The Union Creek Journal

A Chronicle of Survival

Archive for the category “Miscellaneous”

Good News and Bad News

I have some good news and some bad news about the sequel to The Union Creek Journal.

First, the good news … I have been making progress on the sequel.  I have the outline and several chapters done.

Now, for the bad news … progress is much slower than I had hoped. Due to a number of professional commitments I haven’t been able to spend the time on The Journal’s sequel that I wanted. Obviously, I’ve already missed a couple target dates. I know there are a lot of folks out there who have been waiting very patiently for the sequel to be released. Please accept my apology for the delay and rest assured that I will continue to chip away at the sequel as time allows. Unfortunately, until writing actually pays the bills it has to take a back seat to that which does.

Destined to Repeat?

Recently, I posted a line from the movie Cool Hand Luke on my Facebook page.  The line, spoken by the Captain after knocking Luke down a hill for speaking disrespectfully to him, is, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.”

Some men you just can't reach.

Some men you just can’t reach.


Read more…

The Union Creek Journal is Now Available for Nook!

Just in time to load up that new Nook that you got for Christmas … The Union Creek Journal is now available through Barnes & Noble for Nook readers.  For just $6.99, you can now take The Union Creek Journal with you where ever you go.

Click here to navigate to the purchase page on the Barnes & Noble website.

Don’t forget, you can also get The Union Creek Journal for Kindle and as a PDF to print or read on your PC.

Ring in the New Year with a great book!

PDF Version of The Journal Now Available

The PDF version of The Journal is now available for download.

If you would like to be able to carry a copy of The Journal with you and read it offline, you can now purchase The Journal as a PDF in addition to being able to download it from Amazon for Kindle.  To request a PDF copy of The Journal, simply go to the Journal PDF Request page and complete the form.  Once your request is received, you will receive an e-mail PayPal invoice for $6.99.  Once you’ve paid the invoice, you will receive a second e-mail with a link that will allow you to download The Journal as a PDF.

Please do not distribute the PDF as the work is copyrighted.

Thanks and enjoy!


Entire Union Creek Journal Now Available for Kindle

Finally!  It’s here.  The entire Union Creek Journal is available for your Kindle – all 520 pages!  Just click on the link below.

The Union Creek Journal on Amazon for Kindle

The Union Creek Journal – Now Available in Its Entirety for Kindle

I know there were a couple complaints from people who bought the monthly groupings of journal entries for $0.99 on Amazon.  Most of those complaints were about how short the entries were and that it cost them nearly a dollar to read 15-20 minutes of entries.

As most of you know, I really only made the groupings of monthly entries available because of requests from readers of this blog who wanted to be able to read The Journal while they were disconnected from the Web.  I had to charge something because Amazon charged me $0.65 per purchase.  If you were upset about me making $0.35 per monthly entry, I apologize.  I can assure you that I didn’t get rich off of your hard-earned dollars.

Anyway … that ugliness is behind us now (I hope) and (I also hope) we’re ready to move forward.  My next step will be to make The Journal available for the Nook and as a PDF for those that don’t want to purchase from Amazon or don’t have a Kindle reader.

Stay tuned and enjoy!


P.S. The sequel is coming along.  Look for a sample entry to be posted soon.

2012 LDS Preparedness Manual

Although The Union Creek Journal’s final entry has been posted and I’m working on the sequel, from time to time I’ll still post items that I think may be of interest to my readership here on the UCJ blog.

One of those items is the LDS Preparedness Manual.  The new 2012 version is out and available for free download.  WARNING: You must provide an e-mail address to access the free version of the manual.  However, I gave them my e-mail address some time ago and the only e-mails I have received have been notifications of new versions of the manual being available.

Read more…

Rearview Mirror: A Look Back at the Union Creek Journal

First, let me just say thanks again for all the feedback and comments (even the negative ones).

As I’ve said since the outset of this endeavor, it was an experiment.  Although I may have some degree of writing talent, I am neither a professional writer nor a professional blogger.  I had never written a blog before The Journal’s first entry.  I’m just a guy with a day job who decided to experiment with what I saw as a new medium for the delivery of fiction.  Along the way, a few thousand people a day decided to read what I wrote.

The purpose of an experiment is to learn.

I’ve learned (and re-learned) a lot over the course of the last six months – much like the characters of The Union Creek Journal.  One lesson that is blatantly obvious, based on the comments of the last few days, is that you can please some of the people some of the time, but definitely not all of the people all of the time.  Although, I’m disappointed that some of my readers didn’t care for The Journal’s ending, the feedback was educational … and, as I said, appreciated.

A second, rather poignant lesson is that no matter how much you prepare someone for “bad news”, it’s never easy to take.  Consistently throughout this work, I have left the reader hanging from a cliff.  As I planned and wrote the ending, I hoped it would ring true to the frequent Friday cliff hangers and that it would come as only a mild surprise.  Obviously, it was a shock to many of you.

There truly are some things for which you cannot prepare.  (Hmmm … that sounds familiar.)

The Journal’s ending was not written in haste because of some personal crisis nor was it written as a cruel joke or because I grew tired of writing.  The Journal ended the way that it did because The Journal was intended to be a part of a two-part series.

The two books are meant to be a pair.  Neither stands alone.

One of my readers compared The Journal to the Lord of the Rings trilogy (not the original single volume).  While I don’t expect The Journal (and its sequel) to become the classic that the Lord of the Rings trilogy has become, I think the comparison still holds.  Each of the first two books of the Rings trilogy leaves many questions unanswered.  Story arcs are left incomplete.  Characters developed throughout the books are left in unknown states.  The three books were meant to complete one another as The Journal and its sequel are meant to do.

I can still remember reading the Rings books as a child.  Each of the first two books left me hungry for the next.  From the recent positive comments, it sounds as if many of you are in the same position with The Journal.  Others of you are ready to toss The Journal in your computer’s recycle bin and move on.

If you still don’t like the way The Journal ended, fair enough.  I’m not foolish enough to think that I can please all of the people all of the time – a lesson I had perhaps forgotten as more and more people expressed their appreciation for The Journal.

For those willing to continue to read what I write, The Journal’s final entry was perhaps the most gut-wrenching thing I have ever written.  To put myself in the shoes of a boy whose father came home in a box – a hero but gone, nonetheless – was very difficult.  I imagined my own son finding my journal, reading it and sorrowfully closing it with a few words honoring my last deeds on earth.  I thought of how my own boy might feel finding my journal, reading it and writing my epitaph knowing that I had died in a battle for freedom.  My hope, as I wrote The Journal’s final entry, was that my readers’ emotional connection with David and D.J. would be strong enough that the details of the battle could wait … for the sequel.

If you’re willing to consider returning for the sequel, you can expect several things.  First, you can expect many – if not all – of your questions about the details left hanging in The Journal to be answered.  Second, you can expect more action, adventure, ideas and gut-wrenching emotion.  Finally, you can expect an ending that leaves far fewer questions unanswered.  I do not intend for The Journal series to be a trilogy.

My plan is to have the sequel done by late fall … winter at the latest.  I’m not tired of writing.  Quite the contrary.

I really hope you’ll come back to read The Journal’s sequel.  If not, I wish you the best in life, in survival and in your quest for enjoyable fiction.

Thanks for being a part of the experiment,

– Toby

The End

You’ve reached the end of The Union Creek Journal.  We all survived!

I’d like to say, “thank you” to everyone who has followed along as The Journal wound its way, like its namesake Union Creek, through the twists and turns of the Johnsons’ lives in their post-apocalyptic world.  I hope you enjoyed The Journal and, perhaps, even learned a thing to two.  If you look for them, you’ll find lots of tips and ideas for survival in any sort of difficult situation.  They’re like Easter eggs, only slightly hidden and just waiting to be found.

I’d also like to thank those who helped keep me on the straight and narrow path of correct grammar, spelling and technical detail.  There are several of you.  Perhaps chief among my “editors”, Karen, you sent me an e-mail nearly every day with some sort of correction.  As always, thanks for your help.

And now to the future … there will be a sequel to The Journal.  It’s already started.  Stay tuned here for updates.  I plan to take a little time off before I write the rest of the sequel.  The daily publishing schedule of The Journal has taken its toll on a few areas of my life that will soon receive some much-deserved attention.  After that, back to the grindstone.  The sequel must be finished!

For those who are interested, the sequel to The Journal will be delivered a little bit differently.  It will still be available for free in daily installments.  (Of course, you’re always welcome to make a donation if you feel so inclined.)  In addition to its free availability in daily installments, the sequel to The Journal will also be available in its entirety for a fee once the first few daily entries are published.

More forward looking statements … The Journal will be published in its entirety for Kindle (available through Amazon), Nook (available through Barnes & Noble) and as a PDF – most likely in that order.  As of yet, Glenn Beck has not responded and no other “top shelf” publisher has expressed an interest in publishing a paperback version of The Journal.  Several of you have expressed an interest in a physical copy of the book.  If I am unable to secure a publisher, I will most likely utilize a publish-on-demand service to deliver the book in paperback.

Thanks again.

Be ever vigilant,

Toby Asplin, Author: The Union Creek Journal

Glenn Beck Campaign

Many of you have suggested that I should find a publisher for The Journal.  As The Journal draws to a close, that consideration has risen higher on my radar.  Once the final entries are wrapped up, The Journal will be available in its entirety for Kindle via Amazon and for the Nook via Barnes & Noble’s Nook Book Store.  I also plan to work on a PDF version for those with neither a Kindle nor a Nook.

I’ve also identified a handful of publishers with whom I would like to work to produce a paperback version of The Journal.  As many of you know, Glenn Beck partnered with Simon & Schuster last year to launch Mercury Ink.  Mercury Ink’s goal is to “discover, publish and promote books and authors that Glenn is passionate about across a variety of genres.”  I believe The Journal and Mercury Ink would make a great match.

Unfortunately, Mercury Ink does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.  Of course, much like survival in the new normal, where there is a will, there is a way.  You, the readers of The Journal, can help Glenn and Mercury “discover” The Union Creek Journal.

“How?” you may ask.  It’s really quite simple.  Go straight to the top.  Send Mr. Beck an e-mail.  As one might expect, Glenn receives hundreds of e-mails a day.  But, what if he received hundreds of e-mails in a single day all with the subject, “The Union Creek Journal”?  Somewhere between 4000 and 5000 people read The Journal every day.  Do you suppose Glenn Beck would take a look at The Journal if he received four or five thousand e-mails all titled “The Union Creek Journal”?  I’m betting that he would.

Mr. Beck’s e-mail address is

If you would like to see The Journal published by Mercury Ink, simply click on the link above, put The Union Creek Journal in the subject line of your e-mail, tell Mr. Beck why you think he should publish The Journal and politely ask him to do so.

Let’s see what happens!

Thank you for your support,


Top Referrers

It’s been a while since I said thank you to my top referrers.  Mea culpa.  There are several websites that consistently send quite a bit of traffic here to The Journal.  Over the last 30 days, here are the top ten:

1. (1586 referrals)

2. (1085 referrals)

3. (425 referrals)

4. (386 referrals)

5. (385 referrals)

6. (325 referrals)

7. TEOTWAWKI Blog (276 referrals)

8. (248 referrals)

9. (136 referrals)

10. (125 referrals)

Thanks again to those sites and their users for your support of The Journal.


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