Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Snows of Yesteryear

I'm feeling very grateful to my parents today, especially to my mother, who gave birth to me on this day in 1964.

She also took me out to lunch today in honor of my birthday--a tradition she has followed pretty much ever since I left home.

Look at us in the picture there--my mother a glamorous 1960s gal, and me a little bundle in footy pajamas. (Yes, my mother dressed up around the house. Look at those stockings! I wonder if my children will reminisce about my sweats? Or on special occasions, sweats with a racing stripe?)

As a late December baby, I have the honor of ushering out the old year and seeing in the new. We turn together, the calendar and I, and it seems more poetic and appropriate as I age.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Suspenseful Reading

I finished THE JANUS STONE today and can confirm that it's a book which should be read in one sitting. I took it to bed, then to my mammogram appointment, then back home, stealing a chapter or two whenever I could.

I loved Elly Griffith's first book, THE CROSSING PLACES, and this one continues with all the familiar characters from book one, specifically Ruth Galloway, who not only has to deal with more unearthed human bones (are they ancient? are they modern?) but with the more prickly problems of her personal life and the beautiful yet dangerous setting she lives in.

While THE JANUS STONE has a very similar format to the first book, the plot was still pleasing and suspenseful, and I am looking forward to the third in the series.

Moving on now to Ian McEwan's SATURDAY, which I've been meaning to read for ages, and then it's on to my brand new Kindle and an investigation of the possibilities of downloaded text.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time to Read!

One of the best things about the holidays is the chance to read, something I don't always have during the work year. And one of the nicest things about blogging is that you sometimes get books in the mail that you absolutely weren't expecting!

I'm reading two books right now, kindly sent to me by HMH:

THE DIVINER'S TALE, which is not what I expected it to be. It's much more a study in character than it is a mystery, really, and yet the human psyche is compelling enough, and it is keeping me turning the pages of Bradford Morrow's delicately written novel about a woman with psychic leanings who happens upon what seems to be a crime.

I haven't yet opened THE JANUS STONE, but it is on my pillow; I loved Elly Griffith's first book, THE CROSSING PLACES, and I look forward to more adventures with her character Ruth Galloway, an archeologist who lives in one of the loneliest places I've ever encountered in a mystery.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Mouse


The mouse is actually a small cat; she has snuck past the manger scene and stopped batting the low-hanging ornaments in order to steal some fresh pine tree-flavored water, which all three of my cats prefer to their plain ol' bowl water. This cat, Rose, is my littlest and shyest feline, but she manages to be in things that are none of her business on a regular basis. :)

Even cats like the holidays.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Writing In a Midwestern Maelstrom

My cat Mulliner looks mighty cozy while he scans the results of the storm outside; Chicago got hit hard today, with many inches of snow, a plunge in temperatures, and a soul-chilling wind. It died down briefly, but now it's picking up again, providing work for me and a fun, snowflake-dancing visual for my cat.

If I ever get finished with the shoveling and errands, I'll sit down to write, which is really all I want to do when winter blankets my house, my town, my world. As long as the PC still works and my brain can weave tales, I'll grab my cup of tea and start writing--probably about a tropical island somewhere in my imagination.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Suspense Magazine

John Raab, publisher of Suspense Magazine, has announced that they are giving 4 free electronic issues of their zine.

The magazine, he notes, is available throughout the United States and on their website.

This month's issue features the top writers of 2010 and a short story contest.