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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, December 31

New Year's Eve 2014

The last day of 2014, and it’s cold and rainy, which seems to be an appropriate way to end this strange year. We’ve had more cold and rainy news stories this year than bright and sunny ones. Passenger jets going down in the ocean, drought continuing its hold on California and the south central states, too many shooting deaths on both sides of the law, an Ebola epidemic, domestic violence, too many terrorist threats here and seemingly everywhere, too many wars still being fought in the Middle East, too much Taliban, too much Isis. It seems that most of the news we see in the newspapers and on television is negative—death and destruction, mayhem and cruelty to humans and animals. We assume goodness and kindness in the world, and sometimes the media tells us about such acts. Brian Williams on the NBC Evening News always concludes with a sunshiny story that makes us feel good. And if we search diligently in the newspapers, we can find snippets of happy tales—the boy who donates all his Christmas money to a homeless shelter, the man who risks his life to save a drowning dog, the smiles of joy on the faces of recipients in the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Still lots of examples of good in the world, just not as newsworthy as the bad in the world.
According to a recent AP poll, more than half of those polled believe that 2015 will be a better year than 2014. Good. That’s a start. I hope that those who may be reading this will feel the same. In any case, let’s all promise to do many acts of kindness in the coming year, even if we have to go out and find someone to be kind to. Let’s start a club called “Do a Friend a Favor—Pass It On.” For every favor we do for someone, hand that person a card that obligates them to do the same and then to pass the card on to the next person. Lord knows, we can stand to have a lot more unrewarded favors done for us as well as by us.

Last night we had the pleasure of watching the Kennedy Center Honors special, with honorees Al Green, Patricia McBride, Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, and Sting. What a classy show. If you somehow missed it, maybe your dvr automatically saved it. If so, be sure to watch it. You’ll be as moved as my wife and I were. It began with a bunch of R&B musicians reprising the best-known of Al Green’s soulful songs. We even got a brief replay of our president when he did a two-bar bit from “Let’s Stay Together” at a New York fundraiser. And did it very well, I might add. The music was great, especially that of Jennifer Hudson beautifully singing “Simply Beautiful.” Then Usher did his impression of Al Green when he sang “Let’s Stay Together.” The two-hour show was filled with gorgeous people from all the arts, paying tribute to the honorees: Stephen Colbert as mc, Lady Gaga with silver glitter all over the place doing a most impressive version of Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You,” Bruce Springsteen doing “I Hung My Head,” our nation’s best dancers paying tribute to Patricia McBride, a filmography of Hanks’ many movies and roles (how easily we forget just how many films he’s been in), a filmed sketch of the many faces and voices of Lily Tomlin. There’s been some talk that the Kennedy Honors show will be canceled after its long-time creator and producer of the show, George Stevens, leaves. Nah, ain’t gonna happen. There are still too many people out there who will scream to get it back.

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