Cussler, Koontz and Stockett

I bought three books today guaranteeing some fine weekend reading as winter’s certain
arrival is heralded first by the cold dank grey blanket of wind, rain, soggy spongy lawns, and sunless skies.  It’s a good day for fireside, tea and a lacing of chocolate or brandy depending on your preference – perhaps both.

Clive Cussler

The first book, alphabetically, but not the first to read is by Clive Cussler and his son
Dirk Cussler called Crescent Dawn.  I sincerely hope I have not read it yet but there is a chance.  My friends and I read a lot of Cussler and books are passed around the group with such speed it may turn out to be an old friend perfect for a revisit.  I don’t
mind as Cussler is always suspenseful and enjoyable and really if my memory has
to go in some area this is a perfectly pleasant plot filled deficiency I can live with.

Cussler is an interesting man whose real life is laced with adventure and who enhances
extra intrigue as he weaves mystery and suspense throughout his novels.  He is the founder and chairman of NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) and NUMA is a frequent part, and very often the center of most of his books.
As an underwater explorer he has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites.  His characters from one series frequently show up in others as Clive Cussler himself does also and blend seamlessly with the story line. Dirk Pitt, Juan Cabrillo and Isaac Bell capture
my undivided attention every time.

Cusslerwrites fiction and non-fiction and regardless of your preference you are
guaranteed to learn facts of great interest. * I saw the movie Sahara that
Matthew McConaughey starred in as Dirk Pitt and thought he was great but I did
hear that Cussler was not pleased with the portrayal but I thought it was
perfect – although it could have been the abs I guess.

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz, whom I may have mentioned the odd time previously is author of my second purchase today; ‘what the night knows’ all lower case.  My addiction to Koontz started back in ’92 and what this man can portray in a single sentence is mind boggling.  It was his book ‘Winter Moon’ that started with the best first line ever (that I wrote about in a previous post), ‘Death was driving and emerald green Lexus.’
When I first found Koontz I carried a book everywhere and read at stop
lights, in elevators, as  matter of fact I think I would line up for anything just for the opportunity to read.  I would circle paragraphs or sentences and try to determine how particular words evoked a sentiment so deeply and thoroughly.  I sent Dean a fan letter
several years ago in which I described my addiction and started it by saying
that like most addicts I might not be able to tell him the exact time but I
could tell him exactly how it felt.  It was quite a brilliant letter I think and I got a typical printed response but at the bottom where his signature was he jotted a hand written note telling me how much he enjoyed the humor and wit of my letter.  He is such a prolific writer that I could not possibly begin to list my favs.  There is
one hard cover I have kept and reread for years and that is, ‘Lightning’.

The Help

My third purchase is Kathryn Stockett’s ‘The Help’ and I sincerely hope it is a good as everyone says and that all the rave reviews from friends are true and not just
fashionable hype.  I will have to let you know on that one.  I did not see the movie preferring to get the depth of the written word first.

 

Well I would love to go on and on and on but I am being harassed by three very loud  voices all calling….’Me first! Me first!

 

R&R and Time For Blogs, Reading and Writing

R&R and Time For Blogs, Reading and Writing

Hectic hectic week following the move but leaving shortly for the north and cottage for a few days where my intent is to enjoy time catching up on reading and doing some enjoyable work for my friend.  Time to get organized, get my footing, get balanced….all of the things that seem to have fallen by the wayside.

So looking forward to getting some semblance of normal once I figure out what it is!

If You are Going to Waste My Time, At Least Do It With a Little Style

If You Are Going to Waste My Time at Least Do It With a Little Style

So said I to my recalcitrant self, the part of me that begs in a whiny voice, ‘But it’s Saturday!’

Ran errands this morning knowing I would have the afternoon and evening to play catchup on some pretty vital stuff, shelving the idea of going to the Bluesfest, hoping as a reward I would treat myself tomorrow.  Puttered around trying to decide on arranging more things for packing or actually workimg.  Maybe I should vacuum and dust first.  RS pipes up with a twist of sarcasm about the room littered with boxes, possessions on every available horizontal surface and disturbing the ambiance of a life in transition.

Sat at the computer when I was suddenly attacked by a game of Galapago and did not deem this a waste of time as it would exercise my mind taking my cerebral function to genius level.

Called my sister hoping for a diversion there but alas she is actually doing housework.

Argued with RS relentlessly about my choice of activity.  No problem knowing who is boss today.

Took another look around the room wondering if I should call a missing person on my organized self because darn if I know where I set her down.  (RS hates OS).

Finally came to an understanding with RS and told her point blank – if you are going to waste my time at least do it with a little style- so we agreed….after a crazy busy week I will take two self indulgent hours and read.

So here I sit about to start Kathy Reichs Deja Dead.  Reichs is a forensic anthropologist in real life and the heroine is Temperance Brennan, of the Bones TV series, which is kind of cute since in the series Temperance is a forensic anthropologist and published author whose heroine is Kathy Reichs.

Well I best get cracking but before I can read I had to promise OS that I would at least post first.  Yeah! One thing off today’s list completed!

Writers Resources Do You Use a Writer Software?

Help!

My book/novel is getting cumbersome.

Tracking scenes and characters and locations and dates.  The story is so clear in my head and notes but good grief it is pulling it all together!

Do you use a software program?

If you use a program and are willing to share your favorite software it would help immensely.

Before my poor brain explodes!

1947 and 9 Reasons Why I was not a Star Back Then

Origin Unknown


1947 and 9 Reasons Why I was not a Star Back Then

When the future Queen of Hamilton, and the Granny Nanny of the next millennium was born there was a fair bit of joy and celebration across the land.  Actually there was a fair bit of joy and celebration across the street, but in my mind I prefer to think of it as ‘The Land’.  But regardless how far the joy extended there were other events that stole my thunder and made my arrival less auspicious than it should have been.

THAT WHOLE ROSWELL THING
Yup  William W. “Mac” Brazel a ranch foreman found debris.  Air Force Colonel Blanchard instructed another Colonel to notify the media they had a “crashed saucer”. Well the rumors and contemplations have not settled it to this day. *  Now how’s a girl to compete with that?

THAT WHOLE ROYAL WEDDING THING
Uh huh a Royal Wedding.  That of the then future Queen of England and her dashing Prince Phillip stole the spotlight.  And it was one of the last Royal Weddings that stuck. Sort of.  There were always rumors of his dalliances and of course I have no proof but in 1974 ish I stood not more than ten feet from the man and he exuded pure sexual attraction.  It’s a good thing he had a tight schedule else I could have been more famous than I would have liked. In my mind anyway.  But when his blue eyes met my brown it aroused a..curiosity in me.   It might have been all me..I’m just sayin……

MORE UFO STUFF
My BFF Wikipedia also reports…Seaman Harold Dahl claims to have seen six UFOs near Maury Island in Puget Sound, Washington. On the next morning, Dahl reports the first modern so-called “Men in Black” encounter.
Really now…UFO or me?

CIA and BIG GUNS
Wikipedia – Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 into law, creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.
*Since I do not want to be crossing CIA and all I have no comment on their intrusion on my fame.

COMPUTERS..I swear!
After being shut down on November 9, 1946, for a refurbishment, the ENIAC computer, the world’s first electronic digital computer, is turned back on again. It then remains in continuous operation until October 2, 1955.
*Neither do I wish to negate any computers that would some day lead me to POF adventures.

PREHISTORIC MEN
Wiki again..Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft, the Kon-Tiki, smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101 day, 4,300 mile, voyage across the Eastern Pacific Ocean, proving that pre-historic peoples could hypothetically have traveled to the Central Pacific islands from South America.

AIRPLANES!
Chuck Yaeger breaks the speed of sound.  * I was barely breaking sound past goo goo ga ga.

THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK
Apparently was set?  Wikipedia says…The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face, maintained since 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the world is estimated to be to global disaster. As of January 14, 2010, the Doomsday Clock now stands at six minutes to midnight.[1][2] Since its creation, the time on the clock has changed 19 times.[3]
*****So now my competition for fame is a doomsday clock?  I was born and they felt the need for doomsday???

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
The first of the Dead Sea Scroll discoveries occurred in 1947 in Qumran, a village situated about twenty miles east of Jerusalem on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. A young Bedouin shepherd, following a goat that had gone astray, tossed a rock into one of the caves along the seacliffs and heard a cracking sound: the rock had hit a ceramic pot containing leather and papyrus scrolls that were later determined to be nearly twenty centuries old. Ten years and many searches later, eleven caves around the Dead Sea were found to contain tens of thousands of scroll fragments dating from the third century B.C. to A.D. 68 and representing an estimated eight hundred separate works.  **Now I also have to fight the bible book fame!  Thanks Wikipedia!

MUSIC AND MOVIES AND BOOKS
AtLeast there were some memorable ones!  
Movies
Gentleman’s Agreement, Miracle on 34th Street, Great Expectations, The Bishop’s Wife

Music
Doris Day, “Confess”
Al Jolson, Al Jolson Album
“Woody Woodpecker”
“A Fellow Needs A Girl”
Frankie Lane, “That’s My Desire”
Glenn Miller, “Glenn Miller Masterpieces—Vol. 2″

Books
Saul Bellow, The Victim
Gerald Warner Brace, The Garretson Chronicle
Martin Flavin, The Enchanted
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano
Thomas Mann, Dr. Faustus
Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism

So it seems there have been some hitches to achieving my destiny of world wide fame (and adoration).  Guess I had better get cracking!

An Open Letter to Stephenie Meyer – Twilight Saga, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, The Illustrated Guide and Midnight Sun

Stephenie Meyer

An Open Letter to Stephenie Meyer -Twilight Saga, The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner, and The Illustrated Guide and Midnight Sun
 
Dear Ms. Meyer. ..no …Dear Stephenie, (since I feel I know you in a personal way..not weird mind you, just ….no it may be a bit weird…but just in the most complimentary way.)
 
I visited your website again today, this time to search for an email addy as I wish to say a few words to you. Unfortunately your Webmaster Seth, who by the way is doing a great job, says you do not have an addy for fans.
 
Perhaps you could correct that although I do understand the reasons, so perhaps I should revise that suggestion and request instead just the teensiest little email strictly for my use only.
 
I will try to be concise as I know or can imagine how busy you are.
 
1) I find it of great interest that your books are targeted for YA (young adults). To put your mind at ease I assure you that even though I have a few decades on you I am young never having grown up. You do know there is a huge older audience that read, enjoy and perhaps are equally addicted. Speaking for myself anyway. Your stories are timeless and your characters are living beings that have become family.
 
2) I have read every book a number of times and was glad to see the Illustrated Guide. Your interview at the beginning is the best part. I picked up Twilight yet again and read from Chapter thirteen first imagining what it was like to start there with the meadow scene.
 
3) My son who is in his thirty’s says, “Mom, you know they are seventeen.” As though love, passion, intrigue and conflict should only mean something to YA. But it is ageless as are The Cullens et al.
 
The reason for this has to do with your discussion that as you write a sequel the public begins to create what they think the next story will be. It becomes their story and so when the next book comes out some may be surprised or even taken aback.
 
I for one make no assumptions. I trust you as the creator and what comes is meant to be. I simply embrace it. That’s pretty much all I had to say.

Now I doubt your schedule allows the time to peruse hundreds of thousands of WordPress.com blogs just to search for me, but if any of my readers know you personally, or anyone of your extended large family, then I ask you to pass this on.
 
Sincerely,
Chris King (No relation to Stephen, although he did trust me with his email addy. Well me and the whole world.)
And I am: Bridgesburning.wordpress.com
Just in case you did want to take a peek!

Becoming Jessica Fletcher

Becoming Jessica Fletcher
 
I want to be Jessica Fletcher.
Between 1984 and 1986 Murder, She Wrote was a highly successful TV Series starring Angela Lansbury. But it is not Angela I am interested in, although she had a hugely successful career on the big screen, the big stage as well as television, it is Jessica B. Fletcher.
 

Angela aka Jessica Fletcher

In those years as I raised a family, worked, studied and dreamed I looked to her character as the person I wanted to become. J. B. Fletcher was a retired school teacher, widowed, living in a small town in Maine called Cabot Cove who turned to writing murder mysteries, and who gained world wide fame as a best selling author.
 
She apparently got up bright and early every morning, perfectly coiffed, dressed in casual but classy clothing, make up perfect, puttered in her garden, went for healthy walks and kept an immaculate house. In addition she had a delightful circle of friends, including Dr. Seth Hazlitt, and Sheriff Amos Tupper who popped around for dinners and were often the portal to her murder mysteries.
 
My new BFF Wikipedia tells me ‘Murder rears its ugly head with great regularity in her vicinity (so improbably often that the mystery term “Cabot Cove syndrome” was eventually coined to describe the constant appearance of dead bodies in remote locations).’
 
All those years of thinking that when my circumstances changed, children grown, time on my hands that I would become Jessica Fletcher (well not become because that would be just too weird, but become like.)
 
I actually have a blogging buddy who in my mind comes closest to this character.
She is Judithb who writes from growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com.

In my mind she lives this gracious existence. You may want to check her out.
 
So now I have that circumstance; not widowed but alone, time to do, to be. But for five months now I have tried to figure out what my life is, what my schedule is – unsuccessfully. I am not getting the best bang for my buck. I have tried rising early, rising late, promising myself daily exercise, cooking real meals, oh and writing successfully like there is no tomorrow.
 
So I think I may try the J. B. Fletcher way. That means getting myself out of bed and putting all the pieces in place. It is 11:15 a.m. and here I sit in bed where I read and write my blogs first thing in the morning. Would Jessica sit in bed – NO!
 
I look around my apartment or suite as it is apparently called – if you pay enough for it it becomes a suite. Clothing piled in laundry stacks, dust bunnies mating and reproducing everywhere, dishes in the sink even though there is a dishwasher which still has clean dishes in it. Papers and books and notes oh my.
 
So I think for today I will be J. B. and since I have a late start I may try for tomorrow too. WWJBD?

Books of the iPad

Charles Dickens
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Books of the iPad
 
When I was a child I wanted to be a writer. Actually I knew I was going to be a writer. I remember the exact instant this information came to me, what the day was like, the actual smell of summer, my foot as it moved from the curb to the road. Strange isn’t it how there are some moments of such clarity that they are almost photographic, that for a millisecond you actually stand outside yourself and watch?  It was not a decision as much as a done deal and I remember wondering exactly what I would write. Why murder mystery of course, published and all best sellers.
 
I have spent the fives decades between then and now making half baked attempts at writing and full baked excuses why I could not do it. And I must admit it has taken considerable effort to resist the urge to take pen in hand. Almost as much effort as it would be to actually give in and write something. No, that statement is wrong. I have tried writing and it is hard work, an investment, a commitment, and a lot of pressure on the brain cells.
 
Oh, I’d make a good start, and then the next day my mind would just flit after some other butterfly of a thought. And as of a few months ago, this year, 2011, I ran out of excuses, and had face the real reason I don’t write – fear, of so many things.
 
The purpose of explaining the above is not to lament my failure, but to recognize what it takes to write and write well. My experience makes me very appreciative of those who are published. When I read I can see the author putting down each word. I imagine the blank page and the first letters appearing whether by pen or keyboard. I appreciate. I savor.
 
Now we come to the Books of the iPad.
 
I love the convenience, the thousands of choices, the categories, and the authors, all there for my choosing.
 
What I find amazing and at the same time sad are the free books. It’s good for me but feels a little like a slap in the face to some great writers.
From the free list..just a few..
 
Tolstoy, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Einstein, Alcott, Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Conan Doyle, Emerson, Fitzgerald,….and on and on and on.
 
I picture the making of each word, phrase, sentence, and paragraph. The work, the creativity, the ALL of the whole thing.
 
So, I feel I just want to acknowledge them, somehow, to say thank you.
You, my heroes of the past may be free, but you are in no way devalued!
Thank you iBooks!

 

When Heaven Becomes Hell or Something Like That

When Heaven Becomes Hell or Something Like That

I have always had an addictive personality I think. Put more positively I guess I would have to say I am passionate. That sounds better!

As a child I read and read and read and that is one passion that remains today.  Back then it was the dreaded Uncle Arthur’s bedtime stories previously mentioned in No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!, Trixie Belden, anything by Pearl S. Buck..well the list is endless.

Lately I have blogged on some of my current favs which includes Stephenie Meyer and the whole Twilight thing.  The first I even knew about this series was the six o’clock news sometime ago, which showed a bunch of tweenies lined up to see the first movie.  The minute vampires were mentioned I shut the set off and muttered at great length to myself about the disgusting situation of the world and it’s youth and how no good could come out of the downward spiral society was on.  

That Christmas my daughter-in-law gave me…yup..the first Twilight book.  

So came my Cullen passion and it has not abated.  I have every book including The Short life of Bree Tanner.  I have on my desk top the leaked copy of Midnight Sun which Meyer posted since it was already out there and chose not to finish.  The books are filled with anticipation, mystery and myth.  Her character development is intense and in depth. The set has been a reread again and again seeking out what was said before that hinted at something explained two novels later.

Now my last two weekends have been reading marathons, barely poking my head out of the book, never mind the door.  So today I took myself in hand and sternly made myself go for a walk.  Fresh air – well as fresh as it can be – no books, no iPad, just a good old fashioned walk. No coffee shop because that meant reading and sipping.

I ended up at a mall, and not being a shopper I still entered and practiced the art of browsing, like normal people do, and bookstores were not allowed.  I strolled the whole mall and decided I needed something from Wal-Mart.

For the life of me I can’t remember what it was because as soon as I stepped in the door something unknown took over and stupefied me, and forced me, I swear, to approach a large table with BOOKS.  I could see it coming and reached way down deep, where pure grit resides, to prepare myself.  Why I could handle this.  I would look but not touch.  I would be master of  these insane urges for words, stories, poems, toilet cleaning instructions, anything.

Then I muttered a groan of agony mixed with a liberal dose of the ecstatic.  Before me lay the twilight saga: the official illustrated guide.  The first fifty-five pages are all about how Meyer came to write the story.  A total of five hundred and forty-three pages of history and detail of every character in the series.  I mean EVERY character!

I forced myself to visit my aunt for tea as planned, even though the book in the bag sang to me like a siren.  I forced myself to visit with my sister this evening,  when she arrived as invited, thinking please please just let me look at it. I even made time to read your blogs but now! Now as midnight approaches I am free to look.  

I have made myself promise it would be just a wee peek and I have every confidence that in a short time I can put it down, close the cover, have a normal night sleep, rise in the morning at a decent hour, clean my house, perhaps solve a world problem or two and then treat myself to this delicious demon of addiction.  I am sure I can.  I am. Sure.

If You Really Knew Me…I Took an Old Friend Down Tonight

Flurries fly but I persist in believing spring is here!

It’s Thursday and time for Mama’s Losin It Writing Prompts. My choice is – If you really knew me, you would know that…..

You would know that I get hooked on books. Or more accurately hooked on words. That leads to a lot of rereading of phrases, paragraphs or the whole book. I think I may have an addictive personality.

Any way the old friend I took down was not someone I demolished in any way as the title suggested, but an old book I pull down from the shelf  now and then.

One of my addictions from about twenty odd years ago is Dean Koontz. The book tonight is a fav and it was published way back in ’88 called Lightning.
This book not for it’s first line but for the gripping tale he tells. Good suspense although the first line is pretty good.

I mention first lines because I am a sucker for them. Charles Dickens, my absolute hero was best at it. Who could forget the first line in …A Tale of Two Cities….”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch …”

Of course that story also had the most memorable last line also…”It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a …”

But for me and Mr. Koontz possibly, the best first line was in a book called Winter Moon and the line is… “Death was driving an emerald green Lexus.”

In my dreams that’s the way I want to start a book. With a line so gripping you have no choice but to dive in filled with excitement and anticipation. (Anticipation is another addiction). sigh…soon I will have no secrets from you!

Oh and just for your information I do tend to fall for any good line – but that would be another blog!

Any favorite line out there you would like to share?
 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 311 other followers

Archives

blogsurfer.us

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 311 other followers

%d bloggers like this: