Ban My Book…Please!

I think my book is too tame.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s hardly G-rated. There’s sex, violence, and profanity. Kidnapping and substance abuse. Desecration of public lands, for crying out loud. But sadly, nobody has banned No Time for Kings. Too bad, because apparently, banned books sell like hotcakes. If you really want to ride the top of the bestseller charts, you’d better offend a whole lotta people. The worst I can say about my novel is, it isn’t grandmother-approved. Both my grandmother, rest her soul, and Tara’s read my book…and neither were comfortable with the subject matter. I have to admit, hearing that kind of made my day. But it was never meant to appeal to the crocheting contingent. I’d much prefer a general uprising, one in which bonfires are lit and copies of my book are piled on top while angry mobs are chanting “Off with his head!” or something along those lines.

At its heart, No Time for Kings is a love story—albeit one infused with murder—and while I won’t divulge the ending, it isn’t likely to cause anybody to lose sleep.

The follow-up, which has been in editing limbo for years, probably won’t be banned anywhere either. It’s a trippy sci-fi/parallel universe thriller in which Elvis Presley is resurrected. Kind of. I like it, but life has just gotten in the way of doing anything more with it. Soon, I promise.

In the meantime, I’m beginning to toss around the idea of a sequel to NTFK. The characters I created are strong, and there is plenty of potential for additional stories. I have one in mind that would be set right here in South Dakota and revolve around the missing and murdered indigenous women movement, a hot button issue in the Native American community. The bottom line is, after not actually writing fiction for several years, I’m starting to feel that itch again.

I’d also like to dabble in short stories, but I’ve always been too long-winded for that. Might be a good challenge for NaNoWriMo this year, though.

Today, I’ve taken a rare PTO day. Once upon a time, we were supposed to be in the midst of a long-planned family reunion this week, but COVID forced everybody to cancel. Almost everybody; my parents are here for the duration. We’ve had a nice visit so far and I wanted to spend a little extra time with them.

And catch up on blogging, apparently!

It’s a shame the reunion fell through, because the weather this weekend was perfect. Mid-70s, with brilliant blue smoke-free skies on Saturday (which is certainly not the case in the PNW!).

We went to Keystone for lunch at Ruby House before heading out for a nice drive through the Black Hills. Our destination was the Needles Highway. Unfortunately, that was everybody’s destination. Typically, the crowds disappear after Labor Day, but naturally this weird year appears to be the exception, because there were about a million cars out and about, all of them with different out-of-state license plates. I appreciate tourists and know that our economy is dependent upon them, but dammit, it sure makes doing things more complicated. We had to scrap our hiking plans because we couldn’t find a place to park, and we didn’t want to deal with crowds anyway. Tara and I much prefer our scenic wintertime drives, when we can count on one hand the number of passing cars.

Crowds notwithstanding, we were still able to enjoy some great scenery.

Sunday, we hit up Belle Joli Winery for Sunday brunch. The food and mimosas were great, but there was one very annoying woman at the next table over who actually had the gall to lumber over to our table the minute our food was served and say, golly gee, I was so gosh darned hungry when my plate came I didn’t have time to take a picture of my food, would you mind if I photograph yours? I mean: come on, lady! Really?! We were so taken aback we just let her, but the server was mortified and I was seconds away from saying something rude as she was standing there, leaning over my dad’s plate of French crepes with her phone inches from his food. In this COVID era, no less.

People are stupid. This was pushing the boundaries of rudeness, correct?

After brunch, our plan was to take my parents out on the boat. We’d finally gotten her registered and spiffed up a bit, so we made our way to the lake. Backed the truck up, got her into the water, and then when Tara turned the key in the ignition, nothing happened.

The battery was dead.

Par for the course, 2020. You know what they say about the best-laid plans and all that jazz. We’ll try again next Saturday, provided we can find a trickle charger and get the battery topped off. At least the weather was pleasant.

Today, on the other hand, it’s just hot. We’re back in the 90s; last week’s snow is already a distant memory. But the days keep growing shorter and this heatwave promises to be short-lived. Before long, it’ll be too cold to even think about boating (not to mention impossible, with an iced-over lake).

Today also happens to be our 7th wedding anniversary. We’re planning a weekend trip to Sioux Falls in a couple of weeks to celebrate.

But tonight, it’s the Broncos on Monday Night Football. Which, of course, is reason enough to celebrate!

28 thoughts on “Ban My Book…Please!

  1. Gorgeous photos, Mark! What incredible views! And it’s been the same here, mid-70’s and 0 humidity. Tomorrow I saw that it will drop down even cooler–62! OMG…I’m in heaven! 🙂

    And yes, people are stupid. The NERVE of that woman not only asking to take photograph, but standing that close.

    Wishing you and Tara a very happy and faaaaabulous 7th wedding anniversary! Gosh, I can’t believe it’s been SEVEN years already. I remember when you guys got married and that seemed a few months ago!

    And enjoy the game!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing how fast time flies! Seven years married, nine dating. My old life feels like a distant dream now.

      The game would have been more enjoyable if A) it had started at a decent hour, and B) the Broncos had actually won. But football is back, so I can’t complain too much. Have a great week, my friend!


  2. If ever I have dinner with the two of you peeps I will be sure to stop the gorging and inhaling so I can take photos of your plate (not Tara’s) and blog extensively about all the nutritional aspects of your food choices.



    Liked by 1 person

      1. I see how it is. Hover over my food and leave hers alone. Is this some kind of female empowerment thing? A banding together of feminine forces? If so, I don’t like it.


  3. You could always advertise the fact that your book makes great kindling, maybe that would start a burning trend.
    Glad you were able to have a few days of sun and fun. But looming food photographers? No. Just… no.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy anniversary! And seven is a lucky number so you have that going for you.

    The woman at the restaurant absolutely galls me. It’s not just rude, it’s stupid. She was willing to be rude (and COVID unsafe) because getting a picture of her FOOD was so crucial to her? Sometimes people’s priorities… I swear. DOWN WITH INSTAGRAM!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It also marks the infamous “seven-year itch.” CUE DRAMATIC MUSIC!!

      Which was a very real thing in my last marriage. But I’m not worried this time. Tara and I are too good together.

      I searched Instagram for that woman’s post, but there was nothing. Maybe she posted to Facebook instead. I’d be much happier with a DOWN WITH FACEBOOK! chant anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Seven years of wedded bliss! That is something to celebrate. My gift to you is a shout out and the banning of NTFK on my next blog post, also in editing limbo. You’re bound to get a boost in sales. Four people and 42 bots will surely rush out to Amazon to get a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The need to photograph food, anyone’s food, is beyond me. That woman was rude, obviously. But what kind of hole is there in your life that you must photograph a stranger’s meal to share on your social media account? That’s wacko.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve taken an occasional photo of my food when it’s been particularly pretty (sushi is a great photo opp), but the key word here is MY food…not the diner’s three tables over! Bet she tries to pawn it off as her own meal, too.

      What a bitch.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I can burn your book if you’d like. Nice that you had perfect weather for your ‘rents visit. You had snow last week, and now 90s? Wowsa. How do you know which sort of clothes to keep handy? I guess you just don’t besides “all of them.” Happy anniversary!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Keeping up with the seasons is impossible. Even my dad has remarked about how one day it’s cold, the next it’s hot, the next it’s cold, and so forth and so on. At least there is a certain consistency in winter and summer. It’s these “shoulder seasons” that are unpredictable.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I keep meaning to read your book (I see it at the bottom of the WP page)!

    A sequel could be fun–fiction is sometimes a “better” way to call attention to certain issues. Picking the topic of missing Indigenous women could certainly get you banned in some circles, too (sadly).

    Liked by 2 people

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