Fore! Thursday, Jun 19 2008 

i love watching golf on television.  From the comfort of my sofa, surrounded by my iced tea and snacks, I can prop up my feet and get my exercise watching Tiger vs everyone else.  On TV you get the high spots and miss most of the trudging from hole to hole. At home you get to leave to use the loo, instead of looking for a discreet bush. At home there is no need for: bug spray or sunblock, hours of standing around in the hot sun brushing pesky insects away , or resisting stepping on the toe of the man behind you breathing his onion breath down your neck.

no, watching at home is the height of civiiization.  The little ball with a life of it’s own captures my attention and I delight in watching how the wind catches it and throw is into a sand trap, or how the slope of the green can turn an eagle into a bogie.

I played golf, long ago, or at least tried to, even taking lessons.  I loved bits of it, those bits being the cute short skirts and the neat specatator tasseled shoes.  I even had lessons, although the instructor got frustrated with me becasue I’m a lefty, and although I did everything he told me lefty, it was clear my hands really wanted to do it righty.  Tried that, too…I only tried it because my husband was playing and I’d thought it would be something we could do together.  In the end, we drove there together, i read in the car and listened to music, he played and we ate dinner together afterward.

i still prefer to watch it at home…

On another note; I’m shocked I can even get this out there, the smoke Gods must be smiling on me as i’m leaving for Colorado and our Screw iowa Workshop.  our website is live, so instead of reading me over the next weeks I’m away, check out: http://www.screwiowa.com.  Learn how we five women did that a suspportive community is the best way to accomplish just about anything, but especially writing!

Happy Summer Days to all until I see my Grands; will be back by July 6th!

Wildfire Update Saturday, Jun 14 2008 

Auntie M has been strangely silent this week, and it has nothing to do with a lack of words from her decidedly big mouth.

No, the culprit is the wildfire, still growing, and coming the other night within 1/2 of her home when a lightning strike hit dry pine trees.  That was a hairy evening, Doc out until almost midnight helping to get it under control…the main fire still burns, only 40% controlled, peat under the ground smoldering and spreading it.  40,000 acres burned, bear and deer everywhere wandering into people’s yards as they run from their habitat.

The smoke has other consequences, too: its haze has spread as far away as three hours toward Raleigh, when the wind shifted.  Our local hospital had to evacuate its vent unit patients past the smoke line.  And the same smoke has kept our internet satellite from functioning well.  I am hoping to get this out today as the wind is away from the house and it looks clear–for the moment.

I hate to leave Doc and the dogs to this, but Auntie M confesses to feeling VERY grateful she is leaving next week for her writers workshop in Colorado, and the idea of fresh, cool air is very enticing.

So if i’m out of touch again, it’s due to smoke, and after 6/21, due to Colorado~https://i2.wp.com/www.rsspieces.com/m/blogs/derekwagner/Rocky%20Mountains%20Breckenridge%20Keystone%20022.jpg.

Farewell, Athena Sunday, Jun 8 2008 

https://i1.wp.com/media.petster.com/photos/14533/366-341-830-631-9633-thmb.jpg

Today Auntie M learned that one of her Screw Iowa writing buddies had lost her dog, Athena.  It’s always sad when a pet dies, and even though Athena was 15, she will be sorely missed by this entire family.  L’s family is gathering as I write this to bury their much-loved pet next to her brother Apollo in their garden.  It’s a tradition and like most family traditions, this one comes from love, this time the love for pets who occupy so much of our lives.  L’s husband even made Athena’s coffin, as he did for Apollo, and their children will fill it with her toys and other mementos to take with her on her journey to doggie heaven, where the sky rains down juicy bones and the streets are paved with biscuits, and all the dogs run like puppies again.

Anyone reading this blog knows how much I love my own dogs, and am drawn to others pets, so I empathize with my friend and her family.  My friend, whose days writing at home alone, now that children are grown and dispersed, were usually broken up by taking Athena for walks.   Having lost that unconditional love, that face always happy to greet you when you come home, takes getting used to, and I send L. and love and the hopes that time will leave her with only the good memories of her beloved pet.
*****************************

On another note, our wildfires have spread to 39,000 acres, but away from our house.  We feel blessed.  Sean’s fire station is still feeding and sheltering people, but Doc has the day off.

Fire, Fire, Burning Bright Friday, Jun 6 2008 

In my northeastern part of North Carolina, we are in the midst (5 days+) of a severe wildfire that has already destroyed 20,000 acres of forested land (part of it on a wildlife refuge), spread across three counties (mine is one of them), and has seen many people evacuated while they fear for their homes and farms, workshops and barns, tools and equipment.

Since both my son and Doc are volunteer Fireman, a town apart, they have been in and out with tankers, airpacks and equipment.  Sean is also a paramedic, and just came off 36 hours straight watching over firefighters and wildlife officers fighting heatstroke and injuries.  To add to the mess, we are in the midst of an unseasonable heat wave, unrelated to the fire but stoking it, 98 today and 100 tomorrow with a heat index of 105. Right now he’s at his firehouse, helping the Red Cross to feed those evacuated and bed them down until those displaced and their pets can return safely.

https://i2.wp.com/www.cfa.vic.gov.au/students/images/firefighters-pair-lge.jpg

I can only imagine what it must feel like to be in that kind of temperature and trying to fight a fire.  No, on second thought, I really can’t.  I’m just grateful for volunteers like these, men and women, protecting my home and others.  Send a bit o’prayer to my end of the nation, please, for all of those involved.

A Cure For All Diseases Wednesday, Jun 4 2008 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had one someday? But no, this is the title of  Reginald Hill’s 560+ page novel I’ve just finished reading.  Hill just seems to get longer and better with each outing.   He’s  a great plotter and his dialogue is a hoot! This is one of the Dalziel and Pascoe series, (also televised at some point years ago on BBC and well worth a look if you ever come across the DVD’s.)  When he has Andy Dalziel speak, I have to laugh out loud sometimes, he had that voice nailed so perfectly.

This one centers on a small town on the Yorkshire coast which is trying to build up itself as a health resort.  Our Andy finds himself ensconced there as he rehabs from the blast that almost killed him in the last book (The Death of Dalziel).  And rehab he does, all of his pertinent parts and then some.

I love reading Hill because he knows so darn much and shares it so willingly through his characters.

Auntie M is in awe of someone who can pull an opus like this together consistently, over and over, can you tell?

Words, Words, Words said Eliza Doolittle~ Tuesday, Jun 3 2008 

Auntie M has been wrapped up in words, now that her novel revision is winging its way to her Screw Iowa buddies for reading and dissection.  And then cocooned in the words of others, reading and editing away.

Chet Atkins, one of Doc’s and my favorites, said: “Years from now after I’m gone, someone will listen to what I’ve done and know I was here.”

I like that idea, the thought that one’s work lives on.  Is that why I am so anxious to share my writing?  To leaves tidbits of myself behind, the hidden truth in between the cozy mystery’s plot?  As a writer you give the inner thoughts to your characters, all of them–to the protagonist who can be the person you wish you could be, and the antagonist, who you give permission to be what you so clearly are not.  It sounds deceptively easy, doesn’t it?  Then why is it so bloody difficult????

We write for different reasons: to explore our past, to pretend to a present we long for; to heal old wounds or make a social statement.  I like puzzles and so am attracted to their unraveling in mysteries, one reason I write in that genre.  And it’s the ultimate game of control, as you can people your novel with anyone you wish, playing the ‘What if?’ game to the hilt.

Doc currently threatens to get me a tee shirt he’s seen that says: https://i1.wp.com/www.signals.com/graphics/products/regular/AV1741G.jpg

I just may have to let him get that~

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The Life of Guppy

the care and feeding of our little fish

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Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan

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Author and reviewer of period crime fiction

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A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

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