question & Answer time started and someone stood up and said, “It seems that just about anyone with an interest in science fiction can write a book like yours. It looks easy.”

There was an uncomfortable murmur throughout the room. Several people near the questioner turned and gave him a dirty look. Someone quietly told him to shut up and sit down. And then the assembled crowd turned their gaze toward me. How was author Frederick Fichman going to answer that snarky comment? I answered by suggesting to the gentleman that when this conference day was over he go home and sit in front of his typewriter, remember this was just before electronic word processing. I suggested he stick in a blank piece of typing paper into his typewriter and begin to write the first chapter of his Great American Novel. I suggested he not start with using the first sentence, “…It was a dark and stormy night…” or “….In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth…” Not so easy, eh?

All I can say now is, that’s not bad advice. Every journey begins with the first step, as the old hackneyed saying goes. You have to start somewhere. So, why don’t we start, “…In the beginning….”

I’ll post another chapter next week. Stay Tuned and thank you.

If you want to download the entire book now, go to:

Frederick Fichman


3 Children’s Journals Just Print Published on Amazon Create Space

Kids Journal Cover RENNA copyChildrens Cruise Cover RENNA RENNAChildren's Travel Cover copy

“Are we there yet?” The famous, or infamous question we have all heard from our backseat children asking over and over if the family has arrived for its anticipated destination.

There are many activity books, coloring books, and video attention grabbers available to keep little minds occupied. Well, here is something new. I have just designed, written, and published three journals, or diaries, that will keep children engaged and active during any journey in a car, aboard a cruise ship, in a national park, or just out for a day trip in the neighborhood. In the travel section of my website, I have added three new journals to my ever growing list of journals now available for purchase. The new titles are: “National Park Journal for Children,” “Cruise Journal for Children,” and “Travel Journal for Children.” I have made these journals available in color and packed them with artwork and ample space for your kids to write or draw.

Not only will these journals keep your children engaged for each day of your vacation but they will also urge them to use their imaginations and their little growing minds. Writing down their thoughts and drawing images in these journals is a great stimulation and boost to the learning curve for little minds developing quickly. And years from now, those thoughts and images that your children produce now will be a memorialization of those years when the world was new and bright and fun.

Each child in your family should have a copy of these journals and should be encouraged to begin early life habits of daily discipline and using their imaginations to explore their new world.

Click on the covers above or the links below to be taken directly to Amazon’s Create Space Store to order copies of these journals for your children. They will have fun participating with these journals and you may just get a few minutes of peace and quiet. Have some fun family, you and they deserve it.

“National Park Journal for Children”

“Cruise Journal for Children”

“Travel Journal for Children”

Thank you and bye for now.

Frederick Fichman &




“My RV Travel Journal Just Published” – 7/27/16

My RV Travel Journal Cover copy

When we had our 30 Coachman Concorde class “C” RV during our time in Texas, we had the time of our lives. We visited many states and saw a number of National Parks taking in the sights and sounds of our exploration. There is only one regret, however…we did not keep a journal. I did not write down what we saw, what we experienced and how we felt at seeing such beauty and splendor. I am positive that had I done so I would have turned those journal entries into a book or two, or three, or more.

I started a new publishing company dedicated to directly fix that problem. The company is called Journals Central and you can find it online at I have over 45 journals ready for purchase. These are print books available from Amazon CreateSpace subsidiary. Just go to my website and click on the book cover you wish to purchase. These books are inexpensive and you will thank yourself years from now for taking the time to memorialize and make diary entries in your journal for all the experiences you had during a wonderful trip, excursion or expedition.

When the initial JournalsCentral book catalog is complete at the end of this year there will be over 100 journals to choose from. I am also encouraging all of you to write me at to let me know what journals you would like to see added to our catalog.

“My RV Travel Journal has just been published today as I write this blog. You can visit the Amazon page directly by clicking on this link: or clicking on the book cover above or below. Check it out. Thanks.

My RV Travel Journal Cover copy

Frederick Fichman