As winter teases us here in Ottawa, snowing and freezing and then treating us to warm sunshine, followed by freezing rain, I think of the looming winter in Ukraine. People there facing sub-zero temperatures without electricity, gas, or even running water. Yet the Ukrainian people continue to defy the Russian invasion. They’re committed to resisting, to surviving as people, as a nation and a culture.
They’re getting on with the lives, despite the real possibility of death at any moment. So I have no more excuses to put things off.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog. In my defence, most of my writing time has been taken up with the podcast, Beyond Barbarossa (the first English-language podcast in the world to focus on the eastern front of World War II). But I have managed to squeeze some other work in, too.
There are now 14 episodes of Beyond Barbarossa available for listening and download. I’m grateful for all those who have downloaded and supported the pod. If you haven’t heard it, check it out. Leave a comment or a question. And if World War II history isn’t your thing, then send this link to the history buffs you know. We all know at least one person who’s into it.
The podcast proceeds mostly chronologically, starting with the invasion of Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941. Because the first episode went live on June 22, 2022, the pod has more or less tracked the seasons this year. Which means, the latest episode is about the invasion of Crimea in November and December 1941.
What’s coming up
New episodes of Beyond Barbarossa go live every second Sunday night now, to show up in your notifications when you turn on your computers or phones every second Monday morning.
The next episode of Beyond Barbarossa will conclude the story of the German invasion of Crimea and the first part of the siege of Sevastopol, concluding in early January of 1942. There will be some mentions of other significant events of the same time, too.
Following that, I have some very special guest interviews who share their thoughts and impressions about the eastern front, and what it means today.
At the beginning of this month (November, in case you’re reading this later), Ukrainian-Canadian historian and podcaster Larysa Zariczniak came on the pod to talk about parallels between Ukraine in 1941 and today, and the enduring place of the Second World War in Ukrainian cultural consciousness in 2022. I also appeared on her podcast, Wandering the Edge, to talk about my books about Canadian-Ukrainian Red Army Veteran, Maurice Bury. The books? The Eastern Front Trilogy, of course: Army of Worn Soles, Under the Nazi Heel and Walking Out of War. I encourage all to listen to Larysa’s podcast.
That went so well, I’m really looking forward to posting the interviews with my next two special guests. Who are they? I’m not telling yet. You’ll have to keep watching this space. One thing I can tell you: if you’re into history podcasts at all, you know these two.
Some books for you to check out
As you know, I also edit books for other authors. The latest books that I have edited to hit the bookshelves, physical and virtual, are:
- The Ghosts of Sand Island Lighthouse by Tim D. Smith
- The Sokolov Agenda by Alan McDermott
- Shadows of the Past by Lucy Appadoo
- Because Why Not: 25 Tales Of Imagination by Trick Campbell
- Come Away from Her by Samuel W. Gailey
- Storm of Passion by Rebecca Corio
That’s all for now. I promise not to take so long before the next post. In fact, I have some lined up: samples from the books I’ve edited.
Till then, as I say on the pod, keep your paddles in the water—at least, before it freezes.