Across the books and in person.

Welcome! Since I write two English mystery series, I thought it would be fun to chat about that. And about England. Specifically, Derbyshire, since that is the county I know the best. If you have questions about my books, about mysteries or your own writing, or want to know something about England -- perhaps you're planning a visit -- I'd love to talk with you. Let's start chatting, shall we?

Derbyshire VIllage

Derbyshire VIllage

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Year's End

So I'm a day late (and not necessarily a dollar short).  I was going to blog yesterday, wrapping up 2010 in a carefree, humorous mood.  But the major news story of the St Louis area whipped all that from my mind.  Don't know if you've seen the national television news, but St Louis was hit by a major storm yesterday, including several tornadoes.  The worst hit area was Sunset Hills, a St Louis suburb, and the destruction is approximately a half mile from my house.  The two major roads, Lindbergh Blvd and Watson Road, are closed in sections.  The video on the newscasts are fascinating and heart breaking.  Blocks of homes destroyed, nothing left standing.  Sections of St Louis city were also hit, but the tornado seems to have jumped around, doing sporadic damage.  The area temp in the morning was in the upper 60s, I believe -- a terrible sign that people who have lived here for years would recognize.  The storm came in, followed by a massive cold front, and the temp this morning is in the 20s.  The tornado warning sirens went off twice yesterday afternoon, but the thing that alarmed me most were the many police car sirens racing up the road.  I assumed something had happened but of course didn't know what or how close it was to my house until I turned on the noon television news.

Which brings up the point: as devastating as all this is -- losing your house and belongings -- how traumatic for a writer to have his (perhaps) book copies wiped out (some of the books may not be in print anymore) and, maybe worse, his computer destroyed and along with it the novel he was working on.  You're always told on the television weather forecasts to seek shelter, etc, and I'm wondering if having a few clothes in a suitcase might not be a bad idea -- take it with you to the basement.  But a writer can't daily put his in-progress novel on a CD and stash it in the basement.  I guess that's where trusting to luck comes in.  I don't mean to make this sound flippant, for it's a deadly serious situation.  But losing months of work on a novel is also terrible.  I know I could never recreate the book as I had left it.  It's a bad situation.

I hope that this new year will be much better for these storm victims.  I can't imagine what they must be going thru....

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