Friday, May 23, 2014

Does Anyone Else Find This Funny?

So, my favorite cozy mystery writer Paige Shelton is working on a new series set in Edinburgh, Scotland.  And she's been asking me for a bit of help now and then, which I find very complimentary and quite thrilling.  :)
So, in order to answer one of her questions tonight, I was looking for some city tour info, and I found this ad:

Um, so "Live Agents"?  As opposed to.... dead ones?   Wouldn't dead ones be better for a ghost tour?  Just wondering....

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Reading and Book Signing: Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand

Yesterday I was purchasing a thank-you gift at The King's English bookstore here in Salt Lake City when a bookseller asked me if I were coming to the signing that night.  Well, three YA authors in one shot sounded pretty good, so I picked Everneath by local author Brodi Ashton, bought it, and committed to return that evening.
Now, The King's English does author visits.  I've been to see numerous authors there, including Alexander McCall Smith, Eoin Colfer, and *cringe* Stephenie Meyer.  (Look; I hadn't read the books at that time, and she wasn't really famous at the time.)  So, I thought this would be a well-done event.
But it was.... nice.
Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, and Cynthia Hand were lovely, giggly little school girls telling inside jokes with each other while the 20 or so of us in the audience listened on the edges of their little world.  They gave silly answers to questions like "How do you think up character names?"  And they only spent a couple of minutes each talking about their books.  There was no reading, no attempt at all to "hook" new readers in.
But they were really nice, lovely ladies.
Yup.  Nice.
I can't even remember who wrote which book without looking it up now; that's how bland and just-like-hers their presentations were.  I ended up unconvinced that I needed to buy Meadow's and Hand's books -- or even get them from the library -- and almost sorry I paid for Ashton's.
You see, the big problem was that they had so much fun giggling with each other and being so proud of their own accomplishments that it became clear that they didn't feel we were necessary.  Those of us in the audience were outsiders, mere readers -- while they were this little group of "in-girl" writers.

I can't tell you one thing, good or bad, about their books.  Maybe the books are great.  I don't know.  I felt so alienated by their presentation of themselves that I lost all my enthusiasm.

Note to self: never treat readers like this.  Ever.

(Of course, I wouldn't look anywhere near as good in a photo as they do.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Mother's Recipe For Rhubarb

"Just keep adding sugar until you can stand to eat it."

Yup.  That about covers it.  :)

(PS Mom's a great cook.)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finally! All My Hard Work Put To Good Use!

I earned an honors diploma from high school, and, therefore, I got to wear a yard or so of tasseled gold cord around my neck when I graduated.  I can't remember for sure, but I think I wore the same cord when I graduated from university four years later.
Since then, however, the cord has been tied on the edge of a bookshelf, getting dusted ever so often.  Until last week, that is.
Last week, I noticed that Mom had used the tasseled honors cord to tie back the new, decorative shower curtain in the bathroom.
It's nice to know that all my honors have paid off for her -- at last.  :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Oh-So-Very-English Story Starter

Every once in a while, I pull a random picture out of iPhoto and use it as a story starter.  Here's one for today:

This shows a picnic meal of a scone with clotted cream and jam, accompanied by ginger beer.  (That's non-alcoholic, if you're curious.)  It just doesn't get any more stereotypically English than this snack -- unless it's tea and biscuits (cookies, that is) with the Queen.
The real story here is that I walked from Cambridge to Granchester one hot and sticky summer day in 2007, accompanied by a die-hard, born-again American Baptist fellow whose name I can no longer recall.  My enjoyment of the outing was rather diminished by the humidity and by his refusal to discuss anything other than his own narrow outlook on life.
However, the photo is a great set up for fiction.
What would you do with it?  Who's picnicking in the park?  Why?  When?
Feel free to share your ideas or link to your own post if you write something about this.
Have fun.

Blogging Blackout

It's been awhile.
Yup, I'm still alive, but I haven't been completely well lately, and my need to sleep has exceeded my need to blog.
I shall try to post a big more often.