The Rick Lakin Podcast
Episode 40 - Tom Leech - Author of Fun on the Job

Episode 40 - Tom Leech - Author of Fun on the Job

April 7, 2017

When retired employees gather, the funny tales fly back and forth. Here are stories from people employed over eight decades at General Dynamics, a U.S. aviation and aerospace company headquartered in San Diego, California that began as Consolidated Aircraft, later Convair, became part of General Dynamics branching into Astronautics, Space Systems and then spun off several other corporate entities.

From Southern California to the beaches of Cape Canaveral, these employees created thousands of B-24 bombers that helped win World War II, some of the first commercial airliners, the Atlas Rocket which took Astronaut John Glenn into orbit and the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, which revolutionized Naval Warfare.

4751Tom_Leech_small.jpgTom Leech’s newest book is Fun on the Job, Amusing and true tales from Rosie-the-Riveters to

Rocket Scientists at a Major Aerospace Company.  Tom Leech was with the San Diego General Dynamics aerospace operation for two decades, with assignments in business development, engineering and internal communication (including as division ombudsman, one of the first in corporate America). That GD career provided a solid base for starting his own consulting firm as a presentations coach, seminar leader and conference speaker.

 His articles have appeared in many publications, including San Diego Magazine, Presentations, Frontier Airlines, Executive Excellence, and The Toastmaster. His article “How General Dynamics Integrated the Cape,” originally in the San Diego Union, was reprinted in Quest: the History of Spaceflight Quarterly

The third edition of his highly-successful book, How To Prepare, Stage & Deliver Winning Presentations (AMACOM, 2004), was lauded as one of only two “Top of the Class” books on the subject by Presentations Magazine. He’s author of Say it like Shakespeare: the Bard’s Timeless Tips for Communication Success, an update of the McGraw-Hill First Edition, which has received high praise from many quarters.

Wearing his weekend hat he is co-author, with GD colleague Jack Farnan, of Outdoors San Diego: Hiking, Biking and Camping (Premier 2004) and was longtime Editor of the Outdoors Forum for San Diego Magazine. With his traveler’s hat, he describes his six-months’ wandering the world in On the Road in ’68: a year of turmoil, a journey of friendship.  Donning his poet’s cap, he and wife Leslie Johnson-Leech are authors of the children’s tale The Curious Adventures of Santa’s Wayward Elves.

For information about all of his books, visit For information about Tom’s coaching, training and speaking services, visit And to expand your nature enjoyment, visit


Fun at Work on

Episode 24 - Sheila Dobbie, Author of Peach Cobbler for Breakfast

Episode 24 - Sheila Dobbie, Author of Peach Cobbler for Breakfast

February 23, 2016

Peach Cobbler for Breakfast 


Sheila Dobbie has been writing most of her life beginning with her first published piece in the fourth grade for her elementary school newspaper. She has contributed countless articles over the years to area newspapers about the arts, edited a professional environmental publication, has been a lobbyist for the arts in the schools, and a PR director and founding member of a community arts association.

Ms. Dobbie is also a former English and journalism teacher, construction reporter, entrepreneur, and certified paralegal. As a free-lance writer, she assisted with the research of a book about the Scots at the Alamo and many other projects. Regarding her nom de plume, she says, “I write under my full name to honor those who were an important part of my life when I carried that name and who helped shape who I am.”

She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, John, a dog and a cat. She maintains a blog, Notes from the Pond—in the spirit of Walden, where she records her observations on everything from politics to nature to movie reviews. Visit her at or or



There is no right way to write. There are probably as many different ways of writing as there are authors—published and unpublished. However, I will share my writing process or what works for me.

I have broken down the procedure into six steps. They are:

1.     Topic--The first step begins with an idea or topic. Many times I let the idea roll around in my head for weeks before I sit down to write. Is it an original idea? If not, what can I do to make it different? As an example I am currently working on a book about the Civil War. This is a topic so vast that if I read every book ever written about the war and viewed every movie and TV show I doubt I would finish in this life time.


2.     Research--The next step is research—tons and tons of research. My general rule is I begin reading as much as I can about a topic and, when I begin finding the same information in several publications, I then feel I have covered the subject adequately. Along with this research it is important to take accurate notes including where the information came from and, if it is taken from a periodical or the internet, it should include the date as data changes rapidly in today’s world.


3.     Organize-- Now, what do I do with this research? The next step is organization. A rough outline is helpful. It will probably change a lot by the time you reach the finished product but this is a good beginning step. From this outline you may want to start naming and organizing your chapters. Now, consolidate your notes according to your outline.


4.     Write--The hard part is the actual writing. Most authors and artists will tell you that facing a blank page or canvas is somewhat intimidating. By this time there are usually so many ideas in your head that knowing where and how to start is difficult. That is why I have developed what I call my “Shot Gun” style of writing. I put every idea on paper as fast as I can without worrying about spelling or grammar. I want to get the ideas and wording down before I forget it.


5.     Review--Reviewing for any mistakes is the next step. Once I finish the essay, news article, or book chapter I then go back to read for spelling, grammar, and continuity. Merriam-Webster defines continuity as: con·ti·nu·i·ty : uninterrupted connection, succession, or union. Does the subject matter flow or do ideas jump around? Is each paragraph a complete unit or is another subject introduced? Are there any vague or unintelligible sentences? Do I need to elaborate on a topic? Have I been too wordy or repeated myself and need to delete? Do I need to move sentences or paragraphs around for a better understanding of the topic? Does the writing flow? Is it easy to read? Does it communicate?


6.     Edit--Once the writing is finished the most crucial step is edit, edit, edit!  Nothing turns off a discerning reader faster than misspelled words, poor grammar, and sloppy work. The author instantly loses credibility if he/she cannot express himself properly. Anyone who turns in a piece to a publisher without first editing it is a fool. Even the pros review and revise their work before turning it into their publisher. Many times it will then be turned over to a professional editor for more polishing. Think of it not as someone critiquing and criticizing your work but someone polishing it so all your prose and ideas will shine. This is the icing on the cake for all your hard work.

My attitude is if my name is on it I want it to be right!



Sheila Dobbie, Author

Peach Cobbler for Breakfast;

Surviving a Life Altering Event


Free!  The Power Stones is free on

Free! The Power Stones is free on

February 2, 2016


Free!  The Power Stones, Book 1 of the Secrets of Artasia by Erin Larene Wheeler. 

Also on Kindle Unlimited

  Podcast Interview with Chula Vista Author Erin Wheeler. 

  Audiobook excerpt of Chapters 1-3.  

  Erin’s Website. 

Twitter:  @erinlarene


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