Archive - May 16, 2015

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Resisting the Tortoise Hibernation Instinct in 15 Simple Steps
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Kent Haruf’s (Turkey 1965-67) Last Novel, Days Before His Death

Resisting the Tortoise Hibernation Instinct in 15 Simple Steps

Our tortoise, Speedy Gonzalez, has not gained enough weight after his summer long bout with pneumonia, dehydration and kidney disease. According to the veterinarian, he won’t survive months of hibernation. I’ve followed instructions to construct a terrarium for him, a winter hangout. 1. Buy a very large plastic box (33 x 20 in. minimum). 2. Take this unwieldy box to the vet’s shop where she demonstrates how to attach two clamp lights, (one for light and one for heat), a thermometer and a timer.  Purchase this equipment and a multiple extension cord. 3. Assemble terrarium at home, lining the bottom of the box with shredded newspaper. 4. Add a shoe box cut in half for Speedy’s sleeping quarters and plates for water and food. 5. Insert Speedy. 6. Check the next morning. The thermometer is way below the 27 degrees C necessary to activate Speedy’s metabolism. He isn’t eating. 7. . . .

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Kent Haruf’s (Turkey 1965-67) Last Novel, Days Before His Death

In the Friday, 15, 2015, issue of the WSJ writer Jennifer Maloney has a long and touching article entitled, “A Dying Writer’s Last Chapter” that is about Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965–67) and the novel he completed days before his death, Our Souls at Night. In the novel, Kent explores a highly personal story: finding love late in life. We reviewed the novel on this site several months ago. Take a look at the review by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000–02, Madagascar 2002–03). Kent grew up in a steel-mill town in Colorado and went to Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln where he (like many writers) discovered Faulkner and Hemingway. He studied English and then joined the Peace Corps. It was in Turkey that he started writing short stories and while there he applied for admission to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He was rejected by them. He got a job. He got . . .

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