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Friday, July 13, 2012

A Little of This and That

I just know one day [ha ha] One Fine Day will find a wider readership and be enjoyed by many more people as time goes on.  I periodically see a new "like" on my book facebook page and it always makes my day!  I've tried to expand my facebook image a little in hopes that more people will take a look at the book.  Hey, it's practically free and [pardon me] it's a much better read  than "Shades of...".

I've also entered the twitter world a little more even though I'm not at all sure how or if it helps get the word out.  It's all great fun though.  I really want to work on a second novel but fear I can't really justify doing that if novel #1 doesn't get more readership.  I will say, I'm getting tiny royalty checks each quarter [imagine] and that's always a thrill.

My next big trip is to Poland and Hungary in August so I've bit the bullet and started  James Michener's "Poland".  If anyone has read him, you know what a slog he can be, but he certainly does his research and tries to bring history alive through his fictitious characters.  I still keep Churchill on hand [now on Volume III - "The Great Alliance" ] as he has such a wonderful way with words and a wry humor.  It's so inspiring to read how dire the situation was for Britain in 1940-41 as Germany not only bombed day and night but tried to cut off life-lines by mining ports and U-Boat attacks on shorelines.  This was before the Soviets turned against Hitler and before the US could commit much in terms of aid.  In spite of these dreadful times - and Churchill's passages bring the turmoil to light as fresh as today's news - the British never doubted they would prevail.  It remains an incredible story.  I can't wait to dig into it again.

Also reading Alan Furst's new novel, "Mission to Paris" about the same time period in Vichy France, but much will take place in Poland, so it's taking me there too.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Scattered



The ferocious storm that swept across the eastern US has all of us wondering if changes in our climate are starting to speed up – record breaking temperatures almost daily [104 degrees two days in a row where I live – unheard of].  Driving on 66 West on Friday just after dark, we saw the spectacular lightening show ahead of us, not a typical summer thunderstorm’s that pops up across the sky like strobe lights  in vertical flashes from the sky’s dome to earth, one after the other, intense. This storm produced non-stop horizontal  slashes, like a swordsman ripping  through black velvet. And oddly, no thunder. When the car began to shake and rock from side to side,  debris started to blow all around us, trash, small limbs, pebbles and dust, like a western squall with tumbleweeds flying. It was wind, we later heard, that at its peak had reached 90 miles an hour. Tiny pellets of hail followed, then a brief torrential downpour. And with that, maybe 20 minutes, the storm had passed. The devastation was terrible, all of which has been on the news.  Clean up was exhausting in the heat. We were spared major damage but others lost 100+ year old trees.

Related concerns,  I continue to worry about the paucity of bees in my flower and vegetable gardens and my missing bats.  I have an infestation of mini-centipedes in my basement that has never happened before. Troubling. Mother Nature has been putting us on notice for awhile now – I think she’s decided it’s time to speed things up.  Have we caught on yet? http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/weather/july-dec12/climate_07-02.html