Intensive Care & Recovery, White Odyssey, Writer's Reward, Death Dreams, Book Report, Fashions, and more.
This newsletter appears monthly around the first of each month. Past newsletters are archived at the web site where you are now www.darrellbain.com
During the worst of the crisis I was receiving lots of morphine, then another narcotic, and they provoked a surreal experience of thinking I was sent to the good place, but they told me I was too bad to be admitted. I went to the bad place and they told me I was too good to stay there. While I was wondering where to go next, Betty grabbed me by the ear and told me I wasn't going anywhere unless she said so and that was that. I blinked and I was still in my hospital bed. Shucks, me and everyone who knows her thinks Betty is an angel and that ought to prove it.
During the whole crisis, every time I saw Betty entering my room, or woke up and saw her sitting beside my bed, I felt as if a warm, bright glow had been triggered in me. As if she had turned a switch on me somewhere that lit me up and made me feel about ten degrees warmer and suffused my whole being with her wonderful, caring presence. I guess that's love, huh?
I'm writing this the middle of March. I've only been home for two days and I'm still so weak I can hardly get around. I stay up an hour then have to go back to bed. But it certainly beats how I felt in the hospital, and I'll slowly regain my strength. As I said, I had lots of things on my schedule for the month but I doubt if I'll be up to any writing other than this newsletter and answering mail for the next three weeks or four weeks. After that, I fully expect to get back to work.
Just one more note: Betty and I are extremely grateful that my doctor was so astute and so persistent in getting me properly diagnosed and the condition corrected. In fact, he just called to see how I was doing at home and reminded me to be sure and come in Monday and have my blood count checked.
"...did 2 years in Nam...., spent too much time outside Saigon,
What more could a writer ask?
I read Tarzan and The Return Of Tarzan again. Burroughs was quite a writer. There's no accurate count of how many copies of his books have been printed world wide, but it probably approaches a billion. I enjoyed Tarzan just as much as ever, but it is interesting to compare the restrictions a writer faced back then. No sex. No mention of elimination of body wastes. There's many others, too. I wonder if writers back then actually felt constrained or whether they even thought much about it. Perhaps the constraints were so much a part of the culture back then that not mentioning so crass a subject as going to the bathroom, for instance, never occurred to them.
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are two more old favorites. And to think that Huckleberry Finn, in particular, was dismissed as "vulgar" and not suitable for print, and later on, vilified for mention of words like nigger, etc. I'm sure in my own mind that Mark Twain was just trying to tell a good yarn and didn't give much thought to what the critics might think.
I remember Huckleberry Finn in particular because my fifth grade teacher read the class the whole book aloud that year. We were mesmerized with it and could hardly wait until it was time for her to read every day. It's sad when I think it couldn't be done these days. Political correctness has gone way too far.
David Weber is a great writer, especially in the realm of future military action, but he puts so much feeling into his characters that the fighting and violence is secondary. I re-read the trilogy, "Mutineer's Moon," "Armageddon Inheritance" and "Heirs of Empire." It's a wonderful series and a pure nail biter besides. I would recommend him to anyone, regardless of what type of literature they like.
"CyberTerror" by R.J. Pineiro was a re-read. It's surprising to me that we haven't seen more cyber terrorists. I hope it's not still waiting in the wings. A terrorist could probably do more harm with computers than bombs, and probably will. Our society is totally dependent on computers today. Take them down and you take down our civilization. Brrr.
Heinlein is always good for relaxing and enjoying myself. I read "Friday" and "Starman Jones" again. Heinlein's young adult titles are still his best work, I think, but I never have considered them to be young adult. To me they are just great stories, told as only Heinlein could do.
"Manhattan South" by John Mackie is a great police detective novel. Very exciting.
"Virus" by Graham Watkins sort of reminds me of what the reviewers are saying about Stephen King's "Cell" (I haven't read it yet). "Virus" is a story of a psychological virus contacted from computers. Scary and extremely satisfying. I loved it. I hope Graham Watkins does more like this one.
"Under Cover of Darkness" by James Gripando covers cults, serial killings, emotional discoveries by the protagonist of his own failings as a father and husband, and uses a rookie FBI agent to good effect. I liked it.
I read Keith Laumer's Worlds of the Emperium series again. I almost always enjoy novels of alternate worlds. Maybe the appeal is to the human longing for new frontiers? After all, our species spread from Africa all over the world using little more than stone age technology. There must be something in our genes that makes our feet itch--and these days our minds.
I like Eric Frank Russell, and I never get tired of his work. I re-read "Three To Conquer" again (this one is in tatters from re-reading). If any of you younger readers haven't tried him, he's really good and never minds goosing the powers that be.
When I couldn't decide what else I wanted to read, I took a few of my own books and read them. It never hurts an author to read some of the stuff he's written in earlier years and see the mistakes he made. It is kind of embarrassing sometimes, though.
Does anyone know what the purpose of these displays of fashions no woman in her right mind would ever wear is? If so, I sure wish you'd pass it on to me because I am utterly puzzled. No, wait. Don't tell me. If I knew, it would only spoil my thrice weekly bout of relaxing laughter I get from seeing them in the paper. Or maybe that's the purpose: to amuse the readers?
Well, I think this is enough for the April newsletter. It's a little ragged, but bear in mind I haven't been at my best this month.
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