Catskills “Frontiers”

As I’ve noted before, I will always remember, in the immediate aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene ripping through the Catskills in August 2011 – and us, with a generator, so we could actually watch some news and have internet – hearing CNN’s Anderson Cooper actually say, “Prattsville, New York,” several times to a worldwide audience. It was surreal. We always see disasters played out in media “elsewhere,” but it never happens to “us,” right?:

That nearby town had been virtually destroyed when waters from the massively overflowing Schoharie Creek tore through it. Four years on, the scars are still there, yet it has rebuilt wonderfully – there are new stores and refurbished homes. (We venture in there primarily to shop at the well-stocked “Great American” supermarket.) It looks almost like another place now.

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Welcome To Clooney, Berkshire

Seems I’ve missed this. “Where have you been?” my wife asked. Umm, I’ve been working on my book, that’s where!:

Screen capture of web site.
Screen capture of web site.

So the Clooneys have been creating “issues” in the local village.

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Available From November 29

….on paperback and for Kindle:

The back and front covers for "Distances" - the print version.
The back and front covers for “Distances” – the print version. Click the photo to go to for Kindle.

And available for pre-order now for Kindle at….

….and at other Amazons worldwide.

This “sticky post” will be up until shortly after that 29th. Unless I decide to take it down before, of course. The reason for it is I just wanted to prominently reshare the full cover and the publication date.

I do that despite also being aware that novelists are not really supposed to talk about what they do. I know. Shush. ;-)

And You’re Sure The Minitel Could’ve Gone Global

R. J. Nello:

It’s interesting, and pleasing, when an “old” post suddenly re-attracts attention briefly – usually thanks to visitors coming in via searches such as Google.

You may not really know why they have exactly. However, that renewed attention may lead you to wonder if it could use a “repost.” Those work best, really, if the original was not “timely” and based on some particularly current issue, and especially if newer followers may have missed it the first time.

So why not? I posted this lighthearted piece back on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Now, as for today, October 2, 2015, have a good Friday…. wherever you are in the world. :-)

Originally posted on R. J. Nello:

Intriguing web page that was shared with me yesterday:

17 signs your soul belongs in France

As with most such lists, some observations – even if trite – should ring a bell:

4. You can spot Americans in France from a mile away. They’re wearing a t-shirt, and probably speaking English loudly, as if the reason they’re not being understood isn’t the language barrier but that they’ve yet to make themselves sufficiently audible. Also, they’re likely smiling. Who does that?

It’s Saturday, so whether you are American, or not, let’s, uh, risk a smile.

* * *

Reading that paragraph, Woody Allen films immediately jump to mind; but noting Americans’ distinctive national attire while traveling abroad is not all that new. That said, another giveaway, on men over “age 55,” is they are wearing white sneakers, blue jeans, and a baseball cap (sometimes with the name of a…

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Blogs I Follow

I got a bit of a shock the other day in the form of an automatic WordPress email informing me an aunt-in-law here in England had followed this blog by email. She already knew about my site. It’s just I’m surprised that – out of the blue – she has subscribed.

I get many interesting “likers” and “followers.” So you know, I do try to have a look at everyone who stops by, but I can’t “follow” everyone back. I’d be overwhelmed by the reading.

You may have seen that I added the “Blogs I Follow” widget near the bottom the sidebar. If you use WordPress too, you may know it. I’ve chosen to display the maximum number allowed: 50 blogs.

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Some Risk Death Seeking What Others “Joke” About

When I first read a few days ago about what she had “joked” about, I knew immediately she would have to walk back the comments. And she did:

Screen capture of the Guardian.
Screen capture of the Guardian.

That Guardian piece also notes:

She joked that British people tend to look down on Americans….

I find it really irritating that she “joked” about that on U.S. national TV’s Jimmy Kimmel, because millions of Americans will take what she says as “lightheartedly” accurate. True, no one ever knows what people say about you behind your back. However, I can say that I have not experienced a sense of being “looked down on” by British people.

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Places Lived In England (A List)

Whew. Done. We’re entirely moved out of the Trowbridge house.

Our UK worldly possessions are now mostly in a storage facility near Bristol. (Where we had thought we would be moving. We were wrong.) This morning, we’re at friends’ in Bath (who’ve lent us their place while they are on holiday). Later, we drive to London to visit with my in-laws for a week or so.

This latest move got me recalling all of the moves over the years.

Let’s see, our first UK home post-marriage was in pretty Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a house.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a house.

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“May I see your passport, please?”

The tens of thousands of people tragically trying to reach Europe from North Africa and Syria has – I’m sure you know – been much in the news in recent days. I am also sure you have by now seen “The Picture” (of the Syrian 3 year old who drowned just off Turkey and washed up on the beach). So this CNN piece from a couple of weeks ago is sadly timely:

Italian photographer Valerio Vincenzo has spent the last eight years photographing the EU’s internal boundaries: that’s 26 countries and 16,500 kilometers of borders that can be freely crossed.

His serene images of abandoned customs houses and quiet beaches and woods raise questions about the authenticity of geographical boundaries and national identities.

His project “Borderline, the Frontiers of Peace” will be exhibited at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in September….

The photos shown are worth seeing. He’s an excellent photographer:

Screen capture of CNN.
Screen capture of CNN.

But he’s NOT an historian. He tells CNN:

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An Adventure, Or Two, Or Three….

I wasn’t going to tell you this. In the end I figured, well, why not? We’re friends here. :-)

I’m fast approaching a milestone birthday that ends in a “zero.”

Free Stock Photo: Cupcakes with birthday candles.
Free Stock Photo: Cupcakes with birthday candles.

You may know that “James,” one of my main characters, is 29 years of age in 1994:

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