[NOTE: This interview happened in late 2015. So some date references might be out of whack. But the lineup of her mysteries has been steadily expanding since then — in fact the newest, Strangled Eggs and Ham (A Country Store Mystery Book 6), is due out by the end of June 2019. So for fans old & new, this author profile should still be interesting.]
A Continuing Quaker Thumbprint on Japanese (& World) History
Recently, there’s news about how the Japanese prime minister is about to dump the antiwar provisions of Japan’s constitution — which have kept Japanese troops from fighting in other countries for seventy years.
Hey — what could possibly go wrong?
There have been loud street protests there against this impending change. Good on them.
“Go Set A Watchman”: My Review
by Chuck Fager — Originally posted July 2015
It is intriguing to me that, among the many reviews of Go Set A Watchman I have read in the past ten days, none mentioned Harper Lee/Jean Louise’s acerbic reflections in it on her experience as a New Yorker.
We Interrupt These Lenten Meditations for a Few Stray Words of Wisdom:
I’ve not read any of Saul Bellow’s novels, or non-fiction either.
But the following quote from a new book of his essays may force me to banish this ignorance. It comes out of his reflections on life & culture among the outwardly well-educated, usually solvent and seemingly liberal:
“People who have the best of everything also desire the best opinions. Top of the line.” He added: “As the allure of agreement — or conformism — grows, the perils of independence deepen. To differ is dangerous.”
That says so much in so few words, one can only add a few more of his stray comments:
That is all. Have a thoughtful day.
It’s Simpler Than You Think. (I Didn’t Say “Easier.”)
So in Salon, writer Ann Bauer spills her guts. If you think you can bear it, this is her opening:
<< Here’s my life. My husband and I get up each morning at 7 o’clock and he showers while I make coffee. By the time he’s dressed I’m already sitting at my desk writing. He kisses me goodbye then leaves for the job where he makes good money, draws excellent benefits and gets many perks, such as travel, catered lunches and full reimbursement for the gym where I attend yoga midday. His career has allowed me to work only sporadically, as a consultant, in a field I enjoy. >>
Yeah, okay. Here’s my life as a published writer:
I’m now retired. I get up when I need to. I live pretty cheap, within the Social Security checks that come in monthly. As a result, I can write full-time and FTW.
The output? In two years – plus, five book titles. More to come, until something gives out, probably me.
Ann Bauer continues:
<< All that disclosure is crass, I know. I’m sorry. Because in this world where women will sit around discussing the various topiary shapes of their bikini waxes, the conversation about money (or privilege) is the one we never have. Why? I think it’s the Marie Antoinette syndrome: Those with privilege and luck don’t want the riffraff knowing the details. >>
Well, crass or not, you, dear readers ain’t riffraff, and I don’t mind you knowing a few more details.
First point: I am NOT Marie Antoinette.
My current “simple luxury” way of life is, as mentioned, only a couple years old. And before that, I had to work. Help raise four kids. Cope with various ups and downs — getting laid off, divorce, publications folding under me, presidents named Bush, wars, rumors of wars, yada yada.
And even so, I wrote and published a bunch of books. (I mean, who needs to sleep?)
Dog Days Reading: George & The Cottonmouth
In Memory of My Uncle George Fager
The first thing I noticed when we drove into my Fager grandparents’ front yard in St. Paul. Kansas was not their small frame house, not the field behind it, nor the barn at the other end of the yard. The first thing I noticed was the outhouse. And I can still recall it clearly after more than sixty years.