RIP Sue Grafton and condolences to your family. Wow, I’ve been reading this series since I was 20, really my entire adult life. I’ll miss them and I’ll miss waiting for each new one to arrive every couple of years. This reminds me of Master and Commander ending with the unfinished 21, published as Patrick O’Brian left it at his death. Tony Hillerman’s series ended on a satisfying note as did Terry Pratchett’s, but the Alphabet mysteries will end on “Y”, always leaving me to wonder what “Z” would have brought. Sue, thank you for 25 entertaining books.
There are four on the list that I haven’t read, The Dream of the Red Chamber, One Hundred Years of Solitude, 50 Shades, and The Revolt of Mamie Stover. I put Mamie Stover and the Red Chamber on my Amazon list, but I have so little time to read fiction that I can’t see reading 50 Shades. I tend to lean more to the historical than the modern and to the epic than the sordid and I’d generally rather read a new version of the Iliad since I know I’m going to love that.
I just finished The Witches by Stacey Schiff and it was excellent, everything you ever wanted to know about 17th Century trial law, Puritans, Massachusetts Bay Colony Charters and the New Englander’s idea of witchcraft. It’s long, 512 pages, meticulously researched, and got me thoroughly outraged, pissed off, depressed, anxious, you know, all the feels. It is a scholarly work, not fiction so the references are there if you want to do more research on any particulars. I recommend it.
Check out my GoodReads app in the sidebar for what I am reading now…
I was on Amazon buying a Kindle version of The One Minute Manager because it is an excellent book and in the ribbon of “suggestions” below I noticed a link to Who Moved My Cheese which was written by one of the authors. Spouse-man got a copy of it once from work along with the rest of the IT dept and it was a harbinger of bad things coming. I clicked it, curious to read what others thought of it and I saw these reviews, they might be the best I’ve read. I hope you enjoy them too…
I’ve been away but I have a very good excuse, I’ve been moving. Not moving far, just moving upstairs. One thing we’ve learned having a small house and living in it for over 20 years now is that we keep re-purposing rooms. It is how we avoid outgrowing the house I guess. This move started when Nathan’s mom, Eileen, asked if I would like to have her loom. She and her husband are selling their house and downsizing. I’ve turned down loom-offers before but this time as soon as Scott texted me her offer I had the feeling this was a loom I wanted. Now squeezing another loom, especially another, bigger floor loom into the studio downstairs means getting rid of the desk, the couch or possibly the bathroom…
I’ve thought about changing the living room around for a long time and almost bought a couch the other month but I just couldn’t do it and I finally figured out it was because I was trying to figure out a way to fit a loom upstairs. I haven’t been weaving much recently and that keeps me from being as happy as I could be and it’s because I don’t have much time to spend downstairs in the studio during the day and not enough light in the evening. However I do have time to weave a little every day if I had a loom more conveniently located upstairs where I work all day. Meanwhile Scott is insulating the den with stacks of cigar boxes and has two friends coming to kick me out of the studio over the Summer so when I suggested moving my stuff out and giving him the studio he jumped at the opportunity.
We drove the truck over to Port Gamble on Saturday to meet the loom. We disassembled it and I took the small pictures to be able to put it together again when we got home. The big side pieces just fit into the Tacoma with blankets between them and the center jack or shed-lifting mechanism is one piece that actually lifts out of the frame. It is elegantly designed with sliding wood slats in dowel frames that require minimal hardware. The larger picture is reassembled that evening in the living room. Isn’t the light great? It went back together easily. I still have a lot to do moving the rest of my yarn and jewelry-making supplies out of the studio and moving the rest of Scott’s cigar boxes downstairs but I could not be more grateful!
These are the seven reasons listed in Donovan’s blogpost
Someone pretty famous already has your name.
You want to own Google and Amazon searches.
Your gender is a marketing liability.
Your name isn’t that marketable, period.
You just don’t like your real name.
You write more than one genre.
You have professional or personal reasons for distancing yourself from your work.
Donovan comments that she chose the pseudonym Bryn Donovan because she discovered she shares her legal name with a popular porn star and didn’t want confusion so she felt free to choose a name that she liked the sound of.
I hadn’t really thought about number five probably because I truly love my name and say a little “thank you” to my parents for it whenever I hear a clunker or see one roll by in credits.Now I suppose if someone had a pedestrian name and wanted something more exotic they could use it as a pseudonym rather than changing their name and having to live with it every day. When I worked on the 900 number Psychic Line most of the other Psychics used pseudonyms but I used my first name. I’d often have people ask me at the end of a call, “So, What’s your real name?” and I’d say Inga is my real name and they’d say, “Oh,” all dissapointed sounding like we must not have bonded or I’d have told them my real name.
Number six reminded me of the Summer I was about 14 and how shocked I was to realize the two of my favorite authors at the time, Jean Plaidy and Victoria Holt and my Grandma’s fave Philippa Carr were the same writer, Eleanor Hibbert. I figured this out by following the trail in the “see also” notes at the bottom of the cards, yep real index cards in the drawers of the card catalog at the library, not on computers yet. Hibbert wrote several books a year in different genres and used a different pseudonym, or nom de plume, for each genre. Grandma took some convincing, since she only read from a couple of genres, mysteries and family sagas, she didn’t really get how someone could write more than one.
Here is a chart I found of authors identified by their known pen names. Link Some of these are surprising, C.S. Lewis, Isaac Asimov, Ann Rice and Anton Chekhov all used different pen names for writing in other genres. Others have more of the reasons you would expect… or that I would expect anyway. Check them out.
Today, December 20th, is the 200th anniversary of the first edition of ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales.’ I am thrilled that Google has chosen to honor the work with this wonderful little animated Google Doodle featuring the entire story of Little Red Riding Hood in wood-cut like graphics
We have been watching Once Upon a Time this week on Netflix. I’d love to say that we were watching it in honor of the brothers but it really was serendipity, coincidence, or synchronicity, whichever fits your world-view. Dell finally sent out a tech-guy with the final back-ordered part for my laptop, Jim this time, not Steve, (the tech, not the part ) the part is the top of the lid, which they insist on referring to as the back plate, weird. He checked out the books in the office shelves and asked what kind of stuff we watched. I said Star Trek and Warehouse 13 type-stuff and he recommended Once Upon a Time. I mentioned it to Scott and it turned out he had the series queued but hadn’t watched it! So we remedied that and are enjoying them immensely!
The premise is that all the characters from the Grimm’s Fairy Tales are transported by a curse to a world where there are no happily ever afters, no happy endings, in fact, to our world. The story lines continually cut between present time and fairy tale time and mix the characters and stories from different tales in a way that really has to be experienced. I am really picky about this genre and I give this a thumbs up (so far)!
I have collected over a dozen different book-tree ideas but this is my favorite. I found it on andgrassi’s feed on instagram. Click the pic to see the rest of his pix.
So many people have asked me why we never have a tree that I’ve decided to share the event that ruined us on Christmas trees. We had a Christmas tree once, probably in about 1985 or so. We also had several cats at the time, Daniel, Alice, Mary and Ilsa, I believe. Scott found a 4 foot tall tree and we bought some little lights and made paper ornaments. After we set it up and decorated it, went out to the store. We came home to a slaughter-scene. The poor tree was lying in the middle of the living room, strangled by its lights with its detached ornaments all over the room. Scott still shudders anytime anyone suggests putting up a tree.
Thank you Google, for the Google Doodle this morning.
I saw the Google Doodle this morning about Moby Dick and would love to write something erudite about it but you know, I never read it. Nope, not even when it was assigned in high school. That is not to say I didn’t learn a lot about writing from Melville. As soon as I realized Moby Dick was about hunting and killing a whale I made the decision not to go through the same anguish I suffered with The Red Pony, Old Yeller or Bambi. I invested in the Cliff Notes and checked a couple of books full of Melville & Moby Dick literary criticism out of the library and got to work. I skimmed for quotations, word-play and literary devices without ever approaching immersion in the emotional impact of the work. The paper received a good grade as I recall but what I always remembered was how much I enjoyed writing it. Continue reading To Moby Dick, the best book I never read→