Sunday’s Mixed Stuff

  • I like everything John Hart has written except this debut novel. It has everything in it but the kitchen sink and the main character is an unsympathetic sad sack. I’m glad he got this approach out of his system before he started writing novels where the nasty stuff is within limits and the protagonists are the kind of people readers can get behind.
  • We’ve had a lot of rain in North Georgia lately including a nasty thunderstorm after midnight two days ago that killed the power and scared the cats into piling into our bed.
  • I liked The Seekers a lot for their pure, sweet voices. So I felt sad seeing this news: “Judith Durham, singer of the Australian pop band The Seekers, has died at age 79. According to Universal Music Australia, Durham’s cause of death was chronic lung disease.” Wikipedia notes that the group had Top 10 hits in the 1960s with “I’ll Never Find Another You”, “A World of Our Own”, “Morningtown Ride”, “Someday, One Day” (written by Paul Simon), “Georgy Girl” (the title song of the film of the same name) and “The Carnival Is Over” by Tom Springfield, the last being an adaptation of the Russian folk song “Stenka Razin”.
  • As a writer and a reader, I wonder why so many authors speak of train whistles in their novels when whistles on trains have been gone for years. Other than tourist steam engines, American diesel-electric locomotives all have horns.
  • This book of short stories has been more interesting than I expected. I bought it for the English translation of Hayashi Fumiko’s (1903-1951″ autobiographical story “The Accordion and the Fish Town” which I mention in my novel in progress. But, I’ve found more to like in this selection of works that show how the Japanese short story has developed over time. The book was released in 1997. While the novel has been king in the West, the Japanese focused on shorter works.
  • Two days ago, Lesa was trying to catch up on the yard mowing, ploughing through grass that was almost too high for the mower due to daily rain showers. She stopped mowing at dusk when she ran over a hidden yellow jacket nest and got stung twice. Ouch. We seem to have more of our share of yellow jackets and wasps in this neighborhood, and that includes white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
  • Long-time friend Keith Willis has released the latest novel (#4) in his Knights of Kilbourne Series, Stolen Knight. If you love snappy writing, hijinks, and dragons, this fantasy/romance should be on your nightstand.  Or, as Willis says on his website when he introduces the series, “If you like swashbuckling adventure served up with a helping of romance and a dollop of humor (and topped with a dragon) then these books are for you.”