Tag Archives: Nostalgia

What’s Going On – March 27, 2020

Here in Boston, we’re not quite locked down because of the coronavirus, but we are hunkered down by choice. Nobody’s going out. People are mostly working from home. We take walks, hoping we won’t run into anybody. We shy away from any kind of social contact. All in all, it’s pretty much the way an author lives all the time.

One good thing, for me at least, is that there’s time to do all the little things that are usually relegated to the back burner. I’ve corrected a few weaknesses in this website: had a long chat with my hosting service’s support staff, at the end of which they determined that they couldn’t help me and I’d have to fix the problem myself. I managed to do it. It only took me the better part of a week. But I now know what “Rest API” is.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I’m aware of its existence. I don’t really have any deep understanding of it. I know when it’s creating a problem and which button I need to press to deal with it.

When you come right down to it, my relationship with Rest API is magical. I don’t mean that I’m enchanted by it. I mean that, when it acts up, I say the code equivalent of “Abracadabra” and it slithers back into whatever hole it crawled out of.

I suspect the “Abracadabra” factor in modern life explains why fantasy has become such a popular genre. When I was a boy, I knew what electricity was, at least functionally. I knew what a carburetor did. I knew what a distributor cap did. Most gadgets were mechanical. You could open them up, look inside, and, if you paid attention, you could understand them. Now, you have to speak the doggone thing’s language.

You’ll notice I’ve installed a video widget at the top of the right-hand column. Now you don’t have to scroll down my posts to see me in my videos. My bearded mug will always be at the top of the column, staring at you, urging you to press the little arrow button to listen to me read from my assorted writings. I’ll be on every page. In the age of Abracadabra, technology has sealed off every avenue of escape.

I need to get back to work, making sure all my links work and doing other such things. Maybe, before the day ends, I’ll get back to writing my current work-in-progress, “The Molasses Man,” a short story. I don’t know exactly what it’s about yet, but the characters will tell me in time.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m working on two collections at the moment, one of nostalgic stories and the other of fantasies. The former will contain my previously published but currently unavailable story, “The Reincarnation of Lou Gehrig.” It should be out in early summer. As for the latter, I’ve decided to re-issue “The Richest Man in Babylon, Revisited,” as the headliner for a number of new stories. Look for it in late summer or early fall.

That’s it for now. Stay healthy, everyone.

News Flash: Another Video and Another Book

Reincarnation of Lou Gehrig Cover
Reincarnation of Lou Gehrig, cover by Angel Nichols

The rights to one of my short works, the novelette, The Reincarnation of Lou Gehrig, previous published by Annie Acorn Publishing, have recently reverted to yours truly. Instead of re-issuing it as a stand-alone work, I’ve decided to combine it with two novellas I’ve written. One of the novellas is a work I’ve had sitting on the shelf for more than a year, entitled The Mystery of Ambrose Pouter; the other is brand new, Down The Cape. Both of them, like Reincarnation, are nostalgic, semi-autobiographical stories based on events that actually happened to me or kids I knew ‘way back in the ’50s and ’60s. To be truthful, Down The Cape reaches even further back, in part, but I have everything in it on good authority. Of course, I tweak these tales a little so that they make sense and come to a point, but less than you’d think.

I’m going to call this proposed collection either A Baker’s Dozen, with some kind of zingy sub-title, or The Reincarnation of Lou Gehrig and Other Stories. Catchy, huh?

Whichever, I’m going to use the same cover I did for Reincarnation. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned. I’ll pay myself the extra money and pad the thing with a few shorter stories I’m writing. Maybe the one I’m working on right now, Tempest In A Teapot, about an author who must face a revolt by his own characters.

Eh, on second thought, no, it won’t fit. But some other things will. The collection will be out by summer.

In the meantime, I’ve prepared another video, in which I read a ninth excerpt from Mr. Lake: The A-1. I hope you like it.

Mr. Lake Is Live And Other News

 

Mr. Lake
Mr. Lake – An Arthurian Fantasy?

Mr. Lake, my latest novel, is now live on Amazon.  As of this writing, it’s only available as a Kindle eBook, but the paperback should be available within the week, so check back soon.

What’s Mr. Lake about? It’s an Arthurian fantasy (that is, “Arthurian” in the sense of Knights of the Round Table), set in the imagination of a grade school boy living in the 1960s. He bears something of a resemblance to myself, but that could be only in my imagination. There’s a sword, some sorcery, a witch, a wannabe motorcycle gang, a brick, a buttinski school principal, voodoo, a modicum of violence, a boy and his dog, a best friend, and a special guest appearance by a vintage Volkswagen, but I don’t think it’s a spoiler to admit that King Arthur himself does not appear.

Writing Mr. Lake made me come to grips with a few things, including mortality and change. Listen to me talk about them here.

I’ve got to get back to writing. I’ve got a couple of new stories I want to work on, one of which I’ll post here within a day or two. Also, I’ll be heading into a deep edit of the completed first draft of my latest Snarkey & Putts paranormal lawyers adventure, The Case of the Unchained Immigrant, but more on that later.