James McGowan Reader Group- I Have a Nickname for this Decade


Let me open by saying I’m praying for peace in Ukraine and very much praying that things don’t escalate.  This situation is good for no one.  War is acid on stability and relationships among and between people within the conflicting countries.  Donate to relief charities if you are blessed enough to be in such a position.

A century ago, the nickname for its third decade was the “Roaring 20’s”.  After the first two years of this century’s third decade, I was wanting to it to ultimately become the “Boring 20’s”.  Sadly, between the pandemic, ludicrous political divisions in the US, and now a land war in eastern Europe, I’ve landed on a non-rhyming, but at least alliterative, moniker: The “Trying 20’s”. 

I was initially going to go with something more negative and flippant, but I think “trying” in two senses of the word aptly apply.  This decade has both called us to endeavor to be better and to endure through its adversity. The Trying 20’s are here, and we all must move through them as best we can.
Players of the Game Works in Progress
I’m starting a new section mostly to ensure that I keep up the momentum and productivity with my latest novel, the Game War. I’m up to page 105, right around 30,000 words.  Last time I was at page 56 with 15,500 words.  So I’ve added a reasonable chunk to this WIP.  Not awesome output, but not bad either.  As I’ve said in the past, I write carefully, not quickly.
Recommendation Corner
Chronophage by Tim Seeley and Ilias Kyriazis

I ordered this Humanoids graphic novel from my local comic shop without knowing a whole lot about it, save that I like lots of Tim Seeley’s other comic series, especially The Revival.  This was such an outstanding surprise.  It centers on a single mom named Chloe who meets an intriguing stranger named Heath, and they quickly click.  It’s then revealed that Heath is consuming parts of the past from Chole and the people around her, editing her personal history, seemingly for the better.  It’s a horror book, so there’s plenty of graphic scenes, well illustrated by Ilias Kyriazis.  A fantastic story that has a lot to say about how threads of our pasts overlap and some bigger questions about how all moments might exist at once.  Pick it up on Comixology or in print!

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Steam or Switch

In light of the events in Ukraine, I’m calling out an older game that I played a few years back.  I bought Valiant Hearts on a Steam sale, but then never got around to it until my cousin (Hey, Nick!) recommended that I fire it up.  It focuses on a cast of characters on both sides of the Great War (WWI) from the beginning while it was mobile and its eventual descent into trench warfare.  It has puzzles to solve and you team up with a likable dog to help with them.  It also tricks you into learning about the Great War through the game’s events and factoids that pop up.  It does a great job of showing the tragedy of that conflict and all others like it.
Check Out the Players of the Game Series on Kindle and Paperback
That’s all for this time. Stay smart.  Stay safe.


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