Showing posts from April, 2020

Writer's Wednesday: Doing what we can

Well what do you know? Here it is, Wednesday again, and time for another writer's update. I have sadly little progress to report, on either my writing or editing my photos (and I haven't done my taxes yet, either). I think there's no getting away from the truth: I'm goofing off, procrastinating, and not working very hard at much of anything. I've not been completely idle, though. I *have* been working on my book. I'm not sure it's productive, but I've been producing a very lovely multi-colored outline of the book, tracing the clues leading to the perp, all the red herrings, the distractions, and the secondary mystery. Why? Well, for one thing, it's pretty :D  For another, I'm hoping that seeing how all the bits fit in will help me see where to fit in the bits that got left out. It might even be working. Meanwhile, I'm 1/3 of the way through one of me 2 beta reads, with the second queued up. In fact, I've decided that it's probably mor

YA Classic: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Author: Betty Smith. Narrated by Kate Burton Publication info: 2005 Harper Audio. Original publication 1943 by Harper & Brothers, 443 pages. Source: Library digital resources Goodreads Blurb: The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich mom

Photo Friday: Penguins all the way

Before I get started on today's penguin extravaganza, I want to report that we got word today that the Plancius has reached her home port (in the Netherlands), and all aboard are healthy (of course, now they have to enter the real world, where it's harder to stay that way). So glad for our staff and crew! Our 3rd day along the Antarctic Peninsula, the weather was pretty icky--rain at just above freezing is never a favorite of anyone. But we boldly headed ashore, and the gentoo penguins welcomed us with open arms. In fact, the greeting party was fairly large. Of course, they are not without their suspicions. The secret service was hard at work, watching in all directions. Or it might have been Larry, Curly, and Moe Gentoos are notoriously curious birds, and while we were not to approach them, they were not prevented from approaching us. One of our shipmates, demonstrating that you only had to hold still and they would come. I decided to try the "hold still and see if they c

Writer's Wednesday: Goals? What goals?

Two weeks ago I shared some writing goals , which I then didn't look at again until yesterday. Somehow, the whole business of settling down and working has been very slow to ramp up since our return home. But--some good news: while I didn't do everything I said I would (I forgot about editing that second story about the cruise), I have managed to finish the current trip through my MS for Death By Donut. Granted, that trip was really just a quick read with a few notes to refresh my memory about the story and what needs doing, but I did do that. I'm ready now to print it out and get serious about the structural changes needed. My last novel I was able to edit completely digitally, without ever printing it. I think that's only possible when things are pretty well organized to start with, because this time I really need to be able to lay things out on the floor and draw arrows and scribble notes. I apologize to the trees. All of this has been made harder by the fact that I

Mystery Monday: All We Buried, by Elena Taylor

  Title: All We Buried Author: Elena Taylor Publication Info: Crooked Lane Books, 2020. 304 pages Source: ARC via NetGalley Publisher's Blurb: Deep in the woods surrounding the Cascade mountain range, a canvas-wrapped body floats in a lake, right in Elizabeth "Bet" Rivers's jurisdiction. Bet has been sitting as interim sheriff of Collier after her father's--the previous sheriff's--death six months ago. Everyone knows everyone in a town like Collier. She has made it her duty to protect the people she's come to see as family. And she intends to hold her title in the upcoming election, but she's never worked a murder investigation on her own before and her opponent and deputy, Dale Kovac, isn't going down without a fight. Upon unwrapping the corpse, Bet discovers the woman is from out of town. Without an identification, the case grows that much more puzzling. Determined to prove herself worthy, however, Bet must confront the warped history

Photo Friday: Antarctica #3

Glacier Walking and More Penguins! Gratuitous penguin to start the post Our second day in Antarctica, and we are finally going to set foot on it! Many of our shipmates had done so the previous day, while we were kayaking, but Dave and I hadn't yet been off the water. And we were going to start right off with a glacier walk, the longest shore excursion on offer (which mostly filled me with regret that I'd had coffee with breakfast, as one is to leave nothing, and they mean nothing , on shore. Nor is a pee bottle much help when you are in the middle of a rope team). It didn't seem completely certain the night before that we'd be able to do this. While we cruised through the night (more or less in circles, as it turned out), the weather had been... imperfect. Yep. That's snow in the beam of the bridge searchlight. Despite the snowy night, the morning was beautiful. Since we needed the most time for our outing we were the first to leave the ship. Looking back from acros

Middle Grade Classics: Gone-Away Lake

  Title: Gone-Away Lake Author: Elizabeth Enright; read by Colleen Delany Publication Info: 2005, Listen and Live Audio. Originally published in 1957 by Harcourt, Brace & World, 180 pages. Source: Library digital resources Publisher's Blurb: Portia always expects summer to be a special time. But she couldn't imagine the adventure she and her cousin Julian would share this summer. It all starts when they discover Gone-Away Lake--a village of deserted old houses on a muddy overgrown swamp. "It's a ghost town" Julian says. But the cousins are in for a bigger surprise. Someone is living in one of those spooky-looking old houses.   
 My Review:   Just for fun, I have to start by sharing some of the historic covers for this one (one of the delights of old kids' books is seeing how the covers changed through the publication history ). This one was the original. It feels very 1950s to me--much like the covers of books I got in school a decade later. 1989 saw

Photo Friday: Antarctica #2, Kayaking with the ice

Last week I began the account of our cruise to Antarctica with the crossing of the Drake Passage and our first morning's zodiac cruise. Today, I have photos from the first afternoon, kayaking with the icebergs. Unlike kayakers on some other days, we didn't have any close encounters with whales, but we did have beautiful weather and water conditions. Our ship, the Plancius , provided all the necessary gear, including wet suits and paddling jackets. It felt like a lot of clothes as we layered them on over long underwear, but actually kayaking was a warmer activity that sitting in a zodiac (and had less wind chill).  What the fashionable Antarctic paddler wears (though the camera bag wasn't a common accessory). Since I don't much care for being cold and wet, I was glad to see the glassy calm of the Errera Channel around Danco Island, our kayaking area. The shore-landing party headed out before us. We had our own zodiac ride to bring us closer to where we wanted to paddle,