About the blog


A note about GDPR

This is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the European Union that we’re all trying to comply with before March 25th, 2018. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia: “The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment.” It’s concerned with the collection of Personally Identifiable Information: “information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context.” We, the People, want to know who’s keeping cookieswhat info about us. Fair enough.

I am an author who maintains a website and writes a blog and this monthly newsletter. At present, my website creates cookies for Google Analytics, like what time a visitor arrives at the site and what time they leave. No visitor can be identified from that information; it’s basically a traffic report — which I never look at, so I’m having it removed. By May 25th, my website will create no cookies.

If you contact me through my contact page, or leave a comment on my blog, or sign up for my newsletter, you will voluntarily supply your email address and maybe also your name. Those data items will be maintained in my WordPress database and at MailChimp, my newsletter management tool. MailChimp also usually stores information about the timezone and/or country code from which the subscribing address originates. This really useful for me in doing my monthly drawings. Sometimes I ask for another bit of info like whether you like Audible books or want to be an ARC reader. I keep that at MailChimp too, as part of each subscriber’s record.

I don’t sell stuff through this newsletter or my website and never will. Too much work! I never want anything like financial information or addresses or political preferences or any of that kind of stuff.

And that’s it in terms of information collected by my website, blog, and newsletter. If it disturbs you, please unsubscribe from the RSS feed using your feed tool. If it doesn’t, we’ll just carry on. You can read my bold new Privacy Policy statement if you’re having trouble falling asleep.


Happy new year! And a few changes...

I’m a little slow off the blocks with nearly everything this new year, the consequence of having too long a list of things to start. It’s like launching many balloons into the early morning mist at once. Well, not really, but I have this great picture my father took in Taos in 1986…

The blog is getting a re-organization this year. I currently post twice a week, on Monday & Wednesday. That’s changing to Monday & Friday. Monday will still be the Texas posts; Friday will still be history. I have an orderly convention for distinguishing genres.


Texas now and then

I will continue to post the Texas now and then articles on Mondays. Like sophomore elective courses, they are fun and easy (for me), but hopefully have some intellectual value. I can do a month’s worth in one evening in front of the tube. They go with the Lost Hat, Texas, mystery series, which will grow from one book to two in March or April.

These posts will always have the same title. In case anyone is curious, my sources are:

Elizabethan history

This one’s getting scaled back. I can’t write four long, thoughtful essays about the Elizabethan period every month; or, I can, but I shouldn’t. Each one takes a full day and I’m supposed to be writing fiction; also, finding illustrations for topics like sixteenth-century real estate law is tough.

My new plan is to write one long, thoughtful post about history each month, probably about whatever I’m currently trying to learn. I will continue to walk through one of Bacon’s essays each month, working through the standard list in order. My source is the conveniently searchable rendition at West Egg. Those titles are readily identifiable; e.g., Bacon’s Essays: Of Studies.

For the other two weeks, I’m going to do easy, short posts titled Pix and Quotes, possibly with a subtitle, in which I share some odds and ends that I like. Photographs will be mostly mine and will be mostly sorted around places of interest. These and the history articles will have titles tagged Elizabethan.

Wait: where did these Victorians come from?

I’m launching a series set in the late Victorian period (London) sometime this year; when that happens, some of the Friday posts will be about this period. Their titles will start with the tag Victorian. Catchy, what?

As soon as I finish typing up the notes from my current Bacon-related book, I will embark upon a study of late Victorian mental health beliefs and practices. My characters will be going undercover in a private hospital specializing in the treatment of neurasthenia, an affliction of the rich and sensitive.

There will be another Bacon story in 2016. At least one short story, one novella, and hopefully book 4. But I have to write the stories that clamoring to get out. Squeaky wheels and all that.

Mashmont, launch the balloons!

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