The Happiness Between Tails podcast speaks to and from the heart. Like its corresponding blog, HBT also connects book lovers and writers who'll enjoy the novels I’m drafting, which will soon become podcasts I will totally narrate. “Flamenco + the Sitting Cat" and “Tango + the Sitting Cat” are my love letters to all who fear they're too old, too damaged, too whatever to find love and happiness with or without a partner.
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Now that I’ve decided to try again to attract a literary agent for my novel, I’ve spent a lot of time working up the ‘perfect’ (as if such a thing exists) thumbnail, elevator pitch, and synopsis. They’re finally decent, so next in line are an agent letter and a list of agents who represent my type of writing.
What gets me through the ensuing terror and drudgery of it all is listening to audiobooks. People are forever asking me how I manage to get through so many. The first hour or so, I listen on regular speed, to get a feel for the sensibility. After that, I start upping the speed, depending on how much I can focus I can devote at the moment, what the book is like, and how crisply the reader enunciates. It’s amazing how quickly many short listens here and there can add up, like while I’m working out, cooking, brushing my teeth, walking my dog, making the bed, or whatever.
Here are the reviews I wrote for Amazon and Goodreads for what I’ve listened to most recently…
Love, family, politics, prejudice, our place in the world… Born to Korean parents who gave her away to anglo parents who raised her among only anglos, Nicole Chung’s experience offers us a chance to ponder. From a practical viewpoint, she shares with it was like for her, first as a child and now as a mother. Relatable to anyone who has ever felt different, known a family, or experienced inequality. Janet Song does a lovely audio narration.
Love, emotion, and attachment contemplated through the eyes of a woman who resorts to submitting to a sociopath in order to pay her medical bills. What’s it like to be a super star who’s lost the ability for compassion? What’s it like to be his girlfriend, a living mannequin following a script? Great premise and well written, but cynical in the worst victim-minded sense. Megan Tusing offers a validating audiobook performance.
Stumbled onto this as I don’t gravitate to romance genre, but was intrigued by the rare depiction of older romance. So glad that Gillory didn’t disappoint. Though must admit that I was only able to appreciate the super gentle pace and low-level tension when I read an interview with Gillory, wherein she discussed her underlying the theme of ‘consent.’
How can anyone not fall in love with a protagonist who is an assasin-for-hire, 65-year-old woman about to be put out to pasture? Shame on her would-be assigned murderers who underestimate her… Nancy Wu does a great job narrating. Adding to the intrigue is that the audiobook publisher is a division of Harlequin Romance despite this being anything but a romance novel.
You’ve got 4 half-siblings via a dad who fathered everyone via four moms. Haha, he calls himself a ‘people person.’ You don’t have a relationship with any of them, outside of your own mother, and the worst possible thing happens to you. Now what? Novelist Carty-Williams’ madcap story is underpinned with a serious rumination on acceptance and forgiveness; who, how, and is it worth it? Danielle Vitalis is a wonderful narrator.
Today’s guest, Alitta, blogs (and is also on Instagram) from Kerala, which is in Southern India. A part time content writer and a full time chartered accountant student, she’s taking a break from the finance world to explore freelancing and writing. She describes her poetry and blog posts as combinations of wittiness, emotion, and thoughts with sarcasm and dark humor with a light at the end of the tunnel. In this poem, she ponders, in her words, how a person feels initially after a breakup, when nothing feels right and everything becomes taxing…
Kolkata shopping is a world apart from anything I’ve experienced elsewhere. (By the way, learning at least a few words of the language for where I visit makes things loads more fun — more on that below, as well as how it can figure into novel-writing like for my upcoming “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat.”)
Apologies that photography can’t convey bicycle ring-a-lings and car honk-honks. Images can’t waft sidewalk vendor aromas. Nor can they resonate cow clop-clops as they overtake traffic.
Once we felt human after the sleep-defying endless airplane journey, it was time to check out clothes. Back home in Los Angeles, we’d browsed Little India in Cerritos, but left empty-handed. What do I know about Kolkata standards for a pretty wedding sari? The very thought of trying to origami one onto myself was beyond me. At the store, an attendant helped, yet I looked as if I’d rolled out of bed, rumpled sheets and all.
Folks assured us we’d find high quality and reasonable prices in India, so we decided to hold off for there.
Axis Mall, our first shopping center, lay in Kolkata’s perimeter called New Town.
The food vendors in the opening photo to this post lined the route there. Note the co-op buildings in the distance, equivalents to our condos, but financed and inhabited by family, friends, and co-workers. Throughout our stay, skies were blue, the temps balmy — perfect for Kolkata’s wedding, hence anniversary, season…
Several floors featured of anything you could ever need, from clothes and luggage, to groceries and massages…
A couple of blocks away, Central Mall, was similar but included a multi-story department store…
At another mall…
…we checked out men’s clothing — don’t we look cute? From left to right: bridegroom Deep, who grew up in Kolkata and now lives in London, my cousin Giulia who grew up in Italy and resides in Spain was the bride, and Deep’s mom, Bipasha, was in the middle. You already know moi and my honey …
Outside, we encountered these lovelies. The overhead railway in progress should be fully constructed within a year or two…
Heeding our doctor’s instructions, we didn’t sample street food on actual streets — but we enjoyed plenty of street-type munchies at the wedding and at the hotel’s extensive dinner buffets. Thank goodness, because temptation was everywhere. The Puchkalicious stall in front of the cows sold the most utterly ingenious tastiness — sweet, tart, juice plus stew amazingness — spooned into potato chip-crunchy hollow little orbs and served in eco-loving leaf dishes.
Puchkas, I’m waiting for you to please please come to Los Angeles. This video begins with the sound-orgy of wonderfulness, segues into how-to, and ends with a hilarious depiction of what an all-out party in and of themselves these goodies are.No Bengali needed to understand the fun here, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), heaped on…
Travel reminds us how interconnected and interdependent the world is. When I travel, studying about my destination beforehand adds to the fun. All the better if I learn a few words of the language with a free app from my local library. Today’s guest, Javier Prieto, an expert at Chinese and Spanish, explains how everyone, writers and other business people included, can benefit from reaching beyond English…
“Expand your Readership, Boost your Sales, Get More Readers and Build your Brand: Translating your Work,” by Javier Prieto
In today’s globalized world, the reach of books and written material has expanded beyond borders. As a writer or content creator, you may have a great story to tell, but what if your readers can’t understand it due to language barriers? That’s where translation comes in, specifically English to Spanish and English to Chinese.
Why Spanish and Chinese?
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 540 million potential readers across more than 20 countries. In the United States alone, over 20% of the population speaks Spanish at home, making it a valuable market for any writer, content creator or editor looking to expand their reach.
Similarly, Chinese is another language with a vast potential readership. With over 1.4 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country, and Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language globally. Getting your books and written material translated into Chinese opens up an enormous market for your work.
By translating your work into Spanish or Chinese, you can expand your readership and reach a broader audience. This will not only help you gain more exposure but also increase your revenue potential. As more readers become aware of your ideas, you can sell more copies of your book, and your brand can become more recognized.
How to choose a translator?
However, it is important to understand that translating your work is not an easy task. It requires a significant amount of skill and knowledge to ensure that the translated work accurately conveys the original content’s intended meaning. Therefore, it is crucial to work with a professional translation service provider who has experience in the field and can deliver high-quality translations.
Working with a professional translation service can also help you save time and avoid costly mistakes. Professional translators have the skills, experience, tools, and resources to ensure that your work is translated accurately, efficiently, and effectively. They can also provide valuable insights and advice on how to tailor your work to different audiences and cultures.
When it comes to choosing a translation service, there are many factors to consider. Look for a provider who has experience in translating the type of content you produce, such as books or articles. Also, check their portfolio and references to ensure they have a track record of delivering high-quality translations. Finally, consider their pricing and turnaround times to ensure they can meet your needs and budget.
Benefits of translating your work.
Translating your books into Spanish or Chinese can do much more than just expanding your readership. It can also help improve your personal brand and increase your exposure in the media and press.
As a self-published author or a writer for an editorial, getting your work translated into another language can help you establish yourself as a global brand. By reaching out to readers in different parts of the world, you can expand your reach and increase your credibility. This can be especially important for coaches, course creators, and other professionals who rely on their personal brand to attract customers.
With the help of a professional translation service, you can ensure that your message is communicated effectively and accurately to your target audience. By crafting your message in a way that resonates with your readers in their language, you can establish a deeper connection with them and build trust in your brand.
Additionally, having your work translated can help you get more media and press coverage. Translating your book or written material into another language can help you gain more exposure in international markets, which can lead to more opportunities for media and press coverage. By showcasing your work to a global audience, you can attract the attention of publishers, journalists, and other industry professionals, helping you to gain more visibility and credibility in your field.
Can I translate all kinds of texts? What about poetry?
Translating poetry is a complex and challenging task that requires a high level of skill and creativity from the translator.
Unlike prose, poetry often relies on the nuances of language and the interplay of sound and rhythm to convey its meaning. The choice of words, the use of metaphor, and the structure of the poem are all crucial elements that contribute to its overall impact.
Translating poetry into another language involves not only finding the right words but also capturing the essence of the original work. The translator must consider the cultural context, the historical background, and the poetic traditions of the target language to create a translation that is both faithful to the original and resonates with the target audience.
One of the main difficulties of translating poetry is finding the right balance between fidelity to the original and creative adaptation. While a literal translation may capture the meaning of the words, it may not convey the poetic effect of the original. On the other hand, a too-free adaptation may lose the essence of the original work and fail to capture its poetic qualities.
Another challenge in translating poetry is the preservation of the poem’s structure and form. Poetic forms such as rhyme, meter, and verse are integral to the meaning and impact of a poem. Translating these forms into another language requires a deep understanding of the target language’s poetic traditions and its sound and rhythm patterns.
What about AI translations?
While AI translations and machine translations such as Google Translator have improved in recent years, there are still significant benefits to using human translation services for translating books and other written material.
One of the main advantages of using human translation services is the ability to capture the nuances of language and cultural context. Language is a complex and dynamic system that involves more than just the literal meaning of words. It also includes idioms, expressions, and cultural references that are difficult for machine translation to capture. Human translators are able to understand the context of the text and convey its meaning in a way that is culturally appropriate and sensitive.
Another advantage of human translation services is the ability to ensure accuracy and consistency. While machine translations may be fast and convenient, they can also be prone to errors and inconsistencies. Human translators are able to ensure that the translation is accurate, free from errors, and consistent throughout the entire text.
Human translation services also offer a level of quality assurance that is not available with machine translations. Professional translation services have a rigorous quality control process that involves proofreading and editing by a second translator to ensure accuracy and consistency. This level of quality control is essential for ensuring that the final product meets the highest standards of excellence.
Do you work with/for writers?
Are you an agent, editor, book designer or book coach? Adding translation to your own services can provide several benefits, such as increasing sales and adding value to your services.
Offering translation services can help to expand your reach and tap into new markets. By offering translations into languages such as Spanish and Chinese, you can help your clients to reach new audiences and potentially increase their sales and revenue.
Additionally, offering translation services can help to differentiate themselves from their competitors and add value to their services. By providing a one-stop-shop for their clients that includes translation services, they can offer a more comprehensive and valuable package of services. This can help to attract new clients and retain existing ones.
Another advantage of offering translation services is that it can help to build stronger relationships with clients. By offering a wider range of services, professionals can become more integrated into their clients’ projects and build deeper, long-lasting relationships. This can lead to more repeat business and referrals, which can be a significant source of revenue.
In conclusion, translating your work into Spanish or Chinese can open up vast new markets and readership potential. However, it is important to work with a professional translation service provider who can deliver accurate and high-quality translations. By doing so, you can expand your reach, gain more exposure, and increase your revenue potential.
What languages do you know?
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Not counting getting to Los Angeles International Airport, then futzing around there, the journey to Kolkata took 23 hours. Ignorant that a young boy with lungs strong enough to keep us awake the first 16-hour leg of the flight, we were fresh-faced when we checked in at the ticket counter. The second leg was a restless blur, as were the first couple of days of settling in.
Was it one — or two days? — after we landed that we visited New Town’s Eco Park? New Town is the suburb of Kolkata where we stayed at (more blog posts about that here and here and here and here and here and here), a whirlwind of pardon-our-dust burgeoning growth that includes new indoor malls, hotels, condos, and more.
My fave vacations involve lots of walking to look at amazing things between tasty meals. India is a heaven for vegetarians, which I am (more about the food here). We decided to walk the mile or so to Eco Park.
Strolling the highway there, we shared the sidewalk with a couple of cows. Someone explained they probably belonged to a nearby farmer. Later, another local discussed how difficult it is to relocate economically challenged people into subsidized apartment buildings when they and their livestock live off the land.
On the subject of where people live, New Town owes much of its current rebirth to co-ops. Families, friends, and co-workers pool monies to build condos. Construction crews live on-site. We passed one building that housed former airport co-workers, which they proudly announced on their signage.
Good thing most apartments and condos feature balconies. The impressive saris that all types of women wear run anywhere from four to six yards long. I don’t know how anyone washes that much fabric, but I do know that many people dry them by hanging them over their balconies, the cloth draping clear past the balcony below them.
Look closely at :52 and 1:11 to see what I mean…
Once we got to Eco Park, we were in for one surprise after another. With a name like that, I’m not sure what I expected. All I know is that it wasn’t a sculpture of a golden woman walking her golden dog, a historical recreation of a Bengali village…
What Every Red State Resident Should Know about Birth Control Options by Valerie Tarico
Some birth control options are 100 times more reliable than others.
Unexpected pregnancy? Wrong time? Wrong partner? Wrong circumstances? Too bad. That’s the attitude of Christian Right fundamentalists, and conservative politicians who think that sucking up to fundamentalists will get them reelected.
Most people—including religious people—including Christians—don’t think this way. But fundamentalists and their lackeys are doing their damnedest to make pregnancy the price of sex by outlawing abortion while also driving down birth control knowledge and access. If they wanted to, they could make abortion almost obsolete by broadcasting information about the most reliable birth control methods and making them cheap and easy to get. They could also fund research on even better methods, including options for men. Instead, they spread misinformation about modern birth control options, shout about risks while being zipper-lips about bonus health benefits, and falsely claim that the most reliable methods work by turning your body into an abortion factory. What does that tell you?
So here goes the list. It’s organized from most trustworthy to least, because some methods are literally 100 times more reliable than others. But first, some quick comments:
With regular unprotected sex, 85 out of 100 couples will get pregnant within a year. Unless you are trying to make a baby, unprotected sex is pregnancy roulette.
Bedsider.org has the most accurate, up-to-date birth control chooser on the web.
No one method fits (or works) for all of us, and none is perfect.
How often contraception fails depends a lot on how much effort it takes, how often.
Lastly, apologies in advance, guys: Your non-permanent options stink; you deserve better. In the meantime, if you have sex with females you should know what they are using and what options they have.
Implant (3-5 years) —The implant is a flexible rod the size of a matchstick that goes in the underside of a female arm. From there, it slow-releases hormones that prevent eggs from developing. It is the most reliable method currently available, with a 1 in 1000 annual failure rate. Another way to say this: If you used an implant for 1000 years, you could expect one pregnancy. That is because long-acting contraceptive devices like the implant or IUD flip the default setting on fertility to off making pregnancy “opt-in” instead of “opt-out.” Downsides: Costly up front if not covered by insurance. May cause irregular periods or hormonal side effects like headaches or sore breasts, especially at first. Upsides: Quick outpatient insertion. Get it and forget it for up to five years; quick return to normal fertility whenever removed. Safe for smokers, people with hypertension, and diabetics. Ok while breastfeeding. Bonus health benefits: May reduce PMS, depression, or endometriosis symptoms.
Hormonal IUD (3-8 years) —An IUD is a T-shaped bit of plastic that fits into the uterus; it is the birth control method most preferred by gynecologists for themselves and their partners. (Some people even turn samples into earrings.) This IUD releases a local micro-dose of progestin; and the female body responds by sealing off the cervix like it would during pregnancy, an internal barrier. Like the implant, it has a 1-in-1000 yearly failure rate. Downsides: Insertion, though brief, can be painful. May cause cramps at first. Some bodies spit that puppy right back out. Upsides: Get it and forget it. Lighter periods or none at all, so good for athletes or people who suffer from anemia or strong menstrual cramps and bleeding. Can reduce endometriosis. Quick return to normal fertility. Good while breastfeeding.
Vasectomy or Tubal Ligation (permanent) —A vasectomy is the only truly dependable method that lets a man control his own fertility. As in a tubal ligation for women, a tiny tube in the body is snipped so that gametes (sperm for males, eggs for females) can’t travel to the place they would meet. Both methods are almost as reliable as the implant or hormonal IUD. Downsides: Requires a medical procedure, and you can’t count on reversing it if you later change your mind. Upsides: One and done. No medications, no potential side effects, no repeat medical visits.
Copper IUD (10+ years) —Thin wires wrapped around the arms of this IUD release copper ions that make it so sperm can’t swim. The amount needed is so small that a copper IUD can work for a decade or more as an internal, hormone-free spermicide. (I had mine for 23 years.) Once settled into place, it has a 1-in-100 annual failure rate. Downsides: Insertion, though brief, can be painful. May cause cramps or backaches. Usually causes heavier periods during the first few months, so not good for women with anemia. Upsides: Get it and forget it till you want to get pregnant or menopause kicks in. Hormone-free for those who don’t do well on estrogen or progestin. Immediate return to normal fertility upon removal. Normal periods for those who want them. Good while breastfeeding.
The Shot (3 months) —The Depo-Provera shot suppresses ovulation–no eggs released to meet up with sperm. The annual pregnancy rate is 4 in 100—almost twice as good as the pill but a lot worse than IUDs and implants. Downsides: This is the only method with documented weight gain for some users. May cause irregular spotting. Can cause hormonal side effects like headaches or depression. Requires quarterly medical appointments. Upsides: Effort free for 3 months. Shorter, lighter periods. Works for people who don’t tolerate estrogen in birth control pills. (Note: Self-administered and six-month versions of the Depo shot are in the works.)
The Ring (1 month) —A soft, flexible ring around the cervix delivers the same estrogen-progestin combination as some birth control pills. Out of 100 users, 7 will get pregnant in any given year. Downsides: Must be changed out every 3 or 4 weeks. Same side effects as similar pills. User needs to be comfortable inserting and removing the ring with their fingers. Upsides: Benefits of pills without having to remember every day. Lighter, less crampy periods, less acne. Monthly periods can be skipped if desired. Some protection against bone thinning, ovarian and endometrial cancers, anemia, and some infections.
The Patch (1 week) —Similar in look to a nicotine patch, an estrogen-progestin patch works pretty much like birth control pills except you only have to remember once a week rather than every day. Like the shot, ring and pill, it keeps eggs from being released. Out of 100 users, 7 will get pregnant in a year. Downsides: Need to swap out weekly. Potential hormonal side effects. Upsides: Lighter, less crampy periods, less acne. Monthly periods optional. Some protection against bone thinning, ovarian and endometrial cancers, anemia, and some infections.
The Pill (every day) —A variety of birth control pills offer different combinations of estrogen and progestin, or just progestin (called the mini-pill), which let people try out which formulas work best for them. Out of 100 users, 7 will get pregnant in a year. Downsides: Hard to remember—85 percent of women miss three or more doses each month. Potential hormonal side effects. Upsides: Lighter, less crampy periods. Monthly periods can be skipped if desired. Estrogen-containing pills reduce acne and protect slightly against bone thinning, ovarian or endometrial cancers, anemia, and some infections.
Condoms (every time) —The condom is the only nonpermanent option for men who want to manage their own fertility, and it is the only method that protects against sexually transmitted infections. But as birth control goes, condoms aren’t very reliable: Thirteen out of 100 couples relying on condoms will face a pregnancy within a year. Downsides: Can reduce sexual pleasure, high effort, easy to get it wrong. Upsides: inexpensive, no prescription required, no side effects, protection against STIs.
Periodic abstinence (one week every month) — Some couples, for religious or other reasons, prefer simply to avoid sex during the female partner’s fertile days. Periodic abstinence has been used to avoid pregnancy for generations; now a variety of tools can help to track monthly cycles or even detect signs of ovulation. On average, these methods result in pregnancy each year for about 15 in 100 couples, but tracking tools are getting better. Downsides: Requires careful monitoring, effort, discipline, and a certain kind of couple. Substantial pregnancy risk. Upsides: Inexpensive, no prescription or side effects.
Diaphragm, female condom (every time) — Diaphragms and female condoms are barriers made from silicone or rubber. Inserted before intercourse, they block sperm from reaching the uterus. Around 1 in 5 couples relying on these methods will get pregnant each year, half again as many as those using male condoms. (My mom had five diaphragm babies.) That said, the female condom is the one female-controlled method that protects against STIs. Downsides: Substantial risk of pregnancy. Takes practice to insert consistently and correctly. Can irritate the vagina. Upsides: No side effects, condom offers STI protection, diaphragm reduces pelvic infections.
No one method works for all people. Some, like me, have medical conditions that mean they shouldn’t take hormones (in my case migraines). Some have personal or ancestral trauma and don’t feel ready to have a healthcare provider put something inside them. Some trust shots; others hate them. Some can remember to take a pill at the same time every day for years on end, while most of us can’t. Some want lighter, less-frequent periods while others like their monthly cycle. For any given person, one or more of these considerations may be worth a higher degree of pregnancy risk. We all make trade-offs.
But to do so, we need to know what we are and aren’t trading off. Everyone who doesn’t want to be pregnant right now deserves to know their options. How well does each birth control option stack the odds in favor of—birth control? The differences, as I’ve already said, can be huge: A couple relying on condoms is 100 times more likely to face an unsought pregnancy and a potential abortion quest than a couple relying on an implant or hormonal IUD.
Abortion rights and sex ed and contraceptive access for young people are under siege in much of the United States. Some Christians and politicians think the price of sex should be pregnancy roulette and then parenthood, however unwanted or mistimed. Women are being treated like moral degenerates or criminals because they chose not to incubate an unsought or unhealthy pregnancy. In other words, the stakes are high, and spreading accurate information is an act of defiance.
So do it.
What’s the best way you know to make the world a better place for women?
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First up is to record the beginning section of it. The book a series of letters (a.k.a. epistolary) grouped in 12 parts (a nod to the 12/12 rhythm of flamenco). There’s producing a teaser, an intro, an outro, and the first set of letters. When it’s publicly aired, there will be a press release to write.
For now, the audio sample will only be to give agents a preliminary listen, in the hopes that the audio sample will create extra sparkle. Acting experience of a prior life demonstrated that there’s a lot more to agents than merely attracting one.
The real ginormous trick is to find a phenomenal one; someone who is fair and communicates well. Most of all, someone with great connections and who’s belief in the potential success of our collaboration can motivate them to work hard. That means I need to cull a list of appropriate agents and write an enticing pitch.
My inclination is to continue listing stuff to do because I’m so excited, but I’d just be repeating the same whirling thoughts over and over. So, moving along…
But wait, I also need artwork that looks equally good as a book cover and a smartphone thumbnail. One that can apply to the podcast too, and be easily customized for each new show segment.
Thanks much, blog friends who pointed out a while ago that my old cover resembled something for kids or teens.
Moving along once more in what’s turning out as hodgepodge as my brain at the moment…
For anyone out there doing the WordPress-blog-to-Anchor-podcast two-step — is it just me or do you also have to wait an entire 8 hours for your newest show episodes to appear on WordPress’ podcast editing block’s drop-down menu? After a chat and emails with WordPress, they said they would look into it, but you know how that’ll probably go.
More on podcasting: editing podcast shows on iMovie is easier than learning GarageBand. Nervous that my shows may technically suffering in ways I can’t hear, I scrounged for official comparisons. Seems iMovie is just as good, given that I’m using only voice, occasional sound FX and music, not mastering elaborate music compositions.
Again on podcasting: in the same way that blog posts can look different, for better or worse, depending on the device, so can audio shows. I asked Anchor if there’s a way to ensure that sound levels don’t vary. Basically they answered “no,” but that they would put it on their list.
More on Anchor: grousing, but also bringing up these complaints so you won’t think it’s just you doing something wrong — why is it too much trouble for Anchor to add page numbers for one’s editing list of show episodes?
More Swiss cheese thoughts…
A couple of days ago, I finished listening to humorist/autobiographer/essayist David Sedaris’ latest book, Happy-Go-Lucky.
He admits his dark humor isn’t for everyone. With each book, I’m smitten with how searingly self-searching he is and doesn’t settle for “all-good/all-bad” depictions and outcomes tied with neat bows.
This time he totally blew my mind with his honesty about his dad. Like me, he had one monster of a father who in old age showed flashes of something akin to softness and a smidge of regret. But so, as the “fruit” of such a person, what does one do with that?! Like when my father got nicer yet was still creepy and came onto me a couple of years before he died? In many ways, it was easier when he was just blatantly horrible…
My review of it for Amazon and Goodreads:
One of his best. Happy-Go-Lucky hits the nail on the head when it comes to showing how things aren’t always black or white — that they can lie within the confusing rainbow in between.
Each of his books, all his thoughtful self-disclosure, brings to mind the 1970s Women’s Lib phrase, “The personal is political.” Upon googling it, turns out some criticized it for really referencing white woman privilege. I’d like to reclaim it to define how, when we get really day-to-day honest and authentic enough to strive for better, it helps everyone.
Like how blogging makes the world smaller and small voices bigger.
Included in Wiki’s information on the slogan was a reference to bullseye-scoring Ann Newmarch’s artwork at the top of this post.
Here I flit to a happy thing, a quotation I just found that dovetails with a major theme within my novel…
Director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up): I used to think, “Oh, these are coming-of-age movies.” But I think people are still coming of age at 80 and 90.
And now I’ll trip to some thank you’s to Infidel753, who’s guested at Happiness Between Tails here and here. He’s got quite a following and each time he’s kindly featured me among his Sunday round up posts, lots of new people check out my site. His round-ups are a rollercoaster of links: from political horror to outright silliness, and glorious to nails-on-chalkboard ugly. And he keeps visitors updated on safe abortion information to use in these barbaric times.
Before I wear you out with all this jumping around inside my head, here’s my Amazon and Goodreads review of, Born Hungry: Julia Child Becomes “the French Chef,” authored by Alex Prud’homme and illustrated bySarah Green.
Captivating for any age! Beautiful artwork and lovely writing. A real delight!
Now to end with a sweet pro-old-lady clip from Disney’s Moana…
Have you scored any victories this week?
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What day is it? Those sprouts among the Persian New Year decorations got left (as is traditional) at the park to regenerate in their own way, but first K-D-doggie had a fun time tossing them about, a fun substitute for the squirrels and rabbits she was forbidden to chase.
People wish my husband and me all kinds of things around now. It would have been easy to laugh this year when we were wished a happy Purim and a happy Ramadan. However, it’s sweet that anyone wishes us goodwill and that they know something non-United-States-originated is happening about now.
Sorry, I didn’t snap any pictures of us, my husband and extended family, celebrating Sizdeh Bedar last weekend. We were all too shivery. Under chilly (at least for us thin-skinned Angelinos) gray skies, we had fun despite our shoulders hunched to our ears and our hands buried deep into our pockets. We ate quickly before picnic foods cooled from tepid to cold, like the fresh bread I baked that morning, and Khashayar’s thick noodle stew with beans (better known as Aash Reshteh) that he’d wrapped to keep warm like a baby.
K-D-doggie was desperate to check out the many squirrels and bunnies at the park where we gathered. Nonetheless, she was a very very good doggie because so long as she got some affection, she didn’t bark, run, or whine.
If a thirteen day can potentially ward off evil spirits, then it’s okay that it was a grim one. Several days later, we’ve got a heatwave, up from the 60s to the 90s. Rain or shine, one can’t predict what’ll happen in April, the month of my birthday, of April Fools, of tax returns needing to be submitted —and we’ve got my brother-in-law coming. No one knows how it’ll wind up for him, how challenging it might be for him to acclimate, yet we hope for the best and are excited to see him.
I wish the planet well, that our leaders will commit to more than grandstanding and worse. Leaders who don’t mind the oblivion that can result from working for peace. Harmony provides far less spectacular headlines than warring and experimenting with iffy new currencies.
Today’s guest, Timo Schmitz, blogs from Germany. He describes himself as a language fanatic, philosopher, journalist, poet, and book author. Visit his site for more about him and more of his thoughtful poems like this one…