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How do you know summer's coming to Indiana?

We took a vacation in the end of May ... but like many people, we opted to make it a stay at home, to avoid the virus stricken populous. Also, all the stuff we like to do, like camping, boating, and competitive group clogging, was shut down due to COVID-19 precautions.

Hm ... I just realized: Do you suppose the clogging is why my back has been hurting?

Emily and I wanted to do some light reading, so we tracked down the novel that led to last year's TV series, The Passage, which was a favorite of ours and so naturally got canceled. The book is a wonder, gripping and hard to put down. It's also hard to pick up--the thing weighs in at 785 pages! My latest novel, Coming Attractions, is 204 pages. And The Passage is the first of a trilogy.

We're still working on it.

Anyway, on  day one I turned off our house's furnace, about three weeks later than usual. Two days later I had to set up some space heaters, and we baked a lasagna just to stay warm. Three days after that I tore the plastic off the windows, put the screens in, and opened them all up. The next day I closed all the windows and started the air conditioners. They ran day and night for three days. On the fourth day I turned them off and made sure the space heaters were still ready.

Yep, in Indiana you can tell summer's coming, or here, or possibly down the road a ways.
Yes, it was a lazy vacation, sort of. We even got Beowulf to fall asleep with us while we read in bed, a couple of times. Usually he won't stay there for long before he feels the need to get up and patrol.
There are signs of the world coming back to life, if cautiously. Our family is still taking extra care, as there are family members whose immune systems are compromised, not to mention those of us who just don't want to get sick.

Still, here in Indiana the State Parks opened back up, which means Emily went back to work at the Pokagon State Park Saddle Barn, just in time for the big Memorial Day weekend. We both tend to be introverts who don't mind spending time at home, but she goes stir crazy if she doesn't also get to spend some time with the horses. Below you can see her--well, her hand--before the barn opened, grooming the barn's resident non-horse, Fred.
That pile behind Fred? A winter's worth of hair. Seriously.
So life goes on, and it can even if you're still being careful, which you should be. Yes, I know--that's easy for me to say, I've got books to write and half of someone else's book still to read. Well, my answer to that is that there are plenty of books out there for everyone.

Speaking of books, it was way back--over six months ago--when I last mentioned the big photo book I was working on. Honestly, I don't remember now why I put it aside. I had a plan, at the time, to accomplish certain writing projects in a certain order--I swear I did--but for the life of me I can't remember what the plan was. This is how my plans usually go.

More Slightly Off the Mark is out, Fire On Mist Creek is being looked at by a publisher, and We Love Trouble is cooling before the next round of edits. With Beowulf: In Harm's Way and Summer Jobs Are Murder making the rounds of agents, now's the time to get back to my non-fiction work, with the working title of Awesome Fire Picture Book Title Here. The framing text--there isn't much of it--is mostly done. Now I have to get back into searching out, cleaning up, and laying out any photos involving the Albion Fire Department I can get my hands on.

Too bad I don't remember where I left off. *sigh* It's time to go through the ones I've collected again, and put out the word once more to those who might have more. So far, the oldest photo I have is from 1887, and actually dates back to before the AFD was officially created. If only I could find more that old! Most of the photos I have so far were taken within the last fifty years, so here's hoping local people dig out some from the early 1900s, or even earlier.

That's the best way to deal with both the pandemic and the uncertainly of seasons: Stay too busy to worry about it.
More news about new book projects soon--and maybe some about older ones, too. Stay tuned, and meanwhile, support your local authors!


And remember: If a flower can survive in my yard, we can all make it through.
Copyright © 2020 Mark R Hunter, All rights reserved.

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