Here I am again!

It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.  With these words broadcaster Garrison Keillor began each week’s episode of the events in his fictional town.  Well, here on the Sunny Banks’ news page it has been a quiet year.  It’s almost a year to the day since my latest notice.  There has been so much to do that my blog has taken Cinderella place.  But now I’ve at last incorporated it into my website -, in case you’re wondering – so now I’m going to try and keep it a bit more up to date.

The situation in the world has worsened considerably for the average citizen.  Some days it has been hard to choose which of the many injuries one state or another has done its citizens and their freedoms is most significant.

Not that all entries have to be rants, of course.  There are fun items of news from time to time.  Like the fact that last Thursday I was invited to a school to give a talk on how one describes feelings in fiction.  I met about 150 children from grades six to nine.  They came in two groups, both heterogeneous, but the former with a majority from the higher grades, and the latter from the lower grades.  During the week they had worked on the theme of love – it was, of course, Saint Valentine’s week – and my talks were given on Thursday, Saint Valentine’s Day itself.

It was fun, and I hope that the students enjoyed it.  The feedback I have received indicates that not only the children, but the faculty as well enjoyed it.  Certainly I did, and it is equally certain that there was a large group which surrounded me when the talk was over to ask further questions.  One of the things which impressed them most was the fact that, in my two books so far, I have written over 800 pages.  If they only knew that most of those pages have been written at least twice…

Yesterday, by way of a change of subject, was the day the meteorite crashed down in Russia.  Strange that these things are drawn to Russia.  The last large one I remember hearing of was also in Russia, in 1908 at Tunguska.

On a sad note, today saw the death of Eric Ericson, who made Swedish choir music world-famous.  He has not conducted much for the last few years – he was 94 when he died – but he will be missed.

And now for a rant.  Today I saw in the news that the state of Sweden is turning responsibility for catastrophe management over to the local authorities of roughly the equivalent of county level.  This is a scandal.  Protection of its citizens is the only justification for the existence of a state.  The state expects us to give it a monopoly on the use of force.  It must therefore take a monopoly on that use, and not farm it out to the lowest bidder or, as in this case, to a regional authority.  The state exists to protect its citizens from foreign attack, through the military, from internal attack via the police, and to settle disputes according to a known set of principles through the justice system.  By extension the protection of its citizens from natural hazards and catastrophes of whatever nature is also a function of the state and should remain there.  Shameful, Sweden!

So now I’m back online, and with more time to write.  Maybe this blog will become my way of emulating John Steinbeck, who began each day’s writing with a letter to his publisher friend.  This was his way of exercising his writing muscle, the author’s equivalent of the singer’s singing up his voice.  Most of them were unpublished, but for the interested, the letters he wrote each morning whilst writing “East of Eden” have been published in the book “Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters”.

© James Wilde 2015