Weather Report, March 13

Pataconia River

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “MIRACULOUS FAUNA,” BY TIMMY REED, “HIPPIE MAFIA,” BY JESSICA EVANS, AND “THE DEVIL’S CHARITY,” BY ROBERT TURVIL CAN BE FOUND, ALONG WITH THE “FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY,” BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST OR CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR “AUTHORS” PAGE.

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It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of writers like Isabel Garcia Cintas, featured on Snowflakes in a Blizzard this week with “Incident in Patagonia.” They are the glue that helps hold a diverse and fragmented world together, and I hope to see Snowflakes in a Blizzard featuring more of them as time goes on.

For one thing, speaking as an American, their work reminds us that people in other countries are not so different than ourselves. Novelists like Isabel often employ universal themes as the paint on their brushes — and if they’ve done their job well, their readers soon set aside any sense of nationality and simply regard the characters as human beings.

Non-fiction is also arguably more effective when it’s indigenous. With all due credit to the valuable work done by intrepid foreign correspondents and travel writers, a lifetime resident of, say, Syria, can obviously provide a better window into what it’s like there than someone who merely visits the country for a few weeks or months.

The sticking point, of course, has always been the differences in language. I have a great admiration for anyone who speaks more than one language (I speak only English, and some days even that not so well), but those “extra” languages are usually more functional than fluent. Translations, meanwhile, often allow the subtleties of a narrative to get, well, lost in translation.

Isabel Garcia Cintas has lived in both Argentina and the U.S., which allows her to walk confidently across the bridge between English and Spanish. I hope you’ll check out and enjoy what she has to offer.

Another important function of novelists is to peer into the future, and Michael McGhee has done that with “Happiness, Ltd.” In the tradition of “1984” and “Brave New World,” his book is an unsettling depiction of life in a world run by corporations instead of governments.

And if stories about past oppression in Argentina or a dark future elsewhere are too depressing, I invite you to consider Christine Hoeflich’s  “The Spiritual Awakening Process,” which offers an optimistic alternative view.


Melinda Viergever InmanAlso, I’d like to share a recent blog post from Melinda Inman, twice featured on Snowflakes for her novels “Refuge” and “Fallen.” It’s a request for readers to consider posting Amazon reviews on books that they enjoy, or that affected them in some way.

She writes, in part: You may be surprised to find that the average author income is less than $2000 annually. The expenses of writing and publishing consume that total and more. Authors do our own marketing, and as a result we’re only able to actually write during about 35% of our work time. The remaining 65% is spent trying to get the word out to you about our stories. We must market because there are millions of books on Amazon alone.

Read the whole post at http://wp.me/p5RQ68-4eh.

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UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MARCH 14-20.

HAPPINESS, LTD., BY MICHAEL McGHEE.

Happiness Ltd., by Michael McGhee, is a darkly comic dystopia novel set in New York City of the near future, where multiple hurricanes have turned downtown into crumbling marshland; where citizens have signed over their civil rights to corporate sponsors; and where threats to the consumer state are considered terrorism.

When Nelson Young, an employee of Happiness Limited, falls in love with Celia, a disenfranchised rebel, he becomes a liability to his employer. Nelson and Celia try to escape, but are charged with “economic terrorism” and put on trial for their lives.

“INCIDENT IN PATAGONIA,” BY ISABEL GARCIA CINTAS.

This political thriller is set in the beautiful southern city of Bariloche, Argentina during the military Junta years, 1976-83. Alicia Mendoza, a young journalist, works in the press and radio under the government’s strict media censorship. One evening on her way home she has a brief encounter with threatening secret service men. When her best friend Susana Machevsky is kidnapped and later disappears, she becomes aware of the political repression going on. The search for her friend takes her on a risky journey. She travels to Buenos Aires and meets the hurt, defiant and still budding movement of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo. She also talks with members of her own family who belong to the privileged class, and simply refuse to admit what is going on. Some friends shun her and others try to help her in a country bitterly divided.

“THE SPIRITUAL AWAKENING PROCESS,” BY CHRISTINE HOEFLICH

Humanity has reached a defining point in our spiritual history, yet many are unaware that our world is changing from the Age of Darkness to the Age of Light at this very moment. The Spiritual Awakening Process: Coming Out of the Darkness and Into the Light supports our individual journeys towards consciousness and expands our shamanic powers and deep, intuitive wisdom. This nonfiction book will help readers understand, and fully engage in, the worldwide awakening currently taking place: an awakening that offers hope, healing, and ultimately, unity. Vibrant, evocative, and carefully detailed, The Spiritual Awakening Process speaks to the shaman in us all—and it’s also how we return America to its divine destiny.

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writersbridgebridgebuilder

Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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