Monthly Archives: March 2018

every book should be….

I have been a reader of mysteries since, well, I don’t remember not reading them. And I love how each author makes their journey from problem to solution differently.  Some are better than others. When I was growing up Nancy Drew remained pretty much the same and it was the plots that were unique. Now, the main character has to have wants and needs and should change in someway, probably for the better, although….

Truth be told, I am really a fan of mysteries that involve murder. And find it amazing how many different ways writers are able to kill off people, and it seems we do it regularly and with a lot of enthusiasm.

Thanks to the North Carolina Digital Library I can read a lot of mysteries. Right now I am reading the James Runcie Grantchester series, Sydney Chambers and his non-clerical adventures in detecting. Although I think I will never ever understand cricket, I find his very English voice of the 1950s to be fascinating, almost as interesting as the murders.

A lot of children’s books which are mysteries do not include dead bodies and I get that. They are perhaps finding a precious family heirloom, or noticing something strange with a neighbor and getting involved in maybe rescuing a family pet or helping someone in a bad situation. Personally, I like the idea that a person or persons with really bad intentions is out there and it is scary. I like that idea that a person or persons is willing to kill again, perhaps, making it dangerous for the main character.

 

The swallows….

Yesterday was the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. A little research led me to the fact that it wasn’t until 1955 that Pius the XII declared March 19 his feast day. Hmmm, right smack dab in the middle of the twentieth century. How about that!

Besides fond memories of Capistrano in March (usually cold, well cold to a southern Californian)   I always thought of this as my dad’s feast day. There is a Saint James, the Apostle. His feast day is in July. But Mom always said this was dad’s. I think it was to drill into our adorable little heads that it was dad’s work that brought us all that we had. His dedication to the ethic of providing for his family was important, this was a way, as catholics we could honor dad. As a matter of fact when dad retired, none of us had a clue what he was going to do, until he told us he was going to fish. We were amazed. We had never seen dad fish, heard him talk about fishing, zip, nada, nothing.

And then he told us that as a child, his grandfather taught him to tie flies, wrap a rod and then go fishing in one of the lakes near Scranton PA. And that’s exactly what he did. He went to fishing camps in New England and in Northern CA.  He made his own pole rest so he could wrap a rod. Used the down from a duck I shot in the bay off Provincetown to make flies. He was, as always, meticulous, exact, tidy and patient.

When I was young the swallows returning to Capistrano was considered a miracle in honor of St. Joseph. They probably have a very scientific explanation for it now! Me? I prefer to think of it as a miracle–one that continually reminds me of my dad and how incredible he was!

Six pages….

We all know it’s hard to write. No, that’s not true.  It is hard to write well! I can write anytime, but I can’t write well anytime. I need to be able to get into the story, remember the characters, know where I want to go.

This year has been hard. With Tom an hour away since December of last year, getting the nursing he needs [certainly not on this planet or any other would anyone consider me to be a good nursing caretaker] and the rehab he requires to live a good daily life! For me it has been making sure I eat and sleep, take care of the puppies, the laundry, the bills, and any other part of our lives until he gets back home.

I have always written, not a good speller, and my grammar can be challenged by just about anyone, anytime, anyplace. But I’ve always been a writer. I like putting words into thoughts and ideas and having them come together and make sense, well, sense to me.

I have not been writing and I can feel the twitch in my hand and the itch in my brain to write. I have assuaged it by writing in the comments section of magazines, newspapers, articles, but it is not moving me forward. Our spring retreat is upcoming and I wanted to submit. Ten pages is not a lot to deal with, and I had comments from an agent and beta readers to consider. So I did. I considered. I re-read. I revised. I thought about wants, needs, what the resolution would be with what I had. I pulled out the synopsis. I read. Re-read. Revised.

I’m still driving that hour each way. Spending time with Tom. Getting him to stand. Walk. Talk. Having lunch. That open wound right at his tailbone is a mind numbing pain! And a second has opened! Not infected, thank God~ and yes, I mean it as a prayer~ months it will be until he is whole again. But it will happen. Yes, I could use this as an excuse. It is a good one! But no.

New year resolutions can happen any time. This is mine. Every day print off six pages. That’s doable. And while Tom is on a pressure release, or at therapy, I read and make notes. I revise. Six pages. It’s not fast. But it is what I can do. Getting it done is what counts.

Six pages at a time!