NaNoWriMo

Now that National Novel Writing Month is almost over, I wonder if any of my friends participated and how they did.

I, of course, don’t even have time to write short emails. However, every night before I go to sleep, I write scenes in my head between two of my favorite characters. Usually that helps me drift off, but there are the nights that the scenes interest me so much that I may as well be up writing; I’m certainly not falling asleep.

But staying up all night writing would wreck my health and mess with my day job, which I happen to love. So…

At least I hope my friends and favorite writers are finding time to create, and it sounds as if some are. I wish you much success!

And then there were none…


Donna Leon is a New Yorker who has lived and worked all over the world and now makes her home in Venice, locale for her Commisario Guido Brunetti books.

Have I ever talked about these books and how much I love them? I was at one of Louise Penny’s booksignings years ago when someone sitting next to me said that if I liked Penny’s mysteries, I would surely like Donna Leon’s.

I downloaded one to my Nook, read it, then began downloading them S-L-O-W-L-Y. There were so many, but I knew if I devoured them the way I wanted to, there would be none left to read. So I savored them over YEARS. And now I have finally come to the last of them on my battered little Nook.

I love the books for her characters and for her ambiguity both in those characters’ choices and the novels’ plots. Sometimes the endings don’t offer tidy resolutions, but where Brunetti may not always deliver justice, he is unwavering in his compassion toward those who have suffered.

I guess there’s nothing left to do but reread these until she publishes another.

A man and his sleuthing dog

Tonight there was a booksigning and gathering for fans of Dudley, the dog who’s the writer of The Dudley Files for Cary Robinson. At least that’s who Cary says writes this series. I think maybe he’s being modest, the same way he’d be if he knew I was praising him for all he does for Houston’s Homeless Animals. He is a hero for the voiceless, and many is the dog I’ve photographed on transport day because Cary became a passionate advocate for his or her rescue. Tom volunteers with him at BARC, and that only scratches the surface of all the time Cary donates to shelters and rescue organizations. Dudley contributes, too, from the sale of his books.

I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to attend this event, but I’m doing some software training this week that’s kicking my butt. Eventually, it will make my job more efficient and maybe even allow me some free time other than in the middle of the night when actually, I’d just as soon sleep.

Tom was able to go and brought home the third book of The Dudley Files, SOUL HEELER, so I’m about to curl up and enjoy some reading time before I fall asleep.

Poet’s Day


August 21 is Poet’s Day. I was going to pull some of my favorites from the shelves, except then I felt I was slighting others, and all of them are brilliant to me for different reasons.

So off the top of my head and in no particular order,

WordsworthShelleyColeridgeKeats
YeatsAudenHughesHopkinsJongShakespeareThomasDickinson
MillayDonneBishopMonetteAngelouBlakeDotyEliot
WhitmanFrostBrowning(s)RilkeByronCummings

Who are your favorite poets?

She Moves Ahead!

Tonight Debby, Lynne, and I ran some errands. When Lynne got into the car, she showed me a box she was donating to our coloring supplies–our pencils have outgrown their current holder. Thoreau being a favorite of mine, it’s a good choice. I do believe that the quote proves that Jack is also a Thoreau reader. Jack can not be wild and free because he is a Bad Boy, and the world thanks me.

Of course, Lynne being Lynne, I found there were other surprises inside when I arrived home and opened the box.

Anything to get more slices in the house! It reminded me that there was a print of orange slices in the condo where we stayed on vacation. I meant to get a photo of it and forgot. I blame the arrival of Tropical Storm Cindy for my omission in the ongoing Fruit Slice Campaign.

Sleuthin’ Saturday

Kay Finch and Julie Herman at Murder By The Book.

I haven’t been able to get to a signing at Murder By The Book for a while. I’m two books behind in my friend Dean James (writing as Miranda James)’s cozy Cat in the Stacks Mystery series AND his Southern Ladies Mystery series. I was able to pick up the second Southern Ladies book on Saturday when I went to a signing for Dean’s friend Julie Herman. Julie took a hiatus from publishing (I have her Three Dirty Women series in hard cover, and she’s hoping she’ll have e-versions of those available soon). She’s back with Burned, a middle school equestrian mystery which I read in one sitting yesterday. I have been contemplating writing in the voice of a fifteen-year-old girl for quite a while now, and Julie’s narrator is TWELVE. It was interesting to hear her talk about the number of drafts it took her before she felt that voice was authentic. I tip my hat to her, because she succeeds with Sophie Allen. (Also, I love the book’s cover.)

Signing with Julie was a new-to-me author, Kay Finch. Kay is in a critique group with Julie, and writes A Bad Luck Cat Mystery series. Now you know I’m a dog person, but when a writer names a cat Hitchcock, I’m in!

Looking forward to reading the rest of these books.