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Ronald L. Donaghe Winner of The Jim Duggins' Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist award, 2008 SASFEST New Orleans

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March 2016...

WaverlyMississippi bound!

I see it's been three years since I last updated this home page for my website. There is a great deal to discuss with those of you who visit me regularly. The first thing you might want to know is what has happened to my writing. As I have been doing since I retired from New Mexico State University, I've actually been editing other writers' work and getting a real kick out of. From 2005 to 2015, I worked for Amazon.com, via their CreateSpace author site. I probably edited 400 books during that time, in addition to also doing editorial evaluation for a couple hundred more books. That has really kept me too busy to write. For even longer than that, of course, I've been promising that A Summer's Change was in the works. As it turns out, it was being processed in my subconscious, and when I finally got some time (February 2015, when CreateSpace and I parted company), I actually wrote the entire text for A Summer's Change, and it was so long that I decided to turn it into three books, which I hope to publish in 2016. The three books are the final trilogy in the Common Threads in the Live, involving Tom and Joel of Common Sons, The Blind Season, The Salvation Mongers, and The Gathering. So, the Summer's Change "trilogy" will consist of these titles:

Book I The Runaway
Book II A Season of Family
Book III The Rest of Their Lives

Wish I could show you the cover concepts, but they're not royalty-free covers, yet. I've found an excellent graphic artist who has agreed to shepherd all three covers for me, and they will be a lot more professional looking than anything I've done in the past.

ColumbusMSYeah, well, okay...my partner and I are seriously working toward a move to Columbus, Mississippi. If you recall, we currently live in Mesilla, New Mexico, and this page lauded the idea that the house in Mesilla would be where I grew old and left the house feet first. But things change. We took our first trip to Mississippi in October of 2014, fell in love with the Mississippi Hills region, the people, and the homes....my god the homes, the vestiges of the glorious antebellum South, with Victorians, Italianate, (even Craftsman style), and of course the antebellum homes. So we returned again in February 2016. Mississippi is a notoriously poor state, but New Mexico is too. The difference is that Mississippi is green and lush and the people are friendly and the historic homes are indescribably beautiful.



NatchezWe drove down the well-kept and beautifully serene Natchez Trace Parkway, which is only open to passenger vehicles, not semis, and along the route, there are no towns. There are ample opportunities to exit the Trace for gas, food, and lodging of course, but the parkway does have rest areas, amid woods and streams.

Like the rest of the South, Mississippi is changing. Yes, it's got a reputation for being anti-gay, fundamentalist in its religions, and un-nice to gay couples like my partner and me. But we didn't feel that in our stay in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where we first looked at homes. Aberdeen is Billy Brasfield's hometown. He's a makeup artist to the stars and currently lives in New York City, but he has continued to return to his hometown to help renovate their beautiful stock of historic homes. Aberdeen is only about twenty miles from Columbus, Mississippi, but we feel that Columbus has more to offer in the way of potential employment. But never doubt that Aberdeen is a gem of a town, full of nice, welcoming people, many of them retirees from other parts of the country. We were pegged as a gay couple as soon as we rolled into town, and people still wanted us to move there.

mansion1mansion2manson3












But I digress. Columbus...is about 24,000 people. It is second only to Natchez, Mississippi, in its wealth of historic homes and buildings, and it has a vibrant downtown with wonderful restaurants, and for those who simply must have big box chain stores, there's an area of the town that has them. Luckily for Columbus, however, the vast majority of businesses in the downtown area still thrive. There's an active Arts Council on Fifth Street and Main, within walking distance to a number of fine restaurants and coffee shops. Mississippi University for Women sits close by, with a student population of about 3,500 students—and best of all it's a very gay-friendly university with LGBT "safe-zone" signs on the doors of the departments and professor's offices (I would say especially the English department).

MUWTennesseeWilliamsFor me there is an active writer's group that meets at the Arts Council downtown and a writer's program at the university, in which I will attempt to wedge my foot, once we move there. I've put an offer on a house in the historic south Columbus area that is full of said historic homes in an area that is rapidly being gentrified and renovated, mere steps from the west side of the university. For my partner there is the history. It is the birthplace of Tennessee Williams, as well, and has a marvelous, active historic homes tour each year, along with a blues festival, an active farmer's market.


We're both looking forward to the move, which may come as soon as the end of March of this year. It's not that we don't like our house in Mesilla, NM, it's that we're both tired of the desert, after living here for 24 years. My family is scattered up and down New Mexico, but it is also as far away from us as Indiana, and if we move to Mississippi, we will be more or less equidistant from my family. Cliff's family all live in New Mexico, but his brother and even his parents are making noises about also moving. Part of my motivation of this picture essay is to urge gay couples who would be into gentrifying glorious old neighborhoods here in Columbus, Mississippi. While it may not be a "gay friendly" town, elements of it are definitely gay friendly. After all, they claim their native son, Tennessee Williams with much pride. Not only that, several noted writers hail from this town and other places in Mississippi, and they return to visit. I hope to meet them...

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Currently, seven of my novels are available on the Amazon Kindle e-reader...
CS
Common Sons
BS
The Blind Season
SM
The Salvation Mongers
TG

The Gathering
US

Uncle Sean
L

Lance
AOH

All Over Him

The Thinking Man—Blog

I've been working on a blog for a few years, but I've never done anything to show it to the world. So, here it is. It's called "The Thinking Man," and in it, I write about subjects that strike me as interesting. I invite comments, and I have no idea if the thing allows me to censor/filter/or even respond to the comments. Here's the link: http://thinkingman-ron.blogspot.com/

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My Work
Common Threads
in the Life


CS
BS

SM

TheGathering

Coming to
"Common Threads"...
A Summer's Change


The Journals of
Will Barnett

US
Lance
AOH
MyYear

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