Friday, January 1, 2021

New Years Wishes--and sign in please!

 HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: So what do I write to you today? On this first day of the rest of our lives, where everything is going to change, in every way, at any moment, at every moment, more than ever in our lives?  Where so much is at stake?

That we're grateful to know you, amazed to have been here for THIRTEEN YEARS on Jungle Red, astonished that we've all been through so much, celebrated so much, mourned so much, been through so much?

All yes.

I was looking back over old blogs of ours, and found one from early in 2007 that had this quote from cartoonist Bill Griffith as the opening.

Zippy the Pinhead: You mean we have no idea what will happen next? Or when? Or why?

His pal: That's pretty much it, yeah.

Zippy: Cool.

So--there's a lot ahead of us. And we will face it together. And you know what, Reds and readers?



Yes. We can do it. We're here for you, we're here for each other, and through the next years we'll being you news and jokes and books and authors and chats and recipes and experiments and comparisons and advice and surprises and...a community.

So on his first day--who are you? Where are you? What are you doing?  Readers, introduce yourselves!

And from all of us, Happiest of New Years. May you stay safe, and stay healthy, and may all your wonderful dreams come true.




164 comments:

  1. Happy New Year from New Jersey!
    Wishing everyone the best of everything in this new year . . . .

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    1. We cannot live without you, dear Joan!

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    2. I'm so grateful to be part of this wonderful group . . . .

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    3. You have been here from moment one, and we so rely on you! Xxxx

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  2. Happy New Year from Columbus Ohio! I so appreciate the Jungle Reds community. I am a professional fundraiser, employed by the Boy Scouts, and a lover of books, especially mysteries, and a fan of libraries, good writing in all its forms, and intelligent discussion. Thus, a huge fan of Jungle Reds. Wishing you all a wonderful 2021!

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  3. HaPpY NeW YeAr! Wishing everyone here on Jungle Reds a wonderful 2021!

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  4. Happy 2021 to us all. I'm keeping to the Safe 6 in Vancouver, Canada. Thank you to the Reds & Readers for helping me stay sane this past while. There's only so much yarn work a body can create! Your thoughtful posts have reminded me that there are kind people who give a hoot, like to laugh & believe in sharing the joy of getting lost in all kinds of books. Cheers!

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    1. Aww, Laurie, so wonderful of you to check in! And--what is the Safe Six?

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    2. I have so many WIPs, Laurie.

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    3. Kinitting kept me sane for a bit there at the beginning of the shutdown, Laurie.

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    4. HANK, I believe the "safe 6" was the suggested bubble of close friends/extended family that British Columbians were allowed to have after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the second wave of COVID-19 cases, the Safe 6 bubble has burst with new restrictions added in November 2020.
      https://www.tricitynews.com/local-news/safe-six-drops-to-zero-after-henry-announces-sweeping-new-restrictions-3144717

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    5. I stole Safe 6 from the Yukon Territory's catch phrase for maintaining 'social or physical' distancing.

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  5. Happy New Year everyone from Houston, Texas! How I wish we could have our own RedsCon and meet up someday, up close and in person!

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  6. Happy New Year to all from Owensboro, Kentucky. I am so grateful for the Jungle Red authors and all those who comment for giving me a wonderful place to come every day and feel good. It is truly immeasurable the amount of joy I gain from this blog. I am looking forward to a better year for our country and the world and the amazing community here. Happy Reading to everyone in 2021!

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    1. Yay Kathy! You have so many wonderful stories to tell… And we love reading them! Happy new year!

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  7. Happy New Year to all of you from Southern CA.

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    1. Yay Mark! Xxxx make sure you post the link to your blog!

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  8. Long time reader of your blog from Long Island, New York
    I read the blog every day and enjoy the thoughts and book recommendations.
    Thank you for keeping this going.
    Stay safe

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    1. Oh, this is so great to hear! Thank you… And thank you so much for checking in this morning! happiest of New Year’s…

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  9. I'm in southeastern Virginian and new to the community. I'm excited to be here with some of my favorite authors and a great group of readers. Happy New Year everyone!

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    1. Kerry! So great to see you here! And how wonderful that you found us… Do you remember how that happened? Xxx

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  10. Happy New Year from Central Texas! I read this blog every single day and am so grateful for the book and life information it brings to me. As we take our first steps into 2021, I'm hopeful that this year will be one that is less stressful on all of us. Thank you, Reds, for making our lives brighter and let's do this 2021 thing, OK? Here we go!

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    1. That’s exactly how I feel today! Here we go! This is going to be quite the interesting time… Crossing fingers things get better and better and better ..

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  11. Happy New Year from the top right corner of Massachusetts! My own writing day can't start without a visit here. I'm grateful for all the authorly support you extend to others (like me), and for the community of commenters you have built. Love you all!

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  12. Happy 2021 from Lakewood, Ohio! I'm a retired elementary school library staff member and try to keep up with middle grade books and pass along new and exciting picture books to my five grandchildren. I like to mix up my genres and already have a nice stack of library and gift books to sail into the New Year with. And genealogy keeps me busy too. I enjoy your blog!

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    1. Oh, welcome welcome welcome! Love to hear about your genealogy… and oh, you must have such a dear history with adorable kids… And some great stories!

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  13. Happy New Year from Ottawa ON!
    Signing in late, since I don't usually stay up past midnight!
    But starting the morning with the Jungle Reds and readers is a routine I cherish and look forward to, even before coffee and breakfast!

    I am preparing a scaled-down Japanese/Asian New Year's Day Feast (for one) today.
    The main course is an Asian crispy duck, served with moo shu style pancakes with hoisin sauce and scallions).

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    1. Grace, we are swooning! Will you do a blog for us with that wonderful wonderful recipe? I can almost taste it… It is one of my favorite things in the world. Happy new year— and so happy you are well and safe.

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    2. HANK: Thanks, I wish I could share the duck with you and any other interested eaters because frankly I will have a lot of leftovers, lol.

      I don't think it would be appropriate for me to do a blog entry about the duck since it is not my recipe. I am trying to make the duck for the first time after Tori Eldridge sent me the recipe. Tori has posted 3 step-by-step videos on how to prepare the duck on her FB page:
      https://www.facebook.com/torimeldridge/videos/10225240815390020
      https://www.facebook.com/torimeldridge/videos/10225256200814646
      https://www.facebook.com/torimeldridge/videos/10225256288096828

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    3. Oh, and here's the PDF of the recipe
      https://torieldridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Toris-Crispy-Mandarin-Duck-Recipe.pdf

      I would be happy to do a guest blog on another topic, like night snowshoeing (with headlamps) when and if we ever get enough snow this year!

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    4. YAY! Thank you. Snd YES, absolutely, to the snowshoeing at night blog! xxx

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  14. Happy New Year from Quebec everyone !
    Being part of this community gives me all kind of emotions but mostly it brings me happiness !
    Posts and comments give me hope for 2021 and for the future.

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    1. We love you so much! And I am picturing you in beautiful Quebec…xxxxx

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  15. Happy New Year from West Hartford, Connecticut. Wishing a happy, healthy new year to the Jungle Red Writers and bloggers I have come to love and depend upon for daily inspiration!

    I graduated from UCONN with a degree in English Lit in 1969, the days of the Yankee Conference, we played Maine. I got my MS in special education, taught in several places including Tel Aviv, Israel before leaving teaching to work in insurance rating then jewelry store clerk, then real estate sales. I represented a national women's organization in Connecticut and was a spokesperson for their campaigns for about 12 years. My husband (40 years this February) and I have 2 children and 3 grandsons living in Lewes, DE and Beverly, MA.

    I haven't read so much since college and I am not reading Tolstoy or Moliere. I've read and listened to close to 200 books during 2020 and love how many authors have become my friends. Thanks JRW. Just plain thanks.

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    1. Judy, this is so fascinating to read… What an interesting life, and wow. You have done it right. Absolutely love seeing you here… Thank YOU!

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    2. Such an amazing life, Judy. I'm glad we connected here.

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  16. Happy New Year from rainy Cincinnati! I have a scientist husband and two standard poodles, Jazz and Louie, in residence, and three millennial children scattered around the southeast.

    I've published 20+ cozy short stories, including "Black Market Baby" in Masthead: Best New England Crime stories 2020. My first traditional-with-cozy-elements mystery lives in a drawer; after taking a life-changing class, my second will spend the next two months cut in pieces all over the dining room table; my third is in a complete first draft and I'm itching to get back to it. Follow the itch or deal with the second book first? Or both?

    Meanwhile, I have another garbage dump story to write. Wear a mask, stay home, and take care!

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    1. Those are the most perfect poodle names I have ever heard! And those kinds of decisions are the hardest. My agent always says follow the passion. I still think that’s difficult. Let us know what happens!

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  17. Happy New Year from New York City. I own dru's book musing and love the crime fiction community that rallies behind one another. Here's hoping 2021 brings better days.

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    1. Dru! You have had such a difficult year… With many triumphs, too, though, right? So proud to know you, and so honored to be your friend – – you are astonishing.

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  18. Chiming in from Ohio's north shore near Sandusky, Ohio, where I'm retired and live with my two youngest nephews and a grand-nephew, plus their four cats and a mini-dachshund we inherited. I can get pretty crabby if my morning Reds' time gets interrupted! Love the book talk and the camaraderie of the Reds' community.

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    1. Flora! I just love reading this, and all of these. You have been here for so long, haven’t you? Isn’t that incredible? We are so delighted…

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    2. Flora, I have fond memories of fording the river at Sandusky, OH in 1970 while driving my brother's 1964.5 Ford Mustang. That same year I rode a baby elephant at the all terrain vehicle races in Ashtabula. What a great place to live! Happy New Year.

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    3. Kait, Happy New Year! I grew up here and came home after decades away.

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    4. Flora, I was born in Sandusky, but we lived in Port Clinton. I like finding people who are connected there. Moved away at 15 but came back for a visit 40 years later. I live in Shelton, Washington now. Came to Jungle Reds through Lucy's Facebook & look forward to reading this each morning too. So glad at finding new, exciting authors to read! Thank you Reds for the book suggestions & sharing your lives!

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    5. Charlene, waving! We sometimes go to Port Clinton to catch Miller's Ferry to the islands.

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  19. I love reading these! Filling in some background on familiar names and 'meeting' new. So happy to be part of this almost-feels-like family.

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  20. Good Morning to my reading and writing "family.: Waving from Nome Street, about 200 feet from the Hillsborough River in Tampa FL. Morning musts include reading the Reds. Sometimes mornings start around 1 PM. When that happens reading the reds does not include nattering to the Reds. My love to all of you, this community should have a Zoom Con in 2021. Enjoy the rest of your new beginnings.

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    1. Coralee! I’ll never forget that time you came to see me at that ridiculous event in… Orlando? Where the entire city had shut down for the impending hurricane, but you came anyway. Life-changing! And it brings tears to my eyes to remember. Thank you!

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    2. The Angel is beautiful, Coralee! I've done some counted cross stitch, but never a needlepoint project like that. Amazing! Thank you for sending her to me.

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  21. I live in Southeast Michigan with my Shih Tzu, Zoe. I love mysteries and fantasy. My all time favorite mystery is Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey. My favorite book for 2020 is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab.

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    1. I have heard so much about that book! Why did you love it? I am very tempted to read it… but will I cry?

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    2. Addie unwittingly sells her soul to the devil. She is cursed to live forever and be forgotten by everyone she comes in contact with. It is fascinating to watch her find ways to work around the curse and build a life for herself. Then she meets a man who sees and remembers her, and her life changes again. It did not end as I was expecting, but it's a very satisfying ending. You might cry,but it is not a sad book. I highly recommend it.

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  22. HAPPY NEW YEAR from foggy and now rainy Atlanta, GA. I am a retired French professor and now full time community volunteer or was when we could still go out. I used to guide children's groups and adults too through the High Museum and will again someday when the yellow school buses roll again.
    Thanks to all the Reds whom I have been reading and following for years. I love your banter, your friends, and your recipes. Especially this year you have helped to keep me going.

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    1. Oh, the high museum! I have not thought about that for so long… I lived in Atlanta in the late 70s. I can just picture you guiding those tours – – so fun! And awwww thank you! Xx

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  23. Mary Robert here, from Mobile, Alabama. I'm not a writer, unless you count sermons, but now that I'm retired, that doesn't happen much anymore. Reading this blog is the first thing I do with my tea every day, and has been for a few years. I don't comment very often, but I have to say that this blog has literally kept me going through the past year - books, conversations, recipes, humor(!), information (like what movies to watch on Christmas Eve!). I feel like I know all of you, and that makes me happy. So Happy New Year to Reds and readers! Thank you all!

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    1. That is such a sweet thing to picture – – thank you! And you are doing exactly what I hoped – – people who don’t often comment but who are out there. Love knowing who you are! Thank you!

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  24. Happy New Year, dear friends! I live in beautiful, very rural Schoharie county in upstate NY, about halfway between Cooperstown and Albany. In college I majored in Home Econmics and taught that for 2 years, in 2 different places, then worked as a special ed. teacher because the school needed one and I was available. This must have been during the time of teacher shortages. After my children were born I got my Masters in Reading Education and was the only Reading teacher in a very small K -12 school. I've been retired for a good many years and now I read and then I read some more! I also do jigsaw puzzles. I am never bored; my 3 cats and a dog see to that!

    If it weren't for all of you here, first thing in the morning, my day really couldn't get started. Love my Reds family of booksters!

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    1. Booksters! That is such a great word – – and I have never heard it before! It sounds like you are cozy and happy and that is just fabulous. Love seeing you here.

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    2. Judi, one of the pivotal events of my life happened in and around Hamilton/Earlville, NY, which is much closer to your part of the country than it is to mine these days. So beautiful up there. Glad we met here.

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    3. Judi, I can't say it was a pivotal event, but we went on a field trip to Howe Caverns back (way back!) when I was in high school. And I had a friend who went to SUNY Cobleskill.

      I have to say, my grandmother, who lived in Washington County, used to say you're not REALLY in upstate NY until you're north of the Thruway. :-)

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    4. No Julia, that would be waaay upstate! But maybe it's all just a state of mind.

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  25. Chiming in from the Canadian prairies in Manitoba. I'm a college instructor and writer-in-progress. This blog inspires me with new authors, thoughtful posts about all manner of things and comments from a wide variety of readers -- some of whom I've now met online. Yay!

    Happy New Year to Reds and readers alike. Long may this fun and happy blog continue for the community it has nurtured.

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    1. Manitoba! I do not think I knew you lived there… Fabulous. And yes, sometimes I marvel at how there has been a different topic here every day for more than 10 years. Isn’t that crazy? xxxx

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    2. Why don't you post a link to your musings, Amanda? I know others will enjoy reading it as much as I do. xo

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    3. Ann: I don't want crash the party with my own offerings, but thanks to your nudge will quietly post the link here. Thank you for that nudge https://fiveyearsawriter.blogspot.com/2020/12/castles-not-in-air.html

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    4. Thank you both! This is a real treat!

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    5. Amanda, thanks for sharing. I have subscribed.

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    6. Oh Hank and Grace: Thank you both. The generosity of Reds and readers is wonderful and heartwarming. Means the world to me that you might read my words...

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  26. Happy New Year from a small town near Rochester, New York. I am a retired librarian and, although my worklife was spent in the corporate world, am an advocate for public libraries and the role they play in their communities. I don't post very often, but I am a daily reader of this blog and have the TBR pile to show for it -- in addition to enjoying all the books by the Reds, I'm also a fan of the long list of guests whose books I've also enjoyed. Thank you for being here every day and for creating such a vibrant community.

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    1. Chris! Thank you so much – – we know there are so many people who are reading the blog but never comment, and it is such a joy to have you post! And to know you are out there. Xxxx

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    2. Chris, I enjoy reading your comments always. Please keep it up!

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  27. Happy New Year from Michigan! Last year I stopped commenting at some point, and for unknown reasons, but I never stopped reading. This blog is a life-saver, and the first thing I read every morning. Thank you to everyone here for creating and sustaining such a friendly place to virtually visit!

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    1. Yay Cindy! We are so pleased you are here… And happiest of New Years! Xxx

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  28. Happy New Year from the Canadian Atlantic coast. Like Cindy C I stopped commenting a while back though I don't know why, but I, too, never stopped reading. I'm also know as Sofie Kelly/Sofie Ryan and while I have never directly said that Hank is my sister--she isn't--I may have occasionally not corrected the mis-perception.

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    1. Feel free to say so! And I will say the same about you. XOXO

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  29. Happy New Year from the Crown of Maine - Wallagrass to be exact. It's coolish - 17 above, and very, very sunny. I'm looking forward to hiking to the trailhead in our backyard later today. Snow tomorrow - it's a Maine thing.

    I am a recovered probate and trusts paralegal and a writer. I've had four books published - two independently and two traditionally and I've just finished the first of a new series based in the Florida Keys. Now that I am a full-time writer, I'm hoping to obtain an agent and keep on writing.

    All the best to Reds and Readers - Happy 2021!

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    1. Happy New Year from Southern Maine, Kait! It's a balmy 36° here in Buxton, but we're getting snow this evening as well - and then ice. I hope your new series A) finds you an enthusiastic agent and B) allows you research trips to the Keys in Januaries to come.

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    2. Kait! Love you, and keep us posted!

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    3. Thanks, Julia and Hank - Julia, my fingers are crossed, too, but for me it's in the summer for the diving.

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  30. Happy New Year from Rochester NY. I'm a retired RN, which is like being a retired mother. It doesn't exist in nature. Every morning is started with JRW although I don't always comment. But when I do, it's paragraphs worth. Sorry about that.

    I live with my partner of 25 years, Julie, whom many of you have met, our Pomapoo, Penny Lane, and our mini poodle, Sergeant Pepper, not to mention we are owned by Eliot, the polydactyl cat.

    Reading has saved what little sanity I have left this year, which concluded in December when I celebrated first my 80th birthday, and most of all, the birth of my first great grandchild, Griffin Alexander Allaun. Such a big name for a little boy!

    Bonne Annee to everyone here and everyone who may drop in this year. Hope to see you at the next real Bouchercon!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, Ann. With a puppy and a great grandson, there's lots of new life to celebrate in 2021.

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    2. So many lovely things… Happiest of New Year’s, dear friend.

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    3. Happy New Year to you and Julie, Ann, and keep writing those paragraphs here!

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    4. Ann, one of my good things from 2020 is your introduction to Rochester Refugees. What great comfortable masks!

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    5. Wow Elizabeth! Thank you so much for supporting them. That reminds me to order more.

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  31. Good morning everyone!

    Who am I? I'm still Jay. No more and no less while living in the armpit of Massachusetts.

    I'm overweight, cranky, sarcastic, prematurely old, understandably single, occasionally funny and generally passionate about those things I love.

    I read, I watch TV and movies, I listen to music and I get the chance to write about it all for Mystery Scene magazine, KNAC.COM, Limelight Magazine.com and Goodreads.com.

    What am I doing today? I am relaxing after a fashion. And I'm working at making sure that I promote my Top 10 Mysteries & Thrillers article that I wrote and posted yesterday. I'm also trying to convince myself to finish reading a book that is not working for me all that much so I can review it for the magazine.

    Should anyone be interested here's the link: http://classic-rock-bottom.ning.com/forum/topics/y10y2020

    And if I get ambitious I might just get dressed and go out of the house at some point today.

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    1. I just went over and read the list Jay - you continue to impress me with the depth and breadth of your reading. I can't think of many reviewers who would have Matthew Quirk's HOUR OF THE ASSASSIN alongside Maddie Day's CANDY SLAIN MURDER!

      I tweeted your article - I hope you get lots of readers!

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    2. Thanks Julia. I may stick mainly to mysteries and thrillers but within those genres I have many and varied interests.

      I like the comfort and familiarity of various cozy series like Edith's Country Store Mysteries but then I like serial killer thrillers like the new Isabella Maldonado book and sometimes I just want all out action where there's lots of blood, bodies and bullets!

      I'm funny like that. :D

      And thanks for tweeting out the article, every little bit helps. Especially for someone who doesn't have an official site that I can post on.

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    3. What would we do without you, Jay? And I know this will drive you crazy, but we think you are adorable and hilarious. xxxx

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    4. Jay, you make me smile with your posts. I think several of us readers are like that. reading a subgenre of mystery fiction most of our time, and then occasionally trying something more outside that spectrum.

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    5. Thank you Hank. I'm not driven crazy yet though. :D

      Deborah, well I have my moments I'm sure. Thanks!

      Grace, thank you. For me, I spread out the mystery love across a variety of subgenres. Stepping outside the spectrum for me is usually reserved for science fiction novels or comics.

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  32. Happy New Year from Pittsburgh, PA (well, close enough)! Here's wishing all the Reds a healthy, happy and safe 2021.

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    1. Happy New Year to you, as well, Liz! Wishing you much publishing success in 2021!

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    2. And to you too, dear Liz! Congratulations on the new books!

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  33. Happy new year to every single one of you! It's a joy to have this community to turn to every morning and we so appreciate your friendship. Here's to a great year!

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    1. Isn’t it wonderful to see all these names and places? It is so touching…

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  34. Happy New Year from McKinney, Texas! I'm a long time reader and frequent commenter because I really love the Red's community. I've enjoyed meeting so many of you through the things you post here.

    I'm an old theatre hack who currently handles the logistical/stage management side of things for the Dallas Winds when we actually get to perform. I've spent most of my career as some sort of writer in advertising, PR, journalism, fundraising and, more recently, fun stuff like program and liner notes. I have two urban fantasy novelettes out there on Amazon, and more in the works.

    Friend and critique partner Deborah Crombie clued me in to this blog and I read it nearly every morning. One of the joys of Jungle Red for me has been discovering new authors, including all the Reds and many of the guests and regular commenters. Keep writing, friends! I hope 2021 is productive for all of you.

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    1. You are such a mainstay, dear Gigi! And I have to say I have always wondered about the people who write program and liner notes. I’d love to hear about that someday!

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    2. Ha! Most of them are serious scholars of musicology, who discuss structure, motifs, themes, and such. Since our audiences are not that scholarly, I write the People Magazine version of program notes, with lots of dish on the composers' lives, scandals, frustrations, and any thoughts they had about the particular piece if I can find where they have written about it. We like to have fun at our concerts, and that includes the program notes. Much of my focus is on making the composers relatable human beings for all the high school kids in our audience.

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  35. So late today, and missing the party, it seems!

    Happy New Year from beautiful, very wet, Cincinnati, just a couple miles from the Ohio River. (I had no idea there were so many Ohioans in the back blog, by the way.) Retired from many past lives, but living a new one full of reading, gardening, and trying to keep up with my three daughters scattered all over: Michigan, Oregon, and Kenya. This year I achieved a long-held goal, to become a Little Free Library steward. And I'm a grandmother of a very tall young man who's about to turn 16, and can't take drivers' ed because of the pandemic. Which might actually be a good thing.

    Love, love this community, and I'm so grateful for your presence, especially in the last few years. The wonderful books and authors galore, yes, but also the camaraderie and acceptance, have helped smooth out some of the worst days and weeks. Thank you, Reds, and Red fans. (And being from southwest Ohio, every time I think "Cincinnati Reds"!)

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    1. And I love how we all think of you as Karen in Ohio! That’s so great. And yes, that is a big decision for you and your son—Roots and wings, of course. xxx

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  36. Blogger is being mean to me again! A response I left for someone disappeared. This time I’ll try a general response and see if I have better luck.

    I live in Milford CT, and have been retired for two and a half years. A retirement gift from my department was a huge gift card for Barnes and Noble. On my way home from my final day at work I stopped off at Barnes and Noble and began spending it. But I’m sure any of you would have done the same!

    I’ve lost track of the number of years I’ve been reading JRW. It’s part of my daily life. It’s also responsible for more than half of my book purchases. That’s not true: it’s responsible for MOST of my book purchases!

    I’ve always referred to home as “the place where I sleep”. Especially after retirement, I spent as little time at home as possible and signed up for classes at the senior center, got together with retired friends as much as possible, spent a lot of time at the library. In the fall of 2019 I became ill with various bacterial infections after major surgery and had to be rehospitalized. Two minor surgeries became necessary. I spent the rest of 2019 recuperating and regaining my strength. By February I was ready to get going again. And then the whole world shut down! Not fair! The big lesson I learned in 2020 is that I won’t die if I stay home all day, and now I even like it! It would have been nice if I also learned to like cleaning and decluttering, but anything can happen in 2021. I ordered a new vacuum cleaner a couple of days ago (WHAT have I turned into??) and there’s a lot of shutdown in front of us. Maybe my home will be clutter free and dust free in a few months. (There will always be books scattered everywhere.)

    DebRo

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    1. Isn’t it hilarious to be excited about a new vacuum cleaner? What have we become indeed! :-) I felt the same way when ours arrived. We were also worried about you, and so relieved you are fine now… xxx

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  37. Sorry I am late to the party this morning.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Yesterday I had Emergency Surgery and today I am recovering at home. I am very grateful for Affordable Health Care and that I am Still here! I wanted to drop a note to say Happy New Year, everyone!

    Brief introduction of myself: I love mystery novels. I have been following Jungle Reds for a long time. I work part time for a small law firm focusing on Workers Compensation. I am currently taking a Master Writing Class with Ellie Akexander and writing my cozy novel in progress.

    Note: I will be taking a break from social media and I will return.

    Diana

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    1. Diana! Please reassure us that you are OK… And we will see you again when it’s comfortable. Please keep us posted!

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    2. Diana, sending you positive health wishes for the new year. Be well.

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    3. Well that's no way to end the year, at least you got to go home, take it slow and steady Diana. Take it easy.

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    4. Diana, sending you get well wishes!!

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    5. Take good care of yourself!

      DebRo

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    6. Diana,
      Sending you positive vibes for a speedy recovery!

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    7. Diana, sending you good wishes fir a speedy recovery!

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    8. 2020 just HAD to get in one more lick, didn't it, Diana? Here's hoping for a speedy and uncomplicated recovery, so 2021 just keeps getting better for you.

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    9. Everyone, thank you and yes, I am as ok as I can be. I am still recovering at home and reading A Promise of Ankles by Alexander McCall Smith. I had a severe cold for a few days since Christmas then this hit me! I will return after my social media break.

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  38. Happy New Year from Brooklyn to all the Reds and fans. I do so enjoy starting my day, or catching up later, with this community. Always smart, warm,literate, funny, stimulating. I'm a long time fan of Reds writers, and have been honored to be a guest blogger several times. I've lived in Brooklyn most of my adult life, but grew up in NY dairy country, a contrast that, along with my love of history,inspired the 5 Erica Donato mysteries set in varied Brooklyn neighborhoods. It's a whole world here in one place! (Retired librarian and corporate research) I live in an old, tall,narrow townhouse, with my husband, a publishing/IP attorney. The garden floor with its separate entrance, was made into an aprtment decades ago, and now one of my grown daughters lives there with her husband and our two ( perfect) small granddaughters. No one saw corona coming, but we have been blessed to have them here this year. Youngest grandson lives near, in NJ, and we managed with mostly outdoor visits. Not sure what's next in my writing life, but figuring it out the only way possible - writing and see what happens. Toasting to all of you and to 2021, a much, MUCH better year.

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    1. Oh, Triss, that sounds as lovely as can be… And we love having you here! xxxx

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  39. Hello from the glorious Redwood Empire of Northern California - land of Clo the cow, Luther Burbank, Jack London, wineries, rugged coastlines and Charles Schulz and his gang of Peanuts, a Russian fort and Spanish mission and some of the most majestic trees in the world. I live less then 10 minutes from the first home I actually remember and 5 minutes from my grandparents former property, it might take longer if there is any traffic. I went away for college (and came home) and have a degree in Recreation Administration. Recreation wasn't a good fit for me so I tried a few other fields until I found where I am now as a scheduler for a medical home care agency and if I'm lucky I'll be able to retire from here in the next 3 to 5 years. I only write here on JRWs when I comment and really look forward to my daily JRWs fix even if I don't comment. Thanks to this group I was finally brave enough to travel outside my safety zone when I went to Dallas in 2019. A REDsCon would be great... need to find a place in the upper middle of the continent, you know so it's easy for Canadians and US citizens to reach... uh, maybe .... don't ask me where beyond that.... Oh, don't tell anyone but I bought some more books this week.

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    1. We applaud you! And I think there is a Bouchercon in Minneapolis coming up, isn’t there? Maybe that’s a possibility… oooh. And thank you for buying more books!

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    2. Yes, Bouchercon 2022 is scheduled to take place in Minneapolis.

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    3. I'm rather partial to Kansas City, myself--decent airport, nice hotels, the very walkable Plaza area with all its beautiful fountains. Just sayin' . . .

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    4. Hmmm, I know I can fly to Minneapolis from either Toronto or Montreal, but Kansas City would be trickier to get to (at least for this Canadian). :-)

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  40. Happy New Year, Everyone! I'm usually a New Year's nut. I make lists, set goals, choose a word for the year, plan a specific good luck meal -- basically let my inner A-type personality have at it, but this year...no.
    I binge watched Bridgerton last night. Rang in the New Year with Hooligan 2 (at 10 pm) before he headed out to be with Hooligan 1 and friends while Hub slept through it all. I have no goals, no lists, and no expectations other than at some point today, I will be baking a Hummingbird Cake just because that's what I want. And all of this lack of planning seems strangely appropriate for the world we're now living in.
    I'm so grateful for this blog, my Jungle Red sisters, and all the Reds who visit us every day. May 2021 bring you peace, prosperity, good health, and a towering TBR pile. XO

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    1. Yes, darling one. I think it’s perfect to go with the flow. And we should definitely do a Bridgerton blog!

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    2. Jenn, we love you so much. Wishing an easier year for you in 2021. xx

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    3. Hugs to you, Jenn, and a happier new year. You're doing it right.

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  41. HANK: I have finished cooking the duck and pancakes and am assembling the meal.
    Will post photos on FB.

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    1. And I got a "WELL DONE!" message from Tori, so she saw my photos, too, so I am pleased with the result.

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    2. Wow! That is so great. And she's amazing.

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  42. Happy New Year from a suburb of Chicago! My daughter, Meg, and I (Nancy) have been fans forever. We met some of you at a Malice Domestic Conference a few years ago and have been reading the blog daily since. We also "joined you" at both of the Poisoned Pen virtual gatherings this year, but we've never commented before. Cheers to a new year!

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    1. Oh, Nancy and Meg, this is so wonderful! Thank you--and little did we know! (I grew up in Lincolnwood--it was so empty, then, that behind our house (on Cherry Street!) was a huge cornfield.) SO great to see you both!

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  43. Happy new year to my REDS sisters and all of our lovely readers from a very, very soggy McKinney, Texas (McKinney is in between Dallas and Oklahoma!) It is so much fun to hear from all of you-- where you are, what you do, and how you're spending your New Year's Day. And it's incredibly gratifying to hear how much this community means to you all!

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    1. DEBS: The Jungle Reds are so supportive. I know I was reading the JRW blog from the start since I was reading your books and Julia's as well as (former) Red Rosemary Harris. I met Rosemary in person at the 2008 Left Coast Crime (LCC) and knew her via the JRW blog. But I was a LURKER then (reading but not posting). I only decided to become more active on-line after retiring in 2016 and joining Facebook for the first time.

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  44. Happy New Year from sunny California. I live at the southern end of the Bay Area. I am Attorney and budding political activist spurned by the events of the last four years. I read widely including mysteries but no cozies!

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    1. Susan! SO great to see you..and thank you for everything!

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  45. Happy New Year from Chicago! I first discovered the Reds as a reader of Julia Spencer-Fleming's books and have since gone on to read many of the works of the other Reds authors. I've also discovered a lot of other wonderful writers as a result of your recommendations and author interviews (and also got my mom hooked on a few of them ;) ). As a behind-the-scenes worker in healthcare, it's been a busy year and I'm glad to have had the ability to work from home -- and then escape from it via reading. Here's to a better 2021!

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    1. Yes, reading is a great escape! Love to you and your mom--and yes, increasing all of our TBR piles is our total goal!

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  46. Happy New Year from Marin County California where the sun is shining and the world sparkles, hopefully with the dawn of a new age!

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    1. Crossing fingers, dear Rhys. Just --stay safe. LOVE you!

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  47. Hi all

    Susan D in Toronto waving to you all.

    xxxxx

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  48. Still being blocked out by blogger its cohorts? Or is commenting back? Happy New Adventure for our days.

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  49. Happy New Year from Harrisburg, PA. I worked over 25 years with a bank and 16 with the State, mostly the Bureau of Forestry. Happily retired to reading, gardening, cooking, and baking. Stay safe and well.

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    1. SO great to see you, aAlly! You, too! OOh, forestry! What a resource..

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  50. Happy New Year to all from just south of Vancouver, BC. I'm a lifelong mystery aficionado and a public librarian who retired early...right before a pandemic. I discovered this blog a few years ago via Deborah Crombie's website. Reading Jungle Reds while enjoying a cup of good coffee is part of my morning routine, though I've never commented before!

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    1. I just stood and applauded. It is so wonderful, knowing you are there! And SO pleased you are commenting! We love that. xxoo

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  51. Happy New Year from rainy, but beautiful, Colonial Williamsburg, VA. For at least the last seven years I have started every morning reading the Reds blog. Although I never comment I so enjoy reading all of them and have discovered many new to me writers. I am fortunate that after many years working in health care I now work at our wonderful public library and often recommend the Reds. What a wonderful, loving, caring community. While this last year has been truly awful in so many ways I was thrilled to welcome my first grandson. I look forward with excitement to 2021.

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    1. Happy grandson! That is incredibly exciting, and we cannot wait to hear all about it! And oh, thank you so much for recommending Reds. Hmmmm. You might have just come up with the perfect slogan for us--thank you! And you can be sure we will let you know about our new books. xoxo Your library might be a great place for a Reds event--when things get back to normal! Yes, 2021. Crossing fingers. xoo

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  52. Happy New Year from very wet Portland, OR. I'm Gillian, daughter of two librarians and am a retired 9-1-1 dispatcher and supervisor. I am surviving the pandemic by continuing to participate in church activities through FB live and Zoom and re-reading a lot of books on my shelves, including some by Jungle Red Writers. Thanks for this wonderful, energetic blog. Hoping for a better year in 2021!

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  53. Hello from Houston! I'm so grateful to be among such such a wonderful group of Jungle Red readers and authors. Wishing all good health and happiness in 2021.

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  54. I so enjoy reading your posts. I am a librarian (unemployed due to covid) and a long-time book reviewer and blogger trying to explore other opportunities. I am Canadian Bookworm, on Facebook, Etsy, and my website. Thanks for writing, I'll keep reading.

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  55. Happy New Year from pretty scary Los Angeles. The Jungle Reds provide a good start to the day. I've read mysteries my whole life and came to this blog through Rhys Bowen's Facebook page. Mystery writers and readers are such a warm, supportive community. Thanks😊

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