Puppy Countdown

Auggie Practices Terrorizing

Tomorrow is Meet the Puppy Day. Neither he nor our dogs at home have any idea what’s about to happen.

My husband keeps telling Pete and Moses that The Black Terror is coming. Auggie looks pretty laid back for a Terror, but I will admit that I am in denial.

Let the puppy destruction commence.

St. Augustine the Younger; Foe of Coyote Pagans

So, for those of you who have been kind enough to enquire, Book 3 is coming along nicely. A small distraction will be developing soon, however. My husband and I will be traveling to Georgia next weekend to pick up our new puppy, St. Augustine. He is a cousin to Moses, and will, no doubt, be an annoyance to Pete.

My husband had had misgivings about a third dog until we caught a coyote stalking Pete, who, at 13, is spry and happy, but nearly stone deaf. Moses, a fearless opponent of coyotes, chased it off without missing a beat, with Pete being none the wiser. Coyote confrontation does not exactly make me happy, and I strive to prevent it, but it has worked out well for Pete. German Shepherds are often referred to as GSDs. In our house we use the term BSD, for Big Scary Dog.

Moses, however, needs a wingman.

Please Make Me Scary. But Not Yet.

The original St. Augustine, as you know, was the author of City of God Against the Pagans. At the moment, Auggie is more adorable than formidable, and can’t be allowed out by himself. But we think he may grow into his name. His father weighs 140 pounds.

Learning to Love Again

To the both of you who follow my blog: by now you are probably used to the reality that when I am writing a book, I don’t post many blogs. It’s a husbanding your resources thing.

Nevertheless, I interrupt this novel for a brief announcement:

We are in the queue again for a puppy. He has been born. He will be two weeks old tomorrow. We hope to pick him up and fly him home (on our laps) on May 6th. He is a cousin, of some sort, of Moses.

My husband insists that his name will be St. Augustine the Younger. He gets to pick, since I picked Moses, but I am still lobbying for St. George, the Dragon Slayer.

He will win.

So, watch this space for puppy pictures. Because my life needs a complication, albeit a delightful one.

Here is one of the puppies from the litter. Who knows? We may become friends.

 

Big News!!!

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Pete and Moses are getting a baby brother. He is due to be born on January 11th, and we hope to pick him up in early March.

Oh, and there’s this book thing. Also a third of its kind: Book Three in the North of the Tension Line series. It’s still gestating. But it, too, is due in 2017.

Puppy might be cuter, but the book won’t require a bigger car.

The Fault is Not in Our Stars, But in Ourselves

I have many gaps in my education, and I do not spend as much time as I ought to in filling them. The list is long and daunting.

Last night, when I walked with the dogs for the last time before bed, I looked up with wonder at the many more stars that are visible here on the Island, and, for the thousandth time, I felt ashamed that I could not name more of them. I have often meant to learn more of the constellations, but my progress is slow and I am easily distracted by daily life.

Tonight, after much nagging from the dogs, I interrupted my reading to take them out into the night.  On All Saints Day, with Pete and Moses joyously romping around me, I walked in the dark, speaking the names of my beloved dead. My mother, my father, my grandmother whom I knew, my grandfather whom I did not; the grandfather whom I knew, the grandmother whom I did not. My cousin, Keith; my Uncle Bill; my Uncle Ken; my school friend, Dawn; my friend Bill; my mother-in-law, Kay; my honorary parents, Tom and Carol, and many others.

The dogs, who know my moods, but not their meaning, ran to and fro, happy merely to be outside and with me. The sound of the waves on the lake was slow and steady. The winds are still after yesterday’s wild weather.

Coming back up the path to the house I looked up, and realized that along with Ursa Major, there was another constellation I thought I knew, in the shape of a W. It was, I think, Cassiopeia, located almost above our heads. The crescent moon, which must be waxing, was large as it was setting into the Lake below the crest of the bluff.

The dogs were as indifferent to the stars as the stars are to human lives. But knowing things is both a burden and a gift.

Tonight, when the souls of the dead are closest to us, may they rest; may they find peace; may the momentary beauties of their lives enhance eternity. World without end. Amen.

 

 

Edgerton Sterling North Book and Film Festival: Saturday November 5th

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9am – 5pm

Edgerton High School
200 Elm High Dr.
Edgerton, WI 53534
Free Admission

My official schedule is as follows, and books will be available for purchase:

11:30-Noon     Meet and Greet in Gymnasium

12:15-12:45      The Audacity of Goats-Confessions of a Book Club Drop Out. Room 349

1:30-2:00          Meet and Greet in Gymnasium

2:15-2:45         The Audacity of Goats-Confessions of a Book Club Drop Out. Room 349

 

I will have just left the Island, so come and cheer me up. A raccoon would help.

 

 

Sunshine and Rain

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We went for a very long walk today, and I took these photos. These are the days I dream about all year.

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Now I am sitting outside to write because it is so perfectly splendid that it would be a waste to be indoors. The dogs, having had their multiple walks, are content to sit quietly on the grass (Moses) and at my feet (Pete). The sun is streaming from the west and casting a golden light through the leaves that still hang onto the birch and maple trees nearby. All is tranquil and warm, and lovely.

But it is raining. There must be one cloud drifting overhead in the crystalline deep blue sky, and the drops are hitting Moses on the head, making him flick his long ears with irritation. I am happy to sit on the porch with the roof protecting the computer–and me–and to be aware of the sunset while I write.

Meanwhile, in book three, Elisabeth is working on something new, and Fiona is chafing at all the public meetings she has to attend.  Peter Landry is being his usual enigmatic self, and that is causing some problems. Many new developments in the works. Stay tuned.

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Look carefully to discover dogs.

 

 

News From North of the Tension Line

Greetings from Washington Island:

Life has been moving at a screaming pace, and I have not been keeping up. We (Pete, Moses, and I) are on the Island this week, cloistered for the purposes of writing Book Three in the North of the Tension Line series. I do the writing. They take me for walks and keep me from sitting for twelve hours straight. Meanwhile, the books have been gaining quite a bit of media attention, and if you haven’t heard about it here first, I apologize.

Now that we are here on the Island, there have been a few setbacks, including some extremely nasty chigger bites (I am not used to coming here when the temperatures are above freezing), but I am otherwise making progress. This is the fast part of writing, when everything is fresh, and the ideas are pushing themselves out onto paper (computer). The slow part comes later, when the plot needs to be knit together, and the loose ends keep popping out.

But I interrupt this time of retreat to mention that I do have a new website, www.jfriordan.com. This blog will continue to exist here, but you will also be able to access it from the website.

You will be able to find details about my next public appearances, to read, watch, and listen to media events, to hear interviews and readings from the books, and to buy the books, as well. In a day or two, my half hour television interview will become public, and you will be able to see it there. (As an aside, if you want incentive to stick to your weight loss plans, watch yourself on television. It’s a kind of horrifying reality check.)

The stats here at North of the Tension Line: Reflections on a Life in Exile have been rising steadily, and I am deeply grateful to my readers. Thank you, and I hope you will stay with me as the story continues.

Please take a moment to check out the website, and, if you would be so kind, to pass it on.

UpNorth at 4

Pete and Moses and I stopped off at Rhinelander yesterday for a guest appearance on UpNorth at 4. 

Then we drove back down to Sturgeon Bay. We put in 500 miles in one day, and the dogs were both patient and well-mannered. But when we got in last night they both burst into a run as if they’d been released from the gates.

We are staying at a cozy place right on the canal, but we are all raring to go. It’s still dark, and too early, but we’re heading out. Don’t want to miss the ferry.

It’s Island time.