Easter Greetings!

posted in: holiday greetings 2

Azaleas next doorHere’s hoping for a joyous Easter for all of you who celebrate Easter, and a beautiful day for everyone! I couldn’t find any flowers blooming around our house, but my neighbor Maddie is showing off these lovely azaleas.

We dragged ourselves out of bed at 10 this morning for virch, the virtual church service at our Reservoir Church—which was lovely, including a dozen or so band members coming together from their homes, via Zoom. Since then the day has been filled with zooming of friends and family, and I am about to start preparing our Easter dinner. Hamburgers for two, on the grill!

Celebrations are a bit surreal in this time of quarantine-at-home, as my friends celebrating Passover just experienced. But a celebration is a celebration—so let’s celebrate! I hope this finds all of you well.

Carver Gothic

posted in: family, quirky 4

I came across this picture—on photo paper! The year was 1998. The year we hung on.

Carver Gothic with wheat crop

This is me with my family, gathered around our one-square-yard wheat crop. We harvested that wheat, and still have the unhusked kernels in a Mason jar, to remind us of when we survived. I take this as a sign that perhaps we should try gardening again this year.

Can you tell that I came from a farming family?

 

Beyond the Trope! Nerds Talk About Writing!

Beyond the Trope logo

Beyond the Trope is a weekly podcast about writing, hosted by the lively and welcoming Michelle and Giles. This week, they pick the brain of moi, and we talk about writing in general, touching on research, teaching, and television hosting. I just listened to it, and I was not disappointed! Hopefully you will be, too. Er, not. You know what I mean. Check out all of their podcasts!

Download | iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

 

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Books in the Year of Covid-19

You probably didn’t think of books as a sector that would be hammered by Covid-19. Writers can write anywhere, right? Maybe, but that’s not the whole story, by far. Traditional publishing and bookselling are in deep trouble due to the shutdown of the economy. Even audiobooks are apparently being hit hard. If you’re at all interested in books, publishing, and reading, please read this summary by Beth Meacham, Executive Editor at Tor Books. She knows what she’s talking about, and it’s sobering.

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I want to talk for a minute about why publishing is in so much trouble right now. It's way more complicated than most…

Posted by Beth Meacham on Friday, April 3, 2020

Read the whole piece…

Go ahead, I’ll wait….

Looks like I picked the wrong year to put my money on audiobooks, right? Possibly. But seriously, this is hitting a lot of people in the creative arts hard. I will just add as a ray of hope: Ebooks do not seem to be suffering in the same way as print. Ebooks are all handled online, and you can download them (and publish them) while shut up in your home. So they remain a (generally) inexpensive and readily available way to keep information, stories, and entertainment flowing.

Still, what hurts books in any sector hurts everyone. So please keep supporting audiobooks and print books if you can. (Mail-order from your local bookstore, perhaps?) And keep reading!

 

 

Crescent Moon and Venus Over the Bike Path

Moon and Venus over bikepath

Captain Jack and I went for a little bike ride yesterday, to enjoy the pleasant evening. I found us riding straight into a breathtaking view of a slender, crescent moon, and bright Venus just above it. This picture gives just a hint. (What is it about stunning views of the sky in real life, and what you get on your phone camera—even a good camera?) Let’s zoom in…

Moon and Venus over bikepath_zoomed in

Here’s the captain, wondering why we’ve stopped.

Jack harnessed to bike

Great Writers Share (Alleged Wisdom) in a Podcast

posted in: interviews, podcasts 0

Writers Share banner

I keep seeing this guy’s face. Who does he think he is? And I wish he’d get a new photo.

Anyway, it seems I have turned up in another part of the pod-o-sphere, this time in a discussion with the smart and friendly, not to mention bestselling and famous, UK-based, dark-fiction author Daniel Willcocks! This one took two tries on two days, because either my audio setup wasn’t cooperating, or his wasn’t. (We never did figure that out.) In any case, everything worked the second time. Listen in, as two writers discuss writing!

If you prefer the channel of a favored podcast app, you can find links to a bunch of different options =here=.

Or, assuming I get it embedded correctly, listen to this interview in your browser here:

Listen to Great Writers Share | with Daniel Willcocks

 

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New Way to Buy Print Books AND Support Local Stores!

Bookshop logo

Stuck at home, and you want to buy a book on paper (hey, it happens!)—and buying online seems the only option but you’d rather support local indie bookstores? There’s a new way to do that, and it doesn’t require an app! It’s called Bookshop, and it’s an online store dedicated to supporting authors, book communities, and bookstores! Whaaat?

The way it works is, you order online just like at any of the big stores. The print books are sourced from Ingram, just like at your local store, and you get it in the mail. If you go in through a link like one of the ones I have below, the author or community that created the link gets a referral fee. In addition, a significant portion of the profit from the sale goes into a fund that gets distributed regularly among participating independent bookstores. It’s sort of like Indiebound, if you’ve used that, but even better. Right now, they only ship to the U.S., but they may expand in the future.

Authors can set up their own pages at the store, featuring their own books (just print right now, and some audio). They, or anyone else, can also set up pages where they feature books they’d like to recommend to you. Buy one of those books, and the author gets the regular royalty, and the recommender gets a referral fee, and money flows toward independent stores. It’s a great way to support authors and bookstores, all while buying online—particularly useful right now, when the storefront economy has slammed to halt, due to the coronavirus.

Here are some links! These folks are my friends and colleagues. They write all kinds of stuff. Try any of them, and you’ll support the author whose link you picked, even if you browse around and buy other books by other authors. I’ll add more as they come in. Folks are just getting ramped up on this.

Give it a try! It’s fun!

Jeffrey A. Carver | Laura Anne Gilman | Deborah J. Ross
Pati Nagle | Gillian Polack | Madeleine E. Robins
Doranna Durgin | Nancy Jane Moore

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