Sunday’s medley (or possibly hash)

  • I’m happy to see that one of my favorite authors, Patricia Damery (Snakes, Goatsong) has a new book out, Fruits of Eden, about her ranch in Napa Valley and her fight against overdevelopment and bad stewardship of land and water. This richly illustrated book comes with color photographs, but it is also available in a money-saving black and white version here.
  • My wife and I have discovered an important truth about health. (You might want to write this down.) When two people live in a house, the sick one will start getting well at the same moment the well one starts getting sick. This provides a time when both people are out of it.
  • Since I enjoyed Donna Everhart’s The Saints of Swallow Hill, I’m trying another of her novels The Moonshiner’s Daughter. Plenty of grit in this one, too. It’s a little like “Thunder Road” without Robert Mitchum. (Don’t write that down.)
  • As a writer, I often wonder how other writers kill people–er, in their novels. Sometimes a busload of nuns blows up and if any of them have names at all in the narrative it’s unusual since they are often presented to readers as a group and mourned together. It’s more difficult when a major character dies. I finally know how it’s going to happen in the work in progress, but I’m avoiding writing the words. Until I write down what happens, it hasn’t happened.
  • Well, now that he was attacked by a coward, Salman Rushie’s name is showing up in op-ed pieces about getting a Nobel Prize. I think it should have happened already. One writer said Rushdie deserves the prize because he’s been a long-time proponent of our freedom to write. I applaud his stance–and his involvement with PEN America–but believe the prize should be based on the quality of his books, especially when his work is looked at over time.
  • I like this story in the Christian Science Monitor: “Speaking whale? Scientists are working on it.” Our lack of better communication with other animals always makes me sad because I think we are missing out on a rich body of knowledge and the opportunity for more loving and productive interactions. I think it’s probable that the voices of the creatures of the deep are saying more than “So long and thanks for all the fish.”


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