Happy New Year!

This was supposed to be my Happy New Year blog, but I was down with the flu for almost three weeks. I don’t think that I have been this sick for this long since I was a boy. And this was even with the flu shot and the pneumonia booster. I can’t imagine what it would have been like without that. Anyway, it’s behind me and life goes on.

We had a lovely Christmas, with three of our children and both grandchildren here for almost a week. I do have to report one tragedy, though. As you may know, Carroll and I have had a long-running grudge match of Spite and Malice (double solitaire) since 1996. She is way ahead of me, 12 years to 5, and had won in both 2011 and 2012 so I was looking forward to a convincing win this year. It was, alas, not to be. On the last day of play in 2012 with us tied and one game remaining, she beat me for another year’s win for the Black team. Now it is 13 years to 5 and it will take me another 8 years, if I win every year, to break even and another year, if I win it, to finally edge ahead. I calculate that to happen in 2022 (if I win every year until then, which I fully expect to do).

Carroll has been off in Florida for the past ten days, visiting with two of her nursing class friends and she reports that they have been having a wonderful time in the Stuart, Jensen Beach and Sebastian areas. She comes home this evening and I am looking forward to her return.

You know from the last blog that I had sent the next book’s manuscript off for first review by an editor and have been waiting anxiously for her response. It has come. A brief synopsis of her comments:

This is a good sequel to A Journey of Days. It is interesting how different the Chemin seems to be from the Camino as described in the first book. It seemed to be less of a mob scene, and somehow more personal. The gites were often quite small, the people running them many times former pilgrims themselves.

The author makes it clear how he needed to complete his journey by following the chemin. One of his topics is why a person walks the Camino/Chemin and there seem to be as many reasons as there are pilgrims. One can walk for religious reasons – a promise made to God, perhaps, or to oneself. In fact, most involve a promise to oneself, but not always for religious reasons.

The lessons learned and relearned at the end of the book cover his insights and conclusions, all of them clear and interesting. The book is written in a style that reports what the author sees, hears, and smells. It is almost as though the reader could close her eyes and be there with him. He reports conversations thoughts and impressions as well, which gives the book depth and body.

As you might imagine, I am very pleased with her take on the manuscript. The next step, which has already started, is to have an editor (the same editor as last book) read the book in detail and suggest corrections, deletions, alternate ways of expressing myself and make the book more readable and the ideas more accessible. This will take several months. After that, the clean text, along with photographs and any appendices, is sent to the book designer who will do the book layout and cover. Another couple of months, perhaps. Then the decisions about quantity to print, pricing, launch date and location and so on. We do know that it will be available in both print and ebook format.
So the rest of the winter and spring will be an exciting time for me.

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