Linda's blog

What I'm (not) Reading Now: 12 November 12


I did actually get to do some reading recently. Not books as such - an ebook again, and some short stories of various lengths. I tracked down works by two authors that I'd first been exposed to in a collection of great mystery short stories. The two are Jacques Futrelle, who wrote The Thinking Machine short stories. The Thinking Machine is a scientist of German extraction, fifty years old and given to reminding people that two and two always make four (usually followed by implying or outright stating that everything else is as logically predictable). They're interesting reading, so check them out here.

I don't remember the story featuring Phillip Trent by E. C. Bentley that was in that book (the title of which escapes me. It's on my shelves at home, but that doesn't help), but I read Trent's last case on Project Gutenberg. It was perhaps a foolish choice, it being his last case and all, and me preferring to start at the beginning. I have no idea why I did that. However, it was a nice mystery, with a couple of interesting twists, and the writing was clean without feeling old-fashioned. When I have time again, I'll read more.

In the meantime, I'm madly novelling, and I hit the half-way point today. Sadly, Roland is on his way to the final climactic battle with the King of the Elves for the freedom of his sister, and I don't think it's going to take him five thousand words to find the rave/nightclub/traveling party/portal between worlds, another five to find his sister within said rave etc etc, eight to battle the King of the Elves, and then seven to travel home again. Although how Roland, Ellen, Jamie, and Michael are all going to get home when they only have one motorcycle between the four of them is something I haven't given adequate thought to.

Also, I can't seem to spell thought correctly on the first try.

What I'm (not) Reading Now: 12 November 05

Well, I'm rather pleased with how the novelling is going. I'm two and a half days ahead in word count, and things are starting to happen with the plot and characters that I didn't expect - I always consider that a good sign. The three brothers are developing distinct characters, and Gwen (the mother) has a bit of a history that wil tie in nicely to the mythic undercurrent in the story. (If I tell you that her second husband's name was Lance, does that set off any associations for you?)

I know the writing doldrums are ahead, but for now, I'm enjoying the ride.

(And no, not reading anything at the moment.)

What I'm Reading Now: 12 October 29

A bit more this week...

Two ebooks: A treasury of Sayers stories and Busman's Honeymoon, both by Dorothy L Sayers. I've read both of them before, albeit not on my computer screen. The Treasury was mostly good fun, although the two "Other Stories" ended rather depressingly, and "The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question" requires fluency in French to understand. (For that matter, there are a couple of paragraphs in Busman's Honeymoon that are untranslated French - Sayers was fluently French/English bilingual, and never bothered providing translations in her books. Fortunately, said passages have nothing to do with the main points of Honeymoon.)

Busman's honeymoon was an interesting read for me in a different way that previous readings. It's subtitled "A love story with detective interruptions" and is easily as much about Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane working out what their relationship will become now that they are married, as it is about discovering who murdered the former owner of their honeymoon house. This is, I think, the first time I've read it since my own marriage, and my experience has added some immediacy to certain of Lord Peter & Harriet's experiences. When I first read it, I was in my teens, and mostly skipped over all the domestic bits for the detection; now I appreciate them both.

Fair warning: by next week it will be November, and I hope to be novelling. There will be even less reading, and these posts will mostly be word counts and the odd comment about plot points and the like.

Akron: 12 October 29: Stormy Weather

In the past, when I thought of Pennsylvania, I had never thought of hurricanes. Apparently this is an oversight on my part.

Akron is (I'm guessing here) about 200 miles from the coast. This makes hurricane landfall a consideration on local weather patterns. We were warned on Friday or thereabouts that there would be a storm coming as Hurricane Sandy comes ashore. All right, I thought, we'll have a cold wet run from our house to the office. But then people kept asking if we were prepared for the storm. I began to think that there might be a little more to it than a downpour and a brisk wind.

So yesterday I finally asked what kind of preparation was required. Well, candles/flashlights, water, food supply... all right. There was talk of winds gusting to 60 mph, a high wind warning from 8 am today to 9 am tomorrow, and possibility of power outages.

This morning, we got a call from my supervisor that the office would be closed due to storm warning, but she was coming in for a bit, and she'd like me to have the switchboard open for an hour or so. So John and I went in at the usual time, I opened the switchboard, sent out the morning newsletter, did a few things, and at ten I shut things down. So now we're at home having a storm day.

Let me reassure you that while it's raining, it's not out-of-the-ordinary heavy, and the wind is unpleasant, but not more than that. I wouldn't want to travel anywhere, but we're warm and cozy, the power is still on, and we have backup candles, water, and food. It's like a day off with a built-in rain soundtrack.