25. August 2013 · Comments Off on Reflections · Categories: Domestic · Tags: , , ,

It’s been a strange week, all in all – for a number of different reasons, several of which brought me around to thinking of my father. There is a lot of Dad in the character of Vati, in the Adelsverein Trilogy – the free-thinking, scientific interests, and how he pushed all of us to excel, although not the absent-mindedness, and gnome-like appearance. Physically, Dad looked actually rather like Papa, in Daughter of Texas/Deep in the Heart – tall and fair, with broad shoulders, rather like the actor Vince Morrow in his prime. Dad passed away on the day after Christmas, 2010, a week short of his 80th birthday. Between one week and the next he was fine, and then suddenly semi-paralyzed, and in the hospital, being operated on for a subdural hematoma. Between the next week and the week after he was recovering … and then not doing so well – that he was in a comas, but only temporary. On Christmas Eve, everyone assured us Dad was fine; the problem would be sorted out soon … but on the day after Christmas, my brother called, and said there was nothing that they could do. Last Rites had been performed, although Dad always insisted that he was an agnostic. I have wondered since if the hospital staff kept Dad going in life-support just to get through Christmas Day. There was an episode of the TV show M*A*S*H with just that very plot.
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22. July 2013 · Comments Off on Fredericksburg Visit! · Categories: Book Event · Tags: , ,

Although I hardly need an excuse – but I have been invited to a meeting of the Fredericksburg Newcomers Book Club on Thursday. The members book o’the month was The Gathering, and so of course I offered to come up and answer questions.
The meeting is on Thursday, at 10:00 in the ground floor conference room of the Chase Bank on East Main, and then I guess we are all going out to lunch.

Yay! Fredericksburg!

12. June 2013 · Comments Off on All Righty, Then … · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I am just about finished with moving all the content from the wordpress.com blog over to this – which is also wordpress run, but where I own the domain! I built the original website using an old version of  Adobe Contribute, but the neccessary upgrade in the software package neccessitated by going to a brand-new and even more powerful computer were just something I couldn’t afford … and I had put together a number of nice websites for the internet-challenged using wordpress … so, why not? There comes a time when something like a house or a website has been so added-onto, revised, extended, repainted and patched clumsily, and the inner-workings have become so jury-rigged and complicated that you might as well just tear it all down and build it new and clean … and using a program that doesn’t cost as much as half my monthly mortgage payment.

So – all the book catalog pages newly done – and with functioning PayPal buttens, and links to my books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble – (not to self – add Smashwords, as well), all the recipes are moved into new pages, and most of the archives are transferred over – and since I can blog here as well … what’s not to like, now that I’ve put up new curtains, unrolled the rugs, and rearranged the furniture. Save for figuring out how to automatically link to Facebook, and haul over all the links, and the last of the archives – all but done.

Come on in, have some sweet tea, make yourself at home – and enjoy the view! I’ll be blogging book-stuff here from now on, so adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

Basically, the same cover … but in German!

So, we’re looking for launch of the e-book version at the beginning of November, and the print version by mid-month. So now I will be internationally-known! So cool…

27. September 2011 · Comments Off on Evening With the Authors – Lockhart, Texas · Categories: Book Event, Old West · Tags: , , , ,

 Yea these many months ago, I was invited by the organizers to be one of those authors in a fund-raising event to benefit the Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas. This is the oldest functioning public library existing in Texas; and since Texas was not generally conducive to the contemplative life and public institutions such as libraries until after the Civil War, generally – this means it is a mere infant of a library in comparison to institutions in other places. But I was thrilled to be invited, and to find out that Stephen Harrigan is one of the other authors. There were two elements in his book, Gates of the Alamo which I enjoyed terrifically when I finally read it. (Well after finishing the Trilogy, since I didn’t want to be unduly influenced in writing about an event by another fiction-writers’ take on it.) First, he took great care in setting up the scene – putting the whole revolt of the Texians in the context of Mexican politics; the soil out of which rebellion sprouted, as it were. (And he also touched on the matter of the Goliad as well.) Secondly, he had a main character who experienced the Texian rebellion against Mexico as a teenaged boy and who then lived into the 20th century. I liked the way that it was made clear that this all happened not that long ago, that it was possible for someone to have been a soldier in Sam Houston’s army, and live to see electrical street lighting, motorcars, and moving pictures.

That just appealed to me, for as another author friend pointed out – we are only a few lifetimes ago from the memories of great events. For instance – my mother, who is now in her eighties; suppose that when she was a child of eight or ten, she talked to the oldest person she knew. Suppose that in 1938, that oldest person was ninety, possibly even a hundred. That oldest person that my mother knew would have been born around 1830 to the late 1840s; such a person would clearly remember the Civil War, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, possibly even the California Gold Rush and the emigrant trail, the wars with the Plains Indians. Now, suppose that the oldest person that my mother knew and talked to as a child and supposing that person as a child of eight or ten had then talked to the oldest person they knew – also of the age of eighty to ninety in the 1840s . . .  that oldest person would have been born in 1750-1760. That oldest person, if born on these shores would remember the Revolution, the British Army occupying the colonies, Lexington and Concord, General Washington crossing the Delaware. All of that history, all of those memories, in just three lifetimes – three easy jumps back into time! Nothing worked better to establish how close we really are to events in the past.

Anyway, I am looking forward to this – and since my daughter and I will drive up to Lockhart around midday Saturday, and the event doesn’t even get started until early evening, we are planning to go to the Kreuz Market and prove to ourselves that it really is one of the five best BBQ places in Texas. She also wants to check out any thrift stores and estate sales going on. With luck we will return with about as much as we set out with.