Book Number Four!

I’m holding in left hand the proof copy of my latest paperback book, Six Short Stories. I’ve had some tweaking to do, mostly having to do with type size and spacing between stories, but I think I’ve licked those challenges. It’s mid-afternoon now and doing the adjustments has taken several hours, which for a luddite like me is probably very normal. I have to say that having this latest story collection is exciting and I’m prepared to affirm that even geezers can get excited about things. The books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble (although B&N has the wrong cover picture over my title–working to get them to correct that). My Some Mangled Fairy Tales and The Second Gathering of The Break Time Stories are available at the same outlets (with the proper pictures) as well as locally at St.Croix Health’s pharmacy/gift stores, the Polk County Information Center, and Osceola’s Coming Home Shop. People can mug me on the street for a copy; I usually carry some with me.

Just prior to Valentine’s Day, LaMoine MacLaughlin and I read love poems to a small audience at the Northern Lakes School for the Arts in Amery. Reading Shakespeare again brought back fond memories for me of doing Shakespeare as a teenager (took first place in a competition between high schools as part of a quartet doing a scene from The Tempest). Of that group, David Giler went on to become a very successful screen writer; Joel Rosenberg became a university professor and Jewish poet; and I don’t know what happened to Shelly Rubin. You know some of what happened to me.

Since my last post, my brother, Guy, is able to breathe with oxygen during the day–that means his lungs are working–but is on the ventilator at night. He can communicate a bit with a voice box but his stepson says he is still confused. That does seem like progress.

I don’t get much real “down time” but last week I took a day off from Sunday preaching at Wolf Creek United Methodist Church and I was able to sit and enjoy the last few pages of Lois Joy Hofmann’s trilogy about the circumnavigation she and her husband, Gunter, completed a few years ago. Her books are lavish with fine photography and the intricacies of what it takes to undertake long sea journeys and to spend time ashore in primitive and sophisticated places. Lois’ three books have won top awards in travel categories out in San Diego, where they flee to from our Winter weather.

After last week’s break from “work”, this Sunday I’m doing two churches, Wolf Creek and filling in over in Taylors Falls United Methodist Church. Both churches are doing ashes this coming Sunday for Ash Wednesday. As it turned out, we got walloped by heavy snow, high winds, and low temperatures the past few days so most activities, including most churches, were called off. As I look out my office window, the falling snow is slowing down here so I should be able to get outside with the snow shovel and the snow blower and clear a path–at least–to the plowed road.