Gina McKnight, Author, Freelance Writer, Equestrian, Blogger, and Poet! Welcome to my international blog about horses, writers, authors, books, cowboys, equestrians, photographers, artists, poets, poems, and more horses.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016
Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway Volume One by No Sweat
Robbie Robbins aka “No Sweat”
The much anticipated
Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway Volumes One & Two
author, Robbie Robbins aka "No Sweat," former Estill County resident,
1969 graduate from Irvine High School and former Eastern Kentucky University's
"Electrifying Eel" for coach Don Combs, BA, MA graduate from Eastern
Kentucky University, now residing in Richmond, has recently signed a new
contract with Rudy Thomas, editor and publisher of Old Seventy Creek Press for the
rights to his 1,000 page memoir based in southern Florida, Singer Island & Ernest
Hemingway now available through Old Seventy Creek Press; the work is to
appear in a two-book volume set.
is my third book to find print and I could not be more elated," stated No
Sweat. "I began this project thirty-one years ago when I promised Luisa
Lang I would try to accomplish what she was asking of me. Luisa was Will Lang's
daughter. Will was the best WW2 war correspondent who worked for LIFE magazine
and a close friend of Ernie Pyle and Ernest Hemingway. It was Will Lang
who introduced his old girlfriend, Mary Welsh, to Hemingway during WW2. Mary
later became Hemingway's fourth and final wife. Luisa's father died of a heart
attack in her arms while they were skiing in Switzerland. He had been working
non-stop on a novel for six years when he suddenly died. In June, 1985, while I
was living on Singer Island, Luisa asked me if I would finish Will's book. At
first I declined. I was working on another book at the time and I could not see
me taking on both projects. Eventually, I agreed. Two years later, I was
alone with Luisa when she committed suicide. It was a moment I can never forget
and one I describe in this new book. When my first two books, These
Precious Days and Nefarious
finally found two different publishers in 2012, I knew then I had to go back to
where I had stopped on the Lang project and fulfill my promise to Luisa. I've
been devoted to that proposition ever since."
Author "No Sweat" and Lance
Sweat is married to Chesteen, valedictorian of Irvine High School '68 and retired
Estill County Middle School principal; they were the third couple to marry in
the Eastern Kentucky University Chapel, January 6, 1973. They have one
daughter, Nancy, and two grandsons, Lance and Barrett. No Sweat has been the
evening site supervisor for The Hope Center in Lexington and also the logistics
officer for the CSEEP program with the The Bluegrass Army Depot. For the past
twelve years, he has been working for Eastern Kentucky University and hopes to
retire by the time he is 70. His plans include devoting himself to finishing
some dozen other books he has completed which need additional polishing. His
next book, Letters from A Genius to an
Oaf, is a work involving his life with his writing mentor, Guy Davenport,
recipient of The John D. MacArthur Genius Award. Besides writing goals, No
Sweat plans to run his boat, "NANCY LOU," from Key West to Cuba and
visit Hemingway's favorite home. He hopes to keep a log of this journey
and possibly develop it into a book as well.
Island & Ernest Hemingway is unlike my first two books as they were
novels set in eastern Kentucky,” informed No Sweat. “This new book is a true
story set on Singer Island, Florida, an island once part of Palm Beach many
years ago before the Palm Beach Inlet was developed. Chesteen and I lived at
The Colonnades Beach Hotel which was once located on Singer Island for three
months every summer and in the process made friends with many interesting
people who visited or stayed there including members of the Kennedy family,
Arlo Gunthrie, John D. MacArthur, Jacques Piccard and others. The core of the
six-part book is a journal I kept while staying there. Much of the text
involves my family and close friends. In the way I have organized the contents
one is likely never to see another book of this nature. A large part of the
work involves Ernest Hemingway. I am releasing information about his life which
has never been seen before. Luisa and her father knew Ernest Hemingway quite
well. They lived with him in Spain. And when I was with Luisa she constantly
talked about her father and Hemingway. When she died her mother gave me several
Hemingway letters. All of them now are in the JFK Library or in the archives at
The University of Maryland."
Sweat was very pleased when The Joseph-Beth Bookstore chain judging committee
decided to carry his books and in the process asked him to be their featured
author and discuss his work. He has also been the featured author discussing
his writings at Berea college and several times at The Kentucky Academy of
the past year he established a working relationship with another author, Gina McKnight, who has used several of his
stories on her blog, Riding & Writing. One of No Sweat's stories on the
blog, The Long
Blue Line, involves a day No Sweat spent with Joe B. Hall at The
Keeneland thoroughbred horse race track in Lexington, Kentucky.
writing books, No Sweat is known for his archaeological work. Twenty-seven
years ago, he excavated with The University of Kentucky for 31 straight days at
Fort Boonesborough, Kentucky. Among his archaeological achievements he
located and repatriated 600 Civil War muskets which were buried in the Yucatan
peninsula, Mexico--this being the largest number of excavated Civil War muskets
ever discovered. On an outer island in Bahamian chain, named Eleuthera, deep
within a secluded tidal cave, he discovered 22 Arawak burials; the Arawaks were
those Indians living in the Bahamas at the time of Columbus' discovery of the
new world. The discovery of Arawaks was filmed and documented by a Marine
Biology school located there on the island in the area of Governor's Harbour.
This discovery remains the single largest group of Arawaks ever found.
Sweat is additionally known throughout the world for his racing pigeons, having
won national titles and 1,000 first places. In 2016, he has racing pigeons
flying in the top USA races as well as in South Africa, a two-million-dollar
race, this being the premiere pigeon race in the world.
Sweat can be found on any of his websites such as Heitzman Sions or Kentucky Author No Sweat. He
is a regular contributor for America's leading racing pigeon journal, The
Racing Pigeon Digest. When he is not writing books or articles about
racing pigeons he spends time working on archaeological stories which also
appear in national magazines such as American
am so fortunate to have married Chesteen," spoke No Sweat. "She comes
from a supportive and solid family, something I never truly had. She has always
been there for me no matter what. And so has her family. I hate to think of
what would have become of me if not for her. She alone knows what I have gone
through to be an author. It is not what people would ever believe. Being a
serious author involves a tremendous amount of work. Any word you
write you are likely to have to write it a thousand times. And often, wind
up only to throw it in the trash. You must be quite devoted to
the craft and willing to make all manner of sacrifices, including your own
health and sanity. Time is what we cherish most. And if you are to be a good
author you must give yourself to time. Forget those beautiful days
outside. Your book is your boss and owns you. It is a
strange investment into a future you can never know. A book lives
forever. Anyone may wind up reading it. That is part of the beautiful
mystery to being an author."
A Note from the
you for this chance to discuss my latest book, Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway. I received my proof copy on
June third of Volume one and I should have Volume two soon. The book should appear on the net no later than mid-July;
Barnes and Noble, Amazon, EBay, etc., as well as through the Joseph-Beth
Bookstore chain and
am lucky to now have seen three of my books finally find publishers.
The first two were novels set in eastern Kentucky; These Precious Days, the journal of a
guerrilla marijuana grower surviving in a mythical county called,
Aopehh,1981-83; and, Nefarious, my
fictional saga of Edward Hawkins, the first legally hanged man in eastern
Kentucky, 1836-1857. . I have nine other books which I have
completed. My next book, Letters
from a Genius to an Oaf involves my fifteen-year relationship with Guy
Davenport, my writing mentor; Rhodes Scholar and the recipient of the
John D. MacArthur Foundation Genius Award. I have three books which have not
been published, collections of short stories. Black Bluegrass paints racism in eastern Kentucky, Unbridled contains twenty
archaeological stories following my various excavations. And, My Life with a Pigeon, comprises thirty
short stories covering my sixty years with racing pigeons. Works in the
distant future will be a novel based on the characters who survive in
a coal plant in eastern Kentucky and 100 days at sea with No
June 1985, I met Luisa Lang by the pool at the Colonnades Beach Hotel on Singer
Island, Florida. When my wife, Chesteen, told her I was attempting to become an
author, Luisa invited me to come to her apartment which was located across
the street. Luisa gave me a glass of wine and asked me if I liked it, adding,
the first time she had ever gotten drunk was on that wine. She asked me to
guess who it was who had given her the wine. I had no clue.
"Ernest Hemingway," she stated, and then walked away. Of course,
I did not believe her.
followed for over two years after that is all in this new book. She soon began
asking me if I would consider taking on the job of finishing a novel which
her father had been working on for over six years before his sudden heart
attack and death. The first few times she asked I laughed at the notion.
I was in the middle of Nefarious. My brain was locked in two worlds, the
imaginary world I had created involving Ed Hawkins and the poor other one which
everyone considered reality. No. Hell no. There was no way I could
suddenly stop what I was writing and take on an unfinished WW2 novel. I really
didn't know a damn thing about WW2. And I certainly could not pull another
writer's skin over top my own.
Luisa was not ordinary. Next to my wife, the smartest woman I have ever
known. Eventually, I gave in, promising her I would at least give it
a try. Two years later, as I was alone with her in her apartment and
reading to her what I had thus far accomplished, she committed suicide.
cannot forget that day.
through the following years I owned a horrible guilt knowing what I had
promised. I hated myself for not finishing the task. I knew I could
not go to my grave without fulfilling the promise. And as I once again took up
the challenge I began to realize, I could not write the novel unless
I told the whole story.
I really began to lose all sanity.
don't know how it all finally settled out but I found myself dividing the
book into six parts; as I worked, I called the parts. "my pizza pie."
I have never seen a book composed like this. When my editor, Rudy
Thomas, reviewed the work, he said he also saw it as unique, adding, he
thought it could be developed into a wonderful "thinking person's
coffee table book."
loved the idea. And I knew what Rudy said felt right. The book is
divided into two volumes; each volume is 500 pages. And each volume contains
almost 500 color photographs. Actually, the text and photographs are almost
equally divided. into a large and beautiful book.
you begin to read Singer Island
& Ernest Hemingway, you will enter into the life of No Sweat, starting
from his early years living on Singer Island during the 1950's to present day.
I had to write about my own life so my reader
would understand how I came to meet Luisa Lang.
you asked, who would enjoy reading your book? My answer, anyone who has ever
lived on or visited Singer Island, anyone who ever lived at or stayed in
the Colonnades Beach Hotel, anyone interested in John D. MacArthur, the Kennedy
family, Francis Ford Coppola, Arlo Guthrie, Ernie Pyle, Bill Maudlin, Charles
Heitzman, Jacques Piccard, Will Lang or Ernest Hemingway, anyone interested in
American literature, anyone interested in the history of south
Florida, anyone who likes to look at pictures, anyone in love with the
ocean, anyone who likes to catch lobsters and oddly enough, anyone who loves
created and lost many friendships during my 31 years working on this project.
It was a challenging role for me as an ignorant hillbilly. But I always had
Chesteen by my side and many wonderful friends who helped---like you.
am such a fortunate person to have had so much love and kindness
bestowed upon him. I could never begin to repay it all back.
After 31 years it has all
been worth it. I owe everything to a real saint, Rudy Thomas.