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.

Snoopy Saturday–a coup d’├ętat!

A dog sleeps in the doghouse! A frog has an agenda!

I read this quote from Muppets creator Jim Henson recently.

At some point in my life, I decided, rightly or wrongly, that there are many situations in this life that I can’t do much about: acts of terrorism, feelings of nationalistic prejudice, cold war, etc. So what I should do is concentrate on the situations that my energy can affect.

Feel free to give a shout-out in comments to a person or group who you personally see–and maybe even help!–direct energy toward making our world better, kinder, safer.

Photo Friday, No. 475

Current Photo Friday theme: Glass

When I grieve, I tend to turn away from the books I usually enjoy reading and revisit the more literary works on my shelves. Or in this case, pick up a book I’ve had since college that I was supposed to have read (twice) and probably even answered test questions about, but I never actually read.

As I read, I slip back into student mode and search for essay topics. In the case of Redburn, I immediately began noting every reference to glass and developing how I’d explore glass as a metaphor throughout the book.

Then I remembered Dr. Beidler isn’t expecting a paper from me. So English graduate students, you’re welcome to steal my idea. Because the book’s been around since 1849, I can’t promise glass hasn’t been done.

I’ll repeat what surprised me most when I read Moby Dick: Melville makes me laugh. And my glass contains no alcohol.

100 Happy Days: 18

I became aware of the Little Free Library project when a nine-year-old boy in Kansas was ordered to remove his from his front lawn because the city called it an “illegal structure.” Yeah, you don’t want people to encourage reading or to share books–that shit leads to thinking! And thinking…who knows where that might lead?

Check out the link above to learn more about the Little Free Library program. Recently, while driving through one of Houston’s neighborhoods, I spotted my first Little Free Library. I think it’s a wonderful idea, especially in areas with a lot of kids and foot traffic. (Except for those places where someone will run outside brandishing a cane and yelling, “You! Kids! Off my lawn!” Or where five overwrought dogs don’t exactly make the best welcome committee, not that I know anything about that personally.)

Today I managed to get a photo of the LFL with my cell phone, and that made me happy.

Preparing for tomorrow

Tomorrow will be the seventh annual Readergirlz Operation Teen Book Drop. Anyone who wants to can participate in promoting teen/young adult literature and literacy.

I did this in 2012 and 2013, and can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. In fact, Murder By The Book is holding Jeffrey Ricker’s new novel The Unwanted for me, so while I’m there, I can get a recommendation on other good young adult books to buy for Rock the Drop.

Click the Readergirlz link for more details. If you participate, be sure to share it on social media, especially if you take a photo of your contribution(s) out in the wild.

It always makes me happy to see a young person reading, and it’s not hyperbole when I say that I believe reading can save lives.