Saturday, March 31, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge - April, Day 1


Topic of the Day

is

"Your Reflection"






Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photo Challenge - Day 28

Topic of the day

is

"Trash"




And this was me being trashy at a Halloween party many many moons ago.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Photo Challenge - Day 26

Topic of the day

is

"Key"



The toughest part of today's photo challenge was trying to decide "which" key.  Since Donald is a locksmith who also happens to collect antique locks and keys, we had a lot to choose from!


Photo Challenge - Day 25

Topic of the day

is

"Breakfast"


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Food Memories by Lesa Holstine

Lesa Holstine blogs at Lesa's Book Critiques, where she reviews a little of everything, emphasizing mysteries. She's a library manager who was awarded the Arizona Library Association's 2011 Outstanding Library Service Award.

















Food Memories
by

Lesa Holstine


As I write this, I'm about to start a memoir by Donia Bijan called Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen. And, I'm starting to see a pattern here. On my blog, Lesa's Book Critiques, I say I specialize in mysteries. However, in the last year alone, I've reviewed three "novels with food," as author Brian O'Reilly calls them, three food memoirs, and eight mysteries involving food. I've hosted quarterly brown bag luncheons in which I talk about books and the attendees bring their lunch. We do monthly brown bag luncheons and an annual potluck for the library staff, in which we bring our lunches and talk about books. Next week, I'm hosting a tea for Jacqueline Winspear to celebrate the release of her new book, Elegy for Eddie. And, I'm even attending a release party for Kevin Hearne's new book, Tricked, at an Irish pub where dinner will be served. Atticus, the Iron Druid, hangs out at a pub called Rula Bula in Tempe, Arizona. So, the release party for Tricked will be held at Rula Bula.

Do you find that food and books go hand-in-hand? I could say it's all about comfort food. But, I think it's not just comfort food. I think it's memory food. I think food brings back memories. And, sharing food, just like sharing good books, is a way of sharing memories. A couple of my favorite authors, Sarah Addison Allen and Barbara O'Neal, write magical realism novels that involve food. Their books, along with books I read in the last year, Angelina's Bachelors by Brian O'Reilly and The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry, involve loss and memory and food.

These books all evoke memories for me, even if I've never eaten the foods discussed in the stories. But, they take me home to my grandmother and my mother, to shared laughter with my sisters. Food, whether it's preparation or meals, gives us the opportunity to spend time with people we love. When I first went to my doctor after Jim died two years ago, I'd put on a few pounds. My doctor is younger than me, but very wise in some ways. He said he'd rather see that I had put on weight than lost it. He said people who lose weight after a death are often isolating themselves. Those who put on weight are spending time with people, eating with them, talking with them, moving on. (Maybe I've been spending TOO much time with people.)

I could probably write my own story about food and family. In fact, I've shared family recipes on Janet Rudolph's Dying for Chocolate and Mystery Lover's Kitchen. I could tell you about my grandmother's simple sloppy joe recipe. There's a certain way to eat the gumdrop bars my mother sends me every Christmas. I close my eyes when I take the first bite, to savor the smell and taste. Those gumdrop bars are the smell of Christmas for me. There's the frozen lemon pudding that has induced family rivalry over the years. I'm the oldest of three, and my sisters used to complain my mother only made frozen lemon pudding when I came home from college. Now, at holiday time, my youngest sister will still tease, guess what we had for dessert, and you weren't here. When I went home this last Christmas, one sister brought wine and her husband's quiche at the start of the visit, and my youngest sister brought springerles to bake at the house, a recipe she learned from her mother-in-law. Food is so connected with memories in my family that we even have a recipe known only as Funeral Rice because someone brought it to the house after my grandfather died.




Linda
Christie



















There's something magical about food books, something that makes me nostalgic for those foods and people I love. The book might be Barbara O'Neal's The Secret of Everything or Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells. I don't read these books just because the recipes are enticing and they make me drool. Food brings us together, gives us a chance to share. And, the books take me back to the people I love, memories and times I want to share.

So, do you want to share? What food takes you home? What book evokes memories for you?

*****

Facebook - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I love Facebook.

Most of the time.

But recently I experienced one of the most hurtful things I've experienced in a very long time.

There's a reason, made very obvious to me just this past week, to not discuss politics.

The problem comes when people who deeply believe different things stop "discussing" and stoop to personal insults.  Or worse - invite their friends in to sling the personal insults, thinking, I guess, that this saves them from having to own their actions. 

And then after leaving the conversation, the insults continue behind your back.

Try to lay some facts on the table and you get called condescending.

Beware of those you call friend.

They're the ones who will hurt you the most.

And here's another bit of pettiness which has been called to my attention having to do with Facebook. 

For some reason people I know have brought to question the fact that I have so many Facebook friends who are published authors.  Apparently not believing that any of these people could possibly be a "real" friend.  Why would they want to be friends with me, for heaven's sake - I am, apparently, just nothing special and no one that anyone "famous" would ever waste their time on. 

I'd love to post pictures here of me with the writers I do, in fact, know personally.  But you know, I shouldn't have to defend who I am.  There are lots of those pictures available all over the web of me with some of these people.  Lots of them right here at my blog and links in the sidebar to conventions I've attended.   Some of these writers I know very well, some I have only met briefly at the conventions I attend.  Many I've known for a very long time - some since before they ever had their first book published.  They are honest friendships that have grown over the years.

Friends.  Wow. 

No one can hurt you quite like a "friend.



And - the other recent hurt.

"She says she's written a book."

"Yeah, sure."

"HA!"

Nice conversation, huh?

"Friends" love to share these conversations they've had or overheard.  For some reason they think (or so they say) that we "need" to know what other people are saying about us.

Friends.  Wow.

No one can hurt you quite like a "friend."

Photo Challenge - Day 24

Topic of the day

is

"An Animal"




This is Harley the day we brought him home in September, 2005.

Harley was born on July 4, 2005



Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Challenge - Day 23


Topic of the day

is

"Moon"



This is a picture Donald took a couple weeks ago when the moon was full.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

ACK! Where did that woman run off to?!




I'm so tardy with this and I'm so sorry!!

Some of you have written to ask if I've stopped writing here at Meanderings and Muses.  I have not.  It would seem so, I know.  I didn't intentionally decide to take a break - its just kinda happened.  But it is a temporary lull, believe me.

I'm working on my novel, and in the meantime I'm also having fun with the photo challenges set up at the Fat Mum Slim blog.  I hope you've been enjoying the pictures I've been posting. 

If you enjoy photography, I encourage to play along.  The prompts she's come up with for daily challenges can be quite - - -  challenging.   She has set next month's prompts and you can find them at her site

And I had decided last year to not have quite as many guests, so really - we're just doing things a little bit differently.

But we still have loads of guests on the schedule, as you can see in the sidebar, so please don't give up on us.

Meanderings and Muses is still here and I will always have lots to say.  As soon as I find the time to say it all!  Some of it you might want to thank your lucky stars you're not hearing, actually.   I'm going to try very hard to keep my politics off here between now and November.  But, boy howdy, it's a very hard thing for me to do. 

As far as how the novel is coming, well - it's done. 

(squeeeeee!!)


But not really.

We're going through the first round of edits, which is making it a much better book. 

Amazingly enough - even after having read it over and over and over, I'm still in love with it.  

(insert one more very loud "squeeeee!" )

So, stay tuned for updates.  And keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

There's still a lot of work to be done.

In the meantime, I'm trying to live by these rules.  Well.  Some of 'em.  I'm not pulling many weeds.





Photo Challenge - Day 18

Topic of the day

is

"A Corner of Your Home"








Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Have Pen - Will Travel by Mike Orenduff

Unlike his protagonist, Mike Orenduff acquired his first pueblo pottery legally, buying small pots from the pueblos his family visited and – in one case – acquiring one when his sister traded chocolate chip cookies for it. His love of pottery expanded to a general interest in archaeology which he studied as an undergraduate.
While in graduate school at the University of New Mexico, Mike worked during the summer as a volunteer teacher at one of the nearby pueblos. After receiving his M.A. at New Mexico and his Ph.D. at Tulane, he became a university professor and administrator. He served as president of the University of Maine at Farmington and the American University in Bulgaria. As Chancellor of the University of Maine System, he created the first cyber-university in the Nation. After opposition of the faculty union to electronically-delivered classes led to a vote of no confidence, Newt Gingrich described Orenduff as “a hero to the American taxpayer” in his book, To Renew America.


Mike went on to serve as President of New Mexico State University and as a visiting faculty member at West Point and President of Bermuda College. After retiring from higher education, he rekindled his love of the Southwest by writing his award-winning Pot Thief murder mysteries which combine archaeology and philosophy with humor and mystery. Among his many awards are the “Lefty” national award for best humorous mystery, two “Eppies” for the best eBook mysteries and the New Mexico Book of the Year Award.


His first book, The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras, has a cover blurb by then Governor Bill Richardson, thus balancing the mention by Speaker Gingrich. The Baltimore Sun described it as, “funny at a very high intellectual level and deliciously delightful.” His latest, The Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier, was called "the perfect fusion of murder, mayhem and margaritas” by The El Paso Times.


Have Pen – Will Travel


Mike Orenduff


I’m often asked why I set my books in New Mexico. From a practical point of view, the answer is that hackneyed phrase, “Write what you know.” But the real reason is it gives me an excuse to visit there when I do signings.


          Of course I’ve done signings in New Mexico’s largest cities – Albuquerque (600,000), Las Cruces (100,000), Santa Fe (70,000), and Roswell (50,000). But I’ve also done signings in places like Cloudcroft (749) and Carrizozo (996). There is no marketing justification for doing signings in towns with fewer than a thousand inhabitants. I go to New Mexico’s villages because they are fun places to visit.


Lai Orenduff on the catwalk near Mogollon


          New Mexico attracts more than its share of people who march to their own drummer or, perhaps more accurately, refuse to march at all. Self-styled artists, homeopathic healers, astrologers, reflexologists, herbalists, poets, and vegans seem drawn to New Mexico’s out of the way places like trout to cold mountain streams. On the road to Mogollon (population 15 – too small for a signing even by my standards), my wife and I saw a fellow walking along the road with a gold-panning vessel tied to his belt. One guy we met kept referring to his mother as Beatrice as if we knew her, and he claimed that she was adopted by Gertrude Stein. He also claimed to be related to Tony Hillerman but said he couldn’t prove it because he had left his mother (single at the time) to make it easier for her to attract a husband. He gave me two poems, one of which, he explained, had remained incomplete for twenty years because he couldn’t find a word that rhymed with meadow. Hmm.

Resumidero


          I was supposed to do a signing at the library in Cuba, New Mexico (population 590) but it was closed when we arrived. I suppose the librarian decide to take the day off. But we met Aggie Villanueva there, and she took us on a picnic to Resumidero. I remembered from my days as a plumber in El Paso that sumidero is the Spanish word for drain. (I was the only native speaker of English among the fifteen employees of United Plumbing, so I quickly added plumbing terms to my Spanish vocabulary.) I don’t know what adding ‘re’ as a prefix does to sumidero, but Aggie says it means sink hole.


          Aggie lives in Regina (pronounced reh-heen-ah in New Mexico, and be sure to roll that first ‘r’), a collection of cabins in the forest above Cuba. She shares her place with three dogs and a mouse that has taken up residency in her pick-up. They all seem quite content. Aggie is an author and artist, attracted to New Mexico like so many others by the dry air, clean-scented forests, and magnificent vistas. You can see her fantastic photography at http://www.aggievillanueva.com.


          Aggie was married at Resumidero. The marriage didn’t last, but her love for the area has endured, and she took us to see waterfalls, rock formations, beaver dams, and high alpine meadows. Our picnic on a Forest Service table was joined by a chipmunk who devoured two big leaves of romaine lettuce and several grapes.  There were also birds, butterflies, and bees. In a break with tradition, there were no ants.


          The next day was a signing at Black Cat Books and Coffee in Truth or Consequences. Afterwards, we drove out to Engle, built in 1879 by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad as a shipping point for cattle and ore. The construction of Elephant Butte Dam (1911-16) swelled the town’s population to 500, but most of those left after the dam was completed. The Engle post office, opened in 1881, was closed in 1955.


On the road to Engle


          Only six people live in Engle today, and only three or four original buildings still stand, including the old schoolhouse where church services continue to be held on the third Sunday of each month. A sign declares “Preaching, Gospel reading, and singing.”


          The next day found us back in Northern New Mexico at Los Alamos, home of the Manhattan Project. Robert Oppenheimer selected the remote mesa top because he had gone to camp there as a boy. The government moved in, took over all the land, moved in the scientists and began building the weapon that would end WWII.


          In the early days, no one could access the town without a security clearance.  Today, the National Labs no longer own everything in town, but security remains an issue even for the civilian portions of the village. Not too long ago, workers were repairing the roof on Otowi Station Bookstore where I did my signing. The workers left their cooler of drinks on the sidewalk next to the ladder they were using. Someone called security about a suspicious package, and within minutes the store and the connecting museum were evacuated and the suspicious package detonated, spraying Mountain Dew everywhere.


          I said earlier there is no marketing justification for signings in small towns. That isn’t entirely true. I sold only one book at my signing in Roswell which has 50,000 people. Author and Roswell resident Alice Duncan bought it. She said no one else there reads.


          But in Questa (population 1700) I sold 17 books. If I could sell books at that same rate (1 for every 100 persons) when I sign in Albuquerque, I’d sell six thousand books in one day. But it still wouldn’t be as much fun as the small town events.


          So if you live in a tiny town that never has book signings, call me.


Pistachio orchard in Tularosa Basin

Photo a Day Challenge - Day 10

The topic of the day

is

"Loud"






This is Laffing Sal of Ocean City, MD, and I took this picture a couple years ago. Sal used to live on The Boardwalk but because dumbasses kept doing things to hurt her, she moved into the wonderful little Ocean City Museum. We go visit her whenever we go home. And you can still hear her laugh! Which is THE most infectous laughter ever, I promise. (and loud!) You can go to this link to read about her. It includes a click through to hear her laugh. http://www.ochh.net/laffing-sal.html

Friday, March 9, 2012

Celebrating "The End"

I had no idea typing two words could be so exhilarating.

And emotional.

And scary.

I've spent just under a year writing my first novel and have had a ball doing it. 

It was also one of the hardest things I've done. 

And one of the most rewarding.

And this morning I typed "The End" and a wave of emotions flew through my heart and my head.

I thought I'd be a happy girl when I reached this point, and I am.

I did not know I'd also feel a little "oh my, what now?"

And I certainly wasn't prepaed for the scared part.

But.

The scary part is on down the road, so we're just not gonna think about all that just yet.  What happens happens.  And if it doesn't happen - well, we'll just back up and do it differently.

What I DO know is that this novel IS going to see the light of day.   If no one reads it except for my mom, so be it. 

But the hardest part is what happens next.  Immediately, really. 

At least it is for me.

I've read things some of my writer friends have written about how much they love the revision process.  I do not love the revision process.

The writing of my first draft felt good.  Words flowed out and I loved every one of them.  Loved them even when I knew they weren't exactly the right words.  Or that they weren't exactly where they needed to be. 

I fell in love with the story as I wrote it.  I fell in love with the characters.  Characters I had no idea were living in my head.  Now I love them to pieces and can't wait to see what they're going to be up to in the next book.

My mean ol' editor (teasing, darlin'!) has been a tough taskmaster.  He has taught me much.  The last part of the book is way better than the first part.  And there's a rather large portion in the early part that I've been told needs some help.  Actually, truth be told, a good deal of help.  I'm having trouble with it, but I'm also confident I'll eventually get it right.  At least it will feel right until my mean ol' editor (just teasing, darln') sends it back to me telling me it's actually not right at all.  And he'll explain why.  And I will think "Huh, how come I didn't see it that way to start with?!"

When I squealed on Facebook this morning about typing "The End," I was once again overwhelmed by the gracious enthusiasm of my Facebook friends.  When I say "i love my Facebook friends," that is not something I'm saying in a frivolous way.  It's dead serious and it comes from my heart.  There's a whole big group of people there who enrich my life every day and have lent support in ways that have meant more to me than I can ever express. 

Two of my friends, Rick Helms and Deborah Crombie, reminded me that there won't ever be another day quite like this one.  And they are so so right.  How many times, after all, does a gal get to type "The End" for the very first time on her very first manuscript of her very first novel?   They both suggested celebrating the day.  Excellent suggestion!  So I called my Donald and asked what should we do to celebrate.  And bless his heart, he said, "It's your day.  What do you want to do?  You decide, and that's what we'll do."

Being the homebody I am, it took me all of two minutes to say, "Pizza, please!"

I'd rather have pizza at home (if it's good pizza!) than just about anything.



so here 'tis - The Celebratory Pizza




is that not a thing of beauty?!



Followed by - - -




A little Death by Chocolate.

Yum.


And because it isn't possible for my mean ol' editor to be here with us to celebrate, won't he be surprised when he receives a box of his favorite fudge from his favorite spot on The Boardwalk in Ocean City, MD



Dolle's Candyland

Enjoy, Darlin'!

and thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Fat Mum Slim March Photo A Day Challenge - Day 9


The topic of the day

 is

"Red"




Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Two Women Chat About Perfume and Books" Cara Black and Denise Hamilton

Photo by Laura Skayhan
Cara Black writes the award nominated and bestselling Aimée Leduc investigations set in the different arrondissements of Paris.

She's a San Francisco library laureate, a member of MWA, Sisters in Crime, and the Marais historic society in Paris. Cara lives in San Francisco with her husband, a bookseller, and their teenage son.

As often as possible, Cara frequents a Paris little known outside the beaten tourist track. A Paris she discovers on research trips and interviews with French police, private detectives and café owners. Her series has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Hebrew. She's included in the GREAT WOMEN MYSTERY WRITERS by Elizabeth Lindsay 2nd editon published in the UK. Several of her books have been chosen as BookSense Picks and INDIE NEXT choice by the Amerian Association of Independent Bookstore. She loves black and white photography and took many of the photos on her website.

Her new book the 12th in the series Murder at the Lanterne Rouge came out yesterday. She looks forward to hitting the road on book tour with Denise Hamilton, Rhys Bowen, Jacqueline Winspear and Kelli Stanley this time.

thank you so much Kaye!

http://www.carablack.com

http://twitter.com/#!/carablack

http://www.facebook.com/cara.black1

Murder at the Lanterne Rouge "Outstanding." *PW Review





Denise Hamilton’s crime novels have been finalists for the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Willa Cather awards. She also edited Los Angeles Noir and Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics, which spent two months on bestseller lists, won the Edgar Award for “Best Short Story” and the Southern California Independent Booksellers’ award for “Best Mystery of the Year.”

Denise’s new novel, Damage Control, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, raves from USA Today, Los Angeles Magazine and BN.com and kudos from James Ellroy (A superb psychological thriller).

Denise has five books in the Eve Diamond series and her standalone book “The Last Embrace,” set in 1949 Hollywood, was compared to Raymond Chandler. Her debut “The Jasmine Trade” was a finalist for the prestigious Creasey Dagger Award given by the UK Crime Writers Assn. Her books have been BookSense 76 picks, USA Today Summer Picks and “Best Books of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Toronto Globe & Mail.

Prior to writing novels, Hamilton was a Los Angeles Times staff writer. Her award-winning stories have also appeared in Wired, Cosmopolitan, Der Spiegel and New Times. She covered the collapse of Communism and was a Fulbright Scholar in Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War. Hamilton lives in the Los Angeles suburbs with her husband and two boys. She also writes a perfume column, Uncommon Scents, for the Los Angeles Times.

http://www.latimesmagazine.com/uncommon-scents/

http://www.denisehamilton.com/


CARA: Ok Denise, looks like we're going to be roomates again at Left Coast Crime in Sacramento later this month. After attending the ALA Library Conference in Dallas and rooming together, the pillow fight bar has definitely higher. will be raised. I know you’re the perfume columnist for the L.A. Times and obsessed with fragrance, and I know you’ll sneak away from LCC to comb the second-hand shops in Sacramento for perfume, so I’m wondering if you can sniff me out some samples - this time something citrus?

DENISE: First of all, I love rooming with you. It’s like a slumber party! We stay up way too late talking. How often to I get to do that!!! Yes, I’ll recommend some citrus scents for you. Maybe I’ll bring you some little vials when I come up from LA. I’m thinking Christian Dior Eau Savage, or maybe Serge Luten’s Fleurs d’Oranger or Fleurs de Citronnier. But that’s for you, not for Aimee. What perfume does Aimee wear?

CARA: Aimee is a signature scent gal. A classicist. She only wears Chanel No. 5.

DENISE: Then she’s right in line with chic Parisians because Chanel No. 5 remains the most popular perfume among French women. Speaking of Paris – which I’m so jealous that you get to visit each year for research - what is your greatest extravagance when there?

CARA: I go barebones on research trips, scrape up frequent flyer miles and camp on my friends couch in Montmartre. But taking my friends and contacts out to dinner it’s become part of the routine, especially the policewoman who invited me to the police firing range and the private detective who lets me hang out with her... inviting them out is the only way I can thank them. And with the French dining is an art form, a wonderful experience lasting hours, with the wine flowing, many courses and full of discussion. I splurged once attending the Comedie Francaise, the national theatre, red velvet seat, murals the works to see Phedre, the Greek tragedy. Despite the classical French which went right over my head, just sitting in those seats that Proust, Cocteau, you name it, had sat in was worth it. Ok, once in the Marais, I found an incredible second hand, like new, suede shearling coat, the very thick European kind for those winters,...It weighed a ton, cost next to nothing and I coveted it...of course, I bought it. Wouldn’t you know, it cost an extra baggage fee... more than the coat! But there’s always Chanel No 5, duty free at the airport that Aimée insists on.

DENISE: Aimee’s definitely a femme fatale. What’s she gotten herself into in your new one, Murder at the Lantern Rouge?

CARA: Aimee’s investigation plunges her into the history of the Knights Templar, secret medieval guilds, Chinatown sweatshops and botched affairs of the heart.

DENISE: I love books like yours that teach me about a foreign place. I’ve just read an amazing non-fiction book called Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein. He’s a real character, a Midwesterner who learned fluent Japanese and became the only American reporter at Japan’s biggest newspaper, the Yomiuri Shinbun. For years he covered Tokyo’s seamy underbelly and the Yakuza. He smokes clove cigarettes, has death threats against him and fashions himself a Japanese Phillip Marlowe, fighting crime. Highly recommended. What are you reading these days?

CARA: I'm loving the Coco Chanel biography you lent me when I stayed chez toi in LA. Coco Chanel comes alive and it's intriguing that she might have had a son whom she referred to as her nephew all her life. Strikes me we gravitate towards people and characters who keep secrets. You explore those hidden past secrets so well in Damage Control.

DENISE: I was an L.A. Times reporter for many years and learned that almost everyone has secrets. And people in the public eye are rarely what they seem. That’s always the starting point of a novel for me. Because the more wealthy and powerful and upstanding you are, the more motives you have to keep those dark secrets hidden. And therein lies the tale! It’s just a matter of figuring it out. And mostly that’s fun. It’s only scary when you don’t know what happens next.

CARA: Speaking of scary, do you remember how your car tire blew out on the L.A. freeway at midnight? We were coming back from the LA Times Festival of Books and we were yakking and yakking and then you had to pull onto the shoulder next to Forest Lawn cemetery and you kept saying 'freeway stalkers' and I kept thinking Sean of the Dead.

DENISE: Turns out we’re not much in the femme fatale department. We called my husband, who came quickly to the rescue and put on the spare. He was the hero! Thank goodness for cell phones, because I do a lot of evening events all over town.

CARA: You're doing a bunch or readings from Raymond Chandler’s The Lady in the Lake with other LA Noir writers like Judith Freeman, who wrote that incredible Raymond Chandler biography that you gave me which I inhaled on the plane back from LA...how does that feel? I mean you're in the City of Angels that Chandler describes and it's changed - how do you all evoke his spirit?

DENISE: Ha! I just drive around. Hollywood continues to cast a huge shadow and the physical beauty – the snow-white sands, the blue sky, the palm trees and bougainvilla, the snow-capped mountains, the people who come here to start a new love, to be discovered, to leave the past behind – can lull you into forgetting that there’s plenty of crime and desperation. But L.A.’s as noir today as it was in Chandler’s time, which is what I love to explore in my novels. There’s just five times as many people and they come from all over the world these days to chase their dream. What’s your dream, Cara?

CARA: Besides the farmhouse in Provence? The dream starts ‘Fasten your seatbelts please, we’re beginning our descent into Charles de Gaulle airport, Ground crew reports weather in Paris a sunny 75 degrees, ‘ By some force of magic a motorcycle awaits me outside Terminal 1 and I zoom along the peripherique into the outskirts of Paris, then into boulevard Saint-Ouen, nodding to the local cheeseseller who waves ‘ I’ll save you that good camembert that just came in’. I pull up at Cafe Rotonde, to find my smiling friends Anne-Francoise, her beautiful one year old daughter Gabrielle, and Cathy my policewoman friend with an open bottle of champagne - Veuve Cliquot, of course - sitting at an outdoor table. And then my son, magically arrived from his new job, appears with our dog Kipper who also magically behaves and has by osmosis imbibed the well behaved manners of Parisian dogs followed by my husband who smiles...’I’m going to run a bookstore in Paris now...you’ve convinced me.’ Of course, we’re joined by Catherine Deneuve who just happens to be walking by and shares her makeup secrets and Charlotte Gainsbourg who begs ‘I want to play Aimee in the new film, please.’ And the incredible director Bertrand Tavernier appears with a script in hand. ‘I’ve made a few changes, little ones.’ And then Georges Simenon, magically risen from the dead and writing again, sits down, pipe hanging from the side of his mouth and says ‘Maigret needs a helper.’

DENISE: Ah! I love it. I’m coming for a visit.


Denise Hamilton, Cara Black, Deborah Crombie & GM Malliet


Fat Mum Slim March Photo A Day Challenge - Day 7

The topic of the day 

is

"Something You Wore"





Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 5 - March Photo A Day Challenge


Today's topic

 is

"A Smile"







So here's one smile and one bonus smile. 
Aren't they adorable??   
My two best guys.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 3 - March Photo A Day Challenge



Today's topic

is

"Your Neighborhood"



so -


here's our neighborhood looking down the road from part way down our driveway, on a dreary day.