My fellow Americans, as we know the summer travel season is now well underway:
Turns out Americans die abroad much the same ways as at home. Most non-natural deaths are not a consequence of terrorism or war. Other than in certain places, they are due mostly to accidents and suicides.
At that State Department page, using the drop down menu you may choose a month/year period combination and country. After a click you’ll discover how, and precisely where, Americans there died of non-natural causes between 2002 and 2014. Isn’t our government helpful?
I spent a good part of yesterday with new characters “Brad” and “Clémence,” as well as with a couple of “old timers,” and filling in additional details and description in several chapters. In the process, I dropped in a couple of thousand more words at least. I became so immersed in it all, I lost track of the time.
The afternoon flew by. As I finished up, I realized again just how unwilling I am to let go of “my friends” quite yet. I’m not “done” with them by any means.
I ended up again pondering what could follow immediately after Distances. I know there will be a fourth novel eventually, and I already know its very general contours. But I’m now pretty drained mentally from writing these first three, and I suspect I will need something of a “sabbatical” to recharge.
I had been mulling over the idea of taking “six months” post-Distances and declaring, “Eh, that’ll do for now.” It seemed reasonable. After all, three novels of nearly 100,000 words each over three years is nothing to sneeze at.
My first flight was on the Eastern shuttle between New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Washington, D.C. I was age 9, and traveling with my grandparents. We three made the short flight to visit for a week with my uncle, aunt and cousins, who were then living in northern Virginia.
I kept that Eastern shuttle’s ticket stub for something approaching three decades after. Do you think I can find it now? Of course I can’t! (I have flown on so many airlines that are now long out of business. The list is extensive: Eastern, Pan Am, TWA, Tower Air, Air Inter. There may be others, but I can’t immediately remember them.)
Last weekend, I searched British TV in vain for a Humphrey Bogart film. I was simply in the mood, and was depressed when I couldn’t find one. Naturally, I informed (as one does nowadays) everyone on the planet who happened to be reading Twitter.
I’ve been up here, near the Westbury White Horse, a bunch of times. However, I’d never taken any photos of this, but finally did yesterday. So how about some English medievalism/ Anglo-Saxon romantic legend for a Wednesday morning:
The way information flies at us is now unprecedented. Masses comes our way, and we “gulp” down lots. But it’s hard to know how much we honestly can process.
Moreover, social media conveys a happy impression that we all live, more or less, in the same “space” – if not precisely the same geographic place. We’re seemingly required as well to have opinions on just about everything happening, and everywhere. And we have to have them immediately.
You find yourself worn out now and then? I do. This weekend was one of those times.
Saturday morning, one of my Twitter lists had displayed this. All at the same time. Seriously:
Took the nephew sightseeing to Bath yesterday as planned. From our front door, it’s 11 miles (says the sat-nav) to the city center. We made sure we got there early.
We got in ahead of the crowds. Arriving shortly after its 9am opening, there was no waiting: of course we did the remains of the ancient Roman baths (which we hadn’t had a chance to go with him back in January):
Yesterday, we took the nephew to Glastonbury – no, not to the music festival, which is over. (There were trucks still clearing away post-festival.) I mean to the town, which is full of history and varieties of faith. He studies Classics at Oxford, and loves this sort of thing:
The British summer weather so far has been, mostly, superb. Today, here in Wiltshire, it’s supposed to be *hot.* I suspect we’re gonna wish we were still here:
I am also about 75 percent finished writing Distances. If I can keep this up, it will be completed by the autumn, which would be well ahead of what I’d hoped. Finishing that third volume has been a major target I’d been aiming for since I started writing in 2012-13.