04. October 2021 · Comments Off on Looking Ahead · Categories: Book Event, Domestic, Random Book and Media Musings

The last third of the year is upon us, that part of the year when we have markets, and prepare for the holiday season. I don’t know how many we will be doing this year. I had to beg off the Folk Festival in New Braunfels as I was still feeling feeble with the Commie Crud. The thought of driving up to the venue with stock and the tables and all, dragging it all from the car, setting up and spending two days outside was just too exhausting to contemplate. A pity for it would have been fun – but I’m only a week out from having to rest for several hours after the exertion of reading the usual news in the morning and walking the dogs for a bare half-mile, and from going to bed at 6 PM, utterly exhausted.

My book didn’t make the Giddings Word Wrangler this year, so that event is also off my calendar. Looking on the bright side, I am spared the cost of two nights in a local hotel and the drive to Giddings – and doing it alone, since the Daughter Unit has Wee Jamie to consider. The Word Wrangler has never been all that profitable for us, but we loved doing it because of the community involvement and the opportunity to hang out with other Texas authors. But we do have Miss Ruby’s Author Corral in Goliad, another Christmas event in New Braunfels and possibly the craft event at the Bulverde senior center. Honestly, this last year really has been one I’d rather forget.

It’s depressing to read the news of a morning – writing about Luna City, the Jim and Toby stories, and the various historicals is an even more urgent refuge than before. Somehow, I have to get myself motivated to finish the Civil War drama, which is nearly half-done. I think what is holding me back is the fact that I will have to write about that war, the ghosts in Union blue and Confederate gray, and the savagery with which they went after each other. I’ll have to write about that in detail, imagine it happening before my eyes. This hits too close to current events, with feelings running high between progressive and conservative factions.

Among other things which are forecast to slow down is the availability of print books. Apparently – like so much else in this depressingly modern world of the 21st century, many of them are printed and bound in China, and they sit on container ships outside our harbors, along with all the other cheap Chinese-manufactured crap. The sole upside of prospective shortfalls in supplies of everything is that ebooks might become even more popular and accessible than before. If it’s any consolation, my own books are printed in the US by Lightening Source, International, but I do wonder where they get the paper from. In any case, above my pay grade.

The other development with regard to Casa Hayes, is that I am refinancing the mortgage on the house, in order to get a better rate. I had only had four years to go on the original at a rather high rate of interest, but I had done so many improvements out of pocket – replacing the garage door, having a more substantial covered back porch to replace the original covered deck, renovating both bathrooms, the hallway, the front bedroom and most of the den … all of this should count for something. I also went into debt to fund the two biggest projects – the windows, and the siding and paint … well, the appraiser from the finance organization will be here this week to assess the assortment of improvements. I think I will be able to make additional payments and pay it all off on my original timetable … but the future is an unknown country.

Finally, Jamie the Grandson Unit is four months old and in blooming health. He is now a chubby little chunk of 15 pounds, his eyes are still blue, and his hair – while still thin and pale, looks to be a sort of auburn-pale-brown. He smiles at us, comes close to sleeping through the night, still can’t quite hold his head up when he sits … but otherwise shows signs of character. The cats and the dogs all adore him. Especially Augie the ginger cat, who longs always to be where Jamie is. Jamie sits on my lap when I watch various Youtube videos of construction and craft projects, and appears to take an interest in them, although maybe it’s just the sound and motion; Luke Towan’s railroad H-scale dioramas, and the doings of Heath and Cedar at the Red Poppy Ranch are particular favorites.

Jamie is the very best thing to have come out of 2020/21. It is, as the saying goes, an ill wind which blows no one any good.

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