Catching Up Friday, Feb 27 2009 

Auntie M has been gone: in a physical sense, I was able to get Doc coverage and headed west to Port Townsend, WA for a long weekend celebrating my Screw Iowa writing sister’s MFA graduation.  It was great chance for me to recharge my depleted brain cells, to eat hot meals prepared by someone else, and NOT to deal with daily bed baths, commodes, dogs, sheet changes, exercises, cooking, or physical therapy, not to mention a healthy dose of mental support.  I’d never been to Washington State at all, and would love to go back and explore at my leisure. AND it never rained when I was there!  I stayed in a hotel built in 1898 with 14 ft ceilings over an art gallery and had a great time exploring this neat town.

At home, I’ve been gone in a mental sense: there is not much time to blog, as things are pretty much the same with the added exception of three times a week jaunts to town for the above-mentioned PT.  Since Doc cannot bear weight yet on the bad leg (11 weeks and counting in bed–yikes!) he is working on range of motion to the knee, mostly on his back on a table.  Frank, our great therapist who got me walking again after my bilat knee replacements three years ago, has promised Doc he WILL walk again, although there are some days I know Doc doesn’t believe him.  He is soldiering on, and trying to stay positive, but it’s clearly getting to him.

I’m determined to try to work some time for myself into the daily grind, and to that end, here I am snarking away!  Aren’t you glad I’m back???

Seriously, you need to remember to check out ecowomen.wordpress.com starting next Monday.  The gals are celebrating a YEAR of great eco blogs and there will be giveaways for you to try for, plus neat articles to read.  Yours truly will be blogging next Friday on her eco pet day, too.

On the book end, I’m reading a new one (A Distant Domain, will review when finished) by Val McDermid, that mighty Scot who had the temerity to talk herself into Oxford to read English, and we’re all the better for it.

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She was a journalist for 16 years before writing full time, with a range of novel series and stand- alones that are always a great read.  McDermid writes with great craft and a keen eye for characterization, and is a feisty broad who would approve of that tag.  When I interviewed her a few years ago for “Mystery Review” mag, it was just after lunch and she was craving a large toddie to hold her over until tea time!  She and her partner had just had a little boy, and the tough and tumble author found herself humbled and amazed by the experience.  For those of you not familiar with McDermid, she’s the author of several series, including the PI Kate Brannigan novels and a thriller series featuring criminal profiler Tony Hill, televised under the generic name “Wire in the Blood” starring Robson Green.  Here’s McDermid with Robson, he of the seriously sexy green eyes:

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Her stand alones are equally brilliant and meticulously researched: A Place of Execution won the Anthony Award for Best Novel, while The Mermaids Singing took the Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel.  The Grave Tattoo follows a Wordsworth scholar to the Lake District, my favorite place on our great Earth.

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That’s the news from NC, where it was 68 today and supposed to snow Sunday night~

Thanks to Google Images

Spudguns Unlimited Monday, Feb 9 2009 

Auntie M is very fond of Appleton, Wisconsin.

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Two of her favorite people live there: author Green Girl with her Team Testosterone; and her artist pal Alice King Case.  Both are great women with artistic brains and savvy sensitivities.

Which is why my ears perked up when Doc was watching the DIY Network last night and a bit from Appleton, Wisconsin came on.   Then I had to chuckle as  I listened as Joel Surprise (his real name?) was interviewed about his business, the Spudgun Technology Center.

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Yes, you read that correctly.  And here is is, above.   An entire business and website dedicated to various methods, equipment and means of shooting POTATOES are far as they can go!  Who knew??

When I’d wiped my eyes, I watched the segment.  Apparently this of great interest to men across the nation, a wonderful pasttime for those males who’ve not outgrown their competitive natures.

Their motto is: “Because we are men, and because we can.”

(I swear I’m not making this up)~

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Just check out the looks of delight on those weirdo’s big galoophs gents faces!

For those of you who want to clue their mates in,  the pressurized models shoot the furthest. . .

(Thanks to Spudgun Tech Ctr. and Google Images)

Clean Cut with Reservations Thursday, Feb 5 2009 

Lynda La Plante has written nine novels and is the creator of the Prime Suspect series I adored with Helen Mirren playing Detective Jane Tennison.

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So when I picked up La Plante’s newest novel featuring Det. Anna Travis I knew I was getting into a well-plotted book with surprises, and this one did not disappoint on that level.  La Plante writes strong female characters with more than a touch of realism, and Clean Cut follows that route.

Travis has been having an affair with DCI James Langton, whose emotional baggage comes to the forefront when he’s almost killed.  His obssessive ruthlessness on a case revolving around illegal immigrants almost destroys him and affects his relationship with Anna, causing her to re-evalutate him, herself and their union.

Here’s Auntie M’s hesitation: the novel lacks good editing.  La Plante uses the word “now” entirely too much, sometimes as much as three times in one paragraph.  I’ve found that writers who are used to writing screenplays tend to do this, but a good editor should have picked up on that.

I also bemoan her lack of apostrophes.  No one, Brit or not, speaks without using them.  Really.  The novel is filled with “I have”, “I will,”  “There was” etc. in dialogue, where natural speech would be: “I’ve” or “I’ll” or “There’s”  at least some of the time.  This has a jarring effect on the reader, bringing you out of the fictional world and cursing the lack of editing.

I perservered as this is the third Anna Travis novel I’ve read, so obviously I’m either a glutton for punishment or La Plante’s storyline exceeds the annoyance.  The other two Anna Travis books are: Above Suspicion and The Red Dahlia.

I’d be interested in hearing if anyone out there reading these novels is bothered by the same things…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Doc goes for an Xray and checkup tomorrow; six weeks and counting.  He’s hopping around twice a day on his good leg for exercise, which exhausts him, but at least he’s out of bed for one hour out of 24 now.

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dru's book musings

Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp a perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

Make

make Your House a home

K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

Wicked Cozy Authors

Mysteries with a New England Accent

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Author and reviewer of period crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

BOOK SHELF

"Tell me and I forget-Show me and I remember-Involve me and I learn"

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

forensics4fiction

Forensics demystified for the fiction writer

milliewonka

Just another WordPress.com site

Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet!

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