Duck Soup Labor Day weekend

  • Our wet weather continues in NW Georgia as our county and the county north of us have gotten ten inches of rain in twelve hours. And there’s more to come. I’m glad we live on a hill, though I expect one of our roads into town is flooded. So much for my plan to pick up a few groceries today. (My wife ordered me not to leave the house!)
  • The nearby horse rescue farm (Sunkissed Acres) north of us has experienced a lot of flooding. Their access to the barn has been cut off. The images on their Facebook page are sad and disturbing. A four-foot-high fence is completely underwater. Today’s volunteers have been turned away for their own safety. If you’re not already using the “Smile” feature on Amazon to send donations to a charity for each book you purchase, Sunkissed Acres can use your help.
  • This is a good weekend for that cauldron of chili I made yesterday and a stack of cool books to read. Carly Schabowski, the author of the bittersweet novel The Rainbow, which I just finished, has an interesting new WWII novel out, The Note. I’m tempted to put it on my reading list. The publisher’s description starts out this way: “Auschwitz, 1942. Adeline and Jozef cling to each other as they are directed off the train and pulled apart by Nazi guards at the gates of Auschwitz. Stripped of their belongings, their arms are inked with prison numbers. In the death camp, their days are numbered––will they ever see each other again?”
  • As for the current war, Oliver Bullough, in “Beyond the fog of war: books to help us understand the invasion of Ukraine,” (The Guardian) has a few ideas “from Ukrainian history to Putin’s kleptocracy and Gogol’s stories.” He writes, “with Russian forces pushing deep into Ukraine, bombarding Kharkiv, Kyiv and other cities, and an unprecedented wave of western sanctions pushing the rouble down to an all-time low, it is hard for any of us to tear our eyes away from the news. But the currents of history that led up to this crisis are deep and complex, and understood in profoundly different ways in Moscow and Kyiv.”
  • If it’s dry where you live, I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend experiencing high-quality outdoor activities that don’t include soggy picnics or lightning-charred steaks on the grill. If it’s not dry, have fun reading and watching old movies on TV. (Yesterday, my wife and I stumbled into a “Starwars” marathon somewhere out there on DISH and now don’t know what planet we’re living on–if it’s Tatooine, things ought to be dryer outside than they are.)



Etc – a mix of stuff

  • Enjoyed reading The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. One nice take-away quote from that novel is this infuriating information: “There was a definite double standard when it came to ‘occult practices’ in the Puritan communities of the day. If a woman practiced folk healing or Bible dipping or oomancy (a form of divination that employs pouring egg whites in water) then she was a witch. If a clergyman studied alchemy, then he was a learned scholar. As Stacy Schiff wrote: ‘Plenty of clergymen dabbled in alchemy. While inveighing against the occult popular magic was one thing, elite magic was another.'”
  • After my post asking where the hell my muse is, I got a telegram from her: “Calum, chan eil thu ag èisteachd!” For those of you who don’t speak Scots Gàidhlig, she said that I haven’t been listening. Okay, she’s right. I have had a story idea in mind, but I thought it was too close to my Florida Folk Magic Series which I had intended to wrap up with the recently released Lena.  Basically, a character whom readers meet in Lena goes on a rampage against the KKK. More later when I figure how just what that means.
  • One of the two roads into town.

    Today’s Facebook status update: It’s still raining. In fact, we’ve had monsoons all winter. By the time things dry out enough for me to cut the grass, I’ll have to borrow my neighbor’s tractor and bushhog because it (the grass) will be too high for my riding mower. (Okay, what’s the deal with the new type face for this paragraph?)

  • Thank you to all the fine folks who received my publisher’s (Thomas-Jacob) newsletter and downloaded copies of Conjure Woman’s Cat. The first book in the trilogy seems to be everyone’s favorite. (I’m rather partial to it myself.)
  • There’s an ongoing Amazon giveaway here for my collection of short stories Widely Scattered Ghosts. Many of these stories are set in Florida, though they’re also from Montana, Missouri, and Illinois. You don’t have to do anything for a chance at a free copy other than follow me on Amazon.
  • Curiosity question: why is Grammarly trying to change all the spellings in this post to British spellings?
  • If you have a Facebook account, I invite you to LIKE my author’s page called Star Gazer. It’s mostly filled with links to reviews, authors, and book news.