Showing posts from July, 2023

Photo Friday: a few local hikes & walks

In the last few weeks, in addition to walks in my local park to see the beavers (and to get my exercise), I've done a couple of trips into the actual mountains. Since I haven't been spending the night I don't have any stunning sunrise/sunset photos, but here are a few nice bits, anyway. My local park is a lovely second-growth PNW lowland forest, with a stream. Apparently there are a lot of beavers in the Seattle area who are happy to move into such streams, even with less than pristine water (this stuff includes runoff from the local streets and neighborhoods and signs suggest keeping kids out of even the clean-looking parts).  I'm bemused that the beavers seem to have abandoned the dam in the main stream and have moved into the algae-covered backwater, which they have somehow managed to fill with more water than usual, as well as more algae. Train tracks separate the park from the beach, but with a pedestrian bridge over the tracks it's been converted from a bug to

Book review: The White Lady, by Jacqueline Winspear

Sometimes the library really comes through. They got me this March release by Maisie Dobbs author Jacqueline Winspear much faster than I had any reason to expect!     Title: The White Lady Author: Jacqueline Winspear Publication Info: Harper Collins, 2023. 321 pages (hardback or Kindle). Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: The White Lady introduces yet another extraordinary heroine from Jacqueline Winspear, creator of the best-selling Maisie Dobbs series. This heart-stopping novel, set in Post WWII Britain in 1947, follows the coming of age and maturity of former wartime operative Elinor White—veteran of two wars, trained killer, protective of her anonymity—when she is drawn back into the world of menace she has been desperate to leave behind. A reluctant ex-spy with demons of her own, Elinor finds herself facing down one of the most dangerous organized crime gangs in London, ultimately exposing corruption from Scotland Yard to the highest levels of government. The privat

#WritePhoto: Over the Mountain

This week's #WritePhoto picture worked for my on-going saga of the Scots rebels and the alien invaders, so we have another installment. For those who haven't read the others, you can find the story in pieces: Parts I to III , Part IV, Part V , Part VI ,  Part VII , and Part VIII . Or you can go with the simple summary: the castle's defenders have defeated and driven off the aliens with a combination of water balloons and dungball bombs, which required a lot of clean-up. Now they are faced with the necessity of moving on to find others equally unwilling to serve the alien masters, which involves getting the whole crew up and over the mountains to the sea, without the use of machines or technology. The #WritePhoto challenge is a weekly bloghop challenge where KL Caley posts a photo on Thursday and you have until Tuesday to write and post a story. I got started on this one and can't seem to let go! Visit the challenge page to join in or to see what others do with t

Audiobook Review: Mountains of the Mind

I picked this up at the (virtual) library, looking for insights into my own love affair with the mountains. t The title refers to a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a portion of which is quoted in the epigraph.   Title: Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit Author: Robert MacFarlane. Read by James A. Gillies Publication Info: Tantor Audio, 2019. 9 hours.  Originally published 2003 by Pantheon (203 pages) Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: The basis for the new documentary film, Mountain: A Breathtaking Voyage into the Extreme.  Combining accounts of legendary mountain ascents with vivid descriptions of his own forays into wild, high landscapes, Robert Macfarlane reveals how the mystery of the world's highest places has come to grip the Western imagination-and perennially draws legions of adventurers up the most perilous slopes. His story begins three centuries ago, when mountains were feared as the forbidding abodes of dragons and other mysterious beasts

Photo Friday: Random abstracts

Since I don't have any new trips to draw on, I thought I'd pull out some of the fun photos of rocks and abstracts from nature that I've taken over the years. The challenge here is to find ones I haven't used before. Or maybe it doesn't matter--if I can't remember, you won't! So here we have it: rocks, wood, water, leaves...   Trees   Leaves Water   Rocks   Machines   ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023  As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated. Don't miss a post-- Follow us !

The Craft of Writing: Revision, or Re-vision

Perhaps because my new book-- A Coastal Corpse-- has been such a challenge to write, rewrite, and revise, I feel like I ought to have something helpful to say about the process. After 10 novels and countless short stories, I have learned something, right? Some days I'm not so sure about that (Maybe this should be an Insecure Writers Support Group post!) In all seriousness, though, I do have a few thoughts on the subject, some of which might be helpful to others. Today I'm going to talk about the radical things that may have to happen after I've finished the first draft and let it sit a while. This is all in 1st person because who knows if any of it applies to anyone but me? What now? I've let my MS rest for however long I need (2 weeks to 6 months?). I've re-read it and made notes. What next? Things can go two ways at this point. I might decide that the basic structure is sound, and move on to the next level of editing (a topic for another day). More commonly I fin

#WritePhoto: To the Lighthouse

I'm participating in the #WritePhoto challenge, a weekly bloghop challenge where KL Caley posts a photo on Thursday and you have until Tuesday to write and post a story. I got started on this one and can't seem to let go! Visit the challenge page to join in or to see what others  do with the prompt.  Photo by KL Caley This photo took me away from the serial I've been sporadically adding to for the past several months. I think the story I ended up with might equally well be titled, "Perspective."   The Lighthouse “It’s a bit of a hike out here, isn’t it?” Anna offered a sort of cheerful apology.   Sylvia wasn’t happy, but she made an effort to be forgiving. “I don’t suppose you could tell from the photos on the web site. And it does sound romantic to stay in a real, working lighthouse.”   “Even if it is automated.”   “Well, that’s just as well. Would you want to have to climb up there and light the thing?” Sylvia considered the s

Cozy mystery review: The Water Tower

  The Water Tower: A Lakeview Mystery by Amy Young The Water Tower: A Lakeview Mystery by Amy Young About The Water Tower The Water Tower: A Lakeview Mystery Cozy Mystery/Women Sleuths 1st in Series Setting – A fictional Ohio town in the suburbs of Cleveland called Lakeview Level Best Books (June 20, 2023) Paperback ‏ : ‎ 250 pages ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1685122779 ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685122775 Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BT3T8M1C Josie Ashbury was a successful Hollywood actress with a booming career—until an on-set breakdown sends her back to her small Ohio hometown to recover. Taking a job teaching at her old high school, Josie is beginning to put the pieces of her life back together when one of her students dies under suspicious circumstances. The police close the case quickly, without any real answers. Josie is determined to find the truth behind the girl’s death. At the same time, Josie is battling demons of her own. As she faces debilitating insomnia that