Local Authors Day at Fountain Bookstore, 1312 E. Cary St., Richmond, is this Sunday, Aug. 19, from noon to 5 p.m. The day celebrates books that are published independently and with small presses, and is divided into themes: Paranormal Parade, Inspirational Stories, Strong Women and Richmond: Sun and Shadow. I'm there with Fish-Eye Lens for Strong Women, 3-4 p.m., sharing space with mystery writer PJ Woods. Come on out!
Finally tired of seeing our language mangled, I launched a new Facebook page, Watch Your S, in the hopes of bringing at least Richmond into a new era where plurals are not formed with apostrophes and possessives get them. I've already posted a couple of examples of both good and bad usage; feel free to join in and post your own.
It's been almost a year since I lost my hurricane virginity in North Caicos with Hurricane Irene. (Inland experieces, such as Agnes in Pennsylvania and Gaston in Richmond, don't count; that was just heavy petting.) Now that we're in the thick of the season again, I've been keeping an eye on the systems coming off the coast of Africa. You may have noticed that in the U.S. hurricanes don't seem to exist unless they threaten these shores, so for those who would rather watch weather than political ads, I share the National Hurricane Center site: www.nhc.noaa.gov
For the record, I don't even try to tweet anymore. I actually joined Twitter after I heard it described as a cocktail party where you can listen in or join in the conversations taking place, but then I discovered I'd rather just stand at the bar and get drunk than get involved with people who talk like crazed blends of Hemingway and 15-year-old girls.
Even as I mute the TV and ignore phone calls to avoid the slimy scramble known as our political process, I nevertheless have a Current Cause: the To The Bottom and Back Bus. This is a perfectly brilliant service that ferries people between Richmond's universities and the clubs of Shockoe Bottom on weekend nights, effectively taking drunk drivers off the roads. (You don't have to be a party animal to ride, though; I caught a ride home from Carytown on a recent Friday night.) But it operates totally on donations, and in the summer especially needs a boost to keep going. So I made an extra donation, and I encourage others to do the same. Visit www.2bnb.org and give a few bucks for safety.
And speaking of causes, the Turks and Caicos SPCA is planning another spay and neuter clinic at my house on North Caicos Sept. 5-9. This is going to be an especially important one for education in the aftermath of a woman's death after she was attacked by wild dogs on the island. If you live there or will be visiting, please talk up the importance of responsible dog ownership to keep the stray population in check. Thanks.