Ron Blaha

Biography

Like so many people today, I have been both widowed and divorced and have had the good fortune to rear a wonderful family. But that was many years ago. Today my claim to fame is simply that I am an old man with some stories to tell that are rich in substance, and in most cases they are true accounts surrounding my long life. In fact, I am so old, that I have out lived all of the others which makes me the last of the old time riverboat captains who is still plying the James and Appomattox Rivers in Central Virginia. My earliest memories and my love of the rivers stem from the 1940's when as a four year old, I would tag along with my father who was the skipper of the tugboat Atlas. It was an exciting time to be on the rivers too, as steam tugs were fading from view and new fangled diesel engines although they still had no gears were fast becoming state of the art machines. And like my dad, I became a tugboat skipper. But as I got older, I felt a strong urge to become a writer, partly because I realized at a young age that if anyone was to ever record first hand those marvelous and fast changing maritime years on the James and Appomattox Rivers, then it had to be me. And so at the age of twenty eight when I was an "Old Man" I was able to squeeze in between ship docking and barge towing responsibilities a liberal arts degree from Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary. And when the U.S. Coast Guard began to require all skippers of tugs to be licensed, I received one of the first licenses, and that was in 1973. And fortunately for me, when others have had to give up their licenses because of some unmet requirement, I am still maintaining a master captain's credential with the United States Coast Guard.

In 1976 when I was a young man I developed my own tugboat company and operated it for more than twenty years before I gave it up. But the company who now owns and operates it still prefers to keep the name, Blaha Towing Company. My boating experience however, is not limited to only these local rivers. I am also a sailor as well as a power boater. For ten years I sailed a 41' Formosa Ketch along the east coast of the U.S., and lived "on the hook" in the Bahama Islands off and on for almost two years. I have sailed the Atlantic and Pacific coast of Mexico, two of the Great Lakes, much of the Caribbean and the Adriatic Sea between Italy and the Czech Republic. But as beautiful as some places are, I still prefer our country's scenic and meandering waterways when compared to others that I have known. And because of my varied experience as a waterman I was honored by Governor Balalies to become Central Virginia's first Maritime Commander in the newly organized Virginia State Guard, and I was also given the rank of Lt. Colonel.

Ship docking at times can involve a lot of down time while waiting for weather, paperwork, pilots to arrive or any number of reasons. And so during some of these lay ups I would write short stories or poems or even an occasional novella, but I had never seriously considered publishing until recently when I was introduced to Smashwords. One of the manuscripts that I will soon be uploading is entitled (Chosen River) and it is about the wonderful James River and many of the actual people who have been a part of it. But I also write in several different genres, both fiction and non-fiction. I have written a series of children's stories (The Legend of the Butterfly Angels) will be the first in the series to be online. I refer to it as historical fantasy fiction because so much of it is true. But I have just finished writing two non-fiction books as well, one an autobiography, the other about a trial that took place more than a quarter of a century ago .And currently I am writing a non-fiction saga about an ill fated boat trip in which I was involved that stretched from Virginia to the Great Lakes. I have in the works several more books about living aboard houseboats or sailboats and the wonderful life that in my opinion, really is one of those "best kept secrets", that is, if you know how to make the most of it. And with a lifetime of piloting commercial vessels, ten years living aboard a sailboat, and eleven years on a houseboat that I personally built, I think that I am very well qualified to help those who have a hankerin' to leave the terra firma way of life for that of a "fish", and in the process help them to save a lot of money, time, and trouble.

Over the last few years I have rebuilt and re-furbished a 50' Chris Craft houseboat and in August, 2015 it went into service in the Richmond, Virgina area as a "tiny house" on the river through Airbnb.com, Homeaway.com, and BandB.com. And because I decided to do this, I have been blessed to meet some of the most wonderful and interesting people from many different parts of the world. From my early beginnings as a small town boy who really did have dirt floors in my home, I have been blessed to have established friendships with some of my recent guests, and they fit perfectly into my life long list of friends that included the "drunks" who hung around the docks, a President of Mexico, and many, many others on just about every level of society throughout the world. Mine has been a life filled with both elation and tragedy, but some how I have managed to survive it all. And because I did survive, I find it necessary to share those years with my readers in the hope that it will be at times entertaining, but also useful.

Smashwords Interview

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have a lot to tell. My stories are for the most part true to life, and they are written in different genres. As a retired tug boat captain with limited resources, I like most aspiring authors could not afford to spend either the time or the money to try and find a publisher who would be willing to take on a first time writer. And as any new author knows, this is like trying to find that proverbial "needle in a haystack."
But then I heard about Smashwords and how everyone is guaranteed a fair shot at getting his or her work out into the world, and as quickly as we choose, provided of course that it is professionally written and formatted. And as far as time and money is concerned, Smashwords leaves those decisions up to me. In fact, this publisher has provided me with every tool to be successful should I decide to publish my own work, and it is all free. And if I should choose not to do my own publishing, Smashwords has also provided me with a list of talented resource people with whom I can contract to help with my book designs and formatting. So..., this is a "no brainer." But more than that, it is an opportunity to publish my manuscripts that in all probability would "never have seen the light of day", as I have no interest in Vanity Publishers.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, since I am new to this, I can only respond as before, and that is to say that I now have an opportunity to publish my work where it will be available for many years to come. This fact in and of itself spells success, because otherwise my efforts to record some stories and information that only I have knowledge of might have been lost forever.
Read more of this interview.

Books

These Bastards Will See No God!
Price: $9.95 USD. Words: 93,260. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Remember in the movie My Cousin Vinny, that he (Vinny) was pleading with his nephew to allow him to have a shot at defending him in court because he knew that the case against him was an illusion? Well, my case was also an illusion. But unlike Mr. Trotter, the prosecutor, who was an honorable man, the lawyers who opposed me were greedy criminals. AND I WILL PROVE IT TO YOU IN THE FIRST CHAPTER.
The Legend of the Butterfly Angels, Legend Series, Book 1
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 8,490. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
No matter who you are, from the lowliest brown caterpillar, to the most beautiful butterfly, we all have the potential to make meaningful contributions. In the Legend of the Butterfly Angels, Chloe Caterpillar, will learn as she snuggles under Ms. Wise Owl’s soft warm, wing, about how her tiny ancestor, Angelina, had made it possible that all future caterpillars would become beautiful and free.

Ron Blaha's tag cloud

adventure    angels    attaway    bastards    butterfly    civil suit    courage    crooked lawyers    cruise    expose    god    hope    illegal    legend    mexico    miracle    owl    st margarets school    trial