Showing posts from July, 2010

Squinting up from the Abyss

Yes, I have fallen off the face of the earth.

Okay, not really...  gravity didn't decide to up and fail me, and I'm not floating around out there (or freezing, which I suppose would technically be the case) in space. It sure feels that way, though. (Actually, it feels like I've fallen right off and landed in a big ol' pit of crud.)

So, what is this abyss into which I've fallen, you ask? (And why the heck don't I have one of those "help, I've fallen" monitor thingies, har-de-har?)

Well, for one thing, work keeps on rearing its less-than-pretty head. (Owning your own business? Not so glamorous. If someone tells you otherwise, turn around and walk the other way. I mean it.)

Then there are the multiple governments which keep demanding another piece of our hot little pie, on a monthly and quarterly basis. (Not only does Uncle Sam come sniffing around for the daily special, but also the lesser uncles from three different states--and each one insists he …

Runes, Lies, & Magics

It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again--an author I like (or, make that used to like) puts out a piece of schlock, leaving me totally out-of-sorts about being cheated out of a respectable chunk of valuable reading time (not to mention, some hard-earned money). The absolute worst is when an author you really liked suddenly starts producing dreck. Now, other people may be much more forgiving or tolerant than I am, but once an author loses me due to a run of bad books, it’s very hard--okay, nearly impossible--to ever get me back. (I can think of two popular authors, off the top of my head, whom I haven't read in years because of this.) My willingness to give the author another chance is commensurate with his/her abilities, naturally; if the author showed impressive talent in the past, I’m more willing to give at least a couple future books a chance. If that writer’s abilities were only marginal at best, though, I’m considerably less inclined to reach for his/her latest at the boo…

Revenge & Retribution in the Heartland

For me, it all started a long time ago... when I was a child, staying up till the wee hours of the night (or morning), watching some made-for-TV movie about Jack the Ripper with my mom. Decades later, I have no idea what the actual movie might have been--although it probably wasn’t a very good one--but I do know that thus began my own curiosity with the particular subset of mass murderers commonly known as serial killers.   But what, we might ask, does it say about us, to have something which almost borders on an obsession with these horrible criminals? (And if your first reaction is to shake your head, rejecting outright the notion that perfectly “normal” people could be so interested in any such thing, then a brief tour of the thriller section at your local bookstore is clearly in order.) No matter whether you're fascinated by them or not, the serial killer character--someone who repeatedly goes out and murders total strangers for no comprehensible (and certainly no defensible) r…

A Ragdoll and His Book

See? I like books. (Dis iz a luvly book.)

And, um, clean feet. (Don't laff. U probly wish u cud kleen ur feet dis eezily...)

And, um, sleeping. (Obvsly. I iz kitteh.)

Books, clean feet, and sleeping.

I know there's more to life than that (liek noms!!), but this is a pretty good start. :)

Oh, Canada: Murder, Hockey, & Mum's the Word

Ah, Winter. How I love your cold, bracing winds and the snow you (hopefully) deposit in substantial amounts during your three-or-so-month reign. You make me feel so invigorated, and you give me a reason to own all those warm sweaters and cool boots. Of course, when you’re still leaving the white stuff around in April--as you occasionally do--my love affair with you becomes somewhat diminished. In the middle of summer, though, with temps hovering in the mid-90s? I love you, Sweet Winter, I truly do. So, when a book set in Toronto primarily during the winter finally made its way to the top of my TBR pile? It was a happy July day for me, you better believe it. The fact that it’s a legal thriller was just more cause for celebration; it had really been awhile since a good courtroom drama found its way into my eager paws. (The blurbs on the dustjacket--quotes from others authors whom I regularly make it a point to read--didn’t hurt, either.) Robert Rotenberg’s Old City Hall begins bright and …

Candle, Candle, Burning Bright...

>>ARC Review<<

There are probably as many different ways to be a hero as there are ways to die... a fact which is important to note primarily because the two things are so often inextricably linked. Just ask October Daye; she’s an unwitting expert in the myriad dangers that seem to ride shotgun with all those acts of heroism. It’s not that she ever set out to be a hero, though--or to continually put herself in danger. Things just seem to work out that way.  In case you’re unfamiliar with the heroic Ms. Daye, here's a little background. Toby is Sylvester Torquill’s favorite knight in the fae realm known as the Summerlands, and she’s also something of a problem-solver for the fae in the human world. (She's particularly well-suited for these dual jobs by virtue of being a Changeling--half-fae, half-human--and thus able to function well in both worlds.) In the past, she's battled (and defeated) both a Changeling ex-lover bent on a ruthless, murderous quest to gain pow…

Knights, Wonder Woman, & Kittens... (Etc.)

I've been trying to work on a review--when I've been able to squeeze in a few minutes here and there, that is, which has NOT been easy, recently (hence, the "trying" part). Anyway, it's had me mulling over the nature of heroes...

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and the acts of courage (honor, bravery) they perform are just as varied. Still, most people have at least some idea about what the term "hero" means to them. Many of us cling--rather tenaciously, too!--to our fairy tales. (Why? Because they almost always have happy endings, of course, whereas Real Life so often... doesn't.) We picture a brawny, armor-clad man with flowing locks, thundering in on his majestic steed to save the fair maiden from the clutches of an evil tyrant, shouting “Unhand her!” as he dismounts, with his trusty sword at the ready. (If you say you’ve never dreamed that, I won’t believe you. Certainly not if you're female. But, if that's really your response, I’ll …

Yay. Independence.

So, it turns out I'm just like a cat and could really do without all the noisy fireworks, TYVM. (I could also live without the accompanying stink which will permeate the neighborhood for the next couple of days, after the people down the street have their yearly [illegal] light-'em-up-&-shoot-'em-off extravaganza tonight. Not too crazy about cleaning up the stray bits of their firecracker debris which will somehow find their way to my yard from half-a-block away, either.)

But--also like a cat--I totally get the spirit of the celebration. Being independent, free to make (at least some of) my own choices is, on the whole, a good thing. And, although there are plenty of choices I'm not allowed to make--courtesy of a plethora of pesky rules, regulations, and laws (not all of which I agree with)--it's certainly better than the alternative. (See? Just. Like. A. Cat.)

"Mommy, de only boom-boomz we needz today iz ME."
Oh, and our friendly public service remind…