I received this email yesterday. I was taken aback. I have no idea how TripAdvisor (U.S.?) paired these two destinations for me:
Thanks for your understanding yesterday. I wasn’t going to post today, but as yesterday went on I felt progressively better. Today, I feel almost fine.
Pain makes everything else feel worse in life, doesn’t it? It “depresses” you. But when the pain lifts, you get necessary perspective back.
So back to “normal.” Or what passes for normal with me. ;-)
Moving right along, I don’t think these are potential future cover photos:
Their bravery cannot be commended enough. They should be invited to the White House. Yesterday these men – 2 U.S. servicemen (one not pictured), a long-time friend, and a British man – sensed trouble on a high-speed Thalys train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. In Belgium, and unarmed themselves, they reacted decisively:
Reports state one of two servicemen involved (the one not pictured, presumably because he had been sliced with a boxcutter during the melee and was under medical attention) in subduing the assailant is based at a U.S. air force base in Portugal’s Azores.
Proofing Distances, I’ve also been referring at times naturally to the first two volumes: Passports and Frontiers. When you write a series, continuity issues become huge. After all, as an author you don’t want to make even one silly mistake.
Because, of all that you write, you KNOW someone will pick up on any error. ;-) By now, there are A LOT of characters – parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, college chums, girlfriends, boyfriends…. and they are all distinct people. And there are varied settings, happenings and other background that must not be “misremembered” either.
Amidst all of it, there are lighthearted moments. Life isn’t always “heavy.” I thought I’d pull some excerpts from Passports and Frontiers and (in no particular order) “rapid fire” share them here. Something a bit different. I hope you enjoy them!:
The U.S and Canada are said to be the only two major developed countries to grant automatic citizenship to the offspring of foreign nationals whose parents are in the countries without legal authorization. Regarding the U.S., Rasmussen polling noted on August 19:
Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters disagree with the current federal policy that says a child born to an illegal immigrant here is automatically a U.S. citizen….
It is not just “federal policy.” It is a right that stems from nearly 120 years of legal practice based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. That amendment was ratified in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865).
Donald Trump’s call for doing away with birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants has once again focused media attention on the idea and led some of his GOP rivals to signal openness to it….
The pressures of an ongoing, mass immigration, particularly from Mexico and Central America – and especially foreign nationals entering and staying without official permission and having U.S. citizen children – has become a contentious issue among many Americans. It is certainly driving this new debate on birthright citizenship.
Over the last few days, as planned, I’ve spent hours proofreading and tidying up Distances. Headphones in, listening to it as I read along, it is remarkable how hearing your written words helps you focus while you proof. It does make it easier to spot not only the likes of accidentally omitted words and typos, but I find it better reveals the overall flow and “readability” and if there are any problems with them.
You may know already that I like flags – especially when one happens to be a “double flag” photo I’d snapped in France longer ago than I now wish to remember, and which a couple of years ago I realized I could use as a novel’s cover:
And the flags over the rebuilt Fort William Henry, in upstate New York, are pretty majestic blowing in the breeze:
The finish is no longer somewhere off in the, uh, nebulous “distance.” It’s done. The draft Distances manuscript is finished:
And, whew, in a way I am about finished now, too. I crossed the finish line yesterday afternoon. After I did, I sat for a few moments staring at the computer screen in semi-disbelief.
What remains now is the final proofing for spelling, grammar, and any other errors. Doing that will take a month or so: it’s nearly 93,000 words. I already found a few mistakes in rereading part of it last night.
As I wanted it to be, Distances is similar in scope to Passports and Frontiers. Based on how long those each took me, I’m actually over a month ahead of where I had expected to be with Distances about now. I’m not quite sure how I managed to so outpace my planned “timeframe.”
What one learns. Did you know that dressing like a rumpled mess is a sign of “freedom” and a declaration of one’s “Americanness?” Neither did I until now:
The writer states she doesn’t see dressing “casual” as being the opposite of “formal.” Rather, it’s the opposite of “confined.” She also asserts:
To dress casual is quintessentially to dress as an American and to live, or to dream of living, fast and loose and carefree.
Observing that is supposed to be, presumably, suitably – no pun intended – patriotic?