Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014.
One thing a writer must have - a good (working) relationship with every reference librarian within 30 miles of his or her keyboard. Again, this was exemplified at Pima Community College West Campus Library, where Jim spent more than 30 minutes searching for two books - two appropriate books - and found them for me. The Boer War, (that one I knew about) but, The Scramble for Africa - that I had no knowledge of. All this to provide background information as Grandfather [fictitiously] heads north, at the bidding of Cecil John Rhodes, to help in the relief of Baden-Powell at the Siege of Mahikeng (English  = Mafeking).

The absolute shocker that I have received? Baring in mind that Thomas Pakenham is/was regarded, even by the Afrikaner who preferred his version of the Boer War, as the authority on the Boer War (and Pakenham is English at that) 

Aaah! Yes, the 'shocker'. I suppose it comes as no surprise to the American reader, but the English in South Africa, most of whom were the 'good guys' trying to oppose apartheid, but now I read in The Boer War, that what evolved into apartheid, in 1946, actually was also foreseen, and nearly instituted, by Lord Milner, a British war tactician working with Rhodes, Baden-Powell, Kipling and others in 1899. [Not, let me hasten to add, did my esteemed literary hero, Rudyard Kipling have anything to do with British politics, but hey... you never know.]

Kipling and Rhodes were great friends. After all, Rhodes gave Kipling Woolsack House, still standing and occupied on the University of Cape Town campus. Politicitians - dey don't change much, do they? Why not ask my Grandma? She [fictitiously] had a crush on Mister Kipling - or so it seemed, as I sat on her knee listening to stories from Kim, Just So Stories and the like.

Read the Journal of Rudd. When? Soon, Dearly Beloved, soon to be available.

I have now come to the realization that the writing will end - and the tweaking will begin, real soon. This tweaking entails the creating illustrations that I have been working on studies for, for insertion in the Journal of Rudd. After all, that is how grandfather survived - creating sketches and bartering. [Pssst ! Sounds like a recent artistic tactic with a recent recession?]

That's it! Stay tuned. Leave me a comment or two. Know an agent looking for an ms? Let them know about me. THKS!
-- JSB.

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