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Wow! -- 2020 has turned into a remarkable and undoubtedly historic year.

Few of us are likely to remember it as a good year or a happy one. It certainly hasn't been that for most people, at least not so far. It's been a horrid, scary and unsettling year, perhaps even an ugly and sad one. And, it's not over yet. Regardless of what happens during the rest of the year, it's unlikely we'll ever forget how our lives were changed by what happened in 2020.

In fact, it won't surprise me a bit if some day, years from now, an author writing books about Kentucky girls -- or maybe girls from other places -- decides to focus on 2020 and tell about the remarkable girls who lived then and the challenges they faced. Such books could focus on the girls who faced Covid-19 but avoided getting it by sheltering in place, wearing a protective mask over their nose and mouth, and maintaining safe social distances. Or, they could tell about girls who had friends or relatives infected by Covid-19 or, worse yet, girls who became infected and had to struggle through a long and painful recovery period, or who didn't.

The impact of Covid-19 isn't the only historic thing we're dealing with in 2020. Nor is it the only one that people might want to write about in the future.

Kentucky girls, and those elsewhere in the United States have also witnessed and sometimes participated in protests and demonstrations proclaiming that "Black Lives Matter" and demanding an end to police misconduct and excessive use of force. This movement is not only historic; it may trigger even greater changes in everyday life than Covid-19. If it does, those changes could be wonderful, but what we're going through now, trying to achieve those changes, is anything but wonderful.

There has, however, been one beautiful, joyous, and historic occurrence in 2020 so far: the successful launch and flight of the Space-X Dragon 2 which carried a team of astronauts to the International Space Station. That flight was the first time in nine years that an American rocket and spacecraft carried humans into space, and many more are expected to follow. It should mark the start of a new era in space exploration, an era that will lead to human colonies on the moon, on Mars, and maybe even on near-Earth asteroids. I sure hope so.

What a year we're living in! Someday it may be fun to look back on, but right now, I just want all of us to get through it while staying safe and healthy. I'm also trying to put the finishing touches on the three books I've been working on for the last couple of years, two dealing with Kentucky's "cave wars" during the 1920s and the third focusing on music and radio broadcasting from Renfro Valley during the 1930s.

We hope our stories of Kentucky
girls from long ago will encourage the Kentucky girls of today to stand up for women’s rights while they're finding their own places in the world.
eagle watch weekend
Rebecca and her daughter at 2019's
Kentucky Eagle Watch Weekend.

Congratulations to us!

This is the 10th anniversary of
`Tis a Gift, the second book
in our Shaker series.

cover of Tis a Gift
   Surprisingly, `Tis a Gift focuses on a boy, the brother of a Kentucky girl.

   Here's the start of the first chapter which you can read online without charge.

Tad felt the earth shake beneath him in the dew-drenched pasture seconds before the shouting started.
“Run! Run for your lives!”
Tad’s eyes darted from the page on his lap to the parade of pounding feet racing past him. The tight pack of boys, yelling as they ran, headed straight for the stone fence a few yards away and scrambled over it so frantically they caused a minor rockslide.
It didn’t matter what they were running from; if it was enough to scare the big boys, it was enough to scare Tad, too. He leaped up and dashed toward the fence as fast as his short legs would carry him. He planted the toe of his boot between two solid rocks and hoisted himself halfway up the fence before he remembered.
“My journal. Where’s my journal?” ...
Continue reading this chapter.
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