Friday, November 24, 2006

Writing events!

It's been a busy week, but a good one. This week:
  • I was invited to a book signing at Crosshaven Books for their Christmas open house. Crosshaven is an independent bookstore in Birmingham, Alabama, owned and run by Marie Peerson. I'll be signing By the Chimney With Care, Blinded By Darkness, and if the shipment comes in, the new re-release of A Wicked Good Play. Keep your fingers crossed for the UPS man.
  • I was invited to participate as a panelist at Murder In the Magic City (also in Birmingham, Alabama) on February 10, 2007. I've heard a lot of good things about this conference, and I'm really looking forward to it!
  • I was invited to teach a class at the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, GA. The class is "Writing and Publishing Your Short Story", and it will run for six weeks, starting in early January 2007.
So, I'm pretty excited about all this!

Yesterday, Lara and I were able to spend some great quality time with my parents, both our daughters, their husband and fiance', and our lovely granddaughter, Rebekah! Sort of a pre-thanksgiving, Thanksgiving. Rebekah is eight months old, and obviously knows she is the star of the show.

Ah, I said "fiance'" didn't I? Well, last night we got the official notification: Patti showed off a beautiful engagement ring that Dustan had given her earlier in the week, in a romantic proposal at Amicalola Falls. (I love that place!)

It's been a good week. I have much to be thankful for.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Seldom do I step down into the political mire, but...

Today I sent an email to the President of the United States of America. "What temerity!" you say, "What gall!!" My email was prompted by a little news item about the Administration's lawyers stating that... oh, heck go HERE and read the news article for yourself.

Here is the text of my email.
Dear Mr. President,

I realize that you personally probably read very few of these emails, but on the off-chance that my luck may be better than I suspect, that is how I started this email.

I also realize that, given that you cannot now be re-elected, my opinions and the opinions of hundreds of thousands of like-minded individuals probably mean very little to you. For that matter, they seem to have mattered very little prior to this time. After all, we are only citizens.

I am an American veteran. I joined the US Navy the same year I graduated from high school, and altogether spent over 12 1/2 years in active service. I have served and defended my country.

I am also a registered Republican. I voted for your father every time he ran, and I voted for you both times you were elected. I now deeply regret that last choice. Your actions of the last few months at first invoked disbelief, then dismay and at the last outrage at the way you have betrayed the trust of the people who elected you.

It is your actions, sir, and those of your officials, which prompted both my wife and myself to vote against any Republican on the ticket in this year's midterm election, simply as a way to try and assure that the same sort of heinous misgovernment does not continue. Unfortunately, Mr. President, this does nothing to correct the errors and missteps you and your administration have perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate, upon the people of this nation and even upon foreign nationals.

I leave you with these quotes, sir.

“Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” — Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg Trials before he was sentenced to death

“The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State.”
— Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels, propaganda minister for Adolf Hitler

and finally...

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”
— Thomas Paine


Tony Burton

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My gosh, it's already the middle of November!

The weather can't seem to settle on a course. Last night and today it was wet, windy and chilly... still is, in fact. Two days ago I was sweating like a pig outside, even though wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Life is sort of like that, in fact. The unexpected will always jump up and get ya. Not long ago, I mentioned on here the anthology we just published, By the Chimney With Care. I was, and am still, very excited about this anthology, most especially because it benefits the Toys for Tots.

But today I discovered, to my horror, that one story had been inadvertently left out of the book. I won't make excuses... I'm the editor and I should have caught that. If you have purchased the book, my apologies. It's still a great book, but it's one story short! I'm in communication with the author of that story and I believe we will come to an agreement about what we will do about it very soon. Until then, enjoy the other stories.

(chagrined and embarrassed)