“Something will turn up”

Wilkins Micawber, a character in

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

In this strange not quite post-Pandemic time, it seems that I have spent an extraordinary amount of time waiting. Waiting for my son to get unstuck, waiting for publication news, waiting for the world to get better. But happily and at long last, finally something did turn up.

On the homefront, a paradigm shift has taken place. My oldest son had to live at home for two years. He moved back from living in South America, and all of his domestic job prospects were dashed because of Covid-related deaths. Last month, to his (and my) relief, he landed a teaching job in a nearby town and moved out. As the saying goes, he’s flown the coop. Though I miss him, it’s a far better situation than sharing a house. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Even more rewarding: I have new books scheduled for an early 2022 release. Pocol  Press plans to launch Hand of Ganesh in February and Pajarito Press will re-issue From Calcutta with Love: the World War II Letters of Richard and Reva Beard in the spring.

From Calcutta with Love comprises my late adoptive father’s daily letters to my adoptive mother interspersed with her missives back to him. Before they adopted me, Richard and Reva were separated by 6,000 miles and 18 months. The entire letter collection resides at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The best of the letters are in the book. 

Hand of Ganesh is a work of fiction inspired by a trip I took to southern India in 2013: An adventure story starring two women – Clara Jordan and Arundati (Dottie) Benet. Here’s a sneak preview:

The story begins in the 1600s with Jonathan Dinegar Goldingham’s visit to the Shore Temple at Mahabalipurim in Tamil Nadu, India. Goldingham strolls along the beach and finds himself confronting a small Indian boy who is selling relics. He buys a stone that was part of the elephant god, Ganesh.

Generations pass and the hand of Ganesh ends up in the dusty attic of Miriam Benet, a wealthy Philadelphia dowager. Arundhati Benet, the woman who inherits the house from Aunt Miriam is the adopted daughter of Richard and Reva Benet. Richard Benet received the stone hand, plus a small fortune, from Professor Dinegar, the grandson of Goldingham and Benet’s former college professor.

When Dottie and her friend Clara are clearing out the attic as part of an estate settling, they find and keep the hand of Ganesh. The artifact will eventually lead them to take a trip to Southern India.Both are adoptees and both are passionately interested in learning more about their ancestry. It is also a story involving Hinduism and the deity Ganesh.

To learn more, tune in to a recent public radio interview by Carly Newfeld of Santa Fe Public RadioStation KSFR: The Last Word