Vaughn Hardacker here: I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel like a prisoner in solitary. What is really strange is that since the Covid-19 social distancing and isolation has been in place, I haven’t really done anything different. What is driving me crazy is that I am now being told to continue doing what I usually do! Many years ago my parents learned that the quickest way to make me do something was to tell me not to do it. Now the government is telling me to isolate myself. They’d be better off telling me to go out and be with as many people as possible–then I’d lock myself in a closet. What helps is that I live in a town with a single store and the closest town, Caribou only has three and they’re all so-called dollar stores.
However, in spite of all this the past couple of weeks have really been good. First off, I learned that for a couple years now I’ve been telling people that there are no bookstores north of Bangor. Well, I learned that I was wrong. I discovered Bogan Books an independent book store about twenty miles away from me In Fort Kent. I’m not certain, but I think that it’s possibly the most northerly book store in the continental United States. I have been in there three times and Heidi Carter, owner and chief cook and bottle washer) has sort of taken me under her wing. Since then, I have not ordered a single book from an online big store. I have bought several from Bogan however.
Second. I finally got copies of my novel, Wendigo. For months my publisher has been telling me that it’s out of stock. When asked, they said they weren’t certain, but if they got 250 back orders they would do a printing. Short story: I ordered 250 (and get this: The government sent me a check to pay for them!). They arrived five days ago. So if you’d like to purchase an autographed hard copy as of right now, I’m your only source, contact me by email. Bogan will have copies tomorrow as I gave her a special rate.
Third. My new publisher, Encircle Publications, sent me a copy of the cover for my next novel, The Exchange, due out in September.
Fourth. Lisa Gardner has agreed to read an ARC and provide me with a cover blurb. Enough said.
Fifth. I received the galleys of The Exchange. Ed Vincent of encircle asked if I could go over it and as soon as I finished he send out to the printer for ARCs. I did a line-by-line edit in a day and a half
Sixth. With the exception of a small patch where the plow-guy piled it up all the snow is off my yard. That may not sound like a big thing unless you’ve just come through an Aroostook County winter.
Seventh. You may recall that a while back I did a blog entitled: Where Are You Ronnie Jay. The blog included a poem Ronnie had written about being a writer for a writing group we were attending. Ronnie wrote the poem in 2003 and disappeared after that. We assumed that he had returned to Tennessee where he was a song writer. I have tried in vain to find him. Today, April 28, Barbara Ross forwarded an email to me that she’d received from Ronnie Jay. How did you find him, Barb?
What’s the moral of this blog? Even in the midst of a world-wide pandemic good things can happen–even if you’re a the glass is half empty guy. Oh, yeah, being retired and living on a fixed income isn’t such a bad thing–through it all I suffered no loss of revenue. That’s not mention that gas up here has finally dropped below two dollars. Now, if I only had some place to go… Frankly, I don’t know if I can cope with another week like these!