NOPE. Not going backwards.
Rioter carrying a confederate flag into the U.S. Capitol building.
It’s a relief to bid 2020 adieu. A year that brought unprecedented economic, health and political hardships to America.
As is the case with really hard times, we can learn so much about ourseves and others if we pay attention, and reflect. COVID-19
Those of you who are extroverts (I’m not one) had to slow your social roll. Reduced face time; reduced personal engagements, reduced outings.
For those who, sadly, lost jobs or businesses you’ve had to change your lifestyles, and in many cases ask for help. Nothing teaches like being in the position to have to ask for help.
For those who suffered the ultimate loss-the loss of loved ones and friends-you may have had to mourn without even the simple comfort of a hug. Many of us had to miss the ceremony of funerals and memorials for our loved ones. My heart goes out to you.
For students, you’ve had to make adjustments in your young lives that affect the way you learn and connect with friends, and live life. Things will, soon, change. I hope the loss of some of your freedoms will push you to appreciate the things you DO have.
Before Covid rocked us on our heels, we were outraged by another slew of police shootings of black citizens. Covid-19 gave us the time and bandwidth to reflect on where we really stand when it comes to championing racial justice. A lot of people read books, and gave money and time to the Black Lives Matter movement. Some of us were changed, forever. Let’s continue to work and fight for the fair treatment of ALL of America’s citizens. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the ONLY thing to do to keep our divisions from growing wide and wider.
Men (so far) have come and gone from the most important position in our democratic Republic. We’ve reeled from 4 years of chaos, fear mongering, and mean spiritedness. We can do better, and in my abundant optimism, I believe we will. If not, like the perils of ignoring racial injustice, we will have what James Baldwin invokes in his seminal work on race, The Fire Next Time.
So, Happy New Year. We can be hopeful, and look forward to more peace and grace and trust and good works. But, we can’t be complacent, or sit on our laurels, or revert to our old ways. If we do, 2020 will be a preamble rather than an anomaly.
Black Friday Blues
Civility has gone away
It’s been replaced by ruder sway.
A flat-screened TV is the treasure
relieves us of all sense of measure.
We elbow, gouge and snatch with zeal
And our true natures we reveal.
We cue up just to make the score
For some, even the night before.
Thanksgiving prayers and harvest reap
Take second place to discounts deep. Continue reading
Thanks,Tom Powers, for the nice review in the Michigan in Books blog post
Nick, Nora & Asta
The Thin Man’s Nick and Nora James are never far from Asta their terrier. Columbo loves his basset hound. Private Eye, V.I. Warshawski has a rescue Golden named Peppy.
The dog of a sleuth has to have personality, curiosity and patience.
In the fourth book of the Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries, Judge Me When I’m Wrong, Charlie Mack and Mandy Porter adopt a rescue dog. The compromise on a canine name came by using their first initials: MC––and, of course, Hammer had to follow. Dubbed Hamm for short, their male pooch is described only as a lop-eared, mixed-breed with a friendly tail and soulful eyes.
In honor of the fifth book in the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery series, Find Me When I’m Lost, (July 28, 2020). I’m announcing the:
WHAT DOES HAMM LOOK LIKE? Contest.
Here are other hints given about Hamm in the book series:
- He loves kids.
- He has a large dog bed.
- Hamm is a brave dog.
- Post your favorite Hamm look-alike dog photos to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #ItsHAMMerTime from July 31st-August 3, 2020.
- In collaboration with my publisher, Bywater Books, I’ll select the photo that best matches my vision of Hamm the dog.
- I will describe Hamm ,based on the winning photo, in Book 6 of the Charlie Mack series, Warn Me When It’s Time (2021).
- The owner, and pet, of the winning photo will receive a special credit in Book 6, and
- A signed copy of the current Charlie Mack Motown Mystery, Find Me When I’m Lost.
Award-winning, Mystery Writer, Sara Paretsky and her golden retriever.
I appreciate this review by Amos Lassen of my latest book: Find Me When I’m Lost.
I am not really much of a mystery reader but Cheryl Head’s Charlie Mack’s series are something else. No sooner do I finish one, I begin waiting for the next one. She has the ability to create characters and plots that we love and look forward to— but sometimes it can be a long wait in between books. When a new one does come it is cause for celebration but I really must stop reading them so quickly.
At Gay Mystery Podcast with Brad Shreve.