Saturday, October 08, 2016

Some positive developments

Patricia and I have had some good news recently. After being laid off last April, Patricia started work three weeks ago at a new job, and it is in education again - she is teaching four-year olds in the Head Start program in Texarkana.

She was a middle school teacher up until last year, but quit because of the horrible working conditions at the local school district. Most of last year she worked as an office manager. Now she is back in a school, and she's enjoys the job very much. It's a bit of a commute, but worth it.

I've been commuting since the start of last year 46 miles each way to my current newspaper job, but that will be coming to an end. After some searching, and a few missteps, we closed on a house yesterday in the city where I work, Clarksville. So my commute will be ending while now Patricia has the commute.

It took some creativity to get the new house. It was a foreclosure and we had to bid in an auction - but we won, and got it at a great price. It has over 2300 square feet, four bedrooms and three baths. It was built in 1931.

Because of the auction date we didn't qualify for a conventional mortgage - we haven't been able to sell our current home, and we didn't 't have the income level to carry two mortgages at the time, which was before Patricia got her current job.

But a local bank gave us mortgage instead, and so everything worked out.

We are in the process of getting the utilities turned on and having inspections done (being purchased via an auction, it was an "as is" sale, although we were able to inspect the house ourselves beforehand.)

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Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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