The End Days

I’ve learned since 2013. I hate this “ending” period perhaps the most. A novel is essentially finished…

“Controlled chaos.” The home office, this morning. [Photo by me, 2017.]
…but it’s not “quite” (in my mind) finished.

And you take a photo of your desk and put it on your blog as you plan to return to it once more. Because it’s your “baby” and it’s almost all grown up. And you want it to be PERFECT – or at least as “perfect” as you as an imperfect human may make it.

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After The Crisis, The Future

I needed a few days off. The main reason? I found myself falling into a writing crisis.

Yes, I’m aware there’s other news out there. For example, I’ve heard that there’s a U.S. election of some kind taking place tomorrow. Well, yeh, but that’s nothing compared to this.

You may have seen my weekend Instagram. I put up shots of “Miss Constable” and the original painting for the Conventions cover. Out walking a few times, I found myself also snapping photos of leaves and old buildings nearby while my troubled mind whirled…

Sunset. Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Sunset. Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]
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Living With A Legacy

Emma has returned from a summer in Charleston, South Carolina. She has written various posts detailing how she’d had a wonderful time. We’ve been there, too; Charleston is definitely a gorgeous city.

A street, Charleston, South Carolina. [Photo by me, 2014.]
A street, Charleston, South Carolina. [Photo by me, 2014.]

Now, she tackles THAT question:

I think this is one of the things I’ve heard the most when I was in the U.S. : French people don’t like Americans. Well, let me tell you something. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I’m French, I’ve spent all of my 21 years of life in France, and I have never heard more than two or three persons maybe saying that they didn’t like Americans…

This issue is always hovering around out there. It has been a source for a great deal of literature as well as for uncounted plots in movies and television episodes. As an American who has spent a lot of time in France since, uh, the 1980s (yes, good grief, I’m now THAT old!), and read tons of Franco-American history, I’d like to take a crack at this one briefly. 🙂

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From 2013 To The Now

I thought I would use this post this morning to pause and simply say “thank you.”

For starters, I say “thanks” because I’ve gone from of course virtually no one reading this blog in its infancy in December 2013, to a LOT more of you now, many of you on a regular basis. Over the years quite a few of you have been buying my books also – a fact which, when I think about it, truly humbles me. That you do always drives me on to make the next novel better than the last one.

Hertfordshire, England countryside. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Hertfordshire, England countryside. [Photo by me, 2016.]

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John Lewis!

If you read WordPress blogs you usually see ads at the bottom of a post. We, the bloggers, have no control over those ads (that I’m aware of). They are bought by advertisers to appear on WordPress generally.

Frankly, many I’ve seen are just awful. They look at times like cheapo nonsense at best. They are often not the sort of stuff you would want to be associated with you or your content.

However, yesterday I happened not to be logged in and opened one of my recent posts for reference to something else I was writing. When I scrolled to the bottom, I almost fell off my chair. I couldn’t believe the ad!:

Screenshot of an ad below one of my posts.
Screenshot of an ad below one of my posts.

John Lewis!

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Sophie Deserves A Mention, Too

I’ve got so much going on right now. My head’s spinning. To better explain what I mean, first here’s that excerpt again in case you missed it the other day:

Sneak Peek into  "Conventions." Click to expand.
Sneak Peek into “Conventions.” Click to expand.

I’ve got that French ship captain, who I’m finding is quite an interesting man as a write more of him. And of course there’s the “heroine” in that scene as well (but I don’t want to tell you yet who she is or what she’s doing where she is). That’s just for starters.

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Freedom Of Speech, Until…

You never know who is reading you. Something I wrote about the Catskills a couple of years back attracted a response from a Turkish woman. She wrote to me that she knew the area well: she had attended (of all places) the State University of New York at Binghamton!

We had a laugh. She had also left the US recently and was living once again in Istanbul, but remained interested in south-central New York state, where Binghamton is located, in particular. Occasionally, she’d ask me about the snow and frigid temperatures – she didn’t miss either in Istanbul! she always said – and inquired harmlessly about other aspects of life thereabouts. She also knew I-84 pretty well, and we’d joked about that “endless” and “dull” highway.

Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.
Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.

We ended up following each other on Twitter. She tweeted mostly in Turkish, which left me mostly at a loss. But she did offer an occasional observation in English and/or a link to something in English; usually it was innocuous and apolitical. Often what she shared was humorous.

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Welcoming All Readers

I’m discovering that joining Instagram was one of the better social media moves I’ve made. It’s quick and visual, and we all do like that. I should’ve signed up to it ages ago.

Screen capture of Instagram.
Screen capture of Instagram.

Thus how we learn. Using Instagram has also reinforced something else to me. Instagram is mostly photos, whereas a blog like this is naturally mostly words.

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I Almost Relocated Yesterday….

…and in saying that I don’t mean moved here to Tenerife permanently. I’m referring to having almost stopped posting to this web site. In preparation to do so, I had already created a new blog home over at Tumblr:

Screen capture of my new Tumblr site.
Screen capture of my new Tumblr site.

Why? Because I’d had certain “technical difficulties” since Tuesday. They were related to my rjnello-dot-com domain. In the three and a half years since I had purchased it through WordPress, I had NEVER had even a SINGLE problem with it…. prior to Tuesday.

WordPress investigated it for me. The Help person was actually helpful, as well as friendly; but she came back to me saying there was nothing WordPress could do. It seems another company called, uh, it starts with the letter “G,” is at the center of it.

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Broadband-less In Tenerife

I have not vanished. The broadband in our friends’ apartment complex – the entire building (a couple hundred flats) broke down on early Wednesday morning. We’re told it’s being repaired.

So we have to wait. I can’t really use any of my expensive mobile net here to post – photos especially. It uses too much data.

As soon as the broadband is back, I’ll be back here as well. One good thing to come of it has been I’ve been getting not only some reading done, but some (new novel) writing done (finally) too!

Have a good weekend. 🙂