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Spring Newsletter, 2014

Howdy Folks,

Now is the winter of our discontent...ENDED! I hope. This has been one hellacious winter, probably over most of the country. In the St. Louis region, it was the worst one in about 35 years. Except for when we lived in the Northeast, I can't recall so many days of single-digit and zero temps, not to mention over twice the snow, ice and freezing rain we usually get here. But I guess we were lucky. Our buddy Carol in Michigan went through the worst recorded winter in the state's history.

But Spring has sprung. A sure sign of this is that Shirl has dragged all of her jungle out of the glass room located off the deck onto the deck. The place looks like a bloody Amazon rainforest. Soon the howler monkeys will migrate north and we will have nightly serenades. Seriously, I don't like to go out on the deck at night. The resident jaguar gets testy.

Well, after three and a half years of getting four novellas and 32 novels (three of those "originals") up on the various e-book platforms, Shirl has obviously decided that the second half of this year will be goof-off time well-deserved. She has a couple of day trips planned, one to visit the local Budweiser breeding farm for its Clydesdales. And then some more extensive trips. She and a friend of ours from college have decided to take a group bus tour of several national parks. Ten days! Both of those gals will be crippled when they finish. Of course, I thought it my duty to stay home (I wept at the sacrifice) so that they would have somebody to drive them to the local airport and pick them up (if they make it back) and of course to tend our house and feed our beasts. Then, in July, she is going once again to meet up with the Rochats, our next-door buddies, for another vacation in Key West. (I discussed their last venture there in the 2012 Summer Newsletter and why I had no desire to go. Nothing has changed.)

Some time this summer, we also have to make our annual pilgrimage to our friends in Colorado. The scheduling here will prove tricky because in the very early Fall Shirl is planning a journey up the Orinoco River to collect some more flora for her private jungle and perhaps a small boa to give the howler monkeys something to interest them. The zoo keepers call it "environment enrichment." The monkeys will call it a hazardous "work environment." No doubt there will be an OSCHA suit. Jeez! Sued by monkeys and one of the TV lawyers you see on the tube will represent them....before Judge Judy, who is an admitted monkey lover. Brothers and sisters, each in our own way, let us pray(including burnt offerings) that Shirl gets back to writing, sooner than later. She also thinks a trip to Africa to gather some baby crocs for the gold fish pond would be interesting.

Jim,
who begs you to pray hard

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Jim in front of a classroom, teaching during his tenure on our local school board.


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Jim posed for the River Nymph book cover, chose the lady with the cards model and created the basic design from which Kim Killion worked.


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TWO FREE NOVELLAS


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