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July Reading List

I’m still working on that required reading list for a romance workshop I’m taking in September. Unfortunately I can’t talk about any of the books here but I’ll mention them after the workshop. I also read a lot of other stuff last month. Here are a few that really stood out.Read More

Bats in the Bedroom

I love living in the country. I love the fact that I rarely hear an automobile. I love that I am surrounded by greenery and all the wildlife in its infinite variety of forms that live here with me. I love that on my dog walk this morning the air was filled with the scent of wild bee balm which is having a banner year because of all the rain we’ve received. The bee balm is aptly named as the bees love it. Walking through lavender-colored fields of bee balm in the warm sun with the drone of bees moving from flower to flower is one of the greatest pleasures I know.

I love the country because I can think here. My surroundings are quiet and peaceful and my mind and body respond to that peace by letting go of tensions. It wasn’t until I relaxed on my walk this morning that I realized I’d been a little tense this week. I had a new book to finish (done) and I’ve been facing the elephant sized task of figuring out advertising. If I could I would just write and forget the headache of ads but with millions of books out there it’s tough for anyone to find me, so the ads need to be figured out. I freely admit that ads could very well drive me to drink.

After I finish this post I have to dig into that nasty but necessary chore so I’m going to entertain myself with the story about the bat in the bedroom.

Country living means contact with all sorts of critters. I love our bats. They eat thousands of insects that cause me aggravation and physical discomfort. But every once in a while a bat finds its way into our house and for some reason they head for the bedroom.

On this particular night I was reading in bed. My husband was asleep. A large brown bat glided down the hallway and into the bedroom and flew circles over the bed. I dropped my book, swore, and shook my husband to deal with the confused creature. The last time this happened we made the mistake of letting the bat fly back out of the bedroom into the great room and it took forever to trap it.

Since I learn from my mistakes I closed the bedroom door, trapping the bat in with us. I had to keep ducking because it was flying so low and I was afraid it’d get tangled in my hair. Just that week our vet had told us about a bat that glommed onto the back of a woman’s head and bit her. Then he told us that bats and skunks were our most prevalent carriers of rabies.

I was quaking in my nightie.

I fetched a couple towels, we took the screens off the bedroom windows, and we tried to drive the bat outside. It didn’t work but we were eventually able to knock the bat down. We wrapped it gently in a towel and released it outside the house. No one got hurt. Crisis averted. Everyone settled back down, we replaced the screens, I turned out my reading light–and the bedroom lit up with a half dozen lightning bugs that had flown inside when the screens were off.

I watched them fly around the bedroom for a few minutes, decided they posed no threat, and went to sleep.

Life in the country. You never know what awesomeness you’ll experience next.

Photo of Great Blue Heron in pine tree, Gunsmith Photo, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

Into Each Life . . .

 . . .some rain must fall.

It’s a rainy Sunday and I couldn’t be happier about it. The rain is providing a gentle shower for all things green and growing on our farm–the meadow grasses and flowers, the trees, the veggie garden, the lawn and my perennial flower beds. All thirsty and in need of a good cleansing. It’s a good thing, especially since I have weeding to get to and our clay soil dries around the weeds like bricks and it’s impossible to pull them out. The rain softens the soil making them easy to pull.Read More

Climate Change Again?

Killdeer Chick in Shallows, copyright 2019 by Gunsmith Photo

I am so tired of hearing about climate change from people who claim they are spouting facts but in reality don’t have a freaking clue what they are talking about. That includes Mr. Gore whom I blame for raising the subject to one of mass hysteria.

Don’t get me wrong–I believe that mankind is abusing our lovely planet and I’m against it. We need to reign in CO2 emissions to dial back unhealthy smog and the acidity of our lakes and oceans and rainfall. But to blame man for climate change is ludicrous. Climate change is a great big, massive thing that is affected by other great big, massive things like sunspots. Or the lack of.Read More

May Reading List

As usual I read a lot of stuff last month but a few really stand out.

Smooth Talking Stranger, copyright 2009, by Lisa Kleypas. I have to admit that this book hit all of my romance cookies. And I can’t say another thing about it because I don’t want to spoil it for you. This is one I’ll reread again because it was so satisfying.

The Big Sleep, copyright 1939, by Raymond Chandler. I was familiar with Chandler’s work because of Bogart playing his famous private eye, Philip Marlowe, in the film of the same name, but I had never bothered to actually read one of his books. I’m so glad I picked this up. I loved the story, loved the language/slang, loved the slow reveal of the mystery. I’ll be reading more of Chandler’s work now that I know how much I enjoy it.

Raw and Red Hot by Jonathan Shaw Harvard Magazine May/June 2019 A very interesting piece on how science is beginning to link inflammation with almost every chronic disease known.

The Lost Princess Man by John Barnes, Galactic Empires, copyright 2017, anthology edited by Neil Clarke. Usually I like maybe half of the stories in an anthology. Mr. Clarke did a fabulous job putting Galactic Empires together. I enjoyed most of the stories in it.

Looking Through Lace by Ruth Nestvold, Galactic Empires, copyright 2017,  anthology edited by Neil Clarke. Another great story from this anthology. I liked so many that I’m not going to list anymore titles. I read the stories in between books last month and was sorry to finish it. Pick up this anthology if you enjoy space opera. You won’t be disappointed.