Sunday’s Gallimaufry

  • Homeowner captures an alligator to bring home and show his kids, Texas officials sayIn yesterday’s news, we heard that a Texan captured an alligator to bring home and show his kids. Those on Facebook who saw my post about this story weren’t amused. Needless to say, he wasn’t allowed to keep it. No word on the kids’ reactions. Frankly, I think this looks too large to be a pet.
  • I’m happy to see that Smoky Zeidel, my colleague at Thomas-Jacob Publishing, has come out with a new edition of Who’s Munching My Milkweed. This edition features her husband Scott’s cool artwork. The book is currently available as an e-book and a paperback, with the hard cover to appears shortly. From the publisher: When Ms. Gardener discovers something has been munching on her milkweed plants, she embarks on a fun and educational monarch butterfly journey that enchants both children and adults. From egg to larvae (caterpillar), to pupa (chrysalis) to adult (butterfly), Ms. Gardener watches over her friends to ensure they make the journey safely.”
  • According to Publishers Weekly, attempts to ban books have been rising. “New headlines virtually every day tell the story: across the country, there is an unprecedented spike in attempts to ban books from schools and libraries. And while efforts to remove books from schools and library collections are not uncommon, librarians and freedom to read advocates warn that this current spike in challenges is different, as it appears to be part of a broader political strategy.” We must remain viligant.
  • No photo description available.My wife and I are planning a long-awaited trip to Maryland to see the granddaughters. COVID kept us away last year. One year, our rental car was so snowed in, we couldn’t use it. Everyone took turns shoveling away the towering drift. We definitely don’t want to come home with another photograph like this one.

Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving.

Malcolm

Sunday miscellany

  • FloridaCurrently Reading: I’ve finally gotten around to reading Lauren Groff’s Florida (2018), a collection eleven well-crafted stories set in the state where I grew up. I like the stories’ strange characters. The New York Times called the stories “haunting,” and they certainly are that. 
  • Are We Learning Anything in School? Jesse Watters, a conservative commentator, interviewed a bunch of people on the street for Veterans Day in a manner similar to what Jay Leno used to do on the Tonight Show. He asked such questions as “Who did we fight in World War II,” “Who bombed Pearl Harbor?” “Who did we fight in the revolutionary war?” and othe facts that seem basic to understanding the country from a history and civics point of view. There were a lot of wrong answers. Too many. Watters and I don’t agree on many things, but my take on this poor showing of knowledge is that it demonstrates one of the reasons everything is so polarized: we don’t seem to have a common base of information.
  • May be an image of 5 people, people standing and outdoorsLiving Jackson Magazine. This short-lived Georgia magazine brought great articles with high production values and crisp writing to the readers of Jefferson, Georgia in the northeast section of the state. I wrote most of the magazine’s book reviews, focusing on local and regional authors. I felt a bit of nostalgia when I came across this old photograph that appeared with an article on Georgia writers, “A Truck Load of Authors” published in 2006. When I posted this picture on Facebook this past week, that 1961 Studebaker pickup truck got more attention than the people.
  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone: A Novel (Outlander Book 9)Diana Gabadon: When Diana published the first of the nine novels (counting the one about to be released) in 1991, we were both members of the CompuServe Literary Forum. She posted snippets of Outlander (the first novel) on the forum and these created a lot of discussions about writing. The books are long, detailed, and require a great deal of research. However, I don’t think any of us thought then that the series would still be in progress thirty years later. Go Tell The Bees That I’m Gone comes out on November 23. I appreciate her work as well as the fact that as long as the forum was active, the help that she offered the aspiring writers there was a godsend. I was lucky to meet her once at a book signing in Atlanta. Plus, she wrote a blurb for one of my novels!

Have a great week.

Malcolm

Sunday’s hodgepodge

  1. I’m currently reading Richard Powers’ The Overstory, the 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner about trees and the people who love and defend them. Unique theme and plot. I’m enjoying the book, but have a strong feeling it’s not for everyone. The Pulitzer Prize comment for this book states that it is “An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.”
  2. While progress on my novel is slow and unsteady, I was happy to hear that my publisher Thomas-Jacob has some other offerings in the works.
  3. Since the homepage of my website features a picture of Florida’s Apalachicola River, it seemed only fitting to write a short post about it in the website’s blog The Depot Cafe. The river is featured in my Florida Folk Magic Series.
  4. I’m surprised that Robbie, the stray cat that adopted us has been spending so much time outside during the day in spite of the cooler temperatures. He does come inside during the devening for food (of course) and a warm place to sleep. He’s getting along better than I expected with our two 18-year-old female cats, Katy and Marlo. Even though Marlo is a shrimp compared to the other two cats, she’s the one who stands up to Robbie if there’s a differerence of opinion about who’s supposed to be eating out of which bowl.
  5. Here we go again as another station (WXIA in Atlanta) is having a standoff with DISH network about fees. This means that we’re not seeing any of our regular NBC programs such as “Chicago Fire” and “New Amsterdam.” Naturally, we don’t get a refund for having one less channel than usual. This kind of thing happens randomly, and the viewer is always the one who loses out. Fortunately, the World Series wasn’t being carried by NBC this year. And the Braves won for the first time in about 25 years!
  6. Chattanooga Airport

    We’re planning on doing some air travel later this year. Since the handy airline is American, we’ve been watching the news about all their staff and weather problems. We don’t want to get standed on the other wisde of the country. But perhaps theres hope. I saw in today’s news that the airline is planning to triple pay its flight attendants during peak periods of make sure they keep the planes flying.

  7. It took me an hour to reset all the clocks in the house, so that hour I “saved” actually ran me at a net loss, time-wise.

Malcolm 

Save on the Florida Folk Magic Series with this four-book set: