I’ve gotten a couple of emails asking “Are you okay?” because it’s been so long since I posted on the website, and – you know – covid. Yes, I’m fine, but there are now three things to share, so I’ll see if I can remember how to send out a blog post!

Thing One: It looks like a screen adaptation of The Sparrow may finally be made. Scott Frank, the screenwriter for “Queen’s Gambit,” is writing all the episodes, and I read someplace that his intent is to stick close to the book. Director Johan Renck’s prior work includes the superb HBO series “Chernobyl.” Can’t ask for better than a team like that!

Before you ask, nobody consults me about anything and I have no influence on any aspect of the production, nor do I know when it will be on FX, if it gets that far. At this stage, we all need remind ourselves that nothing in Hollywood is really happening until the cinematographer is on the set eating a breakfast burrito.

Thing Two: The Women of the Copper Country has been getting a lot of love lately. (No interest from Hollywood, but hey! Took 25 years and four attempts for The Sparrow.) We had to cancel half a dozen library events when covid hit and tried to make up the difference with Zoom, but… It’s not the same.

Then, earlier this year, it was named as a Michigan Notable Book and now the novel has been selected as the 2021-22 Great Michigan Read by the Michigan Humanities.  

Click the link for details about participating. This is a whole-state, whole-year series of events, starting in the autumn of 2021. Don and I have been Modernaized, so it’s possible the events will be in person, but that will depend on how covid is behaving.

Thing Three: It’s time to share a decision I’ve made during this quiet year at home.

During the first months of the lock-down, I pushed and dragged myself through to the completion of another novel. Complete is not the same as finished. It would take another 18 months of concentrated effort to do the work that manuscript would require to be publishable. And even if I had the drive and stamina and concentration needed to hammer a half-assed story into shape, there’s this reality: I’d be mortgaging another 3-4 years of my future to the process of publication and support of a new novel.

Don and I are in our 70s now. We celebrated our 50th anniversary in September. We are healthy enough to enjoy every day we have together. We are also aware that life can take a quick, sharp turn.

So I have decided to join Don in retirement. Together, we’ve gotten very good at pottering. We garden. We’re working through 100+ years of inherited photographs. We spoil the dog. Don is learning how to use a 3D printer. I’m farting around with watercolors.

We both worked very hard for a long time. This is a well-earned season of harvest, and we intend to enjoy the time we have together before winter sets in.