Awesome Gang

N. N. Light

Heartwood Lit Mag

Mail-Interview Project

Awesome Gang

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a prolific writer and publisher. I ran a small press and published 20 anthologies and six chapbooks. I have written four novels, a collection of short stories, and five chapbooks. Publishing excites me as much as storytelling. It is exhilarating to assist others in achieving their dreams. I sent out a quarterly magazine that listed mail art opportunities for five years.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Recently I finished the Gnome Stories series that took over a decade to complete. I was a single mom working full time and didn’t write consistently. Creative writing gave me an outlet to escape to another world. While working in IT, I often had long sessions installing software or some other tedious activity, and my mind would spin with fantasies.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I work in software quality assurance, and my workday can be hectic or slow depending on a process flow out of my control. I take every opportunity to use my time in front of multiple laptops to create, write, and publish. I am also a prolific, award-winning artist.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have a wide range of interests and have always been a prolific reader. I prefer literary, fantasy, and ancient texts like Rumi and Sun Tzu.

What are you working on now?
My goal for next year is to explore genres other than fantasy. I am currently working on a techno-thriller, a magical realism story about lycanthropes, a science fiction novel, and a poetry book about my dad, who passed away last year.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m hesitant to opine about the best way to promote books because I don’t seem to do it well. Without hard data, I would not know where the clicks came from if I was successful. I have tried Twitter and Facebook campaigns, author profiles on Amazon and Goodreads, my website, book promotions (free giveaways and .99 deals), editorial reviews, and social media posts. I haven’t had a lot of luck encouraging readers to opt-in to an email list.
Awesome Gang, N. N. Light Book Heaven, and BGSauthors are useful author promotion websites. Getting book reviews is my marketing pet peeve.
My latest out-of-the-box idea is to cross-promote cryptocurrency, a novel, and a comic book.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Do not edit during the writing process. Concentrate on getting words on the paper, so you have something to edit. I marinate ideas to let the concepts and symbolism percolate in the deep recesses of my brain.
I used to write out everything longhand but finally switched over to typing on a laptop, which has made the writing and editing process quicker. Computer programs like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and SmartEdit Pro can help you make quick gains when editing.
Everyone should use beta readers, developmental, copy, and line editors. Hire a proofreader. I have found a lot of inexpensive help on Fiverr. I have belonged to writers groups in the past but found they are more trouble than worth.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Set up a work schedule and stick with it. I usually work 3-8 hours a day, including weekends. I spend quite a bit of time promoting, editing, and thinking. Creating ebooks and audiobooks is also time-consuming.
Write what you want, and don’t worry about whether people will like it.

What are you reading now?
I am currently reading technical spec manuals for audiobook production. The last fiction novels I read were N. K. Jemisin’s The City We Became and Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary.

What’s next for you as a writer?
I have been exploring a cross-promotion idea between a techno-thriller novel and cryptocurrency. I didn’t know much about it but successfully set up my own coin and NFTs. I don’t know if my idea will pan out, but it was essential information to learn for my novel about a series of murders on a data-mining farm in the arctic.

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
The Kraken, China Miéville
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
The Essential Rumi

N. N. Light

Do you have any odd writing habits?

I sometimes choose words I want to use in poetry or novels first, then later create sentences, paragraphs, and scenes. I’m a pantser, but over time, I’ve tried to be more aware of the plot and structure and now create simple outlines. I re-write chapters and skip around in the novel. This causes a problem near the end of the writing journey when only the segues and boring parts remain.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I would start with Haruki Murakami, China Miéville, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, N. K. Jemisin, and Chuck Palahniuk. A complete list would be too long to include here.

What books do you wish you could have written?

Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami and The Kraken, by China Miéville.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I have quite a few talking animals in my stories. All my bird character names are Italian, my cat names are Egyptian, and my gnomes have German names. Once I have a list of cast names, I check that they vary in length and first letter to help the reader delineate the characters. I also pay attention to consonant sounds and the number of syllables. For instance, I use hissing sounds (like in the name Elyse), for an evil character that resembles a snake. I use K or other hard consonant sounds for tough, overbearing characters. I may use a short name like Burk to represent a simple-minded character and lots of syllables to render a fussy or formal character (Victoria, Kimberly).

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I have two—Global Mail and KY Story. Global Mail was a quarterly newspaper that listed mail art opportunities. I published and mailed it out for five years while also taking part and hosting mail art exhibitions.

KY Story was an independent press. I published 20 anthologies, six chapbooks, and posted a few online art exhibitions.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t get hung up on getting an agent and getting published. Concentrate and enjoy the writing process. If you never get an agent, it will be okay. You can self-publish if it is essential to you.

Finishing projects is a significant learning experience for writers, and there is a finality to seeing your book in print. Work through the problems in your manuscript. Leaving novels in a drawer is sometimes necessary as not all stories work out, but writers sometimes hide projects out of fear. Offering texts to the world is scary, and completing a novel is a goalpost that suggests you trust yourself and your vision.

Make use of all available computer tools. Grammarly, AutoCrit, Quillbot, ProWriting Aid, and MS Word Editor can help you improve your writing skills and eliminate basic mistakes like repeated words or missing punctuation. Also, consider tools that will help you physically. It may be helpful for some to use voice-to-text narration on the computer to avoid wrist sprain. Buy a good keyboard and mouse and pay attention to your posture and lighting wherever you choose to write.

Whether you use Scrivener, MS Word, or some other program, invest in training. Learning the advanced features will save time over the decades. You don’t have to pay for training. Watch YouTube videos to learn the use of obscure features related to your trade.

Services like Fiverr and Upwork are low-cost marketplaces to find beta readers, copy editors, proofreaders, etc. Create a budget to purchase writer services. It is more time-effective than joining a writer’s group and trading with other writers that may not be at your skill level. Note I have done both, but I find socializing difficult. Paying for services gives me confidence that the readers and editors will adequately perform the work. You also may need to set aside monies for e-book coding, marketing, or book design.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?

I have a difficult time writing combat scenes. I’ve never thrown a punch, but I have fired a pistol. I’ve not practiced archery or sword fighting. I’m not athletic, and I have difficulties thinking through the choreography of a combat scene.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m working on a sci-fi novel about human memories sold on the black market, and a magic realism novel about a lycanthrope where it is unclear if he is a werewolf or just having mental health issues.

I have also been exploring a cross-promotional marketing idea for a techno-thriller novel and cryptocurrency. I knew little about digital currency but successfully set up a coin and NFTs in the name of my novel. I don’t know if my marketing idea will pan out, but understanding more about the technical aspects will help me write about murders on a data-mining farm in the arctic.

What is your biggest failure?

I cannot bond with a peer group. I don’t have any friends due to trust issues and being bullied in my childhood. It feels much safer to keep to myself, but others may find it strange.

What is your biggest fear?

One of my biggest fears is working for an employer until I die. I work hard and spend at least twenty hours a week writing or on other projects, but laboring at a job is soul-destroying. I currently work in software quality assurance. I get paid well enough to support my writing projects and one day will be able to retire.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I do whatever I want to do. If I don’t know how to do a task, I learn how and make mistakes just like everyone else. I no longer wait for someone to give me an opportunity, or go through gatekeepers. I genuinely believe writing is valuable, even if no one wants to read it. Writing can be therapeutic and offers many rewards.

What secret talents do you have?

I am a talented digital painter who bounces between creative activities. I might spend a few months creating artwork, then switch to poetry or novel writing.

What were you like as a child?

As a child, I was an introverted nerdy kid, just like I am now. My general interests are computers, books, and art.

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares? I have nightmares every night from CPTSD. I have GAD and have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) for the last forty years. Sometimes the people who inhabit my dreams are bullies from school or work, but I also have a lot of nightmares about catastrophic weather. I have done a series of digital paintings featuring tornados and hope to do an anthology of tsunami dreams one day.

This is from

Heartwood Lit Mag

First, thank you for being a part of this magazine of literature and art. My first question is similar to one I have asked each artist: What does the term Appalachian Art mean to you?

I have struggled with the labels “Appalachian Artist” and “Appalachian Art” because the perception of what those phrases meant forty years ago. When I moved away from Kentucky to go to college decades ago, people made fun of me for being a hillbilly. I felt ashamed, but didn’t understand why. Over time, I’ve come to realize it is easy to bully those you think are less than you, but at the time, I felt defeated. I switched to writing because I thought my art was dismissed.

When I went to get my masters in Creative Writing, I faced some additional snottiness because I didn’t have a BA in English or writing. I was employed at the university as a assistive technologist (helping students with disabilities with their software and computer hardware) and was getting my education for free. Even in the South,  I found myself an outsider. Humility is a useful trait for an artist or writer. I give away a lot of work for free, and I don’t place acceptance at one venue over another. It’s nice to get paid, but if I insisted on being paid, I would not be a successful as I am. 

But anyway, back to the topic of what it means to be an Appalachian artist. 

It isn’t a simple question to answer. Appalachia was defined in 1965 as a region of 420 counties and eight independent cities in thirteen states. This odd collection of locations is based on classifications of poverty, and forgive me if I don’t go into the specifics of the policies regarding this region. Besides the epic theme of poverty, Appalachian regions have an abundance of social issues like drug addiction and domestic violence,  and regional issues related to labor, mining, environmental preservation, and conservation. Modern American art history describes artists of this region as untrained and creating art out of available materials, sometimes prettying up functional items. We’re talking wood carving, quilting, ceramics, crafts, furniture, artisanal food, homemade toys, and dolls. Keep in mind, many contemporary Appalachian artists and writers have advanced training in their disciplines, and do fine art rather than folk art, so the terminology is changing. When claiming this label, artists have been accused of appropriating the heritage for grants or other opportunities provided Appalachian residents because of economic need. Some themes that persist in Appalachian art and writing include a rural or mountainous setting, resourcefulness, reuse, and sometimes a Southern or country voice, which is not the same as hillbilly slang and a Southern accent. I’m a writer, too, and there are additional questions about what makes a writer Appalachian. It’s enough to drive you nuts. I live and work in Madison County, Kentucky, and this area has been my home for most of my life, so I feel at ease defining myself as an “Appalachian Artist and Writer.”

Let’s take a moment to discuss the medium of digital painting. Can you explain the process and medium to give our reader a better understanding of what “digital painting” means?

In its most simple explanation, all the images I create are made on the computer and do not exist in physical form unless I print them out. I am making collages in digital form, using parts of images found in the public domain. I blend them in a program called ArtWeaver (a free program resembling Photoshop). After I create the image, I move it into a photo editing and developing program called Zoner Pro to further sculpt and change the scene.


You seem to have a love of Victorian images, plants, and bugs. What about these themes draw your interests? The images you place within the landscapes of your work almost consume part of the landscape: Is this an intentional decision and if so, what would you like for that composition to evoke in the viewer? 

I love old Victorian illustrations and re-appropriate (steal and use) with glee. There are copious scientific illustrations from this time period. I create images that have a strong foreground/background dichotomy. This appeals to me in the same way that you place a character into an unlikely setting, providing a prompt for the mind to create any number of stories. Adding words or micro poems to images creates a complex jumping point for the imagination.


Is the foliage that you interject into the landscape native to that landscape?

Sometimes, but it is not intentional. I love vines and kudzu, but I also feel free to add odd creatures from the ocean or imaginary figures that might not have anything to do with Southern landscapes.


Your digital paintings evoke the spirit of a modern Georgia O’Keeffe for me: what visual artists do you gain inspiration from?

Concepts intrigue me more than visual art. I got my master’s degree in art at Rutgers in the mid-eighties, so post-modernist ideas and notions of re-appropriation have carved a notch in my psyche. I am drawn to emotionally charged images I’ve seen in films. For instance, movies like The Tree of Life and other Terrence Malick films, as well as sci-fi classics like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Blade Runner.


You also have words/poems that often accompany your visual work: What tends to come first, the words or the images?

They are always done separately, and then I mix and match what makes sense. I’m always making lists of words that have caught my attention. The process of braiding words, foreground and background is entirely subconscious, meaning there is no logical match I could defend. I just play a lot and see what sticks. I write a similar way. I often make a list of words that I want to use, and then write the story, and go back and add words from the list.


Lastly, I am always interested in knowing, if you could work in any other medium other than words and digital painting, what would that be?

I can’t answer this question because there are a lot of areas of expression, and most require space and spending money on materials. When I was an art student, I did a little bit of everything. I really enjoy working with my hands to mold clay or build in wood. I also like to paint, but I am not very good at it so I stick to digital media, which can be easily erased or modified.

I have plans to create video computer games when I retire. (I work in tech for my day job.) I have an idea in mind. My favorite video game is Esther, which is not a computer game in a traditional sense. It is an adventure where you traverse an island and learn about the people that lived there that are now all gone. At the end of the ‘game,’ you feel like you have experienced several lifetimes and have gained knowledge of the mysteries of life. The kind of game I want to make has multiple characters and scenarios that provide a story accessed by a rich visual environment. I don’t know if I will ever actually do this, but I think about it a lot.

Mail-Interview Project by Ruud Janssen – 1995

Ruud Janssen:    Welcome to this mail-interview. First let me ask you the traditional question. When did you get involved in the mail-art network?

Ashley Parker Owens:    In 1981, I somehow received a mail art chain letter. I believe the source was through an art professor or one of their assistants. At the time, I was married, living in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attending art school with my husband. The chain letter was really fascinating because it had exotic names and addresses from all over the world. The promise of receiving hundreds of artworks from all over the world was really exciting, and I immediately started fantasizing about winning this art lottery. I made a postcard and sent it to the person at the top of the list who was located in Germany. The postcard was a close-up photo of a rock (that I took with a 4 x 5 camera) that looked like the surface of the moon. On top of the rock I had pasted a small cartoon of two people copulating. I crossed off this name, made my copies and handed them out to other people at school. I waited expectantly and never got any reply from anyone. Later, after getting my masters degree in New Jersey and then moving to Chicago, I decided I really liked the concept of a mail art show (’85). Specifically, I liked the non-judgmental all-inclusiveness of it. I was very successful exhibiting my “art” work in Chicago and elsewhere, but I also began entering every mail art show I could find. The lack of organized info on this underground I found frustrating. I still did not have a very good idea about mail art until I had my own mail art show (’89). That is when I became really educated on the depth of what mail art can be, and have essentially become hooked ever since.

Ruud Janssen:    Obviously the ‘lack of organized info’ made you decide to publish the first ‘Global Mail’, the magazine that is now well-known as a source-magazine for all kind of contacts. Some mail-artists feel that the whole network shouldn’t be too organized and centralized. What are your thoughts?

Ashley Parker Owens:   The data Global Mail contains is not mail art, and it is not networking. The action on my part in publishing Global Mail is MY personal attempt at networking. I am passing on information passed to me. But Global Mail’s content is nothing more than a collection of data. It’s just a resource. It records network activity but it has no meaning in and of itself, other than as entertainment. However, it is a tool that can be used to crack out the secrets of mail art and networking. There is no ONE location of mail art and networking. The real activity is what is going on behind the scenes, beyond the scope of the projects and shows. The real meaning, the real secret, is the exchange between two individuals. That positive energy is the secret. If anything, I think Global Mail is good for those just starting out, who are trying to build their contact base. But alas, that group of people really don’t understand the publication. One of the goals of Global Mail is to educate and suck people in to the net. It is important not to make this a secret club – there’s plenty of stamps for everyone. I would like Global Mail to be free-form. It exercises the imagination. It stretches your limits of what you conceive mail art to be… but I really don’t feel that it is the central location of info. Really, more co-op and pass on mailings come my way than publications with listings.

Ruud Janssen:    How important is communication for you? What do you think is the most essential thing about magazines?

Ashley Parker Owens:   How important is communication? The ideas of individuals must permeate our thought space, rather than advertising images, political ideas, or media messages. It is especially enlightening to get information and alternative viewpoints from those in other countries. During the Rodney King verdict/LA riots period in American history, I asked for international mail art, text, and newspaper articles featuring this event. [In case anyone is unfamiliar with this, Rodney King was severely beaten by a group of policeman, and the brutal incident was captured on videotape. Even with the evidence, the policemen were judged “not guilty.” The city of Los Angeles, CA experienced many riots, looting, and arson attacks as a result of this verdict because the people were absolutely outraged]. It was illuminating to view the way other newspapers in the world featured the stories. Even with a language barrier, you could still derive a lot of information by the chosen photos, their placement, size, body language and color of the individuals, etc. When receiving mail art and text from individuals, you get a personal viewpoint that is often lacking in a news story. You can understand emotions and feelings and the presentation plays a critical role. Actual handwriting, elaborate art, inappropriate comments, misspelled words and incorrectly translated English all carry a meaning to the person receiving the message. What is the essential thing about magazines? [by this I’m taking you to mean “zines” – to me there is a big difference between the two]. With zines, an opportunity is given to individuals to imprecisely and perhaps inaccurately present their thoughts, even if they are not completely formed or “wrong.” In a zine, you can read a rant, or perhaps a point of view that is not “politically correct”. These words are presented unsanitized and unprofessionally. A greater truth, and a greater freedom come from publishing all voices, especially when including those who would not normally be given a chance to share their viewpoints in a public forum.

Ruud Janssen:    Your new Global Mail looks wonderful. GM is not commercial at all. How do you manage to keep the zine alive?

Ashley Parker Owens:   Your question comes at a very interesting time. There are three aspects to how I keep it going:   

1. Financial – Up to this point in time, Global Mail has mostly been funded by my reliance on credit cards. I went bankrupt on Good Friday this year (95), so I’m not too sure how I am going to be able to continue with the same high ideals. I have recently allowed myself the possibility of running advertisements on the back page. The distinction is that the ads will be for projects only, not products. I don’t know if this is going to work because everyone has access to free project listings, and if you are not making money off of a product, it is hard to justify spending money on an ad. I also have the current rate prohibitively high because I do not want to take many advertisements. This may seem like discrimination of a sort – not everyone has money to publicize their projects in this way.

2. Emotional – Persistence and Drive – I have highs and lows, just as you would expect. When I am close to a deadline, it is very stressful but I also feel very responsible about getting everything accomplished to the best of my ability and on schedule. I get really manic up to the point of dropping it at the printer. After that point, I start a slow sink into exhaustion that leads to depression. It takes a long time to get feedback on the issue and so for a while it seems as though nobody liked it when really they just have not seen it yet. I really appreciate comments from individuals. I especially like it when I introduce people to the net through Global Mail and they feel like their life has been altered.

I have always loved the variety of listings. Each issue has at least 500 listings, but there are only 4-5 that I consider hum-dingers. By this I mean that they are shocking, or very funny, or cross some kind of boundary for me. I realize everybody’s hum-dingers are different, I’m just talking about the sensation of newness and what that feels like. Each issue of Global Mail has been different in some way. It is probably not apparent to the casual reader, but for me there has been the experience of certain patterns, growth, and trends. A couple I can think of is the big surge of dream listings around a year and a half ago, and the current interest in co-op zine publishing and distro. As far as growth or success for Global Mail as a vision, I’ve noticed a steadily increasing interest from groups that are traditionally not included. Getting listings from Latino and African American networks, as well as political listings from obscure countries means that others are starting to see Global Mail as really open to everyone. That is my biggest accomplishment, and the little successes in these areas is what really keeps me going.

3. Technical Nuts and Bolts – As I have continued with Global Mail, I have steadily acquired more computer savvy to help me process the information in a logical and efficient manner. It may seem counter-network to be organized and geeky about the computer, but there is no way for me to process all the info without this high-tech help.

Ruud Janssen:    Because of the huge address-list that Global Mail includes you must get a lot of mail. Any statistics you know about that? Are you able to answer all the snail-mail and E-mail you get, or do you have to select?

Ashley Parker Owens:    I get roughly 100 pieces of mail a week, give or take 30 either way. This includes email. I find the mail tends to drop off in the summer and picks up again in the fall. I certainly do not answer all my mail. Most are simple requests for a sample copy of Global Mail. These are the easiest to process, and I do manage to answer with a copy within a week. I get a lot of zines in trade, and I only acknowledge them with the next copy of Global Mail, unless it is something out of the ordinary, or a big improvement or change from the last version I saw. The people who write for specific items, or have specific questions take the longest time to answer. I refer to this as a pile of “lingering mail,” and it may take up to three months to answer some of it. I only have maybe ten or twenty regular correspondents. Occasionally I do a big mailing of printed matter, hand-made postcards, tubes of art, or boxes. I used to enter almost all mail art shows, and this is something I would like to get back in the habit of doing. I’ve been doing much better about answering mail in the last year. I actually have a system in place that keeps the pile low and keeps me from getting bewildered by it. Strangely, those who send snail mail probably will get their questions answered before those asking through email, just because my system for email is not very efficient. Email builds up in the computer until I combine all my logs, print them out (about once every 6 weeks), and then answer. Whew! What a lag time. I also lost about 3 weeks of email once when my motherboard crashed. Such is life in the electronic age.

Ruud Janssen:    Do you like this electronic age?

Ashley Parker Owens:    Yes, I feel very fortunate and blessed to have grown up in this part of history. I find it ironic that the first little box, the TV (which appeared miraculously in my mother’s generation, and is what I grew up with), would be replaced by another box, the personal computer. I feel saved by this transformation of the box I watch every day. Instead of being a passive observer in front of the TV, and feeling alienated from the existence I am programmed to lead, I have created a real world, real networks, and real friendships. I am enthralled by the possibilities for a real development of global community. It’s so different than the image presented on TV for our consumption. It actually is a free exchange of ideas. Now that I have experienced this electrical connection, I feel I am electricity itself, hurling through the universe.

Ruud Janssen:    Because you are active with snail-mail as well as electronic mail, the archiving of all the information you get must be a problem too. How do you deal with that?

Ashley Parker Owens:    I don’t, sorry to say. I know that is going to drive everyone berserk. I’ve received numerous lectures on the topic, and all I can say is that it is not an activity I’m willing to take on. The e-mail I receive gets processed and stored for approximately two months. I do save email numbers when I have the energy, which I compile into an email directory. I also record all project notices in Global Mail. Other than transferring and recording the useful info, I have no interest in electronic data. Tangible mail (as opposed to electronic data), gets dumped as well. You have to remember that the bulk of my mail consists of requests for Global Mail, notices for mail art projects, zines, and some mail art. All addresses get recorded into my mailing list, and notices get put into the Global Mail database and then dumped. I love keeping electronic records, and do feel that this is an important information base. Zines get recycled to other people, with the overflow going to John Held Jr., the Chicagoland Great Lakes Underground Archive at DePaul University Library. Mail art gets saved or recycled. I try to reuse all decorated envelopes, and also use any stickers or miscellaneous small artworks in the mail I send out. There is a collection of mail art I am hoarding (not archiving). I honestly don’t know what to do with it. I am waiting for the right person to come and take it off of my hands. I recently gave away all my chain letters to one person, and also gave away a lot of my artistamp collection to a couple of interested individuals. I have a good collection of political mail art I would like to save for posterity, but I manage to fit it in a few small boxes. I am open to anyone going through and taking any of what I presently have. I don’t think it’s right to hang onto things. I believe everything should be passed on after use. “I RECYCLE MAIL ART.”

Ruud Janssen:    After your move from Chicago to San Francisco, the first questions that come up in my mind are: “Is it a big difference to live in another city?” and “Do you plan to issue a new copy of Global Mail?”. But I also know that moving and starting with a new part of one’s life takes a lot of energy. I will wait for the answer to these questions till you are ready to answer them. (On November 10th I received from Ashley’s new address her booklet “A TRAVEL DIARY” with on the cover “clean restrooms this exit”. In this booklet she describes her journey from Chicago to San Francisco together with her brother and cats. The text is written very direct and tells a lot about herself. The booklet documents the period 2 to 6 October, and was published on her birthday, the 19th of October).

Ashley Parker Owens:    Will there be a new issue of Global Mail? Yes! I managed to move and put together a new Global Mail. It’s a wee bit late due to the fact that I ran out of funds to mail it, but given the circumstances, I’m really happy I managed to pull it off. There will continue to be new issues as long as I can afford to produce them. At the point I can no longer afford production, it will probably continue as a web page, which is very inexpensive to maintain. Has moving to another city changed things? Yes! The most important change has been the weather. I have a nice place in the sunny mission district. It’s barely been cold here yet. At night it goes down to 48F and during the day it gets up to 65F. It’s quite a big difference from Chicago. I’m used to rushing about to get out of the severe weather. I no longer have to rush, and can stroll through life. Its very enjoyable and life is pleasant here. Anything I need is within walking distance, and there are about five open markets within a block of my home. I’ve experienced an earthquake, lots of fog, been up and down the coast, across bridges, in between mountains, stood at the edge of a cliff, been to islands, and experienced walking up a big hill. In general, I’m trying to make each day an adventure as best I can. Oh, I also have a new job in Berkeley, at a computer software firm.