JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I wasn’t sure I would hear from you this year.
JOE: Don’t be a pessimist. I’ve just been busy at work and with Christmas preparations.
CALLIOPE: So, is all that behind you now?
JOE: It is. All is prepared.
CALLIOPE: And your writing?
JOE: In between everything else, I have been reading steadily in preparation for my next book. I would rather be writing but I want to make sure of what I have to say.
CALLIOPE: What are you reading?
JOE: At present I am reading Bill Kauffman’s “Bye Bye Miss American Empire” a book about the restless relationship between political entities within the US and loosely affiliated with it. I am also reading Henry Howard Brownell’s “The New World: Embracing American History.” I have several other books waiting in the wings.
CALLIOPE: What are your prospects for completing this project?
JOE: Too soon to tell. But so far I am enjoying the journey.
CALLIOPE: Will you have to keep fitting it in with everything else?
JOE: Eventually I will, but I have all next week off and hope to get a good start.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear it. Anything else going on?
JOE: Just enjoying the Christmas season.
CALLIOPE: Merry Christmas to you and those you love.
JOE: Merry Christmas to you and your sister Muses.