Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good Reads - Forgotten Authors

My house is in turmoil - good turmoil.  Today front closet doors are being hung.  Isn't it amazing how renovations can languish for years?  You forget your first impression on seeing the house  - "great place but closet doors would be nice."

In the chaos of life, the obvious is forgotten.

Kind of like great books I have read.  I've been caught a few times reading the books of one author and enjoying each one and then, for some inexplicable reason, moving on.  It's not a conscious decision, just something that happens.  The other day I rediscovered an author I hadn't read in years.  It was a back-issue of one of her books and I loved it the second time around just as I had the first time.   I'd read a number of her books and then stopped.  The result,  I'd lost her over the years.


Was there a break in her writing?  Were new books no longer appearing magically on the shelves reminding me?  That is a heartbreaking truth - even I am caught on that - the ease of grabbing those authors that are on the premium shelves of any bookstore.  It takes an adventurous reader to find the gems that don't make those shelves.

But that isn't all of the reason.  If I like an author I will hunt for the next book even if that means crawling to the bottom shelf in the back of the bookstore or getting it online in e-format.  No these authors are falling through the cracks after I've discovered them.  

Lost authors.  How did this happen?  And it wasn't just her - there were a few authors that I had just stopped reading and moved on.  Maybe it's my taste as a reader.  I love historical romance but not a steady diet of it.  I love suspense but the same goes there.  Horror - small doses here and there although there was a time that horror was my genre of choice.  Instead of a feast of one genre I prefer a smorgasbord of books.  But the risk of that is a good author gets lost in the shuffle.

Maybe, as a reader, I'm just easily distracted.  Or maybe it's the flooded state of today's market.  There is only so much time and more books than there's ever been before.  Books slather the landscape in all their good and bad versions.  And there's always another author with a new book to tempt a reader.  Are good reads and old faves getting lost in the crowd? 

I'm not sure of the answer but what I do know is that I'm going to be resurrecting more of those "forgotten" authors and see what's new in their queue.  Maybe I'll even find the answer to that question I have yet to answer.  For sure I'll know I'll discover another gem or two.

Stumble on any long forgotten gems lately?


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There Are No Words

I was checking the news as is my habit in the morning and I stumbled on this headline - "I'm Dead and This is my Last Post."  Derek K, a blogger who wrote his last post and planned for it to be published after his death.   I can't imagine what he must have felt when he wrote that post knowing that others would read it after he was gone, knowing that his life was so close to over. 

Reading the words of a man who knew his death was imminent takes us to a place that many of us don't want to consider.  But death has happened - to him and it's a place I'd rather not consider this early in the morning that he takes me to despite my reluctance. 

But it was his final sentence that got me - powerful as only simple words can be 
as he lays love on the line.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Listening In On The Royal Visit

So a few posts back I promised I'd finish the story about listening devices and royal security.  What brought up the topic was a royal visit and a day when a listening device interceded unexpectedly smack into the middle of my day.

May, 2005.  It was the day of Queen Elizabeth's visit.  A rainy day but I slogged the numerous blocks over to Wascana Park where we stood behind a roped barricade outside the legislature waiting for the Queen and Prince Philip to arrive.  I was with a friend of mine, a single friend who I love to occasionally tease about eligible bachelors.  With a front line view we waited and got wetter by the minute.  The only thing going on was the consistent pacing and monitoring of the crowd by the royals' security.  They were dressed in suits and managing to project a presence despite their wet appearance.  And one of them was a very attractive man.  So I teased my friend about the possibility of hooking up with the Queen's security.

Just some teasing between friends that went on while we waited.  Until he looked over, and smiled directly at us.   But it was the second time round, as the comments were still going back and forth, when he came over and teased her about giving him the use of her umbrella.  Now we're thinking, he honed in on us out of this entire crowd of people. How is it possible that he came over without hesitation as if he knew exactly where we were and what we'd been saying?

"Do you suppose he could hear us?" I ask my friend.

Ridiculous we both think but there's a flicker of doubt.

Quiet moments go by as the rain softly pelts down and we get soggier and begin to contemplate the insanity of waiting in this weather.  Under these kind of circumstances, a good-looking man entering our line of vision every few minutes as he works his circuit and two bored women.  The comments are bound to continue - and we complain about men!  So, my friend makes a comment to me as he strides by something about how easy he was to look at.  But it was the smile that immediately followed that comment and was aimed directly at her that was confirmation.  He'd been listening in the whole time, picking our conversation out of the crowd.

We were rather quiet after that.  Slightly embarrassed possibly or maybe just reluctant to have our words recorded and reviewed.  Fortunately the royal couple made their appearance almost immediately after.  And later, well we got lost in the crowd.

It was a quick lesson on sound amplifiers - you never know who might be listening.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ladybugs, Voles and the CIA

One moment I'm watching another vole scurry across the easement, there's an influx this year, and the next I'm reading up on the CIA - or what information I can get my hands on.  Gardening and writing/research - kind of hand in glove or maybe keyboard in wheelbarrow.

It's odd how a day can unfold or maybe that's unravel.  I plan to do one thing and the next thing I know I'm doing battle with an influx of ladybugs.  There's been more this year of almost everything it appears; snow, voles, ladybugs.  I like one out of three - not too bad.  Although, even though they're not the one out of three, I must say the voles are kind of cute as long as they'd keep their numbers down and stay far away my yard and from any trees or shrubs I may hold dear.

But the CIA, yes back to that - spies and crime and good old romantic suspense.  The research varies depending on the threat the characters might face.  Often there's no intelligence operative at all, just a romance, a villain or two, and some fast thinking on the part of the characters.  But it's these things I think about today as I dig weeds and brush off ladybugs.  And in case you think this is a daily routine - not.  Some days my thoughts are on more mundane things like what's for supper.  Apparently today, supper didn't quite work out - it's takeout lasagna and a coupon that wasn't quite the deal it seemed to present. 

Is real life stranger than fiction?  I think so.  Even though sometimes it feels like the twist in the latest plot might be a bit too much and sometimes it is and there's a rewrite.  But other times I take a break and check the news. Most days things are pretty calm out there on our little planet.  But some days the news is one step short of unbelievable.  And sometimes it's just plain coincidental.

Today, for example, my story has strayed from threat of the human kind and moved to one of a different sort and sure enough there's a real life, similar story.  Hey, I had the idea first!  I can't help it if Mother Nature had to jump in.  Not that it matters, my story will take it's own spin on things.

And speaking of a spin on things.  Do you take the news to heart or do you always have a spin of your own?