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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A Tragedy And A Communion

I prefer to keep this site mostly as a “refuge” from “the world” – to talk about writing, books (including, uh, yes, my own), travel, culture, and other life matters, in a friendly and intimate manner – and to leave (usually divisive) current events and (mostly bad) news for others on the net. Sometimes, though, you simply can’t ignore something. Especially given I’ve written so much about us here in Tenerife, I felt I had to nod to this local tragedy in at least one post.

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Where Northern Europeans Gather

Wandering around yesterday, I thought about my late uncle. He loved Spain. It fascinated him:

Excerpt from "Passports," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

This part of it (where he’d never been) really would have intrigued him, but perhaps not entirely in “a good way.” Here in the Canaries, this island of Tenerife – it’s volcanic – is largely dusty and treeless. However, it has clusters here and there of the most modern of civilization: new homes, apartments, shops, restaurants, hotels, and even palm trees carefully planted along sidewalks and in pedestrianized areas to provide shade.

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At This Journey’s End

Hello. I’m typing this on March 11 mid-afternoon here at a lounge in Newark Airport (in New Jersey), a few hours before our flight back to the UK. I think it’ll make for blog post on arrival “home” in England.

Around us on the sofas and chairs in the busy room are assorted people, some “type type typing” or “tap tap tapping” their mobile devices feverishly. I’m using my iPad with its Bluetooth keyboard. My wife across from me is on her Microsoft Surface. Some travelers are conversing quietly. Some kids I see are also engrossed on I-somethings. Some people are eating. Others are watching TV. (Nancy Reagan’s funeral is on the big set.) A couple I see in a corner are snoozing.

Sitting a few feet away from me is an American couple in their 20s to young 30s. Understand, I’m not trying to single out my fellow countrymen here – this lounge is full of other Americans. These two, however, seem to think everyone else has to hear what they’re yammering about.

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It’s Not Just About Enjoying “Downton Abbey”

The other day, we had a vital Amazon delivery:

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]

It arrived while I had been doing bits of work around the house. My London-born wife was out. That’s one of her preferred teas here in the U.S.

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“Hey, that’s my movie!”

Perhaps you care more about this sort of thing when you actually create something that’s yours. The idea of your work being stolen is, frankly, a nightmare. And that is why there is something called “copyright.”

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

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Available From November 29

….on paperback and for Kindle:

The back and front covers for "Distances" - the print version.
The back and front covers for “Distances” – the print version. Click the photo to go to Amazon.com for Kindle.

And available for pre-order now for Kindle at….

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

….and at other Amazons worldwide.

This “sticky post” will be up until shortly after that 29th. Unless I decide to take it down before, of course. The reason for it is I just wanted to prominently reshare the full cover and the publication date.

I do that despite also being aware that novelists are not really supposed to talk about what they do. I know. Shush.😉

Our Censorious Era (“How dare you write that”)

Following on from that post the other day on For Such a Time, I’ve read here and there about accusations of “racism,” “privilege,” and “Western cultural arrogance” in “romance” and “young adult” literature. That’s not an easy subject to address in a blog post. However, authoring as I do for adults (and not for children), I just wanted briefly to note my view. (Separately, I’ve already addressed the issue of an author spewing hatred while “hiding” behind his/her characters.)

Naturally, not every novel by every writer is going to be fantastic. Still it is chilling to read anything that even vaguely argues authors should be wary about exploring characters who aren’t much like themselves. That could lead, in itself, to writers becoming fearful of trying to create what could be some truly worthwhile literature.

Free Stock Photo: Group of business workers.
Free Stock Photo: Group of business workers.

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No, It’s Not About “Political Correctness”

I had not heard of this novel….

Screen capture of the Daily Beast.
Screen capture of the Daily Beast.

….until reading this article by author Warren Adler in the Daily Beast:

The recent flap over the romance novel For Such a Time, whose plot features a concentration camp inmate falling in love with her Nazi captor, has aroused the wrath of various critics and readers on grounds that it is too discomfiting and disturbing to have been published.

While I can understand why some readers are offended by the premise, it smacks of political correctness gone awry. The problem is that it has invaded an art form that can be dangerously compromised by the basic tenets of political correctness, which posits that any expression or attitude that discomfits others must be excised from all forms of public communication.

I’m more concerned about my own books and my own readers than “wrathing” at other writers and fixating on various “flaps.” So I missed that “flap.” It is explained in more detail here in Newsweek:

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Hatreds On The Pages

Do you write “angry?” I try not to. However, I will admit there are times when I let loose.

I have all too often sat in front of my PC or Microsoft Surface, found myself feeling infuriated, and slammed keys and took it out on the pages. Briefly, I’d feel better, yes. But after I went back and reread my “tantrum,” I usually toned it down considerably.

For eventually I remember what I’ve also written about here recently. Be careful: your words are forever.

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