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Category: nonfiction

A House by the Side of the Road (Newsletter)

My apologies for not writing in August. Not only was it beastly hot, I was extremely otherwise occupied packing and moving our stuff to a new house.

I knew it was bound to happen and put it off as long as I could, but buckled under rising home prices, mortgages, and peer pressure. It wasn’t the first time my spouse and I had committed to buying property but it was the first time our offer was accepted.

We dithered and negotiated over this and that for seven weeks before biting the debt bullet on a cute little mid-century cape in a modest but up-and-coming mill town 20 miles west of Boston. Sorting and packing and labeling and loading and hauling and unloading and distributing three tons of stuff took more than a month, leaving us with dozens of banana and banker boxes brimming with history to plumb and triage and keep or trash. The banana boxes at least found a good home in the barn of a coop that gleans otherwise wasted crops from local farms and donates them to food pantries and the like.

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Six Random Days in May (newsletter)

This month’s assorted provocations include several commentaries, a story, a funding appeal, and news of recent publications. Two of the items are fiction.

5/5. Got an email saying, “Greetings everybody, I’m Oscar, your friendly spambot. I’ll be feeding you all sorts of incredibly delicious offers from exotic portals for your shopping enjoyment. You’ll want to read each and every one and clip the valuable coupons.”

How nice. I kept reading.

You would be foolish to decline my bountiful offer, but can opt out at any time by visiting my Patreon page and donating $5 to cover my monthly upkeep or just $50 for a whole year, and thank you in advance.

Welcome to my internet family!

Oscar.

At least it doesn’t want Bitcoin. Still considering what to do. Any ideas?

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On Making Literary Connections (newsletter)

Before I forget, Saturday 4/30 is Indie Bookstore day. You may yawn, but it’s a big deal in their struggle for survival. Find a local bookstore and go see what’s happening. Click the poster below to visit a store locator at bookshop.org. Click here to see the full size image. If you have a website or want to send out email about it, copy this section and paste it there.

Click to find a local bookstore near you

And while you’re there, why not browse at the Perfidy Press Bookstore. Thinking of adding a shelf called Friends Recommend... with books that you and others I know believe readers would enjoy. It’ll be limited to 10 titles, so don’t delay, send in your faves.


Scooping Book Reviews

Sometimes the magic works.

It isn’t normally possible for an author to get a new book reviewed in print before it goes to galley, which means you’ve got a publisher or you’re publishing it yourself and it’s all typeset. I’m in a pre-publication limbo, and rather than just twiddling my thumbs til my publisher does their thing, I decided to review my novel myself—but not by itself.

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On Making Black and Other Lives Materially Matter (newsletter)

Celebrating Black History Month reminds one that, like Dr. Martin Luther King, too many African Americans enter history before their time, felled by those sworn to serve and protect them. Their murders have fueled civil rights uprisings such as swept the country in June 2020, after police blithely took the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black martyrs. The Black Lives Matter movement these events crystallized may be changing things, but how much it has impacted communities across America is tough to assess, at least for me. I guess you have to be there to know.

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