Thanksgiving, Family Day, and their opposite, Black Friday – #thanksgiving #amreading #family #Friday

wild turkey hen in flight

Yes, wild turkeys can fly – and there are hens as well as those overstuffed males with their fancy tail feathers

Thanksgiving arrives tomorrow in the USA. Join us. That goes for our friends to the north too. Canadian Thanksgiving is long past, but who can resist another turkey?

Being a Thursday holiday, Thanksgiving leads into a long weekend for many Americans, and the Friday after is sometimes called Family Day rather than Black Friday, to get away from all the consumerism. That’s important because Thanksgiving has come to mean More Food Than We Can Eat, so Friday and the rest of the weekend it’s sandwiches made from turkey, stuffing, cranberry jelly, pieces of toasted marshmallow, and anything else in the fridge.

The holidays are definitely heating up with Christmas only a month away.

But on Thursday, eat, relax, argue politics with your relatives, and watch too-much football. Then take a brisk walk in the autumn air. There’s a piece of pie waiting for you when you return.

In between football and leftovers, make time for a short story, or two, or more. Check out my short reads on Amazon – on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL too. Please leave a review! A sentence or two is all it takes to help other readers find me. Thanks.

Three Fantastic Tales book cover science fiction fantasyThree Fantastic Tales

  • Burritos and his daughter’s birthday party keep a computer developer from his artificial intelligence project, but he’ll never succeed without them.
  • A painter ensnared in his master’s Renaissance studio discovers a deadly escape.
  • For this micro spaceship, one of hundreds crossing interstellar space to search for life, sacrifice is part of the mission.

Dragon Bones a Fantastic Tale book coverDragon Bones, a Fantastic Tale

  • Two desperate brothers find misery in California’s Gold Rush until a Chinese doctor promises them riches. They should have asked, at what price?

Two Fantastic Tales book coverTwo Fantastic Tales

  • A trio of physics students find that theory is safer than practice.
  • A lonely woman on a deadly mission receives a second chance, if she can seize it before it’s too late.
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Election Day in USA but Festival of Lights May Be More Fun – jubilant Hindu holiday looks like a fun time #holiday #season #amreading

Fireworks over a lake in IndiaHere in America it’s election day and most of us want to curl into a ball (after we vote of course), barely able to peek out at the TV to see how it’s going. Much better to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light.

Candles, sparklers, and all sorts of lights glow to celebrate Rama’s victory over evil demons.

Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

There couldn’t be a better message. Clean and renovate your home and office for the five day celebration, don your finest clothes, prepare fireworks and feasts, and reach out to everyone you know from the Hindu and Jain diaspora.

Naturally, I think every celebration should include books 😉 There’s always time for a short story. Check out my short reads on Amazon – on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL too.

Three Fantastic Tales book cover science fiction fantasyThree Fantastic Tales 5 stars

  • Burritos and his daughter’s birthday party keep a computer developer from his artificial intelligence project, but he’ll never succeed without them.
  • A painter ensnared in his master’s Renaissance studio discovers a deadly escape.
  • For this micro spaceship, one of hundreds crossing interstellar space to search for life, sacrifice is part of the mission.

Dragon Bones a Fantastic Tale book coverDragon Bones, a Fantastic Tale 5 stars

  • Two desperate brothers find misery in California’s Gold Rush until a Chinese doctor promises them riches. They should have asked, at what price?

Two Fantastic Tales book coverTwo Fantastic Tale 4 stars

  • A trio of physics students find that theory is safer than practice.
  • A lonely woman on a deadly mission receives a second chance, if she can seize it before it’s too late.

Here’s Spooking at You – Mexico’s delightful family holiday spreads north – it looks like fun for everyone #DayoftheDead #Halloween #festival #amreading

Day of the Dead Catrina

My own Catrina

Happy Halloween, and on November 1st, Dia de los Muertos. Here in southwest New Mexico, shrines for the Day of the Dead have been popping up all over. This Mexican holiday appeals to everyone.

The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember those who have died and help support their spiritual journey…

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years.

It’s time for street fairs, arts and crafts booths, parades, and family gatherings that promise to include the spirits of your ancestors.

Visit Silver City’s – my town’s – celebration. There’s even a Facebook page.

Three Fantastic Tales book cover science fiction fantasyI know you’ll be busy, but there’s always time for a short story. Check out my short reads on Amazon – on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL too.

Three Fantastic Tales

  • Burritos and his daughter’s birthday party keep a computer developer from his artificial intelligence project, but he’ll never succeed without them.
  • A painter ensnared in his master’s Renaissance studio discovers a deadly escape.
  • For this micro spaceship, one of hundreds crossing interstellar space to search for life, sacrifice is part of the mission.

Dragon Bones a Fantastic Tale book coverDragon Bones, a Fantastic Tale

  • Two desperate brothers find misery in California’s Gold Rush until a Chinese doctor promises them riches. They should have asked, at what price?

Two Fantastic Tales book coverTwo Fantastic Tales

  • A trio of physics students find that theory is safer than practice.
  • A lonely woman on a deadly mission receives a second chance, if she can seize it before it’s too late.

#GoldKing #ToxicWaste is our Heritage – a #poem by Kate Rauner

Heirs to History’s Gold

A lone California 49er

A lone California 49er

California! Paved with gold,
Loose nuggets for collecting,
Brought thousands to the western lands,
Wannabes prospecting.
A few got rich and most did not.
The way to mining heaven
Was own the general store, saloon,
Or invent jeans from denim.
The surest way to make a strike
Was be first to arrive,
So Colorado’s gold rush came
In eighteen fifty nine.
Next came Wyoming,
The Dakotas,
Idaho,
Montana;
And as the nineteen hundreds loomed,
Alaska raised its banner.
They followed placer gold streams
Into the highest mountains.
Digging for the veins of wealth
Tapped into toxic fountains.
Central City, Breckenridge,
South Park and Leadville.
Red Mountain, Cripple Creek,
Telluride, and Summitville.
The magic of the era,
Our romantic Wild West,
America’s foundation myth
Has left us quite a mess.
Four thousand mines leak acid waste
From Colorado’s peaks.
Gold Kings are gone, but we’re still here
Along the mountain creeks.

Large scale equipment replaced the lone 49er. The Gold Rush TV series featured a similar dredge last season, in use today.

Large scale equipment replaced the lone 49er. The Gold Rush TV series featured a similar dredge last season, in use today.

It was the way that things were done,
It built the lives we lead,
But, damn, I wish they had known more
Before they did the deed.
Billions clean-ups cost us,
We heirs to history,
So we can ski and hike and fish,
Drink water hazard-free.

Boneheaded errors at an abandoned mine clean up contaminated miles of Colorado’s Animas River, all the way to New Mexico. It’s not likely to be the last disaster as America deals with the legacy of our Wild West and early 20th century. But we still find the era fascinating and alluring.

“On average, half the gold-seekers made a modest profit, after taking all expenses into account. Most, however, especially those arriving later, made little or wound up losing money…
“Recent scholarship confirms that merchants made far more money than miners during the Gold Rush… [but] many unlucky merchants set up in settlements which disappeared…
“Boardinghouses, food preparation, sewing, and laundry were highly profitable businesses often run by women who realized men would pay well for a service done by a woman. Brothels also brought in large profits.”
Mining not only built the American West, it accelerated the conquest and demise of Native Americans. wikipedia California Gold Rush and wikipedia Gold mining in Colorado

“A spill at a mine that turned a Colorado river orange and sent toxic waste barreling downstream 100 miles has many people wondering if the mining site in their town could be next. The answer from experts: Yes. Last week’s spill of three million gallons of acidic mining waste from the historic Gold King mine into the Animas River north of Durango ‘was an accident waiting to happen.'” nationalgeographic toxic pollution

Here’s the link to the Gold Rush TV series.